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Page 268 of The men of the mountains; the story of the southern mountaineer and his kin of the Piedmont; with an account of some of the agencies of progress among them.

2 68 T h e M e n of the M o u n t a i n s are responsible for a degree of misery and degradation t hat goes b eyond any other trouble. L et i t not be understood, here, that the South is p eculiar i n having these conditions. Indeed, after c areful a nd somewhat extensive observation and i n quiry, t he belief has grown that the sins of impurity are less prevalent i n the mountains than i n m ore s ophisticated c ommunities. B u t they s how m ore i n o pen t han i n secret v ice, and i n the general society rather t han i n a segregated class. A n d further, this peculiarity w ill be noticed i n the r ural w hite South: that a highly m oral c ommunity may be located only a few miles from a n otoriously immoral community, a peculiarity due sometimes to the boundaries fixed by mountains and h ills, a nd always to the smaller degree of t ravel a nd m ingling of communities w ith one another. Thus, a c ommunity which has the benefit of a g ood a ncestry of high principles, is l ikely t o keep t hat high moral tone, a nd v ice versa; whereas i n the N o r t h t he greater amount of t ravel a nd commingling of peoples t ends to make n early a d ead level. T ake, t hen, from the shady side of the mountain, t wo stories of needs a nd m inistry, stories exceptional and extreme i n their showing of hard conditions, but no wise extreme nor exceptional i n their bright promise of reward. I n t he neighborhood of M r . and M r s . Short, at the L ong T r a i l S chool i n the Cumberlands, hved three l ittle c hildren, the illegitimate offspring of a man who had h eld a h igh place i n the mountain community. H e h ad been assassinated a year or two before, a nd now the c hildren's m other, dying, left them to the care of an o lder half-brother. He, however, was as unwilhng to care for them as he was incapable. H e t ook t hem, h owever, into a cabin w ith h i m . The two older children were g irls, eleven and nine years of age; the youngest, a b oy of seven. O ne day the Shorts heard from a neighbor that the

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