I wonder if de Good Lo'd made dis place, anyway," and she gazed ruefully around. "It looks to me as if de deb'l had a mighty big hand in it, fo' sich a mixed up contraption of a hole I nebber set my two eyes on befo'. An' to t'ink dat de Cun'l had to leab his nice home in Ol' Connec., an' come to a jumpin'-off place like dis.
"Papa," said Diddie, "we've ben very bad, an' we've come ter tell yer 'bout it." "An' the Jay Bird, he tol' the deb'l," put in Dumps, "an' 'twan't none er his business." "Hush up, Dumps," said Diddie, "till I tell papa 'bout it. I wouldn't say my lesson, papa, an' Miss Carrie locked me up, an' the chil'en brought me my dinner." "'Tuz me," chimed in Tot.
And Dumps, nothing daunted, continued: "Dilsey an' Chris brought the step-ladder, an' Diddie clum out; an' we runned erway in the woods, an' waded in the ditch, an' got all muddy up; an' the Jay Bird, he was settin' on er limb watchin' us, an' he carried the news ter the deb'l; an' Uncle Snake-bit Bob let us go ter his shop, an' tol' us 'bout the Woodpecker's head, an' that's all; only we ain't n-e-v-er goin' ter do it no mo'; an', oh yes, I furgot an' Diddie's rael sorry an' right 'pents; an' I'm sorter sorry, an' toler'ble 'pents.
"Missis is er spilin' dese chil'en, let'n uv 'em cut up all kind er capers. Yer all better hyear me, mun. Yer better quit dem ways yer got, er runnin' off an' er gwine in de mud, an' er gittin' yer cloes tor'd, an' er gittin' me butted wid sheeps; yer better quit it, I tell yer; ef yer don't, de deb'l gwine git yer, sho's yer born."
"Uncle Bob," said Dumps, thoughtfully, "s'posin' they wuz some little girls l-o-n-g time ergo what stole ernuther little girl outn the winder, an' then run'd erway, an' waded in er ditch, what they Mammy never would let 'em; efn er jay bird would see 'em, would he tell the deb'l nuthin erbout it?"
"Why, Uncle Bob?" "Caze, honey, dem jay birds dey cyars news ter de deb'l, dey do an' yer better not fool 'long 'em." "Do they tell him everything?" asked Diddie, in some solicitude. "Dat dey do! Dey tells 'im eb'ything dey see you do wat ain't right; dey cyars hit right erlong ter de deb'l."
He seed de Lord er makin' folks, an' he 'lowed he'd make him some; so he got up his dut and his water, an' all his 'grejunces, an' he went ter wuck; an' wedder he cooked him too long, ur wedder he put in too much red clay fur de water wat he had, wy, I ain't nuber hyeard; but den I known de deb'l made 'im, caze I allers hyearn so; an', mo'n dat, I done seed 'em fo' now, an' dey got mighty dev'lish ways.
"Efn he do, or efn he don't, I can't say, caze I ain't neber hyeard; but de bes' way is fur ter keep 'way fum 'em." "Well, I bet he do," said Dumps. "I jes bet he tells M-O-O-O-R-E S-T-O-R-I-E-S than anybody. An', Uncle Bob, efn he tells the deb'l sump'n 'boutn three little white girls an' three little niggers runnin' erway fum they teacher an' wadin' in er ditch, then I jes b'lieve he made it up!
"Now I ain't er talkin' 'bout'n murlatters, caze dey ain't no reg'lar folks 'tall; dey's des er mixtry. Dey ain't white, an' dey ain't black, an' dey ain't nuffin'; dey's des de same kin' er folks ez de muel is er horse! "An' den dar's Injuns; dey's ergin ernudder kin' er folks. "I usen ter hyear 'em say dat de deb'l made de fuss Injun.
Now that's jes what I' b'lieve; an' can't you tell the deb'l so, Uncle Bob?" "Who? Me? Umph, umph! yer talkin' ter de wrong nigger now, chile! I don't hab nuffin te do wid 'im mysef! I'se er God-fyearn nigger, I is; an', let erlone dat, I keeps erway fum dem jay birds. Didn' yer neber hyear wat er trick he played de woodpecker?" "No, Uncle Bob," answered Diddie; "what did he do to him?"