In Which the Cartographer Asks for Directions

Sometimes the cartographer gets frustrated when he asks an Iformant how to get to such and such a place, and the I-formant
might say something like –

Awrite, you know the big white house at the bottom of
Clover Hill with all the windows dem board up, and
with a high shingle roof that look almost like a church?

Yes, the cartographer says.

And in front the house you always see a ole woman,
only three teeth in her mouth, and she out there selling
pepper shrimp in a school chair with a umbrella tie to it.
And beside her she always have two mongrel dog and
one of them is white and the nedda one is brown?

Yes, I know exactly where you mean, the cartographer says.

And in the yard there is a big guinnep tree that hang
right out to the road, so school pickney always stop
there to buy shrimp and eat free guinnep?

Yes, yes, the cartographer insists. I know it.

Good, says the I-formant. Cause you mustn’ go there.

From The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion. Reproduced with kind permission from Carcanet.