Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

Shortly after Viola Goode Liddell’s death on May 16, 1998, one of her longtime friends, Mary H. Godbold, contacted her son, Will L. Liddell Jr., and gave him the very rough draft of a seven-chapter untitled manuscript, hand-written in pencil on eighty-six pages of yellowed notebook paper of three or four different sizes. The manuscript was in ...

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One: Crossing Over

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pp. 1-10

Occasional whirls of devil dust danced gaily down the rusty graveled road and zigzagged crazily across the ashen hedgerows and into the burnt fields beyond. Corn, matured early because of the drought, stood in gray-brown patches like congregations of stringy-haired crones, arms withered, heads wagging, whispering and gesticulating together. ...

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Two: Charting the Way

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pp. 11-23

If my reasons for being afraid of Camden were flimsy and imaginative before I arrived, they were soon so thoroughly substantiated that I felt that avoiding trouble would be about as easy as sticking one’s head in the fire without getting burnt. ...

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Three: Getting Launched

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pp. 24-35

Sunday afternoon before school was to open on Monday, I took myself and my child down to the Presbyterian church for Sunday school and preaching. Mamie had married into the Methodist Church so long ago that no one remembered that she had once been Presbyterian; consequently, it was with considerable surprise to the Presbyterian ...

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Four: Compass Bearings

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pp. 36-40

Just when I was rather resentfully trying to persuade myself that too much caution was not a part of wisdom but of foolishness and that I should lower my sights and compromise for less than the best, the stars were jarred loose from their moorings by a call from Will Liddell himself. Would I go to choir practice with him? ...

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Five: The Course

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pp. 41-48

From that day on, though I aimed to please with my teaching—whether I did or not might be judged by some kind soul’s remarking in my presence that Camden would never have a decent school as long as the board persisted in hiring such scatterbrained nincompoops for teachers—and thereby hold on to what small security I had until I could ...

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Six: Shoals

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pp. 49-59

If, however, such an exciting experience was only one of the pieces of an oversized and complicated puzzle, I would not know until more parts were assembled whether it was a fit or misfit. Other pieces were coming up for consideration, some looking easy to place and others appearing awkward and difficult of solution. Some would need discarding, ...

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Seven: “There Is a Tide . . . ”

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pp. 60-67

With the epidemics of whooping cough, measles, chicken pox, and head lice subsiding, one might know that the school year was growing old and weary of so unnatural a process as confining youth within walls and roofs and floors. Winter was gone, if the few cold snaps that occurred during the months of December, January, and February ...