“‘Whar is you, Brer Tarrypin?’
“‘Yer I come a bulgin’,’ sez de Tarrypin, sezee.
“Brer Rabbit so glad he’s ahead dat he put out harder dan ever, en de Tarrypin, he make fer home. W’en he come ter de nex’ pos’, nudder Tarrypin crawl out er de woods.
“‘Whar is you, Brer Tarrypin?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
“‘Yer I come a bilin’,’ sez de Tarrypin, sezee.
“Brer Rabbit, he lit out, he did, en come ter nex’ pos’, en dar wuz de Tarrypin. Den he come ter nex’, en dar wuz de Tarrypin. Den he had one mo’ mile fer ter run, en he feel like he gittin’ bellust. Bimeby, ole Brer Tarrypin look way off down de road en he see Jedge Buzzard sailin’ long en he know hit’s time fer ’im fer ter be up. So he scramble outen de woods, en roll ’cross de ditch, en shuffle thoo de crowd er folks en git ter de mile-pos’ en crawl behime it. Bimeby, fus’ news you know, yer come Brer Rabbit. He look ‘roun’ en he don’t see Brer Tarrypin, en den he squall out:
“‘Gimme de money, Brer Buzzard, Gimme de money!’
“Den Miss Meadows en de gals, dey holler and laff fit ter kill deyse’f, en ole Brer Tarrypin, he raise up fum behime de pos’ en sez, sezee:
“’Ef you’ll gimme time fer ter ketch my breff, gents en ladies, one en all, I speck I’ll finger dat money myse’f,’ sezee, en sho nuff, Brer Tarrypin tie de pu’s ‘roun’ his neck en skaddle*1 off home.”
“But, Uncle Remus,” said the little boy, dolefully, “that was cheating.”
“Co’se, honey. De creeturs ’gun ter cheat, en den fokes tuck it up, en hit keep on spreadin’. Hit mighty ketchin’, en you mine yo’ eye, honey, dat somebody don’t cheat you ‘fo’ yo’ ha’r git gray ez de ole nigger’s.”
1 It may he interesting to note here that in all
word “skedaddle,” about which there was some controversy during
the war, came from the Virginia negro’s use of “skaddle,” which
is a corruption of “scatter.” The matter, however, is hardly
worth referring to.
“You’ll tromple on dat bark twel hit won’t be fitten fer ter fling ’way, let ’lone make hoss-collars out’n,” said Uncle Remus, as the little boy came running into his cabin out of the rain. All over the floor long strips of “wahoo” bark were spread, and these the old man was weaving into horse-collars.
“I’ll sit down, Uncle Remus,” said the little boy.
“Well, den, you better, honey,” responded the old man, “kaze I ’spizes fer ter have my wahoo trompled on. Ef ’twuz shucks, now, hit mout be diffunt, but I’m a gittin’ too ole fer ter be projickin’ ’longer shuck collars.”
For a few minutes the old man went on with his work, but with a solemn air altogether unusual. Once or twice he sighed deeply, and the sighs ended in a prolonged groan, that seemed to the little boy to be the result of the most unspeakable mental agony. He knew by experience that he had done something which failed to meet the approval of Uncle Remus, and he tried to remember what it was, so as to frame an excuse; but his memory failed him. He could think of nothing he had done calculated to stir Uncle Remus’s grief. He was not exactly seized with remorse, but he was very uneasy. Presently Uncle Remus looked at him in a sad and hopeless way and asked: