Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 18
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDs
I does me a little runnin'. I works my fists up and down lack a
white boy chasin' a dawg. Then I reaches mah hands out for
some fast fresh aih, lack a niggah what done seen his-self a ghost.
Then I lays me on one side, lack swimmin' in deep water. I sho'
is doin' me some runnin'.
"An' whilst I'm runnin' me on one side, I takes me a look
back. And theah ole Mister Patter-role is, a reachin' fur mah
back. I says: 'Feet, you ain't gettin' me nowheah, not no-
wheah a-tall! Ah'm goin' to do me some flyin'.' So I flops
me a few wings. I does me some flyin'. I flies me ovah a rail
fence. Then I flies me ovah some per-simmon sprouts. I sees
me a peach orchard go by. An' I flies me ovah a picket fence.
An' theah I is, a roostin' wid de dawgs under the white folks'
After having chided the whites for their part in the Klan--
half of those present being members, and undoubtedly well
known to Henry as such--he would settle down to the business
of the evening, re-fighting a good war to music. He would take
his audience through the charge at Iuka, where he had held to
a stirrup leather through the whole fray because he was too
excited to turn loose. His heels would bring to life Thomas's
big guns at Nashville; his toes beat the tattoo when Wilson's
twelve thousand horsemen opened with repeating rifles on the
flash of Stewart's Corps on the left. For the veterans of the
Third Texas, nights on the Jefferson Road were vivid.
Henry Gaston had the soul of a great artist, that complete
sense of the perfection of detail. In the freedom of the Piney
Woods, his soul had free room to roam; in a lesser, a city, civiliza-
tion, he would just have been an atom in a pot. No one will
ever know for sure just who did the kidding, Henry Gaston or
the Klan. The odds are in favor of Henry. He had fought a
good war with the leading members of the Klan. Traveling
light, with just the clothes on his back, as a boy he had ridden
behind most of them when Forrest went on long raids, switching
from horse to horse when the mounts tired under carrying double.
But when the Klan met in solemn conclave, Henry was not
invited in. A lesser soul would have felt hurt, by being thus
so rudely treated, but not Henry. When the Klan rode on
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/26/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.