"Look at that," he said finally. She glanced at the head-lines "Prominent Negro Politician Candidate for High Office at Hands of New Administration. B. Alwyn of Alabama." "Why, it's Bles!" she said, her face lighting as his darkened. "An impudent Negro," he voiced his disgust. "If they must appoint darkies why can't they get tractable ones like my nigger Stillings." "Stillings?" she repeated.
"Why, here is Miss Wynn now." Bles turned. She was right behind him, the centre of a group. She turned, slowly, and smiled. "Oh!" she uttered twice, but with difference cadence. Then something like amusement lurked a moment in her eye, and she quietly presented Bles to her friends, while Stillings hovered unnoticed in the offing: "Miss Jones Mr. Alwyn of " she paused a second "Alabama.
Suppose, after all, this Grey gift but she caught her breath sharply just as a wet splash of rain struck upon her forehead. No. God could not be so cruel. She pushed her bonnet back: how good and cool the water felt! But on Bles as he raised the buggy top it felt hot and fiery. He felt the coming of some great calamity, the end of a dream.
Rain storms in the night the weather is showing its April caprice. From the window one sees a gray and melancholy sky, and roofs glistering with rain. The spring is at its work. Yes, and the implacable flight of time is driving us toward the grave. Well each has his turn! "Allez, allez, o jeunes filles, Cueillir des bleuets dans les bles!" I am overpowered with melancholy, languor, lassitude.
The first part of the query did not bother her. "Whatever they want they won't get," she said decisively. But as to the man or men who could influence them to believe that they were getting, or about to get, what they wanted there was a question. One by one she considered the men she knew, and, by a process of elimination, finally arrived at Bles Alwyn.
She felt in touch, even if dimly and slightly, with great industrial movements, and she felt, too, like a discerning pioneer in philanthropy. Both roles she liked. Besides, they held, each, certain promises of social prestige; and society, Miss Taylor argued, one must have even in Alabama. Bles Alwyn met her at the train. He was growing to be a big fine bronze giant, and Mary was glad to see him.
Then, when the wind fell murmuring away, the clouds grew blacker and blacker and rain in long slim columns fell straight from Heaven to earth digging itself into the land and throwing back the red mud in angry flashes. So it rained for one long week, and so for seven endless days Bles watched it with leaden heart. He knew the Silver Fleece his and Zora's must be ruined.
Delicately, too, but gradually, the companionship of Bles and Zora was guided and regulated. Of mornings Zora would hurry through her lessons and get excused to fly to the swamp, to work and dream alone. At noon Bles would run down, and they would linger until he must hurry back to dinner.
In yonder store nothing hindered the clerk from being exceptionally pert; on yonder street-car the conductor might reserve his politeness for white folk; this policeman's business was to keep black and brown people in their places. All this Caroline Wynn thought of, and then smiled. This was the thing poor blind Bles was trying to attack by "appeals" for "justice." Nonsense!
I am simply trying to make clear to you why you should be careful. Treat poor Zora a little more lovingly, and Bles a little less warmly. They are just human but, oh! so human." Mary Taylor rose up stiffly and mumbled a brief good-night. She went to her room, and sat down in the dark. The mere mention of the thing was to her so preposterous no, loathsome, she kept repeating.