Allen handed the license to the old redneck judge. “Awright, ketch hold uv her hand, boy. Do you, Allen Sample, take this woman fer yore lawful wedded wife?”
“Do you, Emma Barnes, take this man fer yore lawful wedded husband?”
“You got a ring, boy?”
“By the powers vested in me by the State uv Texas, I now pronounce y’all man an wife. That’ll be three dollars, boy.”
A couple of months passed, and Emma began to show. Allen commented, “Hey, baby, you sho gittin full aroun the middle.”
“I got ever reason to be,” she toyed. “I’m pregnant.”
“Since you know when! Wudn’t you there?”
“Well, I’ll be damned! I’ll jes be damned!” he shouted with joy.
They moved into another shotgun house with wider rooms and a small front porch. It was located right behind the old condemned calaboose. The regulars still showed up as usual; however, today they were asked to go outside and be quiet. Doc Falvey was inside preparing for the happily awaited event. Waiting anxiously, Allen mingled in the front yard drinking whiskey with the others to keep warm.
After Doc Falvey cleaned the baby, he laid it in Emma’s arms and left to make the announcement. Then she got her first look at what the stork just “brung.” “Aw, shit,” she uttered in dismay, “white as the drifts uv snow.”
Doc Falvey stepped out onto the small porch. “It’s a boy!”
Allen beamed proudly while the others patted him on the back. He rushed inside, stepped to the bed, took one look and knew it “wudn’t his’n.” He spat on Emma, wheeled around and walked out on her that snowy Friday afternoon in 1930, slamming the front door so hard it almost jarred the little house off its blocks. She had dealt him a blow right between his balls. Pride dangling, he kept his eyes glued to the ground and didn’t speak as he brushed past the gathering. Bewildered, the gamblers just stared at one another until somebody said, “Damn! Blue look lak he jes seed a ghost.”
The yardbirds filed into the house and stood around the bed gawking at the infant cradled in Emma’s arms. Shaking their heads and grunting “umph, umph, umph,” one of them piped up, “Dat sho ain’t none uv Blue’s baby.”
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