Quashy bent slightly forward, extended his arms, spread out his ten fingers, opened his mouth, and tried to speak. "S-S-Soo !" he began, and gasped. "S-Soo Sooz'n!" he shouted. Yes, there she stood, in the doorway of a hut, as black as life, and with a glare of joyful surprise that was only surpassed by that of her admirer. A moment later they recovered.
"And pray, Quashy, how do you know that it's all right, or that I want anything to be all right. In short, what business have you to presume to to " "Oh, it's all right, massa," replied the negro, with a wink and what a wink that was! "I knows all about it, bein' zactly in de same state wid Sooz'n."
"Why, you an' me's too heaby for one hoss, you know, an' you said you hab on'y one." "Das true," returned Quashy, entangling the knot with another. "Well, nebber mind," said Susan, with a little nod of assurance. "I's put it all right. I'll stole one." "Sooz'n!" exclaimed her lover, with inexpressible solemnity, "you'll do nuffin ob de sort. I b'longs to a good man now, so I knows better dan dat.
I not kin 'splain rightly but I say to 'er one day, when I'd got my courage screwed up, `Sooz'n, ses I. `Well, ses she. `I I lub you, ses I, `more nor myself, 'cause I t'ink so well ob you. Eberybody t'inks well ob you, Sooz'n. "`Nuffin', ses she! Now, wasn't dat modest?" "It certainly was, Quashy. Couldn't have been more so," said Pedro.
This huge, populous town was not only a new sight, but an almost new idea to the negroes, and they were lost alike in amusement and amazement. "Hi!" exclaimed Quashy in his falsetto, "look, look dar, Sooz'n das funny."
"I t'ink it am a puzzler," replied the negro, his face twisted up into wrinkles of perplexity. "I's puzzled to hear dat massa tell a big lie by sayin' he's a beggar, an' den show dat it's a lie by offerin' to pay for de kurnel's darter's dresses. It's koorious, but white folk has sitch koorious ways dat it's not easy to understan' dem. Let's be t'ankful, Sooz'n, you an' me, that we're bof black."
"And after that we couldn't, I think, do better than turn in." The fire had by that time burned low, and the gale was still raging around them, driving the snowdrift wildly against the hut, and sometimes giving the door so violent a shake as to startle poor Quashy out of sweet memories of Sooz'n into awful thoughts of the ghost that had not yet been laid.
"So I is, massa awrful trus'ful! Kin trus' you wid a'most anyt'ing. Trus' dis yer Injin gal wid untol' gol'. Trus' Sooz'n wid de whole world, an' eberyt'ing else besides, but I's not quite so sure about dis yer Pedro. Di'n't he say dar's noos to tell, an' he wants help, an' der's mischif a-brewin'? An' ain't I sure 'nuff dat he's got suffin to do wid de mischif, or he wouldn't be so secret?"
He's only a nigger, as he says, but he's one of the very best and bravest and most faithful niggers that I ever had to do with." "You's bery good, Miss a'most as good as Sooz'n." "Oh, well, have it all your own way," cried the colonel, becoming reckless, and shaking the negro's hand heartily; "I surrender.
When me an' Miss Manuela got to de place whar I had fix on, dar was de lub-sick man sure 'nuff, an' you may b'liebe he look 'stonished to see Manuela, but he wasn't half so 'stonished as me at de way dey hoed on. What d'ee t'ink dey dooed, Sooz'n?" "Dun know. S'pose dey run into each oder's arms, an' hab a dance round like me an' you." "Nuffin ob de sort. I wouldn't hab bin suprised at dat at all.