Their Eyes Were Watching God

by: Zora Neale Hurston

Chapters 11–12

1

It was so crazy digging worms by lamp light and setting out for lake Sabelia after midnight that she felt like a child breaking rules. That’s what made Janie like it. They caught two or three and got home just before day. Then she had to smuggle Tea Cake out by the back gate and that made it seem like some great secret she was keeping from the town.

2

In the cool of the afternoon the fiend from hell specially sent to lovers arrived at Janie’s ear. Doubt. All the fears that circumstance could provide and the heart feel, attacked her on every side. This was a new sensation for her, but no less excruciating. If only Tea Cake would make her certain!

3

It was after the picnic that the town began to notice things and get mad. Tea Cake and Mrs. Mayor Starks! All the men that she could get, and fooling with somebody like Tea Cake! Another thing, Joe Starks hadn’t been dead but nine months and her she goes sashaying off to a picnic in pink linen. Done quit attending church like she used to. Gone off to Sanford in a car with Tea Cake and her all dressed in blue. It was a shame!

4

“Jody classed me off. Ah didn’t. Naw, Pheoby, Tea Cake ain’t draggin’ me off nowhere Ah don’t want tuh go. Ah always did want tuh get round uh whole heap, but Jody wouldn’t ‘low me tuh. When Ah wasn’t in de store he wanted me tuh jes sit with folded hands and sit dere. Ah’d sit dere wid de walls creepin’ up on me and squeezin’ all de life outa me…. [S]ittin’ still worries me. Ah wants tuh utilize mahself all over.”

5

“Tea Cake ain’t no Jody Starks, and if he tried tuh be, it would be uh complete flummock. But de minute Ah marries ‘im everybody is gointuh be makin’ comparisons. So us is goin’ off somewhere and start all over in Tea Cake’s way. Dis ain’t no business proposition, and no race after property and titles. Dis is uh love game.”