Saturday, May 6, 2023

the last book I ever read (The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, excerpt four)

from The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The child—staring with round eyes at this instance of liberality, wholly unprecedented in his large experience of cent-shops-took the man of gingerbread, and quitted the premises. No sooner had he reached the sidewalk (little cannibal that he was!) than Jim Crow’s head was in his mouth. As he had not been careful to shut the door, Hepzibah was at the pains of closing it after him, with a pettish ejaculation or two about the troublesomeness of young people, and particularly of small boys. She had just placed another representative of the renowned Jim Crow at the window, when again the shop-bell tinkled clamorously; and again the door being thrust open, with its characteristic jerk and jar, disclosed the same sturdy little urchin who, precisely two minutes ago, had made his exit. The crumbs and discoloration of the cannibal feast, as yet hardly consummated, were exceedingly visible about his mouth!

“What is it now, child?” asked the maiden lady, rather impatiently.—“ Did you come back to shut the door?”

“No!” answered the urchin, pointing to the figure that had just been put up.—“ I want that other Jim Crow!”

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