Authors: William Faulkner
WILLIAM FAULKNER’S WORKS
LAGS IN THE
OUND AND THE
NTRUDER IN THE
OTES ON A
EQUIEM FOR A
FIRST VINTAGE INTERNATIONAL EDITION, OCTOBER 1990
Copyright 1930 by William Faulkner
Copyright renewed 1957 by William Faulkner
Notes copyright © 1985 by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published by Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, Inc., in 1930. This revised text and the notes are reprinted from
by William Faulkner, published by The Library of America, 1985, by permission.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Faulkner, William, 1897–1962.
As I lay dying : the corrected text / William Faulkner
—1st Vintage international ed.
p. cm.—(Vintage international)
This edition follows the text of
As I Lay Dying
as corrected in 1985. The copy-text for this edition is Faulkner’s ribbon setting copy, which—under the direction of Noel Polk—has been compared with the holograph manuscript and carbon typescript. An editors’ note on the corrections by Noel Polk follows the text; the line and page notes have been prepared by Joseph Blotner.
To Hal Smith
Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file. Although I am fifteen feet ahead of him, anyone watching us from the cottonhouse can see Jewel’s frayed and broken straw hat a full head above my own.
The path runs straight as a plumb-line, worn smooth by feet and baked brick-hard by July, between the green rows of
laidby cotton, to the cottonhouse in the center of the field, where it turns and circles the cottonhouse at four soft right angles and goes on across the field again, worn so by feet in fading precision.
The cottonhouse is of rough logs, from between which the chinking has long fallen. Square, with a broken roof set at a single pitch, it leans in empty and shimmering dilapidation in the sunlight, a single broad window in two opposite walls giving onto the approaches of the path. When we reach it I turn and follow the path which circles the house. Jewel, fifteen feet behind me, looking straight ahead, steps in a single stride through the window. Still staring straight ahead, his pale eyes like wood set into his wooden face, he crosses the floor in four strides with the rigid gravity of a cigar store Indian dressed in patched overalls and endued with life from the hips down, and steps in a single stride through the opposite window and into the path again just as I come around the corner. In single file and five feet apart and Jewel now in front, we go on up the path toward the foot of the bluff.
Tull’s wagon stands beside the spring, hitched to the rail, the reins wrapped about the seat stanchion. In the wagon bed are two chairs. Jewel stops at the spring and takes the gourd from the willow branch and drinks. I pass him and mount the path, beginning to hear Cash’s saw.
When I reach the top he has quit sawing. Standing in a litter of chips, he is fitting two of the boards together. Between the shadow spaces they are yellow as gold, like soft gold, bearing on their flanks in smooth undulations the marks of the adze blade: a good carpenter, Cash is. He holds the two planks on the trestle, fitted along the edges in a quarter of the finished box. He kneels and squints along the edge of them, then he lowers them and takes up the adze. A good carpenter.
Addie Bundren could not want a better one, a better box to lie in. It will give her confidence and comfort. I go on to the house, followed by the
Chuck. Chuck. Chuck.
of the adze.