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 instructed by means of a toddler named Eddie, who watches his mom depart his father over his preoccupation along with his motor vehicle, which his father eventually burns to the floor at the recommendation of a voodoo girl to get his spouse again.

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My clothes’s dry now, and I feel better. I know the rest of the children go’n tease me, though. “Bill, why don’t you and the rest of the seventh graders put your arithmetic problems on the board,” Miss Hebert says. ” Bill and them stand up, and I watch them go to the blackboard in the back. ” Miss Hebert says. I turn and I see her sitting behind her desk. And I see Billy Joe Martin standing in the corner with his face to the wall. “Come up to the front,” Miss Hebert says. I go up there looking down at the floor, because I know she go’n whip me now.

Mama, please,” Mama says. ” Gran’mon says. indd 31 10/15/13 10:13 PM E r n e s t J. G a i n e s “Not in front of him,” Mama says. Mama leaves the fireplace and goes to the bundle of clothes. I can hear her untying the bundle. ” Uncle Al asks. “I don’t want go,” I say. ” “It’s never too cold for school,” Mama says. ” I get closer to the fire and I feel the fire hot on my pants. I turn around and warm my back. I turn again, and Uncle Al leans over and buttons my coat. Uncle Al’s pipe almost gets in my face, and it don’t smell good.

I love my baby,” he says. “I love my baby. ” “Sitting at the fireplace warming,” I say. “Mr. ” Daddy pushes me away real quickly and looks in my face. ” he asks. ” “Just them,” I say. “Uncle Al’s drinking coffee at the table. ” Daddy looks toward the house. “This the last straw,” he says. “I’m turning your Gran’mon in this minute. And you go’n be my witness. ” I ask. “To that preacher’s house,” Daddy says. ” Daddy grabs my hand and me and him go up the quarter. I can see all the children going back to school.

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A Long Day in November by Ernest J. Gaines


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