WHEN Uncle Remus put in an appearance one morning recently,
his friends knew he had been in trouble. He had a red cotton
handkerchief tied under his chin, and the genial humor that usually
makes his aged face its dwelling-place had given way to an
expression of grim melancholy. The young men about the office
were inclined to chaff him, but his look of sullen resignation
What revival did you attend last night? inquired one.
What was the color of the mule that did the hammering? asked
I always told the old man that a suburban chicken coop would fall
on him, remarked some one.
A strange pig has been squealing in his ear, suggested some one
But Uncle Remus remained impassive. He seemed to have lost all
interest in what was going on around him, and he sighed heavily as
he seated himself on the edge of the trash-box in front of the
office. Finally some one asked, in a sympathetic tone:
What is the matter, old man? You look like youd been through
Now youer knockin aint bin thoo de mill sence day fo yis tiddy,
den dey aint no mills in de lan. Ef wunner deze yer scurshun
trains had runned over me I couldnt er bin wuss off. I bin
trompin roun in de lowgrouns now givine on seventy-fi year,
but I aint see no sich times ez dat wat I done speunst now. Boss,
is enny er you all ever rastled wid de toofache?
Oh, hundreds of times! The toothache isnt anything.
Den you des played roun de aidges. You aint had de kine wat
kotch me on de underjaw. You mout a had a gum-bile, but you
aint bin boddered wid de toofache. I wuz settin up talkin wid my
ole oman, kinder puzzlin roun fer ter see whar de nex meals
vittles wuz a gwineter cum fum, an I feel a little ache sorter
crawlin long on my jaw-bone, kinder feelin his way. But de ache
dont stay long. He sorter hankered roun like, en den crope back
whar he come fum. Bimeby I feel im comin agin, an dis time hit
look like he come up closerkinder skummishin roun fer ter see
how de lan lay. Den he went off. Presenty I feel im comin, an dis
time hit look like he kyard de news unto Mary, fer hit feel like der
wuz anudder wun wid im. Dey crep up an crep roun, an, den dey
crope off. Bimeby dey come back, an dis time dey come like dey
wuzent feard er de sroundins, fer dey trot right up unto de toof,
sorter zamine it like, an den trot all roun it, like deze yer circuous
hosses. I sot dar mighty cam, but I spected dat sumpn wuz givine
And it happened, did it? asked some one in the group
surrounding the old man.
Boss, dont you fergit it, responded Uncle Remus, fervidly. Wen
dem aches gallop back dey galloped fer ter stay, an dey wuz so
mixed up dat I couldnt tell one fum de udder. All night long dey
racked an dey galloped, an wen dey got tired er rackin an
gallopin, dey all close in on de ole toof an thumped it an gouged
at it twel it peared unto me dat dey had got de jaw-bone loosened
up, an wuz tryin fer ter fetch it up thoo de top er my head an out
at der back er my neck. An dey got wuss nex day. Mars John, he
seed I wuz stracted, an he tole me fer ter go roun yere an git
sumpn put on it, an de drug man he lowed dat I better have er
drawd, an his wuds wuzent moren cole fo wunner deze yer
watch-youmaycollumswunner deze dentis menshad retched fer it
wid a par er tongs wat dont tun loose wen dey ketches a holt.
Leasways dey didnt wid me. You oughter seed dat toof, boss. Hit
wuz wunner deze yer fo-prong fellers. Ef shed a growd wrong
eend outard, Id a bin a bad nigger long arter I jind de chuch. You
yeard my hon!