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[115] any man has earned the right to the whitest of skins (if he would like to have one) it is Booker Washington. And if these three gentlemen came on the stage again together, I am confident that we should find the last of the three exerting his powers for the benefit of the other two in a spirit of love to which they are total strangers.

And I cannot refrain from adding an anecdote or two from my own experience to show the perpetual atmosphere of explosives in which the Southerner lives as a result of the war. We are bad enough in the North, what with the enormous number of our homicides, the not unusual habit of carrying revolvers, and the craze for militarism, battleships and warfare; but all these faults are aggravated in the South, and it seems a natural result of the great war.

I formed one of a group one evening sitting around the stove in the hotel office of a Southern town. There were three or four commercial men, and one old graybeard who seemed to be related in some way to the proprietor and who was the living image of Walt Whitman. From time to time he poked the fire with an old sword, which continual use of the kind had reduced to half its original length.

“You used that all through the way, didn't you, Uncle Joe?” said one of the party, spitting

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