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[103] ‘Repair Valley line at once.’ I broke my wire next moment.

I can never forget the kindness of Jacob Y. Good, depot agent at Meechum's, a Rockingham man, and of Uncle Jimmie Woods, as we called him, who made us stop and dine with him on our way towards Brown's Gap, returning to Harrisonburg. Lieutenant Vance Bell, of near Winchester, a splendid fellow, who had lost an arm in the service, returned that day with me. Mr. Wood's dinner, attended by two negro boy waiters, white-aproned and nimble-footed, was a marvel of variety for those days, and made Bell and me wonder where he kept his good things. A favorite dessert of the old gentleman was light-roll, butter, apple-butter, and milk! Kind old man—true southerner—he is dead now, I know; but of such was the kingdom of ‘Old Virginny’ in the happy days ‘before the war.’

Further on towards Brown's Gap we pass Mountain Plain church—Baptist—brick, and in passing find the Rev. John E. Massey in the act of tying his horse to a swinging limb. He had just arrived. He had eaten many a bowl of mush and milk at my mother's table, but, of course, he did not recognize the youngster until I pronounced my name. He had an appointment at 3 o'clock to preach there, though not a hearer was then visible. It was mighty lonesome-like in the country districts ‘them days.’ And I remember Bell observed to him he didn't think there were enough people about to scare up a congregation.

At any rate, we rode on, and never found out how many hearers he had on that June day in 1864.

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