“Sweet BetseyAnn Spikes” :) (part 6 of 7)
BetseyAnn Spikes (a dude) makes a penultimate appearance…
Missouri hominy (image credit: Farm Flavor)
Here, her authentic Oregon “country” accent keeps up the Chinook twang and agitates for female suffrage…
Youngs on a Rogue River Rock.
BY A STUDENT OF THE OLD SCHOOL.
MY DEAR ED.–
Onst more on this side ov eternyti I’ve bin purmited to skrible a few lines to your valable and nuzy paper. Jist now I am sitting where I can gaze up at that notorious Table Rock, where, so I’ve bin told by princes and burds, during the Rogue River Injun war 4 or 5 men put ten thousand red skins to flight. Ed, they say the Injuns jumpt off ov the rock 400 feet to the bottom and it ackually killed some of the little Indians — ten-ess papoose — kum-tix, mika Boston man? [tənəs-papús … kə́mtəks mayka(,) bástən-mán? (‘little babies … do you understand, White man?’)]
There wuz a man down here by the name of D. S. Youngs –heze from yer town I beleve — heze konsidered to be the lukkiest fisherman (outside of Fred Barnyburg) in the state. You remember he kitcht a shark last summer at Kresent City that wuz 45 feet long with a spoon. Somehow I never beleved a man kould feed a fish with a spoon till it got so tame he kould kitch it, but the skriptures says man is fearfully and wonderfoolly made so I guess he kin do most anything. I know he kin keep us wimmin from votin, but he kant keep us from writin ter the Medford Mail or any other male. Well, Ed., I must tell you something about the downfall of D. S. Youngs. He kame down here fur to katch a fish, well he came ny onto kasting hiz last line ov life. He waded out in the river and kast hiz line at the end of 400 feet — (gist given hiz own words). He felt a nibble at the bait, give a jerk, then the war kommenced; the rock was slick and the water wuz swift out where D. S. wuz. Well I’ll give it in poorertry:
D. S. kould spell Mosouri homony,
And had studied Oregon ekonomy;
But he went to the river,
And as quick as a beaver
Sat down to study fishonomy–
They tug; they strain; down, down they go;
The fish above and D. S. below.
Yer see, Ed., D. S.’ understandin kame in contackt with a slick boolder and that iz why he sit down in the river to study fishonomy. After two hours he land a whale of a salmon and when he got ashore, and seed me sittin there and kame up to me sorter bewildered and started to raze hiz hat and make a perlite bow but hiz hat wuz gone, it went down the river; he lookd sorter pleged but I sympathized with him in hiz bereavement and loned him my hunkerchef and he asked me my name, and when I told him he jist got me by the hand and sez he: Miss Betseyannspikes, my name iz der Shame Youngs. Yours az ever,
— from the Medford (OR) Mail Tribune of November 6, 1896, page 4