Mrs. Palmer's Honey

Mrs. Palmer's Honey

Mrs. Palmer's Honey

Mrs. Palmer's Honey

Excerpt

That morning dawn smiled timidly across the vast gray fabric of roofs spread from the river to a distant crescent of hills. The river was the Mississippi, a mile wide and muddy. It held the city within a giant bend ribbed by bridges. Near the crook of the bend were skyscrapers, but mostly the city was an immense hive of home neighborhoods where two-storied school buildings seemed tall.

One of these neighborhoods was the Ville. It lay a little north of the exact center. Once it had been Elleardsville, a suburb, but the metropolis had grown around the region as a tree will in time encompass a foreign body, and now no one living there ever thought of it as anything but the Ville, part of the fabric, part of the city.

Few white people ever thought of it at all. Few knew it was there. Though several miles long and several wide, the Ville remained obscure and lived secretly. Streetcars and busses ran along its boundaries as if afraid or too incurious to enter. Prospering white people lived miles west, where the fabric began to fray into large estates, small farms, emerald golf courses. Vaguely they believed St. Louis had but one colored district, the be-taverned crisscross of shabby streets near Union Station. Observing that region's slatternly ways, they would at times consider sending their dark-skinned cooks to a clinic for tests and treatment.

Prospering colored people lived in the Ville and let the people . . .

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