Gots say, af'er today, I seen it aw. Today I seen two white men sell a niggah to
a niggah—dat be me to Mutter Moss. Two thousan' dollars what her spen'!
Her jus' reach down into dis draw', lif' out dis box, set aside dis dar'nger,
an' coun' dat money right befo'e dem traders' eyes. Her say, "Don' yo'all call me 'Mist'ess';
call me 'Mutter Moss'," 'coun' once her prop'ty earn s'ficien' funds" her
sets 'em free. In fac' her say, "'Cep' fo' de loan you jus' contrac', yo' free dis instan'"; aw I gots
do fust is pay Mutter back. Her
say how. Guess her figger dat obv'ous seein' de way her look. Nev' did
see de like! Her born-wif face doin' one thin', whilst de face her pain' on top doin' somethin' else—like her eyebrows ain't where eyebrows 'pose' to be; de real ones
gone. Up a inch o' so, her draw on new ones. Same hol' true fo' her lips. Gots
sca'let-colourt lipstick what stop 'fo'e it reach de edge; fills in de res' wiff
colour dat match her skin. From a dis'ance, de mouf look slim; up close not. In
gen'ral, dough, her 'pearance well nigh white. Cou'se her use powder, but un'erneat'
dat powder her genuwine creamy.
Jewel covers her unadorned breastbone with overlapping palms.
Took my necklace, Mojo did—dat de little feller's name; Mistah Mojo Rags; can talk as good as White fo'ks, mayhap better, but him don' let on—tol' me it be bes' I give dat necklace back fo' safe keepin', 's if him know I likely lose it where I's goin'. Guess him right; woulda got stole fo' sho' day dem traders up an' snatch me...
"My, my! We is rambunctious, ain' we? Éclair sure can see who in a rush. Well, come an' do me, darlin'. Dat's... wait. Dere. 0ooo, dat's good... dat's good... dat's... Ooo, yo' de bes'... do me, do me, do me... yo' de very bes'... Dat's right... oh, darlin'... oh... oh, darlin', darlin'... dat it, dat it, dat, oh, oh, OH, dat good, so good. Darlin', yo' de bes'!"
"My, my! We is rambunctious, ain' we? Éclair sure' can see who in a rush. Well, come an' do me, darlin'. Don' be shy. Éclair see yo' in a mos' inflamat'ry condition. Give us a poke an' let's stoke up dat fire. OH... OH, YES; do me... Oh, dat's so good... yo' de bes... dat's, OH, OH, OH, sweet darlin', do me, do me, do me... Yo' de bes!"
"My, my! Ain' we rambunctious! Éclair sure can see who in a rush. Bet yo' de fas'est lover Eas' o' Wes' o' de Miss'sippi. Come an' poke yo' sweet Éclair; le's see. UH! Hol' it, darlin'... Le's us fust admin'ster a dollup o' dis here cream... Dere... Ain' dat bettuh? UH!... UH!... Oh, dat's... UH! UH! UH!... dat's... Over?... Oh, dat's good, dat's real good!... Fas'est lover bar none. Dat fel' so fine. B'lieves me when I say, darlin', yo' de bes'."
Voices past and present cease their tug-of-war with Jewel's dimming consciousness—sleep occluding memory and up-to-date predicament, commending her to the realm of providential dreams.