We mourn no more the vanished youth,
We are nearing the heaven of eternal truth;
We lament no more the earthly ills,
For their power will cease on the heavenly hills.
We grieve no more for the wrinkled brow,
Nor for withering locks as white as snow,
For soon will we greet what is unseen now,
Soon to the sunlit heights will we go.
For many years doubt’s saddening
On our hearts its pall has laid:
But a gleam comes from the bright forever,
And gloom and fear shall haunt us never.
We have felt the touch of the vanished
We have heard the sound of the voice that is still;
They have come to us from the better land,
Their cheering words our spirits thrill.
“We will know the loved who have
And joyfully sweet will the meeting be
When over the river, the beautiful river,
The angel of death shall carry me.”
AMONG THE LAW-SHARKS.
It seems to be an unwritten law of human life that every great joy shall be quickly followed by a great sorrow. The materialized forms of our spirit loved-ones had scarcely vanished from sight, when the trouble of which my brother had forewarned us fell like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky.
We had, without a thought of deception, and at prices which then prevailed, sold to many persons, lands in Florida, some for settlement, some as investments. Phosphate had been discovered in the immediate vicinity of some of our tracts, and this fact had led speculators to buy our lands, hoping that these deposits might greatly enhance values; but the usual competition to sell this valuable fertilizer had for the time reduced prices to a non-paying basis; then, too, an unprecedented freeze, which once in about a hundred years visits all semi-tropical countries, had destroyed many orange groves in the State, and so frightened short-sighted, timid people, that Florida lands were at a great discount, and, as when a panic sweeps over Wall Street, many frantically hastened to sell, and there were but few buyers.
This led several of my customers to conspire to frighten me into paying them large sums as hush money, pretending that I had secured their purchases under false pretenses; but the Yankee spirit of our fathers, “millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,” prompted me to defy their infamous demands.
Under the lead of a fiendishly “smart” lawyer, they declared that I told them their lands were full of phosphate, and within city limits, although my published circulars and maps stated nothing of the kind. They denounced me as a fraud in the newspapers, brought lawsuits against me, attached property, and proceeded in a most brutal manner to compel payment of their unjust claims.