pulled or drawn tight
She was thin without the
taut look of wiry people, and her printed voile dresses and flowered hats were as right for her as denim overalls for a farmer.
pleasant and beneficial in nature or influence
The action was so graceful and inclusively
open land with peaty soil covered with heather and moss
Like women in English novels who walked the
moors (whatever they were) with their loyal dogs racing at a respectful distance.
grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred
It might be
rush down in big quantities
Her sounds began
distinctive but intangible quality around a person or thing
The essence escapes but its
an annoying or frustrating or catastrophic event
The three of us knelt as she began, “Our Father, you know the
tribulations of your humble servant.
a young woman making her debut into society
When I told her that in Stamps my grandmother had owned the only Negro general merchandise store since the turn of the century, she exclaimed, “Why, you were a
mark with small spots
It was the
make sense of; assign a meaning to
It was a dangerous practice to call a Negro anything that could be loosely
construed as insulting because of the centuries of their having been called niggers, jigs, dinges, blackbirds, crows, boots and spooks.
naturally having skin of a dark color
We passed houses which I knew well by daylight but couldn’t recollect in the
But there was no air of spent
revelry about him.
censure severely or angrily
When the train passed he pushed himself away from the pole where he had been leaning,
berated me for making all that noise and said, “Let’s go home.”
of an obscure nature
One year later he did catch a freight, but because of his youth and the
inscrutable ways of fate, he didn’t find California and his Mother Dear—he got stranded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for two weeks.
someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment
The idea came to me that my people may be a race of
masochists and that not only was it our fate to live the poorest, roughest life but that we liked it like that.
marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness
The altar wobbled and threatened to overturn and the collection table sat at a
a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
It took some time for the singers to come off their level of
exaltation, but the minister stood resolute until the song unwound like a child’s playtoy and lay quieted in the aisles.
leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch
The people inside had
forsaken their own distress for a little while.
a loud harsh or strident noise
Passing near the
din, the godly people dropped their heads and conversation ceased.
a festive merry feeling
The apprehensive mood was shot through with shafts of
gaiety, as a black sky is streaked with lightning.
the food and drink of the gods
People drank Coca-Colas like
ambrosia and ate candy bars like Christmas.
having independent but harmonically related melodic parts
The sounds of tag beat through the trees while the top branches waved in
a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment
The amount and variety of foods would have found approval on the menu of a Roman
of worldwide scope or applicability
However, in the
ecumenical light of the summer picnic every true baking artist could reveal her prize to the delight and criticism of the town.
marked by refinement in taste and manners
Her mother lived in reduced circumstances, but she was
genteel, and though she worked as a maid I decided she should be called a governess and did so to Bailey and myself.