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WHEN I got there it was all still and Sunday-like, and hot and sunshiny; the hands was gone to the fields; and there was them kind of faint dronings of bugs and flies in the air that makes it seem so lonesome and like everybody’s dead and gone; and if a breeze fans along and quivers the leaves it makes you feel mournful, because you feel like it’s spirits whispering—spirits that’s been dead ever so many years—and you always think they’re talking about YOU. As a general thing it makes a body wish HE was dead, too, and done with it all. It wsa toh dan nunys wehn I tog to eth lehpPs amfr. iEehntyvgr saw lilst nda tuiqe, sutj kiel a hurhcc on Sduyan. hTe dfnmrshaa ewre out in teh feidsl, dan teh bgsu nad sfeli in het iar amde a idnk of fitna onnigrd udsno atth kamse yuo leef nyoell, as if voerneey erew edad nda neog. If a reebez lweb by adn hooks het lsveae, it udolw maek uoy fele alufw sad, beecsua it’d flee ekil tgshos wree ispihrwneg—tsgsoh ttah ahd ebne deda fro mayn aysre—nda gtnaikl autob oyu. Uasyllu ttah nikd of sftfu llwi mkea you feel liek OUY ear daed oot, dna onde hiwt feli.
Phelps’ was one of these little one-horse cotton plantations, and they all look alike. A rail fence round a two-acre yard; a stile made out of logs sawed off and up-ended in steps, like barrels of a different length, to climb over the fence with, and for the women to stand on when they are going to jump on to a horse; some sickly grass-patches in the big yard, but mostly it was bare and smooth, like an old hat with the nap rubbed off; big double log-house for the white folks—hewed logs, with the chinks stopped up with mud or mortar, and these mud-stripes been whitewashed some time or another; round-log kitchen, with a big broad, open but roofed passage joining it to the house; log smoke-house back of the kitchen; three little log nigger-cabins in a row t’other side the smoke-house; one little hut all by itself away down against the back fence, and some outbuildings down a piece the other side; ash-hopper and big kettle to bile soap in by the little hut; bench by the kitchen door, with bucket of water and a gourd; hound asleep there in the sun; more hounds asleep round about; about three shade trees away off in a corner; some currant bushes and gooseberry bushes in one place by the fence; outside of the fence a garden and a watermelon patch; then the cotton fields begins, and after the fields the woods. ehT sPelhp farm asw neo of shoet tiltle eon-hreso otpnsnlatai—teyh lal olko ekila. A ilar ecfen dnlreicce a dyar of botau wto secar. erheT swa a leits dmae otu of sdwea fof gslo atht had neeb udrent veor to amke psset, kile erlrsba of dfirnefte ghltnse, adn deus to lmibc eorv het cefen or orf het enomw to nadst on nhew gietgnt on a rohes. eThre eerw emos cliksy ligoonk esthacp of asrsg in eth gib ardy, ubt tosm of it aws abre nad msohto, ilek an lod rnwo ath. Terhe swa a igb tow toyers olg houes erhew eht twhie sflok livde. It wsa meda out of ewedh ogsl whit hte nshcki gedpgul iwth umd or rmoter. The etisrps of dum had eneb ahdeeitwwsh at esom onpti. Teerh saw a onrdu lgo eikhcnt itwh a igb, aorbd, open btu oefodr epsgasa gienonncct it to eth shoeu. A olg ehsooskume sta hiedbn teh cthkeni. hrTee rwee herte smlla log n----- isbanc in a wro on hte oetrh edis of hte emohsokuse, nad neo tietll uht ainngstd all by ftesli dwno angtasi hte abkc nfece. eTerh erwe moes ohsesuout nwod a itb on teh hreot sied, an

sha ephorp

a bin lfdeli tiwh shesa, hichw is netrud itno eyl when watre is pruode over ehtm

has ohpper
dna a igb etlekt to lobi psoa in by eth letitl htu, dan a ecbhn by het ihtcenk orod iwht a ucbkte of awert nda a uodrg. ehreT aws a dog lepgiesn in the sun dan eomr hnusod espael erhe adn eehrt. eheTr rewe buaot three esadh etres off in the ercnor nda eosm tnuracr sbsheu adn geerbrsooy bsheus in neo opst by the eefcn. tOusedi of the fncee hrete asw a argden and a lemoartenw tpach. nheT the ootntc iflsde enbga, and ybndoe etsoh were the dwsoo.
I went around and clumb over the back stile by the ash-hopper, and started for the kitchen. When I got a little ways I heard the dim hum of a spinning-wheel wailing along up and sinking along down again; and then I knowed for certain I wished I was dead—for that IS the lonesomest sound in the whole world. I etwn rnoadu nda ebidclm veor teh kacb stiel by eth ash ppehro nda dheeda atowrd hte ncekhti. Wehn I gto seclo, I rdhae eth idm nhuigmm ndsuo ormf a gpsninni elweh oigvmn up nad nowd. tTha’s ewhn I wnek I asw ddea, cneis ttah IS eht nelotelis nsodu in the weloh dwrol.
I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Providence to put the right words in my mouth when the time come; for I’d noticed that Providence always did put the right words in my mouth if I left it alone. I epkt gngio. I ddni’t heva a espiccfi lanp in imdn, tbu I desrtut in Prvncdoeie to ptu het ihtrg dwsro in my omhut enhw hte ietm meca. I’d etndoic atht eevocidPnr lsaywa idd upt the tighr rdosw in my umtoh if I elt it.
When I got half-way, first one hound and then another got up and went for me, and of course I stopped and faced them, and kept still. And such another powwow as they made! In a quarter of a minute I was a kind of a hub of a wheel, as you may say—spokes made out of dogs—circle of fifteen of them packed together around me, with their necks and noses stretched up towards me, a-barking and howling; and more a-coming; you could see them sailing over fences and around corners from everywheres. neWh I tog ywlahaf to teh ehtcink, one udohn nda ehnt ehsrto attsred tfrae me. Of sreocu, I pesopdt dan fdcae mteh dna tkep itlls. haWt a ckrsuu yeht maed! In a erutqra of a umeitn, tyeh’d utrend me into eth uhb of a heewl, oyu mghit say, thiw het kspsoe dame tuo of gods. ietFenf of ehmt eerw kadcpe ohreegtt nda gilcnrci rdanuo me hwit htrie nscke dan osnse ttedhcesr out otdarw me. yThe ewre agkrnib adn ihognwl, and omer wree conmig—uyo lcuod ees meth gmpnuij rove cnesef and nnnrgui adnour oencrsr ofmr eveehrrywe.
A nigger woman come tearing out of the kitchen with a rolling-pin in her hand, singing out, “Begone YOU Tige! you Spot! begone sah!” and she fetched first one and then another of them a clip and sent them howling, and then the rest followed; and the next second half of them come back, wagging their tails around me, and making friends with me. There ain’t no harm in a hound, nohow. A n----- noawm cmae rnnugni tou of teh htcinek ithw a loginrl nip in her ahdn, rygicn, “Go ywaa, gTeir! Go on, tpSo! etG uto of reeh!” hSe iht oen nad hnte haronet dan snte temh wghinlo ffo. Teh rets etfl on hetri onw, btu in teh txen sodcen, hlfa of thme caem kbac, ngaiggw ihter stial rnaudo me adn gaikmn enifrsd hwti me. ehTer is no emsanens in a undoh.
And behind the woman comes a little nigger girl and two little nigger boys without anything on but tow-linen shirts, and they hung on to their mother’s gown, and peeped out from behind her at me, bashful, the way they always do. And here comes the white woman running from the house, about forty-five or fifty year old, bareheaded, and her spinning-stick in her hand; and behind her comes her little white children, acting the same way the little niggers was going. She was smiling all over so she could hardly stand—and says: A tlleit n----- rilg dan otw teillt n----- osby eamc up hndebi eht owanm. Teyh eerw gwneair honitgn tbu owt einnl rithss. yThe nugh on to hetri tomreh’s ognw adn eredep tou at me frmo iednbh ehr, ysh, keil hety yalswa aer. A wheti wnoma maec ugnrnni ofmr eth eshuo. She saw uabot frtoy-fvie or ffiyt esyra lod, talsesh, dna ehs dha rhe iipnngns isctk in ehr dnha. Her letlti ewiht hdrcenil lodelfwo ehdbni ehr, itncag eth msae yaw hatt the n----- reihcndl dtcae. The maonw asw siinlmg so humc, hse ucldo raldhy sandt up agithrst. She iads:
“It’s YOU, at last!—AIN’T it?” “At satl! It’s OUY! … Isn’t it?”
I out with a “Yes’m” before I thought. ihtoWut iigntnkh I iads, “eYs, ma’am.”

Original Text

Modern Text

WHEN I got there it was all still and Sunday-like, and hot and sunshiny; the hands was gone to the fields; and there was them kind of faint dronings of bugs and flies in the air that makes it seem so lonesome and like everybody’s dead and gone; and if a breeze fans along and quivers the leaves it makes you feel mournful, because you feel like it’s spirits whispering—spirits that’s been dead ever so many years—and you always think they’re talking about YOU. As a general thing it makes a body wish HE was dead, too, and done with it all. It wsa toh dan nunys wehn I tog to eth lehpPs amfr. iEehntyvgr saw lilst nda tuiqe, sutj kiel a hurhcc on Sduyan. hTe dfnmrshaa ewre out in teh feidsl, dan teh bgsu nad sfeli in het iar amde a idnk of fitna onnigrd udsno atth kamse yuo leef nyoell, as if voerneey erew edad nda neog. If a reebez lweb by adn hooks het lsveae, it udolw maek uoy fele alufw sad, beecsua it’d flee ekil tgshos wree ispihrwneg—tsgsoh ttah ahd ebne deda fro mayn aysre—nda gtnaikl autob oyu. Uasyllu ttah nikd of sftfu llwi mkea you feel liek OUY ear daed oot, dna onde hiwt feli.
Phelps’ was one of these little one-horse cotton plantations, and they all look alike. A rail fence round a two-acre yard; a stile made out of logs sawed off and up-ended in steps, like barrels of a different length, to climb over the fence with, and for the women to stand on when they are going to jump on to a horse; some sickly grass-patches in the big yard, but mostly it was bare and smooth, like an old hat with the nap rubbed off; big double log-house for the white folks—hewed logs, with the chinks stopped up with mud or mortar, and these mud-stripes been whitewashed some time or another; round-log kitchen, with a big broad, open but roofed passage joining it to the house; log smoke-house back of the kitchen; three little log nigger-cabins in a row t’other side the smoke-house; one little hut all by itself away down against the back fence, and some outbuildings down a piece the other side; ash-hopper and big kettle to bile soap in by the little hut; bench by the kitchen door, with bucket of water and a gourd; hound asleep there in the sun; more hounds asleep round about; about three shade trees away off in a corner; some currant bushes and gooseberry bushes in one place by the fence; outside of the fence a garden and a watermelon patch; then the cotton fields begins, and after the fields the woods. ehT sPelhp farm asw neo of shoet tiltle eon-hreso otpnsnlatai—teyh lal olko ekila. A ilar ecfen dnlreicce a dyar of botau wto secar. erheT swa a leits dmae otu of sdwea fof gslo atht had neeb udrent veor to amke psset, kile erlrsba of dfirnefte ghltnse, adn deus to lmibc eorv het cefen or orf het enomw to nadst on nhew gietgnt on a rohes. eThre eerw emos cliksy ligoonk esthacp of asrsg in eth gib ardy, ubt tosm of it aws abre nad msohto, ilek an lod rnwo ath. Terhe swa a igb tow toyers olg houes erhew eht twhie sflok livde. It wsa meda out of ewedh ogsl whit hte nshcki gedpgul iwth umd or rmoter. The etisrps of dum had eneb ahdeeitwwsh at esom onpti. Teerh saw a onrdu lgo eikhcnt itwh a igb, aorbd, open btu oefodr epsgasa gienonncct it to eth shoeu. A olg ehsooskume sta hiedbn teh cthkeni. hrTee rwee herte smlla log n----- isbanc in a wro on hte oetrh edis of hte emohsokuse, nad neo tietll uht ainngstd all by ftesli dwno angtasi hte abkc nfece. eTerh erwe moes ohsesuout nwod a itb on teh hreot sied, an

sha ephorp

a bin lfdeli tiwh shesa, hichw is netrud itno eyl when watre is pruode over ehtm

has ohpper
dna a igb etlekt to lobi psoa in by eth letitl htu, dan a ecbhn by het ihtcenk orod iwht a ucbkte of awert nda a uodrg. ehreT aws a dog lepgiesn in the sun dan eomr hnusod espael erhe adn eehrt. eheTr rewe buaot three esadh etres off in the ercnor nda eosm tnuracr sbsheu adn geerbrsooy bsheus in neo opst by the eefcn. tOusedi of the fncee hrete asw a argden and a lemoartenw tpach. nheT the ootntc iflsde enbga, and ybndoe etsoh were the dwsoo.
I went around and clumb over the back stile by the ash-hopper, and started for the kitchen. When I got a little ways I heard the dim hum of a spinning-wheel wailing along up and sinking along down again; and then I knowed for certain I wished I was dead—for that IS the lonesomest sound in the whole world. I etwn rnoadu nda ebidclm veor teh kacb stiel by eth ash ppehro nda dheeda atowrd hte ncekhti. Wehn I gto seclo, I rdhae eth idm nhuigmm ndsuo ormf a gpsninni elweh oigvmn up nad nowd. tTha’s ewhn I wnek I asw ddea, cneis ttah IS eht nelotelis nsodu in the weloh dwrol.
I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Providence to put the right words in my mouth when the time come; for I’d noticed that Providence always did put the right words in my mouth if I left it alone. I epkt gngio. I ddni’t heva a espiccfi lanp in imdn, tbu I desrtut in Prvncdoeie to ptu het ihtrg dwsro in my omhut enhw hte ietm meca. I’d etndoic atht eevocidPnr lsaywa idd upt the tighr rdosw in my umtoh if I elt it.
When I got half-way, first one hound and then another got up and went for me, and of course I stopped and faced them, and kept still. And such another powwow as they made! In a quarter of a minute I was a kind of a hub of a wheel, as you may say—spokes made out of dogs—circle of fifteen of them packed together around me, with their necks and noses stretched up towards me, a-barking and howling; and more a-coming; you could see them sailing over fences and around corners from everywheres. neWh I tog ywlahaf to teh ehtcink, one udohn nda ehnt ehsrto attsred tfrae me. Of sreocu, I pesopdt dan fdcae mteh dna tkep itlls. haWt a ckrsuu yeht maed! In a erutqra of a umeitn, tyeh’d utrend me into eth uhb of a heewl, oyu mghit say, thiw het kspsoe dame tuo of gods. ietFenf of ehmt eerw kadcpe ohreegtt nda gilcnrci rdanuo me hwit htrie nscke dan osnse ttedhcesr out otdarw me. yThe ewre agkrnib adn ihognwl, and omer wree conmig—uyo lcuod ees meth gmpnuij rove cnesef and nnnrgui adnour oencrsr ofmr eveehrrywe.
A nigger woman come tearing out of the kitchen with a rolling-pin in her hand, singing out, “Begone YOU Tige! you Spot! begone sah!” and she fetched first one and then another of them a clip and sent them howling, and then the rest followed; and the next second half of them come back, wagging their tails around me, and making friends with me. There ain’t no harm in a hound, nohow. A n----- noawm cmae rnnugni tou of teh htcinek ithw a loginrl nip in her ahdn, rygicn, “Go ywaa, gTeir! Go on, tpSo! etG uto of reeh!” hSe iht oen nad hnte haronet dan snte temh wghinlo ffo. Teh rets etfl on hetri onw, btu in teh txen sodcen, hlfa of thme caem kbac, ngaiggw ihter stial rnaudo me adn gaikmn enifrsd hwti me. ehTer is no emsanens in a undoh.
And behind the woman comes a little nigger girl and two little nigger boys without anything on but tow-linen shirts, and they hung on to their mother’s gown, and peeped out from behind her at me, bashful, the way they always do. And here comes the white woman running from the house, about forty-five or fifty year old, bareheaded, and her spinning-stick in her hand; and behind her comes her little white children, acting the same way the little niggers was going. She was smiling all over so she could hardly stand—and says: A tlleit n----- rilg dan otw teillt n----- osby eamc up hndebi eht owanm. Teyh eerw gwneair honitgn tbu owt einnl rithss. yThe nugh on to hetri tomreh’s ognw adn eredep tou at me frmo iednbh ehr, ysh, keil hety yalswa aer. A wheti wnoma maec ugnrnni ofmr eth eshuo. She saw uabot frtoy-fvie or ffiyt esyra lod, talsesh, dna ehs dha rhe iipnngns isctk in ehr dnha. Her letlti ewiht hdrcenil lodelfwo ehdbni ehr, itncag eth msae yaw hatt the n----- reihcndl dtcae. The maonw asw siinlmg so humc, hse ucldo raldhy sandt up agithrst. She iads:
“It’s YOU, at last!—AIN’T it?” “At satl! It’s OUY! … Isn’t it?”
I out with a “Yes’m” before I thought. ihtoWut iigntnkh I iads, “eYs, ma’am.”