Click here to Download Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book by John Fox Jr. English having PDF Size 1 MB and No of Pages 27.
Thar was a dancin’-party Christmas night on “Hell fer Sartain.” Jes tu’n up the fust crick beyond the bend thar, an’ climb onto a stump, an’ holler about ONCE, an’ you’ll see how the name come. Stranger, hit’s HELL fer sartain! Well, Rich Harp was thar from the headwaters, an’ Harve Hall toted Nance Osborn clean across the Cumberlan’. Fust one ud swing Nance, an’ then t’other.
Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book by John Fox Jr.
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Then they’d take a pull out’n the same bottle o’ moonshine, an’—fust one an’ then t’other—they’d swing her agin. An’ Abe Shivers a-settin’ thar by the fire a-bitin’ his thumbs! Well, things was sorter whoopin’, when somebody ups an’ tells Harve that Rich had said somep’n’ agin Nance an’ him, an’ somebody ups an’ tells Rich that Harve had said somep’n’ agin Nance an’ HIM.
In a minute, stranger, hit was like two wild-cats in thar. Folks got ’em parted, though, but thar was no more a-swingin’ of Nance that night. Harve toted her back over the Cumberlan’, an’ Rich’s kinsfolks tuk him up “Hell fer Sartain”; but Rich got loose, an’ lit out lickety-split fer Nance Osborn’s.
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He knowed Harve lived too fer over Black Mountain to go home that night, an’ he rid right across the river an’ up to Nance’s house, an’ hollered fer Harve. Harve poked his head out’n the loft—he knowed whut was wanted—an’ Harve says, “Uh, come in hyeh an’ go to bed. Hit’s too late!”
An’ Rich seed him a-gapin’ like a chicken, an’ in he walked, stumblin’ might’ nigh agin the bed whar Nance was a-layin’, listenin’ an’ not sayin’ a word. Stranger, them two fellers slept together plum frien’ly, an’ they et together plum frien’ly next mornin’, an’ they sa’ntered down to the grocery plum frien’ly. An’ Rich says, “Harve,” says he, “let’s have a drink.”
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“All right, Rich,” says Harve. An’ Rich says, “Harve,” says he, “you go out’n that door an’ I’ll go out’n this door.” “All right, Rich,” says Harve, an’ out they walked, steady, an’ thar was two shoots shot, an’ Rich an’ Harve both drapped, an’ in ten minutes they was stretched out on Nance’s bed an’ Nance was a-lopin’ away fer the yarb doctor.
The gal nussed ’em both plum faithful. Rich didn’t hev much to say, an’ Harve didn’t hev much to say. Nance was sorter quiet, an’ Nance’s mammy, ole Nance, jes grinned. Folks come in to ax atter ’em right peart. Abe Shivers come cl’ar ‘cross the river—powerful frien’ly—an’ ever’ time Nance ud walk out to the fence with him.
One time she didn’t come back, an’ ole Nance fotched the boys thar dinner, an’ ole Nance fotched thar supper, an’ then Rich he axed whut was the matter with young Nance. An’ ole Nance jes snorted. Atter a while Rich says: “Harve,” says he, “who tol’ you that I said that word agin you an’ Nance?” “Abe Shivers,” says Harve. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book
“An’ who tol’ you,” says Harve, “that I said that word agin Nance an’ YOU?” “Abe Shivers,” says Rich. An’ both says, “Well, damn me!” An’ Rich tu’ned right over an’ begun pullin’ straws out’n the bed. He got two out, an’ he bit one off, an’ he says: “Harve,” says he, “I reckon we better draw fer him. The shortes’ gits him.” An’ they drawed.
Well, nobody ever knowed which got the shortes’ straw, stranger, but— Thar’ll be a dancin’-party comin’ Christmas night on “Hell fer Sartain.” Rich Harp ‘ll be thar from the head-waters. Harve Hall’s a-goin’ to tote the Widder Shivers clean across the Cumberlan’. Fust one ‘ll swing Nance, an’ then t’other.
Then they’ll take a pull out’n the same bottle o’ moonshine, an’—fust one an’ then t’other—they’ll swing her agin, jes the same. ABE won’t be thar. He’s a-settin’ by a bigger fire, I reckon (ef he ain’t in it), a-bitin’ his thumbs! Hit was this way, stranger. When hit comes to handlin’ a right peert gal, Jeb Somers air about the porest man on Fryin’ Pan, I reckon. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book
An’ Polly Ann Sturgill have got the vineg’rest tongue on Cutshin or any other crick. So the boys over on Fryin’ Pan made it up to git ’em together. Abe Shivers—you’ve heerd tell o’ Abe—tol’ Jeb that Polly Ann had seed him in Hazlan (which she hadn’t, of co’se), an’ had said p’int-blank that he was the likeliest feller she’d seed in them mountains.
An’ he tol’ Polly Ann that Jeb was ravin’ crazy ’bout her. The pure misery of it jes made him plumb delirious, Abe said; an’ ‘f Polly Ann wanted to find her match fer languige an’ talkin’ out peert—well, she jes ought to strike Jeb Somers. Fact is, stranger, Jeb Somers air might’ nigh a idgit; but Jeb ‘lowed he’d rack right over on Cutshin an’ set up with Polly Ann Sturgill; an’ Abe tells Polly Ann the king bee air comin’.
An’ Polly Ann’s cousin, Nance Osborn, comes over from Hell fer Sartain (whut runs into Kingdom-Come) to stay all night an’ see the fun. Now, I hain’t been a-raftin’ logs down to the settlemints o’ Kaintuck fer nigh on to twenty year fer nothin’, An’ I know gallivantin’ is diff’ent with us mountain fellers an’ you furriners, in the premises, anyways, as them lawyers up to court says. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book
Though I reckon hit’s purty much the same atter the premises is over. Whar you says “courtin’,” now, we says “talkin’ to.” Sallie Spurlock over on Fryin’ Pan is a-talkin’ to Jim Howard now. Sallie’s sister hain’t nuver talked to no man. An’ whar you says “makin’ a call on a young lady,” we says “settin’ up with a gal”! An’, stranger, we does it.
We hain’t got more’n one room hardly ever in these mountains, an’ we’re jes obleeged to set up to do any courtin’ at all. Well, you go over to Sallie’s to stay all night some time, an’ purty soon atter supper Jim Howard comes in. The ole man an’ the ole woman goes to bed, an’ the chil’un an’ you go to bed, an’ ef you keeps one eye open you’ll see Jim’s cheer an’ Sallie’s cheer a-movin’ purty soon.
Till they gets plumb together. Then, stranger, hit begins. Now I want ye to understand that settin’ up means business. We don’t ‘low no foolishness in these mountains; an’ ‘f two fellers happens to meet at the same house, they jes makes the gal say which one she likes best, an’ t’other one gits! Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book
Well, you’ll see Jim put his arm ’round Sallie’s neck an’ whisper a long while—jes so. Mebbe you’ve noticed whut fellers us mountain folks air fer whisperin’. You’ve seed fellers a-whisperin’ all over Hazlan on court day, hain’t ye? Ole Tom Perkins ‘ll put his arm aroun’ yo’ neck an’ whisper in yo’ year ef he’s ten mile out’n the woods.
I reckon thar’s jes so much devilmint a-goin’ on in these mountains, folks is naturely afeerd to talk out loud. Well, Jim let’s go an’ Sallie puts her arm aroun’ Jim’s neck an’ whispers a long while— jes so; an’ ‘f you happen to wake up anywhar to two o’clock in the mornin’ you’ll see jes that a-goin’ on. Brother, that’s settin’ up.
Well, Jeb Somers, as I was a-sayin’ in the premises, ‘lowed he’d rack right over on Cutshin an’ set up with Polly Ann comin’ Christmas night. An’ Abe tells Polly Ann Jeb says he aims to have her fer a Christmas gift afore mornin’. Polly Ann jes sniffed sorter, but you know women folks air always mighty ambitious jes to SEE a feller anyways, ‘f he’s a-pinin’ fer ’em. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book Download
So Jeb come, an’ Jeb was fixed up now fittin’ to kill. Jeb had his hair oiled down nice an’ slick, and his mustache was jes black as powder could make hit. Naturely hit was red; but a feller can’t do nothin’ in these mountains with a red mustache; an’ Jeb had a big black ribbon tied in the butt o’ the bigges’ pistol Abe Shivers could borrer fer him—hit was a badge o’ death an’ deestruction to his enemies.
Abe said, an’ I tell ye Jeb did look like a man. He never opened his mouth atter he says “howdy”—Jeb never does say nothin’; Jeb’s one o’ them fellers whut hides thar lack o’ brains by a-lookin’ solemn an’ a-keepin’ still, but thar don’t nobody say much tell the ole folks air gone to bed, an’ Polly Ann jes ‘lowed Jeb was a-waitin’.
Fact is, stranger, Abe Shivers had got Jeb a leetle disguised by liquer, an’ he did look fat an’ sassy, ef he couldn’t talk, a-settin’ over in the corner a-plunkin’ the banjer an’ a-knockin’ off “Sour-wood Mountain” an’ “Jinny git aroun'” an’ “Soapsuds over the Fence.” I’ve told ye, stranger, that Hell fer Sartain empties, as it oughter, of co’se, into Kingdom Come. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book Download
You can ketch the devil ‘most any day in the week on Hell fer Sartain, an’ sometimes you can git Glory everlastin’ on Kingdom-Come. Hit’s the only meetin’-house thar in twenty miles aroun’. Well, the reg’lar rider, ole Jim Skaggs, was dead, an’ the bretherin was a-lookin’ aroun’ fer somebody to step into ole Jim’s shoes.
Thar’d been one young feller up thar from the settlemints, a-cavortin’ aroun’, an’ they was studyin’ ’bout gittin’ him. “Bretherin’ an’ sisteren,” I says, atter the leetle chap was gone, “he’s got the fortitood to speak an’ he shorely is well favored. He’s got a mighty good hawk eye fer spyin’ out evil— an’ the gals; he can outholler ole Jim; an’ IF.”
I says, “any IDEES ever comes to him, he’ll be a hell-rouser shore—but they ain’t comin’!” An’, so sayin’, I takes my foot in my hand an’ steps fer home. Stranger, them fellers over thar hain’t seed much o’ this world. Lots of ’em nuver seed the cyars; some of ’em nuver seed a wagon. An’ atter jowerin’ an’ noratin’ fer ’bout two hours, what you reckon they said they aimed to do? Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book Download
They believed they’d take that ar man Beecher, ef they could git him to come. They’d heerd o’ Henry endurin’ the war, an’ they knowed he was agin the rebs, an’ they wanted Henry if they could jes git him to come. Well, I snorted, an’ the feud broke out on Hell fer Sartain betwixt the Days an’ the Dillons. Mace Day shot Daws Dillon’s brother.
As I rickollect—somep’n’s al’ays a-startin’ up that plaguey war an’ a-makin’ things frolicsome over thar—an’ ef it hadn’t a-been fer a tall young feller with black hair an’ a scar across his forehead, who was a-goin’ through the mountains a-settlin’ these wars, blame me ef I believe thar ever would ‘a’ been any mo’ preachin’ on Kingdom-Come.
This feller comes over from Hazlan an’ says he aims to hold a meetin’ on Kingdom-Come. “Brother,” I says, “that’s what no preacher have ever did whilst this war is a-goin’ on.” An’ he says, sort o’ quiet, “Well, then, I reckon I’ll have to do what no preacher have ever did.” An’ I ups an’ says: “Brother, an ole jedge come up here once from the settlemints to hold couht. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book Download
‘Jedge,’ I says, ‘that’s what no jedge have ever did without soldiers since this war’s been a-goin’ on.’ An’, brother, the jedge’s words was yours, p’intblank. ‘All right,’ he says, ‘then I’ll have to do what no other jedge have ever did.’ An’, brother,” says I to the preacher, “the jedge done it shore. He jes laid under the couht-house fer two days whilst the boys fit over him.
An’ when I sees the jedge a-makin’ tracks fer the settlemints, I says, ‘Jedge,’ I says, ‘you spoke a parable shore.'” Well, sir, the long preacher looked jes as though he was a-sayin’ to hisself, “Yes, I hear ye, but I don’t heed ye,” an’ when he says, “Jes the same, I’m a-goin’ to hold a meetin’ on Kingdom-Come,” why, I jes takes my foot in my hand an’ ag’in I steps fer home.
“Abe tuk to lyin’ right naturely—looked like—afore he could talk. Fact is, Abe nuver could do nothin’ but jes whisper. Still, Abe could manage to send a lie furder with that rattlin’ whisper than ole Tom could with that big horn o’ hisn what tells the boys the revenoos air comin’ up Fryin’ Pan.’ “Didn’t take Abe long to git to braggin’ an’ drinkin’ an’ naggin’ an’ hectorin’—everything. Hell Fer Sartain and Other Stories PDF Book Free
‘Mos’, ‘cept fightin’. Nobody ever drawed Abe Shivers into a fight. I don’t know as he was afeerd; looked like Abe was a-havin’ sech a tarnation good time with his devilmint he jes didn’t want to run no risk o’ havin’ hit stopped. An’ sech devilmint! Hit ud take a coon’s age, I reckon, to tell ye. “The boys was a-goin’ up the river one night to git ole Dave Hall fer trickin’ Rosie Branham into evil.
Some feller goes ahead an’ tells ole Dave they’s a-comin.’ Hit was Abe. Some feller finds a streak o’ ore on ole Tom Perkins’ land, an’ racks his jinny down to town, an’ tells a furriner thar, an’ Tom comes might’ nigh sellin’ the land fer nothin’. Now Tom raised Abe, but, jes the same, the feller was Abe.