“I don’t know what’s the matter with Dumps,” said Diddie; “she’s gettin’ ter be so sinful; an’ ef she don’t stop it, I sha’n’t sleep with her. She’ll be er breakin’ out with the measles or sump’n some uv these days, jes fur er judgment on her; an’ I don’t want ter be catchin’ no judgments just on account of her badness.”
“Well, I’ll take it back, Diddie,” humbly answered Dumps. “I didn’t know it was wicked; and won’t you sleep with me now?”
Diddie having promised to consider the matter, the little folks walked slowly on to the house, Dilsey and Chris and Riar all taking turns in telling them the wonderful spells and cures and troubles that Daddy Jake had wrought with his “trick-bags.”
WHAT BECAME OF THEM.
Well, of course, I can’t tell you all that happened to these little girls. I have tried to give you some idea of how they lived in their Mississippi home, and I hope you have been amused and entertained; and now, as “Diddie” said about her book, I’ve got to “wind up,” and tell you what became of them.
The family lived happily on the plantation until the war broke out in 1861.
Then Major Waldron clasped his wife to his heart, kissed his daughters, shook hands with his faithful slaves, and went as a soldier to Virginia; and he is sleeping now on the slope of Malvern Hill, where he
“Nobly died for Dixie.”
The old house was burned during the war, and on the old plantation where that happy home once stood there are now three or four chimneys and an old tumbled-down gin-house. That is all.
The agony of those terrible days of war, together with the loss of her husband and home, broke the heart and sickened the brain of Mrs. Waldron; and in the State Lunatic Asylum is an old white-haired woman, with a weary, patient look in her eyes, and this gentle old woman, who sits day after day just looking out at the sunshine and the flowers, is the once beautiful “mamma” of Diddie, Dumps, and Tot.
Diddie grew up to be a very pretty, graceful woman, and when the war began was in her eighteenth year. She was engaged to one of the young men in the neighborhood; and, though she was so young, her father consented to the marriage, as her lover was going into the army, and wanted to make her his wife before leaving. So, early in ’61, before Major Waldron went to Virginia, there was a quiet wedding in the parlor one night; and not many days afterwards the young Confederate soldier donned his gray coat, and rode away with Forrest’s Cavalry.
“And ere long a messenger came,
Bringing the sad, sad story—
A riderless horse: a funeral march:
Dead on the field of glory!”
After his death her baby came to gladden the young widow’s desolate life; and he is now almost grown, handsome and noble, and the idol of his mother.