A Fool's Errand
"The Life of the Fool proper is full of the poetry of faith. He may run after the will-o'-the-wisp, while the Wise deride; but to him it is a star of hope." Albion Tourgée, A fool's errand.
This novel, based loosely on Tourgee's own life, is set in Reconstruction. Col. Comfort Servosse, the Fool, returns home to Peru, MI, from the war where he sustained a wound. In part seeking a warmer climate for his health, and in part looking for a new life, he moves to the South at the urging of "Col." Zeke Vaughn, CSA, whom he met during the war. He settles on the old Warrington Estate, a dilapidated white elephant of a plantation sold to him by his "friend." Thus begins this Fool's "errand."
I became acquainted with Tourgee himself through reading about Reconstruction. Four years younger than his protagonist, Col. Tourgee was wounded at Bull Run. He was temporarily paralyzed, but recovered and continued in the service. After the war, he returned to North Carolina where he became a carpetbagger judge and had to deal on a daily basis with the Ku Klux Klan, by whom he was repeatedly threatened.