Excerpt from The Eyrie: And Other Southern Stories
When I bought the Shirley farm I carried my bride to the Eyrie, the old-fashioned irregular man sion on Pasquotank river, that years ago had been the home of the Shirleys.
This old place has a romantic charm for me, ... so remote it is from the noise and strife of the busy world; so restful it looks, with its background of stately pines, and its elm-shaded lawn dotted with buttercups, daisies and white clover.
That beautiful sheet of water, Pasquotank river, ¿ows not a hundred yards from our door. In sun shine and in storm it is a delight to watch the white-winged ships sail by on their way to the har bor a few miles distant, to listen to the murmur of the rippling water, and see great ¿ocks of birds silhouetted against the deep blue of the sky.
This picturesque grove of stately old elms, pines and sycamores, festooned with graceful garlands of gray moss, and odorous with the scent of jas mine, wild honey-suckle and eglantine, is a place to see visions and dream dreams.
I spend many an idle hour seated on the gnarled roots of a huge oak tree which grows near the edge of the water, with the woman I love b my side, drinking in all the beauty and charm 0 this restful, picturesque spot.
Sometimes Uncle Pete, an aged negro, once a devoted slave of the Shirleys, beguiles the time with quaint stories of those halcyon days befo' de war. Those days of romance and chivalry, with their somber setting of storm and blood-shed and tears, stand out in bold relief on the can vas of Uncle Pete's memory: and when in a reminiscent mood he likes nothing better than to regale an appreciative listener with legend and story from the vast store of his treasured collee tion.
Let me give in his own words the story of the Shirleys 3 should I substitute my own language in place of his quaint dialect, the story, I am sure, would lose half its interest.
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