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Trenutno vreme je: 27. Jan 2022, 19:12:15
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Whitfield

When they told me she was dying, all that night I wrestled with Satan, and I emerged victorious. I woke to the enormity of my sin; I saw the true light at last, and I fell on my knees and confessed to God and asked His guidance and received it. "Rise," He said; "repair to that home in which you have put a living lie, among those people with whom you have outraged My Word; confess your sin aloud. It is for them, for that deceived husband, to forgive you: not I."
So I went. I heard that Tull's bridge was gone; I said "Thanks, O Lord, O Mighty Ruler of all"; for by those dangers and difficulties which I should have to surmount I saw that He had not abandoned me; that my reception again into His holy peace and love  would be the sweeter for it. "Just let me not perish before I have begged the forgiveness of the man whom I betrayed," I prayed; "let me not be too late; let not the tale of mine and her transgression come from her lips instead of mine. She had sworn then that she would never tell it, but eternity is a fearsome thing to face: have I not wrestled thigh to thigh with Satan myself? let me not have also the sin of her broken vow upon my soul. Let not the waters of Thy Mighty Wrath encompass me until I have cleansed my soul in the presence of them whom I injured."
It was His hand that bore me safely above the flood, that fended from me-the dangers of the waters. My horse was frightened, and my own heart failed me as the logs and the uprooted trees bore down upon my littleness. But not my soul: time after time I saw them averted at destruction's final instant, and I lifted my voice above the noise of the flood: "Praise to Thee, O Mighty Lord and King. By this token shall I cleanse my soul and gain again into the fold of Thy undying love."
I knew then that forgiveness was mine. The flood, the danger, behind, and as I rode on across the firm earth again and the scene of my Gethsemane drew closer and closer, I framed the words which I should use. I would enter the house; I would stop her before she had spoken; I would say to her husband: "Anse, I have sinned. Do with me as you will."
It was already as though it were done. My soul felt freer, quieter than it had in years; already I seemed to dwell in abiding peace again as I rode on. To either side I saw His hand; in my heart I could hear His voice: "Courage. I am with thee."
Then I reached Tull's house. His youngest girl came out and called to me as I was passing. She told me that she was already dead.
"I have sinned, O Lord. Thou knowest the extent of my remorse and the will of my spirit. But He is merciful; He will accept the will for the deed, Who knew that when I framed the words of my confession it was to Anse I spoke them, even though he was not there. It was He in His infinite wisdom that restrained the tale from her dying lips as she lay surrounded by those who loved and trusted her; mine the travail by water which I sustained by the strength of His hand. Praise to Thee in Thy bounteous and omnipotent love; O praise.
I entered the house of bereavement, the lowly dwelling where another erring mortal lay while her soul faced the awful and irrevocable judgment, peace to her ashes.
"God's grace upon this house," I said.

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Darl

On the horse he rode up to Armstid's and came back on the horse, leading Arrnstid's team. We hitched up and laid Cash on top of Addie. When we laid him down he vomited again, but he got his head over the wagon bed in time.
"He taken a lick in the stomach, too," Vernon said.
"The horse may have kicked him in the stomach too," I said. "Did he kick you in the stomach, Cash?"
He tried to say something. Dewey Dell wiped his mouth again.
"What's he say?" Vernon said.
"What is it, Cash?" Dewey Dell said. She leaned down. "His tools," she said. Vernon got them and put them into the wagon. Dewey Dell lifted Cash's head so he could see. We drove on, Dewey Dell and I sitting beside Cash to steady him and he riding on ahead on the horse. Vernon stood watching us for a while. Then he turned and went back toward the bridge. He walked gingerly, beginning to flap, the wet sleeves of his shirt as though he had just got wet.
He was sitting the horse before the gate. Armstid was waiting at the gate. We stopped and he got down and we lifted Cash down and carried him into the house, where Mrs Armstid had the bed ready. We left her and Dewey Dell undressing him.
We followed pa out to the wagon. He went back and got into the wagon and drove on, we following on foot, into the lot. The wetting had helped, because Armstid said, "You're welcome to the house. You can put it there." He followed, leading the horse, and stood beside the wagon, the reins in his hand.
"I thank you," pa said. "We'll use in the shed yonder. I know it's a imposition on you."
"You're welcome to the house," Armstid said. He had that wooden look on his face again; that bold, surly, high-colored rigid look like his face and eyes were two colors of wood, the wrong one pale and the wrong one dark. His shirt was beginning to dry, but it still clung close upon him when he moved.
"She would appreciate it," pa said.
We took the team out and rolled the wagon bade under the shed. One side of the shed was open.
“It wont rain under," Armstid said. "But if you'd rather . . ."
Back of the barn was some rusted sheets of tin roofing. We took two of them and propped them against the open side.
"You're welcome to the house," Armstid said.
"I thank you," pa said. "I'd take it right kind if you'd give them a little snack."
"Sho," Armstid said. "We'll have supper ready soon as she gets Cash comfortable." He had gone back to the horse and he took taking the saddle off, his damp shirt lapping flat to him when he moved.
Pa wouldn't come in the house. "Come in and eat," Armstid said. “It's nigh ready."
"I wouldn't crave nothing," pa said. “I thank you."
"You come in and dry and eat," Armstid said. "It'll be all right here."
“It's for her," pa said. "It's for her sake I am taking the food. I got no team, no nothing. But she will be grateful to ere a one of you."
"Sho," Armstid said. "You folks come in and dry."
But after Armstid gave pa a drink, he felt better, and when we went in to see about Cash he hadn't come in with us. When I looked back he was leading the horse into the barn he was already talking about getting another team, and by supper time he had good as bought it. He is down there in the barn, sliding fluidly past the gaudy lunging swirl, into the stall with it. He climbs onto the manger and drags the hay down and leaves the stall and seeks and finds the currycomb. Then he returns and slips quickly past the single crashing thump and up against the horse, where it cannot overreach. He applies the curry-comb, holding himself within the horse's striking radius with the agility of an acrobat, cursing the horse in a whisper of obscene caress. Its head flashes back, tooth-cropped; its eyes roll in the dusk like marbles on a gaudy velvet cloth as he strikes it upon the face with the back of the curry-comb.
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Armstid

But time I give him another sup of whisky and supper was about ready, he had done already bought a team from somebody, on a credit. Picking and choosing he were by then, saying how he didn't nice this span and wouldn't put his money in nothing so-and-so owned, not even a hen coop.
"You might try Snopes," I said. "He's got three-four span. Maybe one of them would suit you."
Then he begun to mumble his mouth, looking at me nice it was me that owned the only span of mules in the county and wouldn't sell them to him, when I knew that like as not it would be my team that would ever get them out of the lot at all. Only I dont know what they would do with them, if they had a team.
 Littlejohn had told me that the levee through Haley bottom had done gone for two miles and that the only way to get to Jefferson would be to go around by Mottson. But that was Anse's business.
"He's a close man to trade with," he says, mumbling his mouth. But when I give him another sup after supper, he cheered up some. He was aiming to go back to the barn and set up with her. Maybe he thought that if he Just stayed down there ready to take out Santa Claus would maybe bring him a span of mules. "But I reckon I can talk him around," he says. "A man’ll always help a fellow in a tight, if he's got ere a drop of Christian blood in him.”
"Of course you're welcome to the use of mine," I said, me knowing how much he believed that was the reason.
"I thank you," he said. "She’ll want to go in ourn," and him knowing how much I believed that was the reason.
After supper Jewel rode over to the Bend to get Peabody. I heard he was to be there today at Varner's. Jewel come back about midnight. Peabody had gone down below Inverness somewhere, but Uncle Billy come back with him, with his satchel of horse physic. Like he says, a man aint so different from a horse or a mule, come long come short, except a mule or a horse has got a little more sense. "What you been Into now, boy?" he says, looking at Cash. "Get me a mattress and a chair and a glass of whisky," he says.
He made Cash drink the whisky, then he run Anse out of the room. "Lucky it was the same leg he broke last summer," Anse says, mournful, mumbling and blinking. "That's something."
We folded the mattress across Cash's legs and set the chair on the mattress and me and Jewel set on the chair and the gal held the lamp and Uncle Billy taken a chew of tobacco and went to work. Cash fought pretty hard for a while, until he fainted. Then he laid still, with big balls of sweat standing on his face like they had started to roll down and then stopped to wait for him.
When he waked up, Uncle Billy had done packed up and left. He kept on trying to say something until the gal leaned down and wiped his mouth. "It's his tools," she said.
"I brought them in," Darl said. "I got them."
He tried to talk again; she leaned down. "He wants to see them," she said. So Darl brought them in where he could see them. They shoved them under the side of the bed, where he could reach his hand and touch them when he felt better. Next morning Anse taken that horse and rode over to the Bend to see Snopes. Him and Jewel stood in the lot talking a while, then Anse got on the horse and rode off. I reckon that was the first time Jewel ever let anybody ride that horse, and until Anse come back he hung around in that swole-up way, watching the road like he was half a mind to take out after Anse and get the horse back.
Along toward nine oclock it begun to get hot. That was when I see the first buzzard. Because of the wetting, I reckon. Anyway it wasn't until well into the day that I see them. Lucky the breeze was -setting away from the house, so it wasn't until well into the morning. But soon as I see them it was like I could smell it in the field a mile away from just watching them, and them circling and circling for everybody in the county to see what was in my barn.
I was still a good half a mile from the house when I heard that boy yelling. I thought maybe he might have fell into the well or something, so I whipped up and come into the lot on the lope.
There must have been a dozen of them setting along the ridge-pole of the bam, and that boy was chasing another one around the lot like it was a turkey and it just lifting enough to dodge him and go flopping bade to the roof of the shed again where he had found it setting on the coffin. It had got hot then, right, and the breeze had dropped or changed or something, so I went and found Jewel, but Lula come out.
"You got to do something,"' she said. "It's a outrage."
"That's what I aim to do," I said.
"It's a outrage," she said. "He should be lawed for treating her so."
"He's getting her into the ground the best he can," I said. So I found Jewel and asked him if he didn't want to take one of the mules and go over to the Bend and see about Anse. He didn't say nothing. He just looked at me with his jaws going bone-white and them bone-white eyes of hisn, then he went and begun to call Darl.
"What you fixing to do?" I said.
He didn't answer. Darl come out. "Come on," Jewel said.
"What you aim to do?" Darl said.
"Going to move the wagon," Jewel said over his shoulder.
"Dont be a fool," I said. "I never meant nothing. You couldn't help it." And Darl hung back too but nothing woulddn't suit Jewel.
"Shut your goddamn mouth," he says.
"It's got to be somewhere," Darl said. "We’ll take out soon as pa gets back."
"You wont help me?" Jewel says, them white eyes of hisn kind of blaring and his face shaking like he had a aguer.
"No," Darl said. "I wont. Wait till pa gets back."
So I stood in the door and watched him push and pull at that wagon. It was on a downhill, and once I thought he was fixing to beat out the back end of the shed. Then, the dinner bell rung. I called him, but he didn't look around. "Come on to dinner," I said. 'Tell that boy." But he didn't answer, so I went on to dinner. The gal went down to get that boy, but she come back without him. About half through dinner we heard him yelling again, running that buzzard out.
“It's a outrage," Lula said; "a outrage."
"He's doing the best he can," I said. "A fellow dont trade with Snopes in thirty minutes. They'll set in die shade all afternoon to dicker."
"Do?" she says. "Do? He's done too much, already."
And I reckon he had. Trouble is, his quitting was Just about to start our doing. He couldn't buy no team from nobody, let alone Snopes, withouten he had something to mortgage he didn't know would mortgage yet. And so when I went back to the field I looked at my mules and same as told them goodbye for a spell And when I come back that evening and the sun shining all day on that shed, I wasn't so sho I would regret it.
He come riding up just as I went out to the porch, where they all was. He looked kind of funny: kind of more hang-dog than common, and kind of proud too. Like he had done something he thought was cute but wasn't so sho now how other folks would take it.
"I got a team," he said.
"You bought a team from Snopes?" I said.
"I reckon Snopes aint the only man in this country that can drive a trade," he said.
"Sho," I said. He was looking at Jewel, with that funny look, but Jewel had done got down from the porch and was going toward the horse. To see what Anse had done to it, I reckon.
"Jewel," Anse says. Jewel looked back. "Come here," Anse says. Jewel come back a little and stopped again,
"What you want?" he said.
"So you got a team from Snopes," I said. "He’ll send them over tonight, I reckon? You'll want a early start tomorrow, long as you'll have to go by Mottson."
Then he quit looking like he had been for a while. He got that badgered look like he used to have, mumbling his mouth.
"I do the best I can," he said. "Fore God, if there were ere a man in the living world suffered the trials and floutings I have suffered."
"A fellow that just beat Snopes in a trade ought to feel pretty good," I said. "What did you give him, Anse?"
He didn't look at me. "I give a chattel mortgage on my cultivator and seeder," he said.
"But they aint worth forty dollars. How far do you aim to get with a forty dollar team?"
They were all watching him now, quiet and steady. Jewel was stopped, halfway back, waiting to go on to the horse. "I give other things," Anse said. He begun to mumble his mouth again, standing there like he was waiting for somebody to hit him and him with his mind already made up not to do nothing about it.
"What other things?" Darl said.
"Hell," I said. "You take my team. You can bring them back. Ill get along someway."
"So thats what you were doing in Cash's clothes last night," Darl said. He said it just like he was reading it outen the paper. Like he never give a durn himself one way or the other. Jewel had come back now, standing there, looking at Anse with them marble eyes of hisn. "Cash aimed to buy that talking machine from Suratt with that money," Darl said.
Anse stood there, mumbling his mouth. Jewel watched him. He aint never blinked yet.
"But that's just eight dollars more," Darl said, in that voice like he was just listening and never give a durn himself. "That still wont buy a team."
Anse looked at Jewel, quick, kind of sliding his eyes that way, then he looked down again. "God knows, if there were ere a man," he says. Still they didn't say nothing. They just watched him, waiting, and  hire sliding his eyes toward their feet and up their legs but no higher. "And the horse," he says.
"What horse?" Jewel said. Anse just stood there. I be durn, if a man cant keep the upper hand of his sons, he ought to run them away from home, no matter how big they are. And if he cant do that, I be durn if he oughtn't to leave himself. I be durn if I wouldn't. "You mean, you tried to swap my horse?" Jewel says.
Anse stands there, dangle-armed. "For fifteen years I aint had a tooth in my head," he says. "God knows it. He knows in fifteen years I aint et the victuals He aimed for man to eat to keep his strength up, and me saving a nickel here and a nickel there so my family wouldn't suffer it to buy them teeth so I could eat God's appointed food. I give that money. I thought that if I could do without eating, my sons could do without riding. God knows I did."
Jewel stands with his hands on his hips, looking at Anse. Then he looks away. He looked out across the field, his face still as a rode, like it was somebody else talking about somebody else's horse and him not even listening. Then he spit; slow, and said "Hell" and he turned and went on to the gate and unhitched the horse and got on it. It was moving when he come into the saddle and by the time he was on it they was tearing down the road like the Law might have been behind them. They went out of sight that way, the two of them looking like some kind of a spotted cyclone.
"Well," I says. "You take my team," I said. But he wouldn't do it And they wouldn't even stay, and that boy chasing them buzzards all day in the hot sun until he was nigh as crazy as the rest of them. "Leave Cash here, anyway," I said. But they wouldn't do that. They made a pallet for him with quilts on top of the coffin and laid him on it and set his tools by him, and we put my team in and hauled the wagon about a mile down the road.
“If we’ll bother you here," Anse says, "just say so."
"Sho," I said. "It'll be fine here. Safe, too. Now let's go back and eat supper."
"I thank you," Anse said. "We got a little something in the basket. We can make out."
"Where'd you get it?" I said.
"We brought it from home."
"But it'll be stale now," I said. "Come and get some hot victuals."
But they wouldn't come. “I reckon we can make out," Anse said. So I went home and et and taken a basket back to them and tried again to make them come back to the house.
"I thank you," he said. "I reckon we can make out." So I left them there, squatting around a little fire, waiting; God knows what for.
I come on home. I kept thinking about them there, and about that fellow tearing away on that horse. And that would be the last they would see of him. And I be durn if I could blame him. Not for wanting to not give up his horse, but for getting shut of such a durn fool as Anse.
Or that's what I thought then. Because be durn if there aint something about a durn fellow like Anse that seems to make a man have to help him, even when he knows hell be wanting to kick himself next minute. Because about a hour after breakfast next morning Eustace Grimm that works Snopes place come up with a span of mules, hunting Anse.
"I thought him and Anse never traded," I said.
"Sho," Eustace said. "All they liked was the horse. Like I said to Mr Snopes, he was letting this team go for fifty dollars, because if his uncle Flem had a just kept them Texas horses when he owned them, Anse wouldn't a never--"
"The horse?" I said. "Anse's boy taken that horse and cleared out last night, probably halfway to Texas by now, and Anse—“
“I didn't know who brung it," Eustace said. "I never see them. I just found the horse in the barn this morning when I went to feed, and I told Mr Snopes and he said to bring the team on over here."
Well, that'll be the last they'll ever see of him now, sho enough. Come Christmas time they'll maybe get a postal -card from nim in Texas, I reckon. And if it hadn't a been Jewel, I reckon it'd a been me; I owe him that much, myself. I be durn if Anse dont conjure a man, some way. I be durn if he aint a sight.
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Moseley

I happened to look up, and saw her outside the window, looking in. Not close to the glass, and not looking at anything in particular; just standing there with her head turned this way and her eyes full on me and kind of blank too, like she was waiting for a sign. When I looked up again she was moving toward the door.
She kind of bumbled at the screen door a minute, like they do, and came in. She had on a stiff-brimmed straw hat setting on the top of her head and she was carrying a package wrapped in newspaper: I thought that she had a quarter or a dollar at the most, and that after she stood around a while she would maybe buy a cheap comb or a bottle of nigger toilet water, so I never disturbed her for a minute or so except to notice that she was pretty in a kind of sullen, awkward way, and that she looked a sight better in her gingham dress and her own complexion than she would after she bought whatever she would finally decide on. Or tell that she wanted. I knew that she had already decided before she came in. But you have to let them take their time. So I went on with what I was doing, figuring to let Albert wait on her when he caught up at the fountain, when he came back to me.
"That woman," he said. "You better see what she wants."
"What does she want?" I said.
"I dont know. I cant get anything out of her. You better wait on her."
So I went around the counter. I saw that she was barefooted, standing with her feet flat and easy on the floor, like she was used to it. She was looking at me, hard, holding the package; I saw she had about as black a pair of eyes as ever I saw, and she was a stranger. I never remembered seeing her in Mottson before. "What can I do for you?" I said.
Still she didn't say anything. She stared at me without winking. Then she looked back at the folks at the fountain. Then she looked past me, toward the back of the store.
"Do you want to look at some toilet things?" I said. "Or is it medicine you want?"
"That's it," she said. She looked quick back at the fountain again. So I thought maybe her ma or somebody had sent her in for some of this female dope and she was ashamed to ask for it. I knew she couldn't have a complexion like hers and use it herself, let alone not being much more than old enough to barely know what it was for. It's a shame, the way they poison themselves with it. But a man's got to stock it or go out of business in this country.
"Oh," I said. "What do you use? We have--" She looked at me again, almost like she had said hush, and looked toward the back of the store again.
"I'd liefer go back there," she said.
"All right," I said. You have to humor them. You save time by it. I followed her to the back. She put her hand on the gate. "There's nothing back there but the prescription case," I said. "What do you want?" She stopped and looked at me. It was like she had taken some kind of a lid off her face, her eyes. It was her eyes: kind of dumb and hopeful and sullenly willing to be disappointed all at the same time. But she was in trouble of some sort; I could see that. "What's your trouble?" I said. "Tell me what it is you want. I'm pretty busy." I wasn't meaning to hurry her, but a man just hasn't got the time they have out there.
"It's the female trouble," she said.
"Oh," I said. "Is that all?" I thought maybe she was younger than she looked, and her first one had scared her, or maybe one had been a little abnormal as it will in young women. "Where's your ma?" I said. "Haven't you got one?"
"She's out yonder in the wagon," she said.
"Why not talk to her about it before you take any medicine," I said. "Any woman would have told you about it." She looked at me, and I looked at her again and said, "How old are you?"
"Seventeen," she said.
"Oh," I said. "I thought maybe you were . . . She was watching me. But then, in the eyes all of them look like they had no age and knew everything in the world, anyhow. "Are you too regular, or not regular enough?"
She quit looking at me but she didn't move. "Yes," she said. "I reckon so. Yes."
"Well, which?" I said. "Dont you know?" It's a crime and a shame; but after all, they'll buy it from somebody. She stood there, not looking at me. "You. want something to stop it?" I said. "Is that it?"
"No," she said. "That's it. It's already stopped."
"Well, what--" Her face was lowered a little, still, like they do in all their dealings with a man so he-dont ever know just where the lightning will strike-next. "You are not married, are you?" I said.
"No."
"Oh," I said. "And how long has it been since it stopped? about five months maybe?"
"It aint been but two," she said.
"Well, I haven't got anything in my store you want to buy," I said, "unless it's a nipple. And I'd advise you to buy that and go back home and tell your pa, if you have one, and let him make somebody buy you a wedding license. Was that all you wanted?"
But she just stood there, not looking at me.
"I got the money to pay you," she said.
"Is it your own, or did he act enough of a man to give you the money?"
"He give it to me. Ten dollars. He said that would be enough."
"A thousand dollars wouldn't be enough in my store and ten cents wouldn't be enough," I said. "You take my advice and go home and tell your pa or your brothers if you have any or the first man you come to in the road."
But she, didn't move. "Lafe said I could get it at the drugstore. He said to tell you me and him wouldn't never tell nobody you sold it to us."
"And I just wish your precious Lafe had come for it himself; that's what I wish. I dont know: I'd have had a little respect for him then. And you can go back and tell him I said so--if he aint halfway to Texas by now, which I dont doubt. Me, a respectable druggist, that's kept store and raised a family and been a church-member for fifty-six years in this town. I'm a good mind to tell your folks myself, if I can just find who they are."
She looked at me now, her eyes and face kind of blank again like when I first saw her through the window. "I didn't know," she said. "He told me I could get something at the drugstore. He said they might not want to sell it to me, but if I had ten dollars and told them I wouldn't never tell nobody . . ."
"He never said this drugstore," I said. "If he did or mentioned my name, I defy him to prove it. I defy him to repeat it or I'll prosecute him to the full extent of the law, and you can tell him so."
"But maybe another drugstore would," she said.
"Then I dont want to know it. Me, that's--" Then I looked at her. But it's a hard life they have; sometimes a man ... if there can ever be any excuse for sin, which it cant be. And then, life wasn't made to be easy on folks: they wouldn't ever have any reason to be good and die. "Look here," I said. "You get that notion out of your head. The Lord gave you what you have, even if He did use the devil to do it; you let Him take it away from you if it's His will to do so. You go on back to Lafe and you and him take that ten dollars and get married with it."
"Lafe said I could get something at the drugstore," she said.
“Then go and get it," I said. "You wont get it here."
She went out, carrying the package, her feet making a little hissing on the floor. She bumbled again at the door and went out. I could see her through the glass going on down the street.
It was Albert told me about the rest of it He said the wagon was stopped in front of Grummet's hardware store, with the ladies all scattering up and down the street with handkerchiefs to their noses, and a crowd of hard-nosed men and boys standing around the wagon, listening to the marshal arguing with the man. He was a kind of tall, gaunted man sitting on the wagon, saying it. was a public street and he reckoned he had as much right there as anybody, and the marshal telling him he would have to move on; folks couldn't stand it. It had been dead eight days, Albert said. They came from some place out in Yoknapatawpha county, trying to get to Jefferson with it. It must have been like a piece of rotten cheese coming into an ant-hill, in that ramshackle wagon that Albert said folks were scared would fall all to pieces before they could get it out of town, with that home-made box and another fellow with a broken leg lying on a quilt on top of it, and the father and a little boy sitting on the seat and the marshal trying to make them get out of town.
"It's a public street," the man says. 'I reckon we can stop to buy something same as airy other man. We got the money to pay for hit, and hit aint airy law that says a man cant spend his money where he wants."
They had stopped to buy some cement. The other son was in Grummet's, trying to make Grummet break a sack and let him have ten cents' worth, and finally Grummet broke the sack to get him out. They wanted the cement to fix the fellow's broken leg, someway.
"Why, you'll kill him," the marshal said. "You'll cause him to lose his leg. You take him on to a doctor, and you get this thing buried soon as you can. Dont you know you're liable to jail for endangering the public health?"
"We're doing the best we can," the father said. Then he told a long tale about how they had to wait for the wagon to come back and how the bridge was washed away and how they went eight miles to another bridge and it was gone too so they came back and swum the ford and the mules got drowned and how they got another team and found that the road was washed out and they had to come clean around by Mottson, and then the one with the cement came back and told him to shut up.
"We’ll be gone in a minute," he told the marshal.
"We never aimed to bother nobody," the father said.
"You take that fellow to a doctor," the marshal told the one with the cement.
"I reckon he's all right," he said.
"It aint that we're hard-hearted," the marshal said. "But I reckon you can tell yourself how it is."
"Sho," the other said. "We'll take out soon as Dewey Dell comes back. She went to deliver a package."
So they stood there with the folks backed off with handkerchiefs to their faces, until in a minute the girl came up with that newspaper package.
"Come on," the one with the cement said, "we've lost too much time." So they got in the wagon and went on. And when I went to supper it still seemed like I could smell it. And the next day I met the marshal and I began to sniff and said,
"Smell anything?"
“I reckon they're in Jefferson by now," he said.
"Or in jail. Well, thank the Lord it's not our jail."
"That's a fact," he said.
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Darl

"Here's a place," pa says. He pulls the team up and sits looking at the house, "We could get some water over yonder."
"All right," I say. 'You'll have to borrow a bucket from them, Dewey Dell."
"God knows," pa says. "I wouldn't be beholden, God knows."
"If you see a good-sized can, you might bring it," I say. Dewey Dell gets down from the wagon, carrying the package. "You had more trouble than you expected, selling those cakes in Mottson," I say. How do our lives ravel out into the no-wind, no-sound, the weary gestures wearily recapitulant: echoes of old compulsions with no-hand on no-strings: in sunset we fall into furious attitudes, dead gestures of dolls. Cash broke his leg and now the sawdust is running out. He is bleeding to death is Cash.
"I wouldn't be beholden," pa says. "God knows."
"Then make some water yourself," I say. "We can use Cash's hat."
When Dewey Dell comes back the man comes with her. Then he stops and she comes on and he stands there and after a while he goes back to the house and stands on the porch, watching us.
"We better not try to lift him down," pa says. "We can fix it here."
"Do you want to be lifted down, Cash?" I say.
"Wont we get to Jefferson tomorrow?" he says. He is watching us, his eyes interrogatory, intent, and sad. "I can last it out."
"It'll be easier on you," pa says. "It'll keep it from rubbing together."
"I can last it," Cash says. "We’ll lose time stopping."
"We done bought the cement, now," pa says.
"I could last it," Cash says. "It aint but one more day. It dont bother to speak of." He looks at us, his eyes wide in his thin gray face, questioning. "It sets up so," he says.
"We done bought it now," pa says.
I mix the cement in the can, stirring the slow water into the pale green thick coils. I bring the can to the wagon where Cash can see. He lies on his back, his thin profile in silhouette, ascetic and profound against the sky. "Does that look about right?" I say.
"You dont want too much water, or it wont work right," he says.
"Is this too much?"
"Maybe if you could get a little sand," he says. "It aint but one more day," he says. "It dont bother me none."
Vardaman goes back down the road to where we crossed the branch and returns with sand. He pours it slowly into the thick coiling in the can. I go to the wagon again.
"Does that look all right?"
"Yes," Cash says. "I could have lasted. It dont bother me none."
We loosen the splints and pour the cement over his leg, slow.
"Watch out for it," Cash says. "Dont get none on it if you can help."
"Yes," I say. Dewey Dell tears a piece of paper from the package and wipes the cement from the top of it as it drips from Cash's leg.
"How does that feel?"
“It feels fine," he says. "It's cold. It feels fine."
"If it'll just help you," pa says. "I asks your forgiveness. I never foreseen it no more than you."
"It feels fine," Cash says.
If you could just ravel out into time. That would be nice. It would be nice if you could just ravel out into time.
We replace the splints, the cords, drawing them tight, the cement in thick pale green slow surges among the cords, Cash watching us quietly with that profound questioning look.
"That'll steady it," I say.
"Ay," Cash says. "I'm obliged."
Then we all turn on the wagon and watch him. He is coming up the road behind us, wooden-backed, wooden-faced, moving only from his hips down. He
comes tip without a word, with his pale rigid eyes in his high sullen face, and gets into the wagon.
"Here's a hill," pa says. "I reckon you'll have to get out and walk."
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Darl and Jewel and Dewey Dell and I are walking tip the hill, behind the wagon. Jewel came back. He came up the road and got into the wagon. He was walking. Jewel hasn't got a horse anymore. Jewel is my brother. 'Cash is my brother. Cash has a broken leg. We fixed Cash's leg so it doesn't hurt. Cash is my brother. Jewel is my brother too, but he hasn't got a broken leg.
Now there are five of them, tall in little tall black circles.
"Where do they stay at night, Darl?" I say. "When we stop at night in the barn, where do they stay?"
The hill goes off into the sky. Then the sun comes up from behind the hill and the mules and the wagon and pa walk on the sun. You cannot watch them, walking slow on the sun. In Jefferson it is red on the track behind the glass. The track goes shining round and round. Dewey Dell says so.
Tonight I am going to see where they stay while we are in the barn.
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Darl

Jewel," I say, "whose son are you?"
The breeze was setting up from the barn, so we put her under the apple tree, where the moonlight can dapple the apple tree upon the long slumbering flanks within which now and then she talks in little trickling bursts of secret and murmurous bubbling. I took Vardaman to listen. When we came up the cat leaped down from it and flicked away with silver claw and silver eye into the shadow.
"Your mother was a horse, but who was your father, Jewel?"
"You goddamn lying son of a bitch."
"Dont call me that," I say.
"You goddamn lying son of a bitch."
"Dont you call me that, Jewel." In the tall moonlight his eyes look like spots of white paper pasted on a high small football.
After supper Cash began to sweat a little. "It's getting a little hot," he said. "It was the sun shining on it all day, I reckon."
"You want some water poured on it?" we say. "Maybe that will ease it some."
“I’d be obliged," Cash said. "It was the sun shining on it, I reckon. I ought to thought and kept it covered."
"We ought to thought," we said. "You couldn't have suspicioned."
"I never noticed it getting hot," Cash said. “I ought to minded it."
So we poured the water over it. His leg and foot below the cement looked like they had been boiled. "Does that feel better?" we said.
“I’m obliged," Cash said. "It feels fine."
Dewey Dell wipes his face with the hem of her dress.
"See if you can get some sleep," we say.
"Sho," Cash says. "I'm right obliged. It feels fine now."
Jewel, I say, Who was your father, Jewel?
Goddamn you. Goddamn you.
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She was under the apple tree and Darl and I go across the moon and the cat jumps down and runs and we can hear her inside the wood.
"Hear?" Darl says. "Put your ear close."
I put my ear close and I can hear her. Only I cant tell what she is saying.
"What is she saying, Darl?" I say. "Who is she talking to?"
"She's talking to God," Darl says. "She is calling on Him to help her."
"What does she want Him to do?" I say.
"She wants Him to hide her away from the sight of man," Darl says.
"Why does she want to hide her away from the sight of man, Darl?"
"So she can lay down her life," Darl says.
"Why does she want to lay down her life, Darl?"
"Listen," Darl says. We hear her. We hear her turn over on her side. "Listen," Darl says.
"She's turned over," I say. "She's looking at me through the Wood."
"Yes," Darl says.
"How can she see through the wood, Darl?"
"Come," Darl says. "We must let her be quiet. Come."
"She cant see out there, because the holes are in the top," I say. "How can she see, Darl?"
"Let's go see about Cash," Darl says.
And I saw something Dewey Dell told me not to tell nobody
Cash is sick in his leg. We fixed his leg this afternoon, but he is sick in it again, lying on the bed. We pour water on his leg and then he feels fine.
"I feel fine," Cash says. I'm obliged to you."
“Try to get some sleep," we say.
"I feel fine," Cash says. "I'm obliged to you."
And I saw something Dewey Dell told me not to tell nobody. It is not about pa and it is not about Cash and it is not about Jewel and it is not about Dewey Dell and it is not about me
Dewey Dell and I are going to sleep on the pallet It is on the back porch, where we can see the barn, and the moon shines on half of the pallet and we will lie half in the white and half in the black, with the moonlight on our legs. And then I am going to see where they stay at night while we are in the barn. We are not in the barn tonight but I can see the barn and so I am going to find where they stay at night.
We lie on the pallet, with our legs in the moon.
"Look," I say, "my legs look black. Your legs look black, too."
"Go to sleep," Dewey Dell says.
Jefferson is a far piece.
"Dewey Dell."
"What"
"If it's not Christmas now, how will it be there?"
It goes round and round on the shining track. Then the track goes shining round and round.
"Will what be there?"
"That train. In the window."
"You go to sleep. You can see tomorrow if it's there."
Maybe Santa Claus wont know they are town boys.
"Dewey Dell."
"You go to sleep. He aint going to let none of them town boys have it."
It was behind the window, red on the track, the track shining round and round. It made my heart hurt And then it was pa and Jewel and Darl and Mr Gillespie's boy. Mr Gillespie's boy's legs come down under his nightshirt When he goes into the moon, his legs fuzz. They go on around the house toward the apple tree.
"What are they going to do, Dewey Dell?"
They went around the house toward the apple tree.
“I can smell her," I say. "Can you smell her, too?"
"Hush," Dewey Dell says. "The wind's changed. Go to sleep."
And so I am going to know where they stay at night soon. They come around the house, going across the yard in the moon, carrying her on their shoulders.
they carry her down to the barn, the moon shining flat and quiet on her. Then they come back and go into the house again. While they were in the moon, Mr Gillespie's boy's legs fuzzed. And then I waited and I said Dewey Dell? and then I waited and then I went to find where they stay at night and I saw something that Dewey Dell told me not to tell nobody.
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Darl

Against the dark doorway he seems to materialise out of darkness, lean as a race horse in his underclothes in the beginning of the glare. He leaps to the ground with on his face an expression of furious unbelief. He has seen me without even turning his head or his eyes in which the glare swims like two small torches. "Come on," he says, leaping down the slope toward the barn.
For an instant longer he runs silver in the moonlight, then he springs out like a flat figure cut leanly from tin against an abrupt and soundless explosion as the whole loft of the barn takes fire at once, as though it had been stuffed with powder. The front, the conical facade with the square orifice of doorway broken only by the square squat shape of the coffin on the sawhorses like a cubistic bug, conies into relief. Behind me pa and Gillespie and Mack and Dewey Dell and Vardaman emerge from the house.
He pauses at the coffin, stooping, looking at me, his face furious. Overhead the flames sound like thunder; across us rushes a cool draft: there is no heat in it at all yet, and a handful of chaff lifts suddenly and sucks swiftly along the stalls where a horse is screaming. "Quick," I say; "the horses."
He glares a moment longer at me, then at the roof overhead, then he leaps toward the stall where the horse screams. It plunges and kicks, the sound of the crashing blows sucking up into the sound of the flames. They sound like an interminable train crossing an endless trestle. Gillespie and Mack pass me, in knee-length nightshirts, shouting, their voices thin and high and meaningless and at the same time profoundly wild and sad: ". . . cow . . . stall . . ." Gillespie's nightshirt rushes ahead of him on the draft, ballooning about his hairy thighs.
The stall door has swung shut. Jewel thrusts it back with his buttocks and he appears, his back arched, the muscles ridged through his garment as he drags the horse out by its head. In the glare its eyes roll with soft, fleet, wild opaline fire; its muscles bunch and run as it flings its head about, lifting Jewel clear of the ground. He drags it on, slowly, terrifically; again he gives me across his shoulder a single glare furious and brief. Even when they are clear of the barn the horse continues to fight and lash backward toward the doorway until Gillespie passes me, stark-naked, his nightshirt wrapped about the mule's head, and beats the maddened horse on out of the door.
Jewel returns, running; again he looks down at file coffin. But he comes on. "Where's cow?" he cries, passing me. I follow him. In the stall Mack is struggling with the other mule. When its head turns into the glare I can see the wild rolling of its eye too, but it makes no sound. It just stands there, watching Mack over its shoulder, swinging its hind quarters toward him whenever he approaches. He looks back at us, his eyes and mouth three round holes in his face on which the freckles look like english peas on a plate. His voice is thin, high, faraway.
"I cant do nothing ..." It is as though the sound had been swept from his lips and up and away, speaking back to us from an immense distance of exhaustion. Jewel slides past us; the mule whirls and lashes out, but he has already gained its head. I lean to Mack's ear:
"Nightshirt. Around his head."
Mack stares at me. Then he rips the nightshirt off and flings it over the mule's head, and it becomes docile at once. Jewel is yelling at him: "Cow? Cow?"
"Back," Mack cries. "Last stall."
The cow watches us as we enter. She is backed into the corner, head lowered, still chewing though rapidly. But she makes no move. Jewel has paused, looking up, and suddenly we watch the entire floor to the loft dissolve. It just turns to fire; a faint litter of sparks rains down. He glances about. Back under the trough is a three legged milking stool. He catches it up and swings it into the planking of the rear wall. He splinters a plank, then another, a third; we tear the fragments away. While we are stooping at the opening something charges into us from behind. It is the cow; with a single whistling breath she rushes between us and through the gap and into the outer glare, her tail erect and rigid as a broom nailed upright to the end of her spine.
Jewel turns back into the barn. "Here," I say; "Jewel!" I grasp at him; he strikes my hand down. "You fool," I say, "dont you see you cant make it hack yonder?" The hallway looks like a searchlight turned into rain. "Come on," I say, "around this way."
When we are through the gap he begins to run. "Jewel," I say, running. He darts around the corner. When I reach it he has almost reached the next one, running against the glare like that figure cut from tin. Pa and Gillespie and Mack are some distance away, watching the barn, pink against the darkness where for the time the moonlight has been vanquished. "Catch him!" I cry; "stop him!"
When I reach the front, he is struggling with Gillespie; the one lean in underclothes, the other stark naked. They are like two figures in a Greek frieze, isolated out of all reality by the red glare. Before I can reach them he has struck Gillespie to the ground and turned and run back into the barn.
The sound of it has become quite peaceful now, like the sound of the river did. We watch through the dissolving proscenium of the doorway as Jewel runs crouching to the far end of the coffin and stoops to it. For an instant he looks up and out at us through the rain of burning hay like a portiere of flaming beads, and I can see his mouth shape as he calls my name.
"Jewel!" Dewey Dell cries; "Jewel!" It seems to me that I now hear the accumulation of her voice through the last five minutes, and I hear her scuffling and struggling as pa and Mack hold her, screaming "Jewell Jewel!" But he is no longer looking at us. We see his shoulders strain as he upends the coffin and slides it single-handed from the sawhorses. It looms unbelievably tall, hiding him: I would not have believed that Addie Bundren would have needed that much room to lie comfortable in; for another instant it stands upright while the sparks rain on it in scattering bursts as though they engendered other sparks from the contact. Then it topples forward, gaining momentum, revealing Jewel and the sparks raining on him too in engendering gusts, so that he appears to be enclosed in a thin nimbus of fire. Without stopping it overends and rears again, pauses, then crashes slowly forward and through the curtain. This time Jewel is riding upon it, clinging to it, until it crashes down and flings him forward and clear and Mack leaps forward into a thin smell of scorching meat and slaps at the widening crimson-edged holes that bloom like flowers in his undershirt.
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When I went to find where they stay at night, I saw something  They said, "Where is Darl? Where did Darl go?"
They carried her back under the apple tree.
The barn was still red, but it wasn't a barn now. It was sunk down, and the red went swirling up. The barn went swirling up in little red pieces, against the sky and the stars so that the stars moved backward.
And then Cash was still awake. He turned his head from side to side, with sweat on his face.
"Do you want some more water on it, Cash?" Dewey Dell said.
Cash's leg and foot turned black. We held the lamp and looked at Cash's foot and leg where it was black.
"Your foot looks like a nigger's foot, Cash," I said. "I reckon we’ll have to bust it off," pa said. "What in the tarnation you put it on there for," Mr Gillespie said.
"I thought it would steady it some," pa said. "I just aimed to help him."
They got the flat iron and the hammer. Dewey Dell held the lamp. They had to hit it hard. And then Cash went to sleep.
"He's asleep now," I said. "It cant hurt him while he's asleep."
It just cracked. It wouldn't come off.
"It'll take the hide, too," Mr Gillespie said. "Why in the tarnation you put it on there. Didn't none of you think to grease his leg first?"
"I just aimed to help him," pa said. "It was Darl put it on."
"Where is Darl?" they said.
"Didn't none of you have more sense than that?" Mr Gillespie said. "I'd a thought he would, anyway."
Jewel was lying on his face. His back was red. Dewey Dell put the medicine on it. The medicine was made out of butter and soot, to draw out the fire. Then his back was black.
"Does it hurt, Jewel?" I said. "Your back looks like a nigger's, Jewel," I said. Cash's foot and leg looked like a nigger's. Then they broke it off. Cash's leg bled.
"You go on back and lay down," Dewey Dell said. "You ought to be asleep." "Where is Darl?" they said.
He is out there under the apple tree with her, lying on her. He is there so the cat wont come back. I said, "Are you going to keep the cat away, Darl?"
The moonlight dappled on him too. On her it was still, but on Darl it dappled up and down.
"You needn't to cry," I said. "Jewel got her out. You needn't to cry, Darl."
The barn is still red. It used to be redder than this. Then it went swirling, making the stars run backward without falling. It hurt my heart like the train did.
When I went to find where they stay at night, I saw something that Dewey Dell says I mustn't tell nobody

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