The Call of the Cumberlands (Chapter 3, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 3

Sally clambered lightly over the fence, and started on the last stage
of her journey, the climb across the young corn rows. It was a field
stood on end, and the hoed ground was uneven; but with no seeming of
weariness her red dress flashed steadfastly across the green spears,
and her voice was raised to shout: "Hello, Samson!"

The young man looked up and waved a languid greeting. He did not
remove his hat or descend from his place of rest, and Sally, who
expected no such attention, came smilingly on. Samson was her hero. It
seemed quite appropriate that one should have to climb steep
acclivities to reach him. Her enamored eyes saw in the top rail of the
fence a throne, which she was content to address from the ground level.
That he was fond of her and meant some day to marry her she knew, and
counted herself the most favored of women. The young men of the
neighboring coves, too, knew it, and respected his proprietary rights.

If he treated her with indulgent tolerance instead of chivalry, he was
merely adopting the accepted attitude of the mountain man for the
mountain woman, not unlike that of the red warrior for his squaw.
Besides, Sally was still almost a child, and Samson, with his twenty
years, looked down from a rank of seniority. He was the legitimate head
of the Souths, and some day, when the present truce ended, would be
their war-leader with certain blood debts to pay. Since his father had
been killed by a rifle shot from ambush, he had never been permitted to
forget that, and, had he been left alone, he would still have needed no
other mentor than the rankle in his heart.

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