From Hell to Breakfast Page: 30
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FROM HELL TO BREAKFAST
pentent nigger would of done been in de Pearly Streets by
de time dey cotched dat mule and shot him. So partly I
reckon it was Big Sam's own natural fault, and partly I
reckon hadn't nobody ever write it in de Good Book for Big
Sam to enjoy dem eternal fishfries.
Big Sam done died and managed to flipflap as far as dem
Pearly Gates, and dere he stood in de very reach of dem,
trying to square accounts with de good Saint Peter and wasn't
quite over de line yet. De good Saint Peter was holding out
over two chickens and four watermelons what was took off
de Widderwoman, Mrs. Archy Green, las' Juneteenth. He
cleared he holy throat, and he say to Big Sam, he say,
"Big Sam," and took out his specs like a two-bit lawyer,
"it say here dat de Widderwoman, Mrs. Archy Green, am
short two chickens, frying size, and four watermelons, cool
off de vine, as of Juneteenth, last year, Our Lord. Now,
Big Sam, dat ain't good. You is just two chickens and four
watermelons out of dese closely guarded Pearly Gates.
Yessuh, two chickens and four watermelons am what it takes
to squeeze your black soul through here, and, nossuh, I can't
let you in till dem sins is amended. Hallellullah!"
"Hallellullah!" say Big Sam powerful sorryful. Man, he
"Wouldn't shoot no craps for dem chickens and water-
melons, good Saint Peter?"
"Lord, nossuh!" De good Saint Peter fling up his big old
hands in holy horrer. "No Suh." He scowl at de sinner, "Big
Sam, dat was a bad sin right dere-tempting de Lord's
Faithful Sheep-worth de equal of two more chickens, fry-
ing size." He writ it down dat way. "Four chickens and four
Old Big Sam done decide right den and dere to keep his
tater trap shut until he think up something purely good.
He done got himself in a bad fix. Ain't no way to pay back
dem earthly belongings after a man started up de Glory
Road. Can't take 'em with you. He sniff de good old fishfry
smell comin' over dem Pearly Gates and two big salty tears
come in his sorrowful black eyes.
Bang! Right den day shot Big Sam's mule. And in just
less time dan it takes to say Jack Robinson here come dat old
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. From Hell to Breakfast, book, 1944; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67649/m1/38/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.