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Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

A Meeting of the School Directors

WE had bin havin' a good deal of argufyin' about the school house. You see it had got to be a sort of a tumble-down ram-shackle sort of an affair, and when it wuz bad weather we couldn't have school in it, 'cause you might jist as well be a sittin' under a siv when it rained as to be a settin' in that school house. Wall, it wuz a-cummin' along the fall term, and we wanted our boys and girls to git all the schoolin' an' eddication what they could; so we called a meetin' of the school directors to devise ways and means of buildin' a new school-house without stoppin' school. Wall, we all met down at the school-house; thar wuz Deacon Witherspoon, Ezra Hoskins, Ruben Hendricks, Si Pettingill, old Jim Lawson and me. Before we commenced debatin' and argufyin' on the matter, Si Pettingill alowed he'd sing a song. Wall, he got up and sang the durndest old-fashioned song I calculate I ever heered in my life; went somethin' like this:

Oh a frog went a courtin' and he did ride,
oohoo—oohoo.
Oh a frog went a courtin' and he did ride,
With a sword and a pistol by his side,
oohoo—oohoo.
He rode till he came to the mouse's door,
oohoo—oohoo,
He rode till he came to the mouse's door,
And there he knelt upon the floor,
oohoo—oohoo.
He took Miss Mousey on his knee,
oohoo—oohoo.
He took Miss Mousey on his knee,
Said he, Missy Mouse will you marry me?
oohoo—oohoo.

Wall, we headed Si off right thar; I guess if we hadn't he'd bin singin' about that frog and the mouse yet. Wall, jist then old Jim Lawson he sed, "I make a moshen;" and Deacon Witherspoon, he wuz chairman, and he sed, "Now look here, young feller, don't you make any moshens at me or durned if I don't git down thar and flop you in about a minnit. You take your feet off'n that desk and that corncob pipe out'n your mouth, and conduct yourself with dignity and decorum, and address the chairman of this yere meetin' in a manner benttin' to his station." Wall, Jim he got right smart riled over the matter, and he sed, "Wall, you gosh durned old gospel pirate, I want you to understand that I'm a member of this body, a citizen, a taxpayer and a honorably discharged servant of the government, and I make a moshen that we build a new school-house out of the bricks of the old school-house, and I do further offer an amendment to the original moshen, that we don't tear down the old schoolhouse until the new one is built."

Wall, Deacon Witherspoon sed, "The gentleman is out of order;" and Jim sed, "I ain't so durned much out of order but that I kin trim you in about two shakes of a dead sheep's tail." Wall, before we knowed it, them two old cusses wuz at it. The Deacon he grabbed Jim and Jim he grabbed the Deacon, and when we got 'em separated the Deacon he wuz stuck fast 'tween a desk and the woodbox, and Jim had his wooden leg through a knot hole in the floor and couldn't get it out, and they've both gone to law about it. Jim says he's goin' to git out a writ of corpus cristy fer the Deacon, and the Deacon says he's goin' to prosecute Jim for bigamy and arson and have him read out of the church.

Wall, we've got the same old schoolhouse.

Justice—Those who hanker fer it would be generally better
off if they didn't git it.—Punkin Centre Philosophy.


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