We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!
Tom he went on thinking, and never took no notice;
so our lawyer took the witness and done the best he could,
and it was plenty poor enough.
Then Jack Withers he come on the stand and told
the same tale, just like Bill done.
And after him comes Brace Dunlap, and he was looking
very mournful, and most crying; and there was a rustle
and a stir all around, and everybody got ready to listen,
and lost of the women folks said, "Poor cretur, poor cretur,"
and you could see a many of them wip-ing their eyes.
BRACE DUNLAP, sworn, said: "I was in considerable trouble
a long time about my poor brother, but I reckoned things
warn't near so bad as he made out, and I couldn't make
myself believe anybody would have the heart to hurt
a poor harmless cretur like that"--[by jings, I was sure
I seen Tom give a kind of a faint little start, and then
look disappointed again]--"and you know I COULDN'T think
a preacher would hurt him--it warn't natural to think
such an onlikely thing--so I never paid much attention,
and now I sha'n't ever, ever forgive myself; for if I had
a done different, my poor brother would be with me this day,
and not laying yonder murdered, and him so harmless."
He kind of broke down there and choked up, and waited to get
his voice; and people all around said the most pitiful things,
and women cried; and it was very still in there, and solemn,
and old Uncle Silas, poor thing, he give a groan right
out so everybody heard him. Then Brace he went on,
"Saturday, September 2d, he didn't come home to supper.
By-and-by I got a little uneasy, and one of my niggers
went over to this prisoner's place, but come back and
said he warn't there. So I got uneasier and uneasier,
and couldn't rest. I went to bed, but I couldn't sleep;
and turned out, away late in the night, and went wandering
over to this prisoner's place and all around about there
a good while, hoping I would run across my poor brother,
and never knowing he was out of his troubles and gone
to a better shore --" So he broke down and choked up again,
and most all the women was crying now. Pretty soon
he got another start and says: "But it warn't no use;
so at last I went home and tried to get some sleep,
but couldn't. Well, in a day or two everybody was uneasy,
and they got to talking about this prisoner's threats,
and took to the idea, which I didn't take no stock in,
that my brother was murdered so they hunted around and tried
to find his body, but couldn't and give it up. And so I
reckoned he was gone off somers to have a little peace,
and would come back to us when his troubles was kind
of healed. But late Saturday night, the 9th, Lem Beebe
and Jim Lane come to my house and told me all--told me
the whole awful 'sassination, and my heart was broke.
And THEN I remembered something that hadn't took no hold
of me at the time, because reports said this prisoner had
took to walking in his sleep and doing all kind of things
of no consequence, not knowing what he was about. I will
tell you what that thing was that come back into my memory.
Away late that awful Saturday night when I was wandering
around about this prisoner's place, grieving and troubled,
I was down by the corner of the tobacker- field and I
heard a sound like digging in a gritty soil; and I crope
nearer and peeped through the vines that hung on the
rail fence and seen this prisoner SHOVELING--shoveling
with a long-handled shovel--heaving earth into a big
hole that was most filled up; his back was to me, but it
was bright moonlight and I knowed him by his old green
baize work-gown with a splattery white patch in the middle
of the back like somebody had hit him with a snowball.
HE WAS BURYING THE MAN HE'D MURDERED!"