I didn’t see no partic’lar use in lightin’ the candles myself, bein’ ez we didn’t need ’em to see by, an’ shorely the good Lord thet can speak out a sun any time he needs a extry taper couldn’t be said to take no pleasure in a Simpkinsville home-dipped candle. But the way I look at it, seem like ef some wants em, why not?
Th’ ain’t nothin’ mo’ innercent than a lighted candle,—kep’ away up on the wall out o’ the draft, the way they are in church,—an’ so, when it come to votin’ on it, why, I count peace an’ good-will so far ahead o’ taller thet I voted thet I was good for ez many candles ez any other man would give. An’ quick ez I said them words, why, Enoch Johnson up an’ doubled his number. It tickled me to see him do it, too.
Enoch hates me thess because he’s got a stupid boy—like ez ef that was any o’ my fault. His Sam failed to pass at the preliminar’ examination, an’ wasn’t allowed to try for a diplomy in public; an’ Enoch an’ his wife, why, they seem to hold it ag’in’ me thet Sonny could step in at the last moment an’ take what their boy could n’t git th’oo the trials an’ tribulations of a whole year o’ bein’ teached lessons at home an’ wrestled in prayer over.
I ain’t got a thing ag’in’ Enoch, not a thing—not even for makin’ me double my number o’ candles. Mo’ ’n that, I’d brighten up Sam’s mind for ’im in a minute, ef I could.
I never was jealous-hearted. An’ neither is Sonny.
He sent Sam a special invite to his gradj’atin’ party, an’ give him a seat next to hisself so’s he could say “Amen” to his blessin’, thess because he had missed gittin’ his diplomy. Everybody there knowed why he done it.
But talkin’ about Sonny being “raised,” I told Miss Phoebe thet we’d haf to stop sayin’ it about him, right or wrong, ez a person can’t raise nothin’ higher ’n what he is hisself, an Sonny’s taller ’n either wife or me, an’ he ain’t but sixteen. Ef we raised ’im partly, we must ‘a’ sent ‘im up the rest o’ the way. It’s a pleasure to pass a little joke with Miss Phoebe; she’s got sech a good ear to ketch their p’ints.
But, come to growin’, Sonny never asked nobody no odds. He thess stayed stock-still ez long ez he found pleasure in bein’ a little runt, an’ then he humped hisself an’ shot up same ez a sparrer-grass stalk. It gives me pleasure to look up to him the way I haf to.
Fact is, he always did require me to look up to ’im, even when I looked down at ’im.
Yas, sir; ez I said, Sonny has commenced keepin’ company,—outspoke,—an’ I can’t say thet I’m opposed to it, though some would say he was a little young, maybe. I know when I was his age I had been in love sev’al times. Of co’se these first little puppy-dog loves, why, th’ ain’t no partic’lar harm in ’em—less’n they’re opposed.
An’ we don’t lay out to oppose Sonny—not in nothin’ thet he’ll attemp’—after him bein’ raised an’ guided up to this age.