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Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

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 New York, and so a short time ago, as I had my crops all gathered in and produce sold I calculated as how it would be a good time to come down here. Folks at home said I'd be buncoed or have my pockets picked fore I'd bin here mor'n half an hour; wall, I fooled 'em a little bit, I wuz here three days afore they buncoed me. I spose as how there are a good many of them thar bunco fellers around New York, but I tell you them thar 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, I alowed no feller would pick my pockits and git it long as I had it in my hand, and it shet up tight as a barrel when the cider's workin'. Wall that conductor feller he jest kept his eye on me, and every little bit he'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 them sleepin' keers comin' here, and along in the night some time I felt a feller rummagin' around under my bed, and I looked out jest in time to see him goin' away with my boots, wall I knowed the way that train wuz a runnin' 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 trubbles commenced. I wuz so crouded up like, durned if I could git my clothes on, and when I did git em on durned if my pants wa'nt on hind side afore, and my socks got all tangled up in that little fish net along side of the bed and I couldn't git em out, and I lost a bran new collar button that I traded Si Pettingill a huskin' peg fer, and I got my right boot on my left foot and the left one on the right foot, and I wuz so durned 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 sot down right suddin like to think it over when some feller cum along and stepped right squar on my bunion and I let out a war whoop you could a heerd over in the next county. Wall, along cum that durned porter and told me I wuz a wakin' up everybody in the keer. Then I started in to hunt fer my collar button, cause I sot a right smart store by that button, thar warns another one like it in Punkin Centre, and I thought it 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 my jack knife, when along came that durned black jumpin' jack dressed in soldier clothes and ast me what I wanted, and I told him I didn't want anything perticler, then he told me to quit ringin' the bell, guess he wuz a little crazy, I didn't see no bell. Wall, finally I got my clothes on and went into a room whar they had a row of little troughs to wash in, and fast as I could pump water in the durned thing it run out of a little hole in the bottom of the trough so I jest had to grab a handful and then pump some more. Wall after that things went along purty well fer a right smart while, then I et a snack out of my carpet bag and felt purty good. Wall that train got to runnin' slower and slower 'till it stopped at every house and when it cum to a double house it stopped twice. I hed my ticket in my hat and I put my head out of the window to look at suthin' when the wind blew my hat off and I lost the durned old ticket, wall the conductor made me buy another one. I hed to buy two tickets to ride once, but I fooled him, he don't know a durned thing about it and when he finds it out he's goin to be the maddest conductor on that railroad, I got a round trip ticket and I ain't a goin' back on his durned old road. When I got off the ferry boat down here I commenced to think I wuz about the best lookin' old feller what ever cum to New York, thar wuz a lot of fellers down thar with buggies and kerridges and one thing and another, and jest the minnit they seen me they all commenced to holler—handsome—handsome. I didn't know I wuz so durned good lookin'. One feller tried to git my carpet bag and another tried to git my umbreller, and I jest told 'em to stand back or durned if I wouldn'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 I never 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' to charge me, and he said f-f-f-fif-fif-fifty c-c-cents, and I sed wall I guess I'll ride with you, but don't stop to talk about it any more cause I'd kinder like to git thar. Wall we started out and when we stopped we wuz 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 sed n-n-n-no n-s-s-n-no sir, I sed why didn't you let me out at the hotel like I told ye, and he sed, b-b-b-be c-c-c b-b-be cause I c-c-c-c-couldn't s-s-s-say w-w-w-whoa q-q-q-q-quick enough. Wall I hed a great time with that feller, but I got here at last.


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