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“God grant he may prevent bloodshed,” said the father. "Go inside and stay with your mother.”

When Doctor Cameron entered the parlour, Stoneman hobbled painfully to meet him, his face ashen, and his breath rattling in his throat as if his soul were being strangled.

“You are my enemy, Doctor,” he said, taking his hand, "but you are a pious man. I have been called an infidelI am only a wilful sinner—I have slain my own son, unless God Almighty, who can raise the dead, shall save bim! You are the man at whom I aimed the blow that has fallen on my head. I wish to confess to you and set myself right before God. He may hear my cry, and have

. mercy on me.'

He gasped for breath, sank into his seat, looked around, and said:

“Will you close the door?" The doctor complied with his request and returned.

We all wear masks, Doctor," began the trembling voice. "Beneath lie the secrets of love and hate from which actions move. My will alone forged the chains of Negro rule. Three forces moved me-party success, a & vicious woman, and the quenchless desire for personal vengeance. When I first fell a victim to the wiles of the yellow vampire who kept my house, I dreamed of lifting her to my level. And when I felt myself sinking into the black abyss of animalism, I, whose soul had learned the pathway of the stars and held high converse with the great spirits of the ages —

He paused, looked up in terror, and whispered:

“What's that noise ? Isn't it the distant beat of horses' hoofs ?

“No," said the doctor, listening; “it's the roar of the falls we hear, from a sudden change of the wind."

“I'm done now," Stoneman went on, slowly fumbling his hands. “My life has been a failure. The dice of God are always loaded.”

His great head drooped lower, and he continued:

"Mightiest of all was my motive of revenge. Fierce business and political feuds wrecked my iron-mills. I shouldered their vast debts, and paid the last mortgage of a hundred thousand dollars the week before Lee invaded my state. I stood on the hill in the darkness, cried, raved, cursed, while I watched his troops lay those mills in ashes. Then and there I swore that I'd live until I ground the South beneath my heel! When I got back to my house, they had buried a Confederate soldier in the field. I dug his body up, carted it to the woods, and threw it into a ditch

The hand of the white-haired Southerner suddenly gripped old Stoneman's throat-and then relaxed. His head sank on his breast, and he cried in anguish:

"God be merciful to me a sinner! Would I, too, seek revenge!”

Stoneman looked at the doctor, dazed by his sudden onslaught and collapse.

“Yes, he was somebody's boy down here,” he went on, "who was loved perhaps even as I love—I don't blame you. See, in the inside pocket next to my heart I carry the pictures of Phil and Elsie taken from babyhood up.

a

all set in a little book. They don't know this-nor does the world dream I've been so soft-hearted

He drew a miniature album from his pocket and fumbled it aimlessly:

You know Phil was my first-born—" His voice broke, and he looked at the doctor helplessly.

The Southerner slipped his arm around the old man's shoulders and began a tender and reverent prayer.

The sudden thunder of a squad of cavalry with clanking sabres swept by the hotel toward the jail.

Stoneman scrambled to his feet, staggered, and caught

a chair.

“It's no use," he groaned, “—they've come with his body-I'm slipping down--the lights are going out-I haven't a friend! It's dark and cold—I'm alone, and lost-God-has-hidden-His-face-from-me!"

Voices were heard without, and the tramp of heavy feet on the steps.

Stoneman clutched the doctor's arm in agony:

"Stop them!—Stop them! Don't let them bring him in here!”

He sank limp into the chair and stared at the door as it swung open and Phil walked in, with Ben and Elsie by his side in full clansman disguise.

The old man leaped to his feet and gasped: “The Klan!

—The Klan! No? Yes! It's trueglory to God, they've saved my boy!—Phil—Phil!"

"How did you rescue him ?" Doctor Cameron asked Ben. "Had a squadron lying in wait on every road that led

from town. The Captain thought a thousand men were on him, and surrendered without a shot."

At twelve o'clock, Ben stood at the gate with Elsie.

“Your fate hangs in the balance of this election tonight,” she said. "I'll share it with you, success or failure, life or death.'

"Success, not failure,” he answered, firmly. “The Grand Dragons of six states have already wired victory. Look at our lights on the mountains! They are ablaze -range on range our signals gleam until the Fiery Cross is lost among the stars!”

“What does it mean?” she whispered.

“That I am a successful revolutionist—that Civilisation has been saved, and the South redeemed from shame."

THE END

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