“Did Mr. Algernon Jones make all that blood?” asked an awe-stricken little boy gazing in admiration at the victim of Mr. Jones’s energy. “You sho’ is a hero to stan’ up an’ let him knock you down like he done.”
“Yes,” cried Jimmy, as the black woman dragged him kicking and struggling through the hall, “we’s all heroes, but I bet I’m the heroest hero they is, and I bet Miss Minerva’s going to be mad ’bout you all spilling all that blood on her nice clean floor.”
“Lemme see yo’ big toe what was shot off by all them Yankees and Injuns what you killed in the war,” said Billy to Miss Minerva’s beau.
The Major smiled at the little boy; a man-to-man smile, full of good comradeship, humor, and understanding. Billy’s little heart went out to him at once.
“I can’t take off my shoes at present,” said the veteran. “Well, I must be going; I feel all right now.”
Billy looked at him with big, solemn eyes.
“You couldn’t never go ‘thout yo’ pants, could you?” he asked, “’cause Aunt Minerva jest nachelly despises pants.”
The man eyed him quizzically.
“Well, no; I don’t think I could,” he replied; “I don’t think I’d look any better in a Mother Hubbard or a kimono.”
The little boy sighed.
“Which you think is the fitteness name,” asked he, “Billy or William.”
“Billy, Billy,” enthusiastically came the reply.
“I like mens,” said William Green Hill, “I sho’ wisht you could come and live right here with me and Aunt Minerva.”
“I wish so, too,” said the Major.
Billy, the credulous
After the advent and disappearance of the exciting Mr. Jones, Miss Minerva, much to Billy’s joy, had a telephone put in the house. He sat in the hall the day it was put in waiting for it to ring.
Jimmy, coming up on the front porch and through the half-open door and seeing him sitting there, rang the door bell just for a joke, ready to burst into a laugh when the other little boy turned around and saw who it was. Billy, however, in his eagerness mistook the ring for the telephone bell and joyfully climbed up on the chair, which he had stationed in readiness. He took down the receiver as he had seen Jimmy do in his home and, without once seeing that little boy standing a few feet from him, he yelled at the top of his lungs:
“Hello! Who is that?”
“This is Marie Yarbrough,” replied Jimmy from the doorway, instantly recognizing Billy’s mistake.
Marie Yarbrough was a little girl much admired by the two boys, as she had a pony and cart of her very own. However, she lived in a different part of the town and attended another Sunday-School, so they had no speaking acquaintance with her.
“I jus’ wanted to talk to you,” went on the counterfeit Marie, stifling a laugh and trying to talk like a girl. “I think you’re ’bout the sweetest little boy they is and I want you to come to my party.”