Remus - Intimidation of a Colored Voter

"I HOPE you all young gentermens is well," said Uncle Remus, as he entered the editorial rooms of " The Constitution," the other day. " I mighty po'ly myse'f, but dat ain't hender me from hopin' dat yuther folks is keepin' way from de doctor shops. Many is de Po' creeter w'at done been ter doctor shops one time too much. Yit look at me. I bin dar mighty nigh much ez anybody, en Miss Sally say dey 's lots er hard work in me yit, 'vidin' anybody kin git it out'n me. In my young days I use ter year talk dat de nighest road ter de buryin'-groun' wuz 'roun' by de doctor shop, but 'spite er dat I keeps on taking der truck, en I ain't see dat it do me no harm. Ef any you young gentermens gits ter feel in' low down in de sperets, en sorter 'quare in de naborhoods er de gizzard, you des rack 'roun' to Mars Dock Alexander en git some er dem ar quiernine en blue mast pills, en ef dey don't set you up, you kin des lay de blame onter me. When ole Miss was 'live, de doctor 'd come 'roun"bout dis time er year, en all de niggers, little en big, 'ad hatter come up en git a dost er jollup en callymel; but deze days you gotter hunt de doctor up en git a piece er paper en beat 'roun' town twel you kin fine some un fer ter mix up de truck."

Uncle Remus paused, and then broke into a loud laugh.

"W'at de name er goodness is I doin'? des crope up yer fer ter ax you all young gen termens sump'n, en yer I is runnin' on like a cat-bird in a peach orchard. I dunner how you all is, but I ain't got no time fer ter be projickin'."

"Gracious heaven!" exclaimed one of the young men, "do you hear that? He says he hasn't got time! Won't somebody lead him out and ask him to call again and say one word - one little word - when he has got time?"

"En needer is I got time fer ter be runnin' on 'longer you all," Uncle Remus retorted in dignantly. "You all kin take yo' shears an' split dem ar newspapers wide open, but ole Remus can't take no shears en cut truck outer t'er folks gyardin, kaze ef 1 did dey'd slap de law on me. En ef I ain't got time ter stan' yer en talk, co'se I ain't got no time fer ter be gwine ter law. Dat gyardin out dar at Wes' Een' callin' me right now, en I ain't got a minnit ter spar' - dat I ain't."

"Suppose you go down in the fire-escape," some one suggested, but Uncle Remus ignored the hint.

"Man down dar on de street ax how I gwine vote dis time, en I des runned up yer fer ter ax you all gentermens ef deyer a gwinter be n'er 'lection in de Nunited States er Georgy."

"Why, of course there is!"

"Now ain't dat too much!" exclaimed Uncle Remus with unmistakable bitterness. "Man go up en vote, en he ain't got time ter change his cloze 'fo' he gotter rack up en vote ag'in."

"Why, have n't you heard about Boynton, Bacon, and the rest?"

"I year Miss Sal]y readin' out names en dates, en 'sputin' 'longer Mars John, but I tuck de idee dey wuz one er deze yer cake- walks gwine on up dar."

"Up where?"

"Up dar whar de sleepin' kyars comes fum; some'rs up dar."

"He seems to be thoroughly familiar with the geography of our common country" re marked one of the young men.

Uncle Remus grinned broadly.

"I lay dey don't fool me on de cake-walk, kaze dey wuz a nigger man in one un um; but w'at pester me is deze yer 'sections foller in' atter one er n'er des lak a drove er sheep. Eve'y time dey comes, ole Remus gits in trouble wuss en wuss."

"Why so?"

"Des kaze. Mars John en Miss Sally gits ter 'sputin' 'bout w'ich de bes' man, en den dey comes atter me. Hit 's 'Remus, how you gwine ter vote?' en 'No, you ain't,' en 'Yes you is,' ontwel I des natally gits vo' out. Hit 's pull en haul, pull en haul, day in en day out, en I ain't got no peace er min' twel 'lection day done gone. Miss Sally say vote dish year way, Mars John say vote dat ar way, en w'en dat de case, w'at a ole nigger like me gwine do?"

"Well, how do you vote, after all?"

"Dat w'at I want to know: dat des zackly w'at I 'm atter. Mars John, he 'low he de boss; yit I notices dat w'en Miss Sally say I ain't gwine to git no gravy on my grits, dey ain't no gravy dar, en de man w'at kin eat grits widout gravy is got mo' strenk in his stummuck dan w'at I is. Bum dis out twel atter de 'lection done good en gone, you kin des put it down dat de rheumatiz done struck me in de j'ints, en hit'll be dat servigrous dat I can't move skacely. En eve'y time dey say vote, I 'm a-gwine ter grunt en groan like one er deze yer Wes' P'int ingines. But shoo! I ain't got time fer ter be runnin' on yer wid you all."


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