Imperium in Imperio: A Study of the Negro Race Problem eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Imperium in Imperio.

Young men and young women would move their chairs as close back to the walls as possible.  This would leave the center of the room clear.  A young man would take his place in the middle of the floor and say, “I am in the well.”  A questioner would then ask, “How many feet?” The party in the well would then say, for instance, “Three feet.”  The questioner would then ask, “Whom will you have to take you out?”

Whosoever was named by the party in the well was required by the rules of the game to go to him and kiss him the number of times equivalent to the number of feet he was in the well.

The party thus called would then be in the well.  The young men would kiss the ladies out and vice versa.

Miss Nermal’s views on kissing games were well known and the young men all passed her by.  Finally, a young lady called Belton to the well to kiss her out.  Belton now felt that his chance had came.  He was so excited that when he went to the well he forgot to kiss her.  Belton was not conscious of the omission but it pleased Antoinette immensely.

Belton said, “I am in the well.”  The questioner asked, “How many feet?” Belton replied, “Only one.”  “Whom will you have to take you out?” queried the questioner.  Belton was in a dazed condition.  He was astounded at his own temerity in having deliberately planned to call Miss Nermal to kiss him before that crowd or for that matter to kiss him at all.  However he decided to make a bold dash.  He averted his head and said, “Miss Antoinette Nermal.”

All eyes were directed to Miss Nermal to see her refuse.  But she cast a look of defiance around the room and calmly walked to where Belton stood.  Their eyes met.  They understood each other.  Belton pressed those sweet lips that had been taunting him all those many days and sat down, the happiest of mortals.

Miss Nermal was now left in the well to call for some one to take her out.  For the first time, it dawned upon Belton that in working to secure a kiss for himself, he was about to secure one for some one else also.  He glared around the room furiously and wondered who would be base enough to dare to go and kiss that angel.

Miss Nermal was proceeding with her part of the game and Belton began to feel that she did not mind it even if she did have to kiss some one else.  After all, he thought, his test would not hold good as she was, he felt sure, about to kiss another.

While Belton was in agony over such thoughts Miss Nermal came to the point where she had to name her deliverer.  She said, “The person who put me in here will have to take me out.”  Belton bounded from his seat and, if the fervor of a kiss could keep the young lady in the well from drowning, Miss Nermal was certainly henceforth in no more danger.

Miss Nermal’s act broke up that game.

On the way home that night, neither Antoinette nor Belton spoke a word.  Their hearts were too full for utterance.  When they reached Miss Nermal’s gate, she opened it and entering stood on the other side, facing Belton.

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Imperium in Imperio: A Study of the Negro Race Problem from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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