Ephraim Locke was short of breath as he stepped into the courtyard of his home. How delightful it would be to have the gentle sensibilities of a woman, to see the angel in every creature formed in the image of man. Billy sat on the step, mending a fishing net with twine. "Billy...go fetch Crump." Billy took off at a trot, but Locke knew he'd slow down to an amble when he was at a safe distance. The negroes were amusing, stubborn, kind in turns, and in fact, exhibited the same range of base emotions to be found in dogs, horses, or infants. Cook was the closest to what Ephraim would describe as a white person, but every race revealed its anomalies, and Cook Judy was one. His wife loved all things, from the hens and pigs in the farmyard, to the slaves, to him and little Talbott. It wasn't right for him to be so hard on her. He would make a trip to Birmingham in October for the Cotton Market. He'd be sure to bring her some bauble that would delight her.
He was distracted by the sight of the old one-leg carpenter packing up his small cart with tools. "Are you through then Miller?" he called. "Yes sir," replied the sailor. "I'm on my way in the morning to Whiccolm's." Locke said "more work to be done, I suppose." The sailor nodded "aye. Much work to be done round here, sir."
"Very good then. See Mr Crump for your pay."
Locke noticed the little black boy. He was counting to ten while little Talbott hid himself behind a small willow bush. The boy would miss Lucius, but that couldn't be helped. Whiccolm had his heart set on the child, and Locke couldn't blame him : Augustus' was a fine strong stock. Crump soon rode up and dismounted. "Take Mr Crump's steed to the barn Lucius," called Locke."Mr Crump, I have questions on the production from last week." Locke reentered the house with Crump in tow.
"Lucius," said Peg Leg Joe, " will you tell your Mama and Papa I want to see them tonight? I'm leaving tomorrow, and we have a matter to talk over."