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Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, vol 5

Lights and Shadows of the South

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Language: English
Wordcount: 9,889 / 34 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63.4
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 949
mnybks.net#: 6467
Excerpt

as seen drifting with the stream--a hulk of fantastic form unlike anything that sails there in the daytime. As it came opposite the throng, the torchlight showed gigantic negroes who danced on deck, showing horrible faces to the multitude. Not a sound came from the barge, the halloos of the spectators bringing no response, and some boatmen ventured into the stream, only to pull back in a hurry, for the craft had become so strangely enveloped in shadow that it seemed to melt into air.

Next day the Democracy was defeated at the polls, chiefly by the negro vote. In 1880 it reappeared, and, as before, the Republicans gained the day. Just before the election of 1886, Mr. Croxton, Democratic nominee for Congress, was haranguing the people, when the cry of "The Black Barge!" arose. Argument and derision were alike ineffectual with the populace. The meeting broke up in silence and gloom, and Mr. Croxton was defeated by a majority of two thousand.


NATURAL BRIDGE

Though several natural bridges are known in this country, there is but one that is famous the world over, and that is the one which spans Clear Creek, Virginia--the remnant of a cave-roof, all the rest of the cavern having collapsed. It is two hundred and fifteen feet above the water, and is a solid mass of rock forty feet thick, one hundred feet wide, and ninety feet in span. Thomas Jefferson owned it; George Washington scaled its side and carved his name on the rock a foot higher than any one else. Here, too, came the youth who wanted to cut his name above Washington's, and who found, to his horror, when half-way up, that he must keep on, for he had left no resting-places for his feet at safe and reachable distances--who, therefore, climbed on and on, cutting handhold and foothold in the limestone until he reached the top, in a fainting state, his knife-blade worn to a stump. Here, too, in another tunnel of the cavern, flows Lost River, that all must return to, at some time, if they drink of it. Here, beneath t

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