“Dar was another ha’nt on de plantation, too. Marse Jim had some trouble
wid a big double-j’inted nigger named Joe. One day he turn on Marse Jim
wid a fence rail, and Marse Jim had to pull his gun an’ kill him. Well,
dat happen in a skirt of woods what I get my lightwood what I use to
start a fire. One day I went to dem same woods to get some ’simmons.
Another nigger went wid me, and he clumb de tree to shake de ’simmons
down whilst I be pickin’ ’em up. ’Fore long I heared another tree
shakin’ every time us shake our tree, dat other tree shake too, and down
came de ’simmons from it. I say to myself, ’Dat’s Joe, ’cause he likes
‘simmons too.’ Den I grab up my basket and holler to de boy in de tree,
‘nigger turn loose and drap down from dar, and ketch up wid me if you
can. I’s leavin’ here right now, ’cause Old Joe is over dar gettin’
“Den another time I was in de woods choppin’ lightwood. It was ’bout
sundown, and every time my ax go ’whack’ on de lightwood knot, I hear
another whack ’sides mine. I stops and lis’ens and don’t hear nothin’.
Den I starts choppin’ ag’in I hears de yuther whacks. By dat time my
houn’ dog was crouchin’ at my feets, wid de hair standin’ up on his back
and I couldn’t make him git up nor budge.
“Dis time I didn’ stop for nothin’. I jes’ drap my ax right dar, an’ me
and dat houn’ dog tore out for home lickety split. When us got dar Marse
Jim was settin’ on de porch, an’ he say: ’Nigger, you been up to somep’n
you got no business. You is all outen breath. Who you runnin’ from?’ Den
I say: ’Marse Jim, somebody ’sides me is choppin’ in yo’ woods, an’ I
can’t see him. And Marse Jim, he say: ’Ah, dat ain’t nobody but Ole Joe.
Did he owe you anythin’?’ An’ I say: ’Yassah, he owe me two-bits for
helpin’ him shuck corn.’ ’Well,’ Marse Jim say, ’don’t pay him no mind:
it jes’ Old Joe come back to pay you.’
“Anyhow, I didn’ go back to dem woods no mo’. Old Joe can jes’ have de
two-bits what he owe me, ’cause I don’t want him follerin’