National Affairs: At the Store

January in rural Mississippi is a betwixt-&-between month. Fields are bare of last year's cotton; plowing for the next crop has not yet begun. Men and boys old enough to be out of school have plenty of time to "go to the store" or into town, and not much to do when they get there. Even in the southern counties, winds blow chill across the fields. At a crossroad store ("GROCERIES, HARDWARE & GEN'L MERCHANDISE"), the stove is hot, the air laden with the smells of harness leather, coal oil, turpentine, of bodies white...

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