Quote Originally Posted by Bufty View Post
If I read that, my eyes would glaze over.

Just passing by, and posting out of curiosity - and I readily admit I'm not an avid Western reader so I could be totally off the tracks - but why does it have to be period phonetics?

Isn't it better to use minimal phonetics so the reader understands and follow the story? I know how I think a fugitive slave might speak and I would interpret his dialogue accordingly. Careful word choice and phrasing might be preferable to phonetics.
The only two words that are phonetic are o' instead of "of" and "pateroller" in place of "patroller". "Pateroller" might be familiar from some of the period dialect, for instance "The Pateroller Song." I actually encountered it in Flash For Freedom, and worked out from the context it meant the slave patrol.

"Passel" and "lit a shuck" are not phonetic. They are period dialect, passel means many and "to light a shuck" means depart hastily.

Honestly I think I'd need to see them in context, but if period dialect is too much, and phonetics is too much, that doesn't leave a whole lot of options.