I was at some pains to do it; finally I managed to turn the pony's head round, and we walked back in the same sober style we had come up. Darry stood by the stables, smiling and watching me; down among the quarters the children and old people turned out to look after me; I walked down as far as Darry's house, turned and came back again.
"Missie want to see Darry's house?" said he, showing his white teeth. "Missie shall see what she mind to. I allus keeps Saddler till the last, 'cause he's ontractable.". The black horse was put in the stable, and I followed my black groom down among the lines of stone huts, to which the working parties had not yet returned.
Getting Darry to talk to me in my rides, by degrees I came to know the stories and characters of many of the hands; I picked up hints of a want or a desire here and there, which Darry thought there was no human means of meeting or gratifying. Then, the next time I had a chance, I brought up these persons and cases to Maria, and supplemented Darry's hints with her information.
"Darry's place and yours," I said. "His place and mine! His place is a servant's, I take it, belonging to Rudolf Randolph, of Magnolia. I am the unworthy representative of an old Southern family, and a gentleman. What have you to say about that?" "He is a servant of the Lord of lords," I said; "and his Master loves him.
"Missie want to see Darry's house?" said he, showing his white teeth. "Missie shall see what she mind to. I allus keeps Sadler till the last, 'cause he's ontractable." The black horse was put in the stable, and I followed my black groom down among the lines of stone huts to which the working parties had not yet returned.
"Where are the mothers of all these babies, Darry?" I asked. "Dey's in de field, Miss Daisy. Home d'rectly." "Are they working like men in the fields!" I asked. "Dey's all at work," said Darry. "Do they do the same work as the men?" "All alike, Miss Daisy." Darry's answers were not hearty.
Darry's house was one of the lowest in the dell, out of the quadrangle, and had a glimpse of the river. It stood alone, in a pretty place, but something about it did not satisfy me. It looked square and bare.
"Can't spec' for to have everyt'ing jus like de white folks," said the old woman. "We's no right to spect it. But Uncle Darry, he sot a sight by his praise-meetin'. He's cur'ous, he is. S'pose Darry's cur'ous." "And does anybody say that you shall not have prayer-meetings?" "Laws, honey! what's we got to do wid praise-meetin's or any sort of meetin's? We'se got to work.
It comes back to me now as I write the hush, and the breathing of the fire, and Darry's low voice and imperfect English. Yes, and the incoming tide of rest and peace and gladness which began to fill the dry places in my heart, and rose and swelled till my heart was full. I lost my troubles and forgot my difficulties.
I fancied that Darry's prayer had a somewhat different atmosphere from the old. Yet when I once or twice asked Margaret the next morning why such and such a one had not been at the reading, she gave me a careless answer, that she supposed Mr. Edwards had found something for them to do. "But at night, Margaret?" I said. "Mr. Edwards cannot keep them at work at night."