a contract binding one party into the service of another
Proud of the fact that she could read, Polly looked over her certificate of
indenture one more time.
a member of an uncivilized people
Living here in the colonies had to be better than living like a
savage in the jungle.
look over carefully
Feel free to
inspect the merchandise.
An unbelievably large white man who smelled of strong wine and an even stronger body odor
waddled past Polly and up to the auction area.
offensive to the mind
Polly grimaced, not because she felt sorry for the girl, but because the man was so
Polly wondered if Negroes from Africa had feelings and intelligent thoughts or if that
gibberish they spoke was more like the screaming of monkeys or the barking of dogs.
in accordance with truth or fact or reality
Turning her attention back to the sale, Polly realized that the girl they were dragging off the auction block now was weeping real tears and seemed to be
genuinely attached to that older female African whose shackled hand she wouldn’t let go of.
by reasonable assumption
Mr. Derby’s son,
presumably the young man with the birthday and the tearful gift in the back of the wagon, arrived then with a smartly dressed black man who struggled under the weight of several bags of supplies.
refined and tasteful in appearance, behavior, or style
Noah, dressed in clothing almost as
elegant as a white slave owner’s, bowed, then continued to load the wagon.
showing scarcely suppressed anger
Polly noticed a brief
smoldering anger on the girl’s face, then it dissolved into a look of resigned submission.
having a high state of culture and social development
“Those jungle words have no meaning to
have in mind as a purpose
intend to make myself necessary to the Derby family, while learning how the upper class lives.
distinctive but intangible quality around a person or thing
Its red-gabled roof, nestled between two huge stone chimneys, also carried an
aura of perfection.
territory over which rule or control is exercised
She noticed Mr. Derby looking carefully at his
domain, as if checking to make sure everything was as it should be.
express or raise a protest or criticism
Polly looked at him with a surprised frown on her face and started to
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
I will not
perfect or complete or pure
“Your job is to teach her a little of the King’s English, to teach her how civilized people live and act, and most importantly, to teach her
a small room next to the kitchen
Because I can take you right back to where I found you—working for common scum like Jeremy Carton as a
warn strongly; put on guard
“You’d better quit talking that jungle talk,” Polly
become like one's environment
The next three months were hot, confusing, and miserable as Amari tried to
assimilate into the culture of plantation life.
angered at something unjust or wrong
Amari still wasn’t sure of how she felt about Polly, who at first seemed to be
indignant that she wasn’t working in the big house.
lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
Amari snorted with
disdain at Polly’s resentment.
deeply or markedly affected or influenced
For such a small child, he knew as much about the running of the kitchen as his mother, Amari thought,
in an indicated distant place
And tea made from the bark of that tree
yonder will stop a headache.
force somebody to do something
But this day Amari was unusually quiet, having been
compelled to spend the previous night with Clay, and he had forced her to do things that made her shiver with shame.
expressing compassion or friendly fellow feelings
Teenie’s voice was so
sympathetic, Amari pressed her head into Teenie’s chest.
mentally or physically infirm with age
She wanted to explain how right everything felt in a place where she was surrounded by mischievous children, overbearing cousins, and
doddering elders who were all a part of her.
In spite of Teenie's
diminutive size, Amari noticed that no one ever questioned her authority in the kitchen, not even the white people who lived in the main house.
stress or single out as important
Dressed in a long billowing gown that
accentuated her pregnancy and a white hooded shawl, she looked almost like a spirit to Amari.
break down, literally or metaphorically
At the end of each day Amari
collapsed, exhausted, on the floor mat in their small cabin.
worthy of being chosen
She waited for her opportunity, praying for a moment alone with Mrs. Derby to ask for a more
suitable position in her household.
sudden shock or dismay that causes confusion
What is the advantage of being white if I have to work like I’m black every day? she thought with
a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event
Noah continued to stand like a
sentry at the door, never moving, never displaying any emotion.
skillful in physical movements; especially of the hands
She had given Amari a pleasant smile, however, and had thanked her as Amari deftly slipped a white linen napkin onto Mrs. Derby’s lap.
capable of being perceived
Clay’s antagonism toward Mrs. Derby was almost
palpable—he glared at her every time she picked up a spoon or wiped her lips with a linen napkin.
increase in extent
All she knew was that every breath made the pain
intensify, every movement made her gasp and scream.
linger or remain near a place
For three days she
hovered between the darkness and the light.
clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
She knew how much Polly yearned to escape from the kitchen—her desire to move on and her distaste for the work of slaves were very
reflecting a lack of pity or compassion
She was sick of tears, of submission, of putting up with
the feeling that something is about to happen
She looked at him in fearful