Uncle joshs punkin centr.., p.1

Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories, page 1

 

Uncle Joshs Punkin Centre Stories


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Uncle Joshs Punkin Centre Stories


  Produced by Charles Keller

  UNCLE JOSH'S PUNKIN CENTRE STORIES

  By Cal Stewart

  Preface

  To the Reader.

  The one particular object in writing this book is to furnish you with anoccasional laugh, and the writer with an occasional dollar. If you getthe laugh you have your equivalent, and the writer has his.

  In Uncle Josh Weathersby you have a purely imaginary character, yet onetrue to life. A character chuck full of sunshine and rural simplicity.Take him as you find him, and in his experiences you will observe thereis a bright side to everything.

  Sincerely Yours

  Cal Stewart

  Contents PREFACE

  LIFE SKETCH OF AUTHOR

  MY OLD YALLER ALMANAC

  ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK

  UNCLE JOSH IN SOCIETY

  UNCLE JOSH IN A CHINESE LAUNDRY

  UNCLE JOSH IN A MUSEUM

  UNCLE JOSH IN WALL STREET

  UNCLE JOSH AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT

  UNCLE JOSH IN AN AUCTION ROOM

  UNCLE JOSH ON A FIFTH AVENUE 'BUS

  UNCLE JOSH IN A DEPARTMENT STORE

  UNCLE JOSH'S COMMENTS ON THE SIGNS SEEN IN NEW YORK

  UNCLE JOSH ON A STREET CAR

  MY FUST PAIR OF COPPER TOED BOOTS

  UNCLE JOSH IN POLICE COURT

  UNCLE JOSH AT CONEY ISLAND

  UNCLE JOSH AT THE OPERA

  UNCLE JOSH AT DELMONICO'S

  IT IS FALL

  SI PETTINGILL'S BROOMS

  UNCLE JOSH PLAYS GOLF

  JIM LAWSON'S HOGS

  UNCLE JOSH AND THE LIGHTNING ROD AGENT

  A MEETING OF THE ANNANIAS CLUB

  JIM LAWSON'S HOSS TRADE

  A MEETING OF THE SCHOOL DIRECTORS

  THE WEEKLY PAPER AT PUNKIN CENTRE

  UNCLE JOSH AT A CAMP MEETING

  THE UNVEILING OF THE ORGAN

  UNCLE JOSH PLAYS A GAME OF BASE BALL

  THE PUNKIN CENTRE AND PAW PAW VALLEY RAILROAD

  UNCLE JOSH ON A BICYCLE

  A BAPTISIN' AT THE HICKORY CORNERS CHURCH

  A REMINISCENCE OF MY RAILROAD DAYS

  UNCLE JOSH AT A CIRCUS

  UNCLE JOSH INVITES THE CITY FOLKS TO VISIT HIM

  YOSEMITE JIM, OR A TALE OF THE GREAT WHITE DEATH

  UNCLE JOSH WEATHERSBY'S TRIP TO BOSTON

  WHO MARCHED IN SIXTY-ONE

  Life Sketch of Author

  THE author was born in Virginia, on a little patch of land, so poor wehad to fertilize it to make brick. Our family, while having cast theirfortunes with the South, was not a family ruined by the war; we did nothave anything when the war commenced, and so we held our own. I secureda common school education, and at the age of twelve I left home, orrather home left me--things just petered out. I was slush cook on anOhio River Packet; check clerk in a stave and heading camp in the knobsof Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia; I helped lay the track of the M.K. & T. R. R., and was chambermaid in a livery stable. Made my firstappearance on the stage at the National Theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio,and have since then chopped cord wood, worked in a coal mine, made crossties (and walked them), worked on a farm, taught a district school (madelove to the big girls), run a threshing machine, cut bands, fed themachine and ran the engine. Have been a freight and passenger brakeman,fired and ran a locomotive; also a freight train conductor and checkclerk in a freight house; worked on the section; have been a shotgun messenger for the Wells, Fargo Company. Have been with a circus,minstrels, farce comedy, burlesque and dramatic productions; have beenwith good shows, bad shows, medicine shows, and worse, and some showswhere we had landlords singing in the chorus. Have played variety housesand vaudeville houses; have slept in a box car one night, and a swellhotel the next; have been a traveling salesman (could spin as manyyarns as any of them). For the past four years have made the Uncle Joshstories for the talking machine. The Lord only knows what next!

  My Old Yaller Almanac

  Hangin' on the Kitchen Wall

  I'M sort of fond of readin' one thing and another,

  So I've read promiscus like whatever cum my way,

  And many a friendly argument's cum up 'tween me and mother,

  'Bout things that I'd be readin' settin' round a rainy day.

  Sometimes it jist seemed to me thar wa'nt no end of books,

  Some made fer useful readin' and some jist made fer looks;

  But of all the different books I've read, thar's none comes up at all

  To My Old Yaller Almanac, Hangin' on the Kitchen Wall.

  I've always liked amusement, of the good and wholesome kind,

  It's better than a doctor, and it elevates the mind;

  So, often of an evening, when the farm chores all were done,

  I'd join the games the boys would play, gosh how I liked the fun;

  And once thar wuz a minstrel troop, they showed at our Town Hall,

  A jolly lot of fellers, 'bout twenty of 'em all.

  Wall I went down to see 'em, but their jokes, I knowed 'em all,

  Read 'em in My Old Yaller Almanac, Hangin' on the Kitchen Wall.

  Thar wuz Ezra Hoskins, Deacon Brown and a lot of us old codgers,

  Used to meet down at the grocery store, what wuz kept by Jason Rogers.

  There we'd set and argufy most every market day,

  Chawin' tobacker and whittlin' sticks to pass the time away;

  And many a knotty problem has put us on our mettle,

  Which we felt it wuz our duty to duly solve and settle;

  Then after they had said their say, who thought they knowed it all,

  I'd floor 'em with some facts I'd got

  From My Old Yaller Almanac, Hangin' on the Kitchen Wall.

  It beats a regular cyclopedium, that old fashioned yeller book,

  And many a pleasant hour in readin' it I've took;

  Somehow I've never tired of lookin' through its pages,

  Seein' of the different things that's happened in all ages.

  One time I wuz elected a Justice of the Peace,

  To make out legal documents, a mortgage or a lease,

  Them tricks that lawyers have, you bet I knowed them all,

  Learned them in My Old Yaller Almanac, Hangin' on the Kitchen Wall.

  So now I've bin to New York, and all your sights I've seen,

  I s'pose that to you city folks I must look most awful green,

  Gee whiz, what lots of fun I've had as I walked round the town,

  Havin' Bunco Steerers ask me if I wasn't Mr. Hiram Brown.

  I've rode on all your trolloly cars, and hung onto the straps,

  When we flew around the corners, sat on other peoples' laps,

  Hav'nt had no trouble, not a bit at all,

  Read about your city in My Old Yaller Almanac, Hangin' on the Kitchen Wall.

  Uncle Josh Weathersby's Arrival in New York

  WALL, fer a long time I had my mind made up that I'd cum down to NewYork, and so a short time ago, as I had my crops all gathered in andproduce sold I calculated as how it would be a good time to come downhere. Folks at home said I'd be buncoed or have my pockets picked foreI'd bin here mor'n half an hour; wall, I fooled 'em a little bit, I wuzhere three days afore they buncoed me. I spose as how there are a goodmany of them thar bunco fellers around New York, but I tell you themthar street keer
conductors take mighty good care on you. I wuz ridin'along in one of them keers, had my pockit book right in my hand, Ialowed no feller would pick my pockits and git it long as I had it inmy hand, and it shet up tight as a barrel when the cider's workin'. Wallthat conductor feller he jest kept his eye on me, and every little bithe'd put his head in the door and say "hold fast." But I'm transgressin'from what I started to tell ye. I wuz ridin' along in one of themsleepin' keers comin' here, and along in the night some time I felt afeller rummagin' around under my bed, and I looked out jest in time tosee him goin' away with my boots, wall I knowed the way that train wuz arunnin' he couldn't git off with them without breakin' his durned neck,but in about half an hour he brot them back, guess they didn't fit him.Wall I wuz sort of glad he took em cause he hed em all shined up slicker'n a new tin whistle. Wall when I got up in the mornin' my trubblescommenced. I wuz so crouded up like, durned if I could git my clotheson, and when I did git em on durned if my pants wa'nt on hind sideafore, and my socks got all tangled up in that little fish net alongside of the bed and I couldn't git em out, and I lost a bran new collarbutton that I traded Si Pettingill a huskin' peg fer, and I got my rightboot on my left foot and the left one on the right foot, and I wuz sodurned badly mixed up I didn't know which way the train wuz a runnin',and I bumped my head on the roof of the bed over me, and then sotdown right suddin like to think it over when some feller cum along andstepped right squar on my bunion and I let out a war whoop you could aheerd over in the next county. Wall, along cum that durned porter andtold me I wuz a wakin' up everybody in the keer. Then I started into hunt fer my collar button, cause I sot a right smart store by thatbutton, thar warns another one like it in Punkin Centre, and I thoughtit would be kind of doubtful if they'd have any like it in New York,wall I see one stuck right in the wall so I tried to git it out with myjack knife, when along came that durned black jumpin' jack dressed insoldier clothes and ast me what I wanted, and I told him I didn't wantanything perticler, then he told me to quit ringin' the bell, guess hewuz a little crazy, I didn't see no bell. Wall, finally I got my clotheson and went into a room whar they had a row of little troughs to washin, and fast as I could pump water in the durned thing it run out of alittle hole in the bottom of the trough so I jest had to grab a handfuland then pump some more. Wall after that things went along purty wellfer a right smart while, then I et a snack out of my carpet bag and feltpurty good. Wall that train got to runnin' slower and slower 'till itstopped at every house and when it cum to a double house it stoppedtwice. I hed my ticket in my hat and I put my head out of the window tolook at suthin' when the wind blew my hat off and I lost the durned oldticket, wall the conductor made me buy another one. I hed to buy twotickets to ride once, but I fooled him, he don't know a durned thingabout it and when he finds it out he's goin to be the maddest conductoron that railroad, I got a round trip ticket and I ain't a goin' back onhis durned old road. When I got off the ferry boat down here I commencedto think I wuz about the best lookin' old feller what ever cum to NewYork, thar wuz a lot of fellers down thar with buggies and kerridgesand one thing and another, and jest the minnit they seen me they allcommenced to holler--handsome--handsome. I didn't know I wuz so durnedgood lookin'. One feller tried to git my carpet bag and another triedto git my umbreller, and I jest told 'em to stand back or durned if Iwouldn't take a wrestle out of one or two of them, then I asked one of'em if he could haul me up to the Sturtevessant hotel, and by gosh Inever heered a feller stutter like that feller did in all my life,he said ye-ye-ye-yes sir, and I said wall how much air you a goin' tocharge me, and he said f-f-f-fif-fif-fifty c-c-cents, and I sed wall Iguess I'll ride with you, but don't stop to talk about it any more causeI'd kinder like to git thar. Wall we started out and when we stopped wewuz away up at the other end of the town whar thar warn't many houses,and I sed to him, this here ain't the Sturtevessant hotel, and he sedn-n-n-no n-s-s-n-no sir, I sed why didn't you let me out at thehotel like I told ye, and he sed, b-b-b-be c-c-c b-b-be cause Ic-c-c-c-couldn't s-s-s-say w-w-w-whoa q-q-q-q-quick enough. Wall I hed agreat time with that feller, but I got here at last.

  Uncle Josh in Society

  WALL, I did'nt suppose when I cum down here to New York that I wuz agoin to flop right into the middle of high toned society, but I guessthat's jist about what I done. You see I had an old friend a livin' downhere named Henry Higgins, and I wanted to see Henry mighty bad. Henryand me, we wuz boys together down home at Punkin Centre, and I hadn'tseen him in a long time. Wall, I got a feller to look up his name inthe city almanac, and he showed me whar Henry lived, away up on a streetcalled avenue five. Wall when I seen Henry's house it jist about tookmy breath away, I wuz that clar sot back. Henry's house is a good dealbigger'n the court house at Punkin Centre. Wall at first I didn't knowwhether to go in or not, but finally I mustered up my courage, and Iwent up and rang some new fangled door bell, when a feller with kneebritches on cum out and wanted to know who it wuz I wanted to see. GoshI couldn't say anything fer about a minnit, that feller jist looked tome like a picter I'd seen in a story book. Wall finally I told him Iwanted to see Henry Higgins, if it wuz the same Henry I used to knowdown home at Punkin Centre. Wall I guess Henry he must a heered metalkin', cause he jist cum out and grabbed me by both hands and sed,"why Josh Weathersby, how do you do, cum right in." Wall he took me intothe house and introduced me to more wimmin folks than I ever seenbefore in all my life at one time. I guess they were havin' some kindof society doins at Henry's house, one old lady sed to me, "my dear Mr.Weathersby, I am so pleased to meet you, I've heered Mr. Higgins speakabout you so often." Wall by chowder, I got to blushin' so it cum prettynear settin' my hair on fire, but I sed, wall now I'm right glad to knowyou, you kind-er put me in mind of old Nancy Smith down hum, and Nancy,she's bin tryin' to git married past forty seasons that I kin rememberon. Wall Henry took me off into a room by myself, and when I got on mystore clothes and my new calf skin boots, I tell you I looked about asscrimptious as any of them. Wall they had a dance, I think they calledit a cowtillion, and that wuz whar I wuz right to hum, I jist hoppedout on the floor, balanced to partners, swung on the corners, and cutup more capers than any young feller thar, it jist looked as if all theladies wanted to dance with me. One lady wanted to know if I danced thegerman, but I told her I only danced in English.

  Wall after that we had something to eat in the dinin' room, and I hadn'tany more'n got sot down and got to eatin right good, when that durn foolwith the knee britches on insulted me, he handed me a little wash bowlwith a towel round it, and I told him he needn't cast any insinuationsat me, cause I washed my hands afore I cum in. If it hadn't a bin inHenry's house I'd took a wrestle out of him. Wall they had a lot offurrin dishes, sumthin what they called beef all over mud, and anotherwhat they called a-charlotte russia-a little shavin' mug made out ofcake and full of sweetened lather, wall that was mighty good eatin',though it took a lot of them, they wasn't very fillin'. Then they handedme somethin' what they called ice cream, looked to me like a hunk ofcasteel soap, wall I stuck my fork in it and tried to bite it, and itslipped off and got inside my vest, and in less than a minnit I wuzfroze from my chin to my toes. I guess I cut a caper at Henry's house.

  Uncle Josh in a Chinese Laundry

  I S'POSE I got tangled up the other day with the dogondest lookin'critter I calculate I ever seen in all my born days, and I've bin aroundpurty considerable. I'd seen all sorts of cooriosoties and monstrositiesin cirkuses and meenagerys, but that wuz the fust time I'd ever seena critter with his head and tail on the same end. You see I sed to afeller, now whar abouts in New York do you folks git your washin' done;when I left hum to come down here I lowed I had enuff with me to dome, but I've stayed here a little longer than I calculated to, and if Idon't git some washin' done purty soon, I'll have to go and jump in theriver.

  Wall he wuz a bligin sort of a feller, and he told me thar wuz a placeround the corner whar a feller done all the washin', so I went round,and there was a sine on the winder what sed Hop Quick, or Hop S
oon, orjump up and hop, or some other kind of a durned hop; and then thar wuza lot of figers on the winder that I couldn't make head nor tail on; itjist looked to me like a chicken with mud on its feet had walked overthat winder.

  Wall I went in to see bout gittin' my washin' done, and gosh all sprucegum, thar was one of them pig tailed heathen Chineeze, he jist lookedfer all the world like a picter on Aunt Nancy Smith's tea cups. I wuzsort of sot back fer a minnit, coz 'I sed to myself--I don't spose thisdurned critter can talk English; but seein' as how I'm in here, I mightas well find out. So I told him I'd like to git him to do some washin'fer me, and he commenced a talkin' some outlandish lingo, sounded to melike cider runnin' out of a jug, somethin' like--ung tong oowong fangkai moi oo ung we, velly good washee. Wall I understood the last of itand jist took his word fer the rest, so I giv him my clothes and he givme a little yeller ticket that he painted with a brush what he had, andI'll jist bet a yoke of steers agin the holler in a log, that no livin'mortal man could read that ticket; it looked like a fly had fell intothe ink bottle and then crawled over the paper. Wall I showed it toa gentleman what was a standin' thar when I cum out, and I sed tohim--mister, what in thunder is this here thing, and he sed "Wall sirthat's a sort of a lotery ticket; every time you leave your clothes tharto have them washed you git one of them tickets, and then you have achance to draw a prize of some kind." So I sed--wall now I want to know,how much is the blamed thing wuth, and he sed "I spose bout ten cents,"and I told him if he wanted my chants for ten cents he could hav it, Ididn't want to get tangled up in any lotery gamblin' bizness with thatsaucer faced scamp. So he giv me ten cents and he took the ticket, andin a couple of days I went round to git my washin', and that pig tailedheathen he wouldn't let me hev em, coz I'd lost that lotery ticket. SoI sed--now look here Mr. Hop Soon, if you don't hop round and git me mycollars and ciffs and other clothes what I left here, I'll be durned ifI don't flop you in about a minnit, I will by chowder. Wall that critterhe commenced hoppin around and a talkin faster 'n a buzz saw could turn,and all I could make out wuz--mee song lay tang moo me oo lay ung yongwo say mee tickee. Wall I seen jist as plain as could be that he wuz atryin' to swindle me outen my clothes, so I made a grab fer him, and inless 'n a minnit we wuz a rollin' round on the floor; fust I wuz on top,and then Mr. Hop Soon wuz on top, and you couldn't hav told which oneof us the pig tail belonged to. We upset the stove and kicked out thewinder, and I sot Mr. Hop Soon in the wash tub, and when I got out ofthar I had somebody's washin' in one hand and about five yards of thatpig tail in tother, and Mr. Hop Soon, he wuz standin' thar yellin'--ungwa moo ye song ki le yung noy song oowe pelecee, pelecee, pelecee. I hadquite a time with that heathen critter.

 
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