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- Colonel Carter of Cartersville - 23/23 -


more than ever her loving-kindness, he could not now, on more mature reflection and after hearing the encomiums of his friends, really see how she could have pursued any other course.

And yet, with the sale accomplished and he rich beyond his wildest dreams, he was precisely the same man in bearing, manner, and speech that he had been in his impecunious days in Bedford Place. He was rich then--in hopes, in plans, in the reality of his dreamland. He was no richer now. The check in his pocket made no difference.

The only perceptible change was when he recounted to me his plans for the restoration of the homestead and the comfort of its inmates. "I shall rebuild the barns and cabins, and lay out a new lawn. The po'ch"--looking up--"needs some repairs, and the ca'iage-house must be enlarged. The coaching days are not over yet, Major; Nancy must have"--

Chad, entering with a luncheon for the exhausted circle, diverted the colonel's train of thought, cutting short his summary. For a moment he watched his old servant musingly, then following him into the next room he called him to one side, and with marked tenderness in his manner unfolded the Englishman's check.

The old servant put down the empty tray, adjusted his spectacles, and examined it carefully.

"What's dis, Marsa George?"

"A thousand dollars, Chad."

"Golly! Monst'ous quare kind o' money. Jes a scrap. Ain't big enough to wad a gun, is she? An' Misser Englishman gib ye dis for dat ole brier patch?"

Chad was trembling all over, full to the very eyelids.

The colonel held out his hand. The old servant bent his head, his master's hand fast in his. Then their eyes met.

"Yes, Chad, for you and me. There's no hard work for you any mo', old man. Go and tell Henny."

That night at dinner, Fitz on the colonel's right, the Englishman next to aunt Nancy, Kerfoot, Yancey, and I disposed in regular order, Chad noiseless and attentive, the colonel arose in his chair, radiant to the very tip ends of his cravat, and, in a voice which trembled as it rose, said:--

"Gentlemen, the events of the day have unexpectedly brought me an influx of wealth far beyond my brightest anticipations. This is due in great measure to the untirin' brain and vast commercial resources of my dear friend Mr. Fitzpatrick, who has labored with me durin' my sojourn Nawth in the development of these properties, and who now, with that unselfishness which characterizes his life, refuses to accept any share in the result.

"They have also strengthened the tie existin' between my old friend the major on my left, who oftentimes when the day was darkest has cheered me by his counsel and companionship. "But, gentlemen, they have done mo'." The colonel's feet now barely touched the floor. "They have enabled me to provide for one of the loveliest of her sex,--she who graces our boa'd,--and to enrich her declinin' days not only with all the comforts, but with many of the luxuries she was bawn to enjoy.

"Fill yo' glasses, gentlemen, and drink to the health of that greatest of all blessings,--a true Southern lady!"


Colonel Carter of Cartersville - 23/23

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