Southwestern Historical Quarterly
direct quotations, there is an authentic quality to this collection
of nineteen stories dating from the late ante-bellum period.
Among the earlier stories, Aunt Chloe recalled the tragedy of
the beautiful Miss Margaret who fell in love with a "no-count
black sheep" and ran away from home. What happened remained
a mystery, but "buzzards a'wearin' fine satin and silk" continued
to gossip. In another story, the slave "Delia of Sabine Willows"
was captured by a free Negro who learned of a secret tunnel
which her master had dug from his library to a thicket near the
Sabine River. At the end of the war Delia escaped and returned
by way of the same passage to warn the family and thereby thwart
a plot to pillage Sabine Willows.
Other residents of Little Dixie included Abigail, who on Eman-
cipation Day left Colonel Bedford's plantation without saying
goodbye, only to return after fifteen years of poverty to a scene
of death and desolation; Jeriboam, who during Colonel Way-
lock's absence in the Confederate army, served his master's inter-
est after the plantation had been left in the hands of a dishonest
white overseer; Blondie, a Virginia-born mulatto who became a
teacher; "Mah Pearl," who at the age of five was separated from
her mother and sold at auction to a Texan; the paternalistic Miss
Sallie and Mr. Ben and their dependents, Beulah and Herb;
Uncle Gideon, devoted to a horse, and his persevering widowed
daughter, Mindy Lou.
In the later stories one reads of Judah, killed by a white share-
cropper following a crap game; an attempt to give castor oil to
the mentally ill Big Tom; an only son killed in action in the
Argonne Forest; the patience of a faithful servant, Queen; Baby
Dan, orphaned by a flood and reared by a white family, who
yielded to temptation once in his youth but later acquired the
manly virtues; Walter, phaeton driver for Dr. Murchison until
left technologically unemployed by the automobile; Samantha,
who had a vision of an angelic visit upon the birth of her grand-
child, Angelina, and again after the latter's good work on earth
had ended; Pretty Face, who encouraged his country-bred wife to
steal for him; Lola Bell, who returned after thirty years for home-
coming at Rodney High; an attempt of Rastus and Oscar to define
"ghos-tes"; and the final story of the illiterate Grant, his ten-year
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed March 14, 2014.