The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on February 5, 1896 · Page 7
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 7

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, February 5, 1896
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tt 4; |Vr 11 [Copyright, 1895, by J. 6. Llpptncott Co.! PL a!.v. ''She laughed again, a sweet bubbling 5^, ^ver of tinrestained merriment that ||;" Blade him think of happy children and *" singing birds. "Didn't yoli know, sure *, Enough, that you were on the wrong !/£ide?" she asked, naively. ?' "Honestly, I didn't at first," he confessed, "but I began to suspect some 6Uch dreadful thing before you spoke. *fhett it occurred to me that Pluto was .• unreasonably particular about such a J small thing, and I thought it might be well to convince him of the fact." ' "I think you've sticceedcd; but I'm afraid ybu have hurt his sense of the • proprieties beyond recovery. lie is almost as conventional as I used to think you were." "1 hope you don't think it any more, ' 'after seeing my interpretation of 'boots /and saddles,' " he protested. "And while ' we're on the subject of horseback rid ° ing, let me make an open confession '. t know less than nothing about it, ex' perimentally, and I shall be deeply in debted to you if you'll teach me how to behave in a becoming manner." She leaned over and disengaged her skirt from its entanglement In his stir* "/, rup. "May I ?" she asked. ^ '• , "1 shall be very grateful." :• '' "Well, then, I—I believe it is cuotom- \. * ary for a gentleman to ride on the other f •' 'side," she began. v" ' Ringbrand had quite recovered his '•;"'self-possession by this time, and he ;' .' pulled Pluto around to her right. "Of ^ " course. I should think that would sug- '• : 'gest itself naturally to anyone but a rf '. book worm like myself; I assure you I ,«V /shouldn't have made my hero in a story J -,', guilty of such awkwardness. Now, t<*\ how about these stirrups? they seem '.„} ^ to me to be too short, or too long, or 'fV " something." , V- ; She looked at them critically: "I •' '* .think they are a little to'o short. Shall "I believe 1 can appreciate that, too." Neither of them spoke again for a feW moments, and then Hester called his attention to a jutting crag projecting far out from the cliff-line at their feet. "Do you see that point over yonder to the right?" she asked. "Yes; and I was going to ask you if it has a name." "It has! it is called 'Tom's^JUmp.' It's not a very poetic name, and it could i_, 11_. !,„ nr i1l n r1 n 'Tt-.n^nf^a Tjpnt-1/ lll- fp^' I.fcold Pluto while you dismount to let pr;, ft ,=•)!/ v^, them down ?" RSi V • i . * "No, thank you; 1 think 1 can manage ., , it from the deck," he replied, slipping ;';-slils.feet from the stirrup irons and ad- SS,* 1 .l»«xi«n. 4T.A r*4-»n*-\c< -fr* fi •mr»T»fi nrvtYI'FfllH'*!."' hardly be called a 'LoVer's Leap, al though the story is dreadful enough." "Tell me about it." "It's short and quite prosaic. There used to be a moonshiner's still somewhere in this neighborhood, and one of the men was young Tom Cragin, the son of the mountaineer who owned the still. One day the revenue men were trying to arrest the party, and they chased young Cragin out into this road. He ran down that way, and two more officers came out into the road ahead of him. When he saw he was surrounded, he climbed out to the point of that rock and flung himself down." Ringbrand looked surprised. "Ididn I know the penalties were severe enot-gh to warrant a man in doing that,' he said. • . "I'm not sure that they arc," repaid the girl, "though a long term in the penitentiary is hard enough after the free life of the mountain. But in Oa- gin's case I think there were other things; there was a long story of blt-od- shed and violence leading up to the tragedy, and perhaps he had reason to fear something worse than a priuon. You don't know anything about the savage history of these mountains, Mr. Ringbrand." she added, turning iier horse's head homeward. "Nearly every family in the neighborhood it. or has been mixed up in some dreadful trouble; even our own has not escaped." She did not offer any further explanations as they rode back to "The Laurels," and Ringbrand felt instinctively that it was a matter about which he could not ask questions. What sh* had said, however, made him thought/ ft THynl Subject wdukl give freely io the tfne whom he had enthroned/' She looked at him in doubt, "t can never tell when you are in earnest and when you are trying to be satirical." "Oh, 1 beg you to believe 1 wouldn't jest upon Such a serious subject," he hastened to say. "Then I can't understand .\otir position at all. You—you write about wonl- en, and you should understand them better than that, ten't it true that ovmi the strongest woman prefers to look up rather than down, if her husband be noble and brave and generally worth looking up to?" Ringbrand winced, for had he not signed bis name to a certain narrative in which the inotive turned upon the theory that deep in the heart of every Woman there dwells an unspoken desire to be dominated? He smiled at his unconscious mendacity and wondered why it is that a man who chances to be iii love cannot apply the wisdom of other days to the solution of his own riddles. "Perhaps you are right, after all," he said, musingly. "Now that you recall it, it seems quite possible that I may at one time have held and expressed such a view myself. Yotir proviso, however, helps my side of the question." "In what way?" "By asking for a rare combination of virtues in the man." "How do you mean?" "You said ho should be noble and brave and generally worth looking up to." "Are those qualities rare?" "Rare enough, I fear. I think there are not many of us whocoxild fill the requirements. But to return to Miss Bradfern! You think she will be on the governing hand, do you?" "Perhaps not quite that, but I'm very sure she has some—shall we call them convictions?—that will make Mr. Raleigh very uncomfortable. One of them is the idea that it is a part of her mission to bring about 'the social recognition of the negroes." She said "nig- gers," but the provincialism bore no contemptuous 'accent. Mte Strength *hat harmonises and purity, nh'd it was tfo* pride Mint abhors meaft things and scorns th6 ignoble arts of deceit and subterfuge. justing the straps to a more 'There, how is that?" • 'IThat looks better. Now, shall we >ailittle gallop?" - '^Ifyou please. I'll do anything you i l.me to.!'^ <; •.V",," ^ • , , ^.Phlsy^swept along the'level road at>an ejfsy;canter, and Ringbrand profited by ffi|«'.Bester's suggestions as well as he could " ill l in the short intervals which his furtive r|^-admiration of her graceful carriage and |l;'U radiant ' beauty spared him from a Ivvconsideration of his own shortconi- ,^-mgs. • The road led them finally ?-^* [.' tp^ the western- brow of the moun- !$4/nain.. and they pulled Cup at the t\|l; v edge of the cliff to enjoy 1 the view [||:J.'.p.preud"out before them. $'. '7;;'Ypur surroundings are a perpetual j)\ '-^inspiration,- Miss Hester," said Ring- !At '*4$rand, feasting his eyes with the keen ^appreciation of an artist upon the mag- ry^hificept panorama of the mountains ^;^nd valleys and forests stretching away '""to ..the^ westward. - Jvi"Ivam glad ypu like Tennessee," re-, sCpjjeclI'the girl, with a tpuch of pathos in '"'•her voice.' "So many people—especial-^ ;iy ( ULpytberners—seem to think it an un* ifpfitable wilderness," * V*WhP coujd be so uuappreciative as to ^yl^hal?" -, ^Prftdfern, for one. She is f j'om ^apd^Bhe visited friends in Dun- ; 1$4 summer, 1 ' SheSvns continually ing for Ne'w'lSpgland in general and Jolitpn'jn'.payticujar, -I'm sure I can't IJc^rHtapd hpw she will be'able to Jive ierpi$ ' ' feVii «h« opjnjng here t.p live?" us the wUo Pt our rector in f'.tell him he's setting-a ful. and he resolved to ask Ludlow if he knew the story. ''When they reached the house Hester asked Ringbrand to stay to tea, and after the meal they sat together on the veranda while the colonel and his son rode to Tregarthen. Since" they were well beyond the'period of acquaintanceship in which young lovers ttfKe each other seriously and talk uppn abstruwe subjects, the conversaton drifted aimlessly and easily from one topic to another until'it finally came back to the rector and his' approaching, marriage. Hester spoke of it again in terms of disapproval. "It seems to me like a "case of infatuation on his part," she said, "though I suppose I'm prejudiced The remark caught Ringbrand off hie guard and he said: "There is room for reform along that line, isn't there?" "That depends very much upon tho pbint of view." Hester drew herself up and a shade of austerity came into her manner. "I'm not quite sure how you regard it in the north, though papa says you make no distinction—or, at Jeast, not very much. With us the question has been definitely settled for n longtime." He was besotted enough to try to argue the point with her. "Don't you think that much of the objection to social equality on the score of the color of a person's skin is "prejudice?" he asked. "You are at liberty to call it that of anything olno you please," she answered, with chilly prociseness, "and there is nothing to prevent your putting yourself upon an equality with our servants if you feel so disposed." "I'm sure 1 don't wish to do that, though I'm 1 quite as certain that tho question of color or race would not prevent me. 1 think the negroes in the rfbrth are given all the social rights they expect or deserve; they are at least the social equals of white people in their own class." Hester rose and stood before him with sparkling eyes and flushed cheeks, and he forgot all about tho argument in his admiration of her superb loveliness. "That's just it!" she exclaimed; "you all are quite willing to let the ne- groes take their chances in the north, but you try to compel us to accept them as equals, without regard to class, whether we want to or not." It was not their first difference, and Ringbrand smiled. "You are of the south, aren't you. Miss Hester? I wish you would teach me how to be enthusiastic," he suicl, mildly. ' "It would be a hopoloss task," she replied. "I'm not so sure about that. I,think it vvoujd depend upon the teacher," "But you would bo enthusiastic pn the wrpng side, if 1 did," • ' „. "Perhaps you might cpnvert me in the process." "I pro afraid that isn't possible; and then it wouldn't be honest of you to let me," she added,, with feminine inconsistency. v ' Ringbrand smiled complacently, "I Jjke thqt," he said. "I shall try here,, after to be bpth enthusiastic ,anc? loyal to jny seotipnf" , , ' Thinking tibput this i epnversatfcn \vkeh she was braiding her h&U' befpre ,h.eri mjrrpr that WgM, ?Iester b]ushe,fl remembered hpw ^mphatiq >en, *.»! Jippe he didlVt thjpk 111. THIS JltStOKY Of A FStTO. Places, like pel-sons, have characters to keep or to lose. From the time beyond which fireside tradition fades into the less authentic record of legendary tales, McNabb's cove had shared with its scanty population the evil report of si bad neighborhood. Topographically, it is a mere gash in the side of Murphy mountain, with a fexv a«res of arable land in the center shut in on three sides by steep wooded hills, whose summits nre the cliffs of the mountain. Practically inaccessible on three sides, en* trance by the fourth is scarcely less difficult. A narrow wagon road winds up the sharp ascent Which measures the height of the cove above the level of 'Harmony valley; and besides this there nre no means of ingress or egress for vehicles, and none for pedestrians save such as arc afforded by two or three i-ocky trails up the sides of the inoun^ tain. The isolation of McNabb's cove had much to do with its unsavory reputa- tloili For many years the Bynums, whose log- farmhouse of "two pens and it passage" was the only human habitation in the small valley, had acted n» go-between for the illicit distillers on the mountain and their customers in Harmony valley. In consequence of this, the'cove had been the scene of several encounters between the revenue officers and the moonshiners; and although the Bynums had usually maintained an ouUvard show of neutrality, there was little doubt that they had always given the secret aid to their neighbors on the mountain. It was during the life of Col. Latimer's father that the Bynums had first brought themselves within the pale of the law. A. revenue officer had climbed the steep road leading to the cove one afternoon, and tho, next morning his dead body was found at the foot of the declivity with a bullet hole in the skull. Old Squire Latimer was justice of the COHuCBUi UJJ-U v«i»* •••'(j *JM»M~ fttfavHed ffom 'fufttttSr immediate ag- gressibns by a fear bl SbnYe fetich consequences as had overtaken" their father. Col. Lfttiiner was quite as popular in his way as had been the Squire; and there had been ominous threats of another outburst of-public indignation after the breaking bf the colonel's afin —threats which were Ibud enough to cautic the elder Bynum to disappear for u time, rumor said in Texas. The fire of enmity, however, was never suffered to die. There were fitful bursts of flame from time to time, and fresh fuel was added when the Sleepy village of Tregarthen awoke one morning to find itself the headquarters of the Tregarthen Coal & Iron company. All of the coal and iron land on the mountain belonged originally to the Latimer estate, but the Bynums had disputed with the colonel the ownership to one of the coal Veins which cropped out near the boundary of McNabb's cove.- They were defeated in the litigation that followed, and the old feud lost none of its rancor by the decision of the courts. When its right to tho McNabb Vein had been established the company had endeavored to open it, but the overhanging stratum of sandstone proved to be singularly intracta- able, and the further development of the vejn was postponed until such time as the depth of the other workings would make it less costly to timber the Me Nabb tunnel. Opinions varied as to the cause of the difficulty in the McNabb. Expert mining engineers had declared that the sandstone forming the roof of the tunnel was as peace at the time, and he was especial- Iv active in pushing the inquiry which finally fixed the crime upon one of the Bynums. As the evidence was mostly circumstantial, the murderers got off with a life sentence; but for the squire's part in the prosecution the Bynums declared war upon the Latimer family, instituting a series of persecutions which culminated in the burning of the manor-house in the valley. The ex-Virginian was a law-abiding man, and, although there was little doubt as to the identity of his enemies, he refused to retaliate in kind. With each fresh depredation he redoubled his efforts to obtain proof which could be produced in court; but his persecutes were shrewd and crafty, an/1 he was never able to get conclusive evidence, against them. After the burning, of the manor-house the squire built "The Laurels" on the plateau of Murphy mountain; but be did not live long to enjoy his new home. The plateau farm was reached by a road which climbs the face of the ascent ±rom Tregarthen. Beyond the Latimer estate it skirts the brow of the mountain, following the line of the cliffs and doubling around the head of McNabb's cove. One morning when the squire was riding along this road at a point where it comes out upon the edge of an abrupt precipice commanding a view of the cove, a rifle-shot rang out, and the frightened horses galloped riderless back to "The Laurels." When the searchers found him a short time afterwards the squire was quite dead; and before noon John Bynum was in jail at Tregarthen, charged with the commission of the crime. At this distance of time there appears to be at least a reasonable 1 doubt of his guilt. He was seen in the' village, and in fact was arrested there, withifc two hours of the time when the murder 1 was committed; and while the distance from the head of the cove to Tregarthen by the road leading past "The Laurels" is only three miles, it is six by the way he must have gone to avoid meeting the searching party, This, and other facts, might have been brought out in a trial, but the Bynums were u,npbpiilar and their feud with the iatimeps was well known, The news of the/ squire's' death spread rapidly through tho valley during the day, and at night'&n a-rmed mpb broke into the jail and .secured the hapless prisoner, who \yftS; hwried to the ,scene .of, tj*e murde|? f an.il hanged tp the nearest cpn- Witij^thj?' dearth of John Byjium the feud snjpjfiered fpy severs,} years. Ejte pnly tirpthsr, r je<3i who w$s p^sep^ tijM^Qf the 'lynching, m9\ed e *»* & ! . .. , p >w}}r v^ wi( j ow ^ h>r- The Colonel proceeded to mete out a measure of chastisement. • tenacious as that overlying the other vdins, and that lucre,was noappaicut reason why it should require tjmbor- ing; but the indubitable fact remained. While the work of development was in progress, the miners frequently found the labor of a week undone in a single night by a caving of the roof which filled the tunnel with broken rock. Ludlow had its own theory about these mysterious accidents, but he kept it to himself. It was suggested by the smell of black powder which he detected one morning when he was examining the debris that had fallen during the previous night. It struck him as being curious, because he knew that the miners were using dynamite; and it led to a series of casual inquiries among the dwellers in Harmony Valley nearest to the entrance to McNabb's Cove. The replies were not entirely convincing, because the nocturnal noises heard by the valley folk might have .been nothing more than the concussion of the falling rock; but Ludlow heard enough to make him believe that when it became necessary to take coal from the McNabb vein a night-guard at the tunnel would possibly avert disaster more efficiently than the most elaborate system of, timbering, It was during the progress of the Jaw-suit that Jeff Bynum returned to the farm in McNabb's Cove;, and the rumor which had pointed to Texas, as the objecth e of hjs migration was confirmed by his own story of, his wanderings. Not contented, however, with this tribute to'Its veracity, gossip again busied itself with his affairs, and there were vague hints of a lawless spjonrp in the Lpne Star state, cpupled with, ft < ptijl mpre indefinite intimation th?vfchUf career in the west had terminated in ppencyjjne, '-, ( ' , ' , \ *0ne;,pthep'element'-pf' discprd. had been added by the passing years to tfee *r- _j» '_Jjk «.4» 4~\*t* •JWii/P in +"hft VKa.TKOTl contempt tef . thing cofin&eted with ihefe -NO. ma'aitt, I'm net. If , them as v.cll as tve do, yotl W6tl ask such a question.* 1 "t don't knbw them at all, b'tit •fc-hat you tell me 1 gather tha' * poor and ignorant, nnd that'—.,— .^ had much "the worst of the figlt 611 along. Can't you 1 be & gefcerierM «8* _ jt emy?" ^V — "They never give one a chance/ to* uB- genferous. You've no ide& how toe'fttt" they are. I've hoard old Atlnt Betty 1 tell' how tnnmmn tried to mnkd when bid Mi s. Bynum was sick, ma sent a basket of jellies and clown to the cove, and the next ing the basket and everything i found on our doorstep, smashed intd bits." - ' "That was certainly vindictive—and childish. Still I think you might forgive even that." "It isn't a question of forgivene&S? You don't understand, because you've never been brought in contact with such people. And as to their having" ^ had the v, orst of it, thCrfe If) a question about that. They made poor Grand* father Latimer's life miserable, and I shall always believe that John Byntmi killed him'atlast. Besides that, they've always been annoying and worrying «9 , in ways that forbid reta'iation because we couldn't demean ourselves to pay them back in their own coin. No, i don't think they've had the worst of it.'* When Mrs. Ludlow reported this con* versation to her husband he smiled and said: "I wouldn't meddle with thjit quarrel, if 1 were you; it's pretty deeply ingrained on both sides, and T shall be surprised if it doesn't'come to a pitched battle some day. If the colonel had a suspicion of what I found out about the trouble in the McNabb tunnel. 1 wouldn't care to answer for- ' the consequences; and as for Henry, it'll be a miracle if he doesn't get him" Keif killed in the row. He has the courage of a veteran, joined to the rashness of a headstrong boy; and he's as good a hater as any of the Bynums." "It's a great pity," rejoined peaceable > -Mrs. Ludlow. "It gives one an uncomfortable feeling of living over a volcano that may burst out at any moment. < Isn't there any way to put a stop to it?" "Only one that I can think of, and - that's'been tried. It occurred to me pome lime ago that the family in the covo mitfht Le peaceably deported if , the C.vnnm farm could-be purchased,and I 'sugfri'sted it to some of our people in New York, with the caution that t the colonel mustn't be told of it until the purchase was a fact accomplished. ' They put the matter in the hands of our attorneys and told them not to hag-' fie about the price. I don't know how^ the negotiations were conducted, but I imagine tho Bynums found out that the company was in the deal and refused point-blank to sell at any price. That settled it, and it means tha' propose to stay and fight it There'll be a fight, too, when,we open the McNabb .vein; and can keep the Latimers out of it." •[ : "But you mustn't get into it your^' Kclf, Tom," interposed Mrs. Ludlow. i Ludlow smiled grimly. "You think, I wouldn't cut much of a figure as a & *'A, v , 1 WOU1UJ1 \t uuu .LUUI;.U uj. ai jxg M^ ^ -, ", r *\t.<$$ fire eater, don't you? Well, n6w;'yo^/\»ff;^ just wait and see. When the time^-^ ' comes I'll not go out of' my way tp pitk^£ a quarrel or to avoid one; but if'thbse- iy| fellows interfere with the work they'll^j^p have to stand from under. And they'll -vt!^ find that they haven't a whole-souled^;, irascible, generous southerner to deal^ with, either." ' . , "'' J It was during the summer 'of brand's visit to Tregarthen that question of resuming work in tl: doned tunnel came up again Bynum heard the news in ,the store i the village, and he tpjd ,6«i'S "K'4^ the younger Bynuin tQ out "What d'ye 'Jpw fpr tp dp, "Nev' ypu mind; ypu-all " sec. Ye can be plum shpre o ! though; they-all ain't'ne'" no coal out o' that vein." '^Pon't ye reckpn, 'er« up to do hit?" "Ldunpp an' I dpn't ke'ep;' tejl ye that thai' crpwd up op^ ting's gwine to let pn like. spmcthin 1 drap.; fpr a/ pretty, reckon, Latlnw 'lp\ya 4 L,atimer' side pf the QploneVl mother, 'to. , . fireside" gwfdpe'fif . _,' \ A ^J_! "*' IkJI J)A-.-. ^1 , the pergpn. The b'py's influence- the 1 , Jfesfer $ml Jfe^ry, weye "ch.U0*W$ »j$ .th^fcpy h^d'ea-r-ly, ,}earnM tfe? l$m rt'ybWtifafcm &m*VteKwtf ng^wjth a'_ r . r P » 3onjemj»t>p? h^d .been }9 jphosp £pb$4ng gpftly peg how .they are ever ablC4Q TOftke p e &ce between 1 ' ' fen»4»'th& PWrmjK?*5» i fcw V *"* V 1. iv, lf ^ *".?•« i\ •*!% Mfi^wr^p^ •SsflS^SvfflSBt^tUimJ.liei

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