Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

Uncle Josh at a Camp Meeting

WALL, we've jist bin havin' a camp meeting at Punkin Centre. Yes, fer several days we wuz purty busy bakin' and cookin and makin' preparations fer the camp meetin', and some of the committee alowed we ought to have lemonade fer the Sunday school children. Wall, as we wanted to git it jist as cheap as possible, we damed up the crick what runs back of the camp meeting grounds, and put in ten pounds of brown sugar and half a dozen lemons, and let the Sunday school children drink right out of the crick, free of charge. Wall, we had right smart difficulty in gittin' a pulpit fixed up fer the ministers, but finally we sawed down a hemlock tree and used the stump fer a pulpit. Wall, some of the sarmons preached at that camp meetin' beat anything I ever heered in my life afore. You see we'd bin havin' a good many argyments 'bout corporations, monopolies and trusts, and one minister got up and sed, "Ah, my dear beloved brethren and sisters, we should not be too severe on the monopolists. If we read the scripters closely we observe our forefathers wuz all monopolists. Adam and Eve had a monopoly upon the garden of Eden, and would have had it 'til this day, no doubt, had not Mother Eve got squeezed in the apple market. Yea, verily, Lot's wife had a corner on the salt market. And while Pharoe's daughter was not in the milk business, yet we observe she took a great proffit out of the water; yea, verrily." Most on us cum to the conclusion he wuz ridin' on a free pass.

Samantha Hoskins concluded she would have to sing her favorit hymn; it went something like this:

"Oh you need not cum in the mornin',
And neither in the heat of the day;
But cum along in the evenin', Lord,
And wash my sins away.

Standin' on the walls of Zion,
Lookin' at my ship cum a sailln' ov{er};
Standin' on the walls of Zion,
To see my ship cum in."

Jist about that time Ruben Hendricks skeered a skunk out of a holler log. Si Pettingill stirred up a hornet's nest, Deacon Witherspoon sot down in a huckleberry pie and Aunt Nancy Smith got a spider on her, and she started in to yellin' and jumpin' like she had a fit, and two dogs got to fitin', and old Jim Lawson he tried to git 'em apart and he stumped 'round and got his old wooden leg into a post hole and fell down, and the dogs got on top of him, and you couldn't tell which wuz Jim nor which wuz dog; and durned if it didn't bust up the camp meetin'.

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