When she told her husband, Mr. William Johnson, of her dissatisfaction with their marriage, he conceded that he too found it to be less than he expected, and had been secretly hoping to leave and study religion. They parted amicably, Annie keeping the one-room house and Wiliiam taking most of the cash to carry himself to Oklahoma.
She made her plans meticoulously and in secret. One early evening to see if she is ready, she placed two stones in two five gallon pails and carried them three miles to the cotton gin.
That same night she worked into the early hours boiling chicken and frying ham. She made dough and filled the rolled out pastry with meat. At lsst she went to sleep.
The next morning she left her house carrying the meat pies, lard, an iron brazier, and coals for a fire. Just before lunch she appeared in an empty lot behind the cotton gin.
Annie never disappointed her coustomers, who could count on seeing the tall, brown skin, woman bent over her brazier, carefully turning the meat pies.
In years the stall became a store where customers could buy cheese, neal, syrup, cookies, candy, writing tablets, pickles, canned goods, fresh fruit, soft drinks, coal, oil, and leather soles for worn out shoes.
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