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“What do dey stan’ for? I’se gwyne to tell you. When I got all wore out wid work, en wid de callin’ for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos’ broke bekase you wuz los’, en I didn’ k’yer no’ mo’ what become er me en de raf’. En when I wake up en fine you back agin, all safe en soun’, de tears come, en I could a got down on my knees en kiss yo’ foot, I’s so thankful. En all you wuz thinkin’ ’bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck dah is TRASH; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en makes ’em ashamed.” “What do they stand for? I’ll tell you. When I’d worn myself out working so hard to call for you that I fell asleep, my heart was completely broken because you were lost. I didn’t care anymore about myself or the raft. Then I woke up and found you back again all safe and sound, and I cried. I was so thankful that I could have gotten down on my knees and kissed your feet. And all you were thinking about was how you could make a fool out of old Jim by lying to him. This stuff here is TRASH. And trash is what people are who play dirty tricks on their friends and make them feel ashamed.”
Then he got up slow and walked to the wigwam, and went in there without saying anything but that. But that was enough. It made me feel so mean I could almost kissed HIS foot to get him to take it back. Then he got up slowly and walked to the wigwam. He went in without saying another word, but what he’d said had been enough. I felt so awful that I almost kissed HIS feet to get him to take back what he’d said.
It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger; but I done it, and I warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn’t do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn’t done that one if I’d a knowed it would make him feel that way. It took me fifteen minutes to work myself up to apologize to a n-----. But I did it, and I wasn’t ashamed of it afterwards. I never played any more mean tricks on him after that, and I would have never played that one if I had known it would make him feel that way.