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2.

radio tables harmonized with the window drapes. Dingy scrim cur-
tains, indelibly soot-marked by train smoke, contrasted with the
immaculate silvery wallpaper, showing a dainty design of pink
roses. A kerosene lamp sat on the library table, and green glass
ashtrays at convenient places about the room were overflowing with
cigarette stubs and ashes. Bright red roses trailed in a gay
pattern on the woolen rug.

While the deafening noise of the train made conversation
difficult, Fred pulled a sack of Bull Durham from his pocket, rolled
a cigarette, lit it, took several puffs, and flipped the ashes on
the tin apron of the small heater. The train had passed out of
earshot when he glances at the clock on the mantel, and began, "Well,
Miss, if it don't take me too long I don't mind talking awhile, but
I've got to go to town 'round 4 o'clock to see a man 'bout a job he
promised me.

"I don't know what's the matter. It seems like I can't
find work to do no more like I used to. White men don't give colored
men no more work to do these days, and as much building as they have
going on in this town it just don't seem right. It's mighty strange
that they'll take white men from out of town rather than hire a
colored man that's a citizen of this place, owns property, pays
taxes right here, and spends his earnings in the local stores like
I do. Those out-of-town white men are apt to send their earnings
back to their home towns and not spend much here. It's a puzzle to
me why colored workmen are treated like that.

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