The Call of the Cumberlands (Chapter 5, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 5

While Spicer South and his cousins had been sustaining themselves or
building up competences by tilling their soil, the leaders of the other
faction were basing larger fortunes on the profits of merchandise and
trade. So, although Spicer South could neither read nor write, his
chief enemy, Micah Hollman, was to outward seeming an urbane and fairly
equipped man of affairs. Judged by their heads, the clansmen were
rougher and more illiterate on Misery, and in closer touch with
civilization on Crippleshin. A deeper scrutiny showed this seeming to
be one of the strange anomalies of the mountains.

Micah Hollman had established himself at Hixon, that shack town which
had passed of late years from feudal county seat to the section's one
point of contact with the outside world; a town where the ancient and
modern orders brushed shoulders; where the new was tolerated, but dared
not become aggressive. Directly across the street from the court-house
stood an ample frame building, on whose side wall was emblazoned the
legend: "Hollman's Mammoth Department Store." That was the secret
stronghold of Hollman power.

He had always spoken deploringly of that
spirit of lawlessness which had given the mountains a bad name. He
himself, he declared, believed that the best assets of any community
were tenets of peace and brotherhood. Any mountain man or foreigner who
came to town was sure of a welcome from Judge Micah Hollman, who added
to his title of storekeeper that of magistrate.

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