“Seems like there is chains about my feet, time I get this far…Something always takes a hold of me on this hill—pleads I should stay.”
“Thorns, you doing your appointed work. Never want to let folks pass, no sir. Old eyes thought you was a pretty little green bush.”
“Now comes the trial.”
“Glad this not the season for bulls…and the good Lord made his snakes to curl up and sleep in the winter.”
“This the easy place. This the easy going.”
"Why, that's too far! That's as far as I walk when I come out myself, and I get something for my trouble." He patted the stuffed bag he carried, and there hung down a little closed claw. It was one of the bob-whites, with its beak hooked bitterly to show it was dead. "Now you go on home, Granny!"
He gave another laugh, filling the whole landscape. "I know you old colored people! Wouldn't miss going to town to see Santa Claus!"
“He ain’t scared of nobody. He a big black dog.”
Phoenix heard the dogs fighting, and heard the man running and throwing sticks. She even heard a gunshot. But she was slowly bending forward by that time, further and further forward, the lids stretched down over her eyes, as if she were doing this in her sleep. Her chin was lowered almost to her knees. The yellow palm of her hand came out from the fold of her apron. Her fingers slid down and along the ground under the piece of money with the grace and care they would have in lifting an egg from under a setting hen. Then she slowly straightened up, she stood erect, and the nickel was in her apron pocket. A bird flew by. Her lips moved. "God watching me the whole time. I come to stealing."
“No, sir, I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done.”
“I’d give you a dime if I had any money with me. But you take my advice and stay home, and nothing will happen to you.”
"See my shoe," said Phoenix. "Do all right for out in the country, but wouldn't look right to go in a big building." "Stand still then, Grandma," said the lady. She put her packages down on the sidewalk beside her and laced and tied both shoes tightly.
She entered a door, and there she saw nailed up on the wall the document that had been stamped with the gold seal and framed in the gold frame, which matched the dream that was hung up in her head.
“Here I be,” she said. There was a fixed and ceremonial stiffness over her body.
“We is the only two left in the world. He suffer and it don’t seem to put him back at all…He going to last…I could tell him from all the others in creation.”
“This is what come to me to do…I going to the store and buy my child a little windmill they sells, made out of paper. He going to find it hard to believe there such a thing in the world.”
She lifted her free hand, gave a little nod, turned around…Then her slow step began on the stairs, going down.