“Yer see boys, I was bringed up in Tennessee; leastways, I lived thar till I was nigh onter seventeen year old, when I struck out and come to Texas.
“Father hed a farm in Tennessee, and ez I was the only boy, I had a heap of work ter do on the cussid place. I didn’t like fannin’ much, and used ter tease the old folks ter let me go down ter Knoxville and go into a store, or enter inter some other ekelly ’spectable bizness. But the old folks allowed that I must stay with ’em till I was twenty-one, any how.
“One day when I was about sixteen year old, the old man said ter me, ’Jerry, I’ve got a lot of wood cut, up on the mountain-lot, that wants piling up. Yer’d better take yer dinner and an axe along, and go up and pile it. Do it nice now, ’cause I shall be up ’bout noon, ter see how you git ‘long.’
“I knowed what that meant, well enuff; it meant that, if I didn’t do it right, I’d git a gaddin’, ‘cause the old man was famous for gaddins’.
“Arter breakfast mother put me up a good dinner of bread and meat, and I shouldered my axe and started for the wood-lot, ’bout three miles up the mountain.
“I whistled along and didn’t think nothin’ ’bout ther walk; ’cause, yer see, I allus liked ther woods, and enjoyed bein’ thar. Arter I got to the lot, I found the wood, and went ter work to get it piled. ’Twarn’t much of a job, and I got it done afore noon and then sot down on a log and waited for the old man ter come. Wal, I sot and waited, and begun ter get mighty lonesome and ter think ’bout Injins, though I knowed there warn’t no Injins thar. I waited so long I got hungry, and concluded I’d take a bite of the bread and meat mother’d put up.
“I sot down on a log, and put my basket on the stump, and went ter eatin’. I never smelt anything so good as that dinner smelt, less ’twas a good venison steak on the coals, when you’re putty hungry.
“Wal, I sot there, eatin’ away, and, the fust thing I knowed, I kind ’er felt suthin’ tetch my shoulder. I turned my head, and thar was a big black bar, with his nose within a foot of mine. I’ve seen bars sence that time, and big ones too, but that bar looked bigger’n a ox ter me. I didn’t stop for nothin’, but jist lited out, and the bar arter me. Maybe yer think you’ve seen runnin’; but I tell yer honestly, boys, yer never see nothin’, like ther time I made gittin’ away from that bar.
“I looked over my shoulder once in a while, but ’twarn’t no use; thar was that bar right behind me, growin’ bigger and bigger every minute, it seemed ter me. The harder I run, the wus I was off. I didn’t gain a foot on ther critter. My heart riz rite inter my throte, and my bar riz up so I lost my cap,—leastways I’ve allus ’spected that was the reason I lost it. I didn’t know what ter do. I kep’ on runnin’, but my wind was givin’ out, and I knew I couldn’t stan’ it much longer; so I made a break for a good sized white birch I see, and the way I shinned up thet tree, would a bin a credit to any major-gen’ral, I tell yer.