Uncle Isham looked steadily into the fire and rubbed the sides of his head with his big black fingers. “Ole miss nebber had no gal baby ’cept one, an’ dat died when ’twas mighty little.”
“Does you reckon she kill her ef she come back an’ fin’ her no kin?” asked Letty.
Uncle Isham pushed his stool back and started to his feet with a noise which woke Plez, who had been soundly sleeping on the other side of the fireplace; and striding to the door, the old man went out into the open air. Returning in less than a minute, he put his head into the doorway and addressed the astonished woman who had turned around to look after him. “Look h’yar, you Letty, I don’ want to hear no sech fool talk ’bout ole miss. You dunno ole miss, nohow. You only come h’yar seben year ago when dat Plez was trottin’ roun’ wid nuffin but a little meal bag for clothes. Mahs’ John had been dead a long time den; you nebber knowed Mahs’ John. You nebber was woke up at two o’clock in the mawnin wid de crack ob a pistol, an’ run out ‘spectin’ ‘twas somebody stealin’ chickens an’ Mahs’ John firin’ at ’em, an’ see ole miss a cuttin’ for de road gate wid her white night-gown a floppin’ in de win’ behind her, an’ when we got out to de gate dar we see Mahs’ John a stannin’ up agin de pos’, not de pos’ wid de hinges on, but de pos’ wid de hook on, an’ a hole in de top ob de head which he made hese’f wid de pistol. One-eyed Jim see de whole thing. He war stealin’ cohn in de fiel’ on de udder side de road. He see Mahs’ John come out wid de pistol, an’ he lay low. Not dat it war Mahs’ John’s cohn dat he was stealin’, but he knowed well ’nuf dat Mahs’ John take jes’ as much car’ o’ he neighbus cohn as he own. An’ den he see Mahs’ John stan’ up agin de pos’ an’ shoot de pistol, an’ he see Mahs’ John’s soul come right out de hole in de top ob his head an’ go straight up to heben like a sky-racket.”
“Wid a whizz?” asked the open-eyed Letty.”
“Like a sky-racket, I tell you,” continued the old man, “an’ den me an’ ole miss come up. She jes’ tuk one look at him and then she said in a wice, not like she own wice, but like Mahs’ John’s wice, wot had done gone forebber: ‘You Jim, come out o’ dat cohn and help carry him in!’ And we free carried him in. An’ you dunno ole miss, nohow, an’ I don’ want to hear no fool talk from you, Letty, ‘bout her. Jes’ you ’member dat!”
And with this Uncle Isham betook himself to the solitude of his own cabin.
“Well,” said Letty to herself, as she rose and approached the bed in the corner of the room, “Ise pow’ful glad dat somebody’s gwine to take de key bahsket, for I nebber goes inter dat sto’-room by myse’f widout tremblin’ all froo my back bone fear ole miss come back, an’ fin’ me dar ’lone.”