Author: Frances Boyd Calhoun
Release Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5187] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on May 31, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK miss Minerva ***
BY FRANCES BOYD CALHOUN
William green Hill
A scandalized Virgin
The bus drove up to the gate and stopped under the electric street-light. Perched on the box by the big, black negro driver sat a little boy whose slender figure was swathed in a huge rain coat.
Miss Minerva was on the porch waiting to receive him.
“Mercy on me, child,” she said, “what on earth made you ride up there? Why didn’t you get inside?”
“I jest wanted to ride by Sam Lamb,” replied the child as he was lifted down. “An’ I see a nice fat little man name’ Major—”
“He jes’ wouldn’ ride inside, Miss Minerva,” interrupted the driver, quickly, to pass over the blush that rose to the spinster’s thin cheek at mention of the Major. “Twan’t no use fer ter try ter make him ride nowhars but jes’ up by me. He jes’ ‘fused an’ ‘fused an’ ‘sputed an’ ‘sputed; he jes’ tuck ter me f’om de minute he got off ‘m de train an’ sot eyes on me; he am one easy chile ter git ‘quainted wid; so, I jes’ h’isted him up by me. Here am his verlise, ma’am.”
“Good-bye, Sam Lamb,” said the child as the negro got back on the box and gathered up the reins. “I’ll see you to-morrer.”
Miss Minerva imprinted a thin, old-maid kiss on the sweet, childish mouth. “I am your Aunt Minerva,” she said, as she picked up his satchel.
The little boy carelessly drew the back of his hand across his mouth.
“What are you doing?” she asked. “Are you wiping my kiss off?”
“Naw ‘m,” he replied, “I’s jest a—I’s a-rubbin’ it in, I reckon.”
“Come in, William,” and his aunt led the way through the wide hall into w big bedroom.
“Billy, ma’am,” corrected her nephew.
“William,” firmly repeated Miss Minerva. “You may have been called Billy on that plantation where you were allowed to run wild with the negroes, but your name is William Green Hill and I shall insist upon your being called by it.”
She stooped to help him off with his coat, remarking as she did so, “What a big overcoat; it is several sizes too large for you.”
“Darned if ’tain’t,” agreed the child promptly.
“Who taught you such a naughty word?” she asked in a horrified voice. “Don’t you know it is wrong to curse?”