De Lawd knows I say my prars sho't so as to be up an' doin'. Anyhow I doan belebe he likes ter be hollered at so, as dey do in our meetin' an' Unc. says dat sech talk am 'phemous. But dat ain't heah nor dar. We'se gwine right along, honey, ain't we? We'se gwine ter min' our own business jes' as if we'se the bigges' pahners in de town?"
We landed on several of these, and on one it might have been Bigges Island I discovered a high cairn or mound of stones erected on the most prominent point. Yamba told me that this structure was not the work of a native. She explained that the stones were laid too regularly.
Dey wasn't 'lowed to go of'en in dose days 'cause de yallow fevah was dere; but when de sailor boys got a chance dey would slip sof'ly down de side an' strike out fur de shoah. Tom, he know dis custom, an' he kep sharp eye on de boys, an' I 'shure yo' sah, dat dat shahk gobbled up moah seamen dan 'uld fill de bigges' ob de Queen's men-ob-wah.
Up ter dat time he wuz ez ball ez a sweeten' 'tater, but des ez soon ez de young leaves begun ter come out on de grapevimes, de ha'r begun ter grow out on Henry's head, en by de middle er de summer he had de bigges' head er ha'r on de plantation.
"Oh, Aunt Linda," said Robert, "don't call them niggers. They are our own people." "Dey ain't my kine ob people. I jis' calls em niggers, an' niggers I means; an' de bigges' kine ob niggers. An' if my John war sich a nigger I'd whip him an' leave him." "An' what would I be a doin'," queried John, suddenly rousing up at the mention of his name.
"I knows the names of aller ole Aunt Blue-Gum Tempy's Peruny Pearline's chillens," he was saying proudly: "Admiral Farragut Moses the Prophet Esquire, he's the bigges'; an' Alice Ann Maria Dan Step-an'-Go-Fetch-It, she had to nuss all the res.; she say fas' as she git th'oo nussin' one an' 'low she goin' to have a breathin' spell here come another one an' she got to nuss it.
"De cunjuh man lafft en lafft, en he put on his bigges' pot, en fill' it wid his stronges' roots, en b'iled it en b'iled it, 'tel bimeby de win' blowed en blowed, 'tel it blowed down de live-oak tree.
"An de fourf mate," wound up the narrator, straightening his huge bulk, "am de bes' man in de ship, and de bigges'. Dey aint no whalemen in Noo Bedford caynt teach ME nuffin, en ef it comes ter man-handlin'; w'y I jes' pick 'em two't a time 'n crack 'em togerrer like so, see!" and he smote the palms of his great paws against each other, while I nodded complete assent.
An' whut dem six ghostes do but stand round an' confabulate? Yas, sah, dass so. An' whin dey do so, one say': "'Pears like dis a mighty likely li'l' black boy. Whut we gwine do fo' to reward him fo' politeness?" An' anudder say': "Tell him whut de truth is 'bout ghostes." So de bigges' ghost he say': "Ah gwine tell yo' somefin' important whut yever'body don't know: Dey ain't no ghosts."
Some folks 'low ez Providence hev got mighty leetle jedgmint in worldly affairs, an' this mus' be one o' the strikin' instances of it. These frien's gin the bigges' boy work ter do, an' that holped ter keep 'Fambly's' bodies an' souls tergether.