Yo' pappy was a po' man, ha'd wo'kin', an' he wasn't high-toned neither, but from the time I first see him to the day of his death I nevah seen him back down because he was afeared of anything," and Hannah turned to her work. "Little Sister" went up to Bud and slipped her hand in his. "You ain't a-goin' to back down, is you, Buddie?" she said.
One of the ole salves would come to our cabin with his fiddle and we'd dance. After I'se grow'd up, I'se wo'ked for Mrs. Susan Lovell, that was the ole masters married daughter. She lived down the road from his fa'm. She was good to me! You see I was named after Susan Lovell. It was while I was wo'kin' fo' her when the war ended. She told me I was free after the war was over.
No!" from the congregation. "No, no," pursued the preacher, "I wasn't a-shirkin' ner I wasn't a-lazy, but the soul within me was a wo'kin' wid the min', an' as we all gwine ter do some day befo' long, early in de mornin', I done fu'git this ol' body. My haid fall on my breas', my eyes close, an' I see visions of anothah day to come.
"I been en'tainin' my comp'ny in de pa'lor? Co'se I has; you wasn't usin' it. What you s'pose my frien's 'u'd think ef I'd ax 'em in de kitchen w'en dey wasn't no one in de front room? Co'se I ax 'em in de pa'lor. I do' want my frien's to think I's wo'kin' fu' no low-down people. W'y, Miss 'Liza Harris set down an' played mos' splendid on yo' pianna, an' she compermented you mos' high.
"Whereth thith push wo'kin'?" he said briefly. "Right ovah thaih," said the old Negro, indicating a part of the grounds not far distant. "All right, you go on ovah thaih an' wait fu' me; an' if you thee me, remembah, you don't thee me. I don't know you, you don't know me, but I'll try to thee you out all right."
S'pose I'd a tuck huh in de kitchen, whaih de comperments come in? "Yass'm, yass'm, I does tek home little things now an' den, dat I does, an' I ain't gwine to 'ny it. I jes' says to myse'f, I ain't wo'kin' fu' no strainers lak de people nex' do', what goes into tantrums ef de lady what cooks fu' 'em teks home a bit o' sugar.
I was bo'n an' raised in de Souf, an' in de Souf I stay ontwell I die. Ef I have to go Nawth to injoy my freedom I won't have it. I'll quit wo'kin fu' it." Ben was positive, but he felt uneasy, and the next day he told his master of the whole matter, and Mr. Raymond went down to talk to Viney. She met him with a determination that surprised and angered him.
He was wrenched by interior spasms that seemed almost to tear his huge body to pieces. "What done got into dat big lump o' bone an' grizzle?" demanded Eradicate. "He looks like, he swallowed a volcano, and it just got to wo'kin' right. My lawsy!" "He is a sick man, all right," admitted Tom.
I 'lows to myse'f I ain't wo'kin' fu' no sich folks; so sometimes I teks home jes' a weenchy bit o' somep'n' dat nobody couldn't want nohow, an' I knows you ain't gwine 'ject to dat. You do 'ject, you do 'ject! Huh! "I's got to come an' ax you, has I? Look a-hyeah, Mis' Ma'tin, I know I has to wo'k in yo' kitchen. I know I has to cook fu' you, but I want you to know dat even ef I does I's a lady.
I wo'k in de fiel', his son go away to college an' come back a graduate. Das hit. Well, w'en freedom come, I des' bent an' boun' I ain' gwine do it no mo' an' I didn't. Now look at me. I sets down w'en I wants to. I does my own wo'kin' an' my own smokin'. I don't owe a cent, an' dis yeah my boy gwine graduate f'om de school. Dat's me, an' I ain' called on ol' Mas' yit."