, and among the first to greet us when we reached there was ‘Ike,’ Kit Gilmer
's ‘nigger,’ who said, ‘Mars Kit is in dat house, I ain't gwine let dem Yankees git Mars Kit.’
Ike had appropriated a horse belonging to the old farmer, placed Kit on him, and, mounting behind, carried him to safety.
Ike is living now, a respected citizen of Madison county, Miss.
, but poor Kit died many years ago.
My grandmother left me, at her death, a negro boy, ‘Jim,’ and stipulated in her will that she wanted him to be my playfellow, and not to work.
Jim was two years older than I, and was my black mammy's eldest child.
We were boon companions as boys.
While playing near a pond one day (I was about 9 years old), I said to Jim, ‘Let's go to the watermelon patch.’
Jim always assented to any proposition I made.
We plugged two or three melons, and finally found one to suit us, which we carried into the bushes and ate, reaching the house afterwards just as my father rode up from a round of the plantation.
He said: ‘Jim, tell Tom to take my horse to the barn.’
Then, turning his attention to me, he discovered a melon seed in the fold of my jacket.
With a frown he inquired, ‘Where did this watermelon seed come from?’
Jim heard the question, and, running quickly up to my father, said: ‘Master, I put that watermelon seed on Bud.’
‘Well,’ my father said, ‘I shall whip you for telling me a lie and whip Bud for allowing you to do so.’
So he switched both of us. As soon as the cloud had passed, Jim and I were the same happy chums, but Jim was curious to know how master found out he told a lie.
Often times when I imagined an injustice had been done me my black mammy, noticing my lip trembling, would take me in her arms to her house.
Many, many times I have sobbed myself to sleep with my head on her dear old fat shoulders.
I wish so much she could know how now I appreciate her love, and how I revere her memory.
It would be such a happiness to be able to tell her, but she died soon after the war. My dear old mammy was a type, there were others like her, and all of them were loved and respected by their master's children.
I remember a circumstance regarding my friend, Captain Sam Henderson
, and his servant, Henry
, which illustrates also the love for the master the negro always showed.