Books: A Dash of King's Yellow

DOUBLE MUSCADINE (335 pp.)—Frances Gaither—Macmlllan ($3.50).

In the old South, double muscadine was a bedspread design, named for the leaf of the scuppernong-wine grape. "Rench" was the word for rinse, and "wropping" was the method of braiding pickaninny pigtails. In Mississippi at least, a perjured slave was subject to "have both your ears nailed to the pillory, and cut off, and receive thirty-nine lashes on your bare back, well laid on, at the common whipping post." Then as now, a cockleburr was regarded as a bad thing to get under a saddle.

These are among...

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