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Candy uses some pretty derogatory language when describing Crooks to George.
"Sure. Ya see the stable buck's a nigger."
"Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back where a horse kicked him. The boss gives him hell when he's mad. But the stable buck don't give a damn about that. He reads a lot. Got books in his room.
To be fair to Candy, this was the common vernacular of the time. The relationship between blacks and whites at the time was still filled with racism against blacks. This very accepted language gives us the sense that the story took place many years ago.