“Dry September”
Manuscript, page 7. Transcription follows image.
Page 7, Drouth|Dry September Ms
William Faulkner Foundation Collection, 1918-1959, Accession #6074 to 6074-d, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections,
University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.   [Item Metadata: "Dry September" Autograph manuscript, 8 p. (8 R, 0 V) on 8 l. ]



As she dressed on that Saturday night her own flesh felt like fever. Her hands trembled among the hooks and
eyes and her eyes had a feverish look and her hair swirled crisp and crackling beneath the comb. While she was
still dressing the friends <with whom she was going out came in> called for her and sat while she donned her sheerest underthings
and stockings and a new voile dress. "Do you feel strong enough to go out?" they said, <"When you get on the>
their eyes bright too and intent. "When you have had time to get over the shock, you must tell us what happened. What
he said and did, everything."

In the darkness, as they walked walking toward the square, <by breathing deep> she began to breathe deep, something like a swimmer preparing to
dive; she ceased trembling then, walking slowly because of the terrible heat and out of solicitude for her. But as they
neared the square she began to tremble again, walking with her head up, her hands clenched a little at her sides.

They entered the square, she in the center of the group. She was trembling worse and she walked slower and slower, as children eat ice cream, her
head up and her eyes bright as fever <and her mouth [leaping?] to lif> in the haggard banner of her face, passing the hotel
with the coatless drummers in chairs along the curb [turning?] to look at her: "That's the one: see? The one in pink in
the middle"
[margin: <"What did they do with the nigger?" Did they —" "Oh, he's all right. They'll attend to him. He wont [illegible] no more white women." "They'll send him away, eh?" "Sure. They'll send him away. A long way. Where there dont any trains come back." "Who are they?" "I dont know. I dont want to know. Do you want to know?" "No. Well, it has to be done. Glad it aint me that has to, though." "Yes. It has to be done. We got to keep them in their places, got to protect our wives and mothers and daughters." "Sure. It's got to be done.">
; then the drugstore where even the young men tipped their hats and followed with their eyes the move-
ment of her legs when she had passed.

[margin: They went on, passing the lifted hats of the gentlemen, the sudden ceased voices. "Do you see?" her friends said. Their voices sounded like long hovering sighs of <hushed> hissing exultation "There's not a negro on the square. Not one."
They reached the picture show like a miniature fairy land with its lighted lobby and colored lithographs of people
caught in the throes of life in its mutations. Her lips began to tingle. In the dark, when the picture began, it would be
all right; she could hold back the laugh so it would not wash away so fast and so soon. So she hurried in
before the [turning?] heads, the undertones of low astonishment, and they took their accustomed places where she could
see the aisle against the silver glare, and where the young men and girls came in two and two against it.

The lights flicked away, the screen glowed silver as a dream <where> and life <will presently> beg<i>an to unfold, beautiful and
passionate and sad, while still the young men and girls entered, scented and sibilant in the half-dark, <the silhouettes>
their paired heads in silhouette delicate and sleek, their slim quick bodies awkward, divinely young. She began to
laugh. In trying to suppress it, it made more noise than ever; heads began to turn. Still laughing, her friends
raised her and led her out and she stood at the curb, laughing on a high sustained note, until the taxi came up,
and they helped her in.

They removed the pink voile and the sheer underthings and stockings and put her to bed and cracked ice and put it
on her temples and sent for the doctor. He was hard to locate, so they ministered to her with hushed ejacula-
tions, renewing the ice and fanning her. While the ice was fresh she stopped laughing and lay still for a while
moaning only a little. But soon the laughing welled again and her voice rose screaming.

"Shhhhh. Shhhhh," they said, renewing the ice, smoothing her hair back, examining it for gray; "poor girl. The black
brute! . . . . . . . Poor Minnie."