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54   INSURANCE AT PINEY WOODS.

ting the fire department reformed, improving the water supply and thus making it absolutely impossible for the fire to occur against which they have insured you. What do you think of that, plain men of business here in Piney Woods? Is not that a case of catching you a coming and a going? They make you pay through your nose for the fear of having a fire and then pay taxes to keep the fire from happening that you are entitled to by your policy contract. I have a friend--I might bet-ter call him brother—who stood at my shoulder through four years of bloody war, fighting for you and your fire-sides. I know that for two years that friend paid the premiums on $3,000 of insurance on a thousand dollars' worth of property and never did succeed in having a fire ! Three times the fire department—reformed by taxes bled from him—put out his store and protected these leeches that was bleeding hint under the name of insurance. Is that honest? Is it fair? Is it Christian dealing?

" What are these companies? Some of them are British. Did the sires of our ancestors grab magna charta from the cowardly and trembling hands of' King John at Runnymede in order that we might he enslaved again ? Did our fathers dye Bunker Hill monument red with British blood in order that we might be taxed to death through the hack door? But some of these companies are Yankee corporations. Not satisfied with overpowering us by numbers thirty years ago they now try to bind us to their chariot wheels. Is all the chivalry of the South dead ? Not while a single man is alive in the town of Piney Woods ! Not whilst the lustrous eyes of Southern beauty glow with affection's re-wards for gallant deeds and fearless men !"

The scene that followed these words beggars description. Men stamped and clapped and cheered. It was


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