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SAWDUST AND SPANGLES
was traveling in the South, this genius would come upon some old negro who, with ax over his shoulder, was on his way to the woods to cut timber. When the agent came up he would call out to the negro:
"Uncle, where you going?"
"Ise gwine to chop fiah wood, boss," would be the reply.
Then the agent would say: "Did you hear about the fire last night? We had a big fire last night, and all our animals got away from us and took to the woods. They're running wild down there now, elephants, tigers, lions—they all got away."
Having finished relating this alarming bit of news the agent would reach under the seat of his buggy, take up the halter and say: "Here, Uncle, take this halter and if you see any of those animals catch them and take them to the tent—we will pay you a good reward for each and every animal. By this time the whites of the negro's eyes were the most prominent parts of his countenance.
"No, sah," he always managed to say as he backed off; "Ise not gwine t' dem woods dis day.""All right," the agent would respond, and, taking the reins, would start on his way. One