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قراءة كتاب Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves South Carolina Narratives, Part 4

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‏اللغة: English
Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves
South Carolina Narratives, Part 4

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves South Carolina Narratives, Part 4

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 6

money to fetch no medicine from de towns wid, so dey made liniments and salves from de things dat grow'd around about in de woods and gardens.

"I told you 'bout how small I was, but my brother, Jim Rice, went to Charleston and helped to make dem breastworks down dar. I has never see'd dem, but dem dat has says dat dey is still standing in good conditions. Cose de Yankees tore up all dat dey could when dey got dar.

"Lots of rail fences was made back in dem days. Folks had a 'no fence' law, dat meant dat everybody fenced in deir fields and let de stock run free. Hogs got wild and turkeys was already wild. Sometimes bulls had to be shot to keep dem from tearing up everything. But folks never fenced in no pasture den. Dey put a rail fence all around de fields, and in dem days de fields was never bigger dan ten or fifteen acres. Logs was plentiful, and some niggers, called 'rail splitters', never done nothing else but split rails to make fences.

"If I recollects right, Wade Hampton broke down fence laws in dis country. I sho heard him talk in Yorkville. Dey writ about him in de Yorkville Inquirer and dey still has dat paper over dar till now. De Red Shirts come along and got Wade Hampton in. He scared de Yankees and Carpetbaggers and all sech folks as dem away from our country. Dey went back whar dey come from, I reckon.

"De Ku Klux was de terriblest folks dat ever crossed my path. Who dey was I ain't never know'd, but dey took Alex Leech to Black's Ford on Bullet Creek and killed him for being a radical. It was three weeks befo' his folks got hold of his body.

"Dr. Bell's calves got out and did not come back for a long time. Mrs. Bell fear'd dat dey was gitting wild, so she sent de milk girl down on de creek to git dem calves. Dat girl had a time, but she found 'em and drove 'em back to de lot. De calves give her a big chase and jumped de creek near a big raft of logs dat had done washed up from freshets. All over dem logs she saw possums, musrats and buzzards a-setting around. She took her stick and drove dem all away, wid dem buzzards puking at her. When dey had left, she see'd uncle Alex laying up dar half e't up by all dem varmints.

"She know'd dat it must be him. When she left, dem buzzards went back to deir perch. First thing dey done was to lap up deir own puke befo' dey started on uncle Alex again. Yes sir, dat's de way turkey buzzards does. Dey pukes on folks to keep dem away, and you can't go near kaise it be's so nasty; but dem buzzards don't waste nothing. Little young buzzards looks like down till dey gits over three days old. You can go to a buzzard roost and see for yourself, but you sho better stay out'n de way of de old buzzard's puke. Dey sets around de little ones and keeps everything off by puking.

"Pacolet used to be called Buzzard Roost, kaise in de old days dey had a rail outside de bar-room dat de drunks used to hang over and puke in a gully. De buzzards would stay in dat gully and lap up dem drunkards' puke. One night a old man went in a drunkard's sleep in de bar-room. De bar tender shoved him out when he got ready to close, and he rolled up against dis here rail dat I am telling you about. He 'lowed dat next morning when he woke up, two buzzards was setting on his shirt front eating up his puke. He said, 'You is too soon', and grabbed one by de leg and wrung his head off. But befo' he could git its head wrung off it had done puked his own puke back on him. He said dat was de nastiest thing he ever got into, and dat he never drunk no more liquor. Dem days is done past and gone, and it ain't nobody hardly knows Pacolet used to be called Buzzard Roost.

"Lawd have mercy, white folks! Here I is done drapped plumb off'n my subject; but a old man's mind will jes' run waa'ry at times. Me and Joe, Alex's son, went to see de officer 'bout gitting Joe's pa buried. He 'lowed dat Alex's body was riddled wid bullets; so we took him and put his bones and a little rotten flesh dat dem buzzards had left, in de box we made, and fetched it to de site and buried him. Nobody ever seed Alex but me, Joe, and dat gal dat went atter dem calves. Us took shovels and throw'd his bones in de box. When we got de top nailed on, we was both sick. Now, things like dat don't come to pass. I still thinks of de awful days and creeps runs all over me yet.

"All my brothers, sisters, mother and father is done gone. And I is looking to leave befo' a great while. I is trying every day to git ready, Lawd. I been making ready for years. Smart mens tries to make you live on, but dey can't git above death. Tain't no use."

Source: Jesse Rice (80), Littlejohn St., Gaffney, S.C.
Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. 1/8/38