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A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics.
VOL. LV. - JANUARY, 1885. - No. CCCXXVII.
THE PROPHET OF THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS.
She paused often, and looked idly
about her: sometimes at the distant ALWAYS enwrapped in the illusory mountains, blue and misty, against the mists, always touching the evasive indefinite horizon ; sometimes down at clouds, the peaks of the Great Smoky the cool, dense shadows of the wooded Mountains are like some barren ideal, valley, so far below the precipice, to that has bartered for the vague isola- which the steep clearing shelved ; sometions of a higher atmosphere the mate- times at the little log cabin on the slope rial values of the warm world below. above, sheltered by a beetling crag and Upon those mighty and majestic domes shadowed by the pines ; sometimes still no tree strikes root, no hearth is alight; higher at the great “bald” of the mounhumanity is an alien thing, and utility tain, and its mingled phantasmagoria of set at naught. Below, dense forests cov- shifting clouds and flickering sheen and er the massive, precipitous slopes of the glimmering peak. range, and in the midst of the wilder- “ He 'lowed ter me,” she said, sudness a clearing shows, here and there, denly, “ez he hev been gin ter view and the roof of a humble log cabin ; in strange sights a many a time in them the valley, far, far lower still, a red fogs, an' sech.” spark at dusk may suggest a home, nest- The eyes lifted to the shivering valing in the cove. Grain grows apace in pors might never have reflected aught these scanty clearings, for the soil in but a tropical sunshine, so warm, so certain favored spots is mellow; and the bright, so languorously calm, were they. weeds grow, too, and in a wet season the She turned them presently upon a young ploughs are fain to be active. They are man, who was ploughing with a horse of the bull-tongue variety, and are some- close by, and who also came to a medtimes drawn by oxen. As often as oth- itative halt in the turn-row. He too was erwise they are followed by women. of intermittent conversational tenden
In the gracious June mornings, when cies, and between them it might be marwinds are astir and wings are awhirl in veled that so many of the furrows were the wide spaces of the sunlit air, the already run. He wore a wide-brimmed work seemed no hardship to Dorinda brown wool hat, set far back upon his Cayce, – least of all one day when an- head; a mass of straight yellow hair other plough ran parallel to the furrows hung down to the collar of his brown of her own, and a loud, drawling, inter- jeans coat. His brown eyes were slow mittent conversation became practicable. and contemplative. The corn was knee
Copyright, 1884, by Houghton, MIFFLIN & Co.