After a while, Calla took to staying open seven days a week, too. Sometimes her last customers of the day would walk right out the front door and go around the house to the back door and drink up whatever money they had left over from buying groceries. Sometimes, it was the other way around. John's customers would stagger out the back door at dawn and come around to the front (there was a well-worn path). They'd sober up on Calla's coffee, then spend the rest of their money on food for their families.
You could go to the Moses place, any time of the day or night, and buy what you needed, provided your needs were simple. And you never had to leave until you were ready, because neither Calla nor John had the heart to run anybody off, even when they ran out of money. Nate Ramsey had stayed once for almost a week when his wife, Shirley, took to throwing things at home.
And that's the way things went along, right up until the day John Moses died. Moses Never Closes was something folks counted on. It was a certain place in an uncertain world. Folks wanted it to stay the way it was, because once you change one part of a thing, all the other parts begin to shift, and pretty soon, you just don't know what's what anymore.
Excerpted from The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield. Copyright © 2011 by Jenny Wingfield. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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