Remus - Some Advice to a Colored Brother

UNCLE REMUS Perceiving that Uncle Remus was eying him rather closely, the negro straightened him self up and gave a military salute.

Ignoring the salutation, Uncle Remus in quired, "What mought yo' name be?" His tone was bland and insinuating.

"My name, suh, is William Henry Haddem, de word 'round."

"William Henry Haddem?" said Uncle Remus, rubbing his head, and eying the negro curiously.

"Yes suh, de worl 'roun'."

"I 'm mighty glad ter hear dat," said Uncle Remus, with the affectation of enthusiasm; "'kaze some er deze here highfalutin' niggers is name William Henry on one side er town en John Jeems on t'er side. Yasser!, right in dish yer town, let 'lone de 'roun' word'."

"Well, suh," said William Henry, "wher ever you go you'll find dat I am name Wil liam Henry Haddem. Could you be so kind, suh, ez to tell me where de gran' jury is settin' at?"

"What you gwine do wid de gran' jury?" inquired Uncle Remus, with some show of solicitude.

"Dey want me," said William Henry. "Dey done summons me ter come before um."

"What dey want wid you?" Uncle Remus asked.

"Witness," said the other, drawing himself up. "I bin robbed right in de public street; dey jumped on me and took my money fum me right before my own eyes, and I 'm gwine up and tell de gran' jury all about it."

"When dey tuck en rob you," said Uncle Remus, " how much did dey git?"

"Sev'mty-five dollars," said William Henry.

"Wuz de money all yone?" asked Uncle Remus, showing no surprise.

"All exeeptin' of sev'mty dollars," replied William Henry.

"Ah-yi!" exclaimed Uncle Remus. "En who is de sev'mty dollars belong ter?"

"It belong to de Jacob's Ladder Serciety," said William Henry.

"Dar now!" cried Uncle Remus.

"Yes, suh," said William Henry. "If it had been my money, I would n't worry about it, but I 'm de treasurer ov de Jacob's Ladder Serciety, and I feels in juty bound to make a riffle and try ter git de money back."

"Des so!" said the old man.

"Yes, suh," William Henry went on, grow ing more confidential. "I wuz walkin' along with my hands in my pockets, when two men jumped on me and got me down, and when I got up frum dar I wuz perfectly nickleless. Yes, suh ! perfectly nickleless."

"Den what de Jacob Lathers say?" in quired Uncle Remus.

"Dey ain't held no meetin' sence," said William Henry. "Ef de gran' jury will do dere juty, I'll git de money back befo' de serciety meets."

"What you say yo' name mought be?" said Uncle Remus, shifting the weight of his body from one leg to the other.

"William Henry Haddem."

"Tooby sho'," said the old man, "Haddem had um, an now he ain't got um. Is you bin foolin' 'roun' deze here gran' juries en cote houses much?"

"No, suh," said William Henry.

"So fur, so good," said Uncle Remus. "You see deze here steps, and dat dar door dar? Well, dey leads right straight to de chain-gang. I bin see niggers go in dar lookin' mighty nigh ez big en ez slick ez what you is, en when dey come out, fley mos' in giner'ly got somebody wid um fer to p'int out de way ter de rock-pile. Dem white folks waitin' fer you right now. Ef you go in dar, yon ruffle up dat hat so she won't shine, and hide dat ar watch-chain whar dey can't see it, en den when you git in dar you up en tell um dat you done fergit 'bout de circumstance er bein' robbed, en dat vou speck you los' dat money som'ers in de big road. En den when you come out'n dar, ef you come out widout any han'cuffs on you, you des take yo' foot in yo' han' en go swap de watch-chain fer one er dem ar long railroad tickets what look like it got j'ints in it. you hear me talkin'!"

William Henry Haddem gazed at Uncle Remus in astonishment. He looked at his watch-chain, examined his hat, and seemed to be somewhat uneasy.

"What de Jacob's Ladder Serciety gwine ter do?" he asked.

"Gi' um back der money!" exclaimed Un cle Remus; "gi' um back der money! Don't you dast ter go in dar en tell dem ar white folks de tale you bin tellin' me!"

With that the old man went on his way.

He looked back as he was turning a corner some distance away, and saw William Henry Haddem still standing where he had left him.


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