Sunday, May 26, 1912
A scowl scraped under the words, “What you doin’ in this part o’ town…boy?”
From inside a loathing came, “Iffin’ this was a ratt run country you’d be showin’ me yo’ massa’s pass.”
He echoed back, “Iffin’ this was a ratt run country…”
He noticed the pavement was pretty warm, even when it clawed his palm and smeared itself with his blood. That hurt.
The toe of the black, worn-down brogan hurt too when it kicked his ribs.
Another pair of worn brogans came up, brown this time, and pulled the black pair around. “Hold on there, Dooley.”
“You niggah-lovin’ Longstreetin’ bluebelly!”
Now came two pairs, some handsome men’s half-boots under brown pinstriped cuffs, and a black pointy toe peeking out from under a dark green hem just above the sidewalk.
Brown brogans shifted back and forth. “Simmer down, Dooley. Ain’t fitten’ pushin’ anybody ’round on the Lord’s Day, ‘specially with a lady present.”
Black brogans turned toward green hem. A single word, “Ma’am,” floated down; then the black brogans stomped away, the heels grinding the pavement, the left one worn down at an odd angle.
Half-boots and green hem passed by together and brown brogans trailed after.
He pulled out an old green kerchief and with black fingers pressed it against the pale, bloody palm. After he left, the rest of his blood turned dark on the pavement.