Hyatt’s HCWR, V. 2, “Medicine-Show Man” from Sumter, SC.
p. 1097: “De great mistake wit de people today dey take too long tuh find de black cat. It do jes’ as well fo’ yo’ to ketch any cat and paint it black with any black powder or shoe polish. Ghos’es is some way crazy ovah whiskey…dat whiskey is a witch’ry anyhow. Anothah fine thing, doc.”
“De real ole-time way to git de bone is — yo’ ketch a black cat.” [Actually, the details of how to make the fire in the woods are a bit much for me to type, but of interest here is that he says 1. you can catch a cat and paint it black, as long as its black when you cook it, and 2. you need to put a lid on it after you throw it in the pot alive, or else “he’s goin’ have mo’ power den yo’ think, boy.” Delightful. Anyway, also of interest is, “It dont’ make no difference whether he’s black all ovah or not, but de back of him must be black from his haid to his tail — an his tail.”]
“…dere is a bone dat will come on top of de watah an all de othah bones really goin’ tuh sink. Den yo’ take out dat bone whut come on top of de watah an’ dat’s worth a thousan’ dollahs to any man.”
p 1106: “On way — de ole time way of keepin’ de law out yore place is to — dat same black cat bone. Yo’ take dat black cat bone an’ sew it up into some kind of a good stout cloth…an’ yo’ tack him up ovah yore do’. In some cases, wherevah de black cat bone is kept, yo’ can afford to take a black cat bone an’ trace on a big cardbo’d jes’ de shape of dat black cat bone, an’ sew it up in a pad somepin lak a folding pocketbook, an’ tack it ovah de front do’ an’ one ovah de back do’, an’ dat keeps him out. Some of de bones is very scarce — sometimes yo’ use dem as a substitute, but dey’s not quite as good as de real bone itself. But yo’ can use it in cheaper form in dat way.”
Somebody remind me to post about the “graveyard snack.”