Until Grandfather died, we would go out to the farm every Saturday afternoon. <We would go>
[margin: We would leave home right after dinner,]
in the surrey, I <would ride> on the front
seat with Roskus and Grandfather and Caddy and Jason <would ride> in the back. Grandfather and Roskus would talk, with the horses
going fast, because they said it was the best team in the county. They would carry the surrey fast along the levels and <down the hills> up some
of the hills. But this was in north Mississippi, and sometimes on a hill <we> Roskus and I could smell Grandfather's cigar.
The farm was 4 miles away. There was a long, low house, in a grove, not painted but kept sound and whole by a clever negro
carpenter [named Sam Fathers] and
behind it the barns and smoke-house, and further on the quarters, also kept sound and whole
by the negro carpenter.
[margin: <He was named Fathers and he>]
He did nothing else, and they
said he was almost a hundred years old, and he lived with the negros and they <called him> - the white folks < - called him a negro.> The negros
called him a Blue-Gum. <But he> - called him a negro. But he wasn't a negro. That's what I'm going to tell about.
When we got there Mr. Stokes, the manager, would send a negro boy with Caddy and Jason to the creek to fish, but I wouldn't go.
I would go to Sam Father's
shop <and watch him making> where he would be breast yokes or wagon wheels, and I would always bring
him some tobacco. Then he would stop <[working?]> and he would fill
his pipe - he made them himself, from creek clay and a reed stem -
and he would tell me. He would sit there, in overalls, <with his skin not quite the
color of light negros, and tho his> smoking and talking. <He skin wasn't qu>
[margin: talked like a nigger - that is, he said his words like a nigger would but he didn't say
the same words - ]
hair was <nigger hair,> nigger hair and his nose was a little flat. But his skin
<"These niggers," he would say. "They call me> wasn't quite the color of a light nigger and his eyes and his mouth and chin were
not nigger eyes and
mouth and chin. And his shape was not like <an> a nigger when he gets old. He was straight in the back, not
tall, a little broad, and his face would be
quite quiet, like he was somewhere else all the time
[margin: he was working or when]
people talked to him, even white men, or even when he talked to children. It was just the same all the
time, like he might be somewhere else, driving nails on a roof by himself. He would talk to me. He would quit whatever he was doing and sit down and
smoke, and he wouldn't jump up and go back to work when Mr Stokes or even Grandfather came along.
<"These niggers," he said. "They call me Blue Gum. And the white folks, they call me Sam Fathers.>
"These niggers," he said. "They call me Blue Gum. And the white folks, they call me Sam Fathers."
"Isn't that your name?" I said.
"No. Not in the old days. I remember. I remember I never saw but one white man until I was a boy big as you. <I remember how in the
it was the Man himself that named me. He didn't name me <two> Sam Fathers."
"The Man?" I said.
"He was a Choctaw chief. He sold my mammy and me to your great-grand-pappy. My name was Had-Two-Fathers then."
"Had-Two-Fathers? That's not a name."
"It use to be my name. Listen."
<This is how my <<father>> <<pappy>> Herman Basket told it. He and my pappy and Doom were the same age. Doom was not born to be
the man. When he was a boy, his mother's brother was the Man, and Doom's name
was not Doom then. It was Ikkemotubbe. But
even at that time <<my father>> <<pappy>> Herman Basket told how the Man would look at Doom and say, "O Sister's Son, your
eye is a bad eye, like the eye of a bad horse."
Doom and <<my father>> <<pappy>> <<Herman Basket>> - his name was Crawfishford - and Herman Basket were the same age. They slept
on the same pallet. <<My father>> pappy Herman Basket told how
even at that time, and <[then?]> not good <illegible> yet, how Doom was different from others; how he liked to hunt all night long and to fight just for fun.
He would make my pappy and Herman Basket hunt with him and he would make them fight with their fists, just for fun, until at
last my pappy said that he and Herman Basket would go and hide from Doom.
One day the whiskey trader came and told how the white people were fighting at New Orleans. Doom said that he would go there.
"Why do you want to do that?" Herman Basket said. "The whiskey trader has told.">