She is about to turn in broad from maple street white

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She is about to turn in Broad from Maple Street. White and black men loafing on the corner hold no interest for her. Then a strange thing happens. A clean- muscled, magnificent, black-skinned Negro, whom she had heard her father mention as King Barlo, suddenly drops to his knees on a spot called the Spittoon. White men, unaware of him, continue squirting tobacco juice in his direction. The saffron fluid splashes on his face. His smooth black face begins to glisten and to shine. Soon, people notice him, and gather round. His eyes are rapturous upon the heavens. Lips and nostrils quiver. Barlo is in a religious trance. Town folks know it. They are not startled. They are not afraid. They gather round. Some beg boxes from the grocery stores. From old McGregor’s notion shop. A coffin-case is pressed into use. Folks line the curb-stones. Business men close shop. And Banker Warply parks his car close by. Silently, all await the prophet’s voice. The sheriff, a great florid fellow whose leggings never meet around his bulging calves, swears in three deputies. “Wall, y cant never tell what a nigger like King Barlo might be up t.” Soda bottles, five fingers full of shine, are passed to those who want them. A couple of stray dogs start a fight. Old Goodlow’s cow comes flopping up the street. Barlo, still as an Indian fakir, has not moved. The town bell strikes six. The sun slips in behind a heavy mass of horizon cloud. The crowd is hushed and expectant. Barlo’s under jaw relaxes, and his lips begin to move. “Jesus has been awhisperin strange words deep down, O way down deep, deep in my ears.” Hums of awe and of excitement.
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“He called me to His side an said, 'Git down on your knees beside me, son, Ise gwine t whisper in your ears.’” An old sister cries, “Ah, Lord.” “'Ise agwine t whisper in your ears,’ he said, an I replied, 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’” “Ah, Lord. Amen. Amen.” “An Lord Jesus whispered strange good words deep down, O way down deep, deep in my ears. An He said, 'Tell em till you feel your throat on fire.’ I saw a vision. I saw a man arise, an he was big an black an powerful—” Some one yells, “Preach it, preacher, preach it!” “—but his head was caught up in th clouds. An while he was agazin at th heavens, heart filled up with th Lord, some little white-ant biddies came an tied his feet to chains. They led him t th coast, they led him t th sea, they led him across th ocean an they didnt set him free. The old coast didnt miss him, an th new coast wasnt free, he left the old-coast brothers, t give birth t you an me. O Lord, great God Almighty, t give birth t you an me.” Barlo pauses. Old gray mothers are in tears. Fragments of melodies are being hummed. White folks are touched and curiously awed. Off to themselves, white and black preachers confer as to how best to rid themselves of the vagrant, usurping fellow. Barlo looks as though he is struggling to continue. People are hushed. One can hear weevils work. Dusk is falling rapidly, and the customary
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