'A Tallahassee Girl' Excerpt #1

                  TWO INVITATIONS                93

to  one  of those open squares, which, covered
with   a scattered growth of  immense  live-oak
trees, are such a peculiar and  strikingly  South-
ern feature of the city.                                      
   They sat down upon the  buttressed  roots of
one of  the oaks, whence they could look away
beyond  the  hill-spurs  to  the  low  swamps of
Wakulla, out of  which  rises the far-famed  and
mysterious smoke column  of the so-called vol-
cano.    The  sky  overhead, seen  through  rifts
in  the  foliage,  was  blue  and  cloudless ;  but
heavy  Gulf-caps  hung  on  the  horizon  south.
There was a  dancing silver  film in  the  atmos-
phere  of  the  mid-distance,  unlike  any  thing
ever seen  in a  Northern  climate.   The wood,
fringing  the   ridge  a   mile  away,   waved  its
shadowy tree-tops  to  the  fitful  motions of  a
breeze.    A  long  angular  line  of  water-fowl
slowly  flew  northwestward, so  high  that  the
individual  birds  looked  like   mere  flickering
specks ; but  their clanging voices fell  to  earth
with great  distinctness and power.   A  ragged
negro,  whose  face  wore  the  marks  of  utter
resignation  to hopeless poverty,  went  past  in
a rude cart, drawn  by a lean little ox, working