He dreamed that a large drove of fatted swine were munching acorns in a very dense forest of oaks, both tall and large. The oaks were sending the acorns down in showers, and the hogs were greedily consuming them. The hogs ate so many that they burst open, and from their rotting carcasses fresh oaks sprang and grew with surprising rapidity. A dark cloud arose and a terrible hurricane swept over the forest; and the old and new oaks fought furiously in the storm, until a loud voice, like unto that of a God, cried out above all the din of the hurricane, saying in tones of thunder: “Know ye not that ye are parents and children? Parents, recognize your children. Children, be proud of the parents from whom you spring.”
The hurricane ceased, the clouds sped away as if in terror, and the oaks grew up together under a clear sky of the purest blue, and beautiful birds of all kinds built their nests in the trees, and carolled forth the sweetest songs.
He placed upon the dream the following interpretation:
The swine were the negroes. The oak trees were the white people. The acorns were the doctrine of human liberty, everywhere preached by Anglo-Saxons. The negroes, feasting off of the same thought, had become the same kind of being as the white man, and grew up to a point of equality. The hurricane was the contest between the two races over the question of equality. The voice was intended to inform the whites that they had brought about these aspirations in the bosom of the negro, and that the liberty-loving negro was their legitimate offspring, and not a bastard. The whites should recognize their own doings. On the other hand, the negro should not be over boastful, and should recognize that the lofty conception of the dignity of man and value and true character of liberty were taught him by the Anglo-Saxon. The birds betokened a happy adjustment of all differences; and the dream that began in the gloom of night ended in the dawn of day.
Mr. King was very cheerful, therefore, and decided to send to Winchester for Belton, thinking that it might be a wise thing to keep an eye and a friendly hand on a young negro of such promise. In the course of a couple of days, Belton, in response to his request, arrived in Richmond. He called at the office of The Temps and was ushered into Mr. King’s office.
Mr. King had him take a seat. He enquired of Belton his history, training, etc. He also asked as to his plans for the future. Finding that Belton was desirous of securing a college education, but was destitute of funds, Mr. King gladly embraced the opportunity of displaying his kind interest. He offered to pay Belton’s way through college, and the offer was gladly accepted.
He told Belton to call at his home that evening at seven o’clock to receive a check for his entire college course. At the appointed hour Belton appeared at Mr. King’s residence.
Mr. King was sitting on his front porch, between his wife and aged mother, while his two children, a girl and boy, were playing on the lawn. Belton was invited to take a seat, much to his surprise.