Chesnutt's Works





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Page 35 for the text "Rena," the story that will eventually become The House Behind the Cedars. Click on the manuscript image to get a version that can be magnified.

page 1 and 2
pages 3 and 4
pages 5 and 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 35 (See below.)
page 37


One August afternoon, when the sun was beating fiercely down
upon the panting earth, and the very air quivered with the heat, a
dust-covered buggy, drawn by a tired, dusty mare, came slowly down
the long white stretch of sand-hill which ended the road loading
from Sampson County to Patesville. When the buggy reached the bot-
tom of the hill , just beyond the river bridge that gave access to the town, it stopped under the shade of a big oak, by the
side of a roadside well and the driver, a stout mulatto in a linen
duster, got down from the buggy, and going to the well, by the aid
of an old-fashioned sweep drew a bucket of water, and filling the
gourd he found hanging on the curb, quenched his thirst with a long,br> draught, while the mare, with outstretched neck and whinnying soft-
ly at the sight and smell of the cool and sparkling liquid, stood
waiting her turn. When the driver had finished drinking, he hung
up the gourd, and taking a wooden pail from under the buggy seat,
filled it with water, into which the thirsty mare thrust her nose
eagerly. When she had drunk enough, or as much as her driver thought
best for her, he filled the bucket again and again and
dashed it over the wheels and exterior woodwork of the buggy.
When he had most of the dust removed, he threw a bucket of water
over the mare's legs, and , drawing a second time on the resources
of the buggy seat, extracted therefrom a curry-comb and brush and