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Yet "Marse Chan" quickly shifts to Sam's perspective. Formerly enslaved on the Channing plantation, Sam regales his unnamed listener with descriptions of young Master Tom Channing's fairness, nobility, and courage. For example, when his father is blinded while rescuing his servant "Ham" from a burning barn, Tom dutifully returns from college in order to run the family plantation. Likewise, ever the chivalrous gentleman, Master Channing remains loyal to his childhood sweetheart, Anne Chamberlain, even after she rebuffs his advances following Tom's disagreement with her quick-tempered father, Colonel Chamberlain.

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Yet despite "Marse Chan's" battle heroics and the hopeful renewal of Anne's affections, the narrative ends tragically. As "Marse Chan" closes, only Sam and his wife Judy remain. And Page's reader cannot help but recall the story's opening lines, when the narrator notes the desolation and decay of this once-glorious plantation.

In Ole Virginia: Or, Marse Chan and Other Stories - Thomas Nelson Page - 1st Edition

She endeavors to run the plantation alone, backed only by her resolve and endurance. Interestingly, the story's narrator, the faithful Unc' Billy, actually emerges as the true hero. Though honored to present Miss Anne at her wedding to a northerner, Billy, ever humble and self-deprecating, accepts little credit for his unwavering service. Picking up during Reconstruction, "Ole 'Stracted" centers on a strange old man, a former slave suffering from amnesia whose appearance in the neighborhood is shrouded in mystery. When his young family is sold away under slavery, Ole 'Stracted loses his memory and wanders aimlessly for years.

The story closes with a poignant reunion, yet Ole 'Stracted does not live long to enjoy it.

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  • Although "No Haid Pawn," with its uncanny legends of ghostly terrors, seems somewhat out of place in Page's collection, its gothic undertones locate this story in a well-established southern tradition. The final story in Page's collection, "Polly," preserves a child's special Christmas memory, a snapshot taken before the devastating Civil War that disrupted this carefully balanced existence.

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    Works Consulted : Garraty, John A. Carnes, eds. Mary Alice Kirkpatrick.

    Marse Chan

    Buy with confidence, excellent customer service! Marse Chan. Illustrated by W. Small 4to. Beige cloth decorated in black and gilt. Faint spotting to boards and endpapers, else Fine.

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    Previous owner's signature. Smedley, nicks out of first few pages no loss, binding shows signs of age Language: eng Language: eng 0. Very Good. First separate publication--reprinted from "In Ole Virginia" This copy is clean, tight and square with good corners. There is a library stamp on the half title page and a rough patch on a rear free end paper where a pocket was removed; otherwise it is unmarked. There's some edge wear most noticeable at the ends of the spine and the corners and the surface is rubbed such that the gilt tiles are bit faded.

    It has boards covered in cream colored cloth with embossed gold titles on the front along with intricate twining vine decorations in black. The pages are all glossy and t is illustrated with black and white plates. Show all copies.