As I Lay Dying

by: William Faulkner

Sections 40–45

1

So I took Anse. And when I knew that I had Cash, I knew that living was terrible and that this was the answer to it. That was when I learned that words are no good; that words dont ever fit even what they are trying to say at.

2

But for me it was not over. I mean, over in the sense of beginning and ending . . . My children were of me alone, of the wild blood boiling along the earth, of me and of all that lived . . . Then I found that I had Jewel.

3

I gave Anse Dewey Dell to negative Jewel. Then I gave him Vardaman to replace the child I had robbed him of. And now he has three children that are his and not mine. And then I could get ready to die.

4

So I left them there, squatting around a little fire, waiting; God knows what for . . . I kept thinking about them there, and about that fellow tearing away on that horse. And that would be the last they would see of him. And I be durn if I could blame him. Not for wanting to not give up his horse, but for getting shut of such a durn fool as Anse.

5

Now there are nine of them, tall in little black circles . . . Darl and Dewey Dell and I walk behind the wagon, up the hill. When we come to the top of the hill pa stops and we get back into the wagon. Now there are ten of them, tall in little tall black circles on the sky.