January 02 , 2008

Calvary Alley


THE FIGHT All the tired feet that once plodded home from factory and foundry, all the unsteady feet that staggered in from saloon and dance-hall, all the fleeing feet that sought a hiding place, have long since passed away and left no record of their passing. Only that one small footprint, with its perfect outline, still pauses on its way out of the alley into the great world beyond. At the time Nance Molloy stepped into that soft concrete and thus set in motion the series of events that was to influence her future career, she had never been told that her inalienable rights were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nevertheless she had claimed them intuitively. When at the age of one she had crawled out of the soap-box that served as a cradle, and had eaten half a box of stove polish, she was acting in strict accord with the Constitution. By the time she reached the sophisticated age of eleven her ideals had changed, but her principles remained firm. She did not stoop to beg for her rights, but struck out for them boldly with her small bare fists. She was a glorious survival of that primitive Kentucky type that stood side by side with man in the early battles and fought valiantly for herself. On the hot August day upon which she began to make history, she stood in the gutter amid a crowd of yelling boys, her feet far apart, her hands full of mud, waiting tensely to chastise the next sleek head that dared show itself above the cathedral fence. She wore a boy's shirt and a ragged brown skirt that flapped about her sturdy bare legs. Her matted hair was bound in two disheveled braids around her head and secured with a piece of shoe-string. Her dirty round face was lighted up by a pair of dancing blue eyes, in which just now blazed the unholy light of conflict
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