ironServices.com

Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

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 around purty considerable. I'd seen all sorts of cooriosoties and monstrosities in cirkuses and meenagerys, but that wuz the fust time I'd ever seen a critter with his head and tail on the same end. You see I sed to a feller, 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 do me, but I've stayed here a little longer than I calculated to, and if I don't git some washin' done purty soon, I'll have to go and jump in the river.

Wall he wuz a bligin sort of a feller, and he told me thar wuz a place round 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 Soon, or jump up and hop, or some other kind of a durned hop; and then thar wuz a lot of figers on the winder that I couldn't make head nor tail on; it jist looked to me like a chicken with mud on its feet had walked over that winder.

Wall I went in to see bout gittin' my washin' done, and gosh all spruce gum, thar was one of them pig tailed heathen Chineeze, he jist looked fer all the world like a picter on Aunt Nancy Smith's tea cups. I wuz sort of sot back fer a minnit, coz 'I sed to myself—I don't spose this durned critter can talk English; but seein' as how I'm in here, I might as 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 me like cider runnin' out of a jug, somethin' like—ung tong oowong fang kai moi oo ung we, velly good washee. Wall I understood the last of it and jist took his word fer the rest, so I giv him my clothes and he giv me a little yeller ticket that he painted with a brush what he had, and I'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 into the ink bottle and then crawled over the paper. Wall I showed it to a gentleman what was a standin' thar when I cum out, and I sed to him—mister, what in thunder is this here thing, and he sed "Wall sir that's a sort of a lotery ticket; every time you leave your clothes thar to have them washed you git one of them tickets, and then you have a chance 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, I didn't want to get tangled up in any lotery gamblin' bizness with that saucer faced scamp. So he giv me ten cents and he took the ticket, and in a couple of days I went round to git my washin', and that pig tailed heathen he wouldn't let me hev em, coz I'd lost that lotery ticket. So I sed—now look here Mr. Hop Soon, if you don't hop round and git me my collars and ciffs and other clothes what I left here, I'll be durned if I don't flop you in about a minnit, I will by chowder. Wall that critter he 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 yong wo say mee tickee. Wall I seen jist as plain as could be that he wuz a tryin' to swindle me outen my clothes, so I made a grab fer him, and in less '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 one of us the pig tail belonged to. We upset the stove and kicked out the winder, and I sot Mr. Hop Soon in the wash tub, and when I got out of thar I had somebody's washin' in one hand and about five yards of that pig tail in tother, and Mr. Hop Soon, he wuz standin' thar yellin'—ung wa moo ye song ki le yung noy song oowe pelecee, pelecee, pelecee. I had quite a time with that heathen critter.


1 of 2
2 of 2