A Long Day in November by Ernest J. Gaines

By Ernest J. Gaines

An affectionate and shaggy dog story set within the “black quarter" of a Southern sugar cane plantation within the Forties and advised by way of a toddler named Eddie, who watches his mom depart his father over his preoccupation together with his automobile, which his father finally burns to the floor at the suggestion of a voodoo girl to get his spouse again.

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Freddie Jackson sitting at the fireplace warming. I go back in the kitchen so Uncle Al can button my coat up for me. Then I go back in the front room again. Mama looks at me and ask me where I’m going. “Toilet,” I say. “When you finish, you come on back in here,” she says. indd 60 10/15/13 10:13 PM A L on g Day in novemb er I go out on the gallery, and I see Daddy sitting on the ditch bank ’side the road. I don’t say nothing to Daddy, I go on round the house. The grass is dry like hay. There ain’t a leaf in that pecan tree—but I see a bird up there, and the wind ’s moving the bird’s feathers.

Eddie, run,” she screams. ” I hear Daddy going down the steps. I hear Spot running after him barking. Gran’mon knocks the door open with the gun barrel and shoot. I hear Daddy hollering. ” Mama says. indd 55 10/15/13 10:13 PM E r n e s t J. G a i n e s says. ” We all run out on the gallery, and I see Daddy out in the road crying. I can see the people coming out on the galleries. They looking at us and they looking at Daddy. Daddy’s standing out in the road crying. “Boy, I would’ve like to seen old Eddie getting out of this yard,” Uncle Al says.

I see Billy Joe Martin and Charles and them shooting marbles over by the gate. I don’t go over there because they’ll tease me. indd 44 10/15/13 10:13 PM A L on g Day in novemb er them jumping rope. Lucy ain’t jumping right now. “Hi, Lucy,” I say. Lucy looks over at Shirley and they laugh. They look at my pants and laugh. ” I ask Lucy. “No,” Lucy says. ” I look at Lucy and I go stand ’side the wall in the sun. I peel my potato and eat it. And look like soon’s I get through, Miss Hebert comes to the front and says recess is over.

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