By the time the man with the camera had cut across
our neighbor’s yard, the twins were out of the trees
swingin low and Granny was onto the steps, the screen
door bammin soft and scratchy against her palms.
“We thought we’d get a shot or two of the house
and everything and then . . .”
“Good mornin,” Granny cut him off. And smiled
“Good mornin,” he said, head all down the way
Bingo does when you yell at him about the bones on
the kitchen fl oor. “Nice place you got here, aunty.
We thought we’d take a . . .”
“Did you?” said Granny with her eyebrows. Cathy
pulled up her socks and giggled.
“Nice things here,” said the man buzzin his camera
over the yard. The pecan barrels, the sled, me and
Cathy, the fl owers, the painted stones along the
driveway, the trees, the twins, the toolshed.
“I don’t know about the thing, the it, and the stuff,”
said Granny still talkin with her eyebrows. “Just
people here is what I tend to consider.”
Camera man stopped buzzin. Cathy giggled into
“Mornin, ladies,” a new man said. He had come up
behind us when we weren’t lookin. “And gents,”
discoverin the twins givin him a nasty look. “We’re
fi lmin for the county,” he said with a smile. “Mind if
we shoot a bit around here?”
“I do indeed,” said Granny with no smile.
Smilin man was smiling up a storm. So was Cathy.
But he didn’t seem to have another word to say, so he
and the camera man backed on out the yard, but you
could hear the camera buzzin still.
“Suppose you just shut that machine off,” said
Granny real low through her teeth and took a step
down off the porch and then another.
“Now, aunty,” Camera said pointin the thing
straight at her.
“Your mama and I are not related.”
Hi, I have some questions about this.
1) I thought that a clause which follows "by the time" must be in simple tense (simple present, simple past ...). Why does the author make it past perfect here ? (had cut across).
2) What does "the twins out of the trees swingin low" mean ? Did the kids fall from the tree ?
3) What does "swingin low" mean ? low here is adjective or adverb ?
4) What does "onto the steps" mean ?
5) What does "bammin soft and scratchy against her palms" mean ?
Thanks so much