On their way home in the country Fend, Chival and Sol conversed
as follows : " My heavens !" said Chival, " a man don't know what
he'll come to. I didn't dream thirty years ago that I would ever
have to beg a low man like Commer for a loan of money. The war
did us more injury than freeing our slaves. It has made the lower
whites our equal in a sense."
But Sol said: " I take a different view of that. The law has
made the lower whites a productive class, adding now to the pros¬
perity of the country "
After speaking awhile on the operation of the lien law, Fend said :
" Our Legislature ought to abolish it and enact a system whereby
the land-owner shall have supreme control of the supplies his tenant
needs. For instance, I give enough supplies to advance my tenants,
and when the crop is made take out the cost of supplies, the rent for
my land, and leave them the balance."
" That would be too binding on the tenants," said Sol.
But Chival replied: "No more binding than the present lien
law And if anybody is to bind and live off the nigger we ought to
do so, and not these Irish and Jews who didn't own them. They
were our property, taken from us, and we ought to have the advan¬
tages that can be taken of their labor and trade as an indemnity for
Here Sol parted off for his home, and Fend said : " Now, Sol is of
a good family, and is smart. He owns lands, and my plan would
help him as well as us. But he is a theorist, you know, and can't
adapt himself to things that are practicable."
But Chival said : " Oh, he always was a fool."
Sol is one of those conservative men that opposed secession, ac¬
cepted the issues of the war, and now longs to see an end put to the
race controversy in the South. He loves his native South, but he
loves the whole country also. He loves his race, but he does
not hate the black man. He is descended from a high family,
but he never did scorn the low whites. But, numerically and influen-
tially, the class he belongs to has ever been but a weak factor in
Southern society. The controlling spirit in the South is represented
in the persons of Fend and Chival. They both are of one caste—
proud of their South and their race. The one is cool-headed, the
other is hot-headed ; the one like Barr and Merce, the other like
Mog, Arb, and Justice Ray But there is yet a similarity between