Page:A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf.djvu/163
Florida Swamps and Forests
naked as to the earth he came. Had he emerged from the black muck of a marsh, we might easily have believed that the Lord had manufactured him like Adam direct from the earth.
Surely, thought I, as I started for Gainesville, surely I am now coming to the tropics, where the inhabitants wear nothing but their own skins. This fashion is sufficiently simple,—"no troublesome disguises," as Milton calls clothing,—but it certainly is not quite in harmony with Nature. Birds make nests and nearly all beasts make some kind of bed for their young; but these negroes allow their younglings to lie nestless and naked in the dirt.
Gainesville is rather attractive—an oasis in the desert, compared with other villages. Its gets its life from the few plantations located about it on dry ground that rises islandlike a few feet above the swamps. Obtained food and lodging at a sort of tavern.
October 19. Dry land nearly all day. Encountered limestone, flint, coral, shells, etc. Passed several thrifty cotton plantations with com-