Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/228

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

foot of the mountain, hoping to be able to get something to eat. I kept close to the bushes, however, until I was abreast of the cabin, and after watching for some time I was convinced that there would be no danger in making my request. There was no one in the house but an old woman and two young girls, and they soon had a substantial meal before me and informed me that the Yankees had gone north. I paid for my breakfast, and feeling vastly more comfortable, began my walk home—a distance, I was sure, of at least twenty-five miles. But luck favored me. I had not gone more than two miles when, following a footpath through the fields, I saw one of my boys going down the main road on old Charley. I called, and Dave was the gladdest boy you ever saw. He was asleep on the horse's back and had neither saddle nor bridle. He had slipped away in the night and the horse had instinctively taken the road home, with the sleeping negro on his back.

I got a scrap of rope for a halter and begged an old piece of carpet, after which I mounted, taking Dave up behind me, I was not afraid to stay in the roadway now, and when we were within twenty miles of home everybody knew us and I was obliged to tell time and again the story of my capture and escape. The old women would cry and wonder where their boys were, and ask eagerly if I had seen any traces of them.

Four miles from home we came to the farm-house of 'Squire Ray, and there I found my Dolly hitched at the gate, which was a great surprise, for the negro riding her was the meanest boy I had, and I knew he would be glad to run away if the opportunity presented itself. He had gotten separated from us, and falling in with the 'Squire's horses, had gone on with them and escaped capture.

I quickly transferred his saddle to my horse and comfortably finished by journey, reaching home to find myself the possessor of only two horses, but grateful that my family had escaped indignities at the hands of the enemy.

Mrs. Kate Cumming Starritt.