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The Earthquake (August, 1886)--
By Diana Brown

Edisto Island, South Carolina

W'en dat fus [first] storm been here---w'en dat fus storm been here, you ---- I don't tink [think[ you been born.  An' dat fus storm--you know 'about utquake [earthquake]?  You know 'bout dark night?  I hear say 'bout dark night now een August.  Well, w'en dat--w'en dat fus storm been here, I had seb'n head u chillun een my house.  An' Miss Barton---an' he [she] gie [give] you ration; an' he [she] gimme to every head.  Dat was un [w]oman.  He [she] gimme two quart un grits fuh de baby an' tree [three] quart fuh de smalles' one; fo [four] quart fuh de larges' one; five quart duh de bigges'one.  Den he [she] gie me an' de ol' man one sack--uh little sack uh flour an' de coffee an' de sugah.  An' dat storm---all de people w'at been wid me on de plan--on de Islan'--every Gawd one gone.  Gawd dis [just] save me an' my house an' chillun.  Yes mam!  dis save me an' de fi--- de succuh |just like| here comin' 'long, dat tide!  carry de people right down een de crik--some dead or on de place.  You go dere an' meet some man bruk [broken].  De man an' he [his] wife hang to de tree.  Dem lick to pieces.  Man, some uh shocking time been here.  Lick to pieces!  An' aftuh dem harrow[ing] storm git way from de tide we sleep een [w]ood.  We dat--we w'at been on de place--we save one or two.  We have to bar up de house.  De people come home naked.  Come home naked!  Tell me after--say dey catch buds [birds].  Lord!  Lord!  Catch buds fuh eat em raw fuh git home.  De tide carry dem out.  De [w]oman, drown wid de baby een de hand 'long out side de house.  Some time [I] been dere an' I say w'en I ---- today w'en I look --- w'en de storm de come, I say I don't care fuh freedom.  W'en dey come down las' week, I say I ain't care fuh freedom, kay [because] I done been tru [through] em.  I say [if it hadn't] been fuh dis Gawd, I wouldn't uh been here.  An' de him save me.  I say I had five head--small chillun.  W'en de utquake been here, we gone to meetin': We gone to meetin'.  An' w'en wide---w'en de--w'en dat utquake start to shek [shake], I been 'bout uh mile from my house---me an' me [my] ol' man.  W'en de ol' la-- de ol' man say: "Ol' lady, you bettuh go home; go see 'bout yo chillun."  I couldn't git home; I haffuh walk on my han' an' knee, kay [because] de world gwine --up side down.  De world de gwine up side down.  An' w'en I git home everything dall down.  "Fahduh!--I must tank Gawd it never set de house fire.  I tuck [took] up me chillun an' run to me mammy.  Mammy say: "Oh, Diana."  He [she] say: "Don't run; de Gawd wuk [work]." He [she] say: "Put de
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