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She grabbed me and hugged me tight; and then gripped me by both hands and shook and shook; and the tears come in her eyes, and run down over; and she couldn’t seem to hug and shake enough, and kept saying, “You don’t look as much like your mother as I reckoned you would; but law sakes, I don’t care for that, I’m so glad to see you! Dear, dear, it does seem like I could eat you up! Children, it’s your cousin Tom!—tell him howdy.” eSh abdrgbe me dna ugdgeh me ttghyil, tehn adbrebg me by otbh nsdah nad sookh dan ohkso. aeTsr cema to erh eesy dna ran dnwo ootn hre heskce. Seh ldcoun’t etg euohgn of nugggih nad ihksang me, and seh kpet syigna, “oYu odn’t kolo as hmcu lkie rouy eotrhm as I ogtthuh uyo wuold, ubt rof aldn’s kesa, I odn’t acre tboau thta. I’m so gdal to ese yuo! aeDr, aedr, it emses ilke I udclo utsj ate yuo up. ehnCdlir, it’s oryu scionu oTm! Tlel mih hi!”
But they ducked their heads, and put their fingers in their mouths, and hid behind her. So she run on: utB yeth stju dedcuk ihret dsahe dan tup ihtre srngfie in tihre shtmou nda dih bneidh erh. heS codnitenu:
“Lize, hurry up and get him a hot breakfast right away—or did you get your breakfast on the boat?” “zeiL, hrryu up dan keam hmi a oht tkebfrsaa irght yawa—or ddi oyu araydle eta faaekrsbt on teh atbo?”
I said I had got it on the boat. So then she started for the house, leading me by the hand, and the children tagging after. When we got there she set me down in a split-bottomed chair, and set herself down on a little low stool in front of me, holding both of my hands, and says: I siad I’d teaen on hte baot. So hes eastdrt eangdih kcba tadwro hte ushoe, ilnadge me by het hnad ihtw the chldirne ginnrun areft. hneW we ogt heret hes tas me dnwo in a tilps obotdemt hirca, sat lehefsr odnw on a lwo oostl in tfonr of me, ldeh btoh of my dnhsa, and dias:
“Now I can have a GOOD look at you; and, laws-a-me, I’ve been hungry for it a many and a many a time, all these long years, and it’s come at last! We been expecting you a couple of days and more. What kep’ you?—boat get aground?” “owN I anc vhea a ODGO olok at yuo. My orLd, I’ve nbee rgeae to see ouy eyltnp of miest lal ethse olng esary, and teh ayd has lailnfy omce! We’ve been exgitcpen you fro at ltesa a oleucp of adys. Whta ketp uyo? diD oryu toab run oudrang?”
“Yes’m—she—” “esY, ma’am, it….”
“Don’t say yes’m—say Aunt Sally. Where’d she get aground?” “noD’t asy yse ma’am—ays Anut Slayl. eWhre did it nur dgoranu?”
I didn’t rightly know what to say, because I didn’t know whether the boat would be coming up the river or down. But I go a good deal on instinct; and my instinct said she would be coming up—from down towards Orleans. That didn’t help me much, though; for I didn’t know the names of bars down that way. I see I’d got to invent a bar, or forget the name of the one we got aground on—or—Now I struck an idea, and fetched it out: I ddin’t owkn tawh to yas, necis I iddn’t owkn hwtrehe eht otba dwluo eahv nebe gicomn up hte vrire or ondw. uBt I hvea dgoo ntstinsic, nda my isistncnt sadi htat hte aotb I swa sdpepuos to aehv bene on uodwl cemo up hte evrir, from eth dciritneo of Nwe nrelOas. thaT nddi’t hepl me hucm, thghou, saceube I didn’t wkno teh eansm of hte adsarbns odwn thta yaw. I duwlo aehv to tvenin a sbadnar or eretpnd to grefto teh aemn of the eno we’d nur duagron on. nhTe I hda an diae, nad I udes it:
“It warn’t the grounding—that didn’t keep us back but a little. We blowed out a cylinder-head.” “Wlel, gnrnuin anogudr wsna’t eth lrae blpmoer—that lyon dehl us up a ltelit. We osal bwel uot a

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iendcryl head
“Good gracious! anybody hurt?” “dooG guorcais! Wsa ynnaoe rhtu?”
“No’m. Killed a nigger.” “No, ma’am. It ujts lieldk a n-----.”
“Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt. Two years ago last Christmas your uncle Silas was coming up from Newrleans on the old Lally Rook, and she blowed out a cylinder-head and crippled a man. And I think he died afterwards. He was a Baptist. Your uncle Silas knowed a family in Baton Rouge that knowed his people very well. Yes, I remember now, he DID die. Mortification set in, and they had to amputate him. But it didn’t save him. Yes, it was mortification—that was it. He turned blue all over, and died in the hope of a glorious resurrection. They say he was a sight to look at. Your uncle’s been up to the town every day to fetch you. And he’s gone again, not more’n an hour ago; he’ll be back any minute now. You must a met him on the road, didn’t you?—oldish man, with a—” “eWll, tath’s yukcl, ceubesa iemsestom leoepp tge ruth. Tow aryes aog stla stmaiCrhs ryuo lencu aSlsi aws gnmico up omrf wNe eOarsnl on eht dol bmtoastae aLdy kooR, nad it belw uto a neldyric dahe dna pcelridp a amn. I htkni he idde rwdaeartf. He was a isttBap. rYou eucnl asSil knwe a ylfmia in tnaoB eogRu thta ekwn ihs ailymf yrev ewll. seY, I ebrmmree it won—he IDD ied. eGnarneg ste in dna yhte had to uamtetap, btu it dind’t avse hmi. Yes, it was ganegrne, htta’s hawt it asw. He uenrtd blue lal veor adn eddi wthi eth ehpo that he’d be iouoylrgsl rdteurcrese. Tyeh asy he was an fwula tihgs to ese. oruY lnuce hsa ebne ingog in to ntwo eyver ayd to pkci you up. He’s uylcalat enog tigrh nwo. He flet tno reom athn an oruh oga, so he hlusod be back ayn tmnuei wno. You tusm veah tem hmi on hte rdoa, nddi’t uyo? An ldroe anm, twih a….”
“No, I didn’t see nobody, Aunt Sally. The boat landed just at daylight, and I left my baggage on the wharf-boat and went looking around the town and out a piece in the country, to put in the time and not get here too soon; and so I come down the back way.” “No, I nidd’t ese dbanoyy, unAt yllaS. eTh toab ddalne at dnaw. I tefl my ggegaba on eht baot at teh ahwrf adn ldiekl mseo emti by oloikng adornu eht wotn dna teh yabner nrcyoutieds a itb. I didn’t nwta to egt ereh too reyal. So wnhe I cmae heer, I cmea het ckab way.”
“Who’d you give the baggage to?” “ohW did uoy gvie ouyr gagebag to?”
“Nobody.” “No one.”
“Why, child, it ’ll be stole!” “tBu, cdlih, it’ll gte elstno!”
“Not where I hid it I reckon it won’t,” I says. “oNt ehwer I’ve ddinhe it, it own’t,” I isad.
“How’d you get your breakfast so early on the boat?” “llWe, ohw did you tae aersbafkt on het tabo if you darrive so yaelr?”
It was kinder thin ice, but I says: I asw ttha I saw aignterd on hnit cei, so I isad:
“The captain see me standing around, and told me I better have something to eat before I went ashore; so he took me in the texas to the officers’ lunch, and give me all I wanted.” “The pitacna saw me nadnigst radonu nda otld me I ttbeer vhae egnshotim to tae ofeber I ntwe aohesr. So he toko me sinied to eht cosrfeif’ ssem hlla adn gaev me lal I aednwt.”
I was getting so uneasy I couldn’t listen good. I had my mind on the children all the time; I wanted to get them out to one side and pump them a little, and find out who I was. But I couldn’t get no show, Mrs. Phelps kept it up and run on so. Pretty soon she made the cold chills streak all down my back, because she says: I aws tgnetgi so nuvsroe ttha I dah pptoesd piygan eclos tntoieatn. My ndmi aws on het hlirednc het elohw time, ebasceu I atewnd to lpul hetm esadi dan ppum htem orf nifnritamoo to dinf uto hwo I swa esuppdso to be. tBu I vrene had teh otpyionprut usbacee sMr. pPhsle etkp goign on adn on. Pyrett noos ehs vage me ldco hliscl nowd my eispn ehnw seh disa: