Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 17
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ON THE JEFFERSON ROAD
banked close to the warmth on the other side. The young bucks,
and many who were grown men, but full artists at heart, would
strut their stuff on the narrow, tailgate floor.
This was in the days of the Klan, when the "patter-roles"
were riding the roads. There was excitement in the air. Henry
Gaston would remove his brogans, grease his ankles with buzzard
oil, to put wings in his feet, pull brogans back on and mount
the boards. The master himself was about to perform. The
veterans who had seen him perform in his younger days, during
winter quarters at Tupelo, would now gather around.
The banjos would begin to strum a pulsing beat. Henry,
it seems, had been having some trouble with the patter-roles.
He illustrated with pantomime, pursing of full lips, gesture of
hands, the regular beat of flying feet.
"I'se walking me down the road. Hit sho' is a purty night.
The ole moon, she sho' is ridin' high, a-grinnin' frum eah to eah.
I smells me some honeysuckles, growin' wild on a ole rail fence.
They sho' do smell sweet. I ain't payin' nobody no mind,
no-h6w. I'm thinkin' 'bout a high-yaller gal I seen in Jefferson
Town. I pulls my ole hat brim low, and shoots me a sidewise
glance. I heahs my ole eyes click. You got to make yo' eyes
click, if you wants a high-yaller gal to look yo' way. Yes suh,
them high-yaller gals sho' do lack to heah yo' eyes click, when
they goes passin' by.
"Yes suh, I ain't payin' nobody no mind, no-h6w. But I
thinks me I heahs somethin' a-comin' up behind. I flings me
a look back ovah one shoulder. My eyes pop out and roll them-
selves round, lack a snowball in winter time. They's seein' whut
they see. Yes suh, and theah he is-ole Mister Patter-role his-
self. He's on a big hoss an' all covered ovah wid white. He
looks lack a church wid a steeple on a moonlight night. He's
that big, an' I'm tellin' you de whole trufe. An' he's breathin'
fiah an' brimstone.
"Yes sub, and theah I is. I says: 'Eyes, you done seen what
all you can see. Now come back heah to me!' An' my eyes pop
back and I takes me a look 'round. Then I looks me down at
mah feet. I says. 'Feet, light me a shuck.' I ain't got nowhere
to go in par-tic-u-lar, but I sho' is in one hurry to get theah.
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/25/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.