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- Miss Lou - 1/64 -


THE WORKS OF E. P. ROE

VOLUME NINE

"MISS LOU"

ILLUSTRATED

In Loving Dedication

TO LITTLE MISS LOU MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I A GIRL'S PROTEST

CHAPTER II SOMETHING HAPPENS

CHAPTER III MAD WHATELY

CHAPTER IV AUN' JINKEY'S POLICY

CHAPTER V WHATELY'S IDEA OP COURTSHIP

CHAPTER VI THE STORM BEGINS

CHAPTER VII DANGERS THICKENING

CHAPTER VIII "WHEN?"

CHAPTER IX PARALYZED WITH SHAME

CHAPTER X A BAFFLED DIPLOMATIST

CHAPTER XI AUN' JINKEY'S WARNING

CHAPTER XII A WHIRLWIND OF EVENTS

CHAPTER XIII THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENS

CHAPTER XIV A THREAT

CHAPTER XV MISS LOU EMANCIPATED

CHAPTER XVI A SMILE ON WAR'S GRIM FACE

CHAPTER XVII THE JOY OF FREEDOM

CHAPTER XVIII A WELL-AIMED SLIPPER

CHAPTER XIX A GIRL'S APPEAL

CHAPTER XX SCOVILLE'S HOPE

CHAPTER XXI TWO STORMS

CHAPTER XXII CHUNK'S QUEST

CHAPTER XXIII A BOLD SCHEME

CHAPTER XXIV A HOME A HOSPITAL

CHAPTER XXV A TRIBUTE TO A SOUTHERN GIRL

CHAPTER XXVI A BACKGROUND OF EGOTISM

CHAPTER XXVII AUN' JINKEY'S SUPREME TEST

CHAPTER XXVIII TRUTH IF THE HEAVENS FALL

CHAPTER XXIX "ANGEL OF DEATH"

CHAPTER XXX GLIMPSES OF MOODS AND MINDS

CHAPTER XXXI THE DUELLISTS VANQUISHED

CHAPTER XXXII SAD TIDINGS

CHAPTER XXXIII CONSPIRATORS

CHAPTER XXXIV CHUNK PLAYS SPOOK

CHAPTER XXXV A VISITATION

CHAPTER XXXVI UNCLE LUSTHAH EXHORTS

CHAPTER XXXVII A NEW ROUTINE

"MISS LOU"

CHAPTER I

A GIRL'S PROTEST

A great, rudely built stone chimney was smoking languidly one afternoon. Leaning against this chimney, as if for protection and support, was a little cabin gray and decrepit with age. The door of the cabin stood wide open, for the warm spring was well advanced in the South. There was no need of a fire, but Aun' Jinkey, the mistress of the abode, said she "kep' hit bunin' fer comp'ny." She sat by it now, smoking as lazily as her chimney, in an old chair which creaked as if in pain when she rocked. She supposed herself to be in deep meditation, and regarded her corncob pipe not merely a solace but also as an invaluable assistant to clearness of thought. Aun' Jinkey had the complacent belief that she could reason out most questions if she could only smoke and think long enough. Unfortunately, events would occur which required action, or which raised new questions before she had had time to solve those originally presented; yet it would be hard to fancy a more tranquil order of things than that of which she was a humble part.

The cabin was shaded by grand old oaks and pines, through which the afternoon sun shone in mild radiance, streaming into the doorway and making a broad track of light over the uneven floor. But Aun' Jinkey kept back in the congenial dusk, oblivious to the loveliness of nature without. At last she removed her pipe from her mouth and revealed her mental processes in words.

"In all my projeckin' dat chile's wuss'n old mars'r en miss, en de wah, en de preachin'. I kin kin' ob see troo dem, en w'at dey dribin' at, but dat chile grow mo' quare en on'countable eb'y day. Long as she wus took up wid her doll en tame rabbits en pony dar wa'n't no circum'cutions 'bout her, en now she am all circum'cution. Not'n gwine 'long plain wid her. She like de run down dar--but win' en win' ez ef hit had ter go on, en hit couldn't mek up hits min' which way ter go. Sometime hit larfin' in de sun en den hit steal away whar you kyant mos' fin' hit. Dat de way wid Miss Lou. She seem right hyar wid us--she only lil gyurl toder day--en now she 'clinin' to notions ob her own, en she steal away to whar she tink no one see her en tink on heaps ob tings. Won'er ef eber, like de run, she wanter go way off fum us?

"Ole mars'r en ole miss dunno en doan see not'n. Dey kyant. Dey tinks de worl' al'ays gwine des so, dat means de way dey tink hit orter go. Ef hit go any oder way, de worl's wrong, not dey. I ain' sayin' dey is wrong, fer I ain' des tink dat all out'n. 'Long ez she keeps her foots on de chalk line dey mark out dey ain' projeckin' how her min' go yere en dar, zigerty-zag wid notions ob her own."

The door darkened, if the radiant girl standing on the threshold could be said to darken any door. She did not represent the ordinary Southern type, for her hair was gold in the sun and her eyes blue as the violets by the brook. They were full of mirth now as she said: "There you are, Ann' Jinkey, smoking and 'projeckin' as usual. You look like an old Voudoo woman, and if I didn't know you as my old mammy--if I should just happen in as a stranger, I'd be afraid of you."

"Voudoo ooman! How you talks, Miss Lou! I'se a member ob de Baptis' Church, en you knows it."

"Oh, I know a heap 'mo'n dat,' as you so often say. If you were only a member of the Baptist Church I wouldn't be running in to see you so often. Uncle says a member of the Baptist Church has been stealing some of his chickens."

"I knows some tings 'bout de members ob HE church," replied Ann' Jinkey, with a toss of her head.

"I reckon you do, more than they would like to see published in the county paper; but we aren't scandal-mongers, are we, Aun' Jinkey?" and the young visitor sat down in the doorway and looked across the green meadow seen through the opening in the trees. A dogwood stood in the corner of the rail fence, the pink and white of its blossoms well matching the girl's fair face and her rose-dotted calico gown, which, in its severe simplicity, revealed her rounded outlines.

Aun' Jinkey watched her curiously, for it was evident that Miss Lou's thoughts were far away. "Wat you tinkin' 'bout, Miss Lou?" she asked.

"Oh, I hardly krow myself. Come, Aun' Jinkey, be a nice old witch and tell me my fortune."

"Wat you want ter know yo' fortin fur?"

"I want to know more than I do now. Look here, Aun' Jinkey, does that run we hear singing yonder go round and round in one place and with the same current? Doesn't it go on? Uncle and aunt want me to go round and round, doing the same things and thinking the same thoughts--not my own thoughts either. Oh, I'm getting so tired of it all!"

"Lor' now, chile, I wuz des 'parin' you ter dat run in my min',"


Miss Lou - 1/64

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