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 The road to Sampson County lay for the most part over the pine-clad sandhills,—an alternation of gentle rises and gradual descents, with now and then a swamp of greater or less extent. Long stretches of the highway led through the virgin1 forest, for miles unbroken by a clearing or sign of human habitation.  
They traveled slowly, with frequent pauses in shady places, for the weather was hot. The journey, made leisurely2, required more than a day, and might with slight effort be prolonged into two. They stopped for the night at a small village, where Wain found lodging3 for Rena with an acquaintance of his, and for himself with another, while a third took charge of the horse, the accommodation for travelers being limited. Rena's appearance and manners were the subject of much comment. It was necessary to explain to several curious white people that Rena was a woman of color. A white woman might have driven with Wain without attracting remark,—most white ladies had negro coachmen. That a woman of Rena's complexion4 should eat at a negro's table, or sleep beneath a negro's roof, was a seeming breach5 of caste which only black blood could excuse. The explanation was never questioned. No white person of sound mind would ever claim to be a negro.
They resumed their journey somewhat late in the morning. Rena would willingly have hastened, for she was anxious to plunge6 into her new work; but Wain seemed disposed to prolong the pleasant drive, and beguiled7 the way for a time with stories of wonderful things he had done and strange experiences of a somewhat checkered8 career. He was shrewd enough to avoid any subject which would offend a modest young woman, but too obtuse9 to perceive that much of what he said would not commend him to a person of refinement10. He made little reference to his possessions, concerning which so much had been said at Patesville; and this reticence11 was a point in his favor. If he had not been so much upon his guard and Rena so much absorbed by thoughts of her future work, such a drive would have furnished a person of her discernment a very fair measure of the man's character. To these distractions12 must be added the entire absence of any idea that Wain might have amorous13 designs upon her; and any shortcomings of manners or speech were excused by the broad mantle14 of charity which Rena in her new-found zeal15 for the welfare of her people was willing to throw over all their faults. They were the victims of oppression; they were not responsible for its results.
Toward the end of the second day, while nearing their destination, the travelers passed a large white house standing16 back from the road at the foot of a lane. Around it grew widespreading trees and well-kept shrubbery. The fences were in good repair. Behind the house and across the road stretched extensive fields of cotton and waving corn. They had passed no other place that showed such signs of thrift
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