I turned over the carbon copy containing the business manager’s reply, and this is what I read toward the latter part of the letter: “We will be glad to have you come this way again, and we’ll promise to give you a ‘warm reception,’ but not the kind we gave you before. The same Johnnies who tried to kill you forty years ago with bullets will try it again with kindness and moonshine whisky. They will charge you with a handshake instead of a bayonet and will put you in the best bed instead of a prison. The people of the South look forward and not backward, and have long ago forgotten and forgiven.
I had crossed Europe from north to south before I got my first glimpse of an emigrant bound for America. On the way from Vienna to Naples I stopped at midnight at Rome, and in the interval between trains I spent an hour in wandering about in the soft southern air—such air as I had not found anywhere since I left my home in Alabama.
“We soon learned the secret of the thing. Forrest had made one of his characteristic raids around Nashville, captured and burned our stores at Gallatin and Murfreesboro, and was sweeping on towards Bragg’s army at Tullahoma. In his sweep he simply scooped us up while we were down in the woods of Marshall County, running a pumpkin fair, a goose show and a pacing meeting. But he was in a big hurry himself, for nearly all of Buell’s cavalry were after him. He had no time to do anything but take all we had, including our horses, the gate receipts and the book money and parole us and push on. But he never got Mack and the other horse, and to this day I have always wished that he had waited five minutes longer. I’d give ten dollars now,” he added, “to know whether Mack or the other horse would have won that last heat. But we never knew, for we were soon forced to the front again; forgot all about our paroles, for we never did think we were fairly captured, and I never saw Mack or his rider again. I stayed the war out, but I never went to see any more pacing races in the enemy’s country,” he laughed.
“Yes I love Greece, Ephialtes, and who would not? It has the richest pale-blue air, the loveliest mountain forms and silvery estuaries, sinking far into the heart of the land!”
After a long moment he turned his senses from the Earthman. "Incredible—but it's true enough," he said. "I'd better report. Watch him," he added, but that was surely unnecessary. Their job was to watch McCray, and they would do their job; and even more, not one of them could have looked away to save his life from the spectacle of a creature as odd and, from their point of view, hideously alien as Herrell McCray.
The man sprang up with the terrified bewilderment of the suddenly awakened native. "Thieves! Murder! Thieves!" he yelled, until he recognised his master, when he bound his turban hastily about his dishevelled head and salaamed in respectful apology. The gharry man was paid, the luggage was deposited in the veranda, and the ramshackle conveyance rattled out of the compound. It all caused a noisy disturbance, and yet Trixie had not been aroused. No questioning call came from her bedroom to know what it all meant. In puzzled apprehension Coventry passed through the drawing-room, where a couple of wall lamps still burned low. Also the light in her bedroom had
"Tell Nasty Nef about your idea," Hartford said, signalling the waitress for a second cup of stay-awake. "Give CINCK something clever to report when the supply ship lands, and you'll have your silver stripes before I will. Wouldn't Paula love that, though? Captain Piacentelli, I'd have to salute first."
The fact that the victims were piloted to the Cave by certain members of a band, or enticed into the place by some other means for the sole purpose of robbery, is recorded by many early writers; none of them, however, gives any details. All authors who touch on the Cave’s history publish statements based on what other men and women heard other people had experienced
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