“You ’bout the piggiest girl they is,” said Jimmy, “all time got to eat up a poor old woman’s pies. You’ll have a Frances-pus in your stomach first thing you know.”
“She’s got a horn that you talk th’oo,” continued the little girl, serenely contemptuous of Jimmy’s adverse criticism, “and ’fore I knew how you talk into it, she says to me one day, `How’s your ma?’ and stuck that old horn at me; so I put it to my ear, too, and there we set; she got one end of the horn to her ear and I got the other end to my ear; so when I saw this wasn’t going to work I took it and blew into it; you-all ’d died a-laughing to see the way I did. But now I can talk th’oo it ’s good’s anybody.”
“That is an ear trumpet, Frances,” said Lina, “it is not a horn.”
“Le’s play `Hide the Switch,’” suggested Billy.
“I’m going to hide it first,” cried Frances.
“Naw, you ain’t,” objected Jimmy, “you all time got to hide the switch first. I’m going to hide it first myself.”
“No, I’m going to say `William Com Trimbleton,’” said Frances, “and see who’s going to hide it first. Now you-all spraddle out your fingers.”
Mr. Algernon Jones
Again was it Monday, with the Ladies Aid Society in session. Jimmy was sitting on the grass in his own front yard, in full view of Sarah Jane, who was ironing clothes in her cabin with strict orders to keep him at home. Billy was in the swing in Miss Minerva’s yard.
“Come on over,” he invited.
“I can’t,” was the reply across the fence, “I’m so good now I ’bout got ’ligion; I reckon I’m going to be a mish’nary or a pol’tician, one or t’ other when I’m a grownup man ’cause I’m so good; I ain’t got but five whippings this week. I been good ever since I let you ’suade me to play Injun. I’m the goodest little boy in this town, I ‘spec’. Sometimes I get scared ’bout being so good ’cause I hear a woman say if you too good, you going to die or you ain’t got no sense, one. You come on over here; you ain’t trying to be good like what I’m trying, and Miss Minerva don’t never do nothing a tall to you ’cepting put you to bed.”
“I’d ruther to git whipped fifty hunderd times ’n to hafter go to bed in the daytime with Aunt Minerva lookin’ at you. An’ her specs can see right th’oo you plumb to the bone. Naw, I can’t come over there ’cause she made me promise not to. I ain’t never go back on my word yit.”
“I hope mama won’t never ask me to promise her nothing a tall, ’cause I’m mighty curious ’bout forgetting. I ‘spec’ I’m the most forgettingest little boy they is. But I’m so glad I’m so good. I ain’t never going to be bad no more; so you might just as well quit begging me to come over and swing, you need n’t ask me no more,—’tain’t no use a tall.”
“I ain’t a-begging you,” cried Billy contemptuously, “you can set on yo’ mammy’s grass where you is, an’ be good from now tell Jedgement Day an’ ’twon’t make no change in my business.”