Page:Women of distinction.djvu/52

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WOMEN OF DISTINCTION.


gramme. She supposed all along that her secret was locked in her own breast. But a farm hand saw her one morn by chance, himself unobserved, and 'twas a secret no longer. Nor did she realize her "ridiculous capers," as she has called it since, until she had grown to young womanhood. Who can say but that propitious Fate had her then in drill in order to develop the powers of her soul so that she might make a portion of mankind happier by the instruction and amusement she should furnish? "Who was this little girl," ask you? The subject of this sketch—Miss Hallie O. Brown.

In full sympathy with her brethren in the South in those dark days, she could not be happy in the comfortable home which she left to take charge of the work that rested most heavily upon her as a duty. She first taught a country school in South Carolina and at the same time a class of old people, whom she greatly aided in the study of the Bible; after this she went to Mississippi, where she also had charge of a school. The house in which she taught was built of logs, cracks all open, window-glass all out. In cold, windy weather comfort was a stranger. After fruitless appeals for repairs she determined to try her own hand. "She secured the willing service of two of her larger boys. She mounted one mule and the two bo3's another, and thus they rode to the gin-mill. They got cotton seed, returned, mixed it with earth, which formed a plastic mortar, and with her own hands she pasted up the chinks, and ever after smiled at the unavailing attacks of wind and weather." After much success here she was employed as teacher at Yazoo City, where she remained awhile and then, on account of the condition of the South at that time, returned North. She was then secured as teacher in Dayton, Ohio, where she served four years, but on