In the historical romance which I have woven of the dramatic events ofthe life of Jefferson Davis I have drawn his real character unobscuredby passion or prejudice. Forced by his people to lead their cause, hisgenius created an engine of war so terrible in its power that through itfive million Southerners, without money, without a market, withoutcredit, withstood for four years the shock of twenty million men oftheir own blood and of equal daring, backed by boundless resources.
Indians were all friendly. It was the boast of the Choctaws that no man of their breed had ever shed the blood of a white man.
For days they followed the course of the majestic river rolling its yellow flood to the sea and watched the lazy flat and keel boats drift slowly down to New Orleans bearing the wealth of the new Western World. The men who had manned these rude craft were slowly tramping on foot back to their homes in the North. Their boats could not stem the tide for the return trip. Every day they passed these weary walkers. The Boy was sorry they couldn't ride. His pony's step was so firm and quick and strong.
He raced with Howell the first day and beat him so far there was no fun in it. He never challenged his rival again. He was the guest of Major Hinds on this trip. It would be rude. But he slipped out in the dark that night, and hugged his pony:
"You're the finest horse that ever was!" he whispered.
"Of course I am!" the pony laughed.
"I love you--"