Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

Uncle Josh and the Lightning Rod Agent

WALL I s'pose I git buncode offener than any feller what ever lived in Punkin Centre. A short time ago we wanted to build a new town hall, and calculated we'd have a brick building; and some one sed, "Wall now, if you'll jist wait 'til Josh Weathersby makes another trip or two down to New York thar'll be gold bricks enuff a-layin' 'round Punkin Centre to build a new town hall."

Wall, one day last summer I wuz a sottin' out on my back porch, when along cum one of them thar lightning rod agents. Wall, he jist cum right up and commenced a-talkin' at me jist as if he'd bin the town marshal or a tax assessor, or like he'd known me all his life. He sed, "My dear sir, I am astonished at you. I've looked over your entire premises and I find you haven't got a lightning rod on any buildin' that you possess. Why, my dear sir, don't you know you are flyin' right in the face of Providence? Don't you know that lightning may strike at any time and demolish everything within the sound of my voice? Don't you know you are criminally negligent? Why, my dear sir, I am astonished to think that a man of your jedgment and good common sense should allow yourself to——" Wall, about that time I'd got my breath and wits at the same time, and I sed, "Now hold on, gosh durn ye, what hav ye got to sell anyhow?" Wall, he told me he had some lightnin' rods, and he brought out a little masheen and told me to take hold of the handles and he'd show me what a powerful thing 'lectricity wuz. Wall, I took hold of them handles and he turned on a crank, and that durned masheen jist made me dance all over the porch, and it wouldn't let go. Gee whiz, I felt as though I'd fell in a yeller jacket's nest, and about four thousand of 'em wuz a stingin' me all to onct. Wall, I told him I guessed he could put up a lightning rod or two, seein' as how I didn't hav any. Wall, he went to work and I went over to Ezra Hoskins', and when I got back home my place wuz a sight to behold; it looked like a harrer turned upside down. Thar wuz seven lightning rods on the barn, one on the hen house, one on the corn crib, one on the smoke house, two on the granery, three on the kitchen, six on my house, and one on the crab apple tree, and when I got thar that durned fool had the old muley cow cornered up a-tryin' to put a lightnin' rod on her. Wall, I paid him fer what he had done, and thanked the Lord he hadn't done any more. Wall, he got me to sine a paper what sed he had done a good job, and he sed he had to show that to the company.

Wall, about a week after that we had a thunder storm, and I think the lightnin' struck everything on the place except the spring wagon and old muley cow, and they didn't have any lightnin' rod on 'em. Wall I thought I wuz a-gittin' off mighty lucky til next day, when along cum a feller with that paper what I had sined, and durned if it wan't a note fer six hundred dollars, and by gosh if I didn't hav to pay it!

Buncode agin, by chowder!

Energy—There is a lot of energy in this life that wasted. I
notis that the man who has a good strong pipe most usually
rides in front.—Punkin Centre Philosophy.

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