“Dilsey an’ Chris brought the step-ladder, an’ Diddie clum out; an’ we runned erway in the woods, an’ waded in the ditch, an’ got all muddy up; an’ the Jay Bird, he was settin’ on er limb watchin’ us, an’ he carried the news ter the deb’l; an’ Uncle Snake-bit Bob let us go ter his shop, an’ tol’ us ‘bout the Woodpecker’s head, an’ that’s all; only we ain’t n-e-v-er goin’ ter do it no mo’; an’, oh yes, I furgot—an’ Diddie’s rael sorry an’ right ‘pents; an’ I’m sorter sorry, an’ toler’ble ‘pents. An’, please, are you mad, papa?”
“It was certainly very wrong,” said her father, “to help Diddie to get out, when Miss Carrie had locked her in; and I am surprised that Diddie should need to be kept in. Why didn’t you learn your lesson, my daughter?”
“I did,” answered Diddie; “I knew it every word; but Miss Carrie jus’ cut up, an’ wouldn’t let me say it like ‘twas in the book; an’ she laughed at me; an’ then I got mad, an’ wouldn’t say it at all.”
“Which lesson was it?” asked Major Waldron.
“‘Twas er hist’ry lesson, an’ the question was, ‘Who was Columbus?’ an’ the answer was, ‘He was the son of er extinguished alligator;’ an’ Miss Carrie laughed, an’ said that wan’t it.”
“And I rather think Miss Carrie was right,” said the father. “Go and bring me the book.”
Diddie soon returned with her little history, and, showing the passage to her father, said, eagerly,
“Now don’t you see here, papa?”
And Major Waldron read, “He was the son of a distinguished navigator.” Then, making Diddie spell the words in the book, he explained to her her mistake, and said he would like to have her apologize to Miss Carrie for being so rude to her.
This Diddie was very willing to do, and her father went with her to the sitting-room to find Miss Carrie, who readily forgave Diddie for her rebellion, and Dumps and Tot for interfering with her discipline. And that was a great deal more than Mammy did, when she saw the state of their shoes and stockings, and found that they had been wading in the ditch.
She slapped the little darkies, and tied red-flannel rags wet with turpentine round the children’s necks to keep them from taking cold, and scolded and fussed so that the little girls pulled the cover over their heads and went to sleep, and left her quarrelling.
A PLANTATION MEETING AND UNCLE DANIEL’S SERMON.
“Are you gwine ter meetin’, Mammy?” asked Diddie one Sunday evening, as Mammy came out of the house attired in her best flowered muslin, with an old-fashioned mantilla (that had once been Diddie’s grandmother’s) around her shoulders.
“Cose I gwine ter meetin’, honey; I’se er tryin’ ter sarve de Lord, I is, caze we ain’t gwine stay hyear on dis yearth all de time. We got ter go ter nudder kentry, chile; an’ efn yer don’t go ter meetin’, an’ watch an’ pray, like de Book say fur yer ter do, den yer mus’ look out fur yerse’f wen dat Big Day come wat I hyears ’em talkin’ ’bout.”