Mr. Walters was above six feet in height, and exceedingly well-proportioned; of jet-black complexion, and smooth glossy skin. His head was covered with a quantity of woolly hair, which was combed back from a broad but not very high forehead. His eyes were small, black, and piercing, and set deep in his head. His aquiline nose, thin lips, and broad chin, were the very reverse of African in their shape, and gave his face a very singular appearance. In repose, his countenance was severe in its expression; but when engaged in agreeable conversation, the thin sarcastic-looking lips would part, displaying a set of dazzlingly white teeth, and the small black eyes would sparkle with animation. The neatness and care with which he was dressed added to the attractiveness of his appearance. His linen was the perfection of whiteness, and his snowy vest lost nothing by its contact therewith. A long black frock coat, black pants, and highly-polished boots, completed his attire.
“I hope,” said he, “your house suits you; it is one of my own, and has never been rented except for a short time to a careful tenant, who was waiting for his own house to be finished. I think you will find it comfortable.”
“Oh, perfectly so, I am quite sure. I must thank you for the prompt manner in which you have arranged everything for us. It seems more like coming to an old home than to a new residence,” replied Mr. Garie.
“I am delighted to hear you say so,” said Mr. Walters. “I shall be most happy to call and pay my respects to Mrs. Garie when agreeable to her. Depend upon it, we will do all in our power to make our quiet city pleasant to you both.”
Mr. Garie thanked him, and after some further conversation, rose to depart.
As he was leaving the room, he stopped before the picture which had so engaged his attention, when Mr. Walters entered.
“So you, too, are attracted by that picture,” said Mr. Walters, with a smile. “All white men look at it with interest. A black man in the uniform of a general officer is something so unusual that they cannot pass it with a glance.” “It is, indeed, rather a novelty,” replied Mr. Garie, “particularly to a person from my part of the country. Who is it?”
“That is Toussaint l’Ouverture,” replied Mr. Walters; “and I have every reason to believe it to be a correct likeness. It was presented to an American merchant by Toussaint himself—a present in return for some kindness shown him. This merchant’s son, not having the regard for the picture that his father entertained for it, sold it to me. That,” continued Mr. Walters, “looks like a man of intelligence. It is entirely different from any likeness I ever saw of him. The portraits generally represent him as a monkey-faced person, with a handkerchief about his head.”
“This,” said Mr. Garie, “gives me an idea of the man that accords with his actions.”
Thus speaking, he continued looking at the picture for a short time, and then took his departure, after requesting Mr. Walters to call upon him at an early opportunity.