"Charles? Charles?" called Vermillyum, standing at the door of the carriage house, "Yo' in thereh somewhere, Charles?"
"Overh here, Vermillyum," said Charles swallowing, "Ah wuz jest checkin' thu quality of thu shelac thinner. Whut can Ah do fo' yo', Mah Li'll' Southurn Songsparrow?"
"Fo' starters, Charles, yo' might consider thet our carriage, which used to be so shiny and bright, has been sittin' out in thu yard everh since yo' decided to turn our carriage house into yo'r boat shop. Yo' said at thu time that it wuz only fo' a little while, but Ah noticed thet there is a small tree growin' up through thu floor of thu carriage. When, eezactly can we get thu carriage back in hereh?"
"Why, Mah Li'll' Antebellum Belle, yo' know Ah want to restore ourh carriage to its full glory, but 'til Ah get finished wiff thu new dingy thereh's not much spare room in hereh!..."
"Charles! Thereh aint 'nuff room to swing uh cat in this hoot-hog's nest yo' maintain fo' yo' workshop! It's im-possible to see any one of thu fourh walls, the ceilling is beein' used fo' scrap lumber storage, an' thu whole place is knee-deep in wood shavin's! Yo' can't find anythin' in this churnin' sea of trash!"
"Thet aint so!" Charles protested, "Why right overh thereh under thet heap of useful broken boards is thu hammer Ah dropped on thu day Jefferson Davis was ee-nog-grated. ...Oh, an' be careful whereh yo' walk, Mah Li'll' Honey Bun, thereh's a anvil somewhere under them wood shavings on thu floor!"
"Charles! Yo' need some ordur brought into this workshop of yo'rs! Ah am goin' to help yo' tidy up thu place!"
Charles looked dismayed, "Thet's not really necessary, Mah Li'll' Winsome Weevil! Ever'thin' in this hereh workshop has a place in thu scheme of construction, an' movin' thangs could seriously inner-rupt thu work-flow!"
"Some thin's seem sue-purfluous, Charles... Fo' instance, Ah jest noticed thet calendar on thu wall overh yo' workbench. At furst Ah thought it wuz a gynocological chart, but Ah sees now thet it's pictur' of uh lady calls herseff, 'Miz January.' ...Hummp! ...Sittin' on thet cake of ice, 'Miz January' better get some mo' clothes befor' she freezes her assets...!"
Vermillyum moved through the carriage house picking up objects, Charles followed closely, putting each one back. "Vermillyum!" Charles, sighed, "If'n yo' sort mah thangs Ah'll neverh be able to fine' nuthin!"
"Yes yo' will, Charles," said Vermillyum primly, "Fo' instance, if yo' happen to need a ol' paintbrush dried solid wiff varnish it will be in this box along wiff twenty-five just like it.
"An' there! Instead of seven or eight different boxes of screws Ah poured them all together in one bucket, handy fo' yo' to get to!
"An all these tools need sortin'! See! Tools that look like thu letter T-- hammers an' hatchets an' thet pick-axe, can go overh hereh; an' pointy tools like screw drivers an' chisels an' nails can all go overh hereh!
"All these cans of sticky stuff like paint an' varnish an' glue can go on thu shelf--thu ones wiff thu tops left off can be stored on their sides 'cause they dried solid.
"An' 'nuther thing Ah bin wunderin' 'bout, Charles..."
"Whut's thet, Vermillyum?"
"All them clamps yo' bin buyin'! Don't yo' 'spect yo' got 'bout enuff clamps now?"
Charles stopped, motionless. He opened his mouth, then closed it again. He looked at the ceilling and mumbled, "Yes, Lawd, Ah will remember thet Ah love her..."
Then turning to Vermillyum, "...No, not quite enuff; but thank yo' for askin'"
Vermillyum found a broom and began sweeping the wood shavings, "Maybe this sorting would go faster if we could sweep up these piles of shavings an' actually see thu floor...EEEK! CHARLES! WHUT IS THAT?"
"OH MAH GOODNESS!" shouted Charles, throwing Vermillyum over his shoulder and running for the door, "IT IS A GIANT MUTATED RAT!
THEM SUCKERS GET REALLY MAD WHEN THEY'RE DISTURBED! LET'S HEAD FO' THU HOUSE!"
Half way to the house, bouncing on Charles' shoulder, Vervillyum asked, "Charles, are yo' sure that thet wasn't a ol' dried up dead racoon?"
"Nope!" said Charles resolutely, "Thet wuz one of them big, evil, mutated rats! Mah Li'll' Happy Helper, Ah think I'd feel a lot better if yo'd stay away from thu carriage house fo' a long time till Ah get thu rat situation under control..."