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“YOU’VE been looking like you were rather under the weather for the past week or two, Uncle Remus,” said a gentleman to the old man.

“You’d be sorter puny, too, boss, if you’der bin whar I bin.”

“Where have you been?”

“Pear ter me like ev’eybody done year ’bout dat. Dey ain’t no ole nigger my age an’ size dat’s had no rattliner time dan I is.”

“A kind of picnic?”

“Go long, boss! w’at you speck I be doin’ sailin’ ’roun’ ter dese yer cullud picnics? Much mo’ an’ I wouldn’t make bread by wulkiin fer’t, let ’lone follerin’ up a passel er boys an’ gals all over keration. Boss, ain’t you year ’bout it, sho’ ’nuff?”

“I haven’t, really. What was the matter?”

“I got strucken wid a sickness, an’ she hit de ole nigger a joe-darter ’fo’ she tu’n ’im loose.”

“What kind of sickness?”

“Hit look sorter cu’ous, boss, but ole an’ steddy ez I is, I tuck’n kotch de meezies.”

“Oh, get out! You are trying to get up a sensation.”

“Hit’s a natal fack, boss, I declar’ ter grashus ef ’tain’t. Dey sorter come on wid a cole, like—leas’ways dat’s how I commence fer ter suffer, an’ den er koff got straddle er de cole—one dese yer koffs w’at look like bit goes ter de foundash’n. I kep’ on linger’n’ ’roun’ sorter keepin’ one eye on the rheumatiz an’ de udder on de distemper, twel, bimeby, I begin fer ter feel de trestle-wuk give way, an’ den I des know’d dat I wuz givineter gitter racket. I slipt inter bed one Chuseday night, an’ I never slip out no mo’ fer mighty nigh er mont’.

“Nex’ mornin’ de meezles ’d done kivered me, an’ den ef I didn’t git dosted by de ole ’oman I’m a Chinee. She gimme back rashuns er sassafac tea. I des natally hankered an’ got hongry atter water, an ev’y time I sing out fer water I got b’ilin’ hot sassafac tea. Hit got so dat w’en I wake up in de mornin’ de ole ’oman ’d des come long wid a kittle er tea an’ fill me up. Dey tells me ’roun’ town dat chilluns don’t git hurted wid de meezles, w’ich ef dey don’t I wanter be a baby de nex’ time dey hits dis place. All dis yer meezies bizuess is bran’-new ter me. In ole times, ’fo’ de wah, I ain’t heer tell er no seventy-fi’-year-ole nigger grapplin’ wid no meezies. Dey ain’t ketchin’ no mo’, is dey, boss?”

“Oh, no—I suppose not.”

“Kase ef dey is, youk’n des put my name down wid de migrashun niggers.”

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