“It’s a wonder,” said the little boy, after a while, “that the rope didn’t break.”
“Break who?” exclaimed Uncle Remus, with a touch of indignation in his tone—“break who? In dem days, Miss Meadows’s bed-cord would a hilt a mule.”
This put an end to whatever doubts the child might have entertained.
1 Help; helped.
XXVII. WHY MR. POSSUM HAS NO HAIR ON HIS TAIL
“Hit look like ter me,” said Uncle Remus, frowning, as the little boy came hopping and skipping into the old man’s cabin, “dat I see a young un ‘bout yo’ size playin’ en makin’ free wid dem ar chilluns er ole Miss Favers’s yistiddy, en w’en I seed dat, I drap my axe, en I come in yer en sot flat down right whar you er settin’ now, en I say ter myse’f dat it’s ’bout time fer ole Remus fer ter hang up en quit. Dat’s des zackly w’at I say.”
“Well, Uncle Remus, they called me,” said the little boy, in a penitent tone. ’They come and called me, and said they had a pistol and some powder over there.”
“Dar now!” exclaimed the old man, indignantly. “Dar now! w’at I bin sayin’? Hit’s des a born blessin’ dat you wa’n’t brung home on a litter wid bofe eyeballs hangin’ out en one year clean gone; dat’s w’at ‘tis. Hit’s des a born blessin’. Hit hope me up might’ly de udder day w’en I hear Miss Sally layin’ down de law ’bout you en dem Favers chillun, yit, lo en behol’s, de fus news I knows yer you is han’-in-glove wid um. Hit’s nuff fer ter fetch ole Miss right up out’n dat berryin’-groun’ fum down dar in Putmon County, en w’at yo’ gran’ma wouldn’t er stood me en yo’ ma ain’t gwineter stan’ nudder, en de nex time I hear ’bout sech a come off ez dis, right den en dar I’m boun’ ter lay de case ‘fo’ Miss Sally. Dem Favers’s wa’n’t no ’count ‘fo’ de war, en dey wa’n’t no ‘count endurin’ er de war, en dey ain’t no ’count atterwards, en w’iles my head’s hot you ain’t gwineter go mixin’ up yo’se’f wid de riff-raff er creashun.”
The little boy made no further attempt to justify his conduct. He was a very wise little boy, and he knew that, in Uncle Remus’s eyes, he had been guilty of a flagrant violation of the family code. Therefore, instead of attempting to justify himself, he pleaded guilty, and promised that he would never do so any more. After this there was a long period of silence, broken only by the vigorous style in which Uncle Remus puffed away at his pipe. This was the invariable result. Whenever the old man had occasion to reprimand the little boy—and the occasions were frequent—he would relapse into a dignified but stubborn silence. Presently the youngster drew forth from his pocket a long piece of candle. The sharp eyes of the old man saw it at once.
“Don’t you come a tellin’ me dat Miss Sally gun you dat,” he exclaimed, “kaze she didn’t. En I lay you hatter be monstus sly ‘fo’ you gotter chance fer ter snatch up dat piece er cannle.”