The Flower of the Chapdelaines eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 160 pages of information about The Flower of the Chapdelaines.

“Well, my next town is thirty miles north of——­”

“Nawth!” Euonymus broke in, thinking furiously.

“Now, if instead of hiring just your sister and her daddy I should——­”

“Yass’m!”

“Suppose I should take all four of you along, as though you were my slaves——­”

“De time bein’,” Euonymus alertly slipped in.

“Certainly, that’s all.  How would that do?”

“Oh, mist’ess! kin you work dat miracle?”

“I can do it if it suits you.”

“Lawd, it suit’ us!  Dey couldn’t be noth’n’ mo’ rep’ehensible!”

Robelia vanished.  Euonymus gazed into my eyes.

[Had my disguise failed?] “What is it, boy?”

“May I ax you a question, mi’ss?”

“You may ask if you won’t tell.”

“Oh, I won’t tell!  Is you a sho’ enough ’oman?—­Lawd, I knowd you wa’n’t!  No mo’n you is a man!  I seen it f’om de beginnin’!”

“Why, boy, what do you imagine I am?”

“Oh, I don’t ’magine, I knows!  ‘T’uz me prayed Gawd to sen’ you.  Y’ ain’t man, y’ ain’t ‘oman! an’ yit yo’ bofe!  Yo’ de same what visit Ab’am, an’ Lot, an’ Dan’l, and de motheh de Lawd!”

“Stop!  Stop!  Never mind who I am; I’ve got to put you fifty miles from here before bedtime.”

“Yes, my Lawd.  Oh, yes, my Lawd!”

“Euonymus! you mustn’t call me that!”

“Ain’t dat what Ab’am called you?”

“I forget! but—­call me mistress!—­only!”

“Yass, suh—­yass, mi’ss!”

“Good.  Now, lad, I can take you alone, horseback, which’ll be far swifter, safer, surer——­”

A new alarm, a new exaltation—­“Oh, no, my—­mist’ess; no, no! you knows you on’y a-temptin’ o’ dy servant!”

“You wouldn’t leave daddy and mammy?”

“Oh, daddy kin stick to mammy, an’ her to he! but Robelia got neither faith nor gumption, an’ let me never see de salvation o’ de Lawd ef I cayn’t stick by dat—­by—­by my po’ Robelia!”

“But suppose, my boy, we should be mistaken for runaways and tracked and run down.”

“Yass’m, o’ co’se.  Yass’m.”

“Can you fight—­for your sister?”

“Yass, my La’—­yass’m, I kin an’ I will.  I’s qualified my soul to’ dat, suh; yass’m.”

“Dogs?”

“Yass’m, dawgs.  Notinstandin’ de dawgs come pass me roun’ about, in de name o’ de Lawd will I lif up my han’ an’ will perwail.”

“Have you only your hands?”

“Da’s all David had, ag’in lion an’ bah.”

“True.  Euonymus, I need a man’s clothes.”

“Yass’m, on a pinch dey mowt come handy.”

XII

Here Robelia came again, conducting “Luke” and “Rebecca.”  Luke’s garments were amusingly, heroically patched, yet both seniors were thoroughly attractive; not handsome, but reflecting the highest, gentlest rectitude.  One of their children had inherited all that was best from both parents, beautifully exalting it; the other all that was poorest in earlier ancestors.  They were evolution and reversion personified.

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The Flower of the Chapdelaines from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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