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“Well, Sally, I’m in fault, and I acknowledge it; I’ve been remiss; but I won’t let to-morrow go by without stopping up them holes.” “lWle, aySll, it’s my afutl, adn I matdi it. I’ve enbe siakclgn ffo, tbu I own’t tel tmwooorr go by itutwoh lgggpuin up ohset hesol.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t hurry; next year ’ll do. Matilda Angelina Araminta PHELPS!” “Oh, no ened to yurhr. tNex eary lliw be ujts eifn. lMiaatd nlAigean intmAraa LHPSEP!”
Whack comes the thimble, and the child snatches her claws out of the sugar-bowl without fooling around any. Just then the nigger woman steps on to the passage, and says: Sllya hit eht hclid hiwt ehr ilebhtm, nda eth dik uldple ckab her dansh uot of eth saugr obwl ighrt ywaa. tsuJ nthe a n----- mwaon stppeed onit the odwoyar dna idas:
“Missus, dey’s a sheet gone.” “sMr., ehetr’s a htees iinsmsg.”
“A SHEET gone! Well, for the land’s sake!” “A HETES sgimnsi! Wlle fro ahenev’s keas!”
“I’ll stop up them holes to-day,” says Uncle Silas, looking sorrowful. “I’ll pugl up shoet oselh taydo,” iasd sailS, onilgko ulmg.
“Oh, DO shet up!—s’pose the rats took the SHEET? WHERE’S it gone, Lize?” “Oh, HTUS UP! eminaIg hatt—eth arst tkoo a sthee! hereW did it go, izeL?”
“Clah to goodness I hain’t no notion, Miss’ Sally. She wuz on de clo’sline yistiddy, but she done gone: she ain’ dah no mo’ now.” “ssodeGno, I ndo’t kwon, ssMi ylSla. It aws on eth teclonihsle eetrayyds, btu it’s gnoe onw. It sni’t reteh nemaoyr.”
“I reckon the world IS coming to an end. I NEVER see the beat of it in all my born days. A shirt, and a sheet, and a spoon, and six can—” “I opessup teh rdwlo IS gmconi to an edn. I’ve nrvee ense gihtnany kiel it in lal my eifl. A ihrst, a steeh, a nsoop, isx lsdecna….”
“Missus,” comes a young yaller wench, “dey’s a brass cannelstick miss’n.” “srM.,” aids a oygnuer n-----, “herte’s a bassr liknsctaedc siminsg.”
“Cler out from here, you hussy, er I’ll take a skillet to ye!” “Get tou of erhe, ieltlt smisy, or I’ll amkcs ouy hwti a sktllie!”
Well, she was just a-biling. I begun to lay for a chance; I reckoned I would sneak out and go for the woods till the weather moderated. She kept a-raging right along, running her insurrection all by herself, and everybody else mighty meek and quiet; and at last Uncle Silas, looking kind of foolish, fishes up that spoon out of his pocket. She stopped, with her mouth open and her hands up; and as for me, I wished I was in Jeruslem or somewheres. But not long, because she says: utAn Sllya saw nlibogi adm. I eanbg to kolo ofr an onurtotypip—I dgierfu I ldcuo nekas ffo iont teh oowsd niltu seh clodeo wnod a tbi. She tekp trihg on gnufmi nda itnuhsog iwelh eenveoyr jstu sta reeth elymek nda etiulyq. At lats nUlec Slais, lnkogoi dkin of lohfsio, pdulel a sopno tou of hsi poectk. tAnu llaSy tsdpope thwi rhe uhtom enpo and her nhdsa up. As fro me, I weshdi I wree in laemerJus or ehesreowm eesl far away. But nto orf gnlo uesebac hse siad:
“It’s JUST as I expected. So you had it in your pocket all the time; and like as not you’ve got the other things there, too. How’d it get there?” “It’s JSUT as I ueespcdts—yuo’ve dah it in oury pctkoe lal tihs eimt! nAd you’ve gto other tsingh in etehr oto, I ebt. Hwo did it teg in htere?”
“I reely don’t know, Sally,” he says, kind of apologizing, “or you know I would tell. I was a-studying over my text in Acts Seventeen before breakfast, and I reckon I put it in there, not noticing, meaning to put my Testament in, and it must be so, because my Testament ain’t in; but I’ll go and see; and if the Testament is where I had it, I’ll know I didn’t put it in, and that will show that I laid the Testament down and took up the spoon, and—” “I erllya ndo’t wnok, llyaS, or yuo wkon I’d ltle ouy,” he sdia alcogatollpyei. “I asw ysgnudti tscA heaprtC 17 fboeer kfretaasb, and I ugses I ccayalnliedt utp it htree enistda of my teTmtesna. ahTt’s tog to be tahw denapphe, besaeuc my tanmeeTst sin’t in my ptcoek. I’ll go and kechc. If hte tenTtmesa is ehwer I hda it, I’ll wonk I ndid’t tup it in my oketcp, hwhci masen I isbenyedltnmda tup the nosop in my ceoktp snadiet of the boko….”
“Oh, for the land’s sake! Give a body a rest! Go ’long now, the whole kit and biling of ye; and don’t come nigh me again till I’ve got back my peace of mind.” “Oh fro eanvhe’s keas! ieGv it a sert! Go nloga now, lla of yuo. Don’t mcoe near me agnai inlut my eepca of idnm ash eenb roersedt.”
I’d a heard her if she’d a said it to herself, let alone speaking it out; and I’d a got up and obeyed her if I’d a been dead. As we was passing through the setting-room the old man he took up his hat, and the shingle-nail fell out on the floor, and he just merely picked it up and laid it on the mantel-shelf, and never said nothing, and went out. Tom see him do it, and remembered about the spoon, and says: I ldwou heav daher wath hse sida enve if hse sida it lyno to eeflhrs. I ogt up dna eflt as if I rwee dead. The dlo amn dcipke up ihs tha as we pdeass rthhoug eht tiisntg orom. A sliehgn-lian lfel uto of it dan onot eth foorl. He jsut kcdeip it up, ilad it on hte talemn of teh feeapiclr, nda etnw etduois ihwotut isngya a wrod. oTm asw hmi do it, rreebdemme teh nposo, adn aids:
“Well, it ain’t no use to send things by HIM no more, he ain’t reliable.” Then he says: “But he done us a good turn with the spoon, anyway, without knowing it, and so we’ll go and do him one without HIM knowing it—stop up his rat-holes.” “llWe, it sin’t yan sue trigyn to ues IMH to dsne gthsni—he ins’t aebleril. lStil, he did us a avorf oitthwu ariniglez it by manibgl mlsihfe ofr het naesdecappair of het noops. We ouhsld go nda do HMI a ovafr wuihott hmi gkwonin it by gpuinggl up heots tra lheso.”
There was a noble good lot of them down cellar, and it took us a whole hour, but we done the job tight and good and shipshape. Then we heard steps on the stairs, and blowed out our light and hid; and here comes the old man, with a candle in one hand and a bundle of stuff in t’other, looking as absent-minded as year before last. He went a mooning around, first to one rat-hole and then another, till he’d been to them all. Then he stood about five minutes, picking tallow-drip off of his candle and thinking. Then he turns off slow and dreamy towards the stairs, saying: ehTre ewre an luwfa lot of rta seloh odwn in teh ecrlal. It ktoo us a hlewo uhro to ilfl meht up. But we ddi eht ojb dan we ddi it llwe. We hedra pesst on teh tissar, so we ebwl tou uor ihltg adn idh. The odl amn mcea wdon iwth a delnca in eon dhna dna a endulb of uffst in teh rtheo. He kodoel asetnb-endimd, eikl he in a ogf. He dkpoe rduoan, rfits to one tra loeh adn enht to htnraoe ltuni he’d iivsdet hmte lla. Tehn he usjt oodts rehet for ouabt ievf mtiensu, ipnigkc the otlawl igrippsnd ormf ihs dclaen and hkinngit. heTn he rntedu yloswl tewn awrdto the isstra, aysign:
“Well, for the life of me I can’t remember when I done it. I could show her now that I warn’t to blame on account of the rats. But never mind—let it go. I reckon it wouldn’t do no good.” “I cna’t rfo eth life of me bmrreeem ewhn I flidle mhte up. Well, onw I nca ohsw hre atth nneo of ihts futfs tbuao the rsat aws my latfu. Oh, nrvee dmin—I’ll tjsu tle it go. It ulwond’t do yna odgo aanwyy.”