IX. IN THE ROLE OF A TARTAR
A CHARLESTON negro who was in Atlanta on the Fourth of July
made a mistake. He saw Uncle Remus edging his way through the
crowd, and thought he knew him.
"Howdy, Daddy Ben?" the stranger exclaimed. "I tink I nebber see
you no mo'. Wey you gwan? He hot fer true, ain't he?"
"Daddy who?" asked Uncle Remus, straightening himself up with
"I know you in Charrson, an' den in Savanny. I spec I dun grow
away from 'membrance."
"You knowed me in Charlstun, and den in Savanny?"
"He been long time, ain't he, Daddy Ben?"
"Dat's w'at's a pesterin' un me. How much you reckon you know'd
"He good while pas'; when I wer' pickaninny. He long time ago.
Wey you gwan, Daddy Ben?"
"W'at does you season your recollection wid fer ter make it hole on
so?" inquired the old man.
"I dunno. He stick hese'f. I see you comm' 'long 'n I say 'Dey
Daddy Ben.' I tink I see you no mo', an' I shaky you by de han'.
Wey you gwan? Dey no place yer wey we git wine?"
Uncle Remus stared at the strange darkey curiously for a moment,
and then he seized him by the arm.
"Come yer, son, whar dey ain't no folks an' lemme drap some
Jawjy 'intment in dem years er yone. Youer mighty fur ways fum
home, an' you wanter be a lookin' out fer yo'se'f. Fus and fo'mus,
youer thumpin' de wrong watermillion. Youer w'isslin' up de
wrong chube. I ain't tromped roun' de country much. I ain't bin
to Charlstun an' needer is I tuck in Savanny; but you couldn't rig up
no game on me dat I wouldn't tumble on to it de minit I laid my
eyeballs on you. W'en hit come to dat I'm ole man Tumbler, fum
Tumblersville-I is dat. Hit takes one er deze yer full-blooded w'ite
men fur ter trap my jedgment. But w'en a nigger comes a jabberin'
'roun' like he got a mouf full er rice straw, he ain't got no mo'
chance long side er me dan a sick sparrer wid a squinch-owl. You
gutter travel wid a circus 'fo' you gits away wid me. You better go
long an' git yo' kyarpet-sack and skip de town. Youer de freshest
nigger w'at I seen yit."
The Charleston negro passed on just as a police-man' came up.
"Boss, you see dat smart Ellick?"
"Yes, what's the matter with him?"
"He's one er deze yer scurshun niggers from Charlstun. I seed you a
stannin' over agin de cornder yander, an' ef dat nigger'd a drawd his
monty kyards on me, I wuz a gwineter holler fer you. Would youer
"Why, certaiuly, Uncle Remus."
"Dat's w'at I lowd. Little more'n he'd a bin aboard er de wrong
waggin. Dat's Wat he'd a bin."