I had thought to close up the cycle of my stories of life in the Mississippi Valley with "Roxy" which was published in 1878. But when I undertook by request of the editor to write a short story for "The Century Magazine," and to found it on a legendary account of one of President Lincoln's trials, the theme grew on my hands until the present novel was the result.
't be nowhere when he gits here"; and Mely's freckled face broke into ripples of delight at the evident annoyance which Lockwood began to show at hearing Grayson's voice on the porch. Tom Grayson was preceded by his sister Barbara, a rather petite figure, brunette in complexion, with a face that was interesting and intelligent, and that had an odd look hard to analyze, but which came perhaps, from a slight lack of symmetry. As a child, she had been called "cunning," in the popular American use of the word when applied to children; that is to say, piquantly interesting; and this characteristic of quaint piquancy of appearance she retained, now that she was a young woman of eighteen. Her brother Tom was a middle-sized, well-proportioned man, about two years older than she, of a fresh, vivacious countenance, and with a be-gone-dull-care look. He had a knack of imparting into any company something of his own cheerful heedlessness, and for this his society was prized. He spoke to everybody right cordially, and sho