“The sister got there from Texas that night and we would walk past the house and see the ladies on the front porch or going in and out, and now and then Reverend Schultz kind of bulging out from among them like he would out of Mr. Miller’s Bible class, and we would crawl up behind the hedge and hear them through the window, hear Uncle Willy crying and cussing and fighting to get out of the bed and the ladies saying, ‘Now, Mr. Christian, Uncle Willy,’ and ‘Now Bubber,’ too, since his sister was there, and Unce Willy crying and praying and cussing. And then it was Friday and he gave up. We could hear them holding him in the bed; I reckon this was his last go-round, because none of them had time to talk now; and then we heard him, his voice weak but clear and his breath going in and out.
‘Wait,’ he said. ‘Wait! I will ask it one more time. Won’t you please quit? Won’t you please go away? Won’t you please go to hell and just let me come on at my own gait?’
‘No, Mr. Christian,” Mrs. Merridew said. ‘We are doing this to save you.’
For a minute we didn’t hear anything. Then we heard Uncle Willy lay back in the bed, kind of flop back.
‘All right,’ he said. ‘All right.’
It was like one of those sheep they would sacrifice back in the Bible. It was like it had climbed up onto the altar itself and flopped onto its back with its throat held up and said: ‘All right. Come on and get it over with. Cut my damn throat and go away and let me lay quiet in the fire.’"