“Well,” said Belton rather independently—for he felt that he now had the upper hand,—“I have given you all the money that I have. And you have got to trust me for the balance. You can’t take us back,” and Belton started to walk away.
The driver said: “May be that girl has some money. I’ll see her.”
Terror immediately seized Belton, and he clutched at the man eagerly, saying: “Ah, no, now, don’t resort to any such foolishness. Can’t you trust a fellow?” Belton was now talking very persuasively.
The driver replied: “I don’t do business that way. If I had known that you did not have the money I would not have brought you. I am going to the young lady.”
Belton was now thoroughly frightened and very angry; and he planted himself squarely in front of the driver and said: “You shall do no such thing!”
The driver heard the train blow and endeavored to pass. Belton grasped him by the collar and putting a leg quickly behind him, tripped him to the ground, falling on top of him. The driver struggled, but Belton succeeded in getting astride of him and holding him down. The train shortly pulled out, and Belton jumped up and ran to wave a good-bye to his girl friend.
Later in the day, the driver had him arrested and the police justice fined him ten dollars. A crowd of white men who heard Belton’s story, admired his respect for the girl, and paid the fine for him and made up a purse.
At Stowe University, Belton had learned to respect women. It was in these schools that the work of slavery in robbing the colored women of respect, was undone. Woman now occupied the same position in Belton’s eye as she did in the eye of the Anglo-Saxon.
There is hope for that race or nation that respects its women. It was for the smile of a woman that the armored knight of old rode forth to deeds of daring. It is for the smile of women that the soldier of to-day endures the hardships of the camp and braves the dangers of the field of battle.
The heart of man will joyfully consent to be torn to pieces if the lovely hand of woman will only agree to bind the parts together again and heal the painful wounds.
The Negro race had left the last relic of barbarism behind, and this young negro, fighting to keep that cab driver from approaching the girl for a fee, was but a forerunner of the negro, who, at the voice of a woman, will fight for freedom until he dies, fully satisfied if the hand that he worships will only drop a flower on his grave.
Belton’s education was now complete, as far as the school-room goes.
What will he do with it?
Many mysteries cleared up.
On the day prior to the one on which Bernard first entered the public school of Winchester, Fairfax Belgrave had just arrived in the town.