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91. Tiger Softens his Voice.

George Parkes, Mandeville.

Once upon a time a woman had one daughter, an' that daughter was the prettiest girl in an' around that country. Every man want the girl to marry, but the mother refuse them as they come. Tiger, too, wanted the girl, an' demands the girl, an' the mother says no. Tiger said if he don't get the girl he will kill her. So they remove from that part of the country and go to another part, into a thick wild wood where no one live. And she made a house with a hundred doors and a hundred windows and a large staircase; and the house is an upstairs, an' there both of them live.

Tiger hear of it, always loafing aroun' the house to see if he can catch the girl, but the girl never come out. During the day, the mother went to her work, leaving the girl at home. When going out, the mother fasten all the doors an' windows; coming home in the evening, at a certain spot where she can see the house an' notice that all the windows an' doors are close as she leave it, then now she have a song to sing, go like this,--

"Tom Jones, Tom Jones, Tom Jones!"

(that's the name of the girl). Girl now--

"Deh lo, madame!"

Woman said to her now,

"Fare you well, fare you well, fare you well,
Fare you well, me dear; fare you well, me love!
A no Tiger, deh la, ho, deh la, ho?
Me jus' come, ho!"

Then the door open, so--

"Cheeky checky knock umbar,
Cheeky checky knock umbar,
Cheeky checky knock umbar."

The door don't open without that song now, and when it open, the mamma go into the house.

At that time, Tiger in the bush listening to the song. So one day while she was away, hear time for her to come home, Tiger approach the spot where she always sing. He now in a very coarse voice sings the song,--

"Tom Jones, Tom Jones, Tom Jones!"

{p. 117}

The girl look from the window, said, "Tiger, a who no know sa' a you!" So now Tiger go 'way an' hide till mamma come. When she come, he listen good. Next day, Tiger go to a blacksmith an' ask de blacksmith what he t'ink can give him, Tiger, a clear v'ice. De blacksmit' say he must hot a long iron an' when it hot, mus' take it push down his t'roat. An' de blacksmit' give him a bit of meat to eat after he burn the throat an' that will give him a clear v'ice. So Tiger go away eat de meat first an' den burn de t'roat after. Nex' day he went to the spot where the woman always sing from. An' that make his v'ice more coarser. He sing now--

"Tom Jones, Tom Jones, Tom Jones!"

The girl look thru the window an' say, "Cho! a who no know sa' a you!" So Tiger got vex' now, an' he went home, burn the throat first and afterward eat the meat, and that give him a clearer v'ice than the woman. The nex' day, when most time for the woman to come home from her work, Tiger went to the spot where he can see the house. He begin to sing,

"Tom Jones, Tom Jones, Tom Jones!"

The girl answer (tho't it was her mother now)--

"Deh la, madame!"

Then Tiger say,

"Fare you well, fare you well, fare you well,
Fare you well, me dear; fare you well, me love!
A no Tiger deh lo o-o-o
Me jus' come, h-o-o-o!"

The door commence to open now,--

"Cheeky checky checky knock umbar,
Cheeky cheeky checky knock umbar,
Cheeky checky cheeky knock umbar!"

And as the door open, Tiger step up an' caught the girl an' swallow her.

And when the mother coming home, reach to the spot and saw the doors and windows open, she throw down what she carry and run to the house. And she saw Tiger lay down. And the mother then went away an' get some strong men come an' tie Tiger, kill him, an' open de belly an' take out de daughter. At that time, little life left in her an' they get back the life in her. The woman then leave the house an' go off away far into another country, and that is why you always fin' lot of old houses unoccupied that no one live in.

{p. 118}

Next: 92. Hidden Names.