Mdh skd o hlp, bu h jus sood h skg
and whispering behind their schoolbooks. Even Anna Leigh,
her desk mate and the one girl Meredith thought a riend.
Ag s poold h s, bu Mdh blkd hw. Sh’d o l H w.“You’ bull, H Ells.”“Yh?” H soppd skppg d gld Mdh.“Wll, ou’ cpbgg’s dugh.”
“My papa’s not a carpetbagger. He’s a teacher, just like
Hiram’s ace scrunched up like a pumpkin that had started
o o. “M ss chs wh kds. No good-o-oh’dks.”
Meredith raised her chin and repeated the words she’d
heard her ather say countless times. “They’re reedmen. And
h hv jus s uch gh o l s ou do.”
were still slaves, like they oughta be,
Joey Gordon’s pa wouldn’ta been killed by Yankees, and Joey
would sll b h.” H glowd d sod owd h,hs boos poudg o h h. Mdh scvl -
treated a step beore she remembered she wasn’t araid o him.
“You w hs supd bck?” H gowld ou h
question as he halted a couple o eet in ront o her. “Go
He sprinted to the edge o the road and hurled the pail
hough hck sd o p s. Mdh wchd ,wodg wh God hough o gv -pdbo such sog howg .
The bucket clipped a tree limb and disappeared over a
small rise. A hollow clang echoed through the pines ollowed
by a series o quieter thunks as it tumbled down the back
sd o h hll.