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   Chapter 121 PIMENTO STORY.

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 2134

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


There was once a mamma who had ever so many children; and one day she had nothing to give those children to eat. She had got up very early that morning, without a sou in the world: she did not know what to do: she was so worried that her head was upset. She went to the house of a woman-friend, and told her about her trouble. The friend gave her three chopines [three pints] of manioc flour. Then she went to the house of another female friend, who gave her a big trayful of pimentos. The friend told her to sell that tray of pimentos: then she could buy some codfish,-since she already had some manioc flour. The good-wife said: "Thank you, macoumè,"-she bid her good-day, and then went to her own house.

The moment she got home, she made a fire, and put her canari [earthen pot] full of water on the fire to boil: then she broke up all the pimentos and put them into the canari on the fire.

As soon as she saw the canari boiling, she took her baton-lélé, and beat up all those pimentos: then she made a pimento-calalou. When the pimento-calalou was well cook

ed, she took each one of the children's plates, and poured their calalou into the plates to cool it; she also put her husband's out to cool, and her own. And when the calalou was quite cool, she put some manioc flour into each of the plates. Then she called to everybody to come and eat. They all came, and sat down to table.

The first mouthful that husband took he stopped and screamed:-"A?e! ouaill! my wife!" The woman answered her husband: "Ouaill! my husband!" The little children all screamed: "Ouaill! mamma!" Their mamma answered: "Ouaill! my children!"... They all ran out, left the house empty; and they tumbled into the river to steep their mouths. Those little children just drank water and drank water till they were all drowned: there was nobody left except the mamma and the papa, They stayed there on the river-bank, and cried. I was passing that way just at that time;-I asked them: "What ails you people?" That man got up and gave me just one kick that sent me right across the river; I came here at once, as you see, to tell you all about it....

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