" Come on! " said Steve, roughly. "They'll be up hyeh atter us in a

minute. Leave Jas's gun thar, 'n' send that boy back home."

That day the troops came-young Blue Grass Kentuckians. That

night, within the circle of their camp-fires, a last defiance was cast

in the teeth of law and order. Flames rose within the old court-

house, and before midnight the moonlight fell on four black walls.

That night, too, the news of young Jasper's fate was carried to the

death-bed of Rome's mother, and before day the old woman passed

in peace. That day Stetsons and Lewallens disbanded. The

Lewallens had no leader; the Stetsons, no enemies to fight. Some

hid, some left the mountains, some gave themselves up for trial.

Upon Rome Stetson the burden fell. Against him the law was set.

A price was put on his head, his house was burned-a last act of

Lewallen hate-and Rome was homeless, the last of his race, and an

outlaw.

XIII

WITH the start of a few hours and the sympathy of his people one

mountaineer can defy the army of the United States; and the

mountaineers usually laugh when they hear troops are coming. For

the time they stop fighting and hide in the woods; and when the

soldiers are gone, they come out again, and begin anew their little

pleasantries. But the soldiers can protect the judge on his bench

and the county-seat in time of court, and for these purposes they

serve well.

The search for Rome Stetson, then, was useless. His friends would

aid him; his enemies feared to betray him. So the soldiers

marched away one morning, and took their prisoners for safe-

keeping in the Blue Grass, until court should open at Hazlan.

Meantime, spring came and deepened-the mountain spring. The

berries of the wintergreen grew scarce, and Rome Stetson, " hiding

out," as the phrase is, had to seek them on thc northem face of the

mountains. The moss on the naked winter trees brightened in

color, and along the river, where willows drooped, ran faint lines

of green. The trailing arbutus gave out delicate pink blossoms, and

the south wind blew apart the petals of the anemone. Soon violets

unfolded above the dead leaves; azaleas swung their yellow

trumpets through the undergrowth; over-head, the dogwood tossed

its snow-flakes in gusts through the green and gold of new leaves

and sunlight; and higher still waved the poplar blooms, with honey

ready on every crimson heart for the bees. Down in the valley

Rome Stetson could see about every little cabin pink clouds and

white clouds of peach and of apple blossoms. Amid the ferns about

him shade-loving trilliums showed their many-hued faces, and

every opening was thickly peopled with larkspur seeking the sun.

The giant magnolia and the umbrella-tree spread their great

creamy flowers; the laurel shook out myriads of pink and white

bells, and the queen of mountain flowers was stirring from sleep in

the buds of the rhododendron.

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