“Do you have one of those cotton-picking machines?” the pleasant lady asked.

“No,” Mrs. Turpin said, “they leave half the cotton in the field. We don’t have much cotton anyway. If you want to make it farming now, you have to have a little of everything. We got a couple of acres of cotton and a few hogs and chickens and just enough white-face that Claud can look after them himself.

“One thang I don’t want,” the white-trash woman said, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. “Hogs. Nasty stinking things, a-gruntin and a-rootin all over the place.”

Mrs. Turpin gave her the merest edge of her attention. “Our hogs are not d***y and they don’t stink,” she said. “They’re cleaner than some children I’ve seen. Their feet never touch the ground. We have a pig-parlor- that’s where you raise them on concrete,” she explained to the pleasant lady, “and Claud scoots them down with the hose every afternoon and washes off the floor.” Cleaner by far than that child right there, she thought. Poor nasty little thing. He had not moved except to put the thumb of his d***y hand into his mouth.

The woman turned her face away from Mrs. Turpin. “I know I wouldn’t scoot down no hog with no hose,” she said to the wall.

You wouldn’t have no hog to scoot down, Mrs. Turpin said to herself.