“Mr. Tabb was a pretty good man. He used to beat us, sure; but not nearly     so much as others did, some of his own kin people, even. But he was kinda     funny sometimes; he used to have a special slave who didn’t have nothin’ to     do but teach the rest of us—we had about ten on the plantation, and a lot     on the other plantations near us—how to read and write and figger. Mr.     Tabb liked us to know how to figger. But sometimes when he would send for     us and we would be a long time comin’, he would ask us where we had been.     If we told him we had been learnin’ to read, he would near beat the daylights     out of us—after gettin’ somebody to teach us; I think he did some of that     so that the other owners wouldn’t say he was spoilin’ his slaves.”


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