ALTHOUGH a strong wind was blowing from the southeast, we pushed out at eight o'clock the next morning, determined to overcome by noon the distance of seven miles that intervened between us and the open Gulf, but on arriving at the crossing of the NO&M RR over the Pearl River, the sweep of the wind was so strong that we took the advice of the bridgetender and struck into a narrow bayou that led to the east. Said he:

"Follow the largest stream you can find; it will double back, and often you will find that you are coming back toward your starting point; but if you will follow it for about seven miles you will come to a live-oak hamak, the only high land between this and the Gulf. There you will find John Campbell, who can direct you to a smaller bayou, which will save you many miles of paddling."

We are now compelled to carry water for drinking and culinary purposes, as the waters we are navigating, although not salt, are much too brackish for use. The tall marsh grasses grew to such a height that it completely shut off the wind that kept their slender tops bent over with its force, but so great is our protection that the water of the bayou is not even ruffled.


In the Mazes.

After having paddled until I am satisfied that we have made at least seven miles and must be near the hamak, I stand up in my canoe to get a view, if possible, of the surrounding country. From the directions of the bridgekeeper the hamak ought to be to the east of us, but as far as the eye can reach in that direction there is nothing but one unbroken prairie-like surface. I call to Barnacle that we must have taken the wrong thoroughfare somewhere, but I cannot convince him of that, and he gradually pushes his six feet something up above the floor of the Comfort and gazes about.
"Well, I don't know where we are; there is a long line of trees away to the northward, but that must be the mainland -- it is not a hamak. Oh, here is the one we are looking for."

And turning so that I can see over the stern of my canoe, not more than a quarter of a mile distant I see a small sand hill, on which there is quite an extensive growth of live oaks and pines, and beneath their shelter a frame whitewashed house. This is of course the goal we are looking for, where resides the only person in this great expanse of prairie and mystifying watercourses who can give us intelligible directions as to how we are to reach the open Gulf. The question that is plainly marked on our countenances is, Which way shall we go -- ahead or back?

Remembering the instructions of the bridgekeeper, we continue on the course we have been traveling, and in less than twenty minutes we shoot around a sharp curve and come into view of the house. The Aurora has, besides the A.C.A. and L.G.C.C. flags at the fore, a small silk national flag flying on a staff aft. The voice of a man calling,

"Johnny, Johnny, three cheers for the stars and stripes," is heard, and on looking over the tall grass I see a man and a small boy waving their hats as they give the "three cheers" called for.

"Welcome, gents; welcome to the home of John Campbell, the Scotch-American."

And catching the Aurora's painter he hauls her up to the footboard, and I receive a hearty hand shake from the patriotic Scotchman. In a few words I tell him the story of the cruise, and ask for the information as to the route to the Gulf.

"I don't know anything about it down here, but if you will come up to the house I will try and find out for you."

Here was a predicament; this man does not know the way. Can it be possible that we have been misinformed by the man at the bridge? But no, this is John Campbell, the man to whom he directed us, and who is said to be thoroughly familiar with the labyrinth of watery thoroughfares through this prairie region; and yet this man says he "don't know down here, but if we will go up to the house he will try and find out." Is it possible that we must return over the lonesome course we have come? While my mind has been filled with these thoughts we have been walking through the dry sand toward the house. Seated on the broad veranda in the warm sunshine, no object is visible save the white sails of a schooner far off on the blue waters of the Gulf and the low white lighthouse on St. Joseph's Island to the southeast.


"The Campbells Are Coming."

Our host had left us, saying "he would summon his family," and presently I heard his deep-toned voice singing "The Campbells are coming, heigho, heigho," and he appeared heading a procession of four children, with a tall, buxom woman bringing up the rear. The latter he introduced as Mrs. Campbell and the eldest of the children as Johnny, the heir to the vast estate of John Campbell, Sr., consisting of seven acres of sand hill, which annually produced sufficient sweet potatoes to feed the family and two pigs and keep the one yoke of cattle through the winter. Verily, it must be a productive seven acres. Seated before a small stand, we were served with a glass of fine Scotch whisky, smelling strongly of the bog, while Johnny passed a tray of very good fruit cake.

In response to my suggestion to Mr. Campbell that he now tell us what he had learned of the course we were to steer in order to reach the coast, he proceeded to draw a series of very crooked lines on the sand-covered floor:

"Now, here you are: this is a bayou going to the left; you'll no tak that. Here is another going to the right; you'll no tak that. Now here is one so narrow you'll be little like to see it, but you must; if you don't you'll find yourselves at dark about twenty miles from the mouth of the bayou. Push through this little cutoff for a matter of a mile, and you'll come out into Bayou Campbell with the current setting to the right as you go out. Now follow that until you come to a forks where there is a small pine tree; take the left-hand bayou and it will lead you to the white sandy shores of the Gulf."

Good; perfectly clear. We must now be off, as the sun is sinking low in the west. John Campbell and his entire family escort us to the landing, and as we push off give three hearty cheers for the stars and stripes and the gentlemen from New York. Following his instructions to the letter, we bring the pine tree into view and trim off to the left, and in another half hour shoot out from between the grass lined banks of the bayou on to the swelling, mirrorlike surface of the Gulf of Mexico, at sundown of New Year's Day, 1883. Stopping at the mouth of the bayou only long enough to make a cup of coffee and fry a piece of bacon, we push on under paddle, making a run of two miles, when we land on a white sand beach and pitch the tent beneath some tall pines whose roots are bared by the waters of the Gulf, while all about there is a luxuriant growth of palmetto ferns. Although Barnacle seems to be relishing his supper, he is not in a communicative mood. My spirits are not depressed by this, however, as often a whole day and night will pass with scarcely a word passing his lips. But this is a night that ought to be celebrated with more than ordinary cheerfulness. I venture to question my silent companion as to the cause of his depression.


Barnacle Hears a Bull.

Looking at me with an expression of astonishment on his dark features, he says, in an excited manner:
"Why, where have your ears been since we came ashore -- don't you hear him? Hark! don't you hear him bellow?"

"Hear him! bellowing! who's bellowing?"

"Why, where in the name of heaven have your eyes been since we came ashore? The first thing I saw on landing were the tracks of a bull in the sand, and of course he is half wild. If there is any one thing that I am more afraid of than another it is a bull. Don't you hear him bellow now? He'll be on us tonight as sure as we are here, but I'll give him a noisy reception when he comes."

Now, had there been an alligator crawling about in the vicinity of the camp I might have been alarmed, but fear for my safety from the attack of a bull was far from my mind; and I rolled into my blankets, prepared for a comfortable night's rest, while the bright light from St. Joseph's Island, two miles distant to the south, shone in my face.

"The Campbells are coming, heigho! heigho!" Hello, I have been dreaming of John Campbell and his clan, but I am broad awake now; and there is Barnacle, his blankets thrown aside and he resting on his elbow, while he grasps in his right hand the heavy navy revolver that is always his companion by night, and near him lies the heavy oaken oar.

"What's the matter, Barnacle?"

"Matter! Don't you hear that devil of a bull roar ?"

"Yes, I do hear him now; but what of it? He won't molest us if we don't disturb him."

I never knew Barnacle to exhibit fear before tonight; he has always manifested the utmost courage hitherto, but the demonstrations of this bull, who is probably seeking for some other bovine, seems to fill him with terror. While we are debating whether it would be safe to go out and attack him, with the hope of driving him off, his bellowing gradually dies away in the distance and we are left in peace.




The morning of the 2nd of January dawned bright and clear, with a gentle breeze blowing from off the rippling surface of the Gulf, while the waters washed musically along the glistening sands. Several small schooners were heading in toward the mouth of Pearl River, on their way to New Orleans via Lake Pontchartrain. Beyond these, almost hull down, I could see an ocean steamer, evidently heading for the passes of the Mississippi, en route to the great Southern port. At the conclusion of our breakfast we find that our stock of water is getting very low, and for fear of being overtaken by an offshore gale and blown to sea, deem it best to lay in a full supply, if it can be found. I have often heard of the possibility of procuring fresh water, along the Atlantic coast, by digging in the sand a few feet back from the shore, and proceeded to try the experiment here on the Gulf. After having dug a hole four feet deep, a hundred feet back from the mark of high water, a stream flows into my well, but in clearing and tasting it I found it too brackish for use. This want of water necessitates a landing at the nearest port. The village of Pass Christian lies on the high shore twelve miles to the east in a direct line of our location, and for this we decide to make as soon as possible. Before the gentle south wind we spread the sails and speed merrily on for about two miles, when it died out and left the surface of the Gulf almost like glass. A delightful contrast is this balmy atmosphere to that when, a few short weeks ago, we were battling with the ice and covered with the flying sand on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. As I look in shore I see the village of Bay St. Louis, lying just inside the deep bay. So warm is the sun that I strip to my shirt and a pair of thin trousers, while my feet are without covering save the sheltering of the hatches which shade them from the rays of the sun. The heat has an enervating effect on us who have come from higher latitudes, and we paddle toward the shore so quietly that the bows of the canoes scarcely grate in the send which is ploughed up in little mounds on either side the stems. Here we made camp, pitching the tent on a thick carpet of pine needles, while all about us were the magnificent live oak trees and the rich dark green magnolias. Insect life was present on all sides; the frisky grasshopper made his long leaps as he was disturbed in his nest among the needles, and beautiful butterflies flitted to and fro. As the morning had been well advanced before the launch was made and the distance traveled in rather an indolent manner, the sun had reached the zenith long before we reached shore.


The Lullaby of the Frogs.

Leaving Barnacle to build his fire, I took the water jugs and went to a house close by, where I found a little girl most curious to know "where the little boats came from." My report of the extended trip was entirely beyond her comprehension, a knowledge of geography having been denied this child of fifteen summers. She said:
"I have been to Ship Island and to New Orleans. Did you come from anywhere near New Orleans?"

In the well-kept grounds I saw many beautiful roses in full bloom, and in all parts of the grounds were orange trees loaded with bright golden fruit. Spending a portion of the afternoon in letter writing, and bringing my log up to date, the evening stole upon us almost unawares. No need of a huge fire now, large enough to warm all outdoors, but a small one, built immediately in front of the tent, served to dry the moist atmosphere that came from off the Gulf, while we lay in the yielding bed of pine needles, I, at least, allowing my thoughts to fly to my far distant home, at the gateway of the snow-clad and ice-bound Adirondacks, while the chirp of crickets about me and the musical "peep, peep" of the frogs' swamp back of the camp served as a soothing lullaby, and I dropped off to sleep with the light from Cat Island, eight miles distant to the southward, shining like a bright white star on the horizon.

With the dawn came a strong breeze from the east, which transformed the silver surface of the Gulf of the day before to one of a heaving, troubled appearance, and the waters washed upon the sands at our feet with a swash so strong that the singing of the birds and insects was drowned. Out beyond Cat Island a large square-rigged vessel lay at anchor, her hull visible only when she was borne on the crest of some great sea. Barnacle does not care to make a start, fearing that the wind will increase to such a degree as to make it dangerous for us to reach the shore, should we find it necessary; but I am anxious to push on, and, with a good supply of water on board, we launch and head to the east. The shallow water is rolled up into short, choppy seas that send their spray over our decks, and now and then one a trifle more savage than the rest reaches far enough aft to wet the captain, but this is of small account, as the water is delightfully warm. We battled against the wind and seas for ten miles, passing Pass Christian, with its line of long piers running out to the Gulf through the shallow waters. At the end of each pier there was a bath-house, and the space beneath, from the surface of the water to the hard sand bottom, was inclosed with slats to protect the bathers from attack by the man-eating sharks that abound in these waters. Gradually the wind lulls, and the vicious seas that are rolling through the shallow water subside to mere rollers, making it possible for us to land and rest our weary arms. On a bright green sward, beneath a broad-reaching live oak tree, we make our camp, where within fifty feet the little breakers chase one another along the sandy beach. To the southeast can be made out Ship Island, distant twelve miles, where ride at anchor several foreign vessels, which are being loaded with pine timber cut from the semitropical forests of the Gulf coast and lightered to them in rafts.


Lost in the Fog.

During the evening the rain comes gently down, pattering on the canvas roof, and before we have fallen off to sleep the wind rises from the northeast, and but for the protection of the forest of trees back of us we would have had the tent blown from over our heads. Out on the Gulf we can hear the dashing waves as they roll over one another, their foam crests illuminated with phosphorescent bands and star-like flashes. When we wake up in the morning the rain has ceased and a heavy, driving fog envelops us, while all about is dark, dreary and disagreeable. I hear the deep note of a conch shell far off to the south in the thick fog. A moment more and it is answered by one from the shore, a short distance to the west of us. Nearer the answering horn comes, and we can see the form of a woman walking along the bank blowing the shell she has in her hand. Her husband and son are in that fishing boat from whence comes the deep notes of the conch. They are lost in the fog and are without a compass. Stopping to chat with us (blowing the horn at intervals):

"Oh, the fishermen often get lost in the fog at this season of the year, but they generally get safe to the shore, if a wind off the land doesn't rise and blow them off to sea. Sometimes that happens; and then, if they haven't got enough water and provisions on board, they suffer some, but generally manage to get to the mainland or make one of the islands. Sometimes they are gone several days before we hear from them, and several boats have never been heard from. I have been up all night watching for my man and boy, and only half an hour ago heard their horn."

Leaving us, she stepped quickly along the beach some yards to the east, where there is a suitable landing for a boat. Other people now come, anxiety for the safety of husbands, brothers or lovers plainly marked on their countenances. They all know of the offshore gale last night. Slowly the boat approaches the shore, and as she emerges from the fog inquiries are made of her crew for some word of the absent ones. All they can learn is that the various boats were in the vicinity of Ship Island, and as they saw nothing of them afterward, believe they are safely moored and will come in when the fog lifts.

"We were half way to the land and steering for the light here when the gale struck us, and managed to beat about until it went down as suddenly as it came up, and then the fog shut down," said her skipper.

By ten o'clock, the fog not having lifted, we packed up and launched. Barnacle, who is to be the navigator, sets a boat's compass on the floor beneath his eye, and we lay a course for the end of the long pier that stretches a mile out into the water in front of Mississippi City. After having paddled some time, I begin to have my doubts as to the correctness of the course we are steering, and this feeling of doubt increases when I notice that Barnacle seems to be constantly changing his course. We should be running parallel with the shore to strike the pier and ought now to be close to it, as it was but three miles from our starting point.


Going It Blind.

"Barnacle, do you think that compass of yours is thoroughly reliable?" I ask.

"Well, it ought to be; I know of no reason why it should not. But the canoe moves so much quicker than the card does that I find it hard work to keep on the course. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I am quite satisfied that we are not on the right course, or we would have been up with the pier before now. Hark! there goes a train on the railroad;"

and I turned my canoe bow to the sound of the locomotive's whistle. We had been steering away from the land, and in a short time would have been within the strength of the current, which might have drifted us so far to the southward of the chain of islands that with an offshore gale it would have been next to impossible to make the mainland or one of the islands.

"Well, I guess we had better make our way in toward the land and feel our way by the bottom, and not trust to this compass," said Barnacle.

Having paddled about half an hour, we found the water shoaling fast, and as there are no bars hereabouts, we knew it must be near the land. All at once a dark object looms up out of the fog, and I make out what appears to be a man on stilts walking on the water, but on nearer approach it proves to be a man standing on the deck of a small catboat while he works a pair of long-handled oyster-tongs. Silently we dip the paddles, making no noise that would attract attention until we are within a boat's length of the oysterman, when he looks up and wants to know if we "have come across the Western Ocean in these cockle shells."

"Have some oysters?" and another man emerges from the bottom of the boat and opens for us some of those great fat bivalves for which this portion of the coast is celebrated.

"You'd better keep within soundings," said he, "for the wind is likely to come off the land and blow hard, and if you were far out you might have a hard pull of it to get back."

With the after deck of each canoe piled high with oysters, we are off into the gloom, cautiously watching the bottom that we may not again lose our course and go seaward. Edging a little closer in shore with each dip of the paddle, we come in sight of the skeleton-like piers of Mississippi City. A mile beyond the town the fog lifts for a moment and we make out a grove of trees.

There we pitch the tent and determine to wait until the fog lifts. Night shuts down at an early hour, and shortly after we turn in, while the frogs in the low lands keep up a serenade and a train of cars goes thundering along in close proximity to our camp. For three days we remained fogbound. On the afternoon of January 6 the fog cleared up, and we launched and pushed for Biloxi, one of the prominent seaside resorts of the South. With but a few short stretches, the entire coast between Pass Christian and Biloxi is built up with the neat summer residences of New Orleans and Mobile business men, each having in front of it a long pier, with boat and bath houses.


A Flurry of Snow.

Having paddled about four miles, the wind suddenly shifted and came out from the south, while the sun in the splendor of its setting gilded the edges of a bank of dark, ominous looking clouds that seemed at once to hang over the horizon and to roll up rapidly with the increase of the wind, foretelling the advent of a storm. But a harbor of refuge was at hand, and as the light shone brilliantly from the tall white tower of the lighthouse at the western end of Biloxi the bows of the canoes ploughed into the white sands of the beach beneath its rays. In the comfortable quarters of the lightkeeper we found hospitality, but the duration of the storm was short, and as we pitched the tent on the pure sands, the myriads of stars shot their rays from the vault above and were reflected from the now tranquil waters of the Gulf. At Biloxi we remained three days, very pleasantly entertained by Mr. P.J. Montross and Major W.T. Walthall. Mr. R.B. Clemmens showed us much kind attention and cared for the canoes.

During the night of the 8th of January the wind shifted and brought a "norther" down to us, which howled and moaned dismally about the many gables of the hotel. With the daylight came the sight of the first snow that many of the inhabitants had seen for years. It was amusing to watch the young darkies as they capered about it in their bare feet, now and then rubbing them and exclaiming, "It burns." A bright sun, although accompanied by a cold wind, soon melted the fleecy coat, and ere our breakfast was over it had entirely disappeared. At noon of the 10th of January we made sail and sped merrily eastward before a fresh westerly breeze which carried us eighteen miles to Graviline Bayou before four o'clock. It had been our intention to run two or three miles up this bayou in order to enjoy the shooting and fishing, to say nothing of the delicious oysters that the bayou is celebrated for; but owing to the low water, we found it so difficult to follow the channel that the attempt was abandoned and we squared away for a tree-covered point about two miles distant.

The water is very shallow for a quarter of a mile from the shore, and the sand is kept in solution so that it is impossible to see the bottom, and we were constantly grounding, and many times were forced to jump overboard to lighter into deeper water. After much hard work we came abreast of the point, but found that the low beach ran out for a quarter of a mile. Nevertheless here we must make our camp, as night is settling down upon us. Hauling the craft well up on the sand and securely anchoring them, we carry to the shore such articles as are necessary for our comfort. Not wishing to unjoint the spars and stow them under the decks, they, too, are toted ashore, together with the paddles. The site chosen for our camp is on a heavily-wooded low bank thickly grown with tall grass and bunches of the fan palm. The temperature is so mild, and there is such an abundance of wood at hand we do not pitch the tent, but making a bed in the soft sand, lie with our feet to the fire.




IN the night a crackling sound disturbs me, and my eyes are greeted with a sight that for an instant is appalling. All about me is one mass of crackling, roaring, hissing flames, leaping from one bunch of dry grass and palmetto to another, while they dart high into the air from the broad branches of the old tree against which our paddles and sails are leaning. Now thoroughly enveloped by fire, I spring from my blankets, crying,

"Fire! fire! Barnacle, wake up, the camp is on fire!" and dashing into the flames, seize the sails and paddles and throw them, a mass of flames, on to the sand, and then spring for the mess chests, which follow the sails and paddles. Barnacle is now on hand, and we heap the wet sand on the flames, and soon there is left only a smoking heap of pine sticks and cotton duck. We next direct our attention to preventing the spread of the fire further into the timber, and what with beating with sticks and throwing wet sand, we have it under control in a few minutes.

"Well, Barnacle, this is the result of your propensity for building big campfires. You burned up an island on the Ohio River, and now what do you think of this?"

"Think of it? Why, I think the camp has been on fire, but it wasn't my fault; it is all owing to a shift of the wind that blew the flames from the fire into the dry grass and fan palms, and they communicated it to that old tree. I tell you, Doctor, it was a lucky thing those blessed canoes were not at the foot of that old tree, or we would have been compelled to abandon the cruise here near the mouth of the Pascagoula River."

It is two o'clock and the night pitch dark. No time now to make an inventory of the damages. So, filling the pipes and renewing the campfire, we sit about it and have a soothing smoke, and then turn in for a nap preparatory to the fatigues of a day in which we must repair damages. A bright morning greets us after a night of excitement, and we examine into the results of our fiery experience. With a sad heart I take up the remnants of the Aurora's snow-white, beautifully-setting sail, and unfurling it, find that only a half of it remains, and at least one-half of that will need to be cut away in order that it may be properly patched. The spars are not so badly damaged as to be beyond use, the sail having been wrapped so closely about them that they have been protected until the layers of cloth first burned through. There lay the paddles, one-half of each burned so thin that on lifting them they drop to pieces.


An Inventory of Losses.

That trusty paddle that had been my main dependence for so many weeks, over so many hundreds of weary miles, half of it lay before me a little heap of charred coals, while the remaining portion is useless without the other.
"Doctor," says Barnacle, "I would rather have had all my clothes, together with my entire outfit, destroyed, than to have lost that sail and paddle. I am worse off than you, as my spars are burned past use. I may be able to splice them, but it will be a difficult job, even if I can find material to do it with."

There is a house near by, and while Barnacle is preparing breakfast I take the water-jugs and go to it, with the hope of finding a piece of timber from which we might whittle substitutes for the burned paddles and spars. We can cut up the tent and convert that into sails. On leaving Biloxi, Maj. Walthall had handed me a note of introduction to an old friend of his, saying:

"I don't know just where Mr. Lewis lives, but it is about two miles to the eastward of Bayou Graviline. Should you be in his neighborhood, he would be pleased to receive a call from you."

Two miles east of Bayou Graviline is just about where we are now. It was with some hesitation that I approached the great, substantial homelike plantation house before me, as in my present costume I looked more like a tramp than the skipper of the natty little Aurora. On reaching the gate at the end of the broad walk to the front of the house I saw over the door in a semicircle of large letters of evergreen the one word "Welcome." Passing to the rear of the house I met a tall gentleman with long, white hair and snowy beard, who was none other than Mr. Lewis himself. He kindly listened to my tale of woe, and promised to assist me in any way in his power.

On returning to the camp, after having vainly searched for material with which to make repairs, I found that Barnacle had breakfast ready. The "Colonel" had told me of a sawmill, distant about three miles, on the banks of the Pascagoula River. He thought we might be able to find what we wanted there. So I started Barnacle off with the unburned half of my paddle as a sample of what we needed in the way of timber. On looking through my dunnage I came across a piece of cotton cloth, which, by piecing, I could get enough out of to patch my sail, and a cotton cloth awning that was stowed away in the bow of the Aurora would answer for repairs to the Comfort's sail; so on the score of sails we were all right. I spent most of the day cutting and fitting the new pieces for the sail. As I sat beneath the wide-spreading branches of an oak, with my sewing on my knee, I received a visit from an old colored aunty, who was much amused at seeing me stitching, and made the remark that "de Yankees can do mos' anything when de time comes 'long." After asking various questions, she finally came to the subject of her errand:

"Massa, duz ye got a little bacca for dis chile? I dun use de lass I had. My ole man dun gone to de stoah to fetch some, but he dun stay so long. I libs jess ober heah in de little cabin, and I'll pay ye back when d'ole man fetch some."


That Leaf Tobacco.

'Tis true I have some tobacco, but the supply is so very limited I do not care to part with even a small portion of it. It is of a fine brand, and I may not be able to replenish my stock this side of Pensacola. Oh, a happy thought strikes me; and going to the canoe, I search out the paper containing the roll of knock-down drag-out leaf that our Kentucky friend had given us, and handing the roll to the aged crone, I save my choice brand and get rid of two nuisances in one act. It is now so near midday that I begin to feel the want of dinner, and scraping away the bed of coals, I dig a hole in the hot sand and fill it with fine, large sweet potatoes, and then cover them with the sand. I then open a couple of dozen fine oysters, and rolling them in crushed cracker, drop them into the frying-pan, which contains just enough butter. In a few moments I have before me a dinner fit for a king. While the birds sweetly carol in the branches above me, I recline against a tree and enjoy my pipe and coffee. The day passes quickly, so busy am I on my sail repairs, and night is on me before I am prepared for it. Barnacle puts in an appearance with a piece of timber for the paddles, which has been riven out of a cypress log. Three days of sunshine, alternating with thunderstorms, are spent in getting ready for sea, but when all is finished a heavy fog sets in and precludes the possibility of making a safe run to the East Pascagoula lighthouse, distant about four miles. Our whereabouts has now become known to the few negroes living in the vicinity, and we frequently receive visits from them. On Sunday evening a party of four girls and two boys called and spent most of the delightfully warm evening, entertaining us with their quaint speeches and plantation melodies. The following morning I caught a glimpse of my tobacco-begging visitor of a few days ago as she made her way toward the camp, and surmising that she might be on the same errand as before, I was prepared, and met her with,
"Good morning, aunty; have you got any tobacco?"

"Why, bress yer soul, honey, I was jes gwine ter ask yer that same question."

© 2000 Craig O'Donnell
May not be reproduced without my permission.