Tales of the Congaree

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

Old Dictodemus

Leader: Brothers and sisters, Brother March will preach to you tonight, and he words is always full of meanin' and dey ain't no fool words. Dey got dey meanin' and if you listen good, you will see he p'int. He tell you wuh he tell for de understandin' of colored folks. Brother March speaks our language and he speaks in words of wisdom.

Brother March: 'Way back yonder when Paul and Jesus and other great mens was in de world and was tryin' to save sinners from a burnin' hell, dere was men dat thought dey self bigger dan anybody else. Some un 'em had heared of Jesus, and some un 'em ain't know nothin' 'bout him, and if dey is know, dey try to discount him. But, my brothers, Jesus ain't been a man for nobody to discount. He were a man ain't never git mad; he was such a man he could grab a lion by de head and wring it off jes like you would wring a chicken's neck. He was such a man he could reach out one hand and grab de top off a mountain and throw it 'cross de world. Dat's de kind er man Jesus was.

And dere was a man in dem times dey called him Dictodemus. He were a great bad man. He defied God and Man, all two un 'em, and laugh 'bout it. He was a man was always fightin' and beatin' up people but one day ole Dictodemus, dis great bad man, run into de wrong man,--he met he match. He tried to put his self up against Capt'n Jesus. He ain't know it was Jesus, but it ain't take long to find out.

Well, Jesus ain't waste much time on Dictodemus, he had so much other things he was 'tendin' to. Ole Dictodemus got so humble he start to slippin' 'round at night tryin' to creep up to Jesus' tent, but Jesus run him off, he wants to git him when de right time comes. He wants to tes' him out.

One day he met Dictodemus in a lonely spot on de big road, and he stopped and had a talk wid him. Jesus been ridin' a little mule ain't no bigger dan a mouse, and he dismount and he say to Dictodemus, "Mount." And Dictodemus look at de little critter and sorter hold back, and Jesus say, "Mount." And

-37-

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Tales of the Congaree
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction Masks of Edward C. L. Adams xi
  • Notes lxv
  • Congaree Sketches 1
  • Contents 3
  • The Big Swamps of the Congaree 5
  • The Hopkins Nigger 6
  • Jonas 8
  • A Freshet on the Congaree 9
  • Hell Fire 11
  • The Rattlesnake 14
  • Sunning on the Golden Stairs 15
  • Judge Foolbird 16
  • Old Sister 17
  • Old Sister's Friends 20
  • Old Sister in Heaven 23
  • Old Sister in Hell 26
  • The Settin' Up 29
  • The Little Old Man on the Gray Mule 30
  • The Lake of the Dead 32
  • Aunt Dinah's Cat 34
  • Murder Vs. Liquor 35
  • Old Dictodemus 37
  • Fragment of a Negro Sermon 42
  • His Day is Done 45
  • Ole Man Rogan 48
  • Big Charleston 50
  • The Yellow Crane 53
  • White Folks is White Folks 56
  • Wild Goose Nest 58
  • Transmigration 60
  • Belton's Spirit 62
  • The Animal Court 63
  • Ole Man Tooga's Chile (a Tale of the Chain Gang) 65
  • Fine My Chile 68
  • The Falling Star 70
  • Jay-Birds 71
  • Jack-Ma-Lantern 72
  • Ole Man Rouse 74
  • If You Want to Find Jesus 76
  • The Ghosts of Elm Savannah 78
  • The Crow 79
  • Primus 80
  • Jumping-Gut 81
  • Cazenova 83
  • Spirit Dogs and Barking Snakes 84
  • Death Owl 85
  • De Law Got Simon 86
  • A Fool Nigger 88
  • The Two Ducks 89
  • The Mule and the Ox 90
  • That Quart Kept on Beckoning Me 91
  • Don't 'sturb a Houn' 93
  • Don't You Play Wid Married Wimmens 94
  • Tad's Advice to His Son 95
  • Old Sister's Advice to Her Daughter 97
  • Jesus Had Trouble All Over the World 99
  • Nigger to Nigger 103
  • Contents 105
  • Foreword 109
  • The Swamps 111
  • Nigger to Nigger 131
  • White Folks 179
  • Ghosts and Angels 219
  • Bur Rabbit 233
  • Preachers 257
  • Slavery Time 275
  • Funerals 287
  • Glossary 303
  • Appendixes 313
  • Act I 329
  • Act II 357
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