from The Grapes of Wrath

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John Steinbeck

”Hm-m,” he said. ”Lookie, Ma. I been all day an’ all night hidin’ alone. Guess who I been thinkin’ about? Casy! He talked a lot. Used ta bother me. But now I been thinkin’ what he said, an’ I can remember—all of it. Says one time he went out in the wilderness to find his own soul, an’ he foun’ he didn’ have no soul that was his’n. Says he foun’ he jus’ got a little piece of a great big soul. Says a wilderness ain’t no good, ’cause his little piece of a soul wasn’t no good ‘less it was with the rest, an’ was whole. Funny how I remember. Didn’ think I was even listenin’. But I know now a fella ain’t no good alone.”

”He was a good man,” Ma said.

Tom went on, ”He spouted out some Scripture once, an’ it didn’ soun’ like no hellfire Scripture. He tol’ it twicet, an’ I remember it. Says it’s from the Preacher.”

”How’s it go, Tom?”

”Goes, ‘Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lif’ up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.’ That’s part of her.”

”Go on,” Ma said. ”Go on, Tom.”

”Jus’ a little bit more. ‘Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him, and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.'”

”An’ that’s Scripture?”

”Casy said it was. Called it the Preacher.”

”Hush—listen.”

”On’y the wind, Ma. I know the wind. An’ I got to thinkin’, Ma—most of the preachin’ is about the poor we shall have always with us, an’ if you got nothin’, why, jus’ fol’ your hands an’ to hell with it, you gonna git ice cream on gol’ plates when you’re dead. An’ then this here Preacher says two get a better reward for their work.”

”Tom,” she said. ”What you aimin’ to do?”

He was quiet for a long time. ”I been thinkin’ how it was in that gov’ment camp, how our folks took care a theirselves, an’ if they was a fight they fixed it theirself; an’ they wasn’t no cops wagglin’ their guns, but they was better order than them cops ever give. I been a-wonderin’ why we can’t do that all over. Throw out the cops that ain’t our people. All work together for our own thing—all farm our own lan’.”

Annonser
Posted in: Literature