I would as lief wear a calico dress, and let the little foxes have their mammies to feed them; and I was willing to bet all my money that we would have as much ham, and as many greens next summer as we ever had. And if the foxes took Hoods' Dorkings again, let them build a coop with safe foundations.
Wait till my Sneezer comes home and sees it Tut, tut! He ain't mebbe comin' home no mo'!" "Oh, yes, he will, Mammy June," Philly said comfortingly. "Don't know. These boys ups and goes away from their mammies and ain't never seen nor heard of again." "But Sneezer loved you too well to stay away always," Alice Armatage said.
Until late in the night the goats would bleat, babies cry, and the "boys" and "mammies" talked, sang, quarrelled, beat tom-toms, and squeezed mournful groans out of the accordion of civilization. One would have thought we had anchored off a busy village rather than at a place where, before that night, the inhabitants had been only the beasts of the jungle and the river.
I mean these here mammies that I see puttin' little tricks to work that ort to be runnin' out o' doors gettin' their strength and growth well, po' souls, I reckon they don't know no better, God forgive 'em!" "But if they got sick or anything, there's always the hospital," Johnnie spoke up hopefully, as they passed the clean white building standing high on its green slope.
Drawn up in the wide hall, under the direct command of old Alec, the head butler, were the house servants; mulatto maids in caps, snuff-colored second butlers in livery, jet-black mammies in new bandannas and white aprons all in a flutter of excitement, and each one determined to get the first glimpse of Marse Harry's young lady, no matter at what risk.
I never bet in the teeth of a pat hand. Sabe? Besides, my young Mormon cub, when did you enter this game? Where's your ante? For the sport of it, now, what do you think of putting up, to make it interesting? One of your mammies? Tut, tut!"
At the ceremonies of guard mount and dress parade the country was thronged with visitors from Washington, ladies in gay gowns and scarfs, Congressmen in silk hats and chokers, apparently forgetful of their undignified role in the late affair at Bull Run even children with black mammies in scarlet turbans and white wool dresses came to watch a great army limbering up after a winter of inaction.
The mammies were too terrified to scream, but the ship's officers yelled and swore, the boat's crews shrieked, and the black babies howled. Each baby was strapped between the shoulders of the mother. A mammy-chair is like one of those two-seated swings in which people sit facing one another.
The Honorable Prim and his charming daughter, not to be outdone by their neighbors, cleared the front drawing-room of its heavy furniture, covered every inch of the tufted carpet with linen crash, and with old black Jones as fiddler and M. Robinette a French exile as instructor in the cutting of pigeon wings and the proper turning out of ankles and toes, opened the first of a series of morning soirees for the young folk of the neighborhood, to which were invited not only their mothers, but their black mammies as well.
One of the black mammies, to ward off evil from the little naked baby at her breast, offered an arm's length of blue cloth for "the White Man's fetish." My voyage up the Kasai ended at Dima, the headquarters of the Kasai Concession. I had been told that at Dima I would find a rubber plantation, and I had gone there to see it.