BY and by it was getting-up time. So I come down the ladder and started for down-stairs; but as I come to the girls' room the door was open, and I see Mary Jane setting by her old hair trunk, which was open and she'd been packing things in it getting ready to go to England. But she had stopped now with a folded gown in her lap, and had her face in her hands, crying. I felt awful bad to see it; of course anybody would. I went in there and says:
Miss Mary Jane, you can't a-bear to see people in trouble, and I can't most always. Tell me about it.
So she done it. And it was the niggers I just expected it. She said the beautiful trip to England was most about spoiled for her; she didn't know how she was ever going to be happy there, knowing the mother and the children warn't ever going to see each other no more and then busted out bitterer than ever, and flung up her hands, and says:
Oh, dear, dear, to think they ain't ever going to see each other any more!
But they will and inside of two weeks and I know it! says I.
Laws, it was out before I could think! And before I could budge she throws her arms around my neck and told me to say it again, say it again, say it again!
I see I had spoke too sudden and said too much, and was in a close place. I asked her to let me think a minute; and she set there, very impatient and excited and handsome, but looking kind of happy and eased-up, like a person that's had a tooth pulled out. So I went to studying it out. I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place is taking considerable many resks, though I ain't had no experience, and can't say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet here's a case where I'm blest if it don't look to me like the truth is better and actuly safer than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, it's so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I'm a-going to chance it; I'll up and tell the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of powder and touching it off just to see where you'll go to. Then I says:
Miss Mary Jane, is there any place out of town a little ways where you could go and stay three or four days?
Yes; Mr. Lothrop's. Why?
Never mind why yet. If I'll tell you how I know the niggers will see each other again inside of two weeks here in this house and prove how I know it will you go to Mr. Lothrop's and stay four days?
Four days! she says; I'll stay a year!
All right, I says, I don't want nothing more out of you than just your word I druther have it than another man's kiss-the-Bible. She smiled and reddened up very sweet, and I says, If you don't mind it, I'll shut the door and bolt it.
Then I come back and set down again, and says:
Don't you holler. Just set still and take it like a man. I got to tell the truth, and you want to brace up, Miss Mary, because it's a bad kind, and going to be hard to take, but there ain't no help for it. These uncles of yourn ain't no uncles at all; they're a couple of frauds regular dead-beats. There, now we're over the worst of it, you can stand the rest middling easy.
It jolted her up like everything, of course; but I was over the shoal water now, so I went right along, her eyes a-blazing higher and higher all the time, and told her every blame thing, from where we first struck that young fool going up to the steamboat, clear through to where she flung herself on to the king's
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