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The Love Story of Abner Stone
written by "Litsey, Edwin Carlile, 1874-1970"
...ke a freshly polished stove, and I became almost irritated. "What are you grinning about?" I demanded, as he bent to his work with blacking and brush. [84]"Miss S'lome's comin' home, Marse," he panted, rolling his white eyes at me in ecstasy. "Are you very glad?" I continued. "Yas,'r, I is. Miss Salome's jes' so sweet that honey can't tech 'er. She picked a br'ar out 'n my foot once, Marse; out 'n my ugly, black foot. An' she hel' it in her lap, too, an' it nuvver hurt a speck." I did not say anything more. I knew now why the birds were singing so sweetly that morning, and why the squirrels in the yard were frisking so gayly. Everything was glad because she was coming home. The big bell on the tall pole behind the house rang at eleven that day instead of half past. And away out in the fields hearts were quickened in black bosoms. The slaves left the plough in the furrow, and the corn undropped, and hurried home. The summons at[85] this unusual hour meant that something out of the ordinary had happened. It was the master's order, and as they all came trooping in with inquiring faces, and stood grouped near the back porch, Mrs. Grundy appeared, and told them briefly that their young mistress was coming that afternoon, and that there would be no more work that day. They cheered the news with many a lusty shout, and the pickaninnies rolled over each other, and the youths turned handsprings, while upon each face was a look of high good humor. About four o'clock Mrs. Grundy and I repaired to the settee to watch the road, which could be seen for perhaps a mile, winding through the valley. Then around the corner of the house began to appear the vassals of this Kentucky lord. The stain of the soil had been washed from their hands and faces, and their cotton shirts were clean, though[86] patched and worn. The negresses, also, appeared, with their kinky hair done up in multitudes of "horns," and tied with bits of the most extravagant...

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