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A Roving Commission by G. A. Henty

White man go to white man's heaben


"Marse

Glober, it am jest awful. It seem to Dinah dat all de black folk in dis island am turned into debils--from eberywhar de same story--eberywhar de white massas and de ladies and de childer all killed. Dat not de worst, sah, dey not content wid killing dem, dey put dem to horrible tortures. Me can't tell you all de terrible tings dat I'se heard; me jest tell you one, dat enough for you to guess what de oders are. Dey caught one white man, a carpenter, dey tied 'im between two planks and dey carry 'im to his saw-pit and dey saw 'im asunder. In one place de niggers march to attack town, and what you tink dey take for dere flag? A lilly white baby wid a spear run troo him. As to de ladies, me can no speak of de awful tings me hab heard. You quite right to gib pistol to madame and mam'selle, dey do well shoot demselves before dese yellow and black debils get hold of dem. Me neber tink dat me hab shame for my colour, now I hab shame; if me could lift my hands and ebery mulatto and black man in dis island all fall dead, me lift dem now, and me glad me fall dead wid de rest."

"This is awful, indeed, Dinah; as you say the negroes seem to have become fiends. I could understand it in plantations where they are badly treated, but it is certain that this was quite the exception, and that, on the whole, they were comfortable and happy before this trouble began. I know they were on Monsieur Duchesne's estate, and on all those I visited when I was here before.

I do not say they might not have preferred to be free."

"What good dat do dem, sah? If free, not work; dey worse off dan when slabes. Where dey get close? where dey get food? what dey do when dey get old? Look at Dinah, she allus comfor'ble and happy. She could work now tho' she old, but she hab no work to do 'cept when she like to dust room; she get plenty ob good food, she know well dat howeber old she live, massa and madame make her comfor'ble. Suppose she like de oders, and stop down at de huts, what den? who gib de ole woman food? who gib her close? who gib her wine and medicine? No, sah, dis am bad business all troo--terrible bad for white men, terrible bad for black men, terrible bad for eberyone.

"Next you see come de turn of de white man. Dey come out from de towns, plenty guns and powder, dey attack de blacks, dey shoot dem down like dogs, dey hunt dem troo de hills; dey show dem no mercy, and dey don't deserve none, massa. It would hab been better had big wave come swallow dis island up, better for eberyone; white man go to white man's heaben, good black man go to heaben, either de same heaben, or de black man's heaben. Now, suah enough, dere no heaben for dese black men who hab done dese tings, dey all shut out; dey no let dem in 'cause dey hab blood on dere hands, me heard priest say dat St. Peter he sit at de gate. Well, sah, you bery suah dat St. Peter him shake him head when black fellow from dis island come up and ask to go in. All dis dreadful, massa;" and the tears ran plentifully down the old nurse's cheeks.

"It won't be as bad as that, Dinah," Nat said soothingly. "There must be a great many who have taken no part in this horrible affair, and who have only risen because they were afraid to hang back."

"Don't you whisper word to Mam'selle Myra 'bout dese tings, Marse Glober."


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