1 Patrols. In the country districts, order
was kept on the
plantations at night by the knowledge that they were liable
to be visited at any moment by the patrols. Hence a song
current among the negroes, the chorus of which was:
run; patter-roller ketch you—
Run, nigger, run; hit’s almos’ day.”
“Ef I don’t run inter no mistakes,” remarked Uncle Remus, as the little boy came tripping in to see him after supper, “Mr. Tukkey Buzzard wuz gyardin’ de holler whar Brer Rabbit went in at, en w’ich he come out un.”
The silence of the little boy verified the old man’s recollection.
“Well, Mr. Buzzard, he feel mighty lonesome, he did, but he done prommust Brer Fox dat he’d stay, en he ‘termin’ fer ter sorter hang ‘roun’ en jine in de joke. En he ain’t hatter wait long, nudder, kase bimeby yer come Brer Fox gallopin’ thoo de woods wid his axe on his shoulder.
“‘How you speck Brer Rabbit gittin’ on, Brer Buzzard?’ sez Brer Fox, sezee.
“‘Oh, he in dar,’ sez Brer Buzzard, sezee. ’He mighty still, dough. I speck he takin’ a nap,’ sezee.
“’Den I’m des in time fer ter wake im up, sez Brer Fox, sezee. En wid dat he fling off his coat, en spit in his han’s, en grab de axe. Den he draw back en come down on de tree—pow! En eve’y time he come down wid de axe—pow!—Mr. Buzzard, he step high, he did, en holler out:
“‘Oh, he in dar, Brer Fox. He in dar, sho.’
“En eve’y time a chip ud fly off, Mr. Buzzard, he’d jump, en dodge, en hol’ his head sideways, he would, en holler:
“’He in dar, Brer Fox. I done heerd ‘im. He in dar, sho.’
“En Brer Fox, he lammed away at dat holler tree, he did, like a man maulin’ rails, twel bimeby, atter he done got de tree mos’ cut thoo, he stop fer ter ketch his bref, en he seed Mr. Buzzard laughin’ behime his back, he did, en right den en dar, widout gwine enny fudder, Brer Fox, he smelt a rat. But Mr. Buzzard, he keep on holler’n:
“’He in dar, Brer Fox. He in dar, sho. I done seed ‘im.’
“Den Brer Fox, he make like he peepin’ up de holler, en he say, sezee:
“’Run yer, Brer Buzzard, en look ef dis ain’t Brer Rabbit’s foot hanging down yer.’
“En Mr. Buzzard, he come steppin’ up, he did, same ez ef he wer treddin’ on kurkle-burs, en he stick his head in de hole; en no sooner did he done dat dan Brer Fox grab ’im. Mr. Buzzard flap his wings, en scramble ‘roun’ right smartually, he did, but ’twant no use. Brer Fox had de ’vantage er de grip, he did, en he hilt ‘im right down ter de groun’. Den Mr. Buzzard squall out, sezee:
“’Lemme ‘lone, Brer Fox. Tu’n me loose,’ sezee; ’Brer Rabbit ’ll git out. You er gittin’ close at ‘im,’ sezee, ‘en leb’m mo’ licks’ll fetch ‘im,’ sezee.