Every observer in America
notices the prevalence of communistic sentiment — a readiness to put the country before the commonwealth, and to replace public justice by private murder.
This disposition shews itself in secret leagues-Danite Bands, Ku Klux Klans, Camelia Circles — no less than in the prevalence of Vigilance Committees, and the operations of Judge Lynch
A farmer named Vancil lives near De Soto
, a town on Big Muddy River
, in the southern part of Illinois
Old and feeble, this farmer has a quarrel with his wife, who leaves his farm, and goes to live with her friends at a distance.
Needing some help in his house, Vancil hires a woman on wages, and puts his pots and pans under her charge.
One day, twelve fellows, masked and otherwise disguised, come to his farm, and finding him at home, tell him they have judged his case and settled what he must do.
“You judge between my wife and me?”
“Yes, Sir, we have weighed the facts.”
“No matter,” they reply; “we know the facts, and find you in the wrong.”
“ Well,” says Vancil, “ if you know . . .”