The best thing, he knew, was to love just a little bit; everything, just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, maybe you’d have a little love left over for the next one.

“I told you, I’m a walking man, but I been in this direction for seven years. Walking all around this place. Upstate, downstate, east, west; I been in territory ain’t got no name, never staying nowhere long. But when I got here and sat out there on the porch, waiting for you, well, I knew it wasn’t the place I was heading toward; it was you. We can make a life, girl. A life.”

Paul D wondered at the newness of her shoes. Sethe was deeply touched by her sweet name; the remembrance of glittering headstone made her feel especially kindly toward her. Denver, however, was shaking. She looked at this sleepy beauty and wanted more.

Sethe stirred and look looked around. First at Beloved’s soft new hand on her shoulder, then into her eyes. The longing she saw there was bottomless. Some plea barely in control.

“She threw them all away but you. The one from the crew she threw away on the island. The others from more whites she also threw away. Without names, she threw them away. You she gave the names of the Black man. She put her arms around him. The others she did not put her arms around. Never. Never. I am telling you, small girl Sethe.”