Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
In 1861, Comfort Servosse went off to the Civil War as a volunteer. This, in retrospect, was his first action as an idealistic “fool.” At age twenty-seven, he gave up a thriving Michigan law practice and a comfortable home. He considered it his duty to help fight against the wrong of slavery.
When the war ended, he was a colonel. He came back home to his wife Metta and daughter Lily. His war exertions had worn him out. Seeking a genial climate and not wanting to rebuild his law practice, he decided to move to the South and begin life afresh. Now that slavery was destroyed, the South was sure to flourish and become the pleasantest part of the country.
He bought the Warrington estate, a place Servosse had admired while stationed nearby. It was dilapidated, and the six hundred acres of land were worn out; but the price was cheap.
Located six miles from Verdenton, a small town, Warrington proved both a challenge and reward. The Servosses made extensive repairs. They found the countryside charming. The people seemed congenial. For Thanksgiving dinner, they invited six Northern girls who taught at a new blacks’ school. The country judge, Squire Hyman, paid a visit soon thereafter and gave friendly notice that local residents disapproved of the teachers. Colonel Servosse sarcastically replied that his dinner guests were his own affair. The Verdenton newspaper labeled him a fanatical Abolitionist.
(The entire section is 1517 words.)
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