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Moriah's Mourning and Other Half-Hour Sketches   By: (1856-1917)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: "'THANK THE LORD! NOW I CAN SEE TO LOOK FOR 'EM! '"]

MORIAH'S MOURNING

and Other Half Hour Sketches

By RUTH MCENERY STUART

Author of "In Simpkinsville" "A Golden Wedding" etc.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

LONDON AND NEW YORK HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 1898

Copyright, 1898, by Harper & Brothers. All rights reserved.

Printed in New York, U.S.A.

CONTENTS

PAGE

MORIAH'S MOURNING 3

AN OPTICAL DILEMMA 19

THE SECOND MRS. SLIMM 37

APOLLO BELVEDERE. A CHRISTMAS EPISODE OF THE PLANTATION 53

NEAREST OF KIN (ON THE PLANTATION) 71

THE DEACON'S MEDICINE 93

TWO GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE 113

THE REV. JORDAN WHITE'S THREE GLANCES 131

LADY. A MONOLOGUE OF THE COW PEN 157

A PULPIT ORATOR 165

AN EASTER SYMBOL. A MONOLOGUE OF THE PLANTATION 175

CHRISTMAS AT THE TRIMBLES' 181

A MINOR CHORD 211

ILLUSTRATIONS

"'THANK THE LORD! NOW I CAN SEE TO LOOK FOR 'EM! '" Frontispiece

"A SURPRISED AND SMILING MAN WAS SITTING AT HER POLISHED KITCHEN TABLE" Facing p. 8

"'I'M AC CHILLY MOST AFEERD TO SEE YOU CONVERTED'" " 40

"'I PROMISED HIM I'D PUT ON MO'NIN' FOR HER SOON AS I MARRIED INTO DE FAMILY'" " 74

"SAYS SHE, 'OPEN YORE MOUTH!' AN' OF CO'SE I OPENED IT" " 98

"I DES LETS 'EM LOOSE P'OMISKYUS, TELL EV'YBODY SEE BLUE LIGHTNIN'" " 134

"SALVATION'S KYAR IS MOVIN'!" " 148

"'WON'T YER, PLEASE, SIR, SPELL DAT WORD OUT FUR ME SLOW?'" " 168

MORIAH'S MOURNING

Moriah was a widow of a month, and when she announced her intention of marrying again, the plantation held its breath. Then it roared with laughter.

Not because of the short period of her mourning was the news so incredible. But by a most exceptional mourning Moriah had put herself upon record as the most inconsolable of widows.

So prompt a readjustment of life under similar conditions was by no means unprecedented in colored circles.

The rules governing the wearing of the mourning garb are by no means stringent in plantation communities, and the widow who for reasons of economy or convenience sees fit to wear out her colored garments during her working hours is not held to account for so doing if she appear at all public functions clad in such weeds as she may find available. It is not even needful, indeed, that her supreme effort should attain any definite standard. Anybody can collect a few black things, and there is often an added pathos in the very incongruity of some of the mourning toilettes that pass up the aisles of the colored churches.

Was not the soul of artlessness expressed in the first mourning of a certain young widow, for instance, who sewed upon her blue gown all the black trimming she could collect, declaring that she "would 'a' dyed de frock th'oo an' th'oo 'cep'n' it would 'a' swunked it up too much"? And perhaps her sympathetic companions were quite as naïve as she, for, as they aided her in these first hasty stitches, they poured upon her wounded spirit the healing oil of full and sympathetic approval, as the following remarks will testify.

"Dat frock mo'ns all right, now de black bows is on it."

"You kin put any colored frock in mo'nin' 'cep'n' a red one... Continue reading book >>




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