that were bound. Just a week before the ball came off, Miss Celie
was taken down with typhoid fever. They didn't think she was
going to die when she was taken down, but they sent for the doc¬
tors, the best in the land. Four of them watched over her night
and day. Everything was done for her that could be done. She
always wanted mother with her, to sit up in the bed and hold her;
she seemed only to rest comfortably then. She seemed to have
sinking spells. The skill of the doctors was baffled, and they said
they could not do any more. So one day after one of these sinking
spells, she called them all around her bed and said: "I want to
speak to you. I have one request I want to make."
They said, "Anything, my dear."
"I want you to promise me that you will let Samuel have
Mariam and the children." Then they had my mother get up out
of the bed at once. Of course they didn't want her to hear that;
and they said:
"Now, my dear, if you will keep quiet, you may be a little
better." And then she went off in a kind of sinking spell. When
she said this, and they sent my mother out, she ran with all her
might and told grandmother, and grandmother's faith saw the
door open for the freedom of her grandchildren; and she ran out
into the bush and told Jesus. Of course my mother had to hurry
back so as not to be missed in the house. Miss Celie went on that
way for three days, and they would quiet her down. When the second
day came, and she made the request, and they sent my mother
out, she ran and told grandmother that Miss Celie had made the
same request; then she ran back to the house again, and grand¬
mother went out and told Jesus. At last it came to the third and
last day, and the doctor said: "She can only last such a length of
time without there is a change; so what you do, you must do
Mother was in the bed behind her, holding her up. She called
them all again, and said, "I want you to make me one promise;
that is, that you will let Samuel have Mariam and the children."
"Oh! yes, my dear," they said, "we will do anything."
My mother was a great singer. When Miss Celie got the
promise, she folded her hands together, and leaning her head upon
my mother's breast she said, "Now, Mary, sing."
And as best she could, she did sing. It was hard work, for
her heart was almost broken, for she loved her as one of her own