THE FARM IN ARKANSAW. / 135
all in good time, don't you fret about that. Go 'long with you now, and do as your mother told you."
When we got up stairs to his room, he got me a coarse shirt and a roundabout and pants of his, and I put them on. While I was at it he asked me what my name was, but before I could tell him, he started to telling me about a blue jay and a young rabbit he had catched in the woods day before yesterday, and he asked me where Moses was when the candle went out. I said I didn't know ; I hadn't heard about it before, no way.
" Well, guess," he says.
" How'm I going to guess," says I, "when I never heard tell about it before ?"
" But you can guess, can't you ? It's just as easy."
"Which candle ?' I says.
" Why, any candle," he says.
"I don't know where he was," says I; " where was he ?"
"Why he was in the darh! That's where he was !"
" Well, if you knowed where he was, what did you ask me for ?"
" Why, blame it, it's a riddle, don't you see ? Say, how long are you going to stay here ? You got to stay always. We can just have booming times—they don't have no school now. Do you own a dog ? I've got a dog—and he'll go in the river and bring out chips that you throw in. Do you like to comb up, Sundays, and all that kind of foolishness ? You bet I don't, but ma she makes me. Confound these ole britches, I reckon I'd better put 'em on, but I'd ruther not, it's so warm. Are you all ready ? All right—come along, old hoss."
Cold corn-pone, cold corn-beef, butter and butter-milk—that is what they had for me down there, and there ain't nothing better that ever I've come across yet. Buck and his ma and all of them smoked cob pipes, except the nigger woman, which was gone, and the two young women. They all smoked and talked, and I eat and talked. The young women had quilts around them, and their hair down their backs. They all asked me questions, and I told them how pap and me and all the family was living on a little farm down at the bottom of Arkansaw, and my sister Mary Ann run off and got married and never was heard of no more, and Bill went to hunt them and he warn't heard of