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527 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1940
“You know the white man, the stupid white man feels superior to those of other colours. How do you feel about that?”Is Sam satire? Maybe, but it's not his cartoonish aspects, or that of the other main characters Henny (Sam's wife) and Louie (Sam's daughter from a previous marriage), that forms their appeal, but their realism, which is almost painful.
“They feel, sah, that the darkest races are the oldest; it is not so long since the white man became powerful. He thinks what he thinks because he is young in the world, as a child, as my child will feel when he is a two-year-old and will be butting me with his head. That cannot last very long. The Kings of Egypt were dark; all the world was dark until a very little while ago. Then the white man came from some little crack in the earth. He does not know about the times before he came. That is how we feel sah, he is an accident.”
This surprising answer quieted Sam for a space; at length he answered,
“This is a wrong idea you have Abishegenaden; the Egyptians were pale (coppery at best); even the very darkest among you are descended long ago from whitish or pale people like the ancient Persians. The Chinese are almost white, too, for the most part. The black man is rather rare. Do you really think, Naden, that primitive man was black? Do you think he was black and got white?”
“Perhaps there were two or three primitive men,” said Naden