Not trust a darky

had been scandalized enough when Scarlett, a woman, began operating the sawmill butas time went by, the town decided there was no limit to what she would do. Her sharp trading wasshocking, especially when her poor mother had been a Robillard, and it was positively indecent theway she kept on going about the streets when everyone knew she was pregnant. No respectablewhite woman and few negroes everwentoutside their homes from the moment they first suspectedthey were with child, and Mrs. Merriwether declared indignantly that from the way Scarlett wasacting she was likely to have the baby on the public streets.
But all the previous criticism of her conduct was as nothing compared with the buzz of gossipthat now went through the town. Scarlett was not only trafficking with the Yankees but was givingevery appearance of really liking it!
Mrs. Merriwether and many other Southerners were also doing business with the newcomersfrom the North, but the difference was that they did not like it and plainly showed they did not likeit. And Scarlett did, or seemed to, which was just as bad. She had actually taken tea with theYankee officers’ wives in their homes! In fact, she had done practically everything short of invitingthem into her own home, and the town guessed she would do even that, except for Aunt Pitty andFrank.
Scarlett knew the town was talking but she did not care, could not afford to care. She still hatedthe Yankees with as fierce a hate as on the day when they tried to burn Tara, but she coulddissemble that hate. She knew that if she was going to make money, she would have to make it outof the Yankees, and she had learned that buttering them up with smiles and kind words was thesurest way to get their business for her mill.
Some day when she was very rich and her money was hidden away where the Yankees could notfind it, then, then she would tell them exactly what she thought of them, tell them how she hatedand loathed and despised them. And what a joy that would be! But until that time came, it was justplain common sense to get along with them. And if that was hypocrisy, let Atlanta make the mostof it.
She discovered that making friends with the Yankee officers was as easy as shooting birds on theground. They were lonely exiles in a hostile land and many of them were starved for politefeminine associations in a town where respectable women drew their skirts aside in passing andlooked as if they would like to spit on them. Only the prostitutes and the negro women had kindwords for them. But Scarlett was obviously a lady and a lady of family, for all that she worked, andthey thrilled to her flashing smile and the pleasant light in her green eyes.
Frequently when Scarlett sat in her buggy talking to them and making her dimples play, herdislike for them rose so strong that it was hard not to curse them to their faces. But she restrainedherself and she found that twisting Yankee men around her finger was no more difficult than thatsame diversion had been with Southern men. Only this was no diversion but a grim business. Therole she enacted was that of a refined sweet Southern lady in distress. With an air of dignifiedreserve she was able to keep her victims at their proper distance, but there was nevertheless a graciousness in her manner which left a certain warmth in the Yankee officers’ memories of Mrs.
This warmth was very profitable—as Scarlett had intended it to be. Many of the officers of thegarrison, not knowing how long they would be stationed in Atlanta, had sent for their wives andfamilies. As the hotels and boarding houses were overflowing, they were building small houses;and they were glad to buy their lumber from the gracious Mrs. Kennedy, who treated them morepolitely than anyone else in town. The Carpetbaggers and Scalawags also, who were building finehomes and stores and hotels with their new wealth, found it more pleasant to do business with herthan with the former Confederate soldiers who were courteous but with a courtesy more formaland cold than outspoken hate.
So, because she was pretty and charming and could appear quite helpless and forlorn at times,they gladly patronized her lumber yard and also Frank’s store, feeling that they should help aplucky little woman who apparently had only a shiftless husband to support her. And Scarlett,watching the business grow, felt that she was safeguarding not only the present with Yankee moneybut the future with Yankee friends.
Keeping her relations with the Yankee officers on the plane she desired was easier man sheexpected, for they all seemed to be in awe of Southern ladies, but Scarlett soon found that theirwives presented a problem she had not anticipated. Contacts with the Yankee women were not ofher seeking. She would have been glad to avoid them but she could not, for the officers’ wiveswere determined to meet her. They had an avid curiosity about the South and Southern women,and Scarlett gave them their first opportunity to satisfy it. Other Atlanta women would havenothing to do with them and even refused to bow to them in church, so when business broughtScarlett to their homes, she was like an answer to prayer. Often when Scarlett sat in her buggy infront cheap ghd air of a Yankee home talking of uprights and shingles with the man of the house, the wife cameout to join in the conversation or insist that she come inside for a cup of tea. Scarlett seldomrefused, no matter how distasteful the idea might be, for she always hoped to have an opportunityto suggest tactfully that they do their trading at Frank’s store. But her self-control was severelytested many times, because of the personal questions they asked and because of the smug andcondescending attitude they displayed toward all things Southern.
Accepting Uncle Tom’s Cabin as revelation second only to the Bible, the Yankee women allwanted to know about the bloodhounds which every Southerner kept to track down runawayslaves. And they never believed her when she told them she had only seen one bloodhound in allher life and it was a small mild dog and not a huge ferocious mastiff. They wanted to know aboutthe dreadful branding irons which planters used to mark the faces of their slaves and the cat heap ghd hair straighteners uk -o’nine-tails with which they beat them to death, and they evidenced what Scarlett felt was a verynasty and ill-bred interest in slave concubinage. Especially did she resent this in view of theenormous increase in mulatto babies in Atlanta since the Yankee soldiers had settled in the town.
Any other Atlanta woman would hav cheap ghd straighteners £50 e expired in rage at having to listen to such bigotedignorance but Scarlett managed to control herself. Assisting her in this was the fact that theyaroused her contempt more than her anger. After all, they were Yankees and no one expected anythingbetter from Yankees. So their unthinking insults to her state, her people and their morals,glanced off and never struck deep enough to cause her more than a well-concealed sneer until an incident occurred which made her sick with rage and showed her, if she needed any showing, howwide was the gap between North and South and how utterly impossible it was to bridge it.
While driving home with Uncle Pet cheap ghd flat iron er one afternoon, she passed the house into which werecrowded the families of three officers who were building their own homes with Scarlett’s lumber.
The three wives were standing in the walk as she drove by and they waved to her to stop. Comingout to the carriage block they greeted her in accents that always made her feel that one couldforgive Yankees almost anything except their voices.
“You are just the person I want to see, Mrs. Kennedy,” said a tall thin Buy discount ghd straighteners cheap sale uk woman from Maine. “Iwant to get some information about this benighted town.”
Scarlett swallowed the insult to Atlanta with the contempt it deserved and smiled her best.
“And what can I tell you?”
“My nurse, my Bridget, has gone back North. She said she wouldn’t stay another day down hereamong the ‘nay-gurs’ as she calls them. And the children are just driving me distracted! Do tell mehow to go about getting another nurse. I do not know where to apply.”
That shouldn’t be difficult,” said Scarlett and laughed. “If you can find a darky just in from thecountry who hasn’t been spoiled by the Freedmen’s Bureau, you’ll have the best kind of servantpossible. Just stand at your gate here and ask every darky woman who passes and I’m sure—”
The three women broke into indignant outcries.
“Do you think I’d trust my babies to a black nigger?” cried the Maine woman. “I want a goodIrish girl.”
“I’m afraid you’ll find no Irish s cheap ghds ervants in Atlanta,” answered Scarlett, coolness in her voice.
“Personally, I’ve never seen a white servant and I shouldn’t care to have one in my house. And,”
she could not keep a slight note of sarcasm from her words, “I assure you that darkies aren’tcannibals and are quite trustworthy.”
“Goodness, no! I wouldn’t have one in my house. The idea!”
“I wouldn’t trust them any farther than I could see them and as for letting them handle mybabies …”
Scarlett thought of the kind, gnarled hands of Mammy worn rough in Ellen’s service and hersand Wade’s. What did these strangers know of black hands, how dear and comforting they couldbe, how unerringly they knew how to soothe, to pat, to fondle? She laughed shortly.
“It’s strange you should feel that way when it was you all who freed them.”
“Lor’! Not I, dearie,” laughed the Maine woman. “I never saw a nigger till I came South lastmonth and I don’t care if I never see another. They give me the creeps. I wouldn’t trust one ofthem. …”
For some moments Scarlett had been cheap ghd straighteners next day delivery conscious that Uncle Peter was breathing hard and sittingup very straight as he stared steadily at the horse’s ears. Her attention was called to him moreforcibly when the Maine woman broke off suddenly with a laugh and pointed him out to hercompanions.
“Look at that old nigger swell up like a toad,” she giggled. “I’ll bet he’s an old pet of yours, isn’the? You Southerners don’t know how to treat niggers. You spo ghd straighteners cheap il them to death.”
Peter sucked in his breath and his wrinkled brow showed deep furrows but he kept his eyesstraight ahead. He had never had the term “nigger” applied to him by a white person in all his life.
By other negroes, yes. But never by a white person. And to be called untrustworthy and an “oldpet,” he, Peter, who had been the dignified mainstay of the Hamilton family for years!
Scarlett felt, rather than saw, the black chin begin to shake with hurt pride, and a killing rageswept over her. She had listened with calm contempt while these women had underrated theConfederate Army, blackguarded Jeff Davis and accused Southerners of murder and torture of theirslaves. If it were to her advantage she would have endured insults about her own virtue andhonesty. But the knowledge that they had hurt the faithful old dark cheap ghd wide plate straighteners y with their stupid remarks firedher like a match in gunpowder. For a moment she looked at the big horse pistol in Peter’s belt andher hands itched for the feel of it. They deserved killing, these insolent, ignorant, arrogantconquerors. But she bit down on her teeth until her jaw muscles stood out, reminding herself thatthe time had not yet come when she could tell the Yankees just what she thought of them. Someday, yes. My God, yes! But not yet.
“Uncle Peter is one of our family,” she said, her voice shaking. “Good afternoon. Drive on,Peter.”
Peter laid the whip on the horse so suddenly that the startled animal jumped forward and as thebuggy jounced off, Scarlett heard the Maine woman say with puzzled accents: “Her family? Youdon’t suppose she meant a relative? He’s exceedingly black.”
God damn them! They ought to be cheap ghd straighteners wiped off the face of the earth. If ever I get money enough,I’ll spit in all their faces! I’ll—She glanced at Peter and saw that a tear was trickling down his nose. Instantly a passion oftenderness, of grief for his humiliation swamped her, made her eyes sting. It was as thoughsomeone had been senselessly brutal to a child. Those women had hurt Uncle Peter—Peter whohad been through the Mexican War with old Colonel Hamilton, Peter who had held his master inhis arms when he died, who had raised Melly and Charles and looked after the feckless, foolishPittypat, “pertecked” her when she refugeed, and “ ‘quired” a horse to bring her back from Maconthrough a war-torn country after the surrender. And they said they wouldn’t trust niggers!
“Peter,” she said, her voice breaking as she put her hand on his thin arm. “I’m ashamed of discount ghd straighteners youfor crying. What do you care? They aren’t anything but damned Yankees!”
“Dey talked in front of me lak Ah wuz a mule an’ couldn’ unnerstan’ dem—lak Ah wuz aAffikun an’ din’ know whut dey wuz talkin’ ‘bout,” said Peter, giving a tremendous sniff. “An’ deycall me a nigger an’ Ah’ ain’ never been call a nigger by no w’ite folks, an’ dey call me a ole petan’ say dat niggers ain’ ter be trus’ed! Me not ter be trus’ed! Why, w’en de ole Cunnel wuz dyin’
he say ter me, “You, Peter! You look affer mah chillun. Tek keer of yo’ young Miss Pittypat,’ hesay, ‘ ‘cause she ain’ got no mo’ sense dan a hoppergrass.’ An’ Ah done tek keer of her good alldese y’ars—”
“Nobody but the Angel Gabriel could have done better,” said Scarlett soothingly. “We just couldn’t have lived without you.”
“Yas’m, thankee kinely, Ma’m. Ah knows it an’ you knows it, but dem Yankee folks doan knowit ghd straighteners an’ dey doan want ter know it, Huccome dey come mixin’ in our bizness, Miss Scarlett? Deydoan unnerstan’ us Confedruts.”
Scarlett said nothing for she was still burning with the wrath she had not exploded in the Yankeewomen’s faces. The two drove home in silence. Peter’s sniffles stopped and his underlip began toprotrude gradually until it stuck out alarmingly. His indignation was mounting, now that the initialhurt was subsiding.
Scarlett thought: What damnably queer people Yankees are! Those women seemed to think thatbecause Uncle Peter was black, he had no ears to hear with and no feelings, as tender as their own,to be hurt. They did not know that negroes had to be handled gently, as though they were children,directed, praised, petted, scolded. They didn’t understand negroes or the relations between thenegroes and their former masters. Yet they had fought a war to free them. And having freed them,they didn’t want to have anything to do with them, except to use them to terrorize Southerners.
They didn’t like them, didn’t trust them, didn’t understand them, and yet their constant cry was thatSoutherners didn’t know how to get along with them.
Not trust a darky! Scarlett trusted them far more than most white people, certainly more than shetrusted any Yankee. There were qualities of loyalty and tirelessness and love in them that no straincould break, no money could buy. She thought of the faithful few who remained at Tara in the faceof the Yankee invasion when they could have fled or joined the troops for lives of leisure. But theyhad stayed. She thought of Dilcey toiling in the cotton fields beside her, of Pork risking his life inneighboring hen houses that the family might eat, of Mammy coming to Atlanta with her to keepher from doing wrong. She thought of the servants of her ne ghd outlet ighbors who had stood loyally besidetheir white owners, protecting their mistresses while the men were at the front, refugeeing withthem through the terrors of the war, nursing the wounded, burying the dead, comforting thebereaved, working, begging, stealing to keep food the tables. And even now, with the Freedmen’sBureaupromisingallmannerofwonders,the(on) y still stuck w

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