Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-7

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 8-9

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 9-10

read more

Note

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-12

...no fact or picture have I consciously set down aught the counterpart of which I have not seen or known ; and whatever the finished picture may lack of completeness, this lack is due now to the story-teller, now to the artist, but never to the herald of the Truth...

read more

Chapter I: Dreams

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-20

...and empty ! And so bare, so bitter bare ! Somehow he had never dreamed of the world as lonely before ; he had fared forth to beckoning hands and luring, and to the eager hum of human voices, as of some great, swelling music...

read more

Chapter II: The School

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-25

...staring at the ceiling - a gaunt, flat, sad-eyed creature, with wisps of gray hair half-covering her baldness , and a face furrowed with care and gathering years. It was thirty years ago this day, she recalled, since she first came to this broad land...

read more

Chapter III: Miss Mary Taylor

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 26-32

...she was not averse to Charleston or New Orleans. But from the offer that came to teach Negroes - country Negroes, and little ones at that - she shrank, and, indeed, probably would have refused it out of hand had it not been for her queer brother, John. John Taylor...

read more

Chapter IV: Town

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 33-43

...consult some of the merchants and business men. She could then write her letter and mail it there ; it would be but a day or so late getting to New York. " Of course," s aid Miss Smith drily, slowly folding her napkin, " of course, the only people here are the Cresswells. " " Oh, yes," said Miss Taylor invitingly. There was an...

read more

Chapter V: Zora

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 44-53

...mirthful, almost impish glee, teasing and mocking and half s caring him, despite his fifteen years of young manhood. " Yes, they is devils down yonder behind the swamp," she would whisper, warningly, when, after the first meeting, he had crept back again and again, half fascinated, half amused to greet her ; " I'se...

read more

Chapter VI: Cotton

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 54-65

...and the Naked, spinning and weaving and sewing and carrying the Fleece and mining and minting and bringing the Silver till the Song of S ervice filled the world and the poetry of Toil was in the souls of the laborers. Yet ever and alway there were tense silent white-faced men moving...

read more

Chapter VII: The Place of Dreams

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 66-80

...Cresswells. ยท She found the Negro youth quicker, surer, and more intelligent in his answers than those she questioned elsewhere, and she gained real enj oyment from her long talks with him. " Is n't Bles developing splendidly ? " she said to Miss Smith one afternoon. There was an unmistakable note...

read more

Chapter VIII: Mr. Harry Cresswell

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 81-89

...Of course, I suppose there 's nothing in it. And yet, Harry, my boy, this cotton-growing business is getting in a pretty tight pinch. Unless relief comes somehow - well, we 'll j ust have to quit. We simply can't keep the cost of cotton down to a remunerative figure with niggers getting scarcer and dearer. Every year I have to pinch...

read more

Chapter IX: The Planting

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 90-100

...bound he was beside her. " Zora ! " The cry seemed wrung from his heart by contrition. Why had he not known - not seen before ! " Zora, come right out of this ! Sit down here and rest." She looked at him unwaveringly ; there was no flinching of her spirit. " I sha'n't do it," she said. " You 'se working, and I'se going to work." " But - Zora - you 're...

read more

Chapter X: Mr. Taylor Calls

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 101-118

...curiously sweet way. Her servants liked her and the tenants could count on her spasmodic attentions in time of sickness and trouble. " Good-morning," she said, with a soft drawl. She sauntered over to her father, kissed him, and hung over the back of his chair. " Did you get that novel for me, Harry ? " - expectantly regarding her brother...

read more

Chapter XI: The Flowering of the Fleece

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-128

...to the girl. For the time being she was silent. " I sometimes wish," she began at length, " I had a bright-eyed girl like you to help me find and place things." Zora made no comment. " Sometimes Bles helps me," added Miss Smith, guilefully. Zora looked sharply at her. " Could I help ? " she asked, almost timidly...

read more

Chapter XII: The Promise

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 129-145

...and dark, eager and sullen faces. There had been good and bad, honest and deceptive, frank and furtive. Some had caught, kindled and flashed to ambition and achievement ; some, glowing dimly, had plodded on in slow, dumb faithful work worth while ; and yet others had suddenly...

read more

Chapter XIII: Mrs. Grey Gives A Dinner

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 146-151

...residence his face had melted to a cynical smile. After all why should he care ? He had tried independence and philanthropy and failed. Why should he not be as other men ? He had seen many others that very day swallow the golden bait and promise everything. They were gentlemen. Why should he pose as better than his...

read more

Chapter XIV: Love

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 152-157

...foretaste and prophecy of ruin and discouragement, of the utter futility of striving ? But if his own despair was great his pain at the plight of Zora made it almost unbearable. He did not see her in these seven days. He pictured her huddled there in the swamp in the cheerless leaky cabin with worse than no companions. Ah I...

read more

Chapter XV: Revelation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 158-171

...meant to endow the school, or entertained wholesale plans for Negro education. The knowled ge made him suspicious. Why had neither Mary nor John Taylor mentioned this ? Was there, after all, some "nigger-loving " con spiracy back of the cotton combine ? He took his hat and started down-town....

read more

Chapter XVI: The Great Refusal

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 172-180

...enlarged, its future safe, its usefulness broadened - small wonder that to Sarah Smith the future had seemed in November almost golden. Then things began to go wrong. The transfer of the Tolliver land had not yet been effected ; the money was ready, but Mr. Tolliver seemed busy or hesitating. Next...

read more

Chapter XVII: The Rape of the Fleece

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 181-189

...He is no God of mine. He is n't fair. He knows and won't tell. He takes advantage of us - He works and fools us." All night Miss Smith heard mutterings of this bitterness, and the next day the girl walked her room like a tigress,- to and fro, to and fro, all the long day. Toward night a dumb despair settled upon her. Miss Smith...

read more

Chapter XVIII: The Cotton Corner

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 190-199

...And there again the black men sang, like dark earthspirits flitting in twilight ; the presses creaked and groaned ; closer and closer they pressed the silken fleece. It quivered, trembled, and then lay cramped, dead, and still, in massive, hard, square bundles, tied with iron strings. Out fell the heavy bales, thousand upon thousand, million upon million, until they settled over the...

read more

Chapter XIX: The Dying of Elspeth

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 200-212

...of the cotton corner. He had neglected her. Of course, there was always the hovering doubt as to whether he really wanted her or not. She had the form and carriage ; her beauty, while not startling, was young and fresh and firm. On the other hand thet:e was about her a certain independence that he did not like to associate with...

read more

Chapter XX: The Weaving of the Silver Fleece

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-222

...equanimity. They seemed to think an alliance with Northern millions an honor for Cresswell blood, and the Colonel thumped the nearer bale vigorously. His cane slipped along the iron bands suddenly, and the old man lurching forward, clutched in space to save himself and touched a human hand...

read more

Chapter XXI: The Marriage Morning

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 223-231

...herself, white, frail, and fettered, stood before the dusky magnificence of some bej ewelled barbarian queen and sought to justify herself. She shook off the phantasy,and yet how well the girl stood. It was not every one that could stand still and well....

read more

Chapter XXII: Miss Caroline Wynn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 232-243

...alien - sharper, quicker, and at once more overbearing and more unscrupulous. There were yet others - and at the sight of these Bles stood straighter and breathed like a man. They were well dressed, and well appearing men and women, who walked upright and looked one in the eye, and seemed like persons of affairs and money. They had arrived...

read more

Chapter XXIII: The Training of Zora

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 244-252

...kind ; but this was different, and she could not understand it. It seemed senseless and unreasonable, and yet so strangely so that she was at a loss to ask questions. She was very solemn as they rode on and night came down with dreams. She awoke in Washington to new fairylands and wonders ; the endless going and coming of men ; great piles...

read more

Chapter XXIV: The Education of Alwyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-265

...recognition as a lady. Nor was this unnatural : her brown skin invited a different assumption. Despite this almost unconscious mental aggressiveness, she was unusually presentable and always well-gowned and pleasant of spee_ch. Yet she found nearly all careers closed to her. At first it seemed accidental, the luck of life. Then...

read more

Chapter XXV: The Campaign

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 266-281

...The lady was receptive, and the speaker concluded : " The Negroes." " The Negroes ! " " Yes. There are five hundred thousand or more black voters in pivotal Northern States, you know, and they're in revolt. In a close election the Negroes of New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois choose the President."...

read more

Chapter XXVI: Congressman Cresswell

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 282-292

...and the matter was settled. In the Fall Harry Cresswell was declared elected. There were four hundred and seventy- two votes cast but the sheriff added a cipher. He said it would look better. Early December found the Cresswells domiciled in a small house in Du Pont Circle, Washington. They had an automobile and four servants, and the house was...

read more

Chapter XXVII: The Vision of Zora

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 293-302

...Vanderpool. It was all right, and yet why so suddenly had the threads of life let go ? Why was she drifting in vast waters ; in uncharted wastes of sea ? Why was the puzzle of life suddenly so intricate when but a little week ago she was reading it, and its beauty and wisdom and...

read more

Chapter XXVIII: The Annunciation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 303-311

...protected their friends in the crush ; and Harry Cresswell led his wife to a little oasis of Southern ladies and gentlemen. " This is democracy for you," said he, wiping his brow. From a whirling eddy Mrs. Vanderpool waved at them, and they rescued her. " I think I am ready to go," she gasped. " Did you ever ! "...

read more

Chapter XXIX: A Master of Fate

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 312-325

..." And part of the price is putting the colored schools of the District in the hands of a Southern man and depriving us of all voice in their control?" " Precisely, Miss Wynn. But you'd be surprised to know that it was the Negroes themselves who stirred the South to this demand...

read more

Chapter XXX: The Return of Zora

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 326-336

..." The President has sent the following nominations to the Senate To be ambassador to France, John Vanderpool, Esq." The first feeling of triumph thrilled faintly again until the low voice of Zora startled her. It was so low and calm, it came as though j ourneying from great distances and weary with travel...

read more

Chapter XXXI: A Parting of Ways

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 337-354

...time sitting up, looking listlessly out across the world - a queer world. Why had they not let her see the child - just one look at its little dead face ? That would have been something. And again, as the doctor cheerily turned to go, she sought to repeat the old question. He looked at her sharply, then interrupted, saying kindly...

read more

Chapter XXXII: Zora's Way

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 355-362

...had lighted answering beacons here and there in these dull souls. There were thoughts and vague stirrings of unrest in this mass of black folk. They talked long about their firesides, and here Zora began to sit and listen, often speaking a word herself. All through the country-side...

read more

Chapter XXXIII: The Buying of the Swamp

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 363-375

...way to get that swamp cleared." " How? " " Sell it to some fool darkey." " Sell it? It 's too valuable to sell." " That's just it. You don't understand. The only way to get decent work out of some niggers is to let them believe they're buying land. In nine cases out of ten he works hard a while and then throws up the job. We get...

read more

Chapter XXXIV: The Return of Alwyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 376-388

...much as though she were talking to some one from another world - an outsider ; but one she had known long, one who understood. Both from what she recounted and what she could not tell he gathered the substance of the story, and it bewildered him. He had not thought that...

read more

Chapter XXXV: The Cotton Mill

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 389-401

...village ranged around its old square of dilapidated stores. It was not a song of joy ; it was not a song of sorrow ; it was not a song at all, perhaps, but a confused whizzing and murmuring, as of a thousand ill-tuned, busy voices. Some of the listeners wondered ; but most of the town cried joyfully, " It 's the new cottonmill...

read more

Chapter XXXVI: The Land

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 402-417

...and a wonder were stirring ; pity at the perfectly useless struggle to raise the unraisable, a wonder at certain signs of rising. But it was impossible - and unthinkable, even if possible. So he squared his j aw and cheated Zora deliberately in the matter of the cut timber. He placed every obstacle in the way of getting tenants for the school...

read more

Chapter XXXVII: The Mon

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 418-425

...white, and s andy-haired. She was not beautiful, and she appeared to be fragile ; but she also looked sweet and good, with that peculiar innocence which peers out upon the world with calm, round eyes and sees no evil, but does methodically its simple, everyday work. Zora mothered her, Miss Smith found her plenty to do, and Bles thought...

read more

Chapter XXXVIII: Atonement

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 426-437

...dreaming. And what she dreamed there in the golden day she dared not formulate even to her own soul. She rose with a start, for there was work to do. Aunt Rachel was ill, and Emma went daily to attend her ; to-day, as she came back, she brought news that Colonel Cresswell, who had been unwell for several days, was worse. She...