THE RICH MAN
Told by: W.P Detherow
Recorded in Batesville, AR 8/27/59
Click here to listen to the original recording
So I laid down on the bench and pretended to go to sleep. Along in the night, the old man said, "Old lady, get up and cook me an ash cake." Says, "I'm pretty near starved; that fella eat all the supper up."
Well, she got up and she made up her dough, and she raked out the ashes and embers and put it down on the coals and covers it up and went back to bed. Well, I laid there a while and pretended like I was asleep, and after a while the old man thought his pancake was about done. He got up to eat it and I woke up and straightened up and rubbed my eyes and he said, "Have you had a good nap?"
And I said, "Yes, but I had the awfullest dream a fella ever did have."
And he says, "Well, tell me the dream."
And I says, "Oh, it don't amount to anything much."
And he says, "Well, tell it anyhow."
And I says, "Well, I dreamed that I had a fine tract of land," and I reached and got the poker, and I says, "It lay just this way," and I marked one way all around the cake, up one side and down the other, and I says, "I dreamed that there come a storm and just tore it all to pieces," and I just riddled his cake when I was done . . . and I just riddled his cake with the poker.
And so he went back to bed, and after a while he said, "Old lady, get up and get me a glass of buttermilk." He says, "I'm just pretty near starved." And it was dark by that time, so she went in the kitchen and I got up and placed myself right by the door. When she come in, and I reached and got the buttermilk and drank it down and went back.
And he says, "Where's my buttermilk?"
She says, "Why, you drank it, you fool, you."
And he laid there a while and then he got up and went out to the potato patch to grub him some potatoes. And he wore a great old long white gown for a sleeping gown and so I got up and got me a big limb and I got in behind him, and I just chased him in the house, whipped him hard, and I waited a while and then I come in and I says, "Old man, I run on the awfullest scene you ever saw in your old tater patch." Well, that ended it. From then on, they always put plenty on the table when I went, and I finally won the girl.