WHAT DO YOU MEAN—AMERICANS?
and watch the remnant of their line and population going, without visibly caring, to the dogs!
They would have called him a dog in their time, or at least “one of them niggers of some sort.”
He comes out of the deepening shadows. Whence he comes, in that narrow land where there are only the Rogerses and Brewsters, the Fullers and the Whites, who can say? Andy and Isaiah can’t. When they try, their minds close up.
Their minds do that of late years. More and more easily. When, at the ice-cream feast of the Dorcases last autumn, the two old fellows undertook in mournful gaiety to twit the schoolma’am upon the dwindling of her flock, and when she looked puzzled (for all the world) and told them that, land alive! they weren’t to worry, she had her hands full, and would have them a sight fuller, she guessed, before they got around to putting in the new primary room—when she said that, Isaiah looked at Andy and Andy at Isaiah, one winked and the other cackled, and their minds, like wary clam-shells, closed up tight. “Primary room!” They weren't to be taken in by jokes like that. They were too smart.
He comes out of the deepening shadows, his approach heralded, long before he is seen, by the sounding-boards of the hills that gather down to the Cove, the clank of a loose brake-beam, the whine of gritted springs, gaskets wheezing. A curious centaur, head and shoulders and busy arms of a man, body of an ungroomed half-ton truck; so from their rockers on the porch behind the mosquito-netting they always see him, Jimmy the Greek. So he careens to a halt under the antique, uneasy willows in the blue-brown shadow cast by Sheep Hill; so he snorts, backs, swerves, carricoles, pawing the sand, gambolling in the twilight of these Yankee gods; so he rears there, breathing heavily with his pitted cylinders, peering glassily with his one large rectangular eye at the house beyond the turf, the house native and noble, solid and broad and low, with a roof like another slope of the gray Pamet moors. So, unbudging from his hybrid shell, he calls through the dusk: “Molly to home?”
Neither Andy nor Isaiah answers. Rock, rock, rock, their chairs and their dry bones creaking, their eyes meeting, full of repugnance, rebellion, appeal. They’d have their tongues cut out before they’d speak.