Georgia's Ruling Page: 502
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dozen nice little houses on it, with wind-
mills and gardens. People pretty poor,
Sguess-- too far from market-but com-
fortable. Never saw so many kids in my
"'They raise flocks ?" inquired the
" 1o, ho ! I mean two-legged kids,"
laughed the surveyor; " two-legged, and
bate-legged, and tow-headed."
Shildrien oh, children !" mused the
Conimissioner, as though a new view had
opened to hint; " they raise children !"
"It's a lonesome country, Commis-
sioner," said the surveyor. "Can you
blame 'em ?"
I suppose," continued the Commis-
sioner, slowly, as one carefully pursues
deductions from a new, stupendous theory,
"not all of them are tow-headed. It
would not be unreasonable, Mr. Ashe, I
conjecture, to believe that a portion of
them have brown, or even black, hair."
" Brown and black, sure," said Ashe;
" No doubt," said the Commissioner.
Well, I thank you for your courtesy in
informing me, Mr. Ashe. I will not de-
tain you any longer from your duties."
Iater, in the afternoon, came Hamlin
and Avery, big, handsome, genial, saun-
tering men, clothed in white cluck and low-
cut shoes. ''They permeated the whole
police with an aura of debonair pros-
perity. They passed amMng the clerks
and left a wake of abbreviated given
names and fat brown cigars.
These wIre the aristocracy of the land-
sharks, who went in for big things. Full
of serene confidence in themselves, there
was no corporation, no syndicate, no rail-
road company or attorney-general, too big
for them to tackle. The peculiar smoke
of their rare, fat brown cigars was to be
Iperceived in the sanctum of every depart-
iment of State. in every committee-room
of the legislature, in every bank parlor
amd every private caucus-room in the State
(apital. Always pleasant, never in a hurry,
sccingi l to possess unlimited leisure, peo-
ple w(mdlered when they gave their atten-
tion to the many audacious enterprises in
which they were known to be engaged.
Ilv and by the two dropped carelessly
into the (Comitssioner's room and reclined
lazily in the big. leather-upholstered arm-
chiairs. They drawled a good-natured
complaint of the weather, and Hamlin
told the Commissioner an excellent story
he had amassed that morning from the
Secretary of State.
But the Commissioner knew why they
were there. lie had half promised to
render a decision that day upon their
The chief clerk now brought in a batch
of duplicate certificates for the Commis-
sioner to sign. As he traced his sprawl-
ing signature, " Hollis Summerfield, Comr.
Genl. Land ()flice," on each one, the chief
clerk stood, deftly removing them and
applying the blotter.
I" notice," said the chief clerk, " you've
been going through that Salado County
location. Kampfer is making a new map
of Salado, and I believe is platting in that
section of the county now."
"I will see it," said the Commissioner.
A few moments later he went to the
As he entered he saw live or six of the
draughtsmen grouped about Kampfer's
desk, gargling away at each other in pec-
toral German, and gazing at something
thereupon. At the Commissioner's ap-
proach they scattered to their several
places. Kampfer, a wizened little Ger-
man, with long, frizzled ringlets and a
watery eye, began to stammer forth some
sort of an apology, the Commissioner
thought for the congregation of his fellows
about his desk.
" Never mind," said the Commissioner,
"I wish to see the map you are making,"
and, passing around. the old German, seated
himself upon the high draughtsman's stool.
Kampfer continued to break English in
trying to explain.
"Herr Gommissioner, I assure you
blenty sat I haf not it bremeditated-sat
it wass-sat it itself make. Look you!
from se field notes wass it blatted --blease
to observe se calls: South, 10 west
1,050 varas; south, 10 east 300 varas;
south, 100 ; south, 9; west, 200 ; south,
40 west 400-und so on. Herr Gom-
mnissioner, nefer would I have-"
The Commissioner raised one white
hand. silently. Kampfer dropped his pipe
\\ith a hand at each side of his face,
and his elbows resting upon the desk, the
Commissioner sat staring at the map
which was spread and fastened there-
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Reference the current page of this Prose (Fiction).
Henry, O., 1862-1910. Georgia's Ruling, prose (fiction), June 30, 1900; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139371/m1/9/: accessed February 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.