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some suddenness, starting from his place | and gently guiding her sinking form into the corner of the bench. The two ladies rose up; somebody had to stand; the two races could not both sit down at once-at least not in that public manner.
"Your salts," said the physician to his wife. She handed the vial. Madame Delphine stood up again.
"We will all go inside," said Madame Thompson, and they passed through the gate and up the walk, mounted the steps, and entered the deep, cool drawing-room. Madame Thompson herself bade the quadroone be seated.
"Well?" said Jean Thompson, as the rest took chairs.
A servant came and spoke privately to Madame Thompson, who rose quickly and went to the hall. Madame Delphine continued, rising unconsciously :
"You see, I have had her with me from a baby. She knows no better. He brought her to me only two months old. Her mother had died in the ship, coming out here. He did not come straight from home here. His people never knew he was married!"
"Oh, my mother! Say you are my mother!"
Madame Delphine looked an instant into the upturned face, and then turned her own away with a long, low cry of pain, looked again, and laying both hands upon the suppliant's head, said:
"Oh, chère piti à moin, to pa' ma fie!" (Oh, my darling little one, you are not my daughter!) Her eyes closed, and her head sank back; the two gentlemen sprang to her assistance, and laid her upon a sofa unconscious.
When they brought her to herself, Olive was kneeling at her head, silently weeping. "Maman, chère maman!" said the girl softly, kissing her lips.
"Ma courri c'ez moin" (I will go home), | said the mother, drearily.
"You will go home with me," said Madame Varrillat, with great kindness of manner-"just across the street here; I will take care of you till you feel better. And Olive will stay here, with Madame Thompson. You will be only the width of the street apart."
But Madame Delphine would go nowhere but to her home. Olive she would not allow to go with her. Then they wanted to send a servant or two to sleep in the house with her for aid and protection; but all she would accept was the transient service of a messenger to invite two of her kinspeople-man and wife-to come and make their dwelling with her.
In the course of time these two-a poor, timid, helpless pair-fell heir to the premises. Their children had it after them; but, whether in those hands or these, the house had its habits and continued in them; and to this day the neighbors, as has already been said, rightly explain its closesealed, uninhabited look by the all-sufficient statement that the inmates "is quadroons."
THE Second Saturday afternoon following was hot and calm. The lamp burning before the tabernacle in Père Jerome's little church might have hung with as motionless a flame in the window behind. The lilies of St. Joseph's wand, shining in one of the half-opened panes, were not more completely at rest than the leaves on tree and vine without, suspended in the slumbering air. Almost as still, down under the organgallery, with a single band of light falling athwart his box from a small door which stood ajar, sat the little priest, behind the lattice of the confessional, silently wiping away the sweat that beaded on his brow and rolled down his face. At distant intervals the shadow of some one entering softly through the door would obscure, for a moment, the band of light, and an aged crone, or a little boy, or some gentle presence that the listening confessor had known only by the voice for many years, would kneel a few moments beside his waiting ear, in prayer for blessing and in review of those slips and errors which prove us all akin.
The day had been long and fatiguing.
First, early mass; a hasty meal; then a business call upon the archbishop in the interest of some projected charity; then back to his cottage, and so to the bankinghouse of " Vignevielle," in the Rue Toulouse. There all was open, bright, and re-assured, its master virtually, though not actually, present. The search was over and the seekers gone, personally wiser than they would tell, and officially reporting that (to the best of their knowledge and belief, based on evidence, and especially on the assurances of an unexceptionable eye-witness, to wit, Monsieur Vignevielle, banker) Capitaine Lemaitre was dead and buried. At noon there had been a wedding in the little church. Its scenes lingered before Père Jerome's vision now-the kneeling pair: the bridegroom, rich in all the excellences of man, strength and kindness slumbering interlocked in every part and feature; the bride, a saintly weariness on her pale face, her awesome eyes lifted in adoration upon the image of the Saviour; the small knots of friends behind: Madame Thompson, large, fair, self-contained; Jean Thompson, with the affidavit of Madame Delphine showing through his tightly buttoned coat; the physician and his wife, sharing one expression of amiable consent; and last—yet firstone small, shrinking female figure, here at one side, in faded robes and dingy bonnet. She sat as motionless as stone, yet wore a look of apprehension, and in the small, restless black eyes which peered out from the pinched and wasted face, betrayed the peacelessness of a harrowed mind; and neither the recollection of bride, nor of groom, nor of potential friends behind, nor the occupation of the present hour, could shut out from the tired priest the image of that woman, or the sound of his own low words of invitation to her, given as the company left the church-"Come to confession this afternoon."
By and by a long time passed without the approach of any step, or any glancing of light or shadow, save for the occasional progress from station to station of some one over on the right who was noiselessly going the way of the cross. Yet Père Jerome tarried.
"She will surely come," he said to himself; "she promised she would come."
A moment later, his sense, quickened by the prolonged silence, caught a subtle evidence or two of approach, and the next moment a penitent knelt noiselessly at the window of his box, and the whisper came
tremblingly, in the voice he had waited to hear:
“Bénissez-moin, mo' Père, pa'ce que mo péché." (Bless me, father, for I have sinned.) He gave his blessing.
"Ainsi soit-il-Amen," murmured the penitent, and then, in the soft accents of the Creole patois, continued:
"I confess to Almighty God, to the blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. I confessed on Saturday, three weeks ago, and received absolution, and I have performed the penance enjoined. Since then -"There she stopped.
There was a soft stir, as if she sank slowly down, and another as if she rose up again, and in a moment she said: "Olive is my child. The picture I showed
to Jean Thompson is the half-sister of my daughter's father, dead before my child was born. She is the image of her and of him; but, O God! Thou knowest! Oh Olive, my own daughter!"
She ceased, and was still. Père Jerome waited, but no sound came. He looked through the window. She was kneeling, with her forehead resting on her arms— motionless.
MR. RABBIT SECURES A MANSION.
THE rain continued to fall to such an extent that Uncle Remus's "Miss Sally" was compelled to send her little boy his dinner. Glancing at the waiter, Uncle Remus was moved to remark:
He repeated the words of absolution. Still she did not stir.
"I 'clar' ter gracious, hit look like Miss Sally done got my name in de pot dis time, sho'. I des wish you look at dat pone er co'n-bread, honey, en at dat plate er greens over dar, en see ef dey aint got Remus writ some'rs on um. Dat ar chick'n fixin's, dey look like deyer good, yet 'taint familious wid me like dat ar bile ham. Dem ar sweet-taters, dey stan's fa'r fer dividjun, but dem ar puzzuv, I lay dey fit yo' palate mo' samer dan dey does mine. Dish yer hunk er beef, we kin talk 'bout dat w'en de time come, en dem ar biscuits, I des nat'ally knows Miss Sally put um in dar fer some little chap w'ich his name I aint gwineter call in comp'ny."
"My daughter," he said, "go to thy home in peace." But she did not move.
He rose hastily, stepped from the box, raised her in his arms, and called her by
A RAINY DAY WITH UNCLE REMUS.
"Madame Delphine!" Her head fell back in his elbow; for an instant there was life in the eyes-it glimmered-it vanished, and tears gushed from his own and fell upon the gentle face of the dead, as he looked up to heaven and cried:
Lord, lay not this sin to her charge!"
It was easy to perceive that the sight of the dinner had put Uncle Remus in rare good humor. He moved around briskly, taking the plates from the waiter and distributing them with exaggerated carefulness around upon his little pine table. Meanwhile he kept up a running fire of conversation.
"Folks w'at kin set down en have der vittles brung en put down right spang und' der nose-dem kinder folks aint got no I wuz settin' dar in de do', I year dem needs er no umbrell. Night 'fo' las', w'iles Willis-whistlers, en den I des knowed we 'uz gwineter git a season."
"The Willis-whistlers, Uncle Remus,” exclaimed the little boy; "what are they?"
Dat wat I knows I don't min' tellin', but "Youer too hard for me now, honey. w'en you ax me 'bout dat w'at I dunno, den youer too hard fer me, sho'. Deze yer Willis-whistlers, dey bangs my time, en I bin knockin' 'roun' in dish yer low-groun' now gwine on eighty year. Some folks wanter make out deyer frogs, yit I wish dey p'int out unter me how frogs kin holler so
dat de nigher you come t'um, de fudder you is off; I be mighty glad ef some un um 'ud come 'long en tell me dat. Many en many's de time is I gone atter deze yer Willis-whistlers, en, no diffunce whar I goes, deyer allers off yander. You kin put de shovel in de fier en make de squinch-owl hush his fuss, en you kin go out en put yo' han' on de trees en make deze yer locus'bugs quit der racket, but dem ar Williswhistlers deyer allers 'way off yander." *
down on de flo', des like she useter w'en she wuz little gal." The old man paused, straightened up, looked at the child over his spectacles, and continued, with emphasis : "En I be bless ef she aint eat a hunk er dat ash-cake mighty nigh ez big ez yo' head, en den she tuck'n' make out 'twa'n't cook right.
Suddenly Uncle Remus paused over one of the dishes, and exclaimed:
"Gracious en de goodness! W'at kinder doin's is dis Miss Sally done gone en sont us ?"
"That," said the little boy, after making an investigation, "is what mamma calls a floating island.""
"Well, den," Uncle Remus remarked, in a relieved tone, "dat's diffunt. I wuz 'mos' fear'd it 'uz some er dat ar sillerbug, w'ich a whole jugful aint ska'cely 'nuff fer ter make you seem like you dremp 'bout smellin' dram. Ef I'm gwineter be fed on foam," continued the old man, by way of explaining his position on the subject of syllabub, "let it be foam, en ef I'm gwineter git dram, lemme git in reach un it w'ile she got some strenk lef'. Dat's me up and down. W'en it come ter yo' floatin' ilun, des gimme a hunk er ginger-cake en a mug er 'simmonbeer, and dey wont fine no nigger w'at's got no slicker feelin's dan I is.
"Miss Sally mighty cu'us w'ite 'oman," Uncle Remus went on. "She sendin' all deze doin's en fixin's down yer, en I 'speck deyer monst'us nice, but no longer'n las' Chuseday she had all de niggers on de place, big en little, gwine squallin' 'roun' fer Remus. Hit 'uz Remus yer en Remus dar, en, lo en beholes, w'en I come ter fine out, Miss Sally want Remus fer ter whul in en cook 'er wunner deze yer ole-time ashcakes. She bleedzd ter have it den en dar; en w'en I git it done, Miss Sally, she got a glass er buttermilk, en tuck'n' sot right flat
* The excursions of John Burroughs are made in the day-time, and Walt Whitman is to be pardoned if he refuse to trust his sixty-odd years to the winds that rise and shake their wings after dark; but it is a pity that one of these, or some other genial explorer, has not taken the trouble to investigate this mystery of the night which Uncle Remus fantastically names the "Willis-whistlers." It is a faraway sound that might be identified with one of the various undertones of silence, but it is palpable enough (if the word may be used) to have attracted the attention of the humble philosophers of the old plantation.
"Now, den, honey, all deze done fix. You set over dar, and I'll set over yer, en 'twix' en 'tween us we'll sample dish yer truck en see w'at is it Miss Sally done gone en sont us; en w'iles we er makin' 'way wid it, I'll sorter rustle 'roun' wid my 'membunce, en see ef I kin call ter min' de tale 'bout how ole Brer Rabbit got 'im a two-story house widout layin' out much cash."
Uncle Remus stopped talking a little while and pretended to be trying to remember something-an effort that was accompanied by a curious humming sound in his throat. Finally, he brightened up and began:
"Hit tu'n out one time dat a whole lot er de creeturs tuck a notion dat dey'd go in cohoots wid buil'n' un um a house. Ole Brer B'ar, he was 'mongs' um, en Brer Fox, en Brer Wolf, en Brer 'Coon, en Brer 'Possum. I wont make sho', but it seem like ter me dat plum down ter ole Brer Mink 'uz 'mongs' um. Leas'ways, dey wuz a whole passel un um, en dey whul in, dey did, en dey buil' de house in less'n no time. Brer Rabbit, he make like it make his head swim fer ter climb up on de scaffle, en likewise he say it make 'im ketch de palsy fer ter wuk in de sun, but he got 'im a squar', en he stuck a pencil behime his year, en he went 'roun' medjun✶ en markin'-medjun en markin'-en he wuz dat bizzy dat de yuther creeturs say ter deyse'f he doin' monst'us sight er wuk, en folks gwine 'long de big road say Brer Rabbit doin' mo' hard wuk dan de whole kit en bilin' un um. Yit all de time Brer Rabbit aint doin' nothin', en he des well bin layin' off in de shade scratchin' de fleas off'n 'im. De yuther creeturs, dey buil' de house, en, gentermens! she She'd 'a' bin a fine 'uz a fine un, too, mon. un deze days, let 'lone dem days. She had 'er upsta'rs en down-sta'rs, en chimbleys all 'roun', en she had rooms fer all de creeturs w'at went inter cohoots en hope make it.
"Brer Rabbit, he pick out wunner de upsta'rs rooms, en he tuck'n' got 'im a gun, en wunner deze yer brass cannon, en he
tuck'n' put um in dar w'en de yuther creeturs aint lookin', en den he tuck'n' got 'im a tub er nasty slop-water, w'ich likewise he put in dar w'en dey aint lookin'. So den, wen dey git de house all fix, en w'iles dey wuz all a-settin' in de parlor atter supper, Brer Rabbit, he sorter gap en stretch hisse'f, en make his 'skuses en say he b'lieve he'll go ter his room. W'en he git dar, en w'iles all de yuther creeturs wuz a laughin' en a chattin' des ez sociable ez you please, Brer Rabbit, he stick his head out er de do' er his room en sing out:
"W'en a big man like me wanter set down, wharbouts he gwineter set?' sezee. "Den de yuther creeturs dey laugh, en holler back:
"Ef big man like you aint a gone gump, he kin sneeze anywhar he please.'
"Watch out down dar, den,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Kaze I'm gwineter tu'n loose en sneeze right yer,' sezee.
"Wid dat, Brer Rabbit let off his cannon-bulderum-m-m! De winder-glass dey shuck en rattle, en de house shuck like she gwineter come down, en ole Brer B'ar, he fell out de rockin'-cheer-kerblump! W'en de creeturs git sorter settle, Brer 'Possum en Brer Mink, dey up'n' 'low dat Brer Rabbit got sech a monst'us bad cole, dey b'leeve dey'll step out and git some fresh a'r, but dem yuther creeturs, dey say dey gwineter stick it out; en atter w'ile, w'en dey git der h'ar smoove down, dey 'gun ter jower 'mongs' deyse'f. 'Bout dat time, w'en dey git in a good way, Brer Rabbit, he sing
"W'en a big man like me take a chaw terbacker, wharbouts he gwine spit?'
"Den de yuther creeturs, dey holler back, dey did, sorter like deyer mad:
Big man er little man, spit whar you please.'
"Den Brer Rabbit, he squall out: "Dis de way a big man spit!' en wid dat he tilt over de tub er slop-water, en w'en de yuther creeturs year it come a sloshin❞ down de star-steps, gentermens! dey des histed deyse'f outer dar. Some un um went out de back do', en some un um went out de front do', en some un um fell out de winders; some went one way en some went n'er way; but dey all went sailin' out."
"But what became of the Rabbit ?" the little boy asked.
"Brer Rabbit, he des tuck'n' shot up de house en fassen de winders, en den he go ter bed, he did, en pull de coverlid up over his years, en he sleep like a man w'at aint owe nobody nuthin'; en needer do he owe um, kaze ef dem yuther creeturs gwine git skeer'd en run off fum der own house, w'at bizness is dat er Brer Rabbit? Dat w'at I like ter know.".
MR. LION HUNTS FOR MR. MAN AND FINDS HIM.
UNCLE REMUS sighed heavily as he lifted the trivet on the end of his walking-cane, and hung it carefully by the side of the griddle in the cavernous fire-place.
"Folks kin come 'long wid der watchermaycollums," he said, presently, turning to the little boy, who was supplementing his dinner by biting off a chew of shoe-maker'swax, 66 en likewise dey kin fetch 'roun' der watziznames. Dey kin walk biggity en dey kin talk biggity, en, mo'n dat, dey kin feel biggity, but yit all de same deyer gwineter git kotch up wid. Dey go 'long en dey go 'long, en den bimeby yer come trouble en snatch um slonchways, en de mo' bigger w'at dey is, de wusser does dey git snatched."
The little boy didn't understand this harangue at all, but he appreciated it because he recognized it as the prelude to a story.
"Dar wuz Mr. Lion," Uncle Remus went
*This story was new to me until Mr. W. P. Garrison, of New York, sent me the outlines of a version current in Demerara. It was immediately recognized by a negro in Atlanta to whom it was recited, and he repeated it in a somewhat different shape. In the Demerara version, the Rabbit arms himself with a gun, a small cannon, and a tank of vile liquids. He wants to sneeze, cough, and spit. He fires the gun and the cannon, but distributes the contents of the tank by means of a hose. As a matter of course, I have adhered to the Georgia negro's version.