never witnessed such a piece of acting. When I came upon the scene he had just come unexpectedly upon a plantation-house, and, putting a bold face upon it, had walked up to the door.
Den I go up to de white man, berry humble, and say, would he please gib ole man a mouthful for eat? He say he must hab de valeration ob half a dollar. Den I look berry sorry, and turn for go away. Den he say I might gib him dat hatchet I had. Den I say (this in a tragic vein) dat I must hab dat hatchet for defend myself from de dogs![Immense applause, and one appreciating auditor says, chuckling, “Dat was your arms, ole man,” which brings down the house again.]
Den he say de Yankee pickets was near by, and I must be very keerful. Den I say, “ Good Lord, Mas'r, am dey? ”Words cannot express the complete dissimulation with which these accents of terror were uttered,--this being precisely the piece of information he wished to obtain. Then he narrated his devices to get into the house at night and obtain some food,--how a dog flew at him,--how the whole household, black and white, rose in pursuit,--how he scrambled under a hedge and over a high fence, etc.,--all in a style of which Gough alone among orators can give the faintest impression, so thoroughly dramatized was every syllable. Then he described his reaching the river-side at last, and trying to decide whether certain vessels held friends or foes. “ Den I see guns on board, and sure sartin he Union boat, and I pop my head up. Den I been-a-tink [think] Seceshkey hab guns too, and my head go down again. ”