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   Chapter 81 March 10th.

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1656

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


... Yzore and her little ones are all in Manm-Robert's shop;-she is recounting her troubles,-fresh troubles: forty-seven francs' worth of work delivered on time, and no money received.... So much I hear as I enter the little boutique myself, to buy a package of "bouts."

-"Assise!" says Manm-Robert, handing me her own hair;-she is always pleased to see me, pleased to chat lith me about creole folk-lore. Then observing, a smile exchanged between myself and Mimi, she tells the children to bid me good-day:-"Alle di bonjou' Missié-a!"

One after another, each holds up a velvety cheek to kiss. And Mimi, who has been asking her mother the same question over and over again for at least five minutes without being able to obtain an answer, ventures to demand of me on the strength of this introduction:-

-"Missié, oti ma

sque-à?"

-"Y ben fou, pouloss!" the mother cries out;-"Why, the child must be going out of her senses!... Mimi pa 'mbêté moune conm ?a!-pa ni piess masque: c'est la-vérette qui ni." (Don't annoy people like that!-there are no maskers now; there is nothing but the verette!)

[You are not annoying me at all, little Mimi; but I would not like to answer your question truthfully. I know where the maskers are,-most of them, child; and I do not think it would be well for you to know. They wear no masks now; but if you were to see them for even one moment, by some extraordinary accident, pretty Mimi, I think you would feel more frightened than you ever felt before.]...

-"Toutt lanuite y k'anni rêvé masque-à," continues Yzore.... I am curious to know what Mimi's dreams are like;-wonder if I can coax her to tell me....

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