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Excerpts From the Book

An excerpt from: “Hey boy! Hey George!” The Pullman Porter

Chapter 2, Private Car and the Forbidden Fruit

“…..The beautiful redhead glared at me, “You know I can yell rape and they’ll get you even though you haven’t done a thing.” I sniffed the air and felt my throat go dry.  My body tensed.  What the heck was she trying to do?  I stared at the beautiful white woman before me wondering why she and other women like her felt the need to endanger a colored man’s life? I gave her a somber glare.  “There’s no privacy on this train for something like that to happen, Ma’m.”  She flicked her hand in the air dismissing my objections.  “Sure there is,” she said, in her southern drawl.  “Right here in this room,” she pointed, looking at the berth and then back at me, smiling.  This was more than I wanted to deal with. “But the other lady with Mr. Collins sleeps in here too.”

“Hmmp! Not tonight.  If I know Susie, she’ll stick to Collins ’cause she wants him to buy her a coat.  She’ll be sleeping with him tonight.”  I started to worry.  She seemed so serious and bold.  “How do you know that, Ma’m? Suppose she decides to come in to get something? Please Ma’m, forget this idea! It’s not good,” I pleaded.  The redhead waved her index finger at me.  “When I make up my mind,” she said, “that’s it.  Now, I know you porters sleep from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. You have a key to the door, so you better show up here at 2 a.m.”  I didn’t know what to say, but the words came out. “I’m not in the mood for this,” I said, talking to her as if she was no longer a passenger.  “Hmmp!” the redhead said under her breath.  “You’ll have plenty of time to get in the mood, Porter.” She looked at her watch.  “It’s only six-thirty.  And really, John, don’t worry.  I’ll see to it that we’re not disturbed.” I rubbed my hands over my mouth in frustration.  “Ma’m why don’t you choose some other man from the bar?  There’s some fine-looking white men who come to the bar.”  She narrowed her eyes. “White men I can get anytime.”

Hey boy! Hey George! The Pullman Porter: A Pullman Porter’s story (Paperback) ~ Johnnie F. Kirvin (Author), Hey Carla Simone Kirvin (Foreword) – Buy now at

1 comment

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