and hit'll be done got cold dar when you arrives

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Dickens' Penguin

New Member
I'm reading The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. In the second chapter, this neurotic guy, Quentin, whose fancy words are driving me crazy, is meeting with "the Deacon", whom he knows since he arrived at Harvard. It seems that the Deacon meets every new student who arrives and helps him with his luggage. It seems that he talks with this Southern accent and I can't make sense of these words (in bold):

"(...) He had a regular uniform he met trains in, a sort of Uncle Tom's cabin outfit, patches and all.
'Yes, suh. Right this way, young marster, hyer we is,' (...) Yes, suh, young marster, jes give de old nigger yo room number, and hit'll be done got cold dar when you arrives.'"

Also, I don't understand, if he is a 'Deacon', why does he wear a sort of Uncle Tom's cabin outfit, a reference to Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel.

Thanks in advance.
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with Benny. "Deacon" seems to be a sort of nickname, perhaps because he was very religious (just a guess; I haven't read the book).


    Senior Member
    English UK
    Benny and Parla - I see that benny "translates" cold dar as right there. I'm intrigued by this use of cold as an intensifier (it reminds me of the stone-cold in stone-cold sober). Is it still used today?


    English U.S.
    The way I read "cold" in that sentence (and I may be completely wrong) is that the luggage will already have been in the room for a period of time (long enough for it to cool off, metaphorically) by the time the student arrives.

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I also assume that he means that the luggage will be taken to Quentin's room so fast that it will have got cold by the time Quentin arrives there.

    PS. I did read the book many years ago. The Deacon here was playing something of a part (an Uncle Tom's Cabin type of figure, a stereotype, maybe to put Southern whites at their ease). Later on he turns up somewhere in a Brooks Brothers suit, if I remember correctly. A transformist.;)
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    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi, Jeff and london. Yes, I can see that reading, with the phrase dividing up as it'll be done got cold ... there rather than it'll be done got ... cold there.

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    Interesting idea, Jeff and london. May be plausible. The baggage, just off the train, can be considered initially 'warm' and will be there in the rool so long it will have cooled off.

    That said, it may be a stretch to think that moving luggage heats it up.

    Note to Loob. Yes. "I had him cold," says the policeman who grabbed a thief in the act. Solid, definite, unalterable.
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