Our tramp was not molested during the whole night. Towards morning a deer crossed the road, so near as to be distinctly visible, which was the only live thing seen. As it began to grow light we again took to the woods, away from the traveled road, selecting a resting-place half a mile from three negro cabins seen in the edge of the woods, which seemed to be inhabited, as smoke was issuing from the chimneys.
We had tramped without resting for five hours. Sleep overtook us speedily, but about noon I was awakened either by the hot sun shining full upon me or by the sound of chopping near by. A short and whispered consultation decided us that it was necessary to investigate; so, creeping cautiously through the brush, I soon came in sight of a middle-aged colored man, stripped to the waist, and splitting rails. After assuring myself that he was alone, I hailed him.
He answered immediately, in a low tone, in-forming me that he had known of our presence all the morning; that his only object in being in that particular place splitting rails was to watch for us and give warning in case of danger; that I must go right back to the other two and keep quiet till he came for us after dark. He did all this talking without once looking up from his work, as though talking to himself.
After dark the black led us into one of the three log-built cabins. They were short of com-meal with which to make the universal com-pone. To supply the deficiency the negro's child, a girl about fifteen years old, took a peck of corn in a bag upon her head and traveled through the woods three miles: with the aid of two other girls she ground the corn in a hand-mill. She returned alone with the meal within two hours, and said she was glad to do it for It was soon baked for us, and, with plenty of boiled eggs, made us happy again.
During the three hours' conversation with our host and a neighbor that he had invited in we got and gave much information. As we were about starting again upon our tramp our host said that the colored folks wanted to get Just a sight of “Uncle Lincum's soldiers,” and, sure enough, they were all waiting for us outside the cabin, to the number of twelve or fifteen. We shook hands with them all, men women, and children, resuming our tramp about eleven o'clock. We still kept the main traveled road, which led in the direction of Columbia.
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