“You perposed this here hair business yo’self, Jimmy,” retorted his fellow-conspirator. “You’s always blamin’ yo’ meanness on somebody else ever sence you’s born.”
“Hit don’t matter who perposed hit,” said Sarah Jane firmly; “meanness has been did, an’ y’ all gotter be structified on de place pervided by natur fer ter lem my chile erlone.”
Lo! The poor Indians
Billy had just decided to run down to the livery stable to pay Sam Lamb a visit when the gate opened, and Lina and Frances, their beloved dolls in their arms, came skipping in.
Jimmy, who had had a difference with Billy and was in the sulks on his own side of the fence, immediately crawled over and joined the others in the swing. He was lonesome and the prospect of companionship was too alluring for him to nurse his anger longer.
“Aunt Minerva’s gone to the Aid Society,” remarked the host. “Don’t y’ all wish it met ev’y day ’stid ‘er jes’ meetin’ ev’y Monday?”
“Yes, I do,” agreed Frances, “you can have so much fun when our mamas go to the Aid. My mama’s gone too, so she left me with Brother and he’s writing a love letter to Ruth Shelton, so I slipped off.”
“Mother has gone to the Aid, too,” said Lina.
“My mama too,” chimed in Jimmy, “she goes to the Aid every Monday and to card parties nearly all the time. She telled Sarah Jane to ’tend to me and Sarah Jane’s asleep. I hear her snoring. Ain’t we glad there ain’t no grown folks to meddle? Can’t we have fun?”
“What’ll we play?” asked Frances, who had deliberately stepped in a mud puddle on the way, and splashed mud all over herself, “let’s make mud pies.”
“Naw, we ain’t a-going to make no mud pies,” objected Jimmy. “We can make mud pies all time when grown folks ‘r’ looking at you.”
“Le’s’s play sumpin’ what we ain’t never play, sence we ’s born,” put in Billy.
“I hope grandmother won’t miss me.” said Lina, “she ’s reading a very interesting book.”
“Let’s play Injun!” yelled Jimmy; “we ain’t never play’ Injun.”
This suggestion was received with howls of delight.
“My mama’s got a box of red stuff that she puts on her face when she goes to the card parties. She never puts none on when she just goes to the Aid. I can run home and get the box to make us red like Injuns,” said Frances.
“My mother has a box of paint, too.”
“I ain’t never see Aunt Minerva put no red stuff on her face,” remarked Billy, disappointedly.
“Miss Minerva, she don’t never let the Major come to see her, nor go to no card parties is the reason,” explained the younger boy, “she just goes to the Aid where they ain’t no men, and you don’t hafter put no red on your face at the Aid. We’ll let you have some of our paint, Billy. My mama’s got ’bout a million diff’ent kinds.”