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Excuses





    Cephas is a darky come up from Maryland to a border town in Pennsylvania, where he has established himself as a handy man to do odd jobs. He is a good worker, and sober, but there are certain proclivities of his which necessitate a pretty close watch on him. Not long ago he was caught with a chicken under his coat, and was haled to court to explain its presence there.

    "Now, Cephas," said the judge very kindly, "you have got into a new place, and you ought to have new habits. We have been good to you and helped you, and while we like you as a sober and industrious worker, this other business cannot be tolerated. Why did you take Mrs. Gilkie's chicken?"

    Cephas was stumped, and he stood before the majesty of the law, rubbing his head and looking ashamed of himself. Finally he answered:

    "Deed, I dunno, Jedge," he explained, "ceptin' 't is dat chickens is chickens and niggers is niggers."



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