Read Books Online, for Free
|The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson||Mark Twain|
Tom Practices Sycophancy
|Page 2 of 4||
"It's a thundering lie, you miserable old blatherskite!"
"It ain't no lie, nuther. It's just de truth, en nothin' _but_ de truth, so he'p me. Yassir--you's my _son_--"
"En dat po' boy dat you's be'n a-kickin' en a-cuffin' today is Percy Driscoll's son en yo' _marster_--"
"En _his_ name is Tom Driscoll, en _yo's_ name's Valet de Chambers, en you ain't GOT no fambly name, beca'se niggers don't _have_ em!"
Tom sprang up and seized a billet of wood and raised it, but his mother only laughed at him, and said:
"Set down, you pup! Does you think you kin skyer me? It ain't in you, nor de likes of you. I reckon you'd shoot me in de back, maybe, if you got a chance, for dat's jist yo' style--_I_ knows you, throo en throo--but I don't mind gitt'n killed, beca'se all dis is down in writin' and it's in safe hands, too, en de man dat's got it knows whah to look for de right man when I gits killed. Oh, bless yo' soul, if you puts yo' mother up for as big a fool as _you_ is, you's pow'ful mistaken, I kin tell you! Now den, you set still en behave yo'self; en don't you git up ag'in till I tell you!"
Tom fretted and chafed awhile in a whirlwind of disorganizing sensations and emotions, and finally said, with something like settled conviction:
"The whole thing is moonshine; now then, go ahead and do your worst; I'm done with you."
Roxy made no answer. She took the lantern and started for the door. Tom was in a cold panic in a moment.
"Come back, come back!" he wailed. "I didn't mean it, Roxy; I take it all back, and I'll never say it again! Please come back, Roxy!"
The woman stood a moment, then she said gravely:
"Dat's one thing you's got to stop, Valet de Chambers. You can't call me _Roxy_, same as if you was my equal. Chillen don't speak to dey mammies like dat. You'll call me ma or mammy, dat's what you'll call me--leastways when de ain't nobody aroun'. _Say_ it!"
It cost Tom a struggle, but he got it out.
"Dat's all right. don't you ever forgit it ag'in, if you knows what's good for you. Now den, you had said you wouldn't ever call it lies en moonshine ag'in. I'll tell you dis, for a warnin': if you ever does say it ag'in, it's de LAS' time you'll ever say it to me; I'll tramp as straight to de judge as I kin walk, en tell him who you is, en _prove_ it. Does you b'lieve me when I says dat?"
"Oh," groaned Tom, "I more than believe it; I _know_ it."
Roxy knew her conquest was complete. She could have proved nothing to anybody, and her threat of writings was a lie; but she knew the person she was dealing with, and had made both statements without any doubt as to the effect they would produce.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004