Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Stories by American Authors, Volume 9   By:

Book cover

First Page:

Stories by American Authors

VOLUME IX

MARSE CHAN BY THOMAS NELSON PAGE

MR. BIXBY'S CHRISTMAS VISITOR BY CHARLES S. GAGE

ELI BY C. H. WHITE

YOUNG STRONG OF "THE CLARION" BY MILICENT WASHBURN SHINN

HOW OLD WIGGINS WORE SHIP BY CAPTAIN ROLAND T. COFFIN

" MAS HAS COME " BY LEONARD KIP

NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1896

COPYRIGHT, 1885, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

The Stories in this Volume are protected by copyright, and are printed here by authority of the authors or their representatives.

[Illustration: Thos. N. Page]

MARSE CHAN.

A TALE OF OLD VIRGINIA.

BY THOMAS NELSON PAGE.

Century Magazine April, 1884.

One afternoon, in the autumn of 1872, I was riding leisurely down the sandy road that winds along the top of the water shed between two of the smaller rivers of eastern Virginia. The road I was travelling, following "the ridge" for miles, had just struck me as most significant of the character of the race whose only avenue of communication with the outside world it had formerly been. Their once splendid mansions, now fast falling to decay, appeared to view from time to time, set back far from the road, in proud seclusion among groves of oak and hickory now scarlet and gold with the early frost. Distance was nothing to this people; time was of no consequence to them. They desired but a level path in life, and that they had, though the way was longer and the outer world strode by them as they dreamed.

I was aroused from my reflections by hearing some one ahead of me calling, "Heah! heah whoo oop, heah!"

Turning the curve in the road, I saw just before me a negro standing, with a hoe and a watering pot in his hand. He had evidently just gotten over the "worm fence" into the road, out of the path which led zigzag across the "old field" and was lost to sight in the dense growth of sassafras. When I rode up, he was looking anxiously back down this path for his dog. So engrossed was he that he did not even hear my horse, and I reined in to wait until he should turn around and satisfy my curiosity as to the handsome old place half a mile off from the road.

The numerous out buildings and the large barns and stables told that it had once been the seat of wealth, and the wild waste of sassafras that covered the broad fields gave it an air of desolation that greatly excited my interest. Entirely oblivious of my proximity, the negro went on calling, "Whoo oop, heah!" until along the path, walking very slowly and with great dignity, appeared a noble looking old orange and white setter, gray with age, and corpulent with excessive feeding. As soon as he came in sight, his master began:

"Yes, dat you! You gittin' deaf as well as bline, I s'pose! Kyarnt heah me callin', I reckon? Whyn't yo' come on, dawg?"

The setter sauntered slowly up to the fence and stopped without even deigning a look at the speaker, who immediately proceeded to take the rails down, talking meanwhile:

"Now, I got to pull down de gap, I s'pose! Yo' so sp'ilt yo' kyahn' hardly walk. Jes' ez able to git over it as I is! Jes' like white folks t'ink 'cuz you's white and I's black, I got to wait on yo' all de time. Ne'm mine, I ain' gwi' do it!"

The fence having been pulled down sufficiently low to suit his dogship, he marched sedately through, and, with a hardly perceptible lateral movement of his tail, walked on down the road. Putting up the rails carefully, the negro turned and saw me.

"Sarvent, marster," he said, taking his hat off. Then, as if apologetically for having permitted a stranger to witness what was merely a family affair, he added: "He know I don' mean nothin' by what I sez. He's Marse Chan's dawg, an' he's so ole he kyahn git long no pearter. He know I'se jes' prodjickin' wid 'im."

"Who is Marse Chan?" I asked; "and whose place is that over there and the one a mile or two back the place with the big gate and the carved stone pillars?"

"Marse Chan," said the darkey, "he's Marse Channin' my young marster; an' dem places dis one's Weall's, an' de one back dyar wid de rock gate pos's is ole Cun'l Chahmb'lin's... Continue reading book >>


Book sections



eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books