" 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
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
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.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>