Den der was Sister Vici and bruder George. Befo I could member much, I members Lee King had a saloon close to Bob Allen’s store in Russell County, AL, and Mars John Bussey drunk my Mudder up. I means by dat, Lee King took her and my brudder George for a whiskey debt. Yes old Marster drinked em up. Den dey was carried to Florida by Sam Oneal, and George was jest a baby. You know de white folks wouldn’t ofen separate the mother and baby. I aint seen em since.
Did I work? Yes Mam, me and a girl worked in de field carrying one row, you know it took two chillerns to make one hand.
Did we have good eatins? Yes Mam. Ole Marster fed me so good for I was his pet. He never lowed no one to pester me neither. Now dis Marster was Bob Allen who had took me for a whiskey debt, too. Mars Bussey couldn’t pay, and so Mars Allen took me a little boy out of the yard where I was playin marbles. De law lowed the first thing the man saw, he could take.
I served Mars Bob Allen ’till Gen. Grant come along and had me and some others to follow him to Mississippi. We was in de woods hidin de mules and a fine mare. Dis was after emancipation, and Gen. Grant was comin to Mississippi to tell de niggers dey was free.
As I done tole you, I was Mars Allen’s’ pet nigger boy. I was called a “stray”. I slep on de floor by ole Miss and Mars Bob. I could a slep on de trundle bed, but it was so easy jist to roll over and blow dem ashes and make dat fire burn.
Yea, I know all about when yankees come. Dey got us out of de swamp. I was layin down by a white oak tree sleep, and when I waked up and looked up and saw nothin but blue,
blue, I said “yonder is my Boss’ fine male horse, Alfred. He tended dat horse himself.” He took it to heart, and he didn’t live long after de Blue Coats took Alfred.
Peace was declared to us 1st. Jan. in Alabama, but not in Mississippi until Grant come back May 8th.