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|The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson||Mark Twain|
Marse Tom Tramples His Chance
|Page 3 of 7||
"It's God's own truth, jes as I tell you--two hund'd dollahs-- I wisht I may never stir outen my tracks if it ain't so. En, oh, my lan', ole Marse was jes a-hoppin'! He was b'ilin' mad, I tell you! He tuck 'n' dissenhurrit him."
"What's dat? What do you mean?"
"Means he bu'sted de will."
"Bu's--ted de will! He wouldn't _ever_ treat him so! Take it back, you mis'able imitation nigger dat I bore in sorrow en tribbilation."
Roxy's pet castle--an occasional dollar from Tom's pocket-- was tumbling to ruin before her eyes. She could not abide such a disaster as that; she couldn't endure the thought of it. Her remark amused Chambers.
"Yah-yah-yah! Jes listen to dat! If I's imitation, what is you? Bofe of us is imitation _white_--dat's what we is--en pow'ful good imitation, too. Yah-yah-yah! We don't 'mount to noth'n as imitation _niggers_; en as for--"
"Shet up yo' foolin', 'fo' I knock you side de head, en tell me 'bout de will. Tell me 'tain't bu'sted--do, honey, en I'll never forgit you."
"Well, _'tain't_--'ca'se dey's a new one made, en Marse Tom's all right ag'in. But what is you in sich a sweat 'bout it for, Mammy? 'Tain't none o' your business I don't reckon."
"'Tain't none o' my business? Whose business is it den, I'd like to know? Wuz I his mother tell he was fifteen years old, or wusn't I?-- you answer me dat. En you speck I could see him turned out po' and ornery on de worl' en never care noth'n' 'bout it? I reckon if you'd ever be'n a mother yo'self, Valet de Chambers, you wouldn't talk sich foolishness as dat."
"Well, den, ole Marse forgive him en fixed up de will ag'in --do dat satisfy you?"
Yes, she was satisfied now, and quite happy and sentimental over it. She kept coming daily, and at last she was told that Tom had come home. She began to tremble with emotion, and straightway sent to beg him to let his "po' ole nigger Mammy have jes one sight of him en die for joy."
Tom was stretched at his lazy ease on a sofa when Chambers brought the petition. Time had not modified his ancient detestation of the humble drudge and protector of his boyhood; it was still bitter and uncompromising. He sat up and bent a severe gaze upon the face of the young fellow whose name he was unconsciously using and whose family rights he was enjoying. He maintained the gaze until the victim of it had become satisfactorily pallid with terror, then he said:
"What does the old rip want with me?"
The petition was meekly repeated.
"Who gave you permission to come and disturb me with the social attentions of niggers?"
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|The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
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