It was a warm day in early August and the four children were sitting contentedly in the swing. They met almost every afternoon now, but were generally kept under strict surveillance by Miss Minerva. "'Twon't be long 'fore we'll all hafto go to school," remarked Frances, "and I'll be mighty sorry; I wish we didn't ever hafto go to any old school."
"I ain't never hear tell of a pole-cat grinnin'," corrected Billy, "he jes' smell worser 'n what a billy goat do." "It is Chessy cats that grin," explained Lina. "Look like folks would get 'em a lot of pole-cats stead o' chillens always hafto be wearing assfetty bags 'round their nakes, so's they can keep off whopping-cough," said Frances.
With the two uv 'em to manidge, I'm betwixt tommyhock an' buzzard, so to speak, an' I won't hev a minit's peace tell I wollop 'em both, an' mek 'em behave therse'ves. So I reckon I'll hafto talk in kindah gen'ral terms, or in par'bles, ez Brothah Stone would say, when Abner axes me 'bout my intahview with Hiram." The opportunity for Rogers' diplomatic use of "par'bles" came that evening.
"'Cause I didn't hafto," was the snappish reply. "I bet my mama give her the finest present they is," bragged the smaller boy; "I reckon it cost 'bout a million dollars." "Mother gave her a handsome cut-glass vase," said Lina. "It looks like Doctor Sanford would've give Miss Cecilia those twinses for a wedding present," said Frances.
"I promise not to never be no mo' Injun I " "Well, run then," Jimmy interrupted impatiently. "We'll just slip down to the railroad and take a look at the niggers. You don't hafto get on the train just 'cause you down to the depot." So Miss Minerva's nephew, after tiptoeing into the house for her ink bottle and filling his pockets with contraband matches, met his chum at the cabin.
Dat way, I guess I went to wuk when I wuz about 7 or 8 yeahs ol'. Chillen is sma't now, an dey hafto be taught to wuk, but dem days us culled chillen wuk; an we had a good time wukin' fo dey wernt no shows, no playthings lak dey have now to takey up day time, no'em." "Nevah no church fo' culled people does I 'member in Natchez.
"It's how ole Hiram will treat her, ef you an' her persists in goin' ag'in him; an' ef you love Betsy strong an' tendah, you'll hafto begin to think on it.