“Well,” said the astonished Winston, “that is turning the tables completely. You must take me to visit amongst the coloured people; I want to see as much of them as possible during my stay.”
“I’ll do what I can for you, George. I am unable to spare you much time just at present, but I’ll put you in the hands of one who has abundance of it at his disposal—I will call with you and introduce you to Walters.”
“Who is Walters?” asked Mr. Winston.
“A friend of mine—a dealer in real estate.”
“Oh, then he is a white man?”
“Not by any means,” laughingly replied Mr. Ellis. “He is as black as a man can conveniently be. He is very wealthy; some say that he is worth half a million of dollars. He owns, to my certain knowledge, one hundred brick houses. I met him the other day in a towering rage: it appears, that he owns ten thousand dollars’ worth of stock, in a railroad extending from this to a neighbouring city. Having occasion to travel in it for some little distance, he got into the first-class cars; the conductor, seeing him there, ordered him out—he refused to go, and stated that he was a shareholder. The conductor replied, that he did not care how much stock he owned, he was a nigger, and that no nigger should ride in those cars; so he called help, and after a great deal of trouble they succeeded in ejecting him.” “And he a stockholder! It was outrageous,” exclaimed Winston. “And was there no redress?”
“No, none, practically. He would have been obliged to institute a suit against the company; and, as public opinion now is, it would be impossible for him to obtain a verdict in his favour.”