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GEORGIA SCENE S, &c.
If my memory fail me not, the 10th of June, 1809 found me, at about 11 o'clock in the forenoon, ascend. ing a long and gentle slope in what was called "The Dark Corner" of Lincoln. I believe it took its name from the moral darkness which reigned over that porion of the county at the time of which I am speaking. If in this point of view it was but a shade darker than the rest of the county, it was inconceivably dark. If any man can name a trick or sin which had not been committed at the time of which I am speaking, in the very focus of all the county's illumination (Lincolnton), he must himself be the most inventive of the tricky, and the very Judas of sinners. Since that time, how. ever (all humour aside), Lincoln has become a living proof "that light shineth in darkness." Could I venture to mingle the solemn with the ludicrous, even for the purposes of honourable contrast, I could adduce from this county instances of the most numerous and wonderful transitions, from vice and folly to virtue and holiness, which have ever, perhaps, been witnessed since the days of the apostolic ministry. So much, lest it should be thought by some that what I am about to relate is characteristic of the county in which it occurred.
Whatever may be said of the moral condition of the Dark Corner at the time just mentioned, its natural condition was anything but dark. It smiled in all the charms of spring; and spring borrowed a new charm from its undulating grounds, its luxuriant woodiands, its sportive streams, its vocal birds, and its blushing flowers.
Rapt with the enchantment of the season and tne scenery around me, I was slowly rising the slope, when I was startled by loud, profane, and boisterous voices, which seemed to proceed from a thick covert of undergrowth about two hundred yards in the advance of me, and about one hundred to the right of my road. 66 You kin, kin you?"
"Yes, I kin, and am able to do it! Boo-00-00 Oh, wake snakes, and walk your chalks! Brimstone and fire! Don't hold me, Nick Stoval! The fight's made up, and let's go at it. my soul if 1 don't jump down his throat, and gallop every chitterling out of him before you can say 'quit !'"
Now, Nick, don't hold him! Jist let the wild-car come, and I'll tame him. Ned'll see me a fair fight won't you, Ned?"
"Oh, yes; I'll see you a fair fight, blast my old shoes if I don't."
"That's sufficient, as Tom Haynes said when he saw the elephant. Now let him come.”
Thus they went on, with countless oaths interspersed, which I dare not even hint at, and with much that I could not distinctly hear.
In Mercy's name! thought I, what band of ruffians has selected this holy season and this heavenly retreat for such Pandæmonian riots! I quickened my gait, and had come nearly opposite to the thick grove whence the noise proceeded, when my eye caught indistinctly. and at intervals, through the foliage of the dwarf-oaks and hickories which intervened, glimpses of a man or men, who seemed to be in a violent struggle; and I could occasionally catch those deep-drawn, emphatic oaths which men in conflict utter when they deal blows. I dismounted, and hurried to the spot with all speed. I had overcome about half the space which separated it from me, when I saw the combatants come to the ground, and, after a short struggle, I saw the uppermost one (for I could not see the other) make a heavy plunge with both his thumbs, and at the same instant I heard