her little white children, acting the same way the little niggers was doing. She was smiling all over so she could hardly stand—and says :
" It's you, at last!—ain't it ?"
I out with a " Yes'm," before I thought.
She grabbed me and hugged me tight; and then gripped me by both hands and shook and shook ; and the tears come in her eyes, and run down over; and she couldn't seem to hug and shake enough, and kept saying, " You don't look as much like your mother as I reckoned you would, but law sakes, I don't care for that, I'm so glad to see you ! Dear, dear, it does seem like I could eat you up ! Childern, it's your cousin Tom !—tell him howdy."
But they ducked their heads, and put their fingers in their mouths, and hid behind her. So she run on :
" Lize, hurrv up and get him a hot breakfast, right away—or did you get your breakfast on the boat ? "
I said I had got it on the boat. So then she started for the house, leading me by the hand, and the children tagging after. When we got there, she set me down in a split-bottomed chair, and set herself down on a little low stool in front of me, holding both of my hands, and says :
" Now I can have a good look at you ; and laws-a-me, I've been hungry for it a many and a many a time, all these long years, and it's come at last ! We been expecting you a couple of days and more. What's kep' you ?—boat get aground ? "