Taking it coolly.
--In times of excitement, like the present, it sometimes occurs that men who are usually prudent get off their balance, and do things that they afterwards regret.
A case of this sort occurred in one of the South-Side counties a few days since.
In a neighborhood near Clover Hill
, as we are informed, a stranger made his appearance, and, remaining some time without making known his business, was at once suspected of being an abolition emissary.
This suspicion soon became general, by the loose conduct of the stranger, who, on several occasions, was seen in close conversation with Negroes.--Without waiting for further developments, a party of young men formed themselves into a Vigilance Committee, and seizing upon the stranger, demanded to know who he was, where he was from, and what was his business in that section.
Being somewhat fuddled, the stranger replied to these inquiries, that it ‘"was none of their business"’ This evasiveness and show of independence at once determined the parties on their course, and they proceeded to get a rail to give him a ride. --Nothing daunted at his position, the stranger suffered himself to be placed on the rail, and, after being raised to the shoulders of two stalwart men, coolly remarked.
‘"Be sure you are right, gentlemen, before you go ahead."’
The crowd, with derisive remarks, moved off with the rail-rider, jolting and jarring him at every step, and he cheerfully singing as they proceeded.--
‘"Riding on a rail."’
After pretty rough handling, the lynching party halted for a moment, when the stranger proposed a compromise.
Says he-- ‘"Gentlemen, you have had your fun, and it is time for me to say a word.
If you are disposed to put me down, I will walk back from where you took me, and we will say no more about it.--Your questions I consider impertinent, and I don't choose to answer them."’
Not agreeing to the compromise, the crowd continued to ride the stranger about, and so maltreated him that he was nearly naked.
Not deeming his case sufficiently strong to justify hanging, they finally stored him away for the night, more dead than alive.
Next day, one of the lynching party called on the stranger, to ascertain his condition.
As soon as the parties recognized each other, the stranger said to the caller--‘"Look here, sir, your party treated me very bad last night."’
‘"Well,"’ replied the caller, ‘"why did you not answer the questions propounded to you!"’
Stranger.--‘"Because I considered them very impertinent."’
.--‘"Why were you talking privately to Negroes!"’
Stranger.--‘"To tell you the truth, I am from Columbia
, S C.--am a tanner by trade — am out of funds — and was inquiring for a tannery, to get work."’
.--‘"Then, why did you not say so last night?"’
Stranger.--‘"The truth is, I was slightly intoxicated — am naturally independent in my notions — and thought the questions asked were impertinent."’
The frankness of the stranger and the good natured manner in which he spoke of his treatment, so won upon the ‘"lynchers"’ that they made him a present of a suit of clothes, gave him the means for traveling, and sent him on his way rejoicing.