UNCLE REMUS made his appearance recently with his right arm
in a sling and his head bandaged to that extent that it looked like
the stick made to accompany the Centennial bass-drum. The old
man evidently expected an attack all around, for he was unusually
quiet, and fumbled in his pockets in an embarrassed manner. He
was not mistaken. The agricultural editor was the first to open fire:
Well, you old villain! what have you been up to now?
It is really singular, remarked a commencement orator, that not
even an ordinary holidaya holiday, it seems to me, that ought to
arouse all the latent instincts of patriotism in the bosom of
American citizenscan occur without embroiling some of our most
valuable citizens. It is really singular to me that such a day should
be devoted by a certain class of our population to broils and
This final moral sentiment, which was altogether an impromptu
utterance, and which was delivered with the air of one who
addresses a vast but invisible audience of young ladies in white
dresses and blue sashes, seemed to add to the embarrassment of
Uncle Remus, and at the same time to make an explanation
Dey aint none er you young wite men never had no casion fer ter
strike up wid one er deze Mobile niggers? asked Uncle Remus.
Kaze ef you iz, den you knows wharbouts de devilment come in.
Show me a Mobile nigger, continued the old man, an Ill show
you a nigger dats marked for de chain-gang. Hit may be de fote er
de fif er July, er hit may be de twelf er Jinawerry, but wen a
Mobile nigger gits in my naberhood right den an dar trubble sails
in an gages bode fer de season. I speck um ez fon er deze Nunited
States ez de nex man wat knows dat de Buro is busted up; but
long ez Remus kin stan on his hine legs no Mobile nigger cant flip
inter dis town longer no Wes Pint schushun an boss roun mong
de cullud fokes. Dats me, up an down, an I bonn deres a nigger
somers on de road dis blessid day dats got dis put away in his
How did he happen to get you down and maul you in this startling
manner? asked the commencement orator, with a tone of
exaggerated sympathy in his voice.
Maul who? exclaimed Uncle Remus, indignantly. Maul who?
Boss, de nigger dat mauled me aint bornded yit, an dey er got ter
have anudder war fo one is bornded.
Well, what was the trouble?
Hit wuz sorter dis way, boss. I wuz stannin down dere by Mars
John Jeemss bank, chattin wid Sis Tempy, wich I aint seed er
befo now gwine on seven year, an watchin de folks trompin by,
wen one er deze yer slick-lookin niggers, wid a bee-gum hat an a
brass watch ez big ez de head uv a beerbarl, come long an bresh
up agin meso. Dere wuz two un um, an dey went long gigglin an
laffin like a nesful er yaller-hammers. Bimeby dey come long agin
an de smart Ellick brush up by me once mo. Den I say to mysef, I
lay I fetch you ef you gimme anudder invite. An, sho nuff, yer he
come agin, an dis time he rub a piece er watermillion rime under
my lef year.
What did you do?
Me? Im a mighty long-sufferin nigger, but he hadnt no mon
totch me fo I flung dese yer bones in his face. Here Uncle Remus
held up his damaged hand triumphantly. I sorter sprained my han,
boss, but dog my cats if I dont bleeve I spattered de niggers
eyeballs on de groun, and wen he riz his countnence look fresh
like beef-haslett. I look mighty spindlin an puny now, dont I,
boss? inqufred the old man, with great apparent earnestness.
Well, you des oughter see me git my Affikin up. Dey useter call
me er bad nigger long fo de war, an hit looks like ter me dat I gits
wuss an wuss. Brer John Henry say dat I oughter supdue my
rashfulness, an I dont spute it, but tun a Mobile nigger loose in
dis town, fote er July or no fote er July, an, me er him, one is got
ter lan in jail. Hits proned inter me.