Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

Uncle Josh Weathersby's Trip to Boston

FER a long time I had my mind made up to go down to Boston, so a short time ago, as I had all my crops and produce mostly sold, I alowed it would be a good time to go down thar, and I sed to mother, "I'll start early in the mornin' and take a load of produce with me, and that will sort of pay expenses of the trip."

Wall, I got into Boston next mornin' bright and early, 'bout time they had their breakfast, and I looked 'round fer a spell; then finally I picked out a right likely lookin' store, and jist conclooded I'd sell my load of produce thar. Wall, I went in and I met a feller 'nd I sed, "Good mornin', be you the storekeeper?" And he sed, "No, sir, I'm only one of the clerks." So I sed, "Wall, be the storekeeper to hum?" And he sed, "Yes, sir, would you like to see him?" And I told him as how I would, and he turned 'round and commenced to hollerin' "FRONT," and a boy cum up what had more brass buttins on him than a whole regiment of soljers. I thought that wuz a durned funny name fer a boy—front—and that clerk feller he wuz about the most importent thing I'd seen in Boston so far, less maybe it wuz the Bunker Hill monument that I druv past cummin' to town. He had on a biled collar that sort of put me in mind of the whitewashed fence 'round the fair grounds down hum. I'll bet if he'd ever sneeze it would cut his ears off.

Wall, anyhow, he sed to that front boy, "Show the gentleman to the proprietor's offis." Wall, I went along with that boy, and presently we cum to a place in one corner of that store; it wuz made out of iron and had bars in front of the winders, and looked like the county jale. The front boy p'inted to a man and sed, "Go in," and I sed, "I gessed I wouldn't go in thar, cos I hadn't done anything to be locked up fer." And that front boy commenced to laffin' tho' durned if I could see what he wuz a-laffin' about, and the storekeeper he opened the door and cum out, and he sed, "Good mornin', what can I do fer you?" I sed, "Be you the storekeeper?" and he sed he wuz. So I sed, "Do you want to buy any pertaters?" And he sed, "No, sir, we don't buy pertaters here; this a dry goods store." So I sed, "Wall, don't want any cabbage, do ye?" And he sed, "No, sir, this is a dry goods store." So I sed, "Wall, now, I want to know; do you need any onions?" And by chowder, he got madder 'n a wet hen. He sed, "Now look a-heer, I want you to understand onct fer all, this is a dry goods store, and we don't buy anything but dry goods and don't sell anything but dry goods; do you understand me now? DRY GOODS." And I sed, "Yes, gess I understand you; you don't need to git so tarnaly riled about the matter; neer as I can figure it out you jist buy dry goods and sell 'em." And he sed, "Yes, sir, only dry goods." So I sed, "Do you want to buy some mighty good dried apples?"

Wall, that front boy got to laffin, and a lot of wimmin clerks giggled right out, and the storekeeper he commenced a-laffin', too, and fer about a minnit I thought they'd all went crazy to onct. Wall, he told a feller to show me whar I could sell my produce, and I disposed of it at a good bargain.

I like them Boston folks, they try to make you feel to hum, and enjoy yourself and be soshable, and I wuz chuck full of soshability, too; I wuz goin' up one street and down t'other, jist a-gettin' soshability at ten cents a soshable.

Wall, I gess I seen about everything wuth seein' in Boston, and I wuz a-standin' along-side of one of their old churches, a-lookin' at the semetry, and I gess thar wuz folks in thar burried nigh unto three hundred years. And I wuz jist a-thinkin' what they'd say if they could wake up and see Boston now, when I noticed a row of little toomstones, and one of them it sed, "Hester Brown, beloved wife of James Brown," and on another it sed, "Prudence Brown, beloved wife of James Brown," and on another it sed, "Thankful Brown, beloved wife of James Brown." Wall, I couldn't jist make out what she had to be thankful about, but I sed, "Jimmy, you had a right lively time while you wuz in Boston, didn't you?" Then I seen another toomstone and on it it sed, "Matilda Brown, beloved wife of James Brown," and another one what sed,

"Sara Ann Brown, beloved wife of James Brown," and over in a little corner, all to itself, I seen a toomstone, and on it it sed, "James Brown, At Rest."

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