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Darl

We have been passing the signs for some time now: the drugstores, the clothing stores, the patent medicine and the garages and cafes, and the mile-boards diminishing, becoming more starkly raccruent: 3 mi. 2 mi. From the crest of a hill, as we get into the wagon again, we can see the somke low and flat, seemingly unmoving in the unwinded afternoon.
"Is that it, Darl?"  Vardaman says. "Is that Jefferson?" He too has lost flesh; like ours, his face has an expression strained, dreamy and gaunt.
"Yes," I say. He lifts his head and looks at the sky.
High against it they hand in narrowing circles, like the smoke, with an outward semblance of from and purpose, but with no inference of motion, progress or retrograde, We mount the wagon again where Cash lies on the box, the Jagged shards of cement cracked about his leg. The shabby mules droop rattling and clanking down the hill.
“We'll have to take him to the doctor," pa says. "I reckon it aint no way around it." The back of Jewel's shirt, where it touches him, stains slow and black with grease. Life was created in the valleys. It blew up onto the hills on the old terrors, the old lusts, the old 'despairs. That's why you must walk up the hills so you can ride down.
Dewey Dell sits on the seat, the newspaper package on her lap. When we reach the foot of the hill where the road flattens between close walls of trees, she begins to look about quietly from one side of the road to the other. At last she says,
"I got to stop."
Pa looks at her, his shabby profile that of anticipant and disgruntled annoyance. He does not check the team. "What for?"
"I got to go to the bushes," Dewey Dell says.
Pa does not check the team. "Cant you wait till we get to town? It aint over a mile now."
"Stop," Dewey Dell says. "I got to go to the bushes."
Pa stops in the middle of the road and we watch Dewey Dell descend, carrying the package. She does not look back.
"Why not leave your cakes here?" I say. "We’ll watch them."
She descends steadily, not looking at us.
"How would she know where to go if she waited till we get to town?" Vardaman says. "Where would you go to do it in town, Dewey Dell?"
She lifts the package down and turns and disappears among the trees and undergrowth.
"Dont be no longer than you can help," pa says. "We aint got no time to waste." She does not answer. After a while we cannot hear her even. "We ought to done like Armstid and Gillespie said and sent word to town and had it dug and ready," he said.
"Why didn't you?" I say. "You could have telephoned."
"What for?" Jewel says. "Who the hell cant dig a hole in the ground?"
A car comes over the hill. It begins to sound the torn, slowing. It runs along the roadside in low gear, the outside wheels in the ditch, and passes us and goes on. Vardaman watches it until it is out of sight.
"How far is it now, Darl?" he says.
"Not far," I say.
"We ought to done it," pa says. "I just never wanted to be beholden to none except her flesh and blood."
"Who the hell cant dig a damn hole in the ground?" Jewel says.
"It aint respectful, talking that way about her grave," pa says. "You all dont know what it is. You never pure loved her, none of you." Jewel does not answer. He sits a little stiffly erect, his body arched away from his shirt. His high-colored jaw juts.
Dewey Dell returns. We watch her emerge from the bushes, carrying the package, and climb into the wagon. She now wears her Sunday dress, her beads, her shoes and stockings.
"I thought I told you to leave them clothes to home," pa says. She does not answer, does not look at us. She sets the package in the wagon and gets in. The wagon moves on.
"How many more hills now, Darl?" Vardaman says.
"Just one," I say. "The next one goes right up into town."
This hill is red sand, bordered on either hand by negro cabins; against the sky ahead the massed telephone lines run, and the clock on the courthouse lifts among the trees. In the sand the wheels whisper, as though the very earth would hush our entry. We descend as the hill commences to rise.
We follow the wagon, the whispering wheels, passing the cabins where faces come suddenly to the doors, white-eyed. We hear sudden voices, ejaculant. Jewel has been looking from side to side; now his head turns forward and I can see his ears taking on a still deeper tone of furious red. Three negroes walk beside the road ahead of us; ten feet ahead of them a white man walks. When we pass the negroes their heads turn suddenly with that expression of shock and instinctive outrage. "Great God," one says; "what they got in that wagon?"
Jewel whirls. "Son of a bitches," he says. As he does so he is abreast of the white man, who has paused. It is as though Jewel had gone blind for the moment, for it is the white man toward whom he whirls.
"Darl!" Cash says from the wagon. I grasp at Jewel. The white man has fallen back a pace, his face still slack-jawed; then his jaw tightens, claps to. Jewel leans above him, his jaw muscles gone white.
"What did you say?" he says.
"Here," I say. "He dont mean anything, mister. Jewel," I say. When I touch him he swings at the man. I grasp his arm; we struggle. Jewel has never looked at me. He is trying to free his arm. When I see the man again he has an open knife in his hand.
"Hold up, mister," I say; "I've got him. Jewel," I say.
“Thinks because he's a goddamn town fellow," Jewel says, panting, wrenching at me. "Son of a bitch," he says.
The man moves. He begins to edge around me, watching Jewel, the knife low against his flank. "Cant no man call me that," he says. Pa has got down, and Dewey Dell is holding Jewel, pushing at him. I release him and face the man.
"Wait," I say. "He dont mean nothing. He's sick; got burned in a fire last night, and he aint himself."
"Fire or no fire," the man says, "cant no man call me that."
"He thought you said something to him," I say.
"I never said nothing to him. I never see him before."
"Fore God," pa says; "Fore God."
"I know," I say. "He never meant anything. He'll take it back."
"Let him take it back, then."
“Put up your knife, and he will."
The man looks at me. He looks at Jewel. Jewel is quiet now.
“Put up your knife," I say. The man shuts the knife.
"Fore God," pa says. "Fore God."
"Tell him you didn't mean anything, Jewel," I say. "I thought he said something," Jewel says. "Just because he's--"
"Hush," I say. "Tell him you didn't mean it."
"I didn't mean it," Jewel says.
"He better not," the man says. "Calling me a--"
"Do you think he's afraid to call you that?" I say.
The man looks at me. "I never said that," he said.
"Dont think it, neither," Jewel says.
"Shut up," I say. "Come on. Drive on, pa.”
The wagon moves. The man stands watching us. Jewel does not look back. "Jewel would a whipped him," Vardaman says.
We approach the crest, where the street runs, where cars go back and forth; the mules haul the wagon up and onto the crest and the street. Pa stops them. The street runs on ahead, where the square opens and the monument stands before the courthouse. We mount again while the heads turn with that expression which we know; save Jewel. He does not get on, even though the wagon has started again. "Get in, Jewel," I say. "Come on. Let's get away from here." But he does not get in. Instead he sets his foot on the turning hub of the rear wheel, one hand grasping the stanchion, and with the hub turning smoothly under his sole he lifts the other foot and squats there, staring straight ahead, motionless, lean, wooden-backed, as though carved squatting out of the lean wood.

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Cash

It wasn't nothing else to do. It was either send him to Jackson, or have Gillespie sue us, because he knowed some way that Darl set fire to it. I dont know how he knowed, but he did. Vardaman see him do it, but he swore he never told nobody but Dewey Dell and that she told him not to tell nobody. But Gillespie knowed it. But he would a suspicioned it sooner or later. He could have done it that night just watching the way Darl acted.
And so pa said, "I reckon there aint nothing else to do," and Jewel said,
"You want to fix him now?"
"Fix him?" pa said.
"Catch him and tie him up," Jewel said. "Goddamn it; do you want to wait until he sets fire to the goddamn team and wagon?"
But there wasn't no use in that. "There aint no use in that," I said. "We can wait till she is underground." A fellow that's going to spend the rest of his life locked up, he ought to be let to have what pleasure he can have before he goes.
"I reckon he ought to be there," pa says. "God knows, it's a trial on me. Seems like it aint no end to bad luck when once it starts."
Sometimes I aint so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he aint. Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-Way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.
Because Jewel is too hard on him. Of course it was Jewel's horse was traded to get her that nigh to town, and in a sense it was the value of his horse Darl tried to burn up. But I thought more than once before we crossed the river and after, how it would be God's blessing if He did take her outen our hands and get shut of her in some clean way, and it seemed to me that when Jewel worked so to get her outen the river, he was going against God in a way, and then when Darl seen that it looked like one of us would have to do something, I can almost believe he done right in a way. But I dont reckon nothing excuses setting fire to a man's barn and endangering his stock and destroying his property. That's how I reckon a man is crazy. That's how he cant see eye to eye with other folks. And I reckon they aint nothing else to do with him but what the most folks says is right.
But it's a shame, in a way. Folks seems to get away from the olden right teaching that says to drive the nails down and trim the edges well always Like it was for your own use and comfort you were making it. It's like some folks has the smooth, pretty boards to build a courthouse with and others dont have no more than rough lumber fitten to build a chicken coop. But it's better to build a tight chicken coop than a shoddy courthouse, and when they both build shoddy or build well, neither because it's one or toothier is going to make a man feel the better nor the worse.
So we went up the street, toward the square, and he said, "We better take Cash to the doctor first. We can leave him there and come back for him." That's it. It's because me and him was born close together, and it nigh ten years before Jewel and Dewey Dell and Vardaman begun to come along. I feel kin to them, all right, but I dont know. And me being the oldest, and thinking already the very thing that he done: I dont know.
Pa was looking at me, then at him, mumbling his mouth.
"Go on," I said. "We’ll get it done first."
"She would want us all there," pa says.
"Let's take Cash to the doctor first," Darl said. "She'll Wait. She's already waited nine days."
"You all dont know," pa says. "The somebody you was young with and you growed old in her and she growed old in you, seeing the old coming on and it was the one somebody you could hear say it dont matter and know it was the truth outen the hard world and all a man's grief and trials. You all dont know."
"We got the digging to do, too," I said.
"Armstid and Gillespie both told you to send word ahead," Darl said. "Dont you want to go to Peabody's now, Cash?"
"Go on," I said. "It feels right easy now. It's best to get things done in the right place."
"If it was just dug," pa says. "We forgot our spade, too."
"Yes," Darl said. “I’ll go to the hardware store. We'll have to buy one."
"It'll cost money," pa says.
"Do you begrudge her it?" Darl says.
"Go on and get a spade," Jewel said. "Here. Give me the money."
But pa didn't stop. "I reckon we can get a spade," he said. "I reckon there are Christians here." So Darl set still and we went on, with Jewel squatting on the tail-gate, watching the back of Darl's head. He looked like one of these bull dogs, one of these dogs that dont bark none, squatting against the rope, watching the thing he was waiting to jump at.
He set that way all the time we was in front of Mrs Bundren's house, hearing the music, watching the back of Darl's head with them hard white eyes of hisn.
The music was playing in the house. It was one of them graphophones. It was natural as a music-band.
"Do you want to go to Peabody's?" Darl said. "They can wait here and tell pa, and I’11 drive you to Peabody's and come back for them."
"No," I said. It was better to get her underground, now we was this close, just waiting until pa borrowed the shovel. He drove along the street until we could hear the music.
"Maybe they got one here," he said. He pulled up at Mrs Bundren's. It was like he knowed. Sometimes I think that if a working man could see work as far ahead as a lazy man can see laziness. So he stopped there like he knowed, before that little new house, where the music was. We waited there, hearing it. I believe I could have dickered Suratt down to five dollars on that one of his. It's a comfortable thing, music is. "Maybe they got one here," pa says.
"You want Jewel to go," Darl says, "or do you reckon I better?"
"I reckon I better," pa says. He got down and went up the path and around the house to the back. The music stopped, then it started again.
"He'll get it, too," Darl said.
"Ay," I said. It was just like he knowed, like he could see through the walls and into the next ten minutes.
Only it was more than ten minutes. The music stopped and never commenced again for a good spell, where her and pa was talking at the back. We waited in the wagon.
"You let me take you back to Peabody's," Darl said.
"No," I said. "We'll get her underground."
"If he ever gets back," Jewel said. He begun to cuss. He started to get down from the wagon. “I'm going," he said.
Then we saw pa coming back. He had two spades, coming around the house. He laid them in the wagon and got in and we went on. The music never started again. Pa was looking back at the house. He kind of lifted his hand a little and I saw the shade pulled back a little at the window and her face in it.
But the curiousest thing was Dewey Dell. It surprised me. I see all the while how folks could say he was queer, but that was the very reason couldn't nobody hold it personal. It was like he was outside of it too, same as you, and getting mad at it would be kind of like getting mad at a mud-puddle that splashed you when you stepped in it. And then I always kind of had a idea that him and Dewey Dell kind of knowed things betwixt them. If I'd a said it was ere a one of us she liked better than ere a other, I'd a said it was Darl. But when we got it filled and covered and drove out the gate and turned into the lane where them fellows was waiting, when they come out and come on him and he jerked back, it was Dewey Dell that was on him before even Jewel could get at him. And then I believed I knowed how Gillespie knowed about how his barn taken fire.
She hadn't said a word, hadn't even looked at him, but when them fellows told him what they wanted and that they had come to get him and he throwed back, she jumped on him like a wild cat so that one of the fellows had to quit and hold her and her scratching and clawing at him Like a wild cat, while the other one and pa and Jewel throwed Darl down and held him lying on his back, looking up at me.
"I thought you would have told me," he said. "I never thought you wouldn't have."
"Darl," I said. But he fought again, him and Jewel and the fellow, and the other one holding Dewey Dell and Vardaman yelling and Jewel saying,
"Kill him. Kill the son of a bitch."
It was bad so. It was bad. A fellow cant get away from a shoddy job. He cant do it. I tried to tell him, but he just said, "I thought you'd a told me. It's not that I," he said, then he begun to laugh. The other fellow pulled Jewel off of him and he sat there on the ground, laughing.
I tried to tell him. If I could have just moved, even set up. But I tried to tell him, and he quit laughing, looking up at me.
"Do you want me to go?" he said.
"It'll be better for you," I said. "Down there it'll be quiet, with none of the bothering and such. It'll be better for you, Darl," I said.
"Better," he said. He begun to laugh again. "Better," he said. He couldn't hardly say it for laughing. He sat on the ground and us watching him, laughing and laughing. It was bad. It was bad so. I be durn if I could see anything to laugh at. Because there just aint nothing justifies the deliberate destruction of what a man has built with his own sweat and stored the fruit of his sweat into.
But I aint so sho that ere a man has the right to say what is crazy and what aint. It's like there was a fellow in every man that's done a-past the sanity or the insanity, that watches the sane and the insane doings of that man with the same horror and the same astonishment.
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Peabody

I said, "I reckon a man in a tight might let Bill Varner patch him up like a damn mule, but I be damned if the man that'd let Anse Bundren treat him with raw cement aint got more spare legs than I have."
"They just aimed to ease hit some," he said.
"Aimed, hell," I said. "What in hell did Armstid mean by even letting them put you on that wagon again?"
"Hit was gittin right noticeable," he said. "We never had time to wait." I just looked at him. "Hit never bothered me none," he said.
"Dont you lie there and try to tell me you rode six days on a wagon without springs, with a broken leg and it never bothered you."
"It never bothered me much," he said.
"You mean, it never bothered Anse much," I said. "No more than it bothered him to throw that poor devil down in the public street and handcuff him like a damn murderer. Dont tell me. And dont tell me it aint going to bother you to lose sixty-odd square inches of skin to get that concrete off. And dont tell me it aint going to bother you to have to limp around on one short leg for the balance of your life--if you walk at all again. Concrete," I said. "God Amighty, why didn't Anse carry you to the nearest sawmill and stick your leg in the saw? That would have cured it. Then you all could have stuck his head into the saw and cured a whole family . . . Where is Anse, anyway? What's lie up to now?"
"He's takin back them spades he borrowed," he said.
"That's right," I said. "Of course he'd have to borrow a spade to bury his wife with. Unless he could borrow a hole in the ground. Too bad you all didn't put him in it too . . . Does that hurt?"
"Not to speak of," he said, and the sweat big as marbles running down his face and his face about the color of blotting paper.
"Course not," I said. "About next summer you can hobble around fine on this leg. Then it wont bother you, not to speak of ... If you had anything you could call luck, you might say it was lucky this is the same leg you broke before," I said.
"Hit's what paw says," he said.
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Variety is the spice of life

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MacGowan

It happened I am back of the prescription case, pouring up some chocolate sauce, when Jody comes back and says, "Say, Skeet, there's a woman up front that wants to see the doctor and when I said What doctor you want to see, she said she wants to see the doctor that works here and when I said There aint any doctor works here, she just stood there, looking back this way."
"What kind of a woman is it?" I says. "Tell her to go upstairs to Alford's office."
"Country woman," he says.
"Send her to the courthouse," I says. "Tell her all the doctors have gone to Memphis to a Barbers' Convention."
"All right," he says, going away. "She looks pretty good for a country girl," he says.
"Wait," I says. He waited and I went and peeped through the crack. But I couldn't tell nothing except she had a good leg against the light. "Is she young, you say?" I says.
"She looks like a pretty hot mamma, for a country girl," he says.
"Take this," I says, giving him the chocolate. I took off my apron and went up there. She looked pretty good. One of them black eyed ones that look like she'd as soon put a knife in you as not if you two-timed her. She looked pretty good. There wasn't nobody else in the store; it was dinner time.
"What can I do for you?" I says.
"Are you the doctor?" she says.
"Sure," I says. She quit looking at me and was kind of looking around.
"Can we go back yonder?" she says.
It was just a quarter past twelve, but I went and told Jody to kind of watch out and whistle if the old man come in sight, because he never got back before one.
"You better lay off of that," Jody says. "He’ll fire your stern out of here so quick you cant wink."
"He dont never get back before one," I says. "You can see him go into the postoffice. You keep your eye peeled, now, and give me a whistle."
"What you going to do?" he says.
"You keep your eye out. I'll tell you later."
"Aint you going to give me no seconds on it?" he says.
"What the hell do you think this is?" I says; "a studfarm? You watch out for him. I'm going into conference."
So I go on to the back. I stopped at the glass and smoothed my hair, then I went behind the prescription case, where she was waiting. She is looking at the medicine cabinet, then she looks at me.
"Now, madam," I says; "what is your trouble?"
"It's the female trouble," she says, watching me. "I got the money," she says.
"Ah," I says. "Have you got female troubles or do you want female troubles? If so, you come to the right doctor." Them country people. Half the time they dont know what they want, and the balance of the time they cant tell it to you. The clock said twenty past twelve.
"No," she says.
"No which?" I says.
"I aint had it," she says. "That's it." She looked at me. "I got the money," she says.
So I knew what she was talking about.
"Oh," I says. "You got something in your belly you wish you didn't have." She looks at me. "You wish you had a little more or a little less, huh?"
"I got the money," she says. "He said I could git something at the drugstore for hit,"
"Who said so?" I says.
"He did," she says, looking at me.
"You dont want to call no names," I says. "The one that put the acorn in your belly? He the one that told you?" She dont say nothing. "You aint married, are you?" I says. I never saw no ring. But Like as not, they aint heard yet out there that they use rings.
"I got the money," she says. She showed it to me, tied up in her handkerchief: a ten spot.
"I'll swear you have," I says. "He give it to you?"
"Yes," she says.
"Which one?" I says. She looks at me. "Which one of them give it to you?"
"It aint but one," she says. She looks at me.
"Go on," I says. She dont say nothing. The trouble about the cellar is, it aint but one way out and that's back up the inside stairs. The clock says twenty-five to one. "A pretty girl like you," I says.
She looks at me. She begins to tie the money back up in the handkerchief. "Excuse me a minute," I says. I go around the prescription case. "Did you hear about that fellow sprained his ear?" I says. "After that he couldn't even hear a belch."
"You better get her out from back there before the old man comes," Jody says.
"If you'll stay up there in front where he pays you to stay, he wont catch nobody but me," I says.
He goes on, slow, toward the front "What you doing to her, Skeet?" he says.
"I cant tell you," I says. 'It wouldn't be ethical. You go on up there and watch."
"Say, Skeet," he says.
"Ah, go on," I says. “I aint doing nothing but filling a prescription."
"He may not do nothing about that woman back there, but if he finds you monkeying with that prescription case, he'll kick your stern clean down them cellar stairs."
"My stern has been kicked by bigger bastards than him," I says. "Go back and watch out for him, now."
So I come back. The clock said fifteen to one. She is tying the money in the handkerchief. "You aint the doctor," she says.
"Sure I am," I says. She watches me. "Is it because I look too young, or am I too handsome?" I says. "We used to have a bunch of old water-jointed doctors here," I says; "Jefferson used to be a kind of Old Doctors' Home for them. But business started falling off and folks stayed so well until one day they found out that the women wouldn't never get sick at all. So they run all the old doctors out and got us young good-looking ones that the women would like and then the women begun to get sick again and so business picked up. They're doing that all over the country. Hadn't you heard about it? Maybe it's because you aint never needed a doctor."
"I need one now," she says.
"And you come to the right one," I says. "I already told you that."
"Have you got something for it?" she says. "I got the money."
"Well," I says, "of course a doctor has to learn all sorts of things while he's learning to roll calomel; he cant help himself. But I dont know about your trouble."
"He told me I could get something. He told me I could get it at the drugstore."
"Did he tell you the name of it?" I says. "You better go back and ask him."
She quit looking at me, kind of turning the handkerchief in her hands. "I got to do something," she says.
"How bad do you want to do something?" I says. She looks at me. "Of course, a doctor learns all sorts of things folks dont think he knows. But he aint supposed to tell all he knows. It's against the law."
Up front Jody says, "Skeet."
"Excuse me a minute," I says. I went up front. "Do you see him?" I says.
"Aint you done yet?" he says. "Maybe you better come up here and watch and let me do that consulting."
"Maybe you'll lay a egg," I says. I come back. She is looking at me. "Of course you realise that I could be put in the penitentiary for doing what you want," I says. "I would lose my license and then I'd have to go to work. You realise that?"
"I aint got but ten dollars," she says. "I could bring the rest next month, maybe."
"Pooh," I says, "ten dollars? You see, I cant put no price on my knowledge and skill. Certainly not for no little paltry sawbuck."
She looks at me. She dont even blink. "What you want, then?"
The clock said four to one. So I decided I better get her out. "You guess three times and then I’ll show you," I says.
She dont even blink her eyes. 'I got to do something," she says. She looks behind her and around, then she looks toward the front. "Gimme the medicine first," she says.
"You mean, you're ready to right now?" I says. "Here?"
"Gimme the medicine first," she says.
So I took a graduated glass and kind of turned my back to her and picked out a bottle that looked all right, because a man that would keep poison setting around in a unlabelled bottle ought to be in jail, anyway. It smelled like turpentine. I poured some into the glass and give it to her. She smelled it, looking at me across the glass.
"Hit smells like turpentine," she says.
"Sure," I says. "That's just the beginning of the treatment. You come back at ten oclock tonight and I'll give you the rest of it and perform the operation."
"Operation?" she says.
“It wont hurt you. You've had the same operation before. Ever hear about the hair of the dog?"
She looks at me. "Will it work?" she says.
"Sure it'll work. If you come back and get it."
So she drunk whatever it was without batting a eye, and went out. I went up front.
"Didn't you get it?" Jody says.
"Get what?" I says.
"Ah, come on," he says. "I aint going to try to beat your time."
"Oh, her," I says. "She just wanted a little medicine. She's got a bad case of dysentery and she's a little ashamed about mentioning it with a stranger there."
It was my night, anyway, so I helped the old bastard check up and I got his hat on him and got him out of the store by eight-thirty. I went as far as the corner with him and watched him until he passed under two street lamps and went on out of sight. Then I come back to the store and waited until nine-thirty and turned out the front lights and locked the door and left just one light burning at the back, and I went back and put some talcum powder into six capsules and land of cleared up the cellar and then I was all ready.
She come in just at ten, before the clock had done striking. I let her in and she come in, walking fast. I looked out the door, but there wasn't nobody but a boy in overalls sitting on the curb. "You want something?" I says. He never said nothing, just looking at me. I locked the door and turned off the light and went on back. She was waiting. She didn't look at me now.
"Where is it?" she said.
I gave her the box of capsules. She held the box in her hand, looking at the capsules.
"Are you sure it'll work?" she says.
"Sure," I says. "When you take the rest of the treatment."
"Where do I take it?" she says.
"Down in the cellar," I says.
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Variety is the spice of life

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Vardaman

Now it is wider and lighter, but the stores are dark because they have all gone home. The stores are dark, but the lights pass on the windows when we pass. The lights are in the trees around the courthouse. They roost in the trees, but the courthouse is dark. The clock on it looks four ways, because it is not dark. The moon is not dark too. Not very dark. Darl he went to Jackson is my brother Darl is my brother   Only it was over that way, shining on the track.
"Let's go that way, Dewey Dell," I say.
"What for?" Dewey Dell says. The track went shining around the window, it red on the track. But she said he would not sell it to the town boys. "But it will be there Christmas," Dewey Dell says. "You'll have to wait till then, when he brings it back."
Darl went to Jackson. Lots of people didn't go to Jackson. Darl is my brother. My brother is going to Jackson
While we walk the lights go around, roosting in the trees. On all sides it is the same. They go around the courthouse and then you cannot see them. But you can see them in the black windows beyond. They have all gone home to bed except me and Dewey Dell.
Going on the train to Jackson. My brother
There is a light in the store, far back. In the window are two big glasses of soda water, red and green. Two men could not drink them. Two mules could not. Two cows could not. Darl
A man comes to the door. He looks at Dewey Dell.
"You wait out here," Dewey Dell says.
"Why cant I come in?" I say. "I want to come in, too."
"You wait out here," she says.
"All right," I say.
Dewey Dell goes in.
Darl is my brother. Darl went crazy
The walk is harder than sitting on the ground. He is in the open door. He looks at me. "You want something?" he says. His head is slick. Jewel's head is slick sometimes. Cash's head is not slick. Darl he went to Jackson my brother Darl In the street he ate a banana. Wouldn't you rather have bananas? Dewey Dell said. You wait till Christmas. It'll be there then. Then you can see it. So we are going to have some bananas. We are going to have a bag full, me and Dewey Dell. He locks the door. Dewey Dell is inside. Then the light winks out.
He went to Jackson. He went crazy and went to Jackson both. Lots of people didn't go crazy. Pa and Cash and Jewel and Dewey Dell and me didn't go crazy. We never did go crazy. We didn't go to Jackson either. Darl
I hear the cow a long time, clopping   on the street. Then she comes into the square. She goes across the square, her head down   clopping   . She lows. There was nothing in the square before she lowed, but it wasn't empty. Now it is empty after she lowed. She goes on,   clopping   . She lows. My brother is Darl. He went to Jackson on the train. He didn't go on the train to go crazy. He went crazy in our wagon. Darl She has been in there a long time. And the cow is gone too. A long time. She has been in there longer than the cow was. But not as long as empty. Darl is my brother. My brother Darl
Dewey Dell comes out. She looks at me.
"Let's go around that way now," I say.
She looks at me. "It aint going to work," she says. "That son of a bitch."
"What aint going to work, Dewey Dell?"
"I just know it wont," she says. She is not looking at anything. "I just know it."
"Let's go that way," I say.
"We got to go back to the hotel. It's late. We got to slip back in."
"Cant we go by and see, anyway?"
"Hadn't you rather have bananas? Hadn't you rather?"
"All right." My brother he went crazy and he went to Jackson too. Jackson is further away than crazy
"It wont work," Dewey Dell says. "I just know it wont."
"What wont work?" I say. He had to get on the train to go to Jackson. I have not been on the train, but Darl has been on the train. Darl. Darl is my brother. Darl. Darl
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Darl

Darl has gone to Jackson. They put him on the train, laughing, down the long car laughing, the heads turning like the heads of owls when he passed. "What are you laughing at?" I said.
"Yes yes yes yes yes."
Two men put him on the train. They wore mismatched coats, bulging behind over their right hip pockets. Their necks were shaved to a hairline, as though the recent and simultaneous barbers had had a chalk-line like Cash's. "Is it the pistols you're laughing at?" I said. "Why do you laugh?" I said. "Is it because you hate the sound of laughing?"
They pulled two seats together so Darl could sit by the window to laugh. One of them sat beside him, the other sat on the seat facing him, riding backward. One of them had to ride backward because the state's money has a face to each backside and a backside to each face, and they are riding on the state's money which is incest. A nickel has a woman on one side and a buffalo on the other; two faces and no back. I dont know what that is. Darl had a little spy-glass he got in France at the war. In it it had a woman and a pig with two backs and no face. I know what that is. "Is that why you are laughing, Darl?"
"Yes yes yes yes yes yes."
The wagon stands on the square, hitched, the mules motionless, the reins wrapped about the seat-spring, the back of the wagon toward the courthouse. It looks no different from a hundred other wagons there; Jewel standing beside it and looking up the street like any other man in town that day, yet there is something different, distinctive. There is about it that un-mistakable air of definite and imminent departure that trains have, perhaps due to the fact that Dewey Dell and Vardaman on the seat and Cash on a pallet in the wagon bed are eating bananas from a paper bag. "Is that why you are laughing, Darl?"
Darl is our brother, our brother Darl. Our brother Darl in a cage in Jackson where, his grimed hands lying light in the quiet interstices, looking out he foams.
"Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes."
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Dewey Dell

When he saw the money I said, "It's not my money, it doesn't belong to me."
"Whose is it, then?"
“It's Cora Tull's money. It's Mrs Tull's. I sold the cakes for it."
“Ten dollars for two cakes?"
“Dont you touch it. It's not mine."
"You never had them cakes. It's a lie. It was them Sunday clothes you had in that package."
"Dont you touch it! If you take it you are a thief."
"My own daughter accuses me of being a thief. My own daughter."
"Pa. Pa."
"I have fed you and sheltered you. I give you love and care, yet my own daughter, the daughter of nay dead wife, calls me a thief over her mother's grave."
"It's not mine, I tell you. If it was, God knows you could have it."
"Where did you get ten dollars?"
"Pa. Pa."
"You wont tell me. Did you come by it so shameful you dare not?"
“It's not mine, I tell you. Cant you understand it's not mine?"
"It's not like I wouldn't pay it back. But she calls her own father a thief."
"I cant, I tell you. I tell you it's not my money. God knows you could have it."
"I wouldn't take it. My own born daughter that has et my food for seventeen years, begrudges me the loan of ten dollars."
"It's not mine. I cant."
"Whose is it, then?"
"It was give to me. To buy something with."
"To buy what with?"
"Pa. Pa."
"It's just a loan. God knows, I hate for my blooden children to reproach me. But I give them what was mine without stint. Cheerful I give them, without stint. And now they deny me. Addie. It was lucky for you you died, Addie."
"Pa. Pa."
"God knows it is."
He took the money and went out.
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Cash

So when we stopped there to borrow the shovels we heard the graphophone playing in the house, and so when we got done with the shovels pa says, "I reckon I better take them back."
So we went back to the house. "We better take Cash on to Peabody's," Jewel said.
"It wont take but a minute," pa said. He got down from the wagon. The music was not playing now.
"Let Vardaman do it," Jewel said. "He can do it in half the time you can. Or here, you let me--"
"I reckon I better do it," pa says. "Long as it was me that borrowed them."
So we set in the wagon, but the music wasn't playing now. I reckon it's a good thing we aint got ere a one of them. I reckon I wouldn't never get no work done a-tall for listening to it. I dont know if a little music aint about the nicest thing a fellow can have. Seems like when he comes in tired of a night, it aint nothing could rest him like having a little music played and him resting. I have see them that shuts up like a hand-grip, with a handle and all, so a fellow can carry it with him wherever he wants.
"What you reckon he's doing?" Jewel says. "I could a toted them shovels back and forth ten times by now."
"Let him take his time," I said. "He aint as spry as you, remember."
"Why didn't he let me take them back, then? We got to get your leg fixed up so we can start home tomorrow."
"We got plenty of time," I said. "I wonder what them machines costs on the installment."
"Installment of what?" Jewel said. "What you got to buy it with?"
"A fellow cant tell," I said. "I could a bought that one from Suratt for five dollars, I believe."
And so pa come back and we went to Peabody's. While we was there pa said he was going to the barbershop and get a shave. And so that night he said he had some business to tend to, kind of looking away from us while he said it, with his hair combed wet and slick and smelling sweet with perfume, but I said leave him be; I wouldn't mind hearing a little more of that music myself.
And so next morning he was gone again, then he come back and told us to get hitched up and ready to take out and he would meet us and when they was gone he said,
"I dont reckon you got no more money."
"Peabody just give me enough to pay the hotel with," I said. "We dont need nothing else, do we?"
"No," pa said; "no. We dont need nothing." He stood there, not looking at me.
"If it is something we got to have, I reckon maybe Peabody," I said.
"No," he said; "it aint nothing else. You all wait for me at the corner."
So Jewel got the team and come for me and they fixed me a pallet in the wagon and we drove across the square to the corner where pa said, and we was waiting there in the wagon, with Dewey Dell and Vardaman eating bananas, when we see them coming up the street. Pa was coming along with that kind of daresome and hangdog look all at once like when he has been up to something he knows ma aint going to like, carrying a grip in his hand, and Jewel says,
"Who's that?"
Then we see it wasn't the grip that made him look different; it was his face, and Jewel says, "He got them teeth."
It was a fact. It made him look a foot taller, kind of holding his head up, hangdog and proud too, and then we see her behind him, carrying the other grip--a kind of duck-shaped woman all dressed up, with them kind of hard-looking pop eyes like she was daring ere a man to say nothing. And there we set watching them, with Dewey Dell's and Vardaman's mouth half open and half-et bananas in their hands and her coming around from behind pa, looking at us like she dared ere a man. And then I see that the grip she was carrying was one of them little graphophones. It was for a fact, all shut up as pretty as a picture, and every-time a new record would come from the mail order and us setting in the house in the winter, listening to it, I would think what a shame Darl couldn't be to enjoy it too. But it is better so for him. This world is not his world; this life his life.
"It's Cash and Jewel and Vardaman and Dewey Dell," pa says, kind of hangdog and proud too, with his teeth and all, even if he wouldn't look at us. "Meet Mrs Bundren," he says.


The End
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