Spangle

By Gary Jennings

A picaresque novel concerning the adventures of a 19th-century circus, from the embittered post-Civil struggle South to the glittering and decadent capitals and courts of Europe. From the bestselling writer of Aztec and The Journeyer.

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Within the kitchen shanty, which used to be separated from the most condo by means of a lined breezeway, Florian had fulsomely complimented the cook dinner, Phoebe Simms—a huge, plump, glossy-black woman—and had proffered a few extra pleasantries, and now, a gleam in his eye, used to be pursuing a line of seductive inquiry. "Haven't you considered touring, Aunt Phoebe, now that you are unfastened to commute? " "Ain' no position unique callin' me to come," she acknowledged good-humoredly, as she washed dishes. "An' I acquired duties hyar. " "Surely you're feeling no overwhelming legal responsibility to Madame Furfew. i have visible the way in which she treats her support. " "Least she feeds 'em. " "You feed her, Aunt Phoebe. There are those who may higher price your providers, and deal with you higher, and provides you the dignity you deserve. and allow you to be anything extra high-toned than support. " "Whut dat? " "You can be a circus artiste. a celebrity allure. " She giggled and jiggled all her adiposity. "Hee hee! Me put on tights, Mas' Florian, an' bounce round? I visible a circus onct, an' I marbled at dem pooty girls. yet laws-a-mussy, I be's black an' I be's fats. " "Exactly why i would like you. I provide you with a place of dignity. No humorous costume and no leaping round. you would easily take a seat on a platform and be prominent. the single and merely fats woman in Florian's Florilegium. i'll even ennoble you with a title—Madame Alp! " "Ain' no one pass' name no nigguh Ma'am. besides, shoot! I ain' a lot fatter'n ol' Mistis. " "But way more striking. Your being so magnificently black provides to the impressiveness. you would be rather paid and—" "Paid?! You capacity funds funds, Massa? " "Why, usually. it would be scanty for your time, until eventually we wake up north the place the genuine funds is. yet convinced, you would be paid, and you'll get to work out new state nearly on a daily basis, and you'll have the entire rights and privileges of a Freedwoman. " "Lawsy, lawsy... " "And we'd now not overlook your different skills, both. you could cook dinner for us, simply as you do the following. I warrantly it will likely be greater favored than it truly is the following. For something, you would consume with us, now not off in a nook. everyone in a circus is likely one of the kin. you could ask our personal revered black spouse, Hannibal Tyree. " "Wull... him an' me did speak some," Phoebe admitted, "when I guv him a dab o' dinner. He do speak strong chuffed an' excessive an' potent fo' a nigguh. " "Well, there you're, then. What extra want I say? " "But... how 'bout my chirren, Mas' Florian? " "Eh? " "My pickaninnies. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday an' Quincy. " "Is that how she spells Wednesday? " requested part, while Florian excitedly broke the scoop to him. "The boy's a special muddle. he is basically 8 years outdated. however the girls—" "Mr. Florian," aspect acknowledged tolerantly. "I've had a glance at that Aunt Phoebe. you have already obtained the world's tallest circus midget. Now you need to have the world's puniest fats girl? Hell, down in Rockbridge County, each 3rd girl bloats up higher than Phoebe Simms, simply once she's hooked herself a husband. " Florian waved within the elegantly dismissive demeanour of Mr. Furfew. "Maggie Hag can pad her out to hippo dimensions.

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Spangle
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