I know not what to do. A month ago, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I sat on the banks of the Rappahannock River, upon which as a stripling I had canoed and fished, and reflected on how much I liked the South. I knew I should not. At least I am told that I should not, chiefly by people who would make a hoe seem a pinnacle of intellect, but these are the bedrock of Yankee society, and I must respect them.
Besides, I fear that meridional leanings are in my blood. Yes, alas. I am tainted. I am Frederick Venable Reed. Charles Scott Venable was on Lee's staff, and Andrew Reid Venable of the staff of Jeb Stuart. We have never looked fondly on Federal intrusion. So there I am.
And yet, much as I loved the peace and light of the riverbank in that Southern town, much as I treasured a boyhood of BB guns andbare feet and dogs with no licences and people who talked slow and suppple as the Good Lord intended, I had to concede the sins of the South. Even today, the dark stains remain. The signs are everywhere.