Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 19
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ON THE JEFFERSON ROAD
patrol at night, draped in ghostly white, the first stray black
they picked up was Henry. He was always in hot water with
the Klan. To hear him tell it in after life, he lived in constant
combat with the "patter-roles." This may be, of course, because
Henry was so swift of foot. It was the custom of Klansmen out
rounding-up stray Negro bucks, who should have been home
in bed, to bring them all to one central meeting place. There,
after a long and dreadful lecture, they were turned loose in pairs,
to make their way home the best way they could. The only
restriction was that for the first couple of hundred yards or so,
they had to make their way down the lane between long rows
of robed Klansmen, each with a lifted riding quirt. It was
explained to each pair that the Negro who tarried got the quirt
in passing each Klansman. The one showing the most earnest
desire to get home quick, went unscathed.
Henry always swore that a quirt never touched him. "Shutks,
boy," he used to say in after life, "in them days I could outrun
any scared nigger in Cass County. When I set mahself to
runnin', mah coattail stretched hitself so straight back you could
play croquet on it. I just flopped wings and flew." Henry was
just one of the jesters around the camp fires of Piney Woods
courtiers on the road to Jefferson.
The tone of travel and of camp life on the way home from
Jefferson was modified not only by the absence of expectation
and of novelty but by the presence of snake-bite medicine. For
medicinal and other purposes every man started the return trip
with at least a two-gallon jug of the best whiskey that money
could buy. It was supposed to be primarily for winter use at
home-but winter was at hand, if home wasn't.
Bordering the Jefferson Road was a small field in the center
of which a low knoll had been left uncleared. Because of the
few cedars topping the underbrush of the knoll, it was known
as Cedar Knoll, and the camp ground just beyond was known
as the Cedar Knoll Camp Ground. One year, unknown to cer-
tain travelers, the owner of the field had bought a herd of white
goats. These had found the knoll good browsing ground and
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/27/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.