By Ernest J. Gaines
An affectionate and comic story set within the “black quarter" of a Southern sugar cane plantation within the Forties and informed by means of a baby named Eddie, who watches his mom go away his father over his preoccupation together with his vehicle, which his father finally burns to the floor at the suggestion of a voodoo girl to get his spouse back.
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Extra resources for A Long Day in November
In less than an hour, with a navy pistol on my hip and no sign about me that I was a seaman, I set off with the others in our longboat. I told Lem, who rowed us ashore, that I would find a boat to bring me back to the Dauphine sometime before midnight. Alone, I walked past the warehouse with its faded gilt sign, CICÉRONE AND LYNNE. A lantern in an iron cage hung over the main doorway and gave off a flickering light. From somewhere in the vast barracoon came the sound of a baby crying, the voice of a girl singing.
There was little back talk, little grumbling, and no shirking of tasks. The 290’s officers, for the most part, Captain Semmes had brought with him from the Sumter and a lighthouse tender he had once commanded. They were disciplined, loyal, and eager. As for myself, my position began at the bottom of the ladder, or near it, in the coal bunker, but before we left the Azores I was promoted a rung to the task of a part-time wiper in the engine room and, at the evening mess, a mess boy charged with setting table for the officers and cleaning up the debris when it was finished.
You’ll be going along as a seaman in the engine room. The ship has rusty boilers and a balky steering gear, so be careful and don’t blow her up. ” The truth was I could not give him a straight answer as to why I wanted to go to Port-au-Prince, in a leaky tub of a ship, through dangerous waters no one in our small crew had ever traveled before. It had something to do with seeing the island where my father grew rich. And for some reason 54 THE 290 I had a desire to meet Ruiz Cicérone, his French partner.
A Long Day in November by Ernest J. Gaines