Tempest and Sunshine (Chapter 1, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 1

On the present occasion, Mr. Woodburn had conjectured the young man's
business, and was anxious to know who he was, and, if possible, to render
him assistance. It took but a short time for the stranger to tell that he
was from the East, from New York; that his name was Wilmot, and that he
was in quest of a school; and in as short a time Mr. Woodburn had welcomed
young Wilmot to Kentucky, but expressed his regrets that he did not come
sooner, for all the schools were engaged. "But," added he, "you had better
remain around here awhile and get acquainted, and then there will be no
doubt of your eventually getting a situation. Meantime, as you are a
stranger here, you are welcome to make my house your home."

Such kindness from an entire stranger was unlooked for by Wilmot. He knew
not what to make of it; it was so different from the cold, money-making
men of the North. He tried to stammer out his thanks, when Mr. Edson
interrupted him by nudging Mr. Woodburn and saying: "Don't you mind old
Middleton. He's been tarin' round after a Yankee teacher these six weeks.
I reckon this chap'll suit."

Mr. Woodburn hesitated. He did not like to send Mr. Wilmot to such a place
as Mr. Middleton's, for though Mr. Middleton was a very kind man, he was
very rough and uncouth in his manner and thought his money much better
applied when at interest than when employed to make his house and family
more comfortable.

At length Mr. Woodburn replied: "True, I did not think of Mr. Middleton,
but I hardly like to send a stranger there. However, Mr. Wilmot, you must
not judge all Kentuckians by him, for though he is very hospitable to
strangers, he is extremely rough."

Mr. Wilmot thanked them for their information and said he thought he would
go to Mr. Middleton's that night.

"Lord knows how you'll get there," said Mr. Edson.

"Why, is it far?" asked Wilmot.

"Not very far," said Mr. Edson, "little better than four miles, but a
mighty mean road at any time and a heap worse since the rains. For a spell
you can get on right smart, but then, again, you'll go in co-slush!"

Mr. Wilmot smiled, but said he "thought he would try the road if Mr. Edson
would give him the direction."

Then followed a host of directions, of which the most prominent to Wilmot
were, that "about two miles from the house is an old hemp factory, full of
niggers, singing like all fury; then comes a piece of woods, in the middle
of which is a gate on the left hand; open that gate and follow the road
straight till you come to the mightiest, mean-looking house you ever seen,
I reckon; one chimbley tumbled down, and t'other trying to. That is
Middleton's."

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