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The heart of happy hollow A collection of stories   By: (1872-1906)

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First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

Dialect and inconsistent spelling have been preserved.

In The Scapegoat, Part II, text appears to be missing between "hard" and "brought" in the sentence "The school teacher is giving you a pretty hard brought the school children in for chorus singing, secured an able orator, and the best essayist in town."

THE HEART OF HAPPY HOLLOW

A Collection of Stories

PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR

Reprint, 1904 Dodd, Mead and Co., New York.

Contents

Foreword 3

One : THE SCAPEGOAT 5

Two : ONE CHRISTMAS AT SHILOH 21

Three : THE MISSION OF MR. SCATTERS 29

Four : A MATTER OF DOCTRINE 45

Five : OLD ABE'S CONVERSION 53

Six : THE RACE QUESTION 63

Seven : A DEFENDER OF THE FAITH 67

Eight : CAHOOTS 73

Nine : THE PROMOTER 81

Ten : THE WISDOM OF SILENCE 95

Eleven : THE TRIUMPH OF OL' MIS' PEASE 103

Twelve : THE LYNCHING OF JUBE BENSON 111

Thirteen : SCHWALLIGER'S PHILANTHROPY 121

Fourteen : THE INTERFERENCE OF PATSY ANN 129

Fifteen : THE HOME COMING OF 'RASTUS SMITH 137

Sixteen : THE BOY AND THE BAYONET 145

To My Friend Ezra M. Kuhns

Foreword

Happy Hollow; are you wondering where it is? Wherever Negroes colonise in the cities or villages, north or south, wherever the hod carrier, the porter, and the waiter are the society men of the town; wherever the picnic and the excursion are the chief summer diversion, and the revival the winter time of repentance, wherever the cheese cloth veil obtains at a wedding, and the little white hearse goes by with black mourners in the one carriage behind, there there is Happy Hollow. Wherever laughter and tears rub elbows day by day, and the spirit of labour and laziness shake hands, there there is Happy Hollow, and of some of it may the following pages show the heart.

The Author.

One

THE SCAPEGOAT

I

The law is usually supposed to be a stern mistress, not to be lightly wooed, and yielding only to the most ardent pursuit. But even law, like love, sits more easily on some natures than on others.

This was the case with Mr. Robinson Asbury. Mr. Asbury had started life as a bootblack in the growing town of Cadgers. From this he had risen one step and become porter and messenger in a barber shop. This rise fired his ambition, and he was not content until he had learned to use the shears and the razor and had a chair of his own. From this, in a man of Robinson's temperament, it was only a step to a shop of his own, and he placed it where it would do the most good.

Fully one half of the population of Cadgers was composed of Negroes, and with their usual tendency to colonise, a tendency encouraged, and in fact compelled, by circumstances, they had gathered into one part of the town. Here in alleys, and streets as dirty and hardly wider, they thronged like ants.

It was in this place that Mr. Asbury set up his shop, and he won the hearts of his prospective customers by putting up the significant sign, "Equal Rights Barber Shop." This legend was quite unnecessary, because there was only one race about, to patronise the place. But it was a delicate sop to the people's vanity, and it served its purpose.

Asbury came to be known as a clever fellow, and his business grew. The shop really became a sort of club, and, on Saturday nights especially, was the gathering place of the men of the whole Negro quarter. He kept the illustrated and race journals there, and those who cared neither to talk nor listen to someone else might see pictured the doings of high society in very short skirts or read in the Negro papers how Miss Boston had entertained Miss Blueford to tea on such and such an afternoon. Also, he kept the policy returns, which was wise, if not moral.

It was his wisdom rather more than his morality that made the party managers after a while cast their glances toward him as a man who might be useful to their interests. It would be well to have a man a shrewd, powerful man down in that part of the town who could carry his people's vote in his vest pocket, and who at any time its delivery might be needed, could hand it over without hesitation... Continue reading book >>




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