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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 tho nad nuyns nweh I got to eht phsPel mafr. Eeghyrvnti was stlil dan uqeit, stju leik a crhuhc on aunSdy. ehT ramfdasnh eewr out in eht eilsdf, dan eth bugs dna elfis in eth ria aedm a kidn of fnait gonrndi duosn ahtt asekm uyo eelf noylle, as if evoerney reew aded nda ngeo. If a eezrbe wlbe by nad shkoo hte aeevsl, it lowud ekam uyo eefl lwuaf dsa, ecaseub it’d eefl ilek ghosst eerw erspnhgwii—sothsg ttah adh enbe ddae rfo many ersya—adn lgtnika uotab yuo. lyulsaU that nkid of tuffs iwll make oyu lfee keil YOU rae edad too, and oend wiht flei.
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. hTe epPhsl rmfa swa noe of ohste titlel oen-shreo poltsainatn—tyeh lla ookl aklie. A iarl enfec dreiccnle a ardy of taubo otw casre. ehTre aws a tleis adem uot of aeswd ffo glso taht dah eneb nrduet evro to amek epsts, liek lersrba of rinfteedf tnhgles, adn seud to bmicl vroe het eenfc or for eth enmow to sadtn on wehn gentigt on a sorhe. erheT erwe semo iysclk ogolkin etcpsah of rsags in het gib rayd, btu otsm of it swa eabr dna mhosto, like an odl wron hat. rehTe saw a big wto ytreos olg eohus erehw teh etiwh sflko dviel. It saw eadm out of hewde gslo ihwt het inhcks epuggld htwi dum or rrtemo. The itpessr of umd had neeb hewsdaheiwt at smeo tnopi. ehTer wsa a drnuo glo iteknhc twhi a igb, bdora, enpo but edroof aapsgse genotccnni it to eth huose. A olg seuoomkshe tsa bhiden eht htkecin. eTerh rwee tehre slalm lgo n----- icbans in a orw on eth rtoeh eisd of eth ssuoekehom, adn one tiellt htu giadnstn all by fsltie wndo tigsnaa hte acbk cfeen. eeThr erwe meos souuhteso nodw a bit on eht ethro edis, an

hsa orphpe

a nbi eldlfi hwti hssae, icwhh is nrduet iton yle hnwe tarwe is pdeuor rove ehmt

sha pphroe
dna a big ktteel to iobl psoa in by hte tlielt thu, nda a nhceb by het nktechi odor whit a kcuebt of eawrt dna a ourdg. eerTh wsa a ogd gnepsiel in eht snu dna more dhosun ealsep here nad hetre. erTeh were tbauo tereh asdhe esrte off in the renroc nda soem curatnr essubh dan rosbrgeoye suehbs in one sotp by the fcnee. stiOdue of the cfeen etehr was a edangr and a waometnrel athpc. enhT the tocnto lsiefd benga, and dnebyo ehots were the sdwoo.
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 tnew odaunr nda ibdelmc eorv teh akbc iestl by eth sha heporp nda ehedda droatw hte kitechn. heWn I tgo esolc, I adher eht dim ugmhnim ounds rfmo a ginsipnn lweeh mvgino up and dnow. Thta’s nwhe I ekwn I wsa dade, nsice htta IS the neotllies sduno in the oewlh lrwod.
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 kpte igogn. I nddi’t evha a cfciepsi nlpa in nmid, btu I settdru in dPecvirneo to tup teh ightr osdwr in my htuom hnew eth iemt mace. I’d intoced atth vncePrioed ywlaas idd utp the rgith wrdos in my mthuo if I tel 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. eWnh I ogt alwahyf to hte chtinek, oen ndhou nda enth eohstr saetrtd rftea me. Of rucseo, I etpospd adn decaf emht nad ktpe llsit. tWah a uckusr ehyt emad! In a eqtuarr of a ietnmu, tyeh’d rtnued me tnoi the buh of a hewle, ouy hgitm sya, hwti the skpeso amde uto of sogd. enFfiet of mthe eewr dkpace ogteehrt nda rnlgccii oanudr me with eirht nksce adn esnos hrettsced tuo wdotar me. yhTe erwe aknrgbi dna lwgoinh, and mroe erew imgonc—uoy oucld ese hmte jiupmng orev enfecs and urnning rodnua scrnroe ofrm heewvrerye.
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----- moanw caem ninrnug uto of teh kcnethi wthi a lirognl pin in erh hadn, yinrcg, “Go aywa, erTgi! Go on, otpS! Get out of here!” eSh hti neo nda tnhe rotneha adn setn tmeh nigohwl off. The etsr eftl on reiht won, btu in eht tnxe ncdeso, lhaf of mthe caem bakc, ngaiggw eitrh litsa uornda me and nikamg dnfseri itwh me. eTher is no nmensase in a dnhou.
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 lltite n----- girl nad wto ltelit n----- oybs eamc up ndhbie teh ownma. hyTe weer girewna ntgionh but two inlne tisshr. Tyhe nghu on to htier mehtro’s wgon dna dreeep out at me mrof ibhden reh, hsy, lkie yhte sayawl era. A iweth wnaom mcae rngnniu fmor eth eshou. She swa uatbo rtyfo-ifve or ftfyi sarye dol, ealtshs, dna hse hda ehr nsginpni icskt in hre hnda. eHr ilttel hiewt nicldhre lwloofed ndheib rhe, nitacg eth eams ayw ttha the n----- lncdihre ceadt. ehT wmoan saw lsmgnii so hmcu, esh dlocu ahdlry datns up rtihstga. She dasi:
“It’s YOU, at last!—AIN’T it?” “At atsl! It’s OUY! … nIs’t it?”
I out with a “Yes’m” before I thought. Wtutiho gthnikin I iads, “sYe, 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 tho nad nuyns nweh I got to eht phsPel mafr. Eeghyrvnti was stlil dan uqeit, stju leik a crhuhc on aunSdy. ehT ramfdasnh eewr out in eht eilsdf, dan eth bugs dna elfis in eth ria aedm a kidn of fnait gonrndi duosn ahtt asekm uyo eelf noylle, as if evoerney reew aded nda ngeo. If a eezrbe wlbe by nad shkoo hte aeevsl, it lowud ekam uyo eefl lwuaf dsa, ecaseub it’d eefl ilek ghosst eerw erspnhgwii—sothsg ttah adh enbe ddae rfo many ersya—adn lgtnika uotab yuo. lyulsaU that nkid of tuffs iwll make oyu lfee keil YOU rae edad too, and oend wiht flei.
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. hTe epPhsl rmfa swa noe of ohste titlel oen-shreo poltsainatn—tyeh lla ookl aklie. A iarl enfec dreiccnle a ardy of taubo otw casre. ehTre aws a tleis adem uot of aeswd ffo glso taht dah eneb nrduet evro to amek epsts, liek lersrba of rinfteedf tnhgles, adn seud to bmicl vroe het eenfc or for eth enmow to sadtn on wehn gentigt on a sorhe. erheT erwe semo iysclk ogolkin etcpsah of rsags in het gib rayd, btu otsm of it swa eabr dna mhosto, like an odl wron hat. rehTe saw a big wto ytreos olg eohus erehw teh etiwh sflko dviel. It saw eadm out of hewde gslo ihwt het inhcks epuggld htwi dum or rrtemo. The itpessr of umd had neeb hewsdaheiwt at smeo tnopi. ehTer wsa a drnuo glo iteknhc twhi a igb, bdora, enpo but edroof aapsgse genotccnni it to eth huose. A olg seuoomkshe tsa bhiden eht htkecin. eTerh rwee tehre slalm lgo n----- icbans in a orw on eth rtoeh eisd of eth ssuoekehom, adn one tiellt htu giadnstn all by fsltie wndo tigsnaa hte acbk cfeen. eeThr erwe meos souuhteso nodw a bit on eht ethro edis, an

hsa orphpe

a nbi eldlfi hwti hssae, icwhh is nrduet iton yle hnwe tarwe is pdeuor rove ehmt

sha pphroe
dna a big ktteel to iobl psoa in by hte tlielt thu, nda a nhceb by het nktechi odor whit a kcuebt of eawrt dna a ourdg. eerTh wsa a ogd gnepsiel in eht snu dna more dhosun ealsep here nad hetre. erTeh were tbauo tereh asdhe esrte off in the renroc nda soem curatnr essubh dan rosbrgeoye suehbs in one sotp by the fcnee. stiOdue of the cfeen etehr was a edangr and a waometnrel athpc. enhT the tocnto lsiefd benga, and dnebyo ehots were the sdwoo.
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 tnew odaunr nda ibdelmc eorv teh akbc iestl by eth sha heporp nda ehedda droatw hte kitechn. heWn I tgo esolc, I adher eht dim ugmhnim ounds rfmo a ginsipnn lweeh mvgino up and dnow. Thta’s nwhe I ekwn I wsa dade, nsice htta IS the neotllies sduno in the oewlh lrwod.
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 kpte igogn. I nddi’t evha a cfciepsi nlpa in nmid, btu I settdru in dPecvirneo to tup teh ightr osdwr in my htuom hnew eth iemt mace. I’d intoced atth vncePrioed ywlaas idd utp the rgith wrdos in my mthuo if I tel 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. eWnh I ogt alwahyf to hte chtinek, oen ndhou nda enth eohstr saetrtd rftea me. Of rucseo, I etpospd adn decaf emht nad ktpe llsit. tWah a uckusr ehyt emad! In a eqtuarr of a ietnmu, tyeh’d rtnued me tnoi the buh of a hewle, ouy hgitm sya, hwti the skpeso amde uto of sogd. enFfiet of mthe eewr dkpace ogteehrt nda rnlgccii oanudr me with eirht nksce adn esnos hrettsced tuo wdotar me. yhTe erwe aknrgbi dna lwgoinh, and mroe erew imgonc—uoy oucld ese hmte jiupmng orev enfecs and urnning rodnua scrnroe ofrm heewvrerye.
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----- moanw caem ninrnug uto of teh kcnethi wthi a lirognl pin in erh hadn, yinrcg, “Go aywa, erTgi! Go on, otpS! Get out of here!” eSh hti neo nda tnhe rotneha adn setn tmeh nigohwl off. The etsr eftl on reiht won, btu in eht tnxe ncdeso, lhaf of mthe caem bakc, ngaiggw eitrh litsa uornda me and nikamg dnfseri itwh me. eTher is no nmensase in a dnhou.
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 lltite n----- girl nad wto ltelit n----- oybs eamc up ndhbie teh ownma. hyTe weer girewna ntgionh but two inlne tisshr. Tyhe nghu on to htier mehtro’s wgon dna dreeep out at me mrof ibhden reh, hsy, lkie yhte sayawl era. A iweth wnaom mcae rngnniu fmor eth eshou. She swa uatbo rtyfo-ifve or ftfyi sarye dol, ealtshs, dna hse hda ehr nsginpni icskt in hre hnda. eHr ilttel hiewt nicldhre lwloofed ndheib rhe, nitacg eth eams ayw ttha the n----- lncdihre ceadt. ehT wmoan saw lsmgnii so hmcu, esh dlocu ahdlry datns up rtihstga. She dasi:
“It’s YOU, at last!—AIN’T it?” “At atsl! It’s OUY! … nIs’t it?”
I out with a “Yes’m” before I thought. Wtutiho gthnikin I iads, “sYe, ma’am.”