After the lunch, which his guests enjoyed very much, Mr. Smith had a little donkey brought out for Dilsey to ride, and, taking Diddie behind him on his horse, and Dumps in his arms, he started with them for home.
There was but one saddle, so Dilsey was riding “bareback,” and had to sit astride of the donkey to keep from falling off, which so amused the children that merry peals of laughter rang out from time to time; indeed, Dumps laughed so much, that, if Mr. Smith had not held her tightly, she certainly would have fallen off. But it was not very funny to Dilsey; she held on with all her might to the donkey’s short mane, and even then could scarcely keep her seat. She was highly indignant with the children for laughing at her, and said.
“I dunno wat yer kill’n yerse’f laffin’ ‘bout, got me er settin’ on dis hyear beas’; I ain’t gwine wid yer no mo’.”
Major Waldron was sitting on the veranda as the cavalcade came up, and was surprised to see his little daughters with Mr. Smith, and still more so to learn that they had walked all the way to his house on a mission of mercy; but being a kind man, and not wishing to check the germs of love and sympathy in their young hearts, he forbore to scold them, and went with them and Mr. Smith to the gin-house for the runaway.
On reaching the pick-room, the children went in alone, and told Uncle Pomp that his master had come for him, and had promised not to punish him; but still the old man was afraid to go out, and stood there in alarm till Mr. Smith called:
“Come out, Pomp! I’ll keep my promise to the little ones; you shall not be punished in any way. Come out, and let’s go home.”
And Uncle Pomp emerged from his hiding-place, presenting a very ludicrous spectacle, with his unwashed face and uncombed hair, and the dirty cotton sticking to his clothes.
“Ef’n yer’ll furgib de ole nigger dis time, marster, he ain’t neber gwine run erway no mo’; an’, mo’n dat, he gwine ter make speshul ’spress ‘rangemunce fur ter git up sooner in de mornin’; he is dat, jes sho’s yer born!” said the old negro, as he came before his master.
“Don’t make too many promises, Pomp,” kindly replied Mr. Smith; “we will both try to do better; at any rate, you shall not be punished this time. Now take your leave of your kind little friends, and let’s get towards home; we are losing lots of time this fine day.”
“Good-bye, little misses,” said Uncle Pomp, grasping Diddie’s hand in one of his and Dumps’s in the other; “good-bye; I gwine pray fur yer bof ev’y night wat de Lord sen’; an’, mo’n dat, I gwine fotch yer some pattridge aigs de fus’ nes’ wat I fin’s.”
And Uncle Pomp mounted the donkey that Dilsey had ridden, and rode off with his master, while Diddie and Dumps climbed on top of the fence to catch the last glimpse of them, waving their sun-bonnets and calling out,
“Good-bye, Mr. Tight-fis’ Smith and Uncle Pomp.”