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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IH. LAKET. Theke was no longer any stiffening of the joints of conversation. Both the young Seytons' tongues were running at once. They rattled a fusillade of question and comment at their father, who between his answers contrived to help Cecil to a new notion of Arkansas. He was astonished to discover how peaceful, honest, free from violence, was the supposed home of carnage and the bowie-knife. " Why," declared the colonel, " I haven't known a man killed in five years. Twenty years ago, maybe— Oh, well, I'm not talking about twenty years ago, or during the ' gray-back' times; it's now, the living present, as the poet calls it. And honest, I assure you, Cecil, Aunt Valley is the only person in the bottom who feels bound to lock up at night, and she"—the colonel chuckled—" she hasn't got a key on earth—calls it locking up when she turns the button. That is what puzzles me about this racket. We haven't any tough characters in the neighborhood. The race question doesn't amount to a row of pins here, where the whites outnumber the negroes. It must be either a wild hoax or some personal enmity to me." "Why to you, Colonel Seyton?" "Because they are all my tenants. We had a large crop this year, and dirty weather in October. The cotton-pickers who come down every year from Missouri got discouraged and lit out, as we say. Now, it will take all hands to pick the rest of the cotton before Christmas. If they can scare off my tenants, I am likely to lose a heap of my cotton before I can get it to the gin. Besides, there are the farms standing empty. A bad lookout all round, you understand." "Well, I know who did it," spoke up Sally, whose cheeks were flushed like a wild rose, with her excitement. " No, you don't Tcnow, sis," said Ally; " you can't Tcnow" A...
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