Tales of the Congaree

By Edward C. L. Adams; Robert G. O'Meally | Go to book overview
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Big Charleston

Tad: All dis compersation 'bout hot suppers, dances, womens and funerals brings a heap of diff'ent things to my mind. One thing I been thinkin' 'bout been Big Charleston and he doin's, and dat ain't one thing neither. It er range of things kiverin' diff'ent things in life,--a laugh one place and a tear another.

Barchy: I jes is 'member Big Charleston. He create a lot of 'sturbance in he time. Some folks says he was a human, and some says he were a beast and dey say he was double j'inted.

Scip: Well, deys all kinds of diff'ent roads to de grave, and Big Charleston ain't been too long findin' out he road.

Voice: Tad, tell we de tale 'bout Big Charleston.

Tad: De first time I see Big Charleston been at a dance and hot supper over to de ole street. Dem niggers been havin' some time eatin' hash and rice, drinkin' liquor, singin' reels and dancin' and gamblin' and fightin'. You could hear 'em laughin' and talkin' a mile. Dey come to de road jumpin' to de drum and steppin' as high as a man's head. And as de night wored on you ought er seen some of dem niggers cut de buck and de buzzard lope, and sidin' 'round dem sisters like er rooster 'round er hen. Everything been lovely till dis gal of Potee's from de bluff come. She been pritty, but my brothers, I is here to tell you she been one little devil, and she 'casioned more'n one funeral. When she hit dat floor, niggers got to movin' and de fiddlers made dem fiddles talk and sing and cry. And dat little gal she was dartin' up to one nigger and leffen him and dartin' up to another. Back and forth she was swingin' and swayin', flyin' 'round dere like some kind of little bird. She dat pritty and sweet she set dem niggers crazy. And den she picked out Silas for her man, and Big Charleston come up and walked 'round de room, den he fasten he eye on de little gal and he lean over and snatch her from Silas like some kind of great hawk takin' a chicken in he claw right out de flock. And when he do dat, de little gal pull back and say she guh stay wid Silas. Den de trouble start.


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Tales of the Congaree
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