“Almost a certainty,” replied Poirot placidly. “Everything points that way.”
“Brer Peter wus in deep prayer when I rid up to his cabin, an’ arter he ris up from his knees he blessed on de top ob my observashun, gib me de grip ob Ainshunt an’ Honorbul Order ob de Bow-legged Sons ob de Black Cat, an’ ’lowed he’d lak ter tak off my sandals an’ wash my feet; but I tole ’im I jes’ wash ’em ’bout er month befo’ an’ didn’t hab no time fur foolishness; dat I cum to dis cabin fur konsolashun an’ den I jus’ got offen dat muel an’ plowed a straight furrer ob facts down de row ob his head: ‘Brer Peter,’ sez I, ‘de doctrine ob our church teach us it am not good fur er man wid er dozen chilluns to lib erlone on one side ob er plantashun, an’ er nice, seekin’ lookin’ widder ’oman wid ten mo’ to lib erlone on de yudder side. In union dar am strength, in numbers dar am prosperity, an’ in Duteromety dar am happiness. Brer Peter, I wants ter marry Sister Calline,’ sez I. ‘She am yo’ widder an’ de widder ob de church, but you know yourself she ain’t had no sho’ ’tall—jes’ ha’f a marrid life an’ er house full ob chilluns—ten ob ’em, all needin’ sum lubbin’ father’s gidin’ arm, wid er hickory attachment, whilst my twelve or fifteen all need de spirtool ker ob er good muther ercompament. De cotton pickin’ seezen am ’most on us, an’ if I kin jine our forces I’ll hab er lead-pipe cinch on de cotton crap ob Tennessee to say nuthin’ ’bout de fo’teenth ’mendment to de skule law fixin’ de pro ratter ob all householders raisin’ twenty or mo’ widin de skule aige.
She told George of the visit with ill-concealed triumph. She knew there were several women who were anxious for Mr. Kennard to call on them, who even had lowered themselves so far as to send him invitations to dinner, which for the most part he did not trouble to answer. Rafella
After all, I don’t know what we should have done without him that summer; he always paid Dan or father a dollar a day and the hire of the boat; and the times were so hard, and there was so little doing, that, but for this, and packing the barrels of clam-bait, they’d have been idle and fared sorely. But we’d rather have starved: though, as for that, I’ve heard father say there never was a time when he couldn’t go out and catch some sort of fish and sell it for enough to get us something to eat. And then this Mr. Gabriel, he had such a winning way with him, he was as quick at wit as a bird on the wing, he had a story or a song for every point, he seemed to take to our simple life as if he’d been born to it, and he was as much interested in all our trifles as we were ourselves. Then, he was so sympathetic, he felt everybody’s troubles, he went to the city and brought down a wonderful doctor to see mother, and he got her queer things that helped her more than you’d have thought anything could, and he went himself and set honeysuckles out all round Dan’s house, so that before summer was over it was a bower of great sweet blows, and he had an alms for every beggar, and a kind word for every urchin, and he followed Dan about as a child would follow some big shaggy dog. He introduced, too, a lot of new-fangled games; he was what they called a gymnast, and in feats of rassling there wasn’t a man among them all but he could stretch as flat as a flounder. And then he always treated. Everybody had a place for him soon,——even I did; and as for Dan, he’d have cut his own heart out of his body, if Mr. Gabriel’d had occasion to use it. He was a different man from any Dan’d ever met before, something finer, and he might have been better, and Dan’s loyal soul was glad to acknowledge him master, and I declare I believe he felt just as the Jacobites in the old songs used to feel for royal Charlie. There are some men born to rule with a haughty, careless sweetness, and others born to die for them with stern and dogged devotion.
"No," said he, "but another officer, who had been with old Colin since the battle, went on board their ship when they landed and told him the youngest one was sure to have money."
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