The Dream of Washing Quilts

by Rebecca Cox Jackson

A Dream. I was washing. I was squatting down, washing three bed quilts and singing as I was awashing. And this same sister came to the south door and said, "What are you adoing here?" "I am awashing." "Ain't you afraid to be here?" "No." "Why, you are in great danger."

I then looked and saw I was in a place walled all around with stone. The place was four square. I was in the center of it. There was no win.dow in it, only one door. That was in the southwest corner, opened in. The south door she stood in, which brought her behind me, rather to my left. My face was east. Under me was a pool of water. This walled place was full of water like a bowl. Nobody could get to me. There was three pieces of boards about one yard in length. They were all one size. On one of them I sat. On the one at my right side sat a tub. In it was two quilts, which I had washed in this pool, though I knowed not I was in such a dangerous place till she spoke. Yet I did not feel to move till I had done my washing. So I sat still singing until I was done.

Then I picked up my tub with my three clean quilts in, put the tub on my head, came out with great ease and went eastward, came into a street ran north and south. I then stopped, turned around to see where I had come from, found I was standing by a gate as though I had come through it, saw a bridge alongside the gate. This bridge was over a stream of water. I could not tell whether I had come through this gate or over the bridge.

While I stood here awonder, I looked up, saw the gate post on the south side had a steeple on it, and on the top of the steeple was a gold ball. As I looked from the top to where I stood, I found a little white cord hanging right by my right hand. I caught hold of it, made a squat, then leaped into the air, placed my right foot on the ball, with my left foot swinging in the air. I was above all earthly things. I saw three cities, one in the east, one in the south, one in the west. These cities were clean and beautiful. Then I leaped down with as great ease as I ascended.

Then I heard this same sister speak behind me. "What are you doing here?" "Why, I have been on that pinnacle." She doubted. I caught hold of the cord and leaned upon it again. This I done three timesI had done it twice before she came. I then went through the gate and along this stream of water until I headed it. This was the same way I had come with my clean quilts in the tub upon my head, but I did not see this water nor this gate nor this bridge until I got into the street that ran north and south. This street which I came in from the washing ran east and west. Now as I resumed the same way, it brought me westward, and when I headed this stream, I went southbut when I found myself at that gate, I had no tub nor quilts.

So now I went south. After I got far in the south, I looked up to the heavens, saw three pictures all of one size and one appearance, very majestic, long, and beautiful, of the male order. They were some dis.tance apart. They faced the north. Each one was on a black cloud. And there was three heavy claps of thunder. Each clap came out of each cloud. I found I had traveled a long distanceno house nor shelter near, as far as my eyes could see, and I saw a heavy thunderstorm rising. I wondered what I should do. It was said, "Tum back." I fumed, and when I fumed in the same road that I camefor I never fumed out of the road in all my joumeybeing fumed on my right that is, on my right hand side off the road, east, I saw a beautiful white cottage into which I was told to enter, which I did. And when I found myself in so beautiful a house, sheltered from the storm, I was filled with joy and rejoicing. And it was said to me, "This is yours."

Then I heard this sister holler behind the cottage, "What are you adoing here?" "Why, I live here." "You live here?" "Yes, I live here." "Why, how can you live here? Nobody lives here." "Why, this is my cottage, and I am as happy as a lord." "Why, the sun never rises here." "The sun never rises here?" As I made this reply I advanced to the door which I came in at, which was in the south side of the cottage. (She was on the north side which made her behind the cottageI only heard her voice. ) And when I went out and looked in the west, I saw the fourth picture, like the three I saw in the southsame size, same height in the heavensand it faced the east and it was on a black cloud. And as I kept repeating, "The sun never rises here? No? Why, yonder she is arisingarising now!" "Well, she has only rose to you."

The sun, while I looked on the faces of the pictures, rose from be~ hind the picture as though it came out of the cloud. And it rose out on the south side of this fourth picture, bearing her course toward these three pictures in the south, out of which came three claps of heavy thunder. The thunder out of the three black clouds behind the three pictures in the south, the sun out of the black cloud behind the fourth picture in the west. Then I waked.

.u . ~ ./...n.h. away, but Carl felt like questioning him further. The extraordinary resemblance between this man and his stepbrother led him to think it possible that there might be a relationship between them. Of his stepmother's family he knew little or nothing. His father had married her on short acquaintance, and she was very reticent about her former life. His father was indolent, and had not troubled himself to make inqu. ?. X. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . (. .. 4. J. P. \. b. .. ". l r X ^ .. ". `. f. 4. ǹrg\RD .-........`... .`.U. . .-....... .[.. .-......... .[.. .-...... .m.n. . -.......m... .m.n. . .-...... .m.j. . .-.......m... .m.j. . .-...... .d.. .-........ .d.. .-...... .p.o. . .-.......p... .p.o. . .-...... .p.l. . .-.......p... .p.l. . .-...... .t.. .-........ .t.. .-........ .t.. .4. =. ?. .-....... .`.U. . .....`... .`.U. . . . . . F . . . . . $ ?. . . . . .. . . X. . . 4. ?. . 7 .. Times New Roman ..Symbol .& Arial .0 MS LineDraw .. . . . `. . .. . h. .. . . ) .Susan Gants.Susan Gants