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Product Details About the Author. About the Author Frances Boyd Calhoun. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. A Green Hill Far Away. Joan was blind at birth, only able to see light and shade and bright colours Joan was blind at birth, only able to see light and shade and bright colours and absolute contrasts. Billy's aunt concluded. Wishing to know if he had understood what she had just read she asked:. Pay strict attention. She chose an article describing the keen sense of smell in animals. Miss Minerva was not an entertaining reader and the words were long and fairly incomprehensible to the little boy sitting patiently at her side.

I knows crooked S, an' broken back K, an' curly tail Q, an' roun' O, an' I can spell c-a-t cat, an' d-o-g dog an' A stands fer apple. O Lord, if you got 'em to spare please make her three little babies an' let 'em all be girls so's she can learn 'em how to churn an' sew. An' bless Aunt Minerva and Major Minerva, f'r ever 'nd ever. He makes all the niggers an' heathens an' Injuns an' white chillens; I reckon He gits somebody to help him.

Don't you, Aunt Minerva?

Image from page 145 of "Miss Minerva and William Green Hill" (1909)

Ain't you got no eggs? Get Miss Minerva to give you some of hers and I'll take 'em over and ask Miss Cecilia to dye 'em for you 'cause you ain't 'quainted with her yet. They're just perzactly like rabbit's eggs. They tiptoed stealthily around the house to the back-yard, but found the hen-house door locked. I'll stand right here an' hol' my cap whiles you fetches me the eggs.

Billy, having overcome his scruples, now entered into the undertaking with great zest. Jimmy climbed the chicken ladder, kicked his chubby legs through the aperture, hung suspended on his fat little middle for an instant, and finally, with much panting and tugging, wriggled his plump, round body into the hen-house. He walked over where a lonesome looking hen was sitting patiently on a nest.

He put out a cautious hand and the hen promptly gave it a vicious peck. Billy stuck his head in the little square hole. Jimmy tried to follow these instructions, but received another peck for his pains. He promptly mutinied. I done monkeyed with this chicken all I'm going to. So Billy climbed up and easily got his lean little body through the opening. He dexterously caught the hen by the nape of the neck, as he had seen Aunt Cindy do, while Jimmy reached for the eggs.

I'll put 'em in my blouse till you get outside and then I'll hand 'em to you. How many you going to take? Hurry up. Jimmy carefully distributed the eggs inside his blouse, and Billy once more crawled through the hole and stood on the outside waiting, cap in hand, to receive them. But the patient hen had at last raised her voice in angry protest and set up a furious cackling, which so frightened the little boy on the inside that he was panic-stricken.

He caught hold of a low roost pole, swung himself up and, wholly unmindful of his blouse full of eggs, pushed his lower limbs through the hole and stuck fast. A pair of chubby, sturdy legs, down which were slowly trickling little yellow rivulets, and half of a plump, round body were all that would go through. Pull me th'oo, Billy. About this time the defrauded fowl flew from her nest and attempted to get out by her rightful exit.

Finding it stopped up by a wriggling, squirming body she perched herself on the little boy's neck and flapped her enraged wings in his face. Billy grabbed the sticky limbs and gave a valiant tug, but the body did not move an inch. Alas, Jimmy with his cargo of broken eggs was fast imprisoned. You no-count gump! The boy on the outside, who was strong for his years, braced himself and gave a mighty wrench of the other child's stout extremities. Jimmy howled in pain and gave his friend an energetic kick.

I'm going to tell Miss Minerva you pulled my legs out by the roots. A small portion of the prisoner's blouse was visible. Billy caught hold of it and gave a strong jerk. There was a sound of ripping and tearing and the older boy fell sprawling on his back with a goodly portion of the younger child's raiment in his hands. This hole is 'bout to cut my stomach open. Aunt Minerva'll hear you. The noise did indeed bring Billy's aunt out on a tour of investigation.

She had to knock a plank off the hen-house with an axe before Jimmy's release could be accomplished. He was lifted down, red, angry, sticky, and perspiring, and was indeed a sight to behold. I have just finished one of your night-shirts. Come with me and put it on and go to bed. Jimmy, you go home and show yourself to your mother. The days flew rapidly by. Miss Minerva usually attempted to train Billy all the morning, and by the midday dinner hour she was so exhausted that she was glad to let him play in the front yard during the afternoon. Here he was often joined by the three children whose acquaintance he had made the day after his arrival, and the quartette became staunch friends and chums.

All four were sitting in the swing one warm spring day, under the surveillance of Billy's aunt, sewing on the veranda. I'm going to tell the first tale myself. Don't you think so, Billy? Elisha, and he had a friend named Mr. Elijah, so his mantelpiece fell on top of his head and make him perfectly bald; he hasn't got a single hair and he hasn't got any money, 'cause mama read me 'bout he rented his garments, which is clo'es, 'cause he didn't have none at all what belong to him. I spec' he just rented him a shirt and a pair o' breeches and wore 'em next to his hide 'thout no undershirt at all.

He was drea'ful poor and had a miser'ble time and old mean Mr. Per'dventure took him up on a high mountain and left him, so when he come down some bad little childern say, 'Go 'long back, bald head! Seems like everybody treat him bad, so he cuss 'em, so I never see anybody with a bald head 'thout I run, 'cause I don't want to get cussed. I don't believe they ate up that many children. Them Teddy bears ate up 'bout a million chillens, which is all the little boys and girls two Teddy bears can hold at a time.

Huccome him to be bald? He's out in the fiel' one day a-pickin' cotton when he see a tu'key buzzard an' he talk to her like this:. They 'sputed on the tower of Babel and the Lord say 'Confound you! You all time setting yourself up to know more'n me and Miss Cecilia.

One time they's a man name' William Tell and he had a little boy what's the cutest kid they is and the Devil come 'long and temp' him. Then the Lord say, 'William Tell, you and Adam and Eve can taste everything they is in the garden 'cepting this one apple tree; you can get all the pears and bunnanas and peaches and grapes and oranges and plums and persimmons and scalybarks and fig leaves and 'bout a million other kinds of fruit if you want to, but don't you tech a single apple. That's all the little boy William Tell and Adam and Eve got, but he ain't going to fall down and worship no gravy image on top a pole, so he put a tomahawk in his bosom and he tooken his bow and arrur and shot the apple plumb th'oo the middle and never swinge a hair of his head.

They 're our first parents. An' can't nobody ketch her tell one night her husban' watch her an' he see her jump outer her skin an' drop it on the he'rth an' turn to a 'normous black cat an' go up the chim'ly. An' he got outer the bed an' put some salt an' pepper an' vinegar on the skin an' she come back an' turnt to a 'oman an' try to git back in her skin an' she can't 'cause the salt an' pepper an' vinegar mos' burn her up, an' she keep on a-tryin' an' she can't never snuggle inter her skin 'cause it keep on a burnin' worser 'n ever, an' there she is a 'oman 'thout no skin on.

So she try to turn back to a cat an' she can't 'cause it's pas' twelve erclock, an' she jest swivvle an' swivvle tell fine'ly she jest swivvle all up. An' that was the las' of the ole witch an' her husban' live happy ever after. Ever sence me an' Wilkes Booth Lincoln's born we done try ev'ything fer to get the curl out.

Jessie J - Domino

They was a Yankee man came 'long las' fall a-sellin' some stuff in a bottle what he call 'No-To-Kink' what he say would take the kink outer any nigger's head. An' Aunt Cindy bought a bottle fer to take the kink outer her hair an' me an' Wilkes Booth Lincoln put some on us heads an' it jes' make mine curlier 'n what it was already. I's 'shame' to go roun' folks with my cap off, a-lookin' like a frizzly chicken.

Miss Cecilia say she like it though, an' we's engaged. We's goin' to git married soon's I puts on long pants. I got engaged to Miss Cecilia that very firs' Sunday, but she didn' know it tell I went over to her house the nex' day an' tol' her 'bout it. She say she think my hair is so pretty. It just makes you look like a girl. There's a young lady come to spend a week with my mama not long ago and she put somepin' on her head to make it right yeller. She left the bottle to our house and I know where 't is. Maybe if you'd put some o' that on your head 't would take the curl out.

Won't I be a pretty sight when I puts on long pants with these here yaller curls stuck on topper my head? I'd 'nuther sight ruther be bal'headed. You 'bout the 'fraidest boy they is Giggling mightily, they jumped the dividing fence and slipped with stealthy tread around the house to Sarah Jane's cabin in the back-yard. Bennie Dick was sitting on the floor before the open door, the entrance of which was, securely barricaded to keep him inside. Sarah Jane was in the kitchen cooking supper; they could hear her happy voice raised in religious melody; Mrs.

Garner had not yet returned from a card party; the coast was clear, and the time propitious. The negro baby's thick, red lips curved in a grin of delight, his shiny ebony face beamed happily, his round black eyes sparkled as he held out his fat, rusty little hands. He sucked greedily at the candy as the two mischievous little boys uncorked the bottle and, poured a generous supply of the liquid on his head.

They rubbed it in well, grinning with delight. They made a second and a third application before the bottle was exhausted; then they stood off to view the result of their efforts. The effect was ludicrous. The combination of coal black skin and red gold hair presented by the little negro exceeded the wildest expectations of Jimmy and Billy. They shrieked with laughter and rolled over and over on the floor in their unbounded delight. Let's get behind the door and see what she's going to do.

She caught sight of her baby with his glistening black face and golden hair. She threw up her hands, closed her eyes, and uttered a terrified shriek. Presently she slowly opened her eyes and took a second peep at her curious-looking offspring. Sarah Jane screamed aloud:. Hit's de Marster's sign. Who turnt yo' hair, Benny Dick? Sarah Jane rushed inside as fast as her mammoth proportions would admit and caught a culprit in each huge black paw. Sudden suspicion entered her mind as she caught sight of the empty bottle lying on a chair. I knows yer, I's er-gwine ter make yo' mammy gi' ye de worses' whippin' yer eber got an' I's gwine ter take dis here William right ober ter Miss Minerva.

Ain't y' all 'shame' er yerselves? Er tamperin' wid de ha'r what de good Lord put on er colored pusson's head an' ertryin' fer ter scarify my feelin's like yer done. An' yer hear me, I's gwine see dat somebody got ter scarify yer hides. You 'bout the smart Alexist jack-rabbit they is. Billy had just decided to run down to the livery stable to pay Sam Lamb a visit when the gate opened, and Lina and Frances, their beloved dolls in their arms, came skipping in.

Jimmy, who had had a difference with Billy and was in the sulks on his own side of the fence, immediately crawled over and joined the others in the swing. He was lonesome and the prospect of companionship was too alluring for him to nurse his anger longer. My mama's gone too, so she left me with Brother and he's writing a love letter to Ruth Shelton, so I slipped off.

She telled Sarah Jane to 'tend to me and Sarah Jane's asleep.

I hear her snoring. Ain't we glad there ain't no grown folks to meddle? Can't we have fun? She never puts none on when she just goes to the Aid. We'll let you have some of our paint, Billy. My mama's got 'bout a million diff'ent kinds. Here Billy with flying colors came to the fore and redeemed Miss Minerva's waning reputation.

Run, Jimmy, get your things!

Catalog Record: Miss Minerva and William Green Hill | HathiTrust Digital Library

You, too, Billy! The children ran breathlessly to their homes nearby and collected the different articles necessary to transform them into presentable Indians. They soon returned, Jimmy dumping his load over the fence and tumbling after; and the happy quartette sat down on the grass in Miss Minerva's yard. First the paint boxes were opened and generously shared with Billy, as with their handkerchiefs they spread thick layers of rouge over their charming, bright, mischievous little faces.

He rolled over the fence and was back in a few minutes, gleefully holding up a bottle. Lina assumed charge of the head-dresses.

She took Billy first, rubbed the mucilage well into his sunny curls, and filled his head full of his aunt's turkey feathers, leaving them to stick out awkwardly in all directions and at all angles. Jimmy and Frances, after robbing their mothers' dusters, were similarly decorated, and last, Lina, herself, was tastefully arrayed by the combined efforts of the other three. Billy, regardless of consequences, had pinned his aunt's newest grey blanket around him and was viewing, with satisfied admiration, its long length trailing on the-grass behind him; Lina had her mother's treasured Navajo blanket draped around her graceful little figure; Frances, after pulling the covers off of several beds and finding nothing to suit her fanciful taste, had snatched a gorgeous silk afghan from the leather couch in the library.

It was an expensive affair of intricate pattern, delicate stitches; and beautiful embroidery with a purple velvet border and a yellow satin lining. She had dragged one corner of it through the mud puddle and torn a big rent in another place. You 'bout the pompousest little girl they is. You can't be a chief nohow; you got to be a squash, Injun ladies 'r' name' squashes; me an' Billy's the chiefs.

I'm name' old Setting Bull, hi'self. Why don' you be name' 'Settin' Steer'? Is 'steer' genteel, Lina? Jimmy agreeing to the compromise, peace was once more restored. Billy pulled a piece of string from his pocket and the babies were safely strapped to their mothers' backs.

With stately tread, headed by Sitting Steer, the children marched back and forth across the lawn in Indian file. So absorbed were they in playing Indian that they forgot the flight of time until their chief suddenly stopped, all his brave valor gone as he pointed with trembling finger up the street. We boun' to get what's coming to us anyway, so you might jus' as well make 'em think you ain't 'fraid of 'em.

Grown folks got to all time think little boys and girls 'r' skeered of 'em, anyhow. It was some hours later. Billy's aunt had ruthlessly clipped the turkey feathers from his head, taking the hair off in great patches. She had then boiled his scalp, so the little boy thought, in her efforts to remove the mucilage.

Now, shorn of his locks and of some of his courage, the child was sitting quietly by her side, listening to a superior moral lecture and indulging in a compulsory heart-to-heart talk with his relative. This prospect for the future did not appeal to her nephew. On the contrary it filled him with alarm.

The child looked up at her in astonishment; this was the first he knew of his being destined for the ministry. Anyways, Aunt Minerva, I ain't goin' to be no preacher. The children were sitting in the swing. Florence Hammer, a little girl whose mother was spending the day at Miss Minerva's, was with them. He's 'bout the forgivingest person they is. Now wouldn't we be in a pretty fix if we had to 'pend on Doctor Sanford or Santa Claus to forgive you every time you run off or fall down and bust your breeches.

Miss Minerva and William Green Hill

Naw; gimme God evy time. And Santa Claus don't all time say, Shet your eyes and open your mouth,' like Doctor Sanford, 'and poke out your tongue. And what you reckon that man's got in his office? He's got a dead man 'thout no meat nor clo'es on, nothing a tall but just his bones. Poor little Tommy Knott he's so skeered he wasn't going to get nothing at all on the tree so he got him a great, big, red apple an' he wrote on a piece o' paper 'From Tommy Knott to Tommy Knott,' and tied it to the apple and put it on the tree for hi'self.

I'm going to ask the first oneβ€”. You must n't give the answers, too. Ask one riddle at a time and let some one else answer it. I'll ask one and see who can answer it:. Is it a little baby rabbit, Lina? Well, it was an egg and it hatched to a chicken. Now, Florence, you ask one. Give it up?

The riddle is, 'A man rode across a bridge and Yet he walked,' and the answer is, 'He had a little dog named Yet who walked across the bridge. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. The pulpit of the Methodist Church was not occupied by its regular pastor, Brother Johnson. Instead, a traveling minister, collecting funds for a church orphanage in Memphis, was the speaker for the day. Miss Minerva rarely missed a service in her own church. She was always on hand at the Love Feast and the Missionary Rally and gave liberally of her means to every cause.

She was sitting in her own pew between Billy and Jimmy, Mr.

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Garner having remained at home. Across the aisle from her sat Frances Black, between her father and mother; two pews in front of her were Mr. Hamilton, with Lina on the outside next the aisle. The good Major was there, too; it was the only place he could depend upon for seeing Miss Minerva. He came down from the pulpit and stood close to his hearers as he made his last pathetic appeal. If there are any little orphan children here to-day, I should be glad if they would come up to the front and shake hands with me. Now Miss Minerva always faithfully responded to every proposal made by a preacher; it was a part of her religious conviction.

At revivals she was ever a shining, if solemn and austere, light. When a minister called for all those who wanted to go to Heaven to rise, she was always the first one on her feet. If he asked to see the raised hands of those who were members of the church at the tender age of ten years, Miss Minerva's thin, long arm gave a prompt response. Once when a celebrated evangelist was holding a big protracted meeting under canvas in the town and had asked all those who had read the book of Hezekiah in the Bible to stand up, Miss Minerva on one side of the big tent and her devoted lover on the other side were among the few who had risen to their feet.

She had read the good book from cover to cover from Genesis to Revelation over and over so she thought she had read Hezekiah a score of times. The little boy again demurred but, Miss Minerva insisting, he obediently slipped by her and by his chum. Walking gracefully and jauntily up the aisle to the spot where the lecturer was standing by a broad table, he held out his slim, little hand.

Jimmy looked at these proceedings of Billy's in astonishment, not comprehending at all. He was rather indignant that the older boy had not confided in him and invited his participation. But Jimmy was not the one to sit calmly by and be ignored when there was anything doing, so he slid awkwardly from the bench before Miss Minerva knew what he was up to. Signaling Frances to follow, he swaggered pompously behind Billy and he, too, held out a short, fat hand to the minister.

The speaker smiled benignly down upon them; lifting them up in his arms he stood the little boys upon the table. He thought the touching sight of these innocent and tender little orphans would empty the pockets of the audience. Billy turned red with embarrassment at his conspicuous position, while Jimmy grinned happily at the amused congregation. Horrified Miss Minerva half rose to her feet, but decided to remain where she was. She was a timid woman and did not know what course she ought to pursue. Besides, she had just caught the Major's smile.

Frances, responding to the latter's invitation, had crawled over her father's legs before he realized what was happening. She, too, went sailing down the aisle, her stiff white dress standing straight up in the back like a strutting gobbler's tail. Poor Mrs.

A hundred pairs of eyes sought her pew and focused themselves upon the pretty young woman sitting there, red, angry, and shamefaced. Black was visibly amused and could hardly keep from laughing aloud. As Frances passed by the Hamiltons' pew in her promenade down the aisle, Mrs. This was too much for the audience.


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A few boys laughed out and for the first time the preacher's suspicions were aroused. As he clasped Lina's slender, graceful little hand he asked:. Did you ever tell a fib to your mother, Frances? I gave up hope long ago, so I just go 'long and tell her the plain gospel truth when she asks me, 'cause I know those gimlet eyes and ears of hers 're going to worm it out o' me somehow. I tell my mama the truth 'most all time 'cepting when she asks questions 'bout things ain't none of her business a tall, and she all time want to know 'Who done it?

You ever tell Miss Minerva stories, Billy? The children swung awhile in silence. Presently Jimmy broke the quiet by remarking,. She live all by herself, and she 'bout a million years old, and Doctor Sanford ain't never brung her no chillens 'cause she ain't got 'er no husban' to be their papa, and she got a octopus in her head, and she poor as a post and deaf as job's old turkey-hen. Now I know job 'cause Miss Cecilia 'splained all 'bout him to me.

It's a someping that grows in your nose and has to be named what you's named.

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She's named Miss Pollie and she's got a polypus. I took her two pieces of pie this morning; I ate up one piece on the way and she gimme the other piece when I got there. I jus' don't believe she could get 'long at all 'thout me to carry her the good things to eat that my mama sends her; I takes her pies all the time, she says they're the best smelling pies ever she smelt. You'll have a Frances-pus in your stomach first thing you know.

But now I can talk th'oo it 's good's anybody. I'm going to hide it first myself. Now you-all spraddle out your fingers. Again was it Monday, with the Ladies Aid Society in session. Jimmy was sitting on the grass in his own front yard, in full view of Sarah Jane, who was ironing clothes in her cabin with strict orders to keep him at home.

Billy was in the swing in Miss Minerva's yard. I been good ever since I let you 'suade me to play Injun. I'm the goodest little boy in this town, I 'spec'. Sometimes I get scared 'bout being so good 'cause I hear a woman say if you too good, you going to die or you ain't got no sense, one. You come on over here; you ain't trying to be good like what I'm trying, and Miss Minerva don't never do nothing a tall to you 'cepting put you to bed. An' her specs can see right th'oo you plumb to the bone. Naw, I can't come over there 'cause she made me promise not to.

I ain't never go back on my word yit. I 'spec' I'm the most forgettingest little boy they is. But I'm so glad I'm so good. I ain't never going to be bad no more; so you might just as well quit begging me to come over and swing, you need n't ask me no more,β€”'tain't no use a tall. Sarah Jane turned around in time to frustrate his plans.

Fixin' to make some mo' Injuns out o' yo'selfs, ain't yeh, or some yuther kin' o' skeercrows? Billy strolled to the other side of the big yard and climbed up and sat on the tall gate post. A stranger, coming from the opposite direction, stopped and spoke to him. I just wanted to find out if you'd tell the truth about her.

Some little boys tell stories, but I am glad to find out you are so truthful. My name is Mr. Algernon Jones and I'm glad to know you. Billy smiled down from his perch at him and thought he had never met such a pleasant man. If he was such an old friend of his aunt's maybe she would not object to him because he wore pants, he thought. Maybe she might be persuaded to take Mr. Jones for a husband. Billy almost hoped that she would hurry home from the Aid, he wanted to see the two together so.

Jimmy was dying of curiosity but the gate was too far away for him to do more than catch a word now and then. It was also out of Sarah Jane's visual line, so she knew nothing of the stranger's advent.

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Garner's at the Aid an' Mr. Garner's gone to Memphis. Here is where Billy received one of the greatest surprises of his life. The fascinating stranger grabbed him with a rough hand and hissed:. I'll eat you alive. The fierce, bloodshot eyes, which had seemed so laughing and merry before, now glared into those of the little boy as the man took a stout cord from his pocket, bound Billy to the chair, and gagged him with a large bath towel.

Energetic Mr. Jones took the key out of the door, shook his fist at the child, went out, and locked the door behind him.