Their Eyes Were Watching God

by: Zora Neale Hurston

Chapters 13–14

1

Tea Cake was spending and doing out of his own pocket, so Janie never told him about the two hundred dollars she had pinned inside her shirt next to her skin. Pheoby had insisted that she bring it along and keep it secret just to be on the safe side…. Every minute since she had stepped off the train she had been laughing at Pheoby’s advice. She meant to tell Tea Cake the joke some time when she was sure it wouldn’t hurt his feelings.

2

Way late in the morning the thought of Annie Tylor … came to pay her a visit. Annie Tyler who at fifty-two had been left a widow with a good home and insurance money. Mrs. Tyler with her dyed hair, newly straightened and her uncomfortable new false teeth, her leathery skin, blotchy with powder and her giggle. Her love affairs, affairs with boys in their late teens or early twenties for all of whom she spent her money on suits of clothes, watches, and things like that and how they all left her as soon as their wants were satisfied.

3

“Ah see whut it is. You doubted me ‘bout de money. Thought Ah had done took it and gone. Ah don’t blame yuh but it wasn’t lak you think. De girl baby ain’t born and her mama is dead, dat can git me tuh spend our money on her. Ah told yo’ before dat you got de keys tuh de kingdom. You can depend on dat.”

4

“‘Tain’t no need uh you not known’ how tuh handle shootin’ tools. Even if you didn’t never find no game, it’s always some trashy rascal dat needs uh good killin’,” he laughed. “Less go intuh Palm Beach and spend some of our money.” Every day they were practicing…. And the thing that got everybody was the way Janie caught on…. She got to be a better shot than Tea Cake. They’d go out any late afternoon and come back loaded down with game.

5

There was a suppressed murmur when she picked up a basket and went to work. She was already getting to be a special case on the muck. It was generally assumed that she thought herself too good to work like the rest of the women and that Tea Cake “pomped her up tuh dat.” But all day long the romping and the playing they carried on behind the boss’s back made her popular right away.