The scene of this story is laid in Kentucky. Its heroine is a small girl, who is known as the Little Colonel, on account of her fancied resemblance to an old-school Southern Gentleman, whose fine estate and the old family are famous in the region.
Fritz, but walked soberly by Mom Beck's side, holding tight to the friendly black hand.
"We'll go through the woods," said Mom Beck, lifting her over the fence. "It's not so long that way."
As they followed the narrow, straggling path into the cool dusk of the woods, she began to sing. The crooning chant was as mournful as a funeral dirge.
"The clouds hang heavy, an' it's gwine to rain. Fa'well, my dyin' friends. I'm gwine to lie in the silent tomb. Fa'well, my dyin' friends."
A muffled little sob made her stop and look down in surprise.
"Why, what's the mattah, honey?" she exclaimed. "Did Emma Louise make you mad? Or is you cryin' 'cause you're so ti'ed? Come! Ole Becky'll tote her baby the rest of the way."
She picked the light form up in her arms, and, pressing the troubled little face against her shoulder, resumed her walk and her song.
"It's a world of trouble we're travellin' through, Fa'well, my dyin' friends."
"Oh, don't, Mom Beck," sobbed the child, throwing her ar