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her old superstitions. She was not only der his severe mental strain, and now he Queen Mother of the Sisters of the Order lay blinking at the ceiling, utterly unable of the Star, and an officer in various to give a satisfactory answer. church societies, but she was also a cook "Aunt Kizzy jes happen' 'long," he in the house of Mrs. James Bertram, muttered presently. “Ain't no harm in President of the State Federation of Wo- a' ol' frien' passin' de time ob day.” men's Clubs. The crumbs of wisdom “Whut them strings tied on yer toes that fell from the lips of the great Mrs. fer?" repeated Amanda with fearful inBertram were carefully preserved by sistence. Amanda, and warmed over, with sundry Gordon Lee, pushed to the extreme, garnishings of her own, for the various and knowing by experience that he was colored clubs to which she belonged. as powerless in the hands of his diminutive
Gordon Lee had succeeded in adorning wife as an elephant in those of his keeponly three toes when he heard a quick ers, weakly capitulated. step on the gravel outside, and hastily "Aunt Kizzy 'low'-I ain't sayin' she's getting his foot under cover, he settled right; I 's jes tellin' you whut she 'low'back on the pillow, closed his eyes, and Aunt Kizzy 'low' dat, 'cordin' to de symbegan laboriously inhaling with a wheeze tems, she say', --an' I ain't sayin' I b’lieve and exhaling with a groan.
her,—but she say' hit looks to her lak The candle sputtered as the door was I 's sufferin' f'om a hoodoo." flung open, and a small, energetic mulatto “A hoodoo!" Amanda's scorn was unwoman, twenty years Gordon Lee's junior, bounded. “Ef it don't beat my time how bustled into the room.
some of you niggers hang on to them os “Good lan’! but it 's hot in heah!" she notions. 'T ain't nothin' 't all but ignoexclaimed, flinging up a window. "I got rant superstition. Ain't I tol' you that a a good mind to nail this heah window hunderd times?" down f'om the top.”
“Yes, you done tol' me,” said Gordon "I done open' de door fer a spell dis Lee, putting up a feeble defense. “You mawnin',” said Gordon Lee, sullenly, all time quoilin' an' runnin' down conpulling the bedclothes tighter about his jurin' an' bad-luck signs an' all de nigger neck. “Lettin' in all dis heah night air superstitions; but you 's quick 'nough to meks my eyes sore."
tek up all dese heah white superstitions." The bedclothes, having thus been “How you mean?" demanded Amanda. drawn up from the bottom of the bed, Gordon Lee, flattered at having any left the patient's feet exposed, and remark of his noticed, proceeded to elaboAmanda immediately spied the string- rate. encircled toes.
“I mean all dis heah talk 'bout hits "Gordon Lee Surrender Jones," she bein' bad luck to sleep wid de windows exclaimed indignantly, “has that there shet, an' 'bout flies carryin' disease, an’ meddlin'oľ' Aunt Kizzy been here 'bout worms gittin' in de milk ef you again?"
leave hit settin'roun' unkivered.” Gordon Lee's eyes blinked, and his "Not worms,” corrected Amanda; thick, sullen under lip dropped half an germs. That ain't no superstition; inch lower.
that 's a scientific fac'. They is so little “Ef you think,” continued Amanda, you don't see 'em; but they 's there all furiously, "that I 'm a-goin' to keep on right. Mis' Bertram says they 's ever’a-workin' my fingers to the bone, lak I where-in the water, in the air, crawlin' been doin' fer the past year, a-payin' doc- up the very walls." tors' bills, an' buyin' medicines fer you, Gordon Lee looked fearfully at the while you lay up in this here bed listenin' ceiling, as if he expected an immediate to the fool talk of a passel of igneramuses, attack from that direction. you 's certainly mistaken. Hit 's bad "I ain't sayin' dey ain't, Amanda. enough to have you steddyin' up new ail- Come to think of hit, seems lak I 'member ments ever' day, without folks a-puttin' 'em scrunchin' 'g'inst my teeth when I 'em in yer head. Whut them strings tied eats. I ain't sayin' nothin' 't all 'bout on yer tocs fer?"
white folks superstitions, -I 'spec' dey's Gordon Lec's wheezing had ceased un- truc, ebery one ob 'em, - but hit look lak
Drawn by F. R. Gruger. Half-tone plate engraved by R. Varley ""HUCCOME YOU PUT YER PILLOW ON THE FLOOR? SHE ASKED"
you ought n't to shet yer min' ag'inst de patient having cleared all the dishes becolored signs dat done come down f'om fore him, Amanda proceeded to clear up. yer maw an' yer paw, an' yer gran’maw Her small, energetic figure moved briskly an' gran’paw fer back as Adam. I 'spec' from one room to the other, and as she Adam hisself was conjured. Lak as not worked she sang in a low, chanting tone: de sarpint done tricked him into regalin' hisself wid dat apple. But I s'pose you 'd
"You got a shoe, lay hit on de germs whut was disportin'
I got a shoe, deyselves on de apple. But dey ain't no
All God's childern got shoes. use in 'sputin' dat p’int, 'ca'se de fac' re
When I git to heaben, gwine try on my mains dat de apple 's done et."
shoes, “I ain't astin' you to dispute nothin',”
Gwine walk all over God's heaben, heaben, cried Amanda, by this time in a high state
heaben. of indignation. "I 'm a-talkin' scientific Ever'body 's talkin' 'bout heaben ain't gwine fac's, an' you're talkin' nigger foolish
to heabenness. The ignorance jes nachully oozes
Heaben, heaben, gwine walk all over God's outen the pores o' your skin."
heaben.” Gordon Lee, thus arraigned, lay with contracted brows and protruding lips, But the truce, thus declared, was only nursing his wrongs, while Amanda dis- temporary. During the long days that appeared into the adjoining room, there Amanda was away at her work, Gordon to vent her wrath on the pots and pans Lee had nothing to do but lie on his back about the stove.
and think of his ailments. For twenty Despite the fact that it was after eight years he had worked in an iron foundry, o'clock and she had been on her feet all where his muscles were as active as his day, she set about preparing the evening brain was passive. Now that the case meal for her husband with all the care she was reversed, the result was disastrous. had bestowed on the white folks' supper. From an attack of rheumatism a year ago
Soon the little cabin was filled with the he had developed an amazing number of savory odor of bacon, and when the corn complaints, all of which finally fell under batter-cakes began to sizzle promisingly, the head of the dread hoodoo. and she Aipped them over dexterously Aunt Kizzy, the object of Amanda's with a fork, Gordon Lee forgot his ill special scorn, he held in great reverence. humor, and through the door watched the She had been a familiar figure in his performance with growing eagerness.
mother's chimney-corner when he was a "Git yerself propped up," Amanda boy, and to doubt her knowledge of called when the cakes were encircled with charms and conjuring was to him nothing crisp, brown edges. "I'll git the bread- short of heresy. She knew the value of board to put acrost yer knees. You be every herb and simple that grew in Hureatin' this soup while I dishes up the bacon ricane Hollow. She was an adept in getan' onions. How 'd you like to have a ting people into the world and getting little jam along with yer apple-dumplin'?" them out of it. She was constantly con
Gordon Lee, sitting up in bed with this sulted about weaning calves, and planting liberal repast spread on the bread-board crops according to the stage of the moon. across his knees, and his large, bare feet, And for everything in the heavens above with their pink adornments, rising like and the earth beneath and the waters unebony tombstones at the foot of the bed, der the earth she “had a sign." forgot his grievance.
Since Gordon Lee's illness, she had “Jam!” he repeated. “Well dat dere fallen into the habit of dropping in to sit Sally Ann Slocum's dumplin's may need with him at such hours as Amanda would jam, er Maria Johnsing's, but dis heah not be there. She would crouch over the dumplin' is complete in hitself. Ef dey fire, elbows on knees and pipe in mouth, ever was a pusson dat could assemble a' and regale him with hair-raising tales of apple-dumplin' so 's you swoller hit 'most “hants” and “sperrits” and the part she afore hit gits to yer mouf, dat pusson is had played in exorcising them. you."
“Dis heah case ob yourn,” she said one Harmony being thus restored, and the day, "ain't no ordinary case. I done
worked on lizards in de laigs, but I nebber it. Amanda, small as she was, looked had no 'casion to treat a cricket in de laig. firm and determined, and he knew by exLooks lak de cricket is a more persistent perience that he was no match for her. animal dan de lizard. 'Sides, ez I signify " 'T ain't fer you to be astin' me afore, dis heah case ob yourn ain't no or- whut 's de matter," he began significantly. dinary case.”
“De glove 's on de other han’.” “Why-why ain't it?" Gordon Lee “Whut you 'sinuatin', nigger ?” cried stammered apprehensively.
Amanda, now thoroughly roused. Aunt Kizzy lifted a bony black hand, "I 's tired layin' heah under dis heah and shook her turbaned head ominously. spell," complained Gordon Lee. “I
“Dey 's two kinds ob hoodoos,” she knowed all ’long 't was a hoodoo, but I said, "de libin' an' de daid. De daid ones neber 'spicioned till to-day who was is de easiest to lift, 'ca'se dey answers to 'sponsible fer hit. Aunt Kizzy tried de charms; but nobody can life a libin' hoo- test, an', 'fore de Lawd, hit p'inted powerdoo 'ceptin' de one dat laid hit on. I ful' near home." been a-steddyin' an' a-steddvin', an' de Amanda sank into the one rocking-chair signs claim dat dis heah hoodoo ob yourn the cabin boasted, and dropped her hands ain't no daid hoodoo."
in her lap. Her anger had given place for By this time the whites of Gordon Lee's the moment to sheer amazement. eyes were largely in evidence, and he "Well, if this ain't the beatenest thing I raised himself fearfully on his elbow. ever heard tell of in all my born days!
“Aunt Kizzy,” he whispered hoarsely, Do you mean to say that that honery old “how am I gwine to fin' out who 't is cross-eyed nigger Kizzy had the audacity done conjured me?"
to set up before my fire, in my house, an' “By de sign ob seben," she answered tell my husband I'd laid a spell on him?" mysteriously. “I's gwine home an' work Dat 's whut de signs p’int to,” said hit out, den I come back an' tell yer. Ef Gordon Lee, doggedly. my 'spicions am true, dat dis heah is a Amanda rose, and it seemed to him that libin' hoodoo, de only power in de earth she towered to the ceiling. With hands to tek it off am ter git er bigger trick an' on hips and head thrown back, she delay on de top ob hit. I 'm gwine home livered herself, and her voice rang with now, an' I 'll be back inside de hour." suppressed passion.
That night when Amanda returned "Yas, I laid a spell on yer! I laid a home she found Gordon Lee preoccupied spell on yer when I let you quit work, and silent. He ate gingerly of the tempt- an' lay up in bed wid nothin' to do but to ing meal she prepared, and refused to circulate yer symtems. I put a spell on have his bed straightened before he went yer when I nuss you an' feed you an' to sleep.
s'port you an’ spile the life plumb outen “Huccome you put yer pillow on the you. I ain't claimin' 't was n't rheumafloor?" she asked.
tism in the fust place, but it 's a spell now "I ain't believin' in feathers," he an- all right-a spell I did lay on yer, a spell swered sullenly; "dey meks me heah of laziness pure an' simple!" things."
After this outburst the relations were In vain Amanda tried to cheer him: decidedly strained in the little cabin at she recounted the affairs of the day; she the far end of Hurricane Hollow. Gorgave him all the gossip of the Order of don Lee persistently refused to eat anythe Sisters of the Star. He lay perfectly thing his wife cooked for him, depending stolid, his horizontal profile resembling a upon the food that Aunt Kizzy or other mountain-range the highest peak of which neighbors brought in. was his under lip.
To Amanda the humiliation of this was Finally Amanda's patience wore thin. acute. She used every strategy to bring
“Whut 's the matter with you, Gor- him around, and at last succeeded by don Lee Surrender Jones?" she demanded. bringing home some pig's feet. His appe“Whut you mean by stickin' out yer lip tite got the better of his resentment, and lak a circus camel?”
he disposed of four with evident relish. Now that the opportunity for action With the approach of winter, however, had come, he feared to take advantage of other and graver troubles developed. The