A monologue by Nixon WatermanNOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Modern Literature for Oral Interpretation. Ed. Gertrude E. Johnson.
New York: The Century Co. , 1920. Well, yes, I calkerlate it is a little quiet hereFer one who’s b’en about the world and traveled fur an’ near;But maybe ’cause I never lived no other place, to meThe town seems ’bout as lively as a good town ort to be. We go about our bizness in a quiet sort o’ way,Ner think’ o’ the outside world, exceptin’ wunst a dayWe gather at the depot, where we laff an’ talk an’ spinOur yarns an’ watch the people when the train comes in.Order now
Si Jenkins, he’s the jestice o’ the peace, he allers spendsHis money fer a paper which he glances through an’ lendsTo some the other fellers an’ we all take turns an’ chat,An’ each one tells what he ‘u’d do if he was this er that;An’ in a quiet sort o’ way, afore a hour’s gone,We git a purty good idee o’ what’s a-goin’ on,An’ gives us lots to think about until we meet ag’inThe follerin’ to-morrer when the train comes in. When I git lonesome-like I set aroun’ the barber-shopEr corner groc’ry, where I talk about the growing cropWith fellers from the country; an’ if the sun ain’t out too hot,We go to pitchin’ hoss-shoes in Jed Thompson’s vacant lotBehin’ the livery stable; an’ afore the game is doneAs like as not some feller’ll say his nag kin clean outrunThe other feller’s an’ they take ’em out an’ have a spin;But all git back in town afore the train comes in. I see it in the papers ‘at some folks, when summer’s here,Pack up their trunks an’ journey to the seashore every yearTo keep from gittin’ sunstruck; I’ve a better way than that,Fer when it’s hot I put a cabbage-leaf inside my hatAn’ go about my bizness jes thought it wasn’t warm–Fact is I ain’t a-doin’ much sense I moved off my farm;An’ folks ‘at loves the outside world, if they’ve a mind to, kinSee all they ort to of it when the train comes in. An’ yit I like excitement, an’ they’s nothin’ suits me more’An to git three other fellers, so’s to make a even four,’At knows the game jest to a T, an’ spend a half a dayIn some good place a-fightin’ out a battle of croquet.
There’s Tubbs who tends the post-office, an’ old Doc Smith and meAn’ Uncle Perry Louden–it ‘u’d do you good to seeUs fellers maul them balls aroun’; we meet time an’ ag’in. An’ play an’ play an’ play until the train comes in. An’ take it all in all I bet you’d have to look aroun’A good, long while afore you’d find a nicer little town’An this ‘n’ is. The people live a quiet sort o’ life,Ner carin’ much bout the world with all its woe an’ strife.An’ here I mean to spend my days, an’ when I reach the endI’ll say, “God bless ye!” an’ “Good-bye,” to every faithful friend;An’ when they foller me to where they ain’t no care ner sin,I’ll meet ’em at the depot when the train comes in.