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18 Works of Mary Noailles Murfree

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A Chilhowee Lily

Story type: Literature

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1911 Tall, delicate, and stately, with all the finished symmetry and distinction that might appertain to a cultivated plant, yet sharing that fragility of texture and peculiar suggestion of evanescence characteristic of the unheeded weed as it flowers, the Chilhowee lily caught his eye. Albeit long familiar, the bloom was now invested with a special […]

The Christmas Miracle

Story type: Literature

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1911 He yearned for a sign from the heavens. Could one intimation be vouchsafed him, how it would confirm his faltering faith! Jubal Kennedy was of the temperament impervious to spiritual subtleties, fain to reach conclusions with the line and rule of mathematical demonstration. Thus, all unreceptive, he looked through the mountain gap, as through […]

The Crucial Moment

Story type: Literature

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1911 A mere moment seems an inconsiderable factor in life–only its multiplication attaining importance and signifying time. It could never have occurred to Walter Hoxer that all his years of labor, the aggregation of the material values of industry, experience, skill, integrity, could be nullified by this minimum unit of space–as sudden, as potent, as […]

The Riddle Of The Rocks

Story type: Literature

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1895 Upon the steep slope of a certain “bald” among the Great Smoky Mountains there lie, just at the verge of the strange stunted woods from which the treeless dome emerges to touch the clouds, two great tilted blocks of sandstone. They are of marked regularity of shape, as square as if hewn with a […]

Una Of The Hill Country

Story type: Literature

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1911 The old sawmill on Headlong Creek at the water-gap of Chilhowee Mountain was silent and still one day, its habit of industry suggested only in the ample expanse of sawdust spread thickly over a level open space in the woods hard by, to serve as footing for the “bran dance” that had been so […]

Wolf’s Head

Story type: Literature

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1911 It might well be called the country of the outlaw, this vast tract of dense mountain forests and craggy ravines, this congeries of swirling torrents and cataracts and rapids. Here wild beasts lurked out their savage lives, subsisting by fang and prey,–the panther, the bear, the catamount, the wolf,–and like unto them, ferocious and […]

1895 Across the narrow gorge the little foot-bridge stretched-a brace of logs, the upper surface hewn, and a slight hand-rail formed of a cedar pole. A flimsy structure, one might think, looking down at the dark and rocky depths beneath, through which flowed the mountain stream, swift and strong, but it was doubtless substantial enough […]

1911 The wind stirred in the weighted pines; the snow lay on the ground. Here and there on its smooth, white expanse footprints betokened the woodland gentry abroad. In the pallid glister of the moon, even amid the sparse, bluish shadows of the leafless trees, one might discriminate the impression of the pronged claw of […]

His Unquiet Ghost

Story type: Literature

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1911 The moon was high in the sky. The wind was laid. So silent was the vast stretch of mountain wilderness, aglint with the dew, that the tinkle of a rill far below in the black abyss seemed less a sound than an evidence of the pervasive quietude, since so slight a thing, so distant, […]

1911 Judgment day was coming to Tanglefoot Cove–somewhat in advance of the expectation of the rest of the world. Immediate doom impended. A certain noted guerilla, commanding a reckless troop, had declared a stern intention of raiding this secluded nook among the Great Smoky Mountains, and its denizens could but tremble at the menace. Few […]

His "Day In Court"

Story type: Literature

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1895 It had been a hard winter along the slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains, and still the towering treeless domes were covered with snow, and the vagrant winds were abroad, rioting among the clifty heights where they held their tryst, or raiding down into the sheltered depths of the Cove, where they seldom intruded. […]

The Lost Guidon

Story type: Literature

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1911 Night came early. It might well seem that day had fled affrighted. The heavy masses of clouds, glooming low, which had gathered thicker and thicker, as if crowding to witness the catastrophe, had finally shaken asunder in the concussions of the air at the discharges of artillery, and now the direful rain, always sequence […]

Along the old “trading-path” that was wont to wind from the Cherokee country among the innumerable spurs and gorges of the Great Smoky Mountains, and through the dense primeval forests full five hundred miles to the city of Charlestown, was visible for many years, on the banks of the Little Tennessee, an “old waste town,” […]

Attusah was obviously an impostor. Many, however, had full faith in his supernatural power, and often he seemed to believe in his own spectral account of himself. “Tsida-wei-yu!” (I am a great ada-wehi![1]) the young warrior would cry with his joyous grandiloquent gesture, waving his many braceleted right arm at full length as he held […]

A Victor At Chungke

Story type: Literature

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At Tennessee Town, on the Tennessee River, there used to be a great chungke-yard. It was laid off in a wide rectangular area nine hundred feet long, two feet lower than the surface of the ground, level as a floor, and covered with fine white sand. The ancient, curiously shaped chungke-stones, fashioned with much labor […]

The Linguister

Story type: Literature

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The mental image of the world is of individual and varying compass. It may be likened to one of those curious Chinese balls of quaintly carved ivory, containing other balls, one within another, the proportions ever dwindling with each successive inclosure, yet each a more minute duplicate of the external sphere. This might seem the […]

It was long remembered in the Cherokee nation. Their grandfather came to the Overhill towns on the banks of the Tennessee River in a most imperious frame of mind. “Give me a belt!” he cried in irrelevant response to every gracious overture of hospitality. For although presents were heaped upon him, the official belt of […]

At no time in the history of mankind, except during that brief Paradisiac courtship in the Garden of Eden, has the heart of a lover been altogether unvexed by the presence, or even the sheer suspicion, of that baleful being commonly denominated “another.” Here, however, it would seem that the field must needs be almost […]