into the sandbox which held the stove.
The old man nodded assent, but like a modest man he showed no desire to enlarge on the subject.
He gave the sword a shove into the sand and drew back into his wooden chair.
I looked with approval on the converted weapon.
It was even better than a spear-made pruning hook, for there had been no unnecessary labor of remanufacture and no disguise of the happy change of function.
A young Tennesseean was expatiating upon the merits of his house paint.
He had formerly been in the tobacco business and had sold snuff in regions where the whole population, men, women and children, chew the vile stuff until they reek with it. Now he was helping to beautify and preserve the weather-stained houses of the countryside, and I felt that he had been reclaimed as well as the sword.
We were, barring the spitting, a pleasant, cheerful and sociable company.
Suddenly a draft of air came in upon us and we could hear a commotion at the outer door, dominated by the agreeable deepchested voice of a man, who was saluting the landlord.
Soon they came in to the desk, two Negroes carrying luggage behind them.
In a moment the stove was deserted and all of my companions gathered around the new arrival.
He was a large man of middle age with a gray mustache and ruddy face, at