I don’t know thet I ought to say that either, for they never was a thing done mo’ friendly an’ amiable on earth, on his part, than the takin’ of this dockiment. Why, no; of co’se he wasn’t goin’ to that school—cert’n’y not. Ef he had b’longed to that school, they wouldn’t ‘a’ been no question about it. He ’d ‘a’ thess gradj’ated with the others. An’ when he went there with his ma an’ me, why, he’ll tell you hisself that he hadn’t no mo’ idee of gradj’atin’ ’n what I have this minute.
An’ when he riz up in his seat, an’ announced his intention, why, you could ‘a’ knocked me down with a feather. You see, it took me so sudden, an’ I didn’t see thess how he was goin’ to work it, never havin’ been to that school.
Of co’se eve’ybody in the county goes to the gradj’atin’, an’ we was all three settin’ there watchin’ the performances, not thinkin’ of any special excitement, when Sonny took this idee.
It seems thet seein’ all the other boys gradj’ate put him in the notion, an’ he felt like ez ef he ought to be a-gradj’atin’, too.
You see, he had went to school mo’ or less with all them fellers, an’ he knowed thet they didn’t, none o’ ’em, know half ez much ez what he did,—though, to tell the truth, he ain’t never said sech a word, not even to her or me,—an’, seein’ how easy they was bein’ turned out, why, he thess reelized his own rights—an’ demanded ’em then an’ there.
Of co’se we know thet they is folks in this here community thet says thet he ain’t got no right to this dipiomy; but what else could you expect in a jealous neighborhood where eve’ybody is mo’ or less kin?
The way I look at it, they never was a diplomy earned quite so upright ez this on earth—never. Ef it wasn’t, why, I wouldn’t allow him to have it, no matter how much pride I would ‘a’ took, an’ do take, in it. But for a boy o’ Sonny’s age to’ve had the courage to face all them people, an’ ask to be examined then an’ there, an’ to come out ahead, the way he done, why, it does me proud, that it does.
You see, for a boy to set there seein’ all them know-nothin’ boys gradj’ate, one after another, offhand, the way they was doin’, was mighty provokin’, an’ when Sonny is struck with a sense of injestice, why, he ain’t never been known to bear it in silence. He taken that from her side o’ the house.
I noticed, ez he set there that day, thet he begin to look toler’ble solemn, for a festival, but it never crossed my mind what he was a-projeckin’ to do. Ef I had ‘a’ suspicioned it, I’m afeered I would’ve opposed it, I’d ‘a’ been so skeert he wouldn’t come out all right; an’ ez I said, I didn’t see, for the life o’ me, how he was goin’ to work it.
That is the only school in the county thet he ain’t never went to, ’cause it was started after he had settled down to Miss Phoebe’s school. He wouldn’t hardly ’v went to it, nohow, though—less’n, of co’se, he ’d ‘a’ took a notion. Th’ ain’t no ’casion to send him to a county school when he’s the only one we’ve got to edjercate. They ain’t been a thing I’ve enjoyed ez much in my life ez my sackerfices on account o’ Sonny’s edjercation—not a one. Th’ ain’t a patch on any ol’ coat I’ve got but seems to me to stand for some advantage to him.