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You know who she is? She’s the girlfriend of that big gorilla nigger, Barrett Howard. Him and Robert share her between them.” Ruth felt a lurch of nausea. She swallowed hard. “That’s why they saw Robert. They watch that house, to keep an eye on Howard. She’s a real looker, too, they said. High yella gal, could pass for white.” “That’s enough, Greg,” she managed to say. “Your daddy didn’t want to tell you, but I thought, that ain’t fair. She ought to know. I mean, him sharing a woman with Howard is practically like having Howard right there in your—” “Shut up, Greg. Or I’ll tell my father.” “I know it ain’t nice to hear. You’ll thank me one day.” He was quiet after that. Ruth could not wait to get to Four Oaks, where the high school was, so she could be alone to let her feelings out. Ten endless, silent minutes later she pulled up in front of the gym. Taking his cheap leatherette bag by the handles, he opened the door and said, “I’ll get a ride home. You don’t have to come back for me.” Black & White 293 By the time she was on the
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