“An Empress Passed”
Manuscript, page 3. Transcription follows image.
Page 3, An Empress Passed 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: "There Was A Queen" Autograph manuscript, 8 p. (8 R, 0 V) on 8 l.]


off of Miss Jenny. I reckon I'm enough to say that."

"I know that, too," Isom said. "I aint notice Miss Jenny got nothing against her. I aint notice they dont get
along. Aint nobody but you done that."

"And you wont notice it, neither. Miss Jenny wont show it, because Miss Jenny's quality. That's something else you dont
know nothing about."

"How come I dont?"

"Because same reason she dont. You was born too late, same as her."

"If you mean Miss Narcissa aint quality, say <so> it out. I aint going to tell."

"You wouldn't tell her nothing if you did. She knows what I think. Always is knowed it."

"What you got against her, mammy?" Isom said. "Everybody cant be born Sartoris."

<"Wouldn't do them no good> Elnora laid the slices on the plate. "Wouldn't do them no good, if they was.
Born Sartoris or born quality of any kind aint 'is', it's 'does.'" Isom sat in the chair where Saddie had
sat, first drawing it a little <away> from the table, to keep out of his mother's way. Elnora was talking in that
same unemphatic voice in which she had first spoke into the empty kitchen. Beyond the window the level
sun was beginning to turn copper-colored. When she spoke of the two women she used 'she' indiscriminately, putting
the least inflexsion upon the one which referred to Miss Jenny, as tho she had capitalized it. "In 1869 She
come all the way here by herself. Folks killed and dead and gone, except Marse John, and him <400> 200 miles
off in Miss. with a family of his own and fighting the Yankees here same as in Callina."

"It's more than <400><0> 200 miles from here to Callina," Isom said. "Learned it in school. It's nigher <4000> 2000."

Elnora's hands did not falter; the inflection of her voice did not change. "Getting here in the dead of winter in the
[spring?] wagon Marse John sent up to the railroad to meet Her because there wasn't no railroad here, with nothing
in this world of God's but a basket with 2 flower cuttings and them preserves and them colored glasses Marse John
had put in that window so She could look out of it like it was Callina. She got here at dusk-dark and Marse John
and the chillen and <my> your granmammy <met> was waiting on the porch, and Her self <in the wagon> high-
headed in the wagon for him to lift Her down. They never even kissed then, when they was still outdoors where folks
to see. Marse John just said 'Well, Jenny' and she just said 'Well, Johnny' and they walked up the
steps and into the house, him leading Her by the hand, until they was inside the door and it closed against the
folks that would spy on quality. Then She began to cry, and him holding her then after all them 4000 miles — "

"It aint 4000 miles from here to Callina," Isom said. "It aint but 2000."

"It took her hard, the crying did. 'It's because I aint used to it' she said 'I got out of the habit of it. I never had
the time.'

"'There, now. There now' Marse John said, patting her back.

"'Them goddamn Yankees' She said. 'Them goddamn Yankees'" Elnora left the room. Isom said in the chair
in an attitude completely inert yet wakeful, waiting and unimpatient. Elnora returned with some shallots like white- and
green [pencils?] in a glass dish filled with cracked ice. "And do you reckon she would have done that?"

"I dont know," Isom said. "What would Miss Narcissa done?"

"She'd a went the other way. With them Yankees. That's what she'd a done."