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Colonel Carter of Cartersville   By: (1838-1915)

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First Page:

COLONEL CARTER OF CARTERSVILLE

BY F. HOPKINSON SMITH

I dedicate this book to the memory of my counselor and my friend, that most delightful of story tellers, that most charming of comrades, my dear old Mother; whose early life was spent near the shade of the Colonel's porch, and whose keen enjoyment of the stories between these covers stories we have so often laughed over together is still among my pleasantest recollections.

F. H. S.

New York, May, 1891.

CONTENTS AND LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"My fire is my friend."

I. THE COLONEL'S HOUSE IN BEDFORD PLACE.

The Street Entrance.

Chad "dishin' the Dinner."

"Gentlemen, a true Southern lady."

Fitz.

II. THE GARDEN SPOT OF VIRGINIA SEEKS AN OUTLET TO THE SEA.

"Chad was groaning under a square wicker basket."

"The little negroes around the door."

III. AN OLD FAMILY SERVANT.

"Who's that?"

The old Clock Tower.

Mister Grocerman.

IV. THE ARRIVAL OF A TRUE SOUTHERN LADY.

V. AN ALLUSION TO A YELLOW DOG.

The Colonel's Office.

The Advance Agent.

The Nervous Man.

VI. CERTAIN IMPORTANT LETTERS.

"Like an ebony Statue of Liberty."

VII. THE OUTCOME OF A COUNCIL OF WAR.

"Down a flight of stone steps."

VIII. A HIGH SENSE OF HONOR.

"Klutchem looked at him in perfect astonishment."

IX. A VISIT OF CEREMONY.

The Colonel's Door.

X. CHAD IN SEARCH OF A COAL FIELD.

XI. CHAD ON HIS OWN CABIN FLOOR.

Polishing the Parlor Floor.

Henny.

Some Stray Pickaninnies.

XII. The ENGLISHMAN'S CHECK.

CHAPTER I

The Colonel's House in Bedford Place

The dinner was at the colonel's an old fashioned, partly furnished, two story house nearly a century old which crouches down behind a larger and more modern dwelling fronting on Bedford Place within a stone's throw of the tall clock tower of Jefferson Market.

The street entrance to this curious abode is marked by a swinging wooden gate opening into a narrow tunnel which dodges under the front house. It is an uncanny sort of passageway, mouldy and wet from a long neglected leak overhead, and is lighted at night by a rusty lantern with dingy glass sides.

On sunny days this gruesome tunnel frames from the street a delightful picture of a bit of the yard beyond, with the quaint colonial door and its three steps let down in a welcoming way.

Its retired location and shabby entrance brought it quite within the colonel's income, and as the rent was not payable in advance, and the landlord patient, he had surrounded himself not only with all the comforts but with many of the luxuries of a more pretentious home. In this he was assisted by his negro servant Chad, an abbreviation of Nebuchadnezzar, who was chambermaid, cook, butler, body servant, and boots, and who by his marvelous tales of the magnificence of "de old fambly place in Caartersville" had established a credit among the shopkeepers on the avenue which would have been denied a much more solvent customer.

To this hospitable retreat I wended my way in obedience to one of the colonel's characteristic notes:

No. 51 BEDFORD PLACE Friday.

Everything is booming Fitz says the scheme will take like the measles dinner tomorrow at six don't be late.

CARTER.

The colonel had written several similar notes that week, I lived but a few streets away, all on the spur of the moment, and all expressive of his varying moods and wants; the former suggested by his unbounded enthusiasm over his new railroad scheme, and the latter by such requests as these: "Will you lend me half a dozen napkins mine are all in the wash, and I want enough to carry me over Sunday. Chad will bring, with your permission, the extra pair of andirons you spoke of." Or, "Kindly hand Chad the two magazines and a corkscrew."

[Illustration]

Of course Chad always tucked them under his arm, and carried them away, for nobody ever refused the colonel anything nobody who loved him... Continue reading book >>




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