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The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Edition Volume 1
It was about a month after this (and during the interval I had seen nothing of Legrand) when I received a visit, at Charleston, from his man, Jupiter. I had never seen the good old negro look so dispirited, and I feared that some serious disaster had befallen my friend.
"Well, Jup," said I, "what is the matter now? - how is your master?"
"Why, to speak de troof, massa, him not so berry well as mought be."
"Not well! I am truly sorry to hear it. What does he complain of?"
"Dar! dat's it! - him neber plain of notin - but him berry sick for all dat."
"Very sick, Jupiter! - why didn't you say so at once? Is he confined to bed?"
"No, dat he aint! - he aint find nowhar - dat's just whar de shoe pinch - my mind is got to be berry hebby bout poor Massa Will."
"Jupiter, I should like to understand what it is you are talking about. You say your master is sick. Hasn't he told you what ails him?"
"Why, massa, taint worf while for to git mad about de matter - Massa Will say noffin at all aint de matter wid him - but den what make him go about looking dis here way, wid he head down and he soldiers up, and as white as a gose? And den he keep a syphon all de time - "
"Keeps a what, Jupiter?"
"Keeps a syphon wid de figgurs on de slate - de queerest figgurs I ebber did see. Ise gittin to be skeered, I tell you. Hab for to keep mighty tight eye pon him noovers. Todder day he gib me slip fore de sun up and was gone de whole ob de blessed day. I had a big stick ready cut for to gib him deuced good beating when he did come - but Ise sich a fool dat I hadn't de heart arter all - he look so berry poorly."
"Eh? - what? - ah yes! - upon the whole I think you had better not be too severe with the poor fellow - don't flog him, Jupiter - he can't very well stand it - but can you form no idea of what has occasioned this illness, or rather this change of conduct? Has anything unpleasant happened since I saw you?"
"No, massa, dey aint bin noffin unpleasant since den - 'twas fore den I'm feared - 'twas de berry day you was dare."
"How? what do you mean?"
"Why, massa, I mean de bug - dare now."
"De bug, - I'm berry sartain dat Massa Will bin bit somewhere bout de head by dat goole-bug."
"And what cause have you, Jupiter, for such a supposition?"
"Claws enuff, massa, and mouth too. I nebber did see sick a deuced bug - he kick and he bite ebery ting what cum near him. Massa Will cotch him fuss, but had for to let him go gin mighty quick, I tell you - den was de time he must ha got de bite. I did n't like de look oh de bug mouff, myself, no how, so I would n't take hold ob him wid my finger, but I cotch him wid a piece ob paper dat I found. I rap him up in de paper and stuff piece ob it in he mouff - dat was de way."