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The sunny South. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1875-1907, June 08, 1878, Image 1

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TUr* • , - HOV/Fr? '"'ErTS COLLCCJir,,. When the night-bird’s song at even Cheers the gloom, May soft dews descend from heaven On thy tomb. May sweet peace her vigil keeping Wnile years wane, Guard thee till thou cease from sleeping, .Dear Se Jane. But the grass is o’er thee springing, Dear Se Jane; Plaintive winds for thee are singing O’er the plain; And my soul shall dwell forever On the strain. Would that thou hadst left us never, Oh! Se Jane. Pakkottville, tens. Mad all Her Days. By MKS. AMELIA T. PURDY. CHAPTER I. ‘Trnc fiction bath in itablgber end Than fact; it is thepossit.it compared With what is merely positive, and gives To the Conceptive soul an inner world, A higher, ampler, Beayen than that wherein The nations sun themselves.” Proem—Fertus Beene, a school-room in a great Western city, in May; npon the platform a woman, the exact counterpart of ’Miss Bally Brass a woman who carried her ideds of economy into speech and thought, bnt who. nevertheless. ported & *t vials of her wrath on t.ie luckless child who did not understand her. The recitation bench es are thronged with girls from eight to thir teen. Directly back of the stove is seated a girl of nine, with proud, frankeyes of chestnut, fine, dark brows and beautiful gold threaded chest nut curls. The odo aristocrat in the room that contains a hundred children. She has the brow of a thinker, and the fearless eyes of the moral hero, and her face indicates self-reliance and pride. Her geography is open and she is answering questions from it with the coolest effrontery; Miss Jones rises and calls out, sharply: ‘All the girls who have had their books open in the class, will step out on the floor.’ The child I have partially described walks out with haughty head erect, and a disdainful smile on the red lips. Miss Jones regards her silently, and says in a low tone: ‘I did not see you,’ The child makes no reply, but seats herself on the platform. ‘One more chance for the cowards who do wrong and lie to conceal it,’ Miss Jones calls shrilly. ‘All the girls who have opened their books since they came to the recitation bench, will step out on the floor.’ There is no response; she smiles firmly and takes out her rattan, and calls; ‘Grace Wilmot, Eannie Lawyer, Annie Grice, Laura Hilton.’ ‘One by one the small culprits pile out and she whips them, lingers over it with an intense sense of enjoyment, born of a disappointed, worlde-mbittered heart, expatiating the while in her ludicrous economy of words, in her ab surd economy of dress, that made her shoes too small and her skirts too narrow, and her hair too thin—on the sin of Saphira and the low ness ol lying. Then she turned to the child on the platform, and said with a sardonic smile—her mouth was the one thing she could not economise so that it would occupy small er space, and this mouth was quite as terrify ing to the younger children, as the wolfs mouth in Red Riding Hood; ‘You thought I saw you, Salome Gordon.’ ‘I did not.’ Salome’s face flushes with wounded feeling. •I'd cut my tongue out before I would tell a lie.’ ‘Gome here, ’ is the sharp answer and the child obe} s. She is some mother’s darling you can see that. She is dressed in opera flannel and a black apron with bretelles. The ruffles at the throat and wrists are of linen cambric, the daintily arched feet are encased in high kid buttoned boots and the round comb in the luxurious gold glintiDg curls is silver. There is not a freckle on the marble whiteness of the skin, and she is lovely to look upon; ‘not in the roll of the com mon’ though but a child; but the grand eyes are resolute as she confronts her teacher and the Bweet arched mouth shuts like a vice. ‘Yon have perverted ideas of honor’ Miss Jones jerks out, ‘wrong is wrong', when you coolly and deliberately set the rules of the school at defiance it is a mystery to mo why you should hesitate to lie.’ ‘It is a sin to tell lies,’ Salome answers, ‘and the rules of the Principle are not like God’s rules.’ Miss Jones is half a century old and until now, no child has ever had the temerity to reason with her; but she finds the novelty of the situ ation refreshing. ‘Indeed’ icily, ‘I suppose you will admit then, that it is not exactly honorable since it is no sin ? A girl of higher conscientiousness would not open her book in the class. Don’t you think so?’ The child’s neck and face floods with scarlet, she feels and is deeply humiliated. •It is more shame for you to do wrong than it is for others,’ the pitiless woman goes on. 'You stand upon a higher round than any girl in this room. I do not mean socially—I know 1 nothing about your parent's financial standing Mme. Demorest's Pavilion at the Paris Exhibition. —I mean intellectually. With your capacity yon Bhould enter the high school at fourteen. Yon read too much and study too little. Go to your desk and bring me the book you brought to school to-day. I dare say it is a love story— one of Mrs. Southwoit Ys absurdities,’ The book the little girl hands her is bound in substantial calf, and is Plutarch. She stares at Salome in utter amazement. ‘Plutarch! I dare say you are also familiar with Gibbon, Rollin and Josephus ?’ ‘My parents encourage me to read history,’ Salome replies, with the utmost dignity, ‘and I make a written synopsis of what I read. They consider it the best mind trainer; but you are too hard on me, I seldom miss my lessons, and I am sorry I opened my book, it is dishonorable.' Her eyes filled with tears that dropped one by one to the floor. ‘If I had only thought, I wouldn't have done it, but you mustn’t ask me to give up reading, for I cannot do it.’ ‘Very well, then; you must make rapid prog ress in your studies, or I will expel you. It is a pleasure to teach bright children.’ She glares around and the little ones shrink in their seats. ‘And all I have to say is that if a cer tain number of the girls do not purchase capac ity before Monday morning, I will put them in the C grade. Tluy shall not keep the brighter pupils back any longer. Salome, go to your seat and take ten demerits for looking on your book.’ Crying in a helpless, heart-broken fashion Salome goes to her seat. At noon she relates the circumstance to her mother, who asks; ‘What would you have done, had she whip ped you, pet?’ ‘I think I richly deserved the whipping I didn’t get,’Salome replies. ‘It was so mean to look on my book. I ought to have missed out right before doing it. Mama, what is the mat ter with Miss Jones ? she puts one in mind of Tom Hoods vixen who “ Drank the liquor as preserved the viper.” ‘She was happy and wealthy once,dear,' Mrs. Gordon remarks. ‘Adversity destroys every vestige of heart- grace in s ime natures, others it exalts and aggrandizes.’ The child’s face is serious and thoughtful, as she replies. ‘Yes, mama, but it was in her to scold and snap, and cut, or she wouldn’t do anything of the kind now. I’d think a heap of trouble would crush a woman, instead of making her a fury. I think it would kill me.’ Mrs. Gordon drew the child on her lap and hugged her close to her breast. •I can’t bear to think, darling, that yon may have trouble after 1 am gone. I pray God to grant that you may have smooth sailing over life’s sea. Dear, if yon were in sorrow, I be lieve I could hardly stay in the grave, but if sorrow ever comes to my daughter, I know it will make her nobler and purer, and that she will bear it strongly, as women should bear trouble, doing her plain duty to the end, no matter where it leads.’ As ‘ Madame Roland did,” Salome answers, “ Mama, I think I could.” The conversation has saddened Mrs. Gordon, she is delicate and Mr. Gordon is not a healthy man. It is not at all probable that either will | live to see their only child grown, bnt she puts ] this unpleasant thought from her as far as possi- ’ ble, and lives as all clear headed people do—for the present—forgetting the past and speculating not as to the future, their one thought to live the present nobly and wisely and leave the rest to God. So she takes the little girl with her, and they drive out of the dust, and turmoil, where God’s fragrant children bloom, and where the green peace of the forests is an unspoken prayer. A week later Salome is monitress. Miss Jane’s edicts were as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, and although Salome begged hard to have another girl appointed, it was of no avail. Miss Jones has gone up to in- treview the principal, and as soon as she is out of hearing, mischief is rampant, and the rules are set at defiance. The monitress ascends to the platform and calls out. ‘ I don’t like to report you girls but I will.’ ‘I’ll give you a cake of maple sugar if you won’t put my name down,’ says a tom-boy of eleven. ‘ Salome, I’ll give you a book called Fruits and Flowers, if you won't report me,’ says an other. ‘I’ll give yon a big piece of silk scrap for your new quilt, if yon won’t put my name down,' said the third, whose mother was a milliner. The monitress is superior to bribes. ‘If you offered me ali this town I wouldn’t take it; how mean you all must think me!’ She writes their names down and ‘when Miss Jones returns, hands it to her, and regrets that she was placed in the position to inform upon them. So the years pass. She becomes known in every school for her inflexible integerity. She goes into paroxysms of rage at any lack of principle in her school mates, finding it, she trusts them no longer, refuses to associate with them, and satarizes with unchildish lips. She is clever now, and a hard student, and in a higher grade. The class of thirty-five girls are on the recitation bench, and the teacher is cal ling the role, and the girls answer ‘perfect,’ or ‘imperfect,’ as the case may be. ‘Salome Gordon,’ Miss Jones calls out pleasently, ‘ Perfect,’ is the quiet response. ‘ She missed the ‘battle of Guildford Court House,’ Miss James,’ said Mary Brown, a girl who did not possess one noble or generous at tribute. sc 1 She tells a lie,' Salome exclaims passionately. ‘I did not miss.’ ‘Oh, we can easily settle that.’ Miss James is a girl of eighteen, and is more of a priest than warrior. ‘All yon will have to do is to recite it over again.’ There is a world of rage in the brown luster of Salome’s eyes as she answers ‘ I decline to do it, and I will settle with Miss Brown after school.' ‘Go to your 3eat.’. Sun has set; with her arms folded over her breast, and the dark eyes fixed on her desk, Sa lome sits in angry silence. ‘Say it like a nice child,’ Miss James says coaxingly. She is tired and wants to go home. ‘I’ll die first,’ is the response, and she laughs behind her fan. Twilight deepens, here and there a ‘star pins the shadows back.’ ‘It will soon be dangerous out on the lonely streets after night, especially if youth and beauty be without an escort, and she has far to walk.’ ‘Are you going to repeat the ‘Battle’,’ she says, after another half an hour has fled forever, ‘Never !’ is the disdainful rejoinder. Miss James sees that the lamp lighter is around with hislaider, and will not contest the point further. ‘ You can go Salome’ she says gently. ‘ You have a bad disposition, and I am sorry for you, only the gentle and yielding achieve happiness in life.’ Salome runs home under the vague star light and it is a good thing for Mary Brown that sh9 did not run across her. Next morn ing they meet; Salome waits till the taunt ‘So I got you kept in last night’ and several others are uttered and then whips her soundly. Mary has no desire to apply to Miss James for redress, but her antagonist walks to the platform and makes a clean breast of it; and Mary upon interro gation declares that she told the falsehood for fun and Miss James reprimands her sharply and demerits her. A day later Mary Brown is crying. She has lost her pencil and can not write her grammar exercises and the grammar teacher is our old friend Miss Jones, who rules still with a rod of iron. Miss James askes some of the girls to loan Mary a pencil and they do not like her enough to comply. Salome glances down at her pencil—anew one; then a knife is brought into requisition and she cats the pencil and hands half of it to the girl she holds in high contempt. | A few days later there is a furious rain storm. Salome is wet through and through when she I reaches home and her mother is amazed. ‘Why didn’t you use your umbrella pet? Mama ! dosen’t like to have her little daughter get wet.' I ‘Mary Brown had on her best dress, I hat6d j to have it spoiled, so I loaned her half of my j umbrella, and she took her half on both sides of it and I walked in the rain; but it won’t hurt me mama, I am not either sugar or salt.’ Salome laughs as she concludes. ‘I thought you didn’t like her’the mother says j wonderingly. ‘I despise her; I think she puts her wits to j work to be mean and tricky,’ Salome replies, ‘but 1 that is no reason why I wouldn’t let her have my end of my umbrella 1 ’ • It is a very good reason why you shouldn’t give her both ends of your umbrella neverthe less,’laughs Mrs. Gordon, as she draws the little girl on her lap and kisses her shining eyes and forehead calm and sweet as sleep. ‘Salome’s future gives me great uneasiness Mrs. Gordon observes to her husband one day. ‘I dread to have the child learn what the people are: that the ratio of honor to dishonor is one to ten thousand. She has a fiery, bitter, scathing scorn for every phase of trifling and untruth. She will end a Tirnon or Diogones. She will loathe the people when she knows them. Think of her married to a ‘Carker;’ and their name is legion. If she marries a bad man the conse quences will be terrible.’ Mr. Gordon looks troubled. ‘I am afraid there is much suffering in store for our little girl. She has a warm heart and will love and trust. Boor child ! She will be forever disappointed. Who ever had a friend yet, in whom they were not-disappointed often I face is snow fair. You recollect that Cleopatra informs Charmion that round faces are feclx-d. hut with all due deference to such disteguiuheci | authority, round faces will always be the sweet- | est and fairest. Salome is an English beauty her regal head is crowned with extraordinary length and thickness of gold threaded chestnut I hair, and while the great eyes flashed dowti their radiance, she would attract universal acren*- tion, and the ordinary belles of society would go down into endless eclipse. With men she was not a favorite—her fearless denunciation, of wrong, her demand for finer quality of the genav- homo than the market would afford, made her disliked and avoided. She was stigmatized af a strong minded women. A strong mind is the greatest boon a good God could confer, for women need net only a strong mind, but.'in finite forbearance, and infinite wisdom when they open the gate, that leads from the cool, snady, clover.scented meadows of girlhood., and enter the fiery desert (with oases at wide inter vals), of married life. It is seldom that any man, no matter how ignorant and degraded, and dissipated he may be, looks upon any woman. as his superior, and daily we hear that a man pays a woman a high compliment, when he offers her his hand—a high compliment to be offered—neglect, coarse life, hardship, povertyl Yen- ily women are at a high entimate in the laid, ( But there are women of whom this is neves i said; who compel, worship and reverence, who j awe men, and unconsciously assert their supe- j riority in the presence of lower natures, and | therefore this crowning insult to spotless wo- ! manhood was never offered her. I want tc introduce you to Mr, Camber, Sa- | lome,” said a lady one day. ‘You’ve seen him I —handsomest man in town ; looks like Byroc> vcivki 1 -ud.tr,h. t>ar excellence. ic- him around?’ i ‘I prefer not to make his acquaintance. ‘ &er- lome answers. ‘He is immoral. I will as- , sociate with no man who does not hold his hon- j or as high as I hold mine.’ ! The lady is nettled. ‘How can any girl know a man is immoral ? Girls are not to think of such things, men ars expected to be immoral.’ ‘And they always will be,’ Salome retorts in dignantly. ‘So long as women refuse to recog nize it ; bnt goodness is so seldom called for in the matrimonial market that it has gone out o£ fashion.’ ‘Yon will be called eccentric,’ the lady replied, ‘Their morals are none of your business till yon marry them. It is not a month since yon de clined an introduction to Judge James, because he drank, and he is the greatest legal authority in the State. ‘ I will not associate with drunkards and im moral men, Mrs. Holmes; if I have to stay in the house forever I will not be seen in public with any man, or countenance any man, whe- does not keep the line as I keep it; and if I could get every girl in town to make the stand against vice that I make, society would soon improve. I scorn any girl who will accept* attention from intoxicated men, or dance with them; and the girls who marry them deserve the treatment they will be very apt to receive.’ Mrs. Holmes laughs. ‘ I don’t know where you are going to find the men you want; you cannot endure tobacco; you want brain, heart, unblemished character and fine personal ap pearance. My dear child ! Don Quixote was a Soloman to you,’ and Mrs. Holmes, with her heart full of compassion for the wrongly educa ted girl, whom she fancies more than any othex girl of her acquaintance, goes home to her ele gant mansion and walks by the room where her * lord and master ’ is sleeping off the effeots of a champagne supper, oblivious of his existence, and dispensing with his companionship, con tent with the wealth and power an alliance with him gives. Said a tall, handsome fop, named Hardwick, to Leon Camber, a few days later : ‘ So the beau ty didn't want to know you. By Jove, that’s rough on you, Camber ! you who oould marry any other girl in society in twenty-four hours-, and Salome Gordon is not even rich. ‘ I don’t know a richer girl, returns Camber, She is beautiful, brilliant, witty, the most regei looking girl that walks our streets; first-class blood, too, and has taken a degree. I fe*t that, she was right, but it humiliated me. I suppose she would work early and late to save the soul of some Patagonian or Hottentot, but my soul isn’t worth a moment’s thought.’ ‘What reason did she assign?’ asks HarcL wick. ‘ Said I was immoral—that she had it from good authority, (I know her authority—that long-tongued Mrs. Sprague), some men condone their own offences by making all other men tbs incarnation of depravity. Sprague is one of that sort.’ ‘ Where is she going to find a Bayard or Sid ney in these demoralized times ?’ said Hard wick, lazily. ‘Bah !’ there are plenty of sound men; or sho will love one who seems to be virgin gold, and that amounts to the same thing; but, By Georg s I’d hate to dnpe her, unless I had craft enough to keep it up to the end of the chapter, Slu*’> right about this thing morality, and - wish every woman in the nation would unite with her. I honestly do, and I agree with her, aiac> about tobacco; nothing disgusts me more than the odor of tobacco, old pipes and spittoons, and if I could have my way, I'd make every man who uses a spittoon clean it, and let «h£ liquor guzzlers keep to themselves; how any refined woman put up with the odor o4 liquor on her husband’s breath ? No man with the instincts of a gentleman will make himsel- ^ ‘Tthink Horton would suit her, said Hoid- iContinued on 8th page.)