From the Nelson Evening Mail (New Zealand) for 4 May 1907, in a column called “Weekly Whispers” we find this rare account of Pamela Colman Smith (thanks to LoRee):

“Miss Pamela Colman Smith, who made such a success in London a year or two ago as a storyteller, is now enchanting America with her quaint art. She recently entertained Mark Twain, and he was so delighted that he laughed like a child the whole time. In the weird dialect of the Jamaican negroes—a sort of cockney English with Spanish colouring, a rhythmic rising inflection at the end of each sentence, and barbaric words and idioms sprinkled through it that must have come directly from the voodoo worshippers of the African jungle—she tells fairy folk-tales of “de long ago before time, when Queen Victoria didn’t yet rule over we.”

“This is her story of “De Six Poach Eggs,” which tickled the author of “The Jumping Frog.”

“‘A man stop at a cookshop fe someting to eat, an’ dey bring him six poach eggs an’ he eat dem, an’ he say him don’t got any money to pay fe dem; but would come back an’ pay when he find him fortune. So after twelve years him stop an’ pay six-pence fe de eggs he had eat twelve years before. But de keeper of de cookshop say it was not enough, dat if de man had not eaten de eggs dey would have grown up to chickens, an’ de chickens would grow up to hens, an’ de hens would lay more eggs, an’ dey would grow to chickens, an’ dat de six eggs would be worth more dan sixty pounds, not six pennies! De man say he would not pay any more dan six-pence. An’ de cookshop-keeper say he mus’! An’ so he take de man to de judge, an’ de judge didn’t know what to say. While he was t’inkin’ a little boy came in de courthouse. An’ him hab a bag under him arm, an de judge say, ‘What you got?’ An’ de boy say, ‘Parch peas, sah.’ ‘What you goin’ to do wid it? An’ de boy say, ‘Plant it, sah.’ An’ de judge say, ‘But parch peas won’t grow.’ An’ de boy say, ‘An’ poach eggs won’t hatch!’ De man didn’t have to pay. De boy got him reward, though, an’ was rich before him go away with Death. Dis story prove that ‘No catchee, no habie.’” Miss Smith was born in London of American parents, and was brought up as a young girl in Kingston, Jamaica.”

See my collection of links to material by and about PCS – here.

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