A Knight of the Cumberland - John Fox, Jr. - Страница 1 из 75


A KNIGHT OF THE CUMBERLAND
By John Fox, Jr.
CONTENTS
I. The Blight in the Hills
II. On the Wild Dog's Trail
III. The Auricular Talent of the Hon. Samuel Budd
IV. Close Quarters
V. Back to the Hills
VI. The Great Day
VII. At Last--The Tournament
VIII. The Knight Passes
A KNIGHT OF THE CUMBERLAND
I. THE BLIGHT IN THE HILLS
High noon of a crisp October day, sunshine flooding the earth with
the warmth and light of old wine and, going single-file up through
the jagged gap that the dripping of water has worn down through the
Cumberland Mountains from crest to valley-level, a gray horse and two
big mules, a man and two young girls. On the gray horse, I led the
tortuous way. After me came my small sister--and after her and like
her, mule-back, rode the Blight--dressed as she would be for a gallop in
Central Park or to ride a hunter in a horse show.
I was taking them, according to promise, where the feet of other women
than mountaineers had never trod--beyond the crest of the Big Black--to
the waters of the Cumberland--the lair of moonshiner and feudsman, where
is yet pocketed a civilization that, elsewhere, is long ago gone. This
had been a pet dream of the Blight's for a long time, and now the dream
was coming true. The Blight was in the hills.
Nobody ever went to her mother's house without asking to see her even
when she was a little thing with black hair, merry face and black eyes.
Both men and women, with children of their own, have told me that she


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