No one spoke again till the strains had ceased with the ending of the hymn.
“Now Mr. Wood is talking, I suppose,” remarked Eddie, in a subdued tone, “telling them we must all die, and which is the way to get to heaven.”
“Else praying,” said Vi.
“Mamma, what is die?” asked Harold leaning on her lap.
“If we love Jesus, darling, it is going home to be with him, and oh, so happy.”
“But Baby Ben die, and me saw him in Aunt Dicey’s house.”
“That was only his body, son; the soul—the part that thinks and feels and loves—has gone away to heaven, and after a while God will take the body there too.”
For obvious reasons the services at the grave were made very short, and in another moment they could see the line of torches drawing rapidly nearer, till it reached the quarter and broke into fragments.
“We will go down now,” Elsie said, rising and taking Harold’s hand, “papa, grandpa and Uncle Horace will be here in a moment.”
“Mamma,” whispered her namesake daughter, “how good God was to keep them safe from the Ku Klux!”
“Yes, dearest, let us thank him with all our hearts.”
“The more the bold, the bustling, and the bad,
Press to usurp the reins of power, the more
Behooves it virtue, with indignant zeal,
To check their combination.”
The spirit of resistance was now fully aroused within the breasts of our friends of Ion and the Oaks. Mr. Travilla’s was a type of the American character; he would bear long with his injuries, vexations, encroachments upon his rights, but when once the end of his forbearance was reached, woe to the aggressor; for he would find himself opposed by a man of great resources, unconquerable determination and undaunted courage.
His measures were taken quietly, but with promptness and energy. He had been seeking proofs of the identity of the raiders, and found them in the case of one of the party; whose gait had been recognized by several, his voice by one or two, while the mark of his bloody hand laid upon the clothing of one of the women as he roughly pushed her out of his way, seemed to furnish the strongest circumstantial evidence against him.
George Boyd’s right hand had been maimed in a peculiar manner during the war, and this bloody mark upon the woman’s night-dress was its exact imprint.
Already Mr. Travilla had procured his arrest, and had him imprisoned for trial, in the county jail.
Yet this was but a small part of the day’s work: lumber had been ordered, and men engaged for the rebuilding of the school-house; merchandise also to replace the furniture and clothing destroyed; and arms for every man at the quarter capable of using them.
All this Elsie knew and approved, as did her father and brother. For Mrs. Carrington’s sake they deeply regretted that Boyd was implicated in the outrage; but all agreed that justice must have its course.