This story by Helen D. Longstreet is a commentary on the serious social issues of the early twentieth century. Her two-part narrative takes place in Blue Ridge mountains of North Georgia. Part one involves Margaret's romance with her lover, Captain Pulliam, and the tough choices she must make for her family. The second part describes the efforts by Katy to help her brother, little Billy Elrod, who is dying from a consumptive disease caused by a cotton mill somewhere near the Tallulah River. A big city power company has dammed the river above the beautiful Terrorah Falls he loves so dear. A powerful storm breaks the dam and lets the river run free again in the spectacular gorge. Billy is eager to see the misty rainbows above the falls one last time . . . .
Helen D. Longstreet, b. April 20, 1863, grew up on her father's plantation near Carnesville, Georgia. She attended schools in Gainesville and later worked on her father's newspaper. General James Longstreet, of Confederate fame, was her childhood hero. It was when she was working as an assistant state librarian and he was conducting research for his book, From Manassas to Appomattox at the state Archives that their romance blossomed. They were married on September 8, 1897 in the Governor's mansion in Atlanta, Ga. They spent several blissful years together attending Washington functions and traveling around the country. After Longstreet's death in 1904, she spent much of her time rehabilitating her husband's tarnished reputation. Among other things, she was a prolific writer, an avid environmentalist, a conservationalist, and, as an octogenarian, even ran for Governor in Georgia in 1950. She died May 3, 1962 at the ripe old age of 99.