The Woman Who Understood
Author of “The Prairie Wife” “The Anatomy of Love” etc.
UNCLE MOSE, oughtn’t somebody to shoot that old hound?" The decrepit negro turned slowly about and blinked at the two youthful figures in glimmering white. Then he looked down at the dog asleep in the sunlight. “No. indeedy’. Mis’ Margot! Dat’s mah houn’! Mis’ Jinny’s boy done gib me dat dawg!" "But he’s so old!" The girl ran a hand along the dog’s wrinkled back. The movement was dainty yet pitying. "And Susan says his teeth are gone!" The taller of the two girls opened a pale green parasol and moved closer to the little group, stepping with fawn-like fastidiousness over the -lush grass still steaming ill the sunlight. The aura of youth about her slender body was like the languid airiness of a silver-birch in early summer. “How olq is he. Uncle Mose?" she^asked abstractedly. The old servant raked througq the snow-white kinks of his head with a meditative finger. Then he put down, his polishing-cldth. “How ol'Is dat houn’ o’ mine. Mis’ Effel?"
’I ' HE May sun shone down out of a * sky of cobalt blue, the cobalt blue of an Ontario sky in May, shone onthe nickel rims of the motor-lamps which Uncle Mo-e had been making a pretence of polishing, on the warm, red brick garage, on the billowing white and pink of a snow-apple tree in full bloom above a yellow-pa in ted lattice summer-house, on the vivid green of the lawn grass still wet with hosewater. Pigeons cooed from the stableroof. On the grape-trellis behind the summer-house fluted a spring robin. The hum of bees filled the afternoon with a lazy drone. A soft breeze fluttered the skirts of the two girls in white. The old hound, with his rose flat between his fore-paws, raised an indifferent eyelid and then lowered it again.
“How ol’ is dat dawg?" ruminated Uncle Mose. as he sat dowm on the whiterubbered running-board of the newly washed car and solemnly contemplated the hound that lay as prone as though anaesthetised by the warm spring sunlignt. “Why, Mis’ Effel, I raikon dat dawg’s clean as ol* as you and Mis’ Margot put t’gether !” The younger of the two girb laughed softly. “That would make him almost forty, Uncle Mose!" she remonstrated. "Dere’s some animiles lives a uncommon long time, Mis’ Mar rot," avowed the old negro. “Mos’ as long as some niggers!" "But not dogs and horses. Uncle Mose!” “Indeedy dey do, MÍ9* Effel. Dey do in sonic famblies. De animiles in Mis’ Jinny’s fambly always got drefful ol’. It was always de humans what died young. An’ it was Mis’ Jinny’s boy gib me dat dawg." "He used to call Judge Howell’s wife
Miss Jinny,” explained the older of the two girls. "That was Garnet’s mother.”
* I ' HE younger girl, who had been lis•* tening to the robin, nodded her head. A cloud passed like a dark wing across the grass. It lasted only a moment. The sun came out again, strong and white. “Dat’s right. Mis’ Effel; Masta Gähnet was Mis’ Jinny’s boy. An’ I raikon you notice how dat ol’ dawg lif’ his head when you say his name dataway. He knows. He’s the wises’ ol’ dawg I ever see. He’s mos’ as wise as Jo-Anne was."
"Who was Jo-Anne?" “Jo-Anne was Mis’ Jinny’s hoss. Dey was a team. Dahby and Jo-Anne. You see. Mis’ Effel, Mis’ Jinny was a Pinkney, one o’ the Virginia Pinkneys. Her folks come no’th to Canada ’bout the close o’ the Wah ; dey was sent off by the Yankees for suttin s’ditious acts an’ speechifyin’. I come along wid the folks, for I was the Ma:or’s hoss-boy. Dey bought the Buthnott Fahm. and Major Pinkney he laid out to run dat fahm. Dey had a hawd time in dis country—mos’ things was so different, and in dose days the ol’ Major he always called it a dam’ wûldernesa I ain’t tryin’ to argufy the ol’ Major was ’zackly set aginst dese yere C’nadian folks. Mis’ Éffel. for dey shore alius treat dat ol’ een’l’man wif respeck. But all dem days he was kind o’ eatin’ his ol’ heart out f’r Virginia,wifout lettin’ you N’thern folks know he was pinin’ f’r his own people. I was always his hoss-bov, an’ the ol’ Major he says to me. ‘Mose, I’se gwine to bring up some Virginia stock and show' dese Eskimmo blue-moses what hoss-flesh is!’ But dem Pinkneys was too biggety-feelin’ for truckin’ an’ tradin’, an’ the ol’ Major w’asn’t the managin’ kind, no how\ De fahm she jes’ w’ent to rack an’ roon, clear to rack an’ roon. After the Maior had his stroke, me and Mis’ Jinny we done the bes’ we could !
“Mis’ Jinny was jes’ a girl in dem days —Lo’dy. jes’ look at dat ol’ houn’ wag his ear when he catch the soun’ o’ dat name! But Mis’ Jinriy was the mos’ high-speerited girl ever took a seben-bar gate ’stead of gettin’ outen the saddle to unlock ’im. an’ many a day I see her lop over a railfence ’stead of ridin’ roun’ by the gap. She was the fines’-lookin’ girl in Kent County, was Mis’ Jinny, an’ the summer the ol’ Major had his second stroke an’ Jedge Lowell come out from the county seat for to see ’bout the law papers. I raikon the Jedge was took wif Mis’ Jinny fust day he clapped eyes on her.
“Seems I was a-puttin’ the Jedge’s team up ’bout six times a week, dat summer. ’Bout the las’ word the ol’ Major-says to me was: ‘Mose. don’t you ’low our Jinny fo hitch up wif no Eskimmo blue-nose.’ But two mont’s af’er the ol’ Ma:or was put away. Jedge Lowell he come to me an’ say: ‘Mose. Mis’ Jinny says if she comes wif me, you’s got to come too! How ’bout dat?’ I says I’s done willin’ to go where Mis’ Jinny fixes to go. The Jedge he was a cold man an’ I raikon twict the age o’ Mis’ Jinny. But he laughed and he says, ‘We all think a heap of Mis’
Jinny, Mose!’ 1 allow he was dead right ’bout dat.
"So when the Jedge marry Mis’ Jinny an’ dey move in the big red-brick over yonder on the ribber, 1 comes along too. And when the Jedge takes up the mohtgage on the ol’ Buthnott Fahm an’ buys it in for Mis’ Jinnÿ. Lo’dy, Lo’dy, how dat girl did carry on an’ cry. You see, Missey, the Jedge was a rich man. He weren’t like the ol’ Major. Ev’rything he tecHed je9’ seemed to tuhn into money. He had a powerful cold eye an’ he never cussed and laughed wif no nigger the way the ol’ Major would. But he was mighty good to me, jes’ for Mis’ Jinny’s sake. I raikon no men folks, white or black, was ever kinder to deir wimmen.
“*T*HE secón’ year dey was married he bought her the team, the team I tol’ you ’bout. Dahby and Jo-Anne. Dey was a couple o’ blue-grass thoroughbreds, a roan an’ a bay, an’ the Jedge he send me down to Covington for to fetch ’em across the Line. And I was powerful glad to git back, for the Souf ain’t the Souf it used to be; an’ Lo’dy, I don’t even talk like dem States niggers no moah! How dem ponies could trabbel! Mis’ Jinny she rigs me out wif tight pants, an’ boots wif yellow tops,, an’ a green coat wif shiny buttons; and she sets me up oif the rumble, àn’ ev’ry week we go zippin’ out to the ol’ Buthnott Fahm an’ Mis’ Jinny wanders roun’ the ol* house an’ looks over the o’chad and digs up some o’ the roots outen the ol’ flower-beds for to fetch back for the new town-house.
"One day the Jedge he comes to me an’ says: ‘Mo9e, I don’t want Mis’ Howell drivin’ dat team o’ colts no moah!’ An’ I says: ‘Den w’e all better draw dem shoes and git ’em out to the Ol’ Fahm!’—for I knew Mis’ Jiriny’d keep on a-drivin’ dem colts, no matter what the Jedge said. So he looks me in the eye and says: ‘I raikon you're right, Mose! We’ll jes’ tuhn ’em out to grass for a few' mont’s!" “Den b’fore the snow came Mis’ Jinny had her li’l baby. Dat wras Masta Gähnet!
“Mis’ Jinny mos’ died havin’ dat baby. But the fus’ day she send for me, an’ when I goes in kind o’ scary, she han’d Masta Gähnet up to me an’ says: ‘Mose, dat’s mine! mine!' An’ she cry a li’l and tak’ him back an’ I say: ‘Gawd strike me daid, Mis’ Jinny, but dat’s the mos’ beauTl baby I ever clapped my ol’ eyes on !’ Den she laugh and cry a li’l more an’ say: ‘Mose, ÿou a ol’ black fool!’—say it ’zactthe same as the ol’ Major’d say it. And dat made me think of the ol’ days, an’ I up ar.d says to her: ‘Lo’dy. Mis’ Jinny, but wouldn’t the ol’ Major be clean out’n his boots to see you wif a chile like dat?’v
"When the Jedge come in and see Mis’ Jinny cryin’ again, he tak’s me down to the lib’ry an’ pours me out a tumbler of ol’ poht wine an’ den shakes han’s wif me an’ den tries to say something an’ den w'alks to the windah blowin’ his nose. Den he jes’ pushes me out’n the lib’ry doah an’ shets hisself in. My, my, I never see a father so proud ’bout havin’ a chile. You see Mimy, the Jedge he was 'bout fohty years ol’ den. an’ I raikon he nebber understan* what havin’ one of his own flesh and blood kind o’ means to a man.
An’ when the spring come and Mis' Jinny got strong again, he sent for me for to fetch the team in from the ol’ Buthnott Fahm. An’ ev’ry day him an’ Mis’ Jinny and Masta Gähnet dey go drivin' through the country, gittin’ me to fill up the kirrige wif apple-blossoms an’ wil’plum flowers an’ enough field-posies for a fust-class funer’l. An’ I seen Mis’ Jinny hol’ dat, baby up aginst the nose of Dahby and Jo-Anne and say: ‘I want my boy always to love animiles!’ An’ Lo’dy. but dat chile’d pat dem sniffin’ noses an’ squeal and laugh an’ weren’t no more scairt of a hoss ’n you is of a kitten. An’ his mammy’d say to me, ‘Mpse. dat boy’s a Pinkney, sure ’nough !’ An’ b’fore Masta Gähnet ’d cut his front teef dat team knew dat baby.
“One Sunday when the Jedge was readin’ his latr-books under the big ellum. Mis’ Jinny put Masta Gähnet on Jo-Anne’s back, an’ let ’im ride dat mare all by hisse’f, roun’ an’ roun’ the grape-ahbor. An’ when Masta Gähnet slap the reins and pull Jo-Anne in under a ol’ black-heart cherry tree, the lowes’ branch scrapes Masta Gähnet ofTn his back, sam as my hand’d scrape p fly off’n dis fender. Dat mare jes’ know she’s ’sponsible for dat chile, for she stan’ dere all a-tramble, not so much as liftin’ one foot till the Jedge come an’ hol’ her haid while Mis’ Jinny gits Masta Gähnet from b’tween her feet. Hurt? No, Mis’ Effel, dat boy weren’t hurt nohow, ’sceptin’ for the scare. By the time he was ;»x year ol’, he was ridin’ dat hoss all over the town and across the Big Ditch culberts, wif six or seben dawgs trailin’ behin’. For Masta Gähnet always was a great han’ for dawgs. Dey was all kinds o’ dawgs. an’ dey all jes’ natcherly took to dat boy, same as a hoss did. Why. Masta Gähnet ’d ride Jo-Anne clean, up the gal’ry stairs, wif the Jedge gettin scary an’ warnin’ him to stop, an’ his mammy c’mmandin’ him to go ahead! But dô you all s’pose dat Jo-Anne ’d let anÿdCRer chile, white or black, sit on his back? No, indeedy, not for a minit!’
EM was gran’ times! Lo’dy, but
boy did bring the joy o’ life into dat ol’ red-brick house on the ribber! Not dat Masta Gähnet was a bad boy. He was jes’ high-speerited, like Mis’ Jinny— an’ where dare’s only one in a fam’bly dey natcher’ly git a lil indulged-like. He was sure a Pinkney. I raikon dat’s what made his mammy understan’ the boy better’n the Jedge did. Not dat the Jedge didn’t wo’ship the groun’ dat boy walked on. Lo’dy, he jes’ lived and wohked an’
• planned for dat boy, all his days. But Masta Gähnet an’ Mis’ Jinny ,was kind o’ closer togedder, wid all the lil secrets dat two young folks ha-.
“An’ dat boy sure did like music. He'd play a mouf-organ or a banjo or a pianny, jes’ by the ear. same as his mammy. Many’s the time Masta Gähnet an’ Mis’ Jinny an’ oi’ Mose sot up on a peck-measure and a couple o’ overturned buckets in the kerridge-shed. when the Jedge was off on his ctreuit—mis’ Jinny w'if the banjo an’ Masta Gähnet wif his mouforgan and me singin’ bass, an’-scandalize dem blue-nose No’thern folks singin’ ‘S'wanee Ribber' an’ ‘Dixie!’
“Dem was great ol’ days. Mis’ Effel! I mind* the afternoon—dat was ’long 'bout
Christmas — when the Jedge and Mis’ Jinny an’ Masta Gähnet come drivin’ home in the cuttah from the Buthnott Fahm. all wrapped up in the b’ar-skin robes an' the team a li'l sudsy on the flanks an’ the air nippy an' the sleighin’ good. Mis’ Jinny she, threw down the reins and I cotch 'em up and say: ‘Dat mus’ been a gran’ ride. Mis’ Jinny!’ She sot back in the cuttah an’ look at the big red sun drappin’ behin’ the pine trees an’ she says: ‘Mose. I’m happy!” Den she sit on the sleigh while I onhitch the team, jes’ dreamin’ like. ‘Mose.’ she says after a while, ‘dose1 preachin' folks talk ’bout a Heben after dis life! But I raikon dis is jes’ Heben ’nough for me!’
“ ’Bout dat time nex’ spring we all staht Masta Gähnet off to school. He was a powerful smaht boy. But the Jedge he allowed dat chile weren’t over-stiddy wid his book-larnin’. Masta Gähnet was jes’ too high-speerited to be shettin’ hisself up wif a lot o’ books. He was always hankerin' to be out wif the hosses, or tryin'
; to mend up the ol’ pea-rifle w*’at I kep’ hid in the harness-room for him. or traipsin’ off wif his dawgs. or buildin’ a raf’ up roun’ the bend o’ the ribber. He saved up an’ bought a ol’ rabbit-gun for a dollar, a sure-’nough gun dat’d shoot mos’ ev’ry time. But the Jedgç took dat away from him. Den he swapped a ridin’ saddle for a ol’ boat. He had her mos’ all rigged up for a pirithip—an’ many’s the time dat boy made cook vitiles for all dat pirit-crew o’ his’n—an’ he was plannin’ a pirit-raid on the Lower Ribber Gang b’fore the Jedge ever suspicioned he owned dat boat. Lo’dy. I mind the day the Jedge raided dat pirit-ship an’ Masta Gähnet an’ his brudder pirits all took a high dive off’n the tail end. Dey dove deep an’ swum the ribber. The Jedge he went white, yes’m, white as chalk, for dat man never even knowed Masta Gähnet c'd swim a stroke!
DUT the bigges’ trubble come along about the time Masta Gähnet staht to spindle out in the laigs an’ took to smokin’ cedar-bahk an’ char-cane. Nex’ thing we knows he’s tryin' a puff at t'bacca. scarin’ me out’n my wits les’ the Jedge ketch him dere in the kerridge-shed an’ hol' me 'countable. Masta Gähnet an’ the English chu’ch preacher’s boy ust to git up on the sunny side o’ the stableroof an’ near choke deirselve? to deff. Den dey jes’ natcher’ly got bruk in to it. Mis’ Jinny she did take or. bad when she four.’ dat out. Masta Gähnet couldn’t fool his mammy for long. She jes’ knew when dere was somethin’ ir. the wind. So she sent for dat boy an' shet herse'f up wif him. An’ I mind she promise him a slide trombone and a bicycle on his sixteent’ burfday. if he c’d come to her and say he’dr.ever tasted t’bacca from dat day on. An’ he meant to do dat. for he come to me and say: ‘Mose. heah'dem cubebs an' dem odder cig’reites 1 bought down to the drug stoah. Devil do you good. I ain’t agoin’ to smoke no moah!'
“The nex’ day Mis’ Jinny caii me in an' shet the doah an say: 'Mose. dere’s nothin’ on dis earth nearer an’ dearer to me 'r. dat boy o’ mine. I want for him to tie a good boy. I ain’t a-axin' for you to tittle-tattle on him. for I know you wouldnrt, nohow! But I want you for to help me make my l>oy a good man an' a hones’ man! And if you ever give dat lioy a pinch o’ t’bacca. I'll skin you alive!”
“An’ I sure would never tittle-tattle on
dat boy. for ev’ryone thought a heap o' Masta Gähnet, the same as ev’ryone thought a heap o’ Mis’ Jinny. He was the kindes’ boy you ever see, an’ ’specially wif animiles. He had dat red brick fuller’n sick dawgs an’ lame dawgs an’ no-home dawgs ’n a ant-hill is full o’ ants. But I raikon he loved dat houn’. ol’ Kaiser dere. better ’n all the res’!
U R0UT dat t*1116’ to°powerful ^fond o’ the water, slippin’ off t’ the ribber ev’ry chanct he saw. Many’s the time Mis’ Jinny sends me scootin’ over to the ribber. for to root’Masta Gähnet out’n the cave dem rapscallions set a stove up in. where dey set roun’ on nail-kegs eatm’ half-cooked cohn and kerrits. Den Masta Gähnet he bought his secón’ boat, a ol’ duck-boat, and make me tote kerridgepaint down behind the saw-mill, while he do her over an’ gaudy her up and put in mos’ all his spare time workin’ over the leaks. Even Mis’ Jinny neber knew ’bout dat boat. Leastways she neber knew 'bout it till the night Kaiser come whimperin' and scraitchin’ at the doah, when the Jedge an’ Mis’ Jinny been rittin’ dere puzzlin’ over Masta Gähnet not gettin’ home for supper. Den I jes’ busts out an’ tell dem the truf. An’ the Jedge steadies his hand and pats Kaiser and says, ‘Good dawg!’ an' ‘Take me to ’im, Kaiser!’ An’, Lo’dy, from the way he set his face 1 know he jes’ s’mise dat chile is sure drownded. An’ when I see Mis’ Jinny’s face I snuk out’n the house and kneel down behin’ the lilack-bushe9, wif the rain beatin’ on my ol’ haid, an’ I says: ‘Gawd A’mighty, spah dat chile! O Gawd A -mighfy, spah dat chile for Mis’ Jinny's sake!”
“It was gettin’ dahk when we staht out. wif the thunder barkin’ like a sheep-dawg at our heels. So we all. took lanterns and kerrige-lamps and stahted for the ribber. Mis' Jinny she went by the roád, along wif Jo-Anne and the ol’ surrey. Kaiser an’ the Jedge takes one side o’ the ribber. and I takes the other. Oh, Golly, dat was a trip, through bahn-yards and chicken yards an’ fahm-yards an’ grave-yards wif the Jedge callin’^put ’cross the water ev’ry so long, and Kaiser whimperin’ and yelpin’ and leadin’ the Jedge straight to where the ol’ duck-boat-stood under a big buttonwood. I could see the Jedge hoi’ his light all over dat l>oat. An’ she sure was empty.
“Den. Lo'dy, I heard something up in the air whisperin’ to me! I heard dat voice say, ‘Mose!’ an’ all my ol’ ha’r jes’ unkir.k itself an' stand up on end. Den I >taht to aidge away, but I hear dat voice still sayin’, ‘Mose, you black debbil. if you fix for to run I’ll sure brain you wif dis brick!’ Den I looks up at the top o’ the firin’ kiln, and dere I sees Masta Gahnet’s haid ¡»tickin' over the aidge. Bimeby I understan’ dat amt no ghos’. 'For the lub o’ Gawd, Masta Gähnet.' 1 -ays. 'whad you all doin’ on dat kilr.-top at dis time o’ night?' 'Keepin' wahm.’ he says. ‘I aint got no do’es.’
“Ar.’ dat was the truf. Dat chile got het ip rowin' down the ribber. an’ when he come to the ol’ Foote Fahm. he jes’ natcher’ly peeled off and tuk a swim. An' when ol' Foote’s cows come for to swim the fohd. dat chile raikoned he'd ride one o' deni cows acrost. 01’ man Foote gib him the chase, an’ stole his does ar' when the rain come on, dat Continued on page Ñ0. chile jes* natcher’ly had to keep wahm; so he made for the firin’ kiln. An’ I raikon if he weren’t took powerful sick for the n«x’ week or two the Jedge sure might ’ve wallopped dat boy! “But I see his mammy come out 'n the Jedge’s study wif her -eyes all red. and I raikon she begged the Jedge for to spare her boy. \oa see. Mis’ Effel. she jes’ understood dat boy! Dey was alike inside, bof of ’em was jes’ pirootin’ an’ high-speerited. like all the Pinkneys. The Jedge, he was dif’rent. When Mis’ Jinny and her boy knowed the Jedge was goin’ to be away for a spell, dey was always carryin’ on around dat ol’ red brick, rampin’ through the house like two chillur.s, an’ water-fightin’ wif the gahden-hose and hoss-racin’ down the lane. An’ dat boy never had a schoolfight or a tech o* skin trubble or a spell* o’ puppy-love widout his mammy knowin’ all about it. An’ Masta Gähnet his self he jes’ sprung into a powerful big boy, wif the Pinkney eyes and the Pinkney laugh and the Pinkney way o’ gittin’ fun out ’n things. Dat’s ’bout the time the trubble stahted!
A Woman Who Understood
Continued from page 30.
• * 1-VAT trubble didn’t staht out ’n nufI-^-fifli-more ’n a briar-root pipe what Masta Gähnet bought from the CapV. of a lake schooner unloadin’ white pine at the Van Allen lumber yahd. It cost him a dollah an’ a half—I knowed dat. for he borrowed fohty cents off ’n me— and dat pipe, he ’splained.’ had been smoked by mos’ all the Crowned Haids o’ Yurrup. The CapVi tol’ him dat. Lo’dy how dat boy loved that pipe. He tol’ me he’d nail me down in the cistu’n if I ever breaved a word ’bout him ownin’ sech a thing. Why, dat pipe jes' made Masta Gähnet into a man. I raikon he owned it for or five weeks b’fore he ever lit her up. But dat was 'bout the fust time he ever fooled his mammy. An' he took to smokin’ again.
“I never jes’ knowed how the ol’ folks foun' out ’bout Masta Gähnet and dat pipe—but I always suspicioned a ol' she-hen what was doin’ sewin' for Mis’ Jinny by the day. But the Jedge he foun’ out ’bout Mis’ Jinny’s boy smokin’. When he called ’im into dat study, Masta Gähnet was jes’ natcher’ly scairt, an’ I raikon dat chile didn’t tell the truf. An' dat fixed the Jedge.
“Mis’ Jinny, 1 miffd. she lockedafcrr self up in heir baidroom; I was bJ0K or; the dryinNgreen beatin’ rugs. Den the Jedge comes to me, hahd as iron, and he says: ‘Git me a strap!’ Lo’dy. I know’d w-nat dat meant. So I goes to the hahness-room and unbuckles a check-reir. off ’n the little mare’s hahness an’ takes it in to the Jedge. He looks at dat babystrap an’ shies it ’cross the room and goes out for to git the strap off ’n the ol’ Gladstone neck-yoke. B'fore he cai git back. I skips over to the window and opens her wide. ‘Oh, Ma.'ta Gähnet.’ 1 pled wif dat boy, ‘limbah out. limbah out. b’fore you cotch it! I’ll take the blame, I sure will!’
“But Mis’ Jinny's boy jes’ stands dere, wif his anms folded, an’ h;s Pink ney eyes flashin’ an’ his face ’s white ’s the Jedge’s. He was a Pinkney, thro' and thro', wif his laigs straight and hi-motif shut—and I jes’ crept out to the kerrigè-shed and sat down on the ol’ surrey-step and b!ubl>ered like the o!' fool I was. wif all Masta Gahnet’s dawg> creepin’ round, whimperin’ jes’ as if de\ knowed something was wrong.
“It was mos’ dahk b’fore anybody come near dat shed. When I looks up. 1 see Masta Gähnet dere. Dat staht«-d me off again, but dere weren’t a teah in dat l>oy’s eye. He’d a bundle o’ clo’es an’ things what he’d wrapped up in a gunnysack an’ tied wif_ji hame->trap. ‘Mose,’ he says, ‘I’m goin’ away!’ Pen 1 ax and ax for him to take me wif him. But he says no, I mus' take kt er o' his dawgs for him. Den he staht savin’ good-by to dem dawgs. I couldn’t ‘»tan' seein’ dem dum’ animiles lickin' his tremblin’ hands and carvin’ on dat way, so I dar out. When 1 git back Masta Gähnet is gone.
“Lo’dy, Lo’dy. dat ol’ red brick w - a dif’rent house from dat day or., mos' as quiet as a tomb, and Mis’ Jinny and the Jedge never payin’ much, and ev’rybody jes’ waitin’, waitin’ for Masta Gähnet to come back. I raikor. the Jedge thought for sure dat boy ’d !»• cornin’ back ’fore long. But he didr't. And the snow was flyin’ and winter come b’fore the ol’ folks gave up ever heavin’ from him. Den the Jedge he et crow, and stahted the search. But nothin’ come of it. Den another winter come. But dey kep’ 9endin’ off letters and
watch in' the post. Dey kep’feelin’ he’d -»ure come back. But ’tweren t no use.
\ IIS JINNY was took sick, the AVI rex’ spring, and the Jedge he done charged a powerful lot. HÍ9 ha’r done change from salt an’ peper clean into salt, an’ he walked to the post ev’ry day jes’ like an ol’ man. The nex’ winter two o’ Masta Gahnet’s oldes’ dawgs tip an’ died. Den another winter slipped ny. an’ den still another. Bimeby I raikon Mis’ Jinny an’ the ol’ Jedge done give up It was powerful dahk and quiet roun’ the ol’ red brick all them years.
"I raikon it was the nex’ spring after dat, ’bout the middle o’ May, dat Mis’ Jinny got the fust word ’bout her boy. Masta Gähnet was cornin’ home! He’d Peen mos’ all over the world, doin’ dis and dat, an’ den he turned soljer an’ ’listed, »ame as the Pinkney boys did in wah-time. Dat chile ’d been fightin’ Germans ’way over in the No’th o’ France and holdin’ a bridge-haid wif a m’chine gun all by hisself when dey shot ’im thro the ches’!
“Yes ’m. him not twenty years ol an’ fightin’ in a ahmy! And gittin’ shot thro’ the ches’! But he was gittin’ on fine, the ahmy folks write to the ol’ Jedge. tho’ dey ’lowed he’d bes’ go home and res’ up a bit.
“And, Lo’dy. Lo’dy, what goin’s os dere was when dose news come to the ol’ folks, gittin’ the rooms done over, an' -»lickin’ up the gahd^s and the greenhouse. an’ paintin’ up the ol’ surrey, an' cuttin’ a new window in the boy’» room s«> ’s he ’d git more sun! 1 sure did fix for to have o!’ Jo-Anne and ol’ Dahby shinin' like two-year-ol's, wif blue-ribbon plaited in deir. manes, an’ all the hahness-brass a-shinin’, dat day Mi»’ Jinny's boy come home!
“When dey help«.«! dat boy off'n the train and I see dem thin laigs an’ dat white face, I was jes’ ’bliged to stoop down and fuss wif ol’Jo-Anne’s bellyband. for I sure weren’t goin’ to make a ol’ fool of myse’f b’fore all dem folks. But 1 knowed Mis’ Jinny’s boy ’d be aixin’ for me mos’ the fust thing. An’ he did. •»ure 'nough. But I jes’ helt back, for I knowed he b’long to his mammy and the Jedge's much as he done to me. An’ dat houn’ Kaiser he jes’ le’p’ up and lick dat chile’s face and whimper and let the teahs run down his nose an’ cry an’ '-hake an’ den lick Masta Gahnet’s boots. An’ when Masta Gähnet hug his mammy, he could on’y use the one ahm, on ’count o’ the ches’ wound. When he gits in the kerrige and the Jedge tuck him up. he hugs Mis’ Jinny ag’n, kind o’ hongry-like. Den he laughs an’ cries an’ fights back the teahs and tetches his mammy’s haid and stays: “Oh. Mammy, dere’s a white ha’r, an’ dere’s another, sure as I’m alive!’ An’ he d’clares he’s taller ’n the Jedge hisse’f, and he swears he never see Jo-Anne ar.d Dahby lookin’ so gran’. ‘Dcedy, he do mos' all he can for Jo cheer the ol’ folks up. But somehow it jes’ weren’t no use. All dat time Mis’ Jinny she was jes’ 's quiet, like she suspicioned from the fust the truf 'bout dat boy o' hers.
“You Mis Effel. dot ches’ wound done give Masta Gähnet a powerful Vteak lung. Doctorin’ weren’t no use. an’ nus'in' weren’t no use. The ahmy folks kr.owed dat. all 'long. Dat’s why «leysent ’im home. He jes’ drapped away a li’l. day by day. An’ Mis’ Jinny she let the ol' Jedge have dat son of his’n most all the time she could spah him, for she raikoned his daddy ’served him more ’n she did. She’d always had 'im. Wif the Jedge it ’d been dif’rent: he didn't
understan’—not till after all dem yeahs an’ his boy come back again !
A LL DAT spring the ol’ Jedge ahd Masta Gähnet ’d go drivin’ out to the ol’ Buthnott Fahm, an’ bring the kerrige back clean loaded down wif wil’plum and apple-blossoms. An’ ’bout the end o’ June Masta Gähnet he passed away. Mos' the las’ thing he toldt me, Mis’ Effel, was to be sure an’ be good to poor hab the wrong kind o’ name. The Jedge an’ hab the wrong kind a’ name. The Jedge an’ Mis’ Jinny dey was mos’ kind to me dose days—an’ dey was hahd days. I was the only one o’ the help dat Mis’ Jinny ’d ’low to tech any o’ Masta Gahnet’s things. She kep’ his rooms jes’ like it always was, th’ ol’ slide-trombone over the doah, an* the ol’ rabbit-gun in the corner, an’ the busted banjo on the she’f jes’ as dat boy o' hers lef* ’em. The ol’ Jedge he jes kep’ breakin’ down ev’ry time he see dose things.
“I never ketch Mis' Jinny, tho’, dr&ppin’ a teah. She’d jes’ sit in dat room by the hour, thinkin’ and thinkin’. But in two-three yeahs her ha’r git mos' 's white ’ mine. An’ when Dahby and Jo-Anne git too ol’ for the road, the Jedge he had ’em took out to the Buthnott Fahm an’ ’low no one to lay a han' on dem hosses. Dey jes’ lazy roun’ dere an' live on the fat o’ the lan’, dat team, an’ 'bout once a mont’ Mis’ Jinny ’d drive out an’ whussle at the pasture-gate and dat tern ’d come trottin’ up and eat a apple out ’n her han’ and rub deir poses agin’ her knees. But bimeby deir teef got bad an’ deir joints got stiff. A hahd winter come on, an’ one day Lige, the fahm man, he calls me out behin’ the granary and lows dem hosses is in mis’ry an’ is sure got ’o to be shot.
“When the roads dry up again wif «pring, an’ Mis’ Jinny an’ the Jedge git •Irivin’ out to the Buthnott Fahm again. Lige an’ me we keep lyin’ like troopers
and sayin’ the ol’ team is back in the bush—yes ’m 'way back in the bush and fat ’s butter! Den one day bimeby Mis’ Jinny she’s jes’ set on seein’ dat team, an’ me and the fahm man we ’s jes’ natcher’ly ’bliged to tail what happened.
“Lo’dy, Lo’dy, but poor Mis’ Jinny did sob and cry *bout dat ol’ team. ‘Dey’s all dat’s lef’! All dat’s lef*!’ she kind o’ whispers to me when she wipe her eyes. B'fore we gits home she says to me, she says, ‘Moæ, never you tail the Jedge ’bout Dahby and Jo-Anne bein’ gone! Never, mind you, nohow!’
“But b’fóre the nex’ mont’ slip away the Jedge he ax for dat team hisse’f. When me and Lige shows ’im where dey 'a buried, back in the bush, he stays out dere all by hisse’f, mos’ all mornin’. Mose, mind you never let poor Mis’ Jinny know what happen to dat team— never, nohow!’
“An’ when the ol’ Jedge died the nex’ winter, Mis’ Jinny she says to me, ’Mose, dere’s jes’ you and me an’ ol* Kaiser lef’!’ An’ the next spring she stahted goin’ downhill herse’f, goin’ fast One day she set up in baid an’ sen’ for Kaiser an’ me and say, ’Mose, d’ you all raikon vou c’d string dat ol’ banjo o’ Masta Gahnet’s?’ An’ I gets the ol’ banjo an’ sträng ’im; an’ Mis’ Jinny say, ‘Give us Dixie. Mose!’ But Lo’dy, I’s íech a ol’ fool I bruk down an’ cry like a baby, an’ Mis’ Jinny kep’ sayin’, ‘Poor, ol’ Mose! Poor ol’ Mose!’—jes’ like dat.
“Den the young doctah come in and shak’ his haid an’ say niggers and houn’dawgs weren’t no good for the sick. An’ Mis’ Jinny she turn herse’f roun’ an’ !ieht into dat young doctah and tol’ him if any blue-nose No’thern trash lay a han’ on dat dawg or tech dat ol’ nigger »he’d sure skin ’em alive! An’ *bout the las’ thing she says to me is, ‘Mose, I aint a-goin’ to ax you to be good to dat ol’ dawg. He was masta Gahnet’s dawg. 1 knows dat’s enough.’ . . * And dat’s the same dawg dere, Mis’ Effel, dat ol’ Kaiser. And Lo’dy, the man dat talks ’bout shootin’ Kaiser ’s sure got to shoot ol’ Mose fust! Yais. indeedv!”