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TAPE NO. 41……by Ella Rose Mast
THE SINS OF THE FATHER
QUESTION:…Please explain, ‘The Sins of the Father’ which the Bible talks about as it lasts for three or four generations or more?
ANSWER:..I have touched on this before, it is when an Israelite father steps out of his race to produce a child. This has been a problem for the Adamic race thru the years as they then produce the seed for the destruction of their own race. It began with Adam and Eve and we saw it happen in Germany as the German crusaders came home from Judea bringing home some of the Jewish women, and they then raised their own fifth column. This happened in the South before the Civil War, and has had a great effect on our nation as well.
Since I keep getting this question from younger people then thought I would tell this story as outlined in the book by Thomas Dixon…’The Sins of the Father’. This will also help explain what has happened in America and still is happening in America. Could this be what the enemy had in mind when they started the ‘Slave Trade’ in America, especially in the South? According to facts of history the first slaves, brought by Jewish slave traders were women for the brothels, in New York City and elsewhere. Our story starts with the Editor of the Newspaper..’The Daily Eagle and Phoenix’, after the Civil War. Major Dan Norton has a burning desire to help the South regain her place in the Republic after all the havoc the Civil War caused and the Carpetbaggers brought after the WAR. His father had died in the war, and his newspaper had been destroyed by fire. But Dan now only 24 years of age had however fought in the war and attained the rank of Major. He then returned and rebuilt this newspaper, and he was the Editor, and he made his paper an authoritative organ for the White Race. Dan had lived a life packed full of tragic events thus no wonder that people took him to be at least 30 years or more, to match the threads of grey about his temple, as well as the impression of age and dignity. He was six foot three tall making him appear very mature and serious. He had just published an editorial saying:..’The Black League, and the KKK’…down with all secret societies. This editorial brought a white man called Mr. Peeler to his office. Here was a Southern white man who had gambled, drank and fallen low, had produced a child from his mulatto housekeeper, and it was rumored that a daughter had been this child and she had the exact color of red hair that Mr. Peeler had. This girl has been sent away to school when she was ten, and Mr. Peeler had married her mother, and now the girl had returned to the South. As Mr. Peeler sits here in Dan’s office he is now a scared man, and he shows Dan a carefully carved little coffin, and produced the note which was in it:…’We think you are an old scoundrel, leave this county within 48 hours..signed the KKK’. As he read this note Dan frowned and then smiled for he thinks this is just a joke for the Klan does not work this way. This must be the work of some mischievous boys. Mr. Peeler and the yellow woman left Dan’s office, and Dan shook his head saying:.. ‘Oh, my country, what a problem?’
Another caller then enters the office, this man is a farmer, altho a former Sergeant in the army with Major Norton. But he is disturbed about that editorial which seemed to be against the KKK which most white men thought was the Salvation of he South. As the two men sat talking suddenly the Sergeant straightened as tho struck with lightening, for he realized that Major Norton was giving him the sign that he was also a Clansman. The Editorial was then only a blind to cover greater work to come, as the white men took back their part of this nation which reconstruction after the Civil War had delivered to the Negro. Here in the Capital city there was now only 5000 white inhabitants and 4000 Negroes, and the scalawag governor was making plans to take all property from the White inhabitants and give it to the Negroes, but now the white men were ready to resist. Major Dan Norton then finished his work at the office and left to walk to the Capital to hear the Governor’s Proclamation. On the way he noticed a dozen or more horses still tied to the racks provided for the accommodations of country men. ‘Funny he muttered, Farmers start for home before sundown, and yet here it was now dusk…wonder if it is possible’. He crossed the street and strolled carelessly among those horses. His trained eye noticed the saddle blankets were unusually thick. He lifted the edge of one and saw the white edge of a Klan costume. He realized that a crowd of youngsters were probably planning something with Mr. Peeler. Dan considered the Klan a dangerous institution, its only Salvation lay in the absolute obedience of its members to the orders of an intelligent and patriotic chief. Unless the words of the chief remained the sole law of its life a reign of terror by irresponsible fools would follow. Dan as commander of the Klan of this county must subdue those youngsters and use an iron hand or they will get out of hand. He went by his home leaving a message saying he would not be home for supper. He saw the lights from the room where his invalid wife lay, and from the nursery and then went immediately to the stable. He knew that the same black Mammy who had cared for him some twenty years ago was now caring for his six month old baby boy and the little mother. Dan hurried on to the Peeler home, and he found that the young Klansman had arrived before him and they had Mr. Peeler strapped to a tree and were preparing to switch him a bit. Dan spurred his horse into the group and demanded to know who was in charge. He recognized the voice of the young cabinet maker who he had surmised had made the little coffin. After a bit of defiance the youngsters backed down and said they were just having a little fun. Major Norton informed these youngsters that if he found them doing something like this again without orders he would hang their leader to a tree. The young Clansmen departed and Major Norton helped Mr. Peeler to his house. Then out of the shadows came a girl and threw herself against Major Norton, then fell at his feet crying:…’Save me, they want to kill me’. Major Norton noticed that this girl had deep red hair like Mr. Peeler, and there was only a faint trace of Negro blood in her coloring. She had a creamy yellow, not white skin. As he looked into her eyes he fancied he saw a young leopardess from the African jungle looking at him thru the graceful form of a southern woman. He now learns that this is the daughter of Mr. Peeler and his Mulatto wife and has just returned from school and is scared to death.
Major Norton looks at this girl, the product of the Sin of this White Southerner, she had been sent to school in the north, and hated the life of a Negro, but still didn’t fit into the white world either. He raised the girl to her feet, and unconsciously lifted his hand and gently stroked the tangled red hair back from a frightened face sort of like you would smooth the fur of a frightened yellow Persian Kitten. Major Norton was to regret this act many times in the future. He had personally always loathed the Southern white man who had stooped and crawled thru the shadows to meet a negress. This girl was a product of such a sin, and was neither black nor white, there was no way to change the fact.
Meanwhile the Governor had moved quickly to disarm the white men, and give the Negroes the votes and the rule, but he had not counted on the anger and courage of the Southern white man, and especially their leader in this county. One day the white military leaders had surrendered their arms to their Negro successors, but then something happened not on the program of the Governor. The Ku Klux Klan held its second parade and a swift and silent army of drilled, desperate men, armed and disguised had moved with the precision of clock-work at the command of one man. At a given hour the armory of every Negro military company in the state was broken open, and the guns recovered by the white and scarlet cavalry of the Invisible Empire. Within the next hour every individual Negro in the state known to be in possession of a gun or pistol was disarmed.
The next Editorial would include many things, and Dan had just settled to his work with enjoyment when he is aware that someone was beside his chair, and she said:…’May I come in?’ He looked up startled to see the red haired daughter of Mr. Peeler, and she begs to be allowed to clean his office. Dan protests but she just goes about picking up papers from the floor, and had even brought flowers for the office. As she worked she was singing softly, and not afraid as he had been the night the young Clansmen had visited her father. For the first time in his life Dan thinks of the paradox of his personal attitude toward the black race..they were his servants all of his life, and he was raised by black Mammy’s, and then here is the attitude of this girl, a part of it all, and yet she hated all it stood for. He had just finished his Editorial with the fury, the scorn, the unyielding ferocity with which the Anglo-Saxon conquerors had always treated his inferiors, and yet he was listening to the soft tones of this girls voice with a smile as he watched the light gleam mischievously from her imprudent bug eyes as she moved about his office. Yet this was not to be wondered at, for the history of the South, the history of slavery made such a paradox inevitable. The long association with the individual Negro in the intimacy of the home had broken down the barriers of personal race repugnance. He had grown up with Negro boys and girls as playmates. Every servant in every home was a Negro. The first human face he could remember was a Negro woman’s face. He had fallen asleep in her arms many times. He loved his old nurse who was now nursing his own son, and would defend her with his life if it were necessary. He had thrown his white and scarlet legions in a solid line against the Governors program and black troops, and yet here he sat listening to this mulatto girl sing and was not at first disturbed. Finally they were to reach an agreement where in Cleo was allowed to clean his office, coming in at seven o’clock in the morning and he thought she would be thru and gone by the time he came at 8:30. Things did not quite work out that way, and Dan was not accustomed to all that neatness in his office. Besides Cleo was always still there when Dan came to work. Then she came at noon, and again in the evening to change the water on the flowers, and always tried to engage him in small talk. Finally he noticed that altho he was very busy she had a habit of hanging around his desk, and looking at him in a queer way. This makes Dan uncomfortable but no matter how much he scowled, she always smiled and was humming snatches of a strange song. One evening Dan lifted his eyes from his work and caught the look on her face, and he was very disturbed, surely she wasn’t in love with him? Dan however decided that she is not to work there anymore, and he tells her she is interfering with his work, but Cleo just smiled and left.
Cleo was determined that Dan would come to her, and she went immediately to his home and acquired the job of helping old Nanny care for Dan’s wife and child. She stayed out of Dan’s way and he did not realize she was working in his home until she had managed to make herself very useful, and his wife had come to depend on her.
Dan had written an Editorial reviewing the history of the great writ of ‘Habeas Corpus’ in the evolution of human freedom. The Editorial had closed with this statement that no Governor in the record of the state, or the colony had ever dared to repeal or suspend this guarantee of Anglo-Saxon liberty. Not even for a moment during the chaos of Civil War, was this done. The Governor did just that however…and he had Dan Norton arrested. Every evening his wife sent his supper to him, then one evening Cleo brought his supper and a note from his wife. As Dan took the note he noticed the seal and was sure it had been broken. He read the note:…’I have received a message from McArthurs daughter saying your life is to be imperiled tonight by a dangerous raid, remember your helpless wife and baby. Surely there are trusted men who can do such work? Please do not go’. Dan asked Cleo if she knew what was in the note but of course she denied that she did. Dan wondered if she could be an emissary of the Governor. He wrote a note to his wife telling her not to worry, he is not in danger to ‘Sleep soundly little mother, and baby mine.’ Cleo delivered the note then she came back to watch at the jail from the shadows. Sure enough, about midnight Clansmen broke into the jail and took out Major Dan Norton. She heard the men talking about killing the governor, and she went back and told Dan’s wife what she had heard. Mrs. Norton then sends Cleo to her Grandfather who used to be the Governor, and who now lived on the edge of the village. In the note to her Grandfather she tells him what is perhaps being planned and to please stop them. The old Governor joins Cleo in the buggy and he stops the Clansmen before they crossed the creek to where the Governor is staying. He succeeds in persuading Major Norton to call this vengeance against the Governor off, to wait for the election only two weeks away.
The next morning the old Governor calls on the little scalawag now acting as Governor. He talks straight to this man telling him that the breed of men he is fooling with have not submitted to such an attack of tyranny from their rulers for the past 300 years. Saying:…’Your effort to set the Negro up as rulers for the white race is the act of a mad man. Revoke your order today or the men who opened the jail last night will hang you. But for my solemn promise that you would revoke that order, your body would be swinging at this moment from the Capital window. Will you make good my promise?’
The new Governor hesitated and stalled, and the old Governor took his hat and started for the door. The little scalawag then started writing his proclamation restoring the civil rights of the people. He seized the document and handed it to his waiting guest who read every word carefully, then left the Executive chamber his white head erect.
But the Governor then double crossed and sent orders to hold every one in jail that had been there until after the election. So again a Deputy appeared at Dan’s office and arrested him once more. Well, as the Deputy Sheriff appeared with his prisoner the men who had been just lounging around the square, quietly closed in around them, and entered the Clerk’s office. The bail which had been refused the first time was now allowed, and Dan was soon back in his office. He quickly sent a message to each district leader of the Klan to secure bail for each of the accused men in the same manner.
This political battle won, then Dan turned his face homeward for a struggle in which victory would not come easy, he was determined that Cleo was not to work in his home. She could be a dangerous witness against him, for she already learned he was the leader of the Klan for his district. But Dan’s heart sank as he walked into his wife’s room for Nanny had gone to bed with a chill and Cleo was lying on the floor playing with the baby boy. And the little mother was also sitting on the floor and laughing at the baby’s happiness. In a flash Dan realized that Cleo had made herself in this short indispensable here in his home. Then Cleo picked up the baby and carried him into the nursery, while Dan tried to convince his wife that Cleo must not work here, that it is dangerous for her to be here for she is Mr. Peeler’s daughter by a mulatto, and he is a henchman of the scalawag Governor. But Jean would not listen, she needed Cleo and she became very agitated so Dan, to quiet her, gave in and says Cleo can stay. As he turned to the door Cleo entered and he knew that she had heard for she threw him a look of triumphant tenderness, and he left the room feeling defeated. The day of the election came and at each polling place a group of white men appeared and just stood on both sides of the path to the ballot boxes. As several Negroes entered the white wall then suddenly it closed in at both ends and suddenly each Negro gave a yell, and as the white wall opened each ran as tho for his life, clasping the same spot. Later it was deter- mined that at a signal each had been jabbed with an old fashioned shoe awl and each thought he had been shot, and forgot everything but to run. Messages were coming in from all directions, victory, a great state was once more in the hands of the children of the men who created it. It was then after midnight when Dan closed his office and went home to find Cleo still in his wife’s room, in fact wearing a kimono which a friend had given Jean’s Grandfather, and he had sent it to the Grandfather for him to give to Jean. As Dan looked in surprise Jean saw his look and informed him that she had given the Kimono to Cleo for she had never like the color. And Dan also learned that Cleo had been moved from the servants quarters into the house, just down the hall. Cleo said that Jean wanted her near her at night since Dan was often so late. Dan made no answer but the keen eyes of the girl saw the silent rage in his eyes, and she made up her mind that some way, she would force him to let her stay. Later as Dan sat in his room thinking of the folly of keeping this girl close in their home he was startled to see her come into his room, her figure showing against the kimono, as the breeze from the window pressed the delicate silk against her flesh. Dan rose to his feet and said:..’How dare you come in here?’ She threw herself at his feet and begged to be allowed to stay. When he did not say a word she took his silence for consent and kissed his hand and was gone.
In the weeks that followed Cleo worked endlessly, not only did she care for his wife and baby, but she also watched the lawn and flowers and made the other servants work. Everything about the house worked perfectly and Cleo established her place on the firmest of basis.
The baby boy then took a violent cold which developed into pneumonia and the doctor said his life depended on nursing. Dan spent the mornings in the nursery carrying out the doctors orders with clock-wise regularity. At noon Cleo took his place, and then had her meals served in the room and she or Mammy never left him until Dan relieved one or the other early the next day. For two weeks this vigil was kept and then the little boy opened his eyes and said:..’Cleo’..and her place had now been secured in this home. In the political field events were moving as the impeachment of the little scalawag Governor was carried out. The politicians were talking of making Dan their next Governor. Dan was of course excited, it was very late when he goes home that night and now Cleo has a club to hold over his head. The next morning Dan hates himself, why did he allow this to happen? He must try to keep his little wife from finding out about his sin for it would surely kill her. Jean had been a semi-invalid since the birth of her baby and the Doctor warned that too much stress might burst the damaged vein in her neck.
About two weeks later as he was speaking at a meeting the looked over the heads of the crowd and saw Cleo standing near the door. By the expression on her face he was sure something had happened at his home. finally a waiter slipped thru the crowd and handed him a note saying the girl said it was important. Dan opened the note and read:…’It’s found out…and she is raving. The Doctor is there, I must see you quick.’
Dan whispered to the chairman that he must go to his wife, who was ill, and arrangements were made. He now knows the meaning of fear, he felt the earth crumbling beneath his feet. He felt his way thru the crowd and met Cleo in the square and demanded to know what had happened. Cleo says that Manny had told Jean, but Dan does not believe this because Manny would not have done this, for she loved him, and knew this would surely kill his little wife. Finally Cleo admits that Manny had told Jean to fire Cleo cause she was hanging around Dan’s room. And when Jean asked her about it then Cleo told her. In a rage Dan’s hands closed on her throat, but Cleo only raised her hand and grasped his and he could not kill her. Instead he ordered her out of his life, out of his home, out of his sight and then he walked rapidly home to the judgment bar of life where a little wife waited for his coming. Here was the little girl he had led to the altar only four years ago, and he was almost afraid to enter his own home, because of the consequences of the Sin of this father. Here he was in the dawn of manhood, he had lived already a man’s full life. He had a conquered world at his feet, and yet a little yellow girl with red hair and of another race had laid his life in ruins.
Dan met Dr. Williams who was just leaving and the men discussed the best method of how to handle this crisis. The old Dr. told Dan he must deny.. lie and make it stick, to save his wife’s life. Dan tries to tell the doctor how this sin occurred but the old doctor said:..’It’s an old, old, story, the more powerful the man the easier his conquest when once the female animal of Cleo’s race has her chance. It’s enough to make the devil laugh to hear your politicians howl about social and political equality while this cancer is eating the heart out of our society’.
The old doctor then went on to say:..’Listen, Dan your wife cannot live unless she WILL’S to live. The moment she gives up..she dies. It is the iron will inside her frail body that holds the spirit. There is a queer still look in her eyes I don’t like. It looks like the calm before the storm which may leave death in its trail. You can’t reach her tonight so don’t tell her. The fact that the Negro race has for 200 years been stirring the base passions of our men, has never occurred to her childlike mind’.
Dan then reached his shoulders and walked into his wife’s room. She seemed very calm but her eyes were shining with a peculiar brightness. Jean tells him that Manny had told her that Cleo was seen near his room a number of times, and when she asked Cleo she confessed. In their conversation Dan who was trying to calm her made the mistake of saying that Cleo had come to the Banquet Hall and called him out. In an instance his wife is suspicious and she grabbed his arms looking into his eyes. Then she shrieked:..’It’s true’…and staggered to her bed, sobbing hysterically. Dan rushed to her side trying to lie to her, so she would not carry on so. But she would not be quieted and ordered him out of her room, and even rose and pushed him into the hall and bolted the door. Dan listened at the door and hears her quiet sobbing and he goes for her mother, for he feels she is the only one who can reach her now. It was hard for him to confess his shame to this quiet, patient little woman he had loved ever since the marriage to her daughter, but he did just that then asked for her forgiveness and for her help. Of course, she would come and they hurried back to Dan’s home, and at the sound of her mothers voice the bedroom door opened and two frail arms slipped round her mothers neck. After Jean was quiet then her mother asked what she could do to help. Jean asks if she and the baby can go home with her to live. The mother walked to the mantle and picked up the Bible and turned to a certain chapter in Genesis, saying she wanted Jean to read that, and remember the sympathy of the world has always been with the outcast woman..Hagar..and not with the foolish wife who brought a beautiful girl into her husbands house, and then repented of her folly. But ‘a negress’…Jean insisted…’The Beast’….’the beast’. Her mother quietly told her that when she was older she would know that all men are beasts at times, all men that are worthwhile. Jean does not understand how she can say that and remember her father and grandfather. She said she had seen her mother sit for hours with her fathers picture in her lap.
Now; comes the time of confession of the mother to help her girl understand and forgive. Her mother replied:..’These hearts of ours play pranks with us sometimes, but you dear must see Dan tonight and forgive, for he will crawl on his hands and knees and beg for forgiveness, after all you are to blame as well for you insisted that Cleo stay here.’ Jeans reaction was that she would never speak to Dan, ever again. So the Mother then sat down on the lounge and drew her daughter into her arms saying:..’I had hoped that God might let me go without my having to tell you what I must now say. Your father was not the great man I led you to believe. He died in what should have been the glory of young manhood. He was just a spoiled child of a great man, and he inherited his father’s mind, fiery temper and willful passions. Oh I loved him the moment we met, but the vilest trait of his character was transmitted straight from father to son, for he would never ask forgiveness of any human being, for anything he had done. That is your grandfather’s boast still today. The old Governor my child was the owner of more than 1000 slaves on his two great plantations, many of them he did not know personally, unless they were beautiful girls. Cleo’s mother was one of his slaves, the humble daughter of slaves vied with one another to win his favor. This my child is what slavery did to our race.’ ‘But my father’…grasped Jean…’was a handsome, spoiled child. He never possessed the strength to keep himself within the bounds of decency as did the older man. The secret of your father’s death…I made it a secret…for he died in the cabin of a mulatto girl he had played with as a boy. I knew exactly where to find him when he had not returned at two that morning’.
Now; the frail Jean slipped her arms around her mother to comfort her, and neither spoke for sometime. Then the mother spoke again in a quieter tone:..This was one of the reasons why slavery was doomed. Thus it was a wicked and awful tragedy, but white motherhood would have crushed slavery anyhow, because before the war began we had 600,000 mulattos in the South, 600,000 reasons why slavery had to die. And now my darling you must see your husband, and forgive him, he is not bad, he carries in his blood the inheritance of a lawless passion. But the noble thing about Dan is that he has the strength of character to rise from this fall to a higher manhood. You must help him to do this, for his is now a Klansman dedicated to the preservation of his race, and he is asking for your forgiveness. Jean bent and kissed her mother then asked her to send Dan to her.
Dan was pacing the porch as Jean’s mother came, and his face was ghastly, and his heart stood still for a moment until he saw her smiling face and heard:…’She is waiting for you’. Dan sprang for the door after kissing the silken grey hair, and hurried up the stairs. Tears came into his eyes as the frail arms were extended to him. He knelt and buried his head in her lap and could not speak for a moment. Finally with an effort he mastered his voice and asked for forgiveness. The blond head sank until it touched him and Jean replied:..’I forgive you Dan, but now I am so tired, and I don’t know if I can live.’ ‘Don’t say that’…pleaded her husband. You have forgiven me and I’ll prove my love to you by a life of devotion. All I ask is a chance to atone, and to make you happy. Our boy needs you, for you must live to teach him. We must teach him to be an example for the New South’.
Jean made a brave fight for life. For a week there was no sign of a breakdown save an unnatural brightness of the eyes which told of the struggle within. Dan was in almost constant attendance, spending only one hour per day at the capital, leaving a speaker protem in his chair, then hurried to his office and gave orders then returned to his wife’s side. He talked and laughed and planned a day that would interest her. At the end of that week the old family doctor was hopeful as well. But since the thought that heals the soul will reach the body, then the mind is one way that we reach thru to heal the body. Thus there were two things which might interfere with Jeans battle for life. One was a sudden collapse of the will with which she was making this fight for life. The other is the physical enigma. This would be the reopening of that curious abscess in her throat. When the baby was born, the drawing of the mothers neck in pain had pressed a bone of the spinal column into the flesh beside the jugular vein. Dan had now withdrew completely from his political work. An assistant editor took over for him at the paper. And after two weeks Jean was still improving, and Dan begins to wonder where Cleo had gone, will she try to cause more trouble. He remembers that she just smiled and said:..’I will see you again’. On thought kept pressing into his mind, but it was to hideous for a moments belief. There was only one thing to do and that was to wait with increasing dread her first move.
Then all of a sudden Jean began to lose ground, the feverish brightness of her eyes grew dimmer, and her movements less vigorous. Something seemed to have snapped in her ‘will’ to live. Even the baby did not seem to pep her up anymore. Dr. Williams suggested that Dan take her away to a beautiful spot with a high altitude and pure stimulating air. He cautions Dan to be sure he got to the bottom of this would and tear it out of her thoughts if he could. Thus the end of another week found Dan, Jean, the baby and Manny in Asheville, South Carolina. This was her first trip to the mountains and for two days Jean just sat in the big sun-parlor beside an open fire and gazed over the valley and watched clouds. At last she caught her breath and wished to live, to go over these wonderful purple hills. She told Dan that it seemed that God lived somewhere over these wonderful hills. She told Dan that it seemed that God lived somewhere in one of those deep shadows behind a dazzling cloud. And if only they would drive along those cliffs they would come face to face with HIM someday. Dan looked closely at his wife, and there was that unnatural brightness in her eyes once more. He bent close and the awful thought slowly shaped itself…that the LIGHT he saw in her eyes was the shinning image of the Angel of Death. Here she was just beginning to find the world a beautiful place once more, so he asked her a little later if she had felt a return of pain in her throat, and found that there had been just a little the night before, but not today, for now she wanted to go out into the mountains. Then they drove into the mountains, into the fog and in one of the clouds Jean leaned close and whispered:..we are in heaven, we are passing thru the Open gates. I shouldn’t be surprised to see him at any moment up here. A lump came into Dan’s throat for her voice sounded so unreal. He determined to wire to New York and have the specialist come to examine her. The next day they left the little boy with Manny telling her they might not be back for a few days and they went back into the mountains. They walked, and when Jean was tired he carried her in his strong arms to any summit where she wished to go. He felt the time had come for him to say some of the things he had waited so patiently to speak of. Finally he asked:..’Are you sure that you have utterly forgiven this great wrong I did you?’ ‘Yes Dan’, she whispered…’why do you ask?’ Dan replied that he just wanted to be sure that there was not some single, dark corner of her heart in which the old shadows lurked. He just wanted to drive them out with his love, so that she would see every beautiful thing in their world. After a moment Jean looked at her husband and her blue eyes wavered, but she said:..’There is just one thing that I’ll never be quite able to face, I am afraid……’ Dan looked closely at her, for now they would get to the bottom of her thoughts, and Dan was eager for that but also afraid. Jean then whispered:. …’What I cannot understand is how any man who had ever bent over a baby’s cradle with love and tenderness such as she had seen in his face for their baby boy, could forget for even a moment the mother who gave him life. This was the question that still troubled Jean, and Dan tried to explain. For Jean had been a sheltered girl of their society with her idea of love and she would find it hard to understand the desires of the male which had led him astray with the girl who was so unafraid, who laughed at the laws of society because she had nothing to lose.
Jean broke in to say that she had forgiven Dan and was going to let him teach her to live again, but she cannot quite forget the greatest single hour given a woman to know, the hour she feels the breath of his first born on her breast. Its the forgetting of the memory of that hour that hurts, but she will get over it in years to come, if God sends the years. She recalls how Dan had returned home that morning to find a doctor and a nurse in charge of his home. How she held on to his hand and would not let the doctor order him away. She recalls the baby’s cry and then she said:..’This still is what bothers me,…how could any man who had felt the pain, and the glory of this, with his hand clasped in the hand of the woman he loves, who had saw those mysterious little eyes of this tiny one sent from Eternity, how could that man forget the tie that binds?’
Dan never interrupted until the last bitter thought had torn her heart. This which had torn at her heart was out at last, out in the open. Jean gave an unconscious shiver and then said in a low tone:..’I will never speak of this again, but Dan you asked, and I have told you what is in my heart, for I could not quite understand how you could forget.’ The two sat in silence for a while then Jean looked into his eyes saying:..’a curious change is coming over you, there used to be a line of cruelty about your mouth, and a flash of it in your eyes at times, but now it is gone. There is something strong and tender, and wise in its place. I used to think it was your war experience which caused it, but no, it was this beast that you have been talking about that effects men at times. It is not there anymore, and how Dan I am going to happy.
Dan bent and kissed the slender fingers as his wife went on saying she would be happy if this throat did not bother her so much. Dan looked at her and turned pale for she was touching her throat saying there was not much pain only a feeling of fullness as tho she would choke. Again the great fear arose in Dan’s heart. Here when she had just began to smile again, and to fell that life was sweet….but the specialist would be in from New York on the three o’clock train, and they must be back for that examination. They spent their last hour just being boy and girl again, they talked of the future, the life, of mutual faith and love which would be their’s again. Yet Dan also felt the unseen Angel of Death drawing near. At the hotel, the doctor was waiting, he had brought another specialist with him for a second opinion. They were with Jean for sometime before they came back to where Dan was pacing the balcony. As Dan looked into their eyes he read the story of tragedy and he closed his eyes for a moment. The doctors informed Dan they had opened and drained the old wound, but both agreed that it was too late for surgery. The flesh that now guarded the walls of THE GREAT VEIN were in shreds. As long as life lingers there is always hope, but their advice was not to leave her side for the next ten days for the end when it comes will be sudden, and it will be too late for even speech.
The doctors had told Jean that there was nothing more they could do now until the wound from the draining healed. Then she would come to New York and they would make the final decision as to surgery. As Dan enters Jean’s room she is unusually bright and cheerful saying, the draining didn’t hurt a bit. He left her for a moment to tell Manny the truth, to have her hire a nurse for the little boy, as he or Manny would be at Jean’s side night and day.
Every day the nurse brought little Tom in for a romp, then Manny came to relieve Dan so he would sleep for a while. Ten days came and went and Dan and his wife had talked of life, of death, and immortality. Now ever the fear of death has left Dan, and only a great sense of loss is creeping over him. One night they were sitting at her window when Jean said:..’Oh, what a beautiful world’…then in the next moment she grasped her throat and turned a white face to him, for she could not speak. He lifted her and laid her on the bed, rang for the doctor, and sent Manny for the little boy. Jean motioned for a piece of paper and slowly wrote:…’I understand…I am going…it is alright Dan, remember that I have forgiven. Raise our boy free of the curse, for you know what I mean. I would rather a thousand times that he should die than this…my brooding spirit will watch and guard.’
The little boy kissed his mother and was carried from the room, but it was not until the sun was climbing slowly over the eastern hills that Jeans spirit left.
The thing which crushed Dan was not the shock of death with its thousands of unanswerable questions, but the possibility that his act had been the cause of the tragedy. Dr. Williams had said over and over again:…’Make her Will to live, and she will recover’. Dan had fought that battle and won for she had been happy, the cause had to be further back in the accident which happened at the child’s birth. If so his conscious was clear for God made women to be mother’s. The only thing was whether the shock of his sin had weakened her vitality and caused the return of the old trouble. After they buried Jean then Dan turned to old Dr. Williams and asked:… ‘Did I kill her?’ ‘Certainly not’ was the reply, you shake off this nightmare and go back to work, your people are calling you. The seed of death was always hiding behind your wife’s throat, you prolonged her life so now think of your boy, and get on with your work. But Dan found it hard to get interested in his work. Even the little boys laughter only caused the memory of he little mother to return. The chairman of his political part informs him that they have decided to make him Governor of the state, but Dan declines the honor and decided to take Manny and his little boy and go into the north. He is determined to leave the conditions that made his shame possible. He would raise this boy in clean air, he placed an editor in charge of his paper, closed the tall green shutters of the stately old house, sold his horses and bought three tickets for New York. He took little Tom to the cemetery for a last hour beside his mothers grave before he turned his back on the scenes of his old life. As he stood at his wife’s grave the little boy made a joyful sound, and turning Dan saw Cleo standing there. The little boy stretched out his arms toward her, for here was a familiar face. But Dan drew his son away and carried him from the cemetery and they then left the south behind.
In New York all found it hard to adjust to the life, the people were not friendly, the weather was different. Dan tried to write and the story was forming in his mind but he could not put it down on paper. Then a few moments later he heard the postman’s whistle and Manny and his boy came into the room, and the little boy was bringing a letter. Dan recognized Cleo’s hand writing and the postmark was Baltimore. A great weight settled on Dan’s heart as he broke the seal and read:..’Our baby girl was born here yesterday, I wan on my way to New York to you but was taken sick on the train, so here I am alone and without any money, but I know you will help me’. Signed…Cleo.
Dan now knows why she let him go from the south without a protest. she had this secret and thought it would draw him back to her. So much had happened in those nine months since he fell, and he is now in rebellion. He sent her money, but he did not go to see her. He moved to another part of the city, and directed his mail to a postal box. Three weeks later another letter came saying she had been so sick since the letter came with the money. Could she just see him once, and then she would not bother him any more?
Dan is troubled, and Cleo knew how much he loved his little boy, that he was not like those men who take their obligations lightly, so how could he escape the consequences of his deed. Say what you will of her offering herself, and leading him on, still he was responsible for his actions. He answered her letter with a promise to come, but then Manny was stricken with a cold, and it developed into pneumonia and now Manny was dead. It was four weeks before he returned from the funeral in the south and he had difficulty in finding Cleo for she had moved from the first address. And she was no longer ill, and in fact he noticed an expression of cunning in her green eyes that was uncanny. As she talked he felt she was hiding something. Dan refused to see the baby girl, but said he would go the next day and verify the records, and she laughed. Since Dan did not want her to take the baby girl back to the south then Cleo would let Dan care for and educate the baby girl in a convent….on one condition. This being that she be allowed to go home to Dan’s house and be a nurse for little Tom. ‘Never’ was Dan’s first answer. The next morning Cleo came to Dan’s hotel to sign the agreement papers for care of the child and then all at once little Tom came into the room. He saw Cleo and remembered her, and she snatched him up and with tears streaming down her face asked softly:…’Please let me go home with you, I need a home and a place to work’.
With the guardianship set in place for the baby girl they then returned to the south, and Cleo went with them. Dan had seen a vision, it was as tho he had tried to desert his own people. He had awakened with a shock for he had seen in the future a gradual wearing down of every barrier between the black and white races by the sheer force of daily contact under the new conditions which Democracy had made inevitable. Even under the iron laws of slavery it had been impossible for the two races to live side by side for centuries without breaking some of the barriers. But the moment the magic principal of ‘Equality’ in Democracy became the law of life, that must merge…all…or Democracy itself would die, this became the big question, and Dan determined to give his life to its solution.
So they returned to the South, reopened the old home and Cleo was housekeeper and nurse. She was also the living incarnation before his eyes daily of this problem to be solved. He studied her with the cold, intellectual passion of a scientist. There was never a moment’s uncertainty or halting in the grim purpose which fed his soul.
At first Cleo was sure that eventually Dan would surrender. She had worked her way as she planned, back into his home. Then as the years went by she saw with increasing rage that the gulf between them was wider and wider. She tried every art her mind could conceive and her body symbolize, but altho his eyes saw her, still he never saw the woman. The only thing he saw, he hated…the mongrel breed of a degraded nation. Dan’s Newspaper grew in circulation. He presented his editorials on the race question, until even the dullest minds must be struck by the fact that their relations presented an unsolvable problem. He expressed always the doubt and the facts of thoughtful men and women. A noted professor representing a famous foundation came to call on Dan. This professor was sure the race question could be solved by the merger of the two races. Dan of course is totally opposed to that idea, for he believes in the program which had been outlined by President Lincoln, that the Negroes be given a nation of their own. The little Professor then gave Dan an ultimatum, either he stop this advocation of the separation of the race, or he would start a newspaper to oppose him, and this one would have unlimited capital. Dan was furious but he invited the little professor to go ahead. He sees this man as but a carpet bagger come back to the South, now as a philanthropist who carried millions of dollars to be distributed to the ‘right’ men to teach southern boys and girls the ‘right’ ideas. This being the complete acceptance of the black man as a social equal. The hope being the division of the white race on this vital issue effecting its purity, integrity and future. This has always been a big danger that has hung over the South. But as the little professor left his office Dan asked:..’Can you …professor…divide the white race on this issue?’ The answer was:..’We shall see Major…we will see.’
At last Major Dan Norton felt the time had come for his greatest work. He knew the sea to the furthest mountain, and he felt that now God had called him for a great task. His house was in order, he could leave for months at a time, confident the work would run smoothly. He had sent Tom to a Northern University and he had graduated with honor and returned to work in his fathers office. He showed a decided talent for this type of work. Dan called Tom into his office and told him some of his plans, to strike a blow in the hopes of establishing the separation of the races by correcting conditions forced on the South after the Civil War. He would leave Tom in control of ‘The Eagle-Phoenix’. And Dan then started a speaking campaign. For 20 years no party or man had dared to speak out or even whisper what ‘white supremacy’ really meant. As Dan prepared to take to the field in the campaign whose fierce passions would mark a new era in the states history, he was uneasy over the attitude of Cleo. Altho she never said so in as many words he was sure that the last hope of a resumption of their old relations was fast dying in her heart, so when she realized this then what would she do next, for he knows she will strike out. That night Cleo came from the slave quarters where she now lives and entered his room, something forbidden. There is quite an argument as she demands that Dan admit his love for her. She reminds changing Dan’s mind and altho she has lost this round she is determined to find another way.
No sooner had Dan left for his trip then we find Cleo in his office composing a letter to the girl raised in the convent all these years. She offers an invitation for Helen to come to the South for a visit, for the summer. Since he would be away on campaign his son and his housekeeper, Cleo, would make her feel at home. She signed it…’Sincerely Daniel Norton’. She addressed the envelope to Miss Helen Winslow, Racine Wisconsin, sealed and posted it herself. It had been Dan’s custom to write Miss Helen,…for her guardian who was supposed to be abroad. Thus when Helen received the letter signed Daniel Norton she was thrilled and answered immediately for this lonely little ward was delighted to come to the South.
A few days later a hack rolled up and a girl leaped out and bounded up the steps. She was surprised to see a mulatto as the Major’s housekeeper but she was so excited, for she would now meet the man who had provided for her all these years. Cleo watches this beautiful girl and a smile of triumph flashed from her eyes as she exclaimed softly:…’I will win after all’. Miss Helen asks about Major Norton, what does he look like, and Cleo answers her questions then tells her Tom will be home soon for lunch. And when Tom comes he does not of course know anything about Helen coming South, and when Cleo tells him about Helens arrival, he thinks this will be a disagreeable job, this putting up with this strange girl until his father returns, but of course he had not seen Helen as yet.
Remember now that Major Norton has believed all these years that this girl raised in the convent is the daughter of Cleo and himself. He had never seen her, and altho Cleo is only 1/8 Negroid still over the years she now begins to show more clearly this taint, more than just the creamy yellow complexion she always had. And Tom knows only that his father has acted as attorney for some guardian of a girl in school in the north. Then down the stairs comes a very pretty girl, named Helen, her eyes are deep blue, her hair a rich chestnut brown and wavy. Her complextion a perfect red and white of a northern girl. Young Tom is soon laughing and talking with Helen, and he leads her to the library to view his mothers picture for it was from her that he gets his blond hair and blue eyes. This picture has been blown up until almost life size, was done by a famous artist in New York, from an old photograph, it is of the little mother holding her baby. Two gold candlesticks now stand in front of the picture and make it seem almost as an altar, and Helen comments on this. After lunch Tom hurries back to the office and gave orders for the work then returned home to show Helen their part of the South. And for 4 weeks the boy and girl enjoyed each others company. But now Major Norton is then closer to home, and he sends for his servant Andy, and from him learns that Helen has come to the South to spend the summer, that he is supposed to have invited her. And is ordered to get a horse and buggy for Dan is going home. At dawn they reach home and Dan goes to his room and locks the door to get some rest and to think a while. He now has to reveal to this girl that her blood is tainted, and every instinct of his nature revolts at this cruelty. Cleo has surely brought her here to his home to force from his lips her recognition, thus fix her grip on his life forever. Beyond a doubt the surest way to accomplish this would be to have a love affair between Tom and Helen develops. She knew that Dan would rather die than lose the respect of his son by confession of his own shame. Major Norton rose about eleven o’clock and came downstairs. He sees a young girl in the flower garden with Cleo. He caught a glimpse of a lovely young face, and then turned and went into the library. He lifted his eyes to the face in the picture and breathed a prayer for guidance. Tom enters the library and grasped his fathers hand wondering why his father has returned home. In their conversation Dan tries to find out if Tom is falling in love with Helen, but he cannot tell. Laying his hands on his sons shoulder Dan tells Tom to be sure the woman he asks to be his wife bear a name without shame, for good blood is the noblest inheritance that any father and mother can give a child. Fools sometimes say a man can sow his wild oats and be all the better for it, but that is not true. It may start a chain of events that even God cannot stop. Dan goes on to tell his boy that he did something once that hurt his mother very much, and for 20 years his soul had anguished and begged for forgiveness. Tom looks at his father in sympathy and said:..’But you believe she sees and understands now?’….’Yes’ I have seen her in my dreams and hear her voice so plainly, and I know that her spirit watches and broods over you’.
Suddenly he decides to do the cruel thing he must do and he asks Tom to find Helen and send her to the Library. But Helen was no where to be found, she had seen Major Norton look at her then turn away and leave without coming out to her. She felt that something was wrong, and Helen was in her room packing to leave. Cleo tries to stop her and finally tells her that the Major is not just her guardian, no he is the true guardian, not just the agent of her guardian, he knows her full history of her birth, where to find the names of her mother and father, and she should stay and find out what she so wanted to know. Tom calls and finally Helen answers and she comes down the stairs and enters the library to face Major Norton. She was dressed in a simple white dress, and Dan was surprised to find not the slightest trace of Negroid blood apparent. He knew however that a mixture of only 1.16 degrees often leaves no trace until its sudden reversion to a black child. Dan however is stunned by her appearance and is unable to speak for a moment.
Helen thanked the Major for inviting her to visit the South, then tells him how she loves its skies, his people, and the old fashioned ways. Major Norton raises his hand and tells Helen the time has come to reveal important facts of her birth. Helen sank into a chair and gazed at him fascinated with the terror of his possible revelation. She has been so lonely over the years, and afraid. When other girls at school shouted for joy at the thought of vacation at home, she had no where to go, no one to care. Dan then tells her that both of her parents are still alive, but he cannot answer all her questions now. Helen spoke in a whisper:..’My father and mother, were they married?’…this was also a great disgrace at that time and when the answer came:..’No’, the tears began to fall. Then she asked:..’Why did you let them send me to school, why teach me to think and feel, and now to know this?’ Dan tries to comfort her the best he can but he says:..’I will tell you all that you need to know today. You were born under the shadow of a hopeless disgrace’. He could say no more, and took her hand saying:…’Forgive me child if I seem cruel. In reality I am merciful, I must leave it there’, and he quickly left the room. Tom wondered why this conversation was taking so long so he goes to the library and finds Helen in tears, she no longer wants to live. Finally he finds out that her birth is shadowed by disgrace, her parents were not married. It then dawns on Tom that he must be in love for this does not matter to him altho it was considered such a big disgrace. If Helen loves him and she does, this will not matter. But then Helen tells him that she cannot marry him for Major Norton has warned her that marriage could only bring pain and sorrow to those she loved.
Dan’s footsteps were heard and Helen quickly left the room. Dan then learns that Tom now knows what he has told Helen. And Dan realizes he must nip this romance in the bud before it ended in a dangerous situation. He must send Helen to Europe, and if necessary tell her the whole hideous truth. He hears the sound of Cleo’s footsteps and he rose to confront her. He realized the time had come for a fight to the finish. She gazed at him steadily with a look now of undisguised hatred. Dan asks why she has brought this girl here and thrown the boy and girl together. Cleo laughed and said:…’All you have to do is tell Tom the truth’. ‘Never, was the reply…I will die first. At least I have taught him that racial purity is best. He shall never know the depth to which I once fell. You have robbed me of everything else in life, this boys love and respect is all that you have left me, why did you bring this girl into my house?’ Cleo replied:.. ‘I wanted to see her, for twenty years I have lived here as a slave, always waiting, hoping for a sign from you…that you were human’. Dan replied:.. ‘You waited for twenty years for a sign that I would fall once more. Well I found out twenty years ago that beneath the skin of a man sleeps a weakness, but I have fought that battle and won’. Cleo then asks Dan if he really thinks she has lost this battle?’ When he answers ‘Yes’, she just smiles and said:..’I have not begun to fight’. Dan now tells her that he knows it was a great mistake, a tragic blunder when he brought her home to his house. His little boy had put his arms around her neck and sobbed out his loneliness and Dan had remembered that Cleo had helped once to save his life. If it had not been for that he would not have made this second great mistake. He went on to tell Cleo that he had kept his part of the bargain, by educating his child and gave her the protection of his home. She broke in to say:…’Yes’…’but you guard and watch me and know your secret is safe while you hate me every day with a greater hatred. You only kept your word because your past belongs to me.’
Dan reached for the bell to call for Helen to tell her she must leave this house immediately. Cleo stepped defiantly before him saying:…’If you dare, in five minutes I will be in that newspaper office across from yours. That editor does not love you, and tomorrow morning the story of your life and mine will blaze on that front page. Dan caught on a chair for support, his face paled and he sank slowly onto the seat. Cleo leaned toward him saying:…’There are plenty of Negroes today your equal in wealth and culture. Do you think they have been listening to their great leader’s call to battle for nothing, building fine houses, buying and, piling up money and sending their sons and daughters to college. Do you think they will come at your beck and call? If you do you are a fool. They are only waiting for their chance to demand social justice, social equality and GET IT! Once white men, the high and mighty Southern gentlemen will come at their command. I’ve got my chance now to demand my rights of you, and also do a turn for the Negro race. You now have to recognize Helen before your son. I brought her here for that purpose. With her at my side, I’ll be mistress of this house. I demand that you resign your leadership and get out of this campaign.’
Between clenched teeth Dan growled:…’and you think I will submit?’ Cleo rushed to his side her eyes blazing, as she said:…’You have to submit, or begin with me a fight that can only end in your ruin. I have nothing to lose, for I will fight to kill. If I should lose I will still have the strength to pull you into hell with me. So what are you going to do…accept my terms or fight?’ Dan is now on his feet and he replies:… ‘ I will fight!’. Alright Cleo replied:…and with hysterical laughter she said:…’I’ve warned you, I don’t want to fight but I will show you’. And with that she left the room.
Dan had been a good soldier and commander, his fighting blood was up but he knew to rush into battle without preparation was foolish. Cleo’s mask was off at last, and he knew her to well to think she wouldn’t try to make good her bluff. He now had three options; he could accept her demands, acknowledge Helen before his son, accept her into his home, throw his self respect to the wind and sink to her level. This was unthinkable for he felt that Helen would never recover from the shock. And this also meant his daily humiliation before his son, and he would rather face death sooner than this. He could then defy Cleo and pack Helen off to Europe and risk the scandal that would shake the state and overthrow the party he was leading, and this would disgrace him before his son, and set back the cause he had at heart for a generation. This risk was also great, the third alternative he thought of was more simple, which was to return to the campaign immediately, and take Tom with him, and keep him in the field all the days until the election was over. Ask Helen to stay until his return, and then after his victory had been achieved settle everything with Cleo. Dan thus calls Tom and asked him to go with him back to the campaign for there are dangerous days ahead and he would like his help. Tom hurried to prepare things at the paper and Dan went to the Library to prepare some important papers. Next morning Helen was summoned and Dan tells her he would like for her to say until they return. As they leave the house Dan did not see Tom throw Helen a kiss. At times during the campaign they were only 20 miles from home, but they never came home. Finally the campaign was over, and they returned to await for their news of the bulletins…as they came in. The first reports indicated that Dan’s platform had swept the state, and the ballot restored to its original dignity much had thus been done, its effects on the relations, mental, moral, and physical of the two races, so evenly divided now in the south would be tremendous. As Dan made his acceptance speech Tom who had been watching his chance slipped away and flew to the girl who was waiting for him. Helen had received a note from Tom saying he would be coming as soon as his father started speaking. They flew into each others arms, and Tom is then asking if anyone knew that he had slipped home to see her last week. No one knew but aunt Minerva so that was alright, but Tom determined that he will tell his father about Helen and himself now that the election has been won. Cleo heard the shouts in the square with increasing dread. The hour was rapidly approaching when she must once more face Dan. She wished that she had not pushed so hard. She had lived here for so long that the thought of starting anew scared her. She had also seen Tom enter the house and knew the lovers were together so that much of her scheme had not failed. It remained to be seen now whether their love affair could wring from Dan’s lips the confession she had asked for, and thus that would save her place in this home.
Major Norton returns home and sinks into his chair telling Andy that a clean sweep of the state is finished, the state is now white ruled once more. Dan asks for Cleo to come to the library and she soon enters with her head held high. Dan folded his arms and quietly began to speak:…’For twenty years I have breathed the air of your presence. I have seen your insolence grow until you announced you were mistress of my house. Oh, you knew I was afraid of your tongue, but that is all over, your rule over my house is now over. Helen leaves tomorrow and you go with her. I have made a decent provision for your future, so pack your things’.
Cleo scornfully threw him a look of hate as she replied:..’I will not leave, and if you attempt to throw me out of this house, I will tell Tom the story of the affair that ended in the death of his mother. I will tell him the whole truth and much more than the truth. When I finish my story he will curse you to your face, and turn from you as tho you were a leper, I’ll see that he does this if its the last thing I do’.
Dan replied:…’I do not want to hurt you, but you are going out of my life. I am not going to trust that girls presence here another day and you go also.’ As Dan finished speaking Cleo tossed her head and laughingly said:..’You are to late…Tom and Helen are in love, desperately in love’. Dan rushed to the door and called for aunt Minerva, and asked her about Tom and Helen. He learned that yes they were very much in love. Dan again sank into his chair, and asked Minerva to send Helen to him. He bowed his head and sobbed aloud:…’Dear God, give me strength, I cannot confess to my boy’…He arose and walked to the picture of his wife and pleaded for help. Helen came into the room quietly and he looked at her uplifted white face, and now she was afraid for he was not angry anymore, but something was wrong. He now asked Helen to tell him the truth, has Tom made love to her? She does not want to answer until she has talked to Tom, but Dan must have an answer now, so Helen replies:…’Yes, his love has lifted her into the sunlight and now she also loves Dan for his is Tom’s father.’ Dan turns from her then with face drawn in pain, he tells her that he must be more brutal with her for marriage between her and Tom is impossible. Dan asks for Helen to give up Tom, and she refuses saying Tom knows she was born under a shadow of disgrace, and he does not mind. Dan then asked her if she found out there was Negro blood in her veins would she give him up? ‘Of course’, was the answer, but that is impossible. Dan then tells Helen that her mother was a Mulatto. Helen is destroyed and asked him to deny it. Her head sinks into her hands and she sank to her knees until her beautiful brown hair touched the floor as she asked:… ‘Have mercy on me’…Dan found her hand and pressed it gently saying:..’I am sorry little girl, I would like to save you this anguish but its no use, we all have to face things in the end.’
With a cry of pain Helen sprang to her feet saying:..’Oh, God how could any man with a soul, bring me into the world, teach me think and feel, and to laugh and to cry, and thrust me into such a hell alone…My proud father I could kill him.’ Dan tried to tell Helen she will see things differently in the morning. ‘Yes’ she cried fiercely:…’a life of shame, taunts, humiliation, horror.’ For some reason the thing she had always loathed was the touch of a Negro, and she even felt this aversion with Cleo, but Dan does not know this. Dan’s face was white with emotion, as he took her hand and with his voice breaking asked what he could do to help, anything within reason he would do? Helen looked into his face and her voice was pleading as she asked:…’Give me back the man I love, He is mine, he is my life and you are tearing my heart out of me.’ With this Helen slowly crumpled at his feet crying softly. Dan and Helen both cried and then later Dan talks and she listens quietly and she realizes she must leave, and quickly. Dan summons the carriage and Helen makes her way up the stairs and hurriedly throws her clothes into her traveling case. She threw a coat over her arm and again came down the stairs. As she passed the library she went into replace the photo of Tom she had taken and there was Tom on the sofa. He doesn’t understand what is wrong…and he sees that she is dressed for traveling. She laid her hand on his arm, and then she whispered:… ‘Suppose you were to wake up tomorrow morning and suddenly discover that a strain of Negro blood poisoned your veins, what would you do? Tom thought for a moment, and then said:…’To be perfectly frank, I’s blow my brains out’. Helen staggered back with a cry and threw up her hand as tho to ward off a blow. Tom was staring at her with a blanched face. Then seeing her hat and coat he asked:…’are you trying to leave me after the vows we have made? If you are going then I am going with you.’ Helen laid her hand on his arm once more and looking deep into his eyes she told him that his father had just told her that her mother was a mulatto. She saw Tom flinch and then he declared:…’I do not believe it, my father has been deceived, this is preposterous.’ Yet his arm unconsciously shrank the slightest bit from her touch even tho he was saying:..’it’s impossible, I tell you it is impossible’. Helen withdrew from his embrace brushing the tears from her eyes. With a little moment of quiet resignation then she spoke:..’It’s alright, I see it clearly now’…you shrank from me just a little, and I am now convinced that your father is right. Our love would end in the ruin of your life, and I could not endure that.’
Tom is still in shock, he cannot believe that he has been told such a thing. He is not ready to give Helen up. He vows he will go to the end of the earth with her if necessary. He reached out his arms and drew Helen close and stroked her hair trying to stop her from crying. Dan appeared at the door, his face blanched with horror, and with a rush he was by their side tearing them apart. With a white face he turned to Tom forbidding him to ever see or speak to Helen ever again. But the word forbid is the wrong word. After all Tom is 22 years of age. Helen tries to tell Tom his father is right, but Tom will not listen. He sends the carriage back to the stable, and Dan’s head dropped and he blindly grasped a chair. Helen who was watching him with a growing pity drew near and said softly:…’I am sorry Major to have brought you this much pain’. ‘I understand child’, he replied brokenly…’and my heart goes out to you. Mine is heavy tonight with a burden greater than I can bear, but you are a brave little girl, the fault is mine, not yours. I now have to face it. You say that you have been lonely. Just remember that in all your orphan life you never saw an hour as lonely as the one my soul is passing thru now. The loneliest road across the earth is ‘the way of sin’. Helen does not understand what he is talking about, but just then Tom comes back into the room and he asks Helen to wait in her room for he must talk with his father.
Major Dan Norton was now making a desperate fight. His back was to the wall, the girl must leave, and he must win over Tom without revealing his secret…’the sin of the father’. He tries to reason with Tom, that he must not marry Helen for there is Negro blood in her veins, it will taint their children. But Tom insists he will not let Helen go for he loves her. The he asked:…’Why?…if the men of the South believed in the separation of the races why these thousands of children born in the shadows…the mulattos? Why raise their children with Negro servants? And why knowing this, did he bring Helen here? Tom then learns that Cleo wrote the letter to Helen, and he swiftly asked:…’if Cleo is blackmailing you, then why? and even as his father answered ‘no’ Tom saw his fathers gaze waiver and he said in cold tones:…’you are lying’. This was to much and Major Norton struck out blindly and hit Tom in the face. With a cry of horror then he cried:…’My boy…my boy…may God forgive me and let me die’.
Tom tore himself free of his fathers touch saying:…’you are my father, but I hate you tonight, can’t you guess what has happened? You want this marriage stopped, well I am married already…married an hour before you dragged me away in that Campaign. ‘With a leap Dan grasped his boy again, and shook him:..Married already….tell me it is not true.’ Tom removed the trembling hands of his father off his shoulders with a quick movement of anger, and then left the room to go to his wife.
Dan Norton rushed toward the picture of Jean and with uplifted arms and streaming eyes said:..’It is not true dearest, it can’t be true’, then he fell into a limp heap on the floor, then gradually fumbled to his knees and then into his chair, all the time thinking:…’What can I do? If Tom was married, one hour before they left on the campaign, and had only returned today, or had he…was he married in all that term means? His mind could not face it for Major Norton of course still believes that Helen was the child of his sin with Cleo, and thus Tom and Helen would be 1/2 brother and sister. Finally Dan walked to the door of the library and saw Cleo talking to Andy. He sent Andy for aunt Minerva and asked a word also with Cleo. He stood there wondering how a man of his birth and breeding, the heir to centuries of culture and refinement could have sunk to the level of this yellow woman. He wondered also how she could have destroyed herself this way, unless she in her mad revenge…saw it going awry. Looking at Cleo he said in a low intense tone:..’you did get even with me didn’t you? ‘Yes’, was the reply, but then Cleo went on, it is not a question of marriage. I just want you to tell Tom and Helen that she is my daughter and yours. Now that they are in love you will have to tell them.
Dan drew back in amazement:…’you mean to tell me that you don’t know that they are already married? Cleo gave a cry of surprise saying:..’They can’t be married’….after all this would spoil her plans. Being assured they were married she tries to get Dan to go to Tom and tell him immediately, but Dan tells her there is another way, an old way, and he will take it first if he must. Then he tells Cleo that…no matter… ‘I am free of you at last. Go to the servant quarters and stay there for I am master of this house tonight. I have wondered how you could do this to my boy, you always seemed to love him, why were you so willing to give up your child that day? Then grasping for straws he asked:..’Is Helen really your child?’…again the answer was ‘yes’…thus he ordered her from his house. Dan asked Minerva if Tom has returned to see Helen while they were on Campaign. She finally tells him that Tom came home twice, and once he stayed for about an hour and once the stayed all night. Dan’s eyes closed, his face became a white mask, he breathed deeply and spoke softly:…’You knew they were married?’ ‘Yessa I was with them, I seed em married, Miss Helen asked me to.’
Dan finally gave orders to Andy that he was to go to the basement and fasten windows and doors, then do the same on this floor. He then walked into the library and picked up his revolver and dropped it into his pocket. Then he went to the foot of the stairs and called for Tom. When he received no answer he called him again. A door opened and Tom answered:…’Just a word, my son, I know how you feel but before you go I have something to show you’. Tom hesitated then replied that he would that he would be down in a moment. Dan went to the library, unlocked a tiny drawer in the desk and drew out a plain envelope from which he drew out a piece of paper on which was scrawled the last message from the boys mother. His hand trembled as he read, and then slowly placed it in a small pigeon hole of the desk. He then took a pen and wrote rapidly. He called Andy to sign this paper as a witness. Andy had been taught to read and he read this as a will, the house and $10,000.00 was to go to Miss Helen, the rest of the estate to go to the colonization society to help move the Negroes to their own homeland. Andy signed the paper all the time wondering what Mr. Tom was to receive. Dan then walked to the window and gazed out at the flower garden which his wife used to love. She said the flowers would make the world more beautiful. Dan walked to the portrait of his wife and whispered:…’We are coming dearest…tonight’.
For the first time Dan’s spirit faced the mystery of Eternity at close range. He had now clasped hands with death and stood face to face unafraid. He was only 49 years of age, but oh, what he had gone thru in those short years. He wondered what the strange world he would be entering would be like, would he see and know? Somehow, someway he knew that the base parts of his being must die, but the nobler must live. Otherwise there could be no meaning to this cruel and mad decision to kill the body rather than to see it dishonored. He caught the twinkle of a star thru the branches of a tree top. His feet would find the pathway among those shinning worlds. He thought…I have made a lot of blunders here, but I am searching for the LIGHT, and I will find THE FACE OF GOD.
He turned from the window for Tom was coming, and then here he stood his proud young head lifted, his shoulders squared. The dignity, and reserve of conscious manhood shown in every line of his body, and he spoke quietly:… ‘Well sir, its done and now it can’t be helped.’…Dan’s voice faltered as he agreed, then tells Tom that he has an old letter from his mother which he wanted Tom to have before he left. Tom took the letter and read in silence, then remarked:…’How queer her handwriting’ ‘Yes, she was dying when she wrote it, the mists of the other world were gathering about her, and I don’t think she could see the paper. Dan’s trembling fingers traced slowly each word:..’Remember that I have loved you, and I have forgiven’ …forgiven what’ Tom demanded. Dan turned deathly pale and he then recovered himself and began in a low voice…’You see Tom I grew up under the old regime. I, like a lot of other fellows drank and gambled, and twenty years ago it was more common for youngsters to get mixed up with girls of Negroid blood. I have raised you different. Tom shrank back:… ‘You…Great God’…..’Yes’ admitted Dan, she came into my life, a sensuous young animal with wild, bold eyes and was not afraid.’ But Tom read what your mother wrote:…’Rear our boy free from the curse, you know what I mean. I would rather a thousand times that he should die than this….my brooding spirit will watch and guard.’
Dan then asked for Toms forgiveness for striking him tonight, and he looked so desperate and hurt that Tom told him that everything was alright between them. Tom reminded Dan of the little wife and mother so much this night, and he finds it hard to go on. Finally he said:…’Now that I know you are married I realize that I have failed to save you from the curse, for now I must prove to you that Helen is tainted blood. Cleo is her mother and I am the father.’
Tom reeled back then asked:…’Does Helen know?’ Dan answered that he had been unable to tell her for it would be such a shock. The father and son now face each other, and they both wish to die before Helen comes. But Helen is at the door and since it is locked she calls for Tom. Dan suggests that he let her in for a moment, assure her that everything is fine, and ask her to wait for him in the other room. After Helen left Tom turned to his father saying:…’Dad it can’t be true…did you notice her coloring, look closely at her again she is nothing like you, or even Cleo?’ But this is the facts as Dan has them, and the sin of his life is now full grown, and has now brought forth death. Tonight Father and Son are caught in the trap of the sins of the centuries. Dan has tried for twenty years to give his life to the people to save the children of the future of his race. Now he must go on home and leave the work he has begun for others to finish. Father and son embrace and Dan picks up the revolver and with a cry Cleo sprang back into the room, but she is now to late. Dan fired the revolver and a tiny red spot flamed on the white skin of his boys forehead. Swiftly the revolver dropped to his temple and fired, and father and son fell almost together. The silver gray head against the breast of a boy, and a piercing scream from Helen’s lips came as she ran thru the silent hall. She had sprung to her feet at the sound of the first shot, and as she entered the hall she was holding her breath then the second shot rang out. She was not a sheltered Southern girl who would faint in an emergency. She paused at the door for a moment for there was smoke in the room, then she rushed to the heap on the floor. She tore Tom’s collar open and placed her ear over Tom’s heart. ‘OH, God he is alive’. She saw Cleo leaning by the table with a blanched face, and chattering teeth. Helen gave orders:…’Call aunt Minerva, and the doctor quick, we may save him.’
Andy and aunt Minerva, the servants entered the room and Helen nodded her had toward Dan’s motionless body. They lifted him tenderly, but his heart was not beating, Dan was gone to meet his beloved.
Dr. Williams entered the room to find Helen still holding Tom’s head in her arms. He examined Tom carefully and found a damp red mark three inches above the line of the forehead. Tom had evidently thrown back his head to look perhaps at the picture of his mother, and the bullet struck the inner skull bone at an angle and his brain was not touched. He was stunned but would soon recover. Learning all this, Miss Helen fell backward in a dead faint. Andy and Minerva then carried her to her room and Cleo came to care for her, as they returned to help the doctor. In half an hour Tom stirred, and looked into the doctor’s face. When informed that he would be well in a couple of weeks, he caught his breath, saying that wasn’t possible… he must die. The doctor had only gotten the statement from Cleo that the Major shot Tom and then killed himself. He had guessed that the ugly secret in the Majors life was in some way responsible. Then Tom tells him that he has just learned that Helen whom he has married secretly was his half sister, Cleo’s daughter. The old doctor seized Tom’s hand and spoke eagerly:… ‘It’s a lie boy, its a lie and I will prove it from Cleo’s lips.’ The old family doctor went to Helen’s room and called Cleo into the hall. And he seized her hands in a cruel grip as he asked:..’Do you dare to tell me that this girl is your daughter?’ Cleo trembled and in a faltering voice answered:..’yes’. The old doctor came right back:..’you are a liar, you may have fooled Dan Norton for twenty years, but you can’t fool me. I’ve seen to much of this sort of thing, and I’ll stake my immortal soul on it that no girl of Helen’s pure white skin, and scarlet cheeks, clear cut features and deep blue eyes can have in her body a drop of Negro blood.’ Cleo tries to declare again that Helen is her daughter, but the old doctor forces her to go down the stairs and into the room and to look into the cold wide open eyes of Major Dan Norton. She covered her eyes but the doctor tore her hands from he face and demanded:…’here in the presence of death with the ‘ALL SEEING EYE OF GOD as your witness, and the life of the boy you once held in your arms, now hanging on your words…I ask you…is this girl your daughter?’ …Cleo’s greenish eyes wavered, then at last came the answer:…’No’…’I knew it’ cried the doctor…’I just knew it’, and now we want the whole truth at last.
The color was again mounting in Tom’s cheeks and Helen also had slipped into the room, and both were now listening as Cleo told her story. It seemed that Cleo’s own baby had died, and she was wild with grief. She had wanted this child to use as a club over Dan’s head. She had hunted for another baby, and found Helen in Norfolk at the house of an old woman where she stayed. This one gave Helen to Cleo…the doctor thinks perhaps that Cleo stole her but no matter now. So who were the parents of Helen?
A man who had disowned his daughter because she had run away and married a poor white boy, who then died. The father never forgave her, and when Helen was born the little mother died, and this old nurse was left with a tiny baby girl.
Helen and Tom thus learn that there is no stain on her birth and Helen and Tom both thanked their God for letting them finally know the truth. If only Dan could have known, but years would bring healing to wounded hearts. Tom did not leave the old home. He came of a breed of men who did not know how to quit. He faced the world and with grim determination took up the work for the Republic which his father had begun.
Again the patter of little feet echoed thru the old home. The young father and mother soon taught the little hands to place flowers on the two mounds in the cemetery. But the thing which marked the Norton house with distinction was that since the birth of Tom’s boy, no Negro was allowed to cross the threshold of this home or enter the gates to work. His boy would be raised in a different atmosphere than the one which slavery brought to the South, and caused so much tragedy to his race.
This was then the tragic story of one fathers sin, but the Old Testament is full of this instruction not to step out of Israel’s race to father a child. And this would have been much easier to maintain if the races did not live together…per instructions. But since Adamites are living in the World Order, there has been many casualties. And as we come up to the climax of the rule of the World Order then we would also expect more casualties.
In the days of the ‘civil war’ and for years after, the women of the white southerners never crossed the color line altho the men did, but today we can no longer say that.
Look at the situation for South America as the World Order is leaning on those people, to make them destroy themselves. South Africa will be in worse shape if this happens than we are here as yet for they are outnumbered so much more than we are as of yet. I sometimes wonder if that prophecy:…’Time will be shortened lest there be no flesh saved’…. meaning that there won’t be any of the race left unless the time is shortened????
If we did not know the Gospel of the Kingdom we might at times think that there will be a day when there will be one of the white race left on earth. But that we know that will not happen, so…please YAHWEH…we hope the time is about up, that things are really coming to a climax, and soon we will not see your laws broken, for that is the salvation of our race in that situation.