Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 355

.

-<k

a^.

//

'^-

^ ^

%/..
^

IMAGE EVALUATION TEST TARGET (MT-3)

TA

1.0

150

'""==

I.I

18

i^

IIIIIJA

111.6

6"

<^ /a

S ^
^>.

\
/A

\\

<^
f^

^-.^>

^>

O^
'^'b^;^
"i

Piiotograpiiic
23

Sciences Corporation

WEST MAIN STREET WEBSTER, NY. 14580 (716) 872-4503

w^
Ua

CIHM/ICMH
Microfiche

CIHM/ICMH
Collection de microfiches.

Canadian

Institute for Historical Microreproductions / institut

Canadian de microreproductions historiques

O'

Technical and Bibliographic Notes/Notss techniques et biotiographiques

The Institute has attempted to obtain the best original copy available for filming. Features of this
copy which may be bibliographically unique, which may alter any of the images in the reproduction, or which may significantly change the usual method of filming, are checked beiow.

microfilm* le meilleur exemplaire et* possible de se procurer Les details de cet exemplaire qui sont peut-dtre uniques du point de vue bibliographique, qui peuvent modifier une image reproduite, ou qui peuvent exiger une modification dans la m^thode normale de fllmage sont indiqu*s ci-dessous.
qu'il lui a

L'Institut a

D
j

Coloured covers/ Couverture da couleur

Colourod pages/ Pages de couleur

Covers damaged/ Couverture endommagee

r~7]

Pages damaged/ Pages endomm 'g*es Pages restored and/or and/oi laminated/ Pages restaurees et/ou pelliculees Pages discoloured, stained or foxed/ foxe Pages d6colo:ees, tachet*es ou piquees Pages detached/ Pages detachees

Covers restored and/or laminated/ Couverture restaur^e et/ou pellicul^e

Cover
Le

title

titre

missing/ de couverture manque

j\
j

Coloured maps/
Cartes g^ographiques en couleur

Coloured ink (i.e. other than blue or black)/ Encre de couleur (i.e. autre que bleue ou noire)

r~T| Showthrough/ uLJ Transparence

Coloured plates and/or illustrations/ Planches et/ou illustrations en couleur

Quality of print vanes/ Qualiti indgale ndgale de I'impression

Relii avec d'autres

Bound with other material/ documents

Comorend du Comprend

Includes supplementary material/ matfiril supplementaire snnnlamarx materiel

n D D

Tight binding may cause shadows or distortion along interior margin/ Lareiiure serree peut causer da I'ombre ou de la distorsion le long de la marge intdrieure

Only edition a^'ailable/ Seule Edition disponible

Blank leaves added during restoration may appear within the text. Whenever possible, these have been omitted from filming/ II se peut que certaines pages blanches ajouties lors dune restauration apparaissent dans le texte, mais, lorsque cela dtait possible, ces pages n'ont pas it6 film^es.
Additional comments:/ Commentaires suppl^mentaires;

obscured by errata have been refilmed to ensure the best possible image/ Les pages totalement ou partiellement obscurcies par un feuillet d'errata, une pelure, etc., cnt 6t6 fiimies * nouveau de facon a
partially
slips, tissues, etc.,

Pages wholly or

obtenir

la

meilleure image possible.

This item

is

Ca document
10><

filmed at the reduction ratio checked below/ est film* au taux de reduction indiqu* ci-dessous.

14X

18X
/
4

22X

26X

30X

12X

16X

20X

.4X

28X

32X

The copy filmed here has been reproduced thanks


to the generosity of:

L'exemplaire film6 fut reproduit grAce ginArositi de:

it

la

Douglas Library Queen's University


quality possible considering the condition and legibility of the original copy and in keeping with the filming contract specifications.

Douglas Library Queon's University


Los images suivantes ont 6t6 reproduites avjc le plus grand soin, compte tenu de la condition et de la npnetd de l'exemplaire filmd, et en conformity avec les conditions du contrat de filmage.

The images appearing here are the best

Original copies in printed paper covers are filmed beginning with the front cover and ending on the last page with a printed or illustrated impression, or the back cover when appropriate. All other original copies are filmed beginning on the
first

sion,

page with a printed or illustrated impresand ending on the last page with a printed

or illustrated impression.

Les exemplairas originaux dont la couverture en papier est imprimis sont filmis on commenpant par le premier plat et en terminant soit par la derniAre ^age qui comporte une empreinte d'impression ou d'illustration, soit par le second plat, salon le cas. Tous les autres exemplaires originaux sont filmds en commenpant par la premiere pnge qui comporte une empreinte d'impression ou d'illustration et en terminant par la dernidre page qui comporte une telle empreinte.

The

last

recorded frame on each microfiche

symbol TINUED"), or the symbol whichever applies.

shall contain thy

(moaning "CON(meaning "END"),

Un des symboles suivants apparaitra sur la dernidre image de cheque microfiche, selon
cas: le syrr-bole

le

signifie

symbole

"A SUIVRE

",

le

signifie "FIN".

Maps, pl!iites, charts, etc., may be filmed at different reduction ratios. Those too large to be eptirely included in one exposure are filmed
in the upper left hand corner, left to and top to bottom, as many frames as required. The following diagrams illustrate the method:

Les cartes, planches, tableaux, etc., peuvent dtre filmds d des taux de reduction diff^rents.

beginning
right

Lorsque le document est trop grand pour dtre reproduit en un seul clich*, il est film6 A partir de I'angle supdrieur gauche, de gauche d droite, et de haut en bas, en prenant le nombre d'images nicessaire. Les diagrammes suivants
illustrent la

mdthode.

3 6

^!^

m,

#
1

H(x\

hkK\

tow

v^

TRAITS
Of

AMERICAN HUMOUR,
BY NATIVE AUTHORS.

EDITED AND ADAPTED


BY THE AUTHOR OP "SAM SLICK,"

"the old judge," "the ENGLISH

IN AMERICA," &C. &C.

m
IN
mw'

THREE VOLUMES.

VOL.

III.

'^P'

LONDON:

COLBURN AND

CO.,

PUBLISHEES,

GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.


1852.

^3

LONDON;
I'rinte.l b.v Scln.Ize

and Co.,

13,

Poland Stroet.

CONTENTS
or

THE THIRD VOLUME.

I.

THE THIMBLE GAME


II.

MIKE hooter's bar STORY


III.

22

COUSIN GUSS
IV.

QQ

THE GANDER-PDLLING
V.

Ql

HOW MIKE HOOTER CAME VERY NEAR


CONE\
VI.

"

WALLOPING" ARCH
Ag

AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW

gj

96056

%-

IV

CONTENTS,

VII.

BEN Wilson's last jug race

PAOB
.
.

70

VIII.

MIKE FINK IN A TIGHT PLACE

79

IX.

OUR SINGING-SCHOOL
X.

88

WHKRr; JOE MERIWEATHER WENT TO


XI.

106

GEORGIA THEATRICS
XII.

114

TAKING THE CENSUS.


XIII.

120

A FAMILY PICTURE
XIV.

129

COLONEL JONEs's FIGHT

136

XV.

THE FASTEST FUNERAL ON RECORD


XVI.

147

OLD TUTTLe's last QUARTER RACE


XVII.

154 lo

SPEECH ON THE OREGON QUESTION


XVIII.
BILL DEAN, THE TEXAN

160

RANGER

165

"'

''iS&^':.l.t!4^-^'^i^ -' -

CONTENTS.

XIX.

THE FIRE-HUNT

FAOB
.

IgO

79

A PAIR OP sLIPPERg

....
XXI.
XXII.

XX.

Igg

88

A SWIM FOR A DEER

.....,
.

202

DILLY JONES

OR,

THE PROGRESS OP IMPROVEMENT


XXIII.

214

LANTY OLIPHANT IN COURT XXIV.


OLD SINGLETIRE

224

229

XXV.
MAJOR Jones's courtship

......

234

XXVI.
down-east curiosity
314

A SAGE CONVERSATION

.......

XXVII.

319

"'^^^"5:^i*.i,t.*^^**- -'

-"

TRAITS
OF

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
I.

THE THIMBLE GAME.


Forty
years ago, Augusta, Ga., presented a very

different appearance

from the busy and beautiful

and other produce, which conveyed thither, were transported entirely by waggons. The substantial railroad, which links It with the richest and most beautiful regions of the empire state of the South, was a chimera, not yet
are
still

Its groceries, stores, and extensive warehouses were fey, in number, and the large quantities of

city of the present day.

eotton

VOL.

'

III.

"/"mmuT

1/

AMIMIICAN llDMOUll.
hiaiii

conceived in the wild

of Fancy licrsclf ; and


luxnrirs

uiany of the

iniprovenu'nts,

and

refine-

ments,
state,

wliitli

now

nudie

it

the second city in the


Ycf,

were then "in the shell."

by the honest

yeonuuuy of forty years ayo, Angpsta was looked

upon

Pans
win)

)'.nd

London

arc

now

vi'^wcd l)y ns.


in

The man

had never been there was nci|)her

the connnunity

nothing
s

killed

an

opinion

more

surely, nothing s

)pped the mouth of " argyment''

sooner, than the

neering

taunt

" Pshaw

you

ha'n't been to Aiujnstij.''

The atmosphere

of ^his favoured ydace was supall

posed to impart knowledge and wisdom to


breathed
it,

who

and the
if

veriest

ass

was a Sohm, and

an umpire,
different

he cou'd discourse fluently of the

localities,

and

various

wonders,

of

Avgnsty.

The farmers of the surrounding country paid


yearly
visit

to

Augusta, and

having

sold

then-

" crap" of the great Southern staple, aiul laid in


their

stock of winter

necessaries,
hv ly

returned

home
which

with something of that


the pious

satisfaction with

Mohammedan
The
lay
first

turns his face


step

homeward
in the

from Mecca.
city

upon arriving

was

lo

aside

their

"copperas-coloured"

TIIK TIIiMHM;
fabrics of tl.c

fi.VMi;.

8
and
pu,..

vvifi 's

or diiu-htcr's Iooim,

chase a new r-i^ of "s^/r-clotlics."


Tlu'sc were

inimcdiatcly donned,

and ..jmn

re-

turnin-

home were
tlie

carefully enilK.ln.cd, nor

again
at

permitted to see

hght until the next Sunday


far.iier,
u])

"meetin'/'when the
amjde
sl.irt-eollar,

with head erect and


the aisle, the lion of
all

strutted

the occasion, the "observed of

observers"

till

the next Sabbath,

when

his

neighbour returning

his new suit, i)lu,-ked off his laurels and twined them green and bloDuiing upon the crown of his

vith

own

shilling beaver.
trips

These annual
year,

were the event and era of the


to his

and the farmer returned

hou" big with

importance and news.


ncss of

The dishonesty and shrewd-

"them Gimblit fellers,- (Cotton-Ruyers,) the extortions of hotel-keepers, the singular failures of warehouse steelyards to make cotton-bales weigli
as

much

in

Augusta

as at

home, the elegant ap-

and the sights and scenes which greeted their astonished gaze, formed the year's staple of conversation and discussion ; and it would be difficult to
say

parel of the city belles

and bcauv

who

experienced
relating his

the

greater

delight-thc
his

farmer in
wife and

wondrous adventures, or

B 2

4
daughters

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
in listening

to them with open mouths, uphfted hands, and occasional breathless ejaculations of Good Lord, look down !" " Oh go away I"
!

or,

" Shut up
Early
in

!"

" You don't


fall

ses so !"

the

of

18, Farmer Wilkins

an-

nounced

to his son Peter, that as he, ^'his

daddy,"

would be too busy to make the usual


persona,
lie,

trip in jjropria

Peter,
sell

must get ready


the "first

to

go down to

Augusty, and

load."

Now

Peter

"VVilkins, jun., a

young man just grown, was one of

the celebrities of which his settlement (neighbour-

hood) boasted.

He ws supposed
off that

to have cut his

eye-teeth to have shaken

verdancy so comfilled

mon

to

young men

and while he

up more

than half his father's capacious heart, to the discomfiture of (his

Mahaly

sisters),

mother), and Suke and Poll he was the pet and darling of the
(his

whole neighbourhood.
doted upon

An

only son, the old

man

him

as a chip of the old block,

and was
of trade,

confident that Peter, in any emergency


traffic,

or otherwise, would display that admirable


for

tact,

and that attentive consideration


sen.,

""No.

One," for which Mr. P. Wilkins,

w^as noted.

horse-swap with a Yankee, in which Peter, after

half an hour's higgling, found himself the undis-

Ir

THE THIMBLE GAME.


putcd owner of both horses and ten dollars boot,

was the corner-stone of his fame.

Every trip to Augusta added another block; and by the time


Peter arrived at the years of discretion, he stood

upon

;i

lofty structure

with

all

the green rubbed

off,

the pride of his family and the universal favourite


of his acquaintances.

The
all

nij3-ht

before his departure the family were


fire,

gathered around the roaring

Mrs. and the

Misses Wilkins engaged in ironing and mending


our hero's Sunday apparel, the old
his pipe,

man smoking
for the

and occasionally preparing Peter

ordeal in Augusta,
his claim to the

by wholesome

advice, or testing

tremendous confidence about to be

reposed in him, by searching questions, as to

how
To

he would do in case so-and-so was to turn up.


this counsel,

however, our hero paid less attention

than to the preparations making around him for his

comely appearance in the

city.

Nor, until he got


his

upon the road, did

he

revolve in
his
father,

mind the
resolve
to

numerous
follow
tion to to

directions of

or

the

letter

his

solemn parting injuncgimblit fellers

''bewar of them

down

to

Augusty."

"Durn

it," said

he to himself, as the thought of

AMERICAN HUMOUR.,
"soId"c,.o.cd his mind,
' ,c.

bemg

"durnit,

they'll

ever ,ake gourds ot


iefore,

I'.e bin to Augusty

and of I don't

git as

eh

cotton as anybody else does for

fur that thr

name Oman

ain't
s

thurn, thou my Peter WiIWs, and that's what the old slam book says it is."
eity,

Arrived in the
the warehouses,

he drove around to one of


briek wall

and stood against the


Presently a

man with a long gimblet i his hand eame out, and bade our hero a polite "Good morning."
little

awa,tmg a purchaser.

' Momin',"
as

said Pet.r,

wL

admirable eoolness,

he deliberately surveyed the little head to foot, and withdrew . his eyes
as

man from
not pleased

With his appearance.

The
teel"

little

man was
a costume of his

dressed in the shabby-gen-

style,

much
as

in

vogue

among men
enough

at tliat^dav

cloth,

eombining plainness

for the country-folk, with sufficient gentility

to keep them on speaking terms with the fashionable denizens of the then metropolis.
little

more

man seemed

in

The no way disconcerted by Petcr^s

close, observer might have pereeived a slight smile on his lip, as he read the thoughts of our hero's bosom. His

searching gaze, and a

self-confidence

THE TFIMBLE GAME.


his pride, his affected ease and
all

knowing air, were comprehended, and ere a word had passed the

lion

knew

well the character of his prey.

In the

however, the little man sought no advantage, and even offered our hero a better price than any one else in the city would have given him. To our heroes credit, be
it

purchase

of the

cotton,

said,

he was not loth to accept the offer; 15 i cents was above the market, by at least a quarter, and the old man had told him to let it slide at fifteen
rather

than not

sell,

so the bargain

was

closed,

and our

hero and the

- Gimblit-man" went out into the

yard to

settle.

Seating himself on a cotton-bale, the buyer counted out the money, which our hero made safe
in his pocket, after seeing that
it

was

''

giniwine,''

and
sale.

tallied

with the

amount

stated in the bill of

few sweet
soon
;

pills

of flattery administered to
the Gimblit-man

our hero,

made him and


and
it

sworn friends

was

in consideration of his

high regard, that the Gimblit-man consented to


initiate

him

into the mysteries of a certain game,

yclept

Thimble Rig/'

a game which, our hero


sport, if success-

was

told,

would yield him much

fully

played up at

home among the boys; and

8
JonM, when
change."

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
properly ,anagccl, be to
hirr.

a never-

failing source of that desirable

article,

-pocket-

To

this

proposition

our hero readily


of

assented, delighted

with the idea

npon the boys up at home, who hadn't been Augusty; and already began
to revel

playi. off
to

in the visions

of

full

pockets,

when, to his

silent

horror,

ittle
b.ll,

man took from

the

his pocket a rolled


it

hundred-dollar
into a

and very irreverently round ball.

small

began.

Three thimbles were next prod.iced, and the game

"Now,.. ,,ia

,it^

under one of these tmrnWes, before your eyes, and I want you to guess whore
IS."

huh th

^^^^ j ^^

^^
all
it

little ball

"Well,"
the shifting

said

Peter,

",0 it_r,

,,,y,.,

,a

game begun.
little

To the apparent astonishment of the


our hero guessed right every time.
rapid

man
how
the

No

matter
lifted

the

elianges,

Poter

invariably

and had begun to grow disgusted with the game, little dreaming how soon he was to prove its efficacy
ball,

thimble from the

as a source of revenue

when the

little

man suddenly

checked his hand

THE THIMBLE GAME.

9
;

"Wrong,"
ball
is

said

ho,

with a friendly smile

"the

under the middle thimble, but^nder that next you."


" Darned ef
ain't as

not

responded Peter; " I green as you 'Gusty folks thinks. Blamed

it is

though

!"

ef I don't

know whar

that ball
I

is

jist

as well as

you does, and dod-drapped ef hundred and fiffcy-onc dollar's no

don't bet four


(the price of
it's

cents

the cotton) agin the load o' cotton, that the middle thimble."

under

"No, Sirr
smile,

said

the

little

man, with another


to

"you

are wrong,

and I'd hate

win your

money."
Peter-it manifested a friendly consideration for his welfare, which he felt
That
smile

deceived

man"
him

he did not need, and after bullying the " Gimblitfor a few minutes, he sueeceded in
inveigling
(as

he thought)

into a bet,

which was duly

closed and sealed, to the entire satisfaction of his


fi'iend!

Alas for poor Peter! he had awakened

the

wrong passenger.

But the
feller,

idea of being too

smart for an Augusty

had cornered one


tation for

this time,

and he was sure he was too great a temp-

him

to withstand.

"Drot

it," said

he to himself, "

I seen

him put

I'

10
it

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
under that ere middle thimble,
I I seen
it

myself,

and

know

it's

thar,

and why not win the old


it's jest

man's eotton back when

as easy as nothin'

And
can't

cf I do win

it,

why
four

in course

the old

man

claim

morc'n

hundred and

fifty-one

(Peter forgot that the proHts to be realized ought of course to belong to the owner of the capital invested.) - The time me and that

dollars

no how -

Yankee swapped
cut
the

critters,

warn't I thar

Hain't

my gums

Don't the old man,

yes,

and

all

say I'm smart, and then thar's Kitty Brown, I reckon she ort to know, and don't she say I'm the peertest feller in our parts ? I've bin to Augusty, and this
time, dod-drapped ef I

sctthinent,

don't leave

my

mark."

result we need hardly relate. Peter was tempted tempted sorely, and he fell. Sick at heart, he ordered

The

Bob, the

homeward, and

late

mules on Saturday evening he entered

driver, to turn his

the lane which led to his father's house.


i(i

was now
got to

The blow come; and some time before the waggon the house, Peter saw his father, and mother,
to

sisters coming out to meet him. At last they met! " Well, son," said the old man, " I s'pose you've been well ?"

and

THE TIlIMnLE GAME.


irere

]|

Mrs. Wilkins
kissing

and
Peter,

the

gals

huggmg and
coldly,

commenced

which

he took very
felt

and with the


a favour

air of a

man who

gcttmg

he was

which he didn't deserve.


said Teter, in reply to his
I've lost it."

"Reasonably well/'
father s question;

"but

^^ost what ?" " Lost it."

said his father.

Peter, handing the papers containing the weights of his cotton, to his
father,

"No,

"'Lost the dockyments ?" said the old man. here they are/' said

who began

to read, partly aloud,

and

i)artly

to himself:

"'Eight

bags of

cotton~350 400-348
pound-sold
sale,"
to Jona-

--550-317-151
than
Barker.'
fix

cents a

Very good
things
this
rite,

said

he;

knowed you'd
and turning

"I

Peter."

The waggon by
to

time had reached the house

Bob, the old

man

told

him

to put

m
i

the molasses in the cellar, and the sugar and coffee the house.

"Ain't got no

'lasses,

Massa,'^ said Bob, grinning

from ear to
^

ear.

''No," said Peter, we havn't got none; we

lost

it."

mm

12
" Lost
it

AMEllICAN HUMOUll.
!

How on

airth could

you

lose a barrel

of molasses ?"

"

We
to
?

never had it," said Bob.


airtli !"

" Heavens and


first

said the old


to
?

man, turning

Lob,

and then

Peter,

"what do you

mean

^Vhat do you mean

Trhal, w/iat, w-h-a-t

in the d-e-v-i-l

do you mean ?" Marster


!

" Gracious,

Mr.

Wilkins,

don't

swar, so," said his wife,

by way of

helping- Peter

out

"
that
that

Swarr
swarring?
d'recley,

said

the

farmer,
I

" do
don't

you

call

Darned ef
they
don't

say

wussin
they

ef

tell

me

what

mean."

"Why,
lost the
''

father,"

said Peter,

'^Ve
?"

lost

it.

Pve

money."
it

Well, and couldn't you find


I didn't lose ain't
it

"

that way," said Peter.

"You
the
old

been

gamblin'
ain't

hopes,"
runnin'

said

man;

"you

been

agin
is

none of them Pharo banks down to Augusty,

you ?"

1
three thimbles," said Peter,
I lost it."
sat

"Bring me
show you how

"and

I'll

The thimbles were brought, and Peter

down

:!

"

THE TUfMnLR OAME.


to explain.
It

13

was a

-jnc for

a painter: tlierc sat

our hero, fumbling with the thimbles and the ball, but too much frightened to have performed
the
trick if he

had known how;

his father sat next


if

him,

with his chin upon his hands, looking as

unde-

cided whether to reprimand him at once, or to give

him a

"fair showin'."

Mrs.

Wilkins stood just

behind her husband, winking and smiling, gesturing and hemming, in order to attract
Peter's
attention,

and indicate to him her willingness to


Tlie girls,

stand becweoii him and his father.


always sided
with
their

who
her

mother,
their

followed

example
ve

in this case.

But

efforts

to attract

his attention

were useless;

they could

not even

catch his eye, so busy was he in trying to arrange

the ball and thimbles


fixed,

but every time he got them


to

and told his father

guess,
it

the old

man

would guess

right, which, while

astonished Peter,
It looked so

incensed the old

man

against him.

easy to him, that he could not help " blaming Pete

fur bein' sich a fool."

"Shorely,"
finished his

?aid

the

farmer,

after
it

Peter

had

explanation" shorely
to

ain't possible

that you'v(5 bin

Augusty so
tell

often,

and didn't
to

know no

better.

Didn't I

you not

have

u
Mothm'
'"n't

AMEUICAN
to d,.

IlUMOUtt.

with

tlu-m

Chnm
one.

Fellers?

Thcr
u
fool

one of

'en,

honest, not

Like

you've gone and


dolhvrs
for

lost jest fonr


It

Innulred and fifty-one

no cents.
it's

ain't the

nu.nny that
a

keers

Pc,er,

you bein'

sieh

M-four knuM
I'll

andfif(y.one dollars no cents.


t<>

rite

down
here
I'll

Augusty next Monday, and


and ef
lu-

find

this

l^arker,

don't give np the nnnniy,

have u say so

(ea. sa.)

hnu

taken agin hin, and n.areh


deaf-allication

rite off to

gaol-no

gwine about chcctin' people's sons outin four hundred and fifty-one dollars
cents
?

The theavm'

about that.

rascal,

How

no

often

is

you bin

to Augnsty, Peter

" Sixteen times," said Peter.


"^Vell, I declare," said the old

Aiigusty sixteen times, and didn't than to go thar agin

man; "bin to know no better


hundred and

and
!"

lose four

fifty-one dollars
\h

no cents

Monday morning the old man started Angnsta with another load of cotton; Eob dru.ng as before, and
to

Early on

mare " Ects "


little

his rnaste,- riding his gray

AT..

\v;n

commissions to execute for his wife and the

Ocils

old lady wanted a pan- of sj,ectacles, and the gals a bonnet each-ribbons and flowers

The

THE THIMUI.K OAME.


tln-cad, buttons, &c.,

15

had

to bo purchaaed,

and the

good farmer was nearly crazed by the met with, and the multiplicity of
attended
to.

loss he to

had
be

things

Ever and anon, as he trotted along the road, he would mutter to himself something
as

follows

"Leghorn bonnet thread 2 dozen pearl

for

Sal 13

skeins

of

flax

button-, for

i)ants one gross

horn buttons for shirts 5 grass petticoats 100 pounds cofFee- 451 dollars no

cents-Jonathan

Barker bin
and 451

to

Augusty

sixteen

times 1

bolt

kaliker-Pete's a fool-lost one barrel of molasses


dollars

no cents."

as these he would while away the time, a])parently unconscious of the presence of

With such words

Bob, who was much diverted by his master's soliloquy. As they approaelicd Augusta, his wrath seemed to increase, and he vented his spleen on his
old

marc and Bob.

"Bob,"

said he,

"you dad-dratted
?

rascal,

why
set

don't you drive

up

you don't do nothin' but

thar and sleep.


that, and that," he would say mare, accompanying each word with a blow; "git up, Miss, and go long to Aitcjustij."
to his

"Take

that,

and

10

AMKUICAN

IIUMOLII.

Vnum
struck
II

they liaJ coiuc in ight of Augustii,

Bob

camp, uud
lii^

Iiis

muster rode on into towu.


uj) l.is

Having eaten
retired
for

supper, and put

horse, he

the

nighi,

und

curly

in

t'-e

morning

started out to look for Jonuthun Barker.

lie caused

not a

little

laughter as he walked along the streets,

relating his troubles,

and

in(piiring of

everybody for

Jonathan Barker.

" ^Vhere's Jonathan Barker," he would cry "the


Giniblit

out,

Feller
cents.

what
Jes

eheeted

Pete

out'n

451

dollars

no

show mc Jonathan

Barker."

As

a last hope, he went arouud to the warehouse,


lost

where his son had

the cotton.

Walking out
of Jonathan
in his

into the yard, he bawled out the

name

Barker.

little

man, with a long gimlet

hand, answered to the name, and our farmer attacked

him

as follows

"Look
money.^'

here,

Mr.

Barker,

wants

that

" What money ?"

said Barker,

who had no

ac-

quaintancc whatever with the fai.ner; is it, Sir ?"

"what money
7

" Oh no,"

said the old ma.i, perfectly furious at

such barefaced assurance.

"

Oh no you
!

don't

know

THE THIMBLE GAME.


7iuthln

17

HOW.

Blan.c yur pictcr,


.

you're as inner
I

sent as u lam'.
It's that

Doji't

know what nuinny

meen

'f

four hundred and fifty-oue dollars, and no cents, what you eheeted Pete out'u."

"I
how

recollect

now,"

said Barker,

"that was
I'll

fairly

done. Sir;
I

if you'll
it.

just step this way,

show you

got

Sir."

A
"

bright idea struck the old


I've seen Vcic play it,"

man.
hiniself,

thought he to

''and I guessed rite ecery time.

"Well,"

said he,

-I'll

go and

see

how

it

was

dun, eunyhow."

The two walked along


which hud witnessed
gimlet

to the

same bale of cotton

man

took

game before, and the the identical thimbles and ball


the

which had served him before,

and
also.

sat

from his pocket, down, requesting the farmer to be seated

here, I
as

" Now, Sir," said Barker, " when your son was bought his cotton, and paid him
for it: just

he was going away, I proposed showing him a tnck worth seeing. I took this little ball, and put It under this middle thimble.
Now,^' said I to him,
'

you

see

it,

and now you

VOL.

III.

18
I,clon't see it;

AMERICAN HUMOUU.
and
I'll

bet

you you

cau't tell

the

little

joker is/ "


said the farmer,
'^1lPs

where

'^WclV'

ritethe balPs

now under
"

the middle tliimble.''

When

Barker,
,1

I had put it under there/' continued -your son wanted to bet me that it was

under the middle thimble."

"So
him.

it

is,-

said

the

old

man,

interrupting

^^No," returned Barker, -it's under the one next you."

"I

tell

you

it

ain't,"

said

Mr. Wilkins, who


that

strongly advocated
believing.'^

the

doctrine

"seeing

is

He
cotton.

was sure
itself

lie

was right, and now a chance


his

presented

of regaining

fornier

load

of

ain't. I'm harder to head than Tcto wus, and ])lamcd ef I don't bet another load o'
it

"I

tell

you

cotron, that's at the dore


^-

by

this time."

You

are mistaken," said Barker, smiling;


it, I'll

-but

if
f(

you wish

bet."
said

^f
the
jes

"Let's understand one nutlier fust,"


farmer.

"You

say

tJuit
little

ere little ball

you had

now,

ain't

under the

thimble in the middle-I

THE THIMBLE GAME.


say
0'
it
is.

19 you the load


four hundred

Ef

it

ain't,
is,

Tm

to

give

cotton-cf

it

youVe

to give

me

and

fifty-one dollars

no cents/'

"Exactly so/' said Barker.

"Well,

ni

bet/' said the farmer,

"and

my

here's

hand."

bet was sealed, and with a triumphant air which he but poorly concealed, the farmer snatched

The

up the middle thimble, but no


"
^Vcll, VI]

ball

was there.
at the

be dod drapt

!"

he exclaimed,

same time drawing a long breath, and dropping the thnnble. " Dcrned ef it's Ma. / Four hundred and fifty-one dollars no cents gone a^in ! Heven and airth, what'll Mahaly and the gals say
!

never hcer the eend of

it

tel

I'm
!

in

my

grave

Then

thar's Pete

Gee-mi-my
his ole

jest to think o'

Pete-fur hhn
fool of too
!

daddy wus made a four hundred and fifty-one dollars no


it,"

to

know

cents
li

but I wouldn't keer that for


''

snapping

his fingers,

ef

it

wern't fur Pete."

^f

I'csult

The Gimblit man reminded our friend of the of his bet, by telling him that the sooner
he

unloaded the better.

"Now

you

ain't,

shore

nufi",

in

y earnest/'

said

the old man.

c 2

K''.%i,f*"^'^flS*

-^^^eai^ffii

20

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
earnest," returned Barker.

"Dead

"Well, stranger/'
honest man,
tracts."

added our

friend,
to

-Pse

and

stands

squar up

my

con-

Wtli
street,
If

this

he had his cargo discharged into the


to drive on, he

and ordering Bob


and
set

mounted

1"S mare,

out for

home

with a heavier heart

had ever inown before. 'T,vcre nselcss to attcn,pt a description of the scene which transp.red on the farmer's rctnrn home.

than he

The

first

words he uttered were, "Pete, durncd ef I hain't


lost it too."
all

The misfortunes of

his trip were soon


fatiier

tohl,

aftc,

which Peter and his

wisely

I'esolved never to bet

on anything again, especially

them blamed Yankee Tliimbles."


not to be supposed that Mrs. Wilkins Pete or the gals, could help teasing the old man' oeea'
sionally
1'
11
>

It is

on the result of his


refractory, his wife
finger,

trip.

became

Whenever he
up

would

on the end on her ook at-,t acted

stick her thinihle


it

and hold

for

him

to

like a

charm.

His misadventure,

too, raised higher than ever his opinion of the cunnnig and sagacity of "//, Aguay fdlcrs <" A few years succeeding the events which we have attempted to narrate, and Farmer Wlkins was

THE THIMBLE GAME.

gathered to his fatliers; but his trip to Augusta is still preserved as a warning to all honest and simple, hearted people. The last words of the old man to his son were

"

Peter, Peter,

forgit

your

ole

Gmibht

always be honest, never daddy, and allers hewar of them


to Avr/ustij."
its

my

son,

fellers,

down

Reader!

every tale has

moral,

nor

is

ours

without one.
adventure

Not only did Peter

m Augusta,

learn from his

since the time to

the evils of betting, but ever which we have alluded, he always


sell

allows his factor to

his cotton for him.


it,

What

ever

you may think of

both Peter and his father

came

to the conclusion that there


git the

was "no use in


o'

trym* to
fellers

upper hand of one

them Ghnblet

down

to

Augusty."

22

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

MIKE hooter's bar STORY.


A YAZOO SKETCH.
SHOWING HOW THE BEAR OUTWITTED IKE HAMBERMN.

BY A MISSOURIAN.
'^t's no use talkinV^ said Mike, "'bout your Polar Bar, and your Grisly Bur,

and

all

that sort er

varmont what you read about.

They

ain't

no whar,

for the big black customer that circumlocutes

down
I've

in our neck o'

woods beats 'cm

all

hollow.

heard of some monsus cxplites kicked up by the

brown
eatin'

bars, sich as totcin off a yoke o' oxen,

and

humans raw, and


tells

all

that kind o' thing;

and

Captcn Parry

us a yarn 'bout a big white' bar,

ff

MIKK IIOOTER^S
what 'muses
slides
ain't a
liissclf cliinin'

B'Att

STOIIY.

23

up the North Pole and


;

down

to

keep his hide warm

but

all

that

circumstance to what Tvc saw. ''You sec/' continued Mike, < V .


I's

/s nocountin'
to, for

on them varmonts as

been usencd
critters as

they
I

comes us near bein' human


ever see

anything

what doesn't
tell

talk.

Why,

if

you wa.f

to

hear anybody else

'bout the bar-fights I've had,

you wouldn't

b'lecve 'cm,
lie

and

if I

wasn't a preacher'

and could not


'tell

none, I'd keep

my

fly-trap shot

the day of judgment.


I've heard folks say as

"

how

bars cannot think


all

like other

human

critters,

and that they does


from instink.
of 'em don't
ahi't ?

the
!

sly tricks

what they
!

docs,

Golly

what a

lie

You

tell

me one

know
Just

when you've got

a gun,

and when you


is.

wait a minit, an'

my

privit 'pinion

when you've
your mouth.

hcarn

me
in

thro' you'll talk t'other side of


see,

"You
come

one day, long time ago,

'fore britches

fashion, I

made

a 'pointment with
to

Ike

Hamberlin the steam doctor,


to seek

go out next Sunday


a bar, for

whom we

couldn't

kill,

you know

bacon was skace, and so was money, and them k\.


lers

down

in ]\Icchanicsbur^
to 'pend

>

ouldn't

sell

on

tick,

so

we had

on the varmints

for a livin'.

24
J

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
"

Si)cakiii* of Mcclmnicsburthe people down in that ar niiuUhole ain't to be beat nowhere tlii.s side
o'

Christmas.

I've hearn o'

mean
;

folks in

my time,

an' I've preached 'bout


feller,

'cm a few

but ever sense that

Eonnel, sold
it

\hi 'an half ov

(^ye-whiskey backer juice for a 'coon-skin, an' then

me

a pint of red

guv me me
talkin'.

a brass picayune fur change, I've stopped

Why, that chap was closer than the bark a hickory tree; an' cf o'l I hadn't hearn Parson Dilly say so, I'd ov swore it wasn't cr fact, he was
cotch one

day

stealin' acorns

from a blind hog.


Well,

Did you ever hear how


never mind.
It

that hoss-fly died ?


to talk 'bout,

was too bad

but heap

too good for him.

"But
I

that

aiiv't

what

was spoutin' 'bout.


to 'pcnd

As

was sayin'

afore,

we had

on the varmints

fur a livin'.
I

Well, Ike Ilamberlin, you see,


o'

was

always sorter jubous

me, kase I
I

kilt

more bar nor


a 'pointment

he did

an', as I

was

sayin',

made

with Ike to go out huntin'.

Then, Ike, he thought


'

he'd be kinder smart, and beat

Old Preach'

(as

them Cole boys usen


what he was

to call me), so, as soon as


!

day

crack he hollered up his puppies, an' put


'bout, fur I hearn
it

I spied

him

laffin'

to

one

o'

his niggers 'bout

the night afore-so, I told

my

!(

MIKE hooter's bar STORY.


gal Sal
to
fill

25

my

private tickler full o' the old

'raw/ and then fixed up an' tramped on arter him, but didn't take none o' my dogs.
'fore the dogs they 'gan to wliinc an' turn up the har on ther backs ; an', bime-by, they all tucked tail, an'

" Ike hadn't got fur into the cane,

sorter
!'

sidled

back to war he was stanin'.


but the cussed
critters

'

Sick

him

says
lick.

Ike,
I

wouldn't hunt a soon diskivered what was the matter, for I

kalklhitcd

them curs

o'

hisn wasn't worth shucks in


'bout, if I

a bar figlit so, I didn't see

know'd thar was bar

no

sine.

" Well, Ike he coaxed the dogs,

an' the

more he

when he found coaxin' wouldn't do, then he scohled and called 'em some of the hardest names ever
you
heai-n,
S-

coaxed the more tlicy wouldn't go, an'

but the tarnation critters wouldn't budge a

" When he found they wouldn't hunt no how he


could
fix
it,

he begin a
If he

cussin'.

He

didn't
it,

know

was thar.

had

er suspicioned

he'd no
er
to

more swore than he'd dar'd


washin' day
the
;

for

to kiss my Sal on you see both on us belonged


class-leader.
!

same church, and Ike was


I

thought

should er flummuxed

The dogs they

1)

26

AMERICAN

IIU.MOUll.

Ik

-Ic. back, an' Ike he cussed; an' I lay down an' rolled an' laughed sorter easy to myself, -.l I ,as o rail I thort I should er bust biler. I never sec ennything so funny in all

my my life
to

I layin'
^vas the

There was
an' there

down behind

er log,
tails

fit

split,

dogs with their

the

and

wrong eend down


er pitehin'-er

there
an'

was Ike a

rarin'

an'

-l>P"i'

er tarrin'-an'
!

er
it

eussin'
fairly

wus nor u

steamboat eap'n
Stan'

I tell

you

made

my

har

on eend.

I ever sec

er

afore

customer so
I

riled

all

my
It

born days.

Yes
feller

did too,

once-

only once.

was that

Arch Coony, what


Didn't you

used to oversee for old Ben Roach.

He's a few! well he is ^ewhdhken, how he could whip er nigger and swar! whew! Didn't you ever hear hhn swar?
!

know

that

ar'

hossfly?

I tell

you,

all

the sailors

and French parrots


I hearn

in
let

Orleans ain't a patchin' to him.


hisself out one day,

him

and he was a caution


it

to sinners,

an' what was wus,

was

all

'bout nothin', for he


ain't neither

warn't

mad

a wrinkle.

l]ut all that

here nor thar.


afore, the dogs they smelt bar sine, an' wouldn't budge a peg- an arter Ike had almost cussed the bark off'n a dog-wood .aplin'

"But,

as I

was sayin'

MIKE hooter's
by,
lio

BAll STORV.

27
it,

lent
lie

lils

old
ofi"

flint-lock

rifle

up agin

and then

pealed

his old blanket an' laid

her
for

down, too.
I

I diskivered mischief

was er cumin',
like

never

sec

critter

show rathy

he

tlid.

Torcctly I sec
'bout
fifty

him walk down

to the creek bottom,

yards from where his gun was, and then

he 'gin

])ickin'
!

up rocks
Cracky
!

an' slingin' urn at the dogs

like bringer
It

didn't he link it into


it

um ?
!

minded me of David whalin' Goliah,

did

If

you'd er seed him, and hcain them holler, you'd cr thought he'd cr knocked the uigh sites ofF'n every mother's son of 'em
!

" But that

ain't

the fun yet.

While Ike was

er

lammin' the dogs, I hearn the

allfiredest crackin' in

the cane, an' I looked up, and thar was one of the
eternalist

whollopin' bars

cummin'

crack,

crack,

through the cane an' kcrslcsh over the creek, and stopped right plumb slap up whar Ike's gun was.
Torectly he tuck

hold cr the ole


tinkerin'

shooter, an'

thought
kinder

sec

him

'bout

the
it.

lock,
I

an'

whistlin',
I
tell

and blowin'
you,
I

into

was
Ike

'stouished,

but
lay

wanted to

see

outdone so bad that

low and kep' dark, an'

in about a miuit Tlce got done lickin' the dogs, an'

went to

git

his gun.

Jcemeny, criminy

if

you'd

S8
only bn.
wlu...

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
T

,,.,

.i,,,,,,

,^^. ^^,^^

ma.

^^^^

.lest
'.a,,

,u
stnck

,l,t
,.ite

vr .,tuk an axe
.fait
,,,

int.,

hp

a tree, for
,,.^,

,,

i,,

"COM,

to,,,re.hcfefo,-ln,,fo,.l,c,ji,t,t,|j
.,(..

nflc

Ickaj;iu,|,ea,,li',

.,,lkc.l off
Tl,c, so.
r

..sImun,.,.jW,likoanyla.
I

,ou

,cc,

S".
M..tc.-

to

sit
I!a,,-

.ort,.,-

j..|s,

a,l
,,|aoc

to myself,

so.

I,

<tl,o

ha>if

you'

e.'

''""";

'-^"y
'Z'l off f..o,
.1,,,.
,.

l'l".y,

bbo
a w>,
olc

'

you dou't

,,rty so<,n,

Mizi, a,. i be

,lor

by g,

witi, tbat,

I..

UU,
or

Ike gvabbod up

,,

u.k ,t

e..tieklor

abn
I,
!'
<

at bi,'

an.lbybokey,shc.,,pea!
.,

No>v, c.

go

Mistc;

,t,

bo'll

luakc baoou of you

But the

the

an' the bar ho lookia' knulor quarc like, out or the eorner o' Ms eye, an' sorterh,ffi.athim. Torootly I see Ike take down
le shooter,

h,s rigbt ,,aw on the eeml of hi, and wighu' his t'other finger tln.s," (ad M.ke wont through with the gyration). "All tli ^-n,o Ike he stood thar hke a fool, or -appu>' and her snappiu',

tbc

thumb of

^mellor,

when ho done

an' kinder korsamine the loek, an'

that,

he laid her on his shoulder, and


a f

MIKE
shook
an'
l.iH

IIOOTIiil's

HAII STOIIY.

29

fist

at the bar,

and walked toward home,


an' went
i,.to

tl.e

bar he shuk
llicii

liis fist,

the eanc

brake, and

einn off."

Here
to
fire.

all

the Ya/oo boys expressed great anxiety


the

know

reason

why

Ike's

gun

didn't

"Let's lieker fust," said Mik, "an' if you don't cater])iiiar, you can shoot nie. AVhy, you see," coneluded lu- "the long and short of it is this,
thlt

the bar in onr neck o' woods has a


in

little

human

um, and

this feller

know'd as much about a gun


lickin'
J,e

as I

do 'bout i.rcLchin'; so when Ike was


jc- 1

the dogs, he

bloued
all safe,

all

the

powder

out(

pan, an' to

make

he tuk the

flint

out too,

and

that's the

way he warn'i skecrcd when Ike was

snappin' at him."

li
er

30

AMKHIC.VV IIUMOIU.

III.
i

"Wi-i.i,, l,ow
1 SWOU-.
J

,lo (!,.'?

]',
I

,i.,.l,t

-ln,l to spc

you,
tlio

ratluT

.;iu'ss

can say siithin' about


varsion, tew,
fist

Revnhtion business, purty -ood


ji"j,^().

by
in

My

father, old

Josh Achlains, had his

it
:

any on you know

bin. v

Old Josh Ad.hnns, as

ucll

known
n.

as

tlu;

Schuylkill water-works.
(li.>

He

vras

born

\VnUm

he chchi't
lie used

there, 'cause

he died

in Phihuk-lphia.

to

wear au old irenuiuc

7(5 coat,
a razee.

little

cut

down

to suit the fashion,

made

it

One
If
it

inioht

have

known

the old

man

mile

off.

hadn't been for Cousin Guss, he'd


*

By

G.

11. Hill.

II.!

couNiN
'vr
i"

oirss.

31
V,,,,

h'vn

livin' to this

Chrstnut
lik,.

nv Stm-f-any

.lay.

may

sec CJuss

you

know lm ?__
hi- cn.,u-l,

(Imssn.I

a |.an)H<,

and -(
IF,-

Nvi.iskons

to stuff a Nofa bottom.

wont

lowr. t'otli.-r

day

to s,r th. wild l.asts


coinin' away, he

in

.-,tl,

street; jest as he was

met a

hull squad of little children a


CJuss,
if

comin'
<1i<ln't

in

when they saw Cousin


thousand
.natter,
let

they

squeal like t.n

devils.

The ohl
ones?

man
<1ear,

says,

what's

the

youn^th.;

Oh

papa, see, they've

oneof

mor.keys loose.
Chestn.it Street

he n.ust have his coat cut a-ain, and altered to the fashion so he ; coax(.l old Josh to let him take it ,lown 't(, his artist, as he ealled him, down in ;3r.l
f

Cousin rJnss didn't show his face for a week. Ouss teiled he old

in

man

street.

AVell,

the ^-ood-natured old


lie fi-ot
it

eritt.'r

said

hemid.t: when
it

back, sich

lookin' thini,^ as

was,

you

i"i,uht

have fallen

down and worslnpj.ed


\\'|,cn

it,

without
it,

breaking the ten connnandinents.

we saw

we

all

hn-fed

sister-

Jedide, she snickered ri-ht out!

it for about a minute, didn't say a word, by jin-o-the tears rolled out of his eyes as bi- as liail-stones. He j(;st folded it up,

The

old lua.i looked at

put

it

under

his pillow^ laid Imnself

down on
;

the

bed, and never got

up again

it

broke his heart

died from a curtailed coat.

22
"Tlie old

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

sich stories about the I rather guess he could say a lectlc more about that affair than most

man

used to

tell

Revolutiou.

folks.

'Bout six

years ago he went to Boston,

when La Fayette was

Josh Addams was in Boston, he sent him a regular built invitation. The old man went, and wore the 7G coat,-that is before it was cut down, though. By-and-by they called upon the old man for a toast. Up he got, and, says he
Here's to the Heroes of the Revolution, who fought, bled, and died for their country, of which I

When

there; they gave a great dinner at Fanueil Hall. the Mayor heard old

was

one.'

"When
right out.
''

old Josh

said that, they

all

snickered

There's one story the old

man
:

used to

tell

about

Boston, that was a real snorter laugh afore he begun.

he always used to

there was a feller-a cousin of his by the mother's side-called Zcdekiah Hales, who wasn't more than four foot high, and had a hump jest bctuccn his

"He

said,

down on Long Wharf

queer

little

shoulders.

A
all

hull

squad of British
Street,

officci^s

got

round Zcdekiah,

in State sorts of

and were laughing


:

and poking

fun at him

he bore

it^

!l

COUSIN GUSS.
cause as

33
it
;

how he

couldn't help

one of them, a
his glass, said

regular built dandy captain, lifting


to

up

him

" 'You horrid

little

deformed

critter,

what's that

lump you've got on your shoulder ?'


" Zedekiah turned round and looked at him for about a minute, and says he
:

"

'

It's

Bunker

Hill,

you tarnal

fool, you.'

"

VOL.

111.

34

AMERICAN' HUMOUIl.

IV.

In theyear

THE GANDER-PULLING.
,

and upon

I resided in the city of Augusta,

visiting the

m
if!

that year,

my

attention

ng

Market-House one moniing was called to the follow


pillars

nofce stuck upon one of the


:

ouilding

of the

"advurtysement. To be inform hearof, .s hearof notyfide that edwd. Prator will G,v a Gander pulhn' J.S th,s side of harisburg, on Satterday of thes pres-'
"Thos woo wish

thlf"""'
II

'"

^" "" """"

"'^''

'"

!>''>"<

w=shi' to partak will yearly, as the puUin' will begin Soon._E. )>
P.-

"e. Prator-thos

eum

\\

'!

THE GANDER.PULLING.
If I

35

am

asked

why

^^j is

this

side of harisburg"
feat,

was selected
city of

for the

promised

instead of the

I answer from conjecture, ? but with some confidence, because the ground chosen was near the central point between four rival towns,

Augusta

the citizens

of

all

which

''

mout wish

to

partak

tharof," namely, Augusta, Springfield, Harrisburg,

and Campbelltown.
all

Not

that each was the rival of


first

the others, but that the

petitors,

last were comand each of the others backed the preits

and

tensions of

nearest neighbour.

sta,

Harrisburg sided with Campbelltown, not because


she

had any

interest

ing

in seeing the business of the

the

two states centre upon the bank of the river, nearly opposite to her, but because, like the " Union democratic republican party of Georgia,^'

she thought,

after the adoption of the Federal Constitution, that

rof

the confederacy should no longer be '^separated" by the distinction of local party; that laying down all former prejudices and
jealousies as a sacrifice

the

several towns of

on the altar of their country, they should become united in a single body, for the maintenance of those principles which they

in

deemed

essential to the public welfare.

Springfield,

on the other hand, espoused the

state

D 3

36
"."l.ts

AMERTCAV HUMOIR.
crecr.

She artmiew

that,

-npact

unfe

,he

f,,,o,.a,

she ought to

We

the sisto. state;

vcy

the to

".uel.,-btthat,fcthe.oeialeopacthe,J to love her own ..ate a little o,.e; and, he thought


c,paets
perfectly
,^^^,_^^

reeoneilable

to

eaeh

ho...

!,,,, f ,^

^^

^1^^^

separate bodies to preserve the private welfare She ad..ttod frankly, .hat livin,
3 she
vl,

bodies to prese,.o the welfare, her ,loctr,e was, that they


shol,l

go U,

..,

^^^^_^^ ^^^^^^

public

bo kept

rht anddst

had always

agoons, she was wholly ,,,, f cop,,,edi. ha expansive kind of benevolence which taught her

fe.dlie, vapours, fogs, ereek, a.fd

j Un
i i

her next

door neighbours and friends.


it

theretoro, she could learn

of the federal eo,paet, she w-ould stick to h-ld.fash,onod Scotch love, which she understood perfectly, and "go in" for Augusta, live or die, h.. or raiss, right or

2-. on

from thoprae.ical

wrong.

As
field

days of Mr. Jefferson, the Spring. doctnnes prevaUod, Campbclltown

in

the

was

nnlh],ed:
-a3
..ot

literally

.nso,eh.
a

that
to

ten

years
the

ago
spot

there

house

left

n.ark

once

where
village.

tlourished

this

active,

busy

little

THE GANDER-PULLING.

37

Those who are curious to know wliere Springfield


time of which I am speaking, have only to take their position at the intersection of
stood, at the

Broad and Manbury

Streets, in the city of

Augusta,

and they
field.

will

be in the very heart of old Spring'

Between Harrisburg and Springfield, and eleven hundred and forty-three yards from the
latter, there

runs a stream which


time just mentioned,
it

may

be perpetual.

At the

flowed between banks twelve


it still

or fourteen feet high, and was then called, as


is, '^

Hawk's Gully."
Mr. Prator,
like the

Now

most successful

poli-

tician of the present

day, was

on

all

sides in
laid

doubtful contest

and accordingly he

off his

gander-pulling ground on the nearest suitable unappropriated spot to the centre point between

This was between Harrisburg and Hawk^s Gully, but within one hundred yards of Harrisburg.

Springfield

and Harrisburg.

When

" Sattcrday of the pressent munth" rolled

round, I determined to go to the gander-pulling.

When

I reached the spot, a considerable

number

of

persons
plexions,

of different ages, sexes,

sizes,

and com-

had collected from the

rival

towns, and the

38
country around.
ever,
life.

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
there, howand those few were from the lowest walks of

But few females were

eircular path, of about forty yards in diameter,

laid out; over whieh, from two posts about ten feet apart, stretched a rope, the ' middle of which was directly over the path. The rope hung: loosely, so as to allow it, with the weight of a gander attached to it, to vibrate in an arc of four or five feet span, and so as to bring the breast of tfe gander within barely easy reach of a man of middle stature, upon a horse of common
size.

had already been

hat was

now handed

to such as
int..
it

wished to
twenty-five

enter the
cents each

lists,

and they threw

this

sum was

the victor^s prize.

The devoted gander was now produced; and

Mr

Prator havir.g tied his feet together with a strong cord, ,,roceeded to the veck-p-easinff.
^t

may

be to

all

who

Abhorrent as respect the tenderer relations

of life, Mrs. Prator had actually prepared a gc .rd of goose-grease for this very purpose.

For myself, when


It,

I saw Ned d.p his hands into and commence stroking down the feathers, from

breast to head,

my

thoughts took a melancholy

THE GANDER-PULLING.
turn.

39

They dwelt
felicities

in

sadness upon the

many

con-

jugal

had prohably been shared between the grcasess and the grease. I could see
whicli
side,

him, as he stood by her

through many a chilly

day, and cheerless night,


into
life

when she was warming

the offspring of their mutual loves, and repelled, with chivalrous spirit, every invasion of the consecrated spot which she had selected for her incubation. I could sec him moving, with
patri-

archal dignity,

by the

side of his loved one, at the

head of a smiling, prattling group, the rich reward


of their mutual care, to the luxuries of the meadow, or the recreations of the pool. And now, alas the
!

smoking

sacrifice of his

bosom

friend

to the unholy purpose of


object'^ for

making

his

was desecrated neck " a fit

Cruelty to reach ''her quick, unerring

fingers at."

Ye

friends of the sacred

tie,

judge what were

my

feelings

when, in

the

midst of these reflections,


Prator thundered

the ear:

voice

of James

on muift

"Burn
his neck,

the old dodger. Brother


a fly can't light on
fulfilled
it

Ned!

Grease

till

\"

Ned having

his brother Jim's icquest.as

well as he could, attached the victim of his crueltv

40
to the rope,
>t'

AMEllICAN HUMOUR.
directly over
tl...

path.

On

vnch side

gander was stationed a man, whose office it was to lash forward any horse which might 1 nger
tlic

tliere

for
all

luouient

<)

l)y

the

rules
at

of
a

the

ring,

pidling

was

to

be

d one

brisk

canter.
li^

The.

word was now given

for

the con.petitors to

mount and take


"I'Pourcd:
Sj).tfire;

their places

in

the ring.

Ei-ht

Tall

Zubly Zin,

mounted upon Sdly

Arch Odum, on IJull and Ingons (Onions)Nathan Perdew, on Wild Cat; James Dickson, on Nigger; David AVilliams, on Gridiron; fat John
Fulger, on Slouch
;

Gorham Bostwiek, on Gimblet

and Turner llannnond, on Possum. " Come, gentlemen/' said


II

Commandant

Prator
sort

"fall in!
o' in a

All of

you get behind one another,

row."

All

came
and

Spitfire

into the track very kindly, but Sally Gridiron. The former, as soon as she

ih

saw a general movement of horses, took it for granted there was mischief brewing ; and because she could not tell where it lay, she concluded
it

lay

;S

everywhere,
|,n!

and therefore took

fright

at

every-

thing.

Gridiron was a grave horse

but a suspicious eye.

tl

TIIK OANDEIl-PULLING.

41

whicli he cast to the rif,'ht and left wherever lie moved, Hliowed that he was "wide; awake," arid that " nobody had better not go fooling with him," as
his

owner sometimes used

to say.
;

He

took a

sober, but rather intense view of things


that,
in

insomuch
his

his

contemplations,

he passed over

track three times, before he could be prevailed


to stop

upon

upon
to

it.

He

stojjped at last,

and when he
all

was made

understand that this was

that was

expected of him for the present, he surrendered his


suspicions at once, with a countenance which seemed
plainly to say

" Oh,
it."

if this is all

you want, I've no objection

to

It

was long before Miss


like.

Spitfire could

be induced

to

do the

" Get another horse, Zubc," said one


never do for a gander pullin'."

" Sail

will

"

won't," said Zube.


do.
I

"

If she won't do,

I'll

make her

want
I

nag that goes

off with a

spring, so that

when

get a hold, she'll cut the

neck

in two, like a steel trap."

At length

Sally

was rather flun-

than coaxed,

into the track, directly a-head of Gridiron.

" Now, gentlemen," said the master of the cere-

42
mom.,, "no

AMERICAN IlUMOUn.
,., t ,ko g,,,
,1.
til,

||,,

round; and when

,,^^_^

fit n,n are .-ot round, then

th.^ whole twi.,t and tucking off yo grab away, you come under (Look he,-e, Jin,

Fulge,-,

better not .tad too el. to that gando,-,

yn'd
tell

you

I),

one after another.

Now

bla^e

away

1"

(the

con,n,and for an onset of every kind, with people of


this order.)

Off they went. Mi,. Sally delighted for now she ; thought the whole parade would e,ul in

more norles, than her But Gnd.ron's visage,


"ugagcd

nothin--

favourite

amusement, a race" pronounced this the most

nonsensical business that ever a horse of sense wae since the world began.

For the fit three round's Zubly was wholly


occupied in restrainmg Sally to her place; but he nothing by this, for the gander had ese.-ed unhurt. On completing his third round, Zube
lost

his long arm, grabbed the gander by the neck, with a firmness which seemed likely to defy i,oo,e.grease, and at the same instant, he ...voluntarily gave Sally a sudden check. She

stretched forth

i'-i

had been kept nearly touch.ng her leader's hocks; and for the first time, saw the gander in the act of descending upon her; at

raised her head, which

fi

THE OANDER-PULLINO.
tlic

48
pealing lashes
for

same moment she received

t\vo

from the whippers.


Springfield

The way she now broke


to

"is

nothin'

nobody."

As Zube

dashed down the road, the whoh; circus raised a whoop after him. This started about twenty dogs,
hounds, curs, and pointers in
full

chase of him (for


in

no
Tlie

man moved

without his

dog

those

days).

dogs alarmed some belled

cattle,

which were

grazing on Zube's path, just as he reached them


S

these joined him, with tails up,


rattling.
rollers,

and a tremendous

Just
at

beyond these went three tobacco


and a hundred yards
terrific

a distance of fifty

apart, each of

whom

gave Zube a

whoop,

scream, or

yell, as

he passed.
like a trap-

He went
ball,

in

and out of Hawk's Gully

less than no time." Here he was encouraged onward by a new recruit

and was in Springfield " in

of dogs,
before

but they gave up the chase as hopeless they cleared the village. Just beyond

Springfield,

what should

Sally

encounter but a
all

flock of geese,

the tribe to which she owed

her

misfortunes.

She

stopped

suddenly,

and

Zube went over

her head with the last-acquired velocity.

He was
which he

up

in

moment, and the

activity with

44

AMBIllciN HUMOUR.

fimlin,,,, ,vl:o

Imcl

,vite,,cd

Mi

Sally's treat

;::'

"""

7"

""

-".i "">i..ati/,v.,.a

natter h,,, be explained to

l.i,

fore
looK,

satisfaction.

Ife

stopped short,

,.nd

by very

intelligible

w
Il

dennunled of the whipper.s, whether, "( he "'""' "" ^ '" "^ '-"" Miss Sj.t- had been. The whippers gave him no .sA,et.on, and his ri.ler iforn,ed hi-n by reitc-

sIm

rr:

:""'7-'"-'>'.atheshonldotlrng
other he
,v,d

or

not.

Of

these!

Gnd,r seemed to know nothing.


of h
eonferenee,

ho^eve

,'

In the n.idst
lit

Gridiron's

eye

-cllatn,, gander, and every moment's snrvey of begat ,n hin. a growing interest, as

npon the
,t

Lead, suppressed breath, and projected ears plainty evneed. After a short
e.van,iation,

his slowly risi.

S.,

and. ooked behind him


It

he heaved I

nn.ns.

was plam that his ,id was made np bu to sat,sfy the world that he would do nothing rashly, he took another view n wjiceled , and then ", in,l and went for Ilarr.sburg, as if he had set in for a yea.-s
. ,

*ar

to see if the

way was

Nobody whooped

at Gridiron, for all

saw

THE OANDKR-l'lTLLlNO.
that h.8 r.mnino: ua.
,

46
of philo-

,udy the

res..lt

iophic deduction.
that
this

not suppose occupied half the time which has been


in

The reader

will

consumed
80,

it, tlu.ugh it >nght have been without interrupting the amusement, for Miss

telling

Spitfire's

flight

had completely suspend d

it

for a

time.

The remaining competitors now went on with A few rounds showed plainly that Odum or Bostwiek would be the victor, but which no one
the sport.

could

tell.

of them came round, the gander's neck wa^, sure of a severe wrench. Many a half j,int of Jamaica was staked upoa them besides other things. The poor gander withstood many r. strong pull before his wailings ceased.
length,

Whenever

either

however,

they

were

At hushed by Odum.

Then came Bostwick and broke the neck. The Odum, it was thought, would bear away the head, but it did
next grasp of
not.

Then Bostwick was

sure of

it,

but he missed
it.

it.

Now Odum must


and animation.

surely have

All

is

interest

The

horses sweep rounu with

redoubled speed-every

eye

IS

upon

Odum-his
To

backers smiling-Bostwiek's

trembhng.

the rope he comes-lifts his

hand-

It

46

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
lo
!

when

Fat John Fulger had borne


All were

it

away the
disap-

second before.
pointed, and
clear,

astonished
little
:

all
it

some were vexed a


"
if it

for

was now
fat

that,

hadn^t

o'

been for his great

paw," to use their own language,


gained the victory.

Odum

would have

Others inveighed against " that

long-legged Zube Ziu,

who was
were

so high,

he did not

know when
nag
o'

his feet

cold, for bringing such a


;

as Sail Spitfire to a gander-pullin^


it

for

if

he'd

been in his place,

would have flung Bostwick


lard (Fulger) was."
calculated to reconcile

right were that

gourd

o' hogs'
little

Fulger's conduct was

them
"

to their disappointment.
here,

Come

Neddy
let

Prater," said

h(!,

with

triumphant smile, "


potato-stealer (hand)

your Uncle Johnny put his

into that hat,


little.

and

tickle the
little

chins of

them

are shiners a

Oh you

shining critters,

walk

into as
!

your Mas' Johnny's

pocket, and jingle so

Arch

Odum

and Gory
?

Bostwick
m-

may

hear you

You

hear 'em. Gory

Boys don't
in
;

pull with men.

I've jist got


full of

my

hand

I
lO

wish I had a pond

ganders here now,


their heads
fly.

jist

show you how


I've
I'll

I could

make

Bet
rope,

all

won, you
set

may hang
at full

three

upon

that

and

Slouch

speed and take off

THE GANDER. PULLING.


the heads of
all

47
two with

three, the first grab,

my
no

hands and one with

my

teeth."

Thus he went
boasting in this;

on,
it

but
all

really

there
for

was

was

fun,

John knew,

convinced that he knew, that his success was entirely the result of accident. John

and

all

were

was

really

''

good-natured
directly

fellow,"

and

his

cavorting had an effect

opposite
it

to that

which the reader would suppose that


reconciled
all to

had it
I

their disappointment,

save one.

except Billy

Mixew

of Spirit Creek,
six

who had

staked

the net proceeds of

quarts

of mukle-berries
for

upon Odum, r/hich he had been long keeping


a

safe bet.

He

could not get reconcxied, until he

fretted
fight,

himself
in

into a pretty little piney-woods which he got whipt; and then he went

home

perfectly satisfied.

Fulger spent

all

his

winnings with Prater, in treats to the companymade most of them drunk, and thereby produced four Georgia rotations,^ after which
all

parted

good friends.

borrowed
I

this

term from Jim Inman, at the time

"

Why,

Jim," said

to him, just as he rose

from a

fight,

" what have you'


little

been doing?"
rotation with

0h."

said he,

"nothing but taking a

Bob McManus."

48

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

V.

How MIKE

HOOTER,
'^

CAMK VERY NEAR " WALLOPING


In the Yazoo
in the
Hills,

ARCH COONY.

near the town of Sartartia,

good State of

Mississippi, there lived at no

distant date one

Mike Hooter; whose hunting and


all

preaching adventures became famous in

the land.

Besides being a great bear-hunter and hard to beat


at preaching,

Mike

professed to be " considerable'^

of a fighter, and in a regular knock-down and drag-

out row was hard to beat.

In order that the world

may

not remain in dark-

ness as to his doings in this last behalf, and fearing


lest there

mav be no one who

entertains for

him

that

'^

MIKE HOOTER.
particularly

49
us towards
us, in evi-

warm regard which animates


it

him,

we have thought

incumbent on

dence of our attachment for the reverend hero, to jot down an instance that lingers in our memory
respecting hiin, bequeathing
it

as a rich legacy to

remotest time. Entertaining such partiality,


for

wc may be pardoned
his

following

Mike

in

one of

most stirring

adventures, related in his peculiar and expressive


vernacular.

" Fni one of the peaceablest "that ever trotted on hind


legs,

fellers,^'

said

Mike,
git
nie,

and rather than


on

into er fuss 'bout nothin', I'd let er chap spit

but

when

it

comes to rabbin'

it

in,

always in
it.

gen'rally kinder r'ars

up

an' won't stan'

" But there's some


rather git into er
er few

fellers

up

in

Yazoo what would


eat
;

scrimmage than
so

an I've seen

up thar what war


away

hungry

for er fight, that

they

fell

an' got so poor an'

thin that
!

they

had to lean up agin

er saplin' to cuss

" That chap Arch Coouy was er few in that

line.

He was
ever

the durndest,
er tree
!

rantankerous hossfly that

clum

I'll tell

you what,
it
:

ef I hadn't er

bin thar I Avouldn't or b'leeved

I seed

him one

day in Satartia
VOL.
III.

git

up from

er jug of whiskey,
jj

when

50

AMIiniCAN HUMOOn.

f'

wh,ch walloped t'other, an' tncr mockasins


!

I,,f of i,, ,,,, ,jj,,^,, half to spile, and go ' pitch i, er privi, spou.e twee t ij^^ ^^,_^,^ ^^ ^. 1^^,^ ^^_^ ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^

he hadn't drunk n^orn-n

^j

l,in'

both on n,t'u

"Well, yon

sec,
if

kmd
could

Areh was mighty foa

'

atncks, an'

them

lamm

bones, but he'd just go up

he seed er fellow he thought he without no danger, he wouldn't make no


to the

ehap and make

'r;: the feUow showed spunky life, he'd let hi alone an a. h,n. to take a drink; but if he sorter tried to' -Jle out of rt, Areh would
git as

'"";''''"-^''i^M"S-.-bit;andef

mad

an swar, an'

as all wrath

euss,

an

r'a., an'

at er gate-post;
1

charge like er ram

and the

fust thing

he dshuek

you knowed,
'

off his coat, an'

when

on

speetm' nuthin'. Arch would fetch him er side wipe

the feller warn'

'M

ae

head, and knock

him

into the middle of next

" You see

I didn't like

them

sort of doings

e, myself, I didn't; and chance at Areh, I'd let

much
got e^

I all'ays, ef ever I

He was gittin' cnuy bow; and sez


two.
sez 1

him down a buttonhole or too high up in the pictures,


I

e day,

er crowd '

MIKE HOOTER.
ive 'tothev
Ivit

61

spoute

" Ef that '

feller

Arch Coony don't mind which


hold of him one

durn cent

side of his bread's buttered, Pil git

um out'n
o'

of those days, an'

I'll

make him

see sights.'

"Well, you see there was two or three sheep-

them

stealing chaps listenin' to

what

I scd, an'

they goes

and
'ought he
:

tells

Arch the

fust chance I got I

was gwine to

make no
nd make
;

larrup him.
as

Well, that riled


it

him

like all fury,

and
like

soon as he hearn
:

he begins er cussin'

and ef
alone,

wrath, and sez he

m
II

"

'

Dod

rot that ole

Mike Hooter.

He

pertend to

be a preacher.
tried to
hollerin'

His preachin'

ain't nothin'

but loud

nohow."
see

wrath,

"So you
er

ram
an'
tells

them same

chaps,

they
an'

comes
I

knowed,

me what Arch had


we had

sed;

got

mad
f

too, an'

warn^t

the durndest

rumpus

in the

de wipe
of next

neighbourhood you ever hearn.

"I

didn't see nothing of

Arch from that time

till

about er month.

much,
got er
bole or
ctures,

tatia to

I went down to Sarbuy ennything er barrel of whiskey, or

Every time

backer, or sich like truck, for privit


for Arch, an'
totlier

use I

looked

Arch looked

for

me, but somehow or

he never crossed
last

my

path.
I beleeved
1

crowd,

"At

one day

I sent

him word

he was

skeered of me, and the fust chance


take the starch out'n

got I would
;

him

as sure as shooting

and

E 2

mmm

62

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

he sent word back to


play
at,

mc

that was a
to try

game two could


he'd sec
if

and when

wanted

it,

he

coukVnt help me.

" Well,

thinjvs

went on that way

for er long time,


I

an' I didn't see nothing of Arcli, so


all

begin to forgit

'bout him.

At

last

one day, when


to

me and two
it,

or

three other chaps


to

was gwine down

ig Black River
I

go bar-hunting on

t'other side of

hearn the
the road

darndrst

elatter-whacking,
I

and noise

in

behind us; and when


the

turned round to see what in


was, thar was Arch and a

name of thunder
lot

it

whole
loping

of fellers cummin'
tilt

down the

road, er gal-

f,dl

right up to us, an' er gwine bar-

huntin' too.

" Wlien

I seed hinj I

was

so

mad
and

thought

should er burst myself.

Now, Mr. Arch,


won't hold shucks. "Torcckly, Archhe

I've got you,


I'll

if

you don't
your hide

keep your eye skin'd,

lick

you

till

cum up

alongside,

and looked

me
and

right i)lum in the face as savage as er meat-axe;


sez he

Good mornin'
"
I see thar

ole Prciich, give us


in

your paw.'
as

was mischief
I

him

big as a
as

meetin'-house, and

'termined to give

him

good

MIKE HOOTER.
lis

53

he sent, so

looked at him sorter savigerous

like,

and

sez I

" Look here, hoss, how can you have the '
to talk to uie, arter saying

face

what you sed

?'

"
it?'

'

Why/

sez he,

'

Uncle Mike, didn't you begin

"'No,'

sez

I; *an' ef you sez I begun


life.'

it

Fll

larrup you in er inch of your

" Sez he,

You

eternal olc cuss, ef

you want

to

larrup ine, just larrui>


please,

away
'ill

as soon as

you darn
it.'

and

we'll see

which
'

get the wust of

"
I

'

Now,'

sez

I,

I i:kes

you.
a

Arch,

'cause
feller
;

all'ays

thought

you

was

fust-rate

but ain't you been 'busin'


thing you could think of?'

me

everywhere fur every-

" Yes,'
*

sez

he,

'

but didn't you say you'd

git

hold of
sites ?'

me one

of these days, and

make me

see

"'No,'
sed,

sez I, 'I didn't:


I,

but this here's what I

sez

ef

that

feller,

Arch Cooney, don't


I'll

mind which

side of his bread's buttered,

get
see

hold of him one of those days and


sites.*

make him

"'Well,' sez he, 'Uncle Mike, you knows I'm


rood the

most

peace'blest

feller

living,

and always

64
mind which
that's
all

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
side of

my

bread's buttered, and ef

you

scd, taint

nothin'

so let's take er

drink.'

tuck out er tickler of whiskey, and arter he'd tuck three or four swallers out'n it, sez

" Then he

he:
*
I

"'Uncle
horn.'

Mike,

obleege

,e

by

taking

er

"'No,'
thing, for

sez

I,

'I won't do no such er doo- on


I likes

when

er chap,

I likes

when

him, and
if

I don't like him, I don't like


fight,

him

but

you

wants to

Pm

your man.'

"You

oughter seen Arch then, I think he was

the most maddest


'

man
rai-'d

hmd
"

that ever wobbled on two


an' pitched, an' cussed an'

legs.'

He

swore like anything.

When T see him cuttin' up that way, I commence getting mad, too, an' my knees they
he<nn
to shake, sorter like I

had er

chill,

an'

skeeredl

when

I s'posed thar was gwine to be thar devd to pay, I give you my word. I ain't been so wrathy before once since, and that was t'other day

no,

Su-an'

that Cain, the blacksmith,

drunk up

my

last

bottle of 'bullface;'
It,

and when

I tacked

him 'bout

scd he thought

it

was milk.

i;^'*:-*

MIKE HOOTER.
''

66

But that
sayin',

ein't

neither here, nor thar.


at

As

was a

Arch he cussed

me, an'

cussed at
I beat

him, an' the

fellers

what was along of me sed

him

all

holler.

Torcetly I begin to get tired of


sez I

I I J

jawin'

away so much, and


what's

''Arch,
all-fired

the

use

of

makin'

such

er
it

rackit 'bout nothin'.

S'pose

we make

up?'
"
'

Good

as wheat,' sez he.


sez
I,
'

" * Well,'
sez in
I,
'

give us your paw,' sez

I,

'

but,'

thar's

one thing you sed, what sorter sticks

my

craw
it

yet, an' if

you don't

pollogize, I'll wallop

you

for

right

now/
?'

" ' What does you mean


" Sez
I,
'

sez he.

Didn't you sed one day that


?'

my preachin*
me word

warn't nothin' but loud hollerin'

" ' Yes,' sez he,


begin

'

but didn't you send


I

one time that you b'lievcd

was skeered of you, an'

the fust chance you got you'd take the starch out'n

me, as sure as er gun.' " Sez


I,
'

Yes, but what does that signify


sez

" ' Well,'


sed, I'll take

he,

'

ef you'll take back


I sed.'

what you

back what

"Then
sez I

begin to get as

mad

as all wrath, and,

r
66

AMERICAN IHJVOUR.
etminl slurp-stcalin',
bow-K-.,,!,
tell

"'You
yo,i

wl.iskcy-drinkii,'

nl>,l;(.^-la.n,ni.,^

taller- facnl rascal,

docj

want mo to

or

lie,

by

ol.aui,,'

up n.y w

words?
and
I'll

Ef

that's

what you're
till

arter, jest con.e ,

larrup you
a
j)ilc

yur n.a.n.ny won't know

you from
" So

of sassa^T-meat.'
er
ridin'

wo kep

anotlu.r worse than

Ve

cum

to

,,, and er cus.sin' ono two Choctaw Injuns, an' torectly the ferry-boat-whar we had to

cross

the rivor.

Soou as we got
his ole

thnr,

Arch he hopped

aowM offn

boss, an'

li.^self fur er fight,

an'

commenced sbuckin' jun.ped down to,>. I see

the devil was in hiu.


gritton

as big as er bull, so I begin

him as spunky as^r Dominecker rooster; and now, sez I: "'Mr. Arch Coony,' I sed, ^ I'll make you see
sites,

my

tcei

an' lookin' at

an' the fust thing you

know

I'll

show them to

you.-'

Then

pulled off

my
it

ole

Sunday go-toer
till

meetin'-coat,

an'
'

slammed
thar, ole

down on

stump,
I lean!

a'Hl
1

sez I
:

Lay

Methodist,

this 'coon

some

sense.*

" I soon see thar was gwine to be thar bustinest


fight

that ever was,


rolled

so I
hisn,

i^Hed up

my

sleeves,
at

an'
at
it

Arch

up

and

we was gwine

reglar.

Ill Is la

*^^Ml^

MIKE IIOOTKR.
" 'Now,' scz he, 'olc prn'r-mcctin' pitch in/

67

"Weil,
lin'

I jist bc^'in

siddin*
I

uj),

an' ho begin sideliini,

up.

As soon

as

got close 'nuff to


:

so

could hit hini a go-darter, scz he

'"Hole on
wait
till

er niinuit, this ground's too rooty;

I clear

the sticks away


fair

i'roni

here, so as I
it

can
good.'

have

chance

to

give

to

you

" Don't hollar '


I;
'p'raps

till

you're out'n the woods/ sez


say

when I'm done you won't


nothin' but hollerin, I spec'

niv

l)rea('hin' ain't

"When
looked
dirt, I

he'd done scrapen' off the ground,

it

jist like

two bulls had been pawing up the

give you
I

my

word

it

did.

"Well, as
sidled up,

sed before,
sez I
:

he sidled up, an'

and now,

"'Look
ef I

out for your bread-basket, ole stud, for


to

happen

give you er jolt thar, p'raps

it

'ill

tarn your stomach.*

" So thar we
two chicken-cocks

stood,

head an'

tail

up, jest like

in layin' time, an' sez I to


till

him

Arch, I'm gwine to matil you

you won't

know

yourself.'

" Soon as we got close


about to

enuff,

an' I see he
I

was

make

er

lunge

at

me, sez

t
58
Hole
(,,

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
d(l

drot you, wait

till

my

unbutton

galIow8C8,
sites

an'

may

be

so then

I'll

them

show you

what we was talkin 'bout/


nil

"Well,
to take

sides

the fellers was stannin' round ready in the fight, an' toreckly the chap

what kep' the ferry begin to get tired of keepin' thar ferry-boat waitin', an', sez he:

"'Cuss your
this here

pictures! I'm not gwinc to keep

waitin' no longer, an' people on t'other side waitin' to go over, so if you want to fight, come over on this side an' fight there.'

ferry-boat

"'Good
and

as ole wheat,'
'

scz I, anything to keep


let's

peace away,
settle
it

t.

you say

so,

get into the boat,

over thar.'
all

"Well, they
word,
an'

agreed to that without sayin'


ferry-boat.
I

Arch he got into the


of
it,

jumped

into the eend

and was gwine


all-fired

my

to lead

boss

on

too,

but
to
it,

the

critter

was

skeered to

jump on

and

sez I to the

man who
durned

kept the

ferry, sez I

"'Why
"

don't you wait

till

I get's this
?'

four-lcgged critter into the boat

He

didn't

say a word,

but keot
boss bcgiL

shovin'
p..ilin'
it,

the

boat out, and toreckly

my

back

with the bridle, an' I er holein' on to

an' the

't

^%!sttBr~"**"

MIKE HOOTER.
unbutton
furpt thing
1

59

knowcd,
sec,

went kerswash into the


niinit,

show you

drink.

So you

in

about er

thar v? I

on

to this side,

and thar was Arch on

t'other,

md
if

and

ready

no chance for
I

me

to git at him.

tell

you what,

the chap
kecpin'

was hot

then and what was


and sed he b'leved
I

worser.

Arch he

hollered out

skcered the boss

and made him pull back, on pu-poac to get out'n


to
i'

keep

the scrape.

When
biled.

beam him
Howsever,
I

say that, I was so

people
to

want

soon see 'twarn't no use raisen er racket 'bout what couldn't jc


helped, so I 'eluded I'd have

mad

fairly

my

satisfaction out'n

to keep

him any way.

An'

I begin shakin'

my

fist

at him,

he boat,

an' er cussm' him.

Sez I
yallcr-faced,
it

"'You
say in' a
)at.

eternal

suck-egg

son

of

cr
tc

what

is

you

ain't

mean
(an'

'nuff for
I

me

call

you?

I tell

you what!'

hope to be

to lead

forgiven for swearin') I cussed

him
I

blue.

er

was

" Well,
boat to

was so outdone
back,
for
it

didn't wait for the


gcttin' 'most dark

an who

come
late

was

and too

for bar-huntin' that


'spectin'

day

'sides,

my
and

durned

wife she

would be

mc

at the house,

might
n'
1^

rais

pertickler dust if I didn't get thar in

the

time

so I

jumped on

my
I

ole boss,

an'

put for

back
the

home.

But the way


I got

cussed and 'bused Arch


sin,

in'

when

on the boss, was er

an' the further

60
I

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
r

him the louder I hollered Plodge you u,y word, you might er hearn
mile.
^'

got away from

me

er

To mal:e a long
:

story short, the last

word

to him, sez 1

I sed

"
'

Arch, youVe 'scaped

me

this time

by

dent, but the n^ vt time

er axi

you

cross

my

amip you worse nor


I
vvill,

path,

PH

the devil beatin' tan-bark

by hokey V
-'

"

'^^^^^^

..

;7i;^^" 1 tell you what,


not to do
this
it,

Mike, drawing a long breath.


wollopin' that

come the nearest

feller,

that ever you saw.''


his coon-skin cap
it

At

moment Mike donned


it

and giving
ills

a terrific slam,

that brought

over

eyes, vanished.

fl'^-ae

AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW.
ollcred
!

61

learn

me

er

word

I sed

by

er axi-

path,

rii
!

tan-bark

ng

breath,

lopin' that

VI.
-skin cap,
it
it

AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW.
L^
I

over

HOPE the day


will

is

not far distant,


in
is

when drunkenhighly-favoured
its

ness

be

unknown

our

country.

The moral worM

rising ia

strength
the

against the all-destroying

vice,

and though

monster
deadly

still

struggles,
in

and stings, and poisons, with


parts

effect,
it

many

of our wide-spread
;

territory,

is

perceptibly
if I

wounded and weakened


live to

and

I flatter myself,

should

number ten

years more, I shall see

it

driven entirely from the

higher

walks of

life at least, if

not from

all

grades

of society.
r

For the honour of


its

my

contemporaries,
its follit.
;

would register none of

crimes or

62

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

but, in noticing the peculiarities of tlic age in whicli


I live,

eandonr constrains

me

to give this vice a

pass,ng not,ce.
to present
.0

The

interview which I
it

am

about

my

readers, exhibits

and most harmless forms.


In the county of
apart, lived old
,

in its mildest

and about

five

miles

Hardy Slow and


industrious,

They

old Tob.as Swift


honest,
sensible

were

both

farmers,

when sober; but they never

v.sited their

without getting drunk; and then they were-prec,sely what the follow.ng narrative makes them.

county-town

They both happened


same
day,

at the

Court House on the

f'

them together; the former accompanied by his wife, and the latter by h.s youngest son, a lad about thirteen. Tobias was just clearly on .he wrong side of the line, which d.v.des dmnk from sober; but Hardy was '-rcjalfy ^"-.<i' but not falling) when they met, about an hour by sun the afternoon, near the rack at which their horses were hitched.

when

last

saw

They stopped about four


each other
full

during

all

which

apart, and looked the face for about half a minute time, Toby sucked

feet

his

"inked, and n.ade signs with his sho dders and

teeth'

AN INTERESTING
rt'

INTERVIE'V.

63

in

which
vice a
ft

elbows to the by-standers that he

knew Hardy was

this
[

am

about

drunk, and was going to quiz him for their amusement. In the meantime, Hardy looked
at Tobias,
like

its

mildest

polite

man dropping

to

sleep

in spite of

himself under a dull long story.


five

miles

At length Toby broke

silence

Jias Swift,
i

"How

goes

it,

Uncle Hardy?" {winking

to the

sensible

sited their

company, and shrugging his shoulders.) " Why, Toby ! is that you ? Well
why,

upon

my
to,

lud

then

Toby

Lord help my soul


what,
in,

and
you,

narrative

Why, Toby!
gitt'n,

the,
o'

worP,

set,

drunk this,
!

time

day?

Swear, poin'
be,

se

on the

blank, you^-e drunk


old,

Why you must

an

'her; the
latter

fool to,

get,

drunk, right, before,

all these,

by

gentlemen

already, Toby."
see {winking),

bias
ie,

was

" Well, but, now you

Uncle Hardy,

which

a gill-cup an't a quart-pot, nor a quart-pot an't a

" royally
t,

two-gallon jug; and therefore {winking


ling),

and chuckit

about
rack at

Uncle Hardy, a thing

is

a thing, turn
it

which

way you
give

will, it just sticks at

what

was before you

it first

ex ex
the,

ploit." help,

looked

"Well,
what,
this,
is

Lord,

my

Why, Toby!
answer,
is

minute,
1

the reas'n, you, never, will,

me
I,

teeth,

one circumstance

and, that,

5rs

and

always, find, you, drunk, when, I come, here."

" Well, now> but Uncle Hardy, you always know

"

f
ni

AMKRICAN HUMOUR,
tlic

circumstances alters cases, as


therefore,
if

fellow said; a(|


cir-

one ciren.nstance

alters another

cumstance

how's your wife and children ?"


I

"J, swear, poin' blank,


cause,

shan't

tell

you

r'ally,

is,

too dr.n.k, to know,

you bemy wife,


Ion-

when, you, meet,


and,
she'll, tell,

hr,-,

in the street, all, duy,

you,

the.,

very, sanu), thing, as, alt

these, gentlemen,

can testimony."

"W(ll, but
ing's

now you see. Uncle Hardy, thinkone thing and knowing's another, as the
and the proof
o'
;

fellow said;

the pmlding's chawin'

the bag, as the fellow said


(lidtllc-de-doll-doll-day

ami you see-toll-doll-

{singlny

and

cupena,;),

you
let's

think

can't

dance?

Come, Uncle Hardy,

dance."

" Why, Toby

! you come to
1 ?

this ?

didn't

make, you, drunk, did


Avith,

You,

an't, took, a drink,


?
J,

me,

this,

live,

long,

day-is you

say,

is

you,

Toby ?"

" No, Uncle

Har
let's go,

"Well, then,
t'(

take a drink."
Unci.;

"Well, but
drinkin'
;

you

see.

Hardy,

dri.d<in's

but that's neither here nor there, as the

fellow said.

ii

Come
And

(singing) all ye

young

sparkcrs,

come

listen to

me,

I'll

sing you a

ditti,

of a pretti ladee.' "

AM INTKIlKSTmo
s.'iid;

NTIORVI UW.

65
,li,l,

!ui(l

"Wl,y,ToI,y|l,,_,_|,,_^,y^.^
ntlicr
(lr(;ii

cir-

T r'ally,
believeli'f,

ilnuk, you,

V"

was, dnink, but,


!

now

J
walk,

you

bcwife,

W"st the
in

flics

b'lieve,

they, jest, as

my
luy,

Ion-

n,y nose. {77n'u lookim, loilh eyes half closed at Toh,j for several mhmtrs.) Why, Toby, you, spit 'baeoo spit, all
'

my, n.outh,

as, in,

S> s, nil,

over, yo.ir

jacket-

and, that's
fix."

jist,

the very, way, you, got, in your

y,

thiiik-

At
as
tlic

this n.on.ent,

Mrs. Slow came up,

ui.d im.

cliuwin^

nu^diately after, Swift's son, William.

toll-doll"!/)>

" Come," said the good lady, old man,


Jiome;
it's

let's

go

getting

you
we'll get wet."
let's

late,

and

there's a cloud risin^.

"
!

'

dy,

" yVhy, Nancy


you!
Is

what

in

the

vvorl'

has got into

you drunk, too?

didn't
''"'<l

Well, 'pon,

my

word,
is
sec,'

a drink,
,

I'onor, I, b'lieve, every

body, in this town,


I

got drunk to-day.


say,
is

Why, Nancy
all,

I never, did,
live,

W^,

in,

that

fix,

before, in,

my,

hmg, born,

days."

"Well, never mind,"


liome.
rinkin's
as the

said she,

"come,

let's

go

Don't you see the rain coming up ?"


will, it rain,
?

" Well,

upon, my, corn-field, or

my
it

cotton-j,ateh

Say,

Nancy! which

one,

me,

But, Lord, help, my, .oul, you are, too drunk, to tell me, any, thing, about it.

-non?
VOL.

will

Don'

III.

CG

AMKRICAN HUMOUR.
''

corn want rain, Nancy that ^"

my

Now,

jist,

tell

mc,

" Yes

but

let's

go home/*
face,

" Then, why, u{)on, the


you,
let it,

of the earth, won't


it,

rain,

then

I,

rather,

sliould rain,

than not."

" Come,

old

man,"

said

several by-standers,

touched with sympathy for the good lady, " come get on your horse and go home, and wc will help
you."

"
to

Oh

yes,
all

Uncle Hardy," said Tobias, affecting

throw
all

humour

sober

at once,

aside, and to become very " go )>ome with the old woman.
let's

Come, gentlemen,
they're
I'll

help 'em on their

horses

groggy mighty

groggy.

Come, old man,

help you." {staggerhiff to Hnrdij.)


at

"Jist look
troing to helj)

daddy now!" said Billy; "he's Mr. Swift, and he's drunk as Mr.
let's

Swift

is.

Oh, daddy, come,

go home, or
*

we'll

get nuizin' wet."

Toby stooped down


before the

to help

Hardy on

his

horse-

horse

was taken from the rack and


legs,

throwing his arm round Hardy's


wards, and so did Hardy.

he

fell

back-

'^Why_Lord,

bless,

my, soul,"

said Hardy,

"I

AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW.
tell

67

me,
b'lieve

Vm

drunk, too

What, upon
all,

the, face, of

the earth, has got, into,


th,

of us, this day !"

won't

"Why,
both

Uncle Hardy,- said Toby, "you pull us


together!

ukl rain,

down

The

old

man's

mighty

standers,

" come,
will

groggy," said Toby to me, in a half whisper, and with an arch wink and smile, as he rose up-I happening to be next to him at the

momentThe

help

"s'pose we help him up, and get him off?


old

woman's

in for

it,

too," continued he, winking,


his

nodding,
affecting
nie very

and shrugging up

shoulders

very

significantly.

woman,
horses

"Oh
sober,

no," said
I never

I,

-the old woman

i:

jierfectly
all

and

heard of her tasting a drop in

my
1(1

life."

man,

"Oh,"
;

said

Toby, assuming the


it

gravity of a
!

"he's
as

parson, " loves

mightily, mightily

Monstrous

woman
Mr.
or we'll

for drinking
fine

!-at

least that's
!

my

opinion.
fine

Monstrous

woman, though
for

monstrous
sake

r
go

"Oh,
home;
liorsc

daddy,

the
a

Lord's
rain
is

let's

only see what

coming?"

said

jk
;11

and
back-

Billy.

"Daddy '11 go
" Well,

presently,

my son.''
up and
let's

here's your horse, git

rdy,

"I

Mammy

go.

'11

be sure to be sendin' for us."


said Toby,

"Don't mind him,"

winking to me;
r 2

:;ii

OS

AAIi:iU(Alvr

IHriNtOlIH,

"lie's iiothiiii? l)ut


<r

11

hoy

wouldn't take no notire


ni(<

wliaf

h(>

said.

Uc

want's
;

{irii,/aiif/

and

sniil'nKj) to

i>-o

homo

with him
I

now yon

listi'ii."

M
N
,

"Well, ctmic," said


your horso
eominj.:;

(o

Undc
a

Tohy, " -ct on


rain
is

aiul

;o

lunut',

very heavy

up."

"I'll g-o presently, but


snid he to nu", winking'
ll'

you just
smilinj^.

listen

to

Hill,"

and

"Oh, daddy,

for the

Lord's sake

let's

j,'ohome."

Tohy smiled archly


/<

at

me, and winked.

" Daddy, are you


at the rain eouiin'."

i;-oini?

home

or not

.Tist

look

Tohy smiled and winked.


"A^ell,
fool
in the
I

do think a drunken
Hill,

man
I

is

the bi^o-est

county," said

"

don't care

who

le is.

" Hill !" said the old

man, very

sternly,

" honour
'

I, Hi

thy father and thy mother,' that that the woman's seed may bruise the serpent's head."
*'

Well, daddy,
see
it's
I

tell

mc

if

you won't go home


If

You
go,

going to rain i)owerful.

you won't

may

go ?"
father

"HUl; 'Leave not thy


for

who begot

thee;
I

thou art

my

beloved son Esau, in

whom

am

well pleased.' "


1,

Ak

AN INTKIlEsTINfJ INTKllVIEVV.
IK)

GO

notirc

" Why, (huMy,

it's

(hoppinj^ rain now."

kiiHj

and

Here

liill

was

r(!li(!V(!(l

IVom his

anxicity

by the
Mrs.

a||)caran(!(!

of Aaron, a trusty servant,


for his nuistcr,

" ^ct on
)'

whom

Slow had
JJill
'J

(l('sj)atch('(l

to

whose earc
si;;;ht.

rain

is

committed him, and was soon out of

Aaron's custom had long been to pick up his


to
Hill,"

nuistcr without ceremony, [)ut

him on

his horse-,

mid

bear him away.

home."

been,

that

had Toby when he saw Aanm, he surremlered at


this dealing-

So used to

discr(!tion,
.Tist

and was soon on the

road.

Hut as the
Hill

look

rain descended in torrents,

before even

eould

liave i)r()eeed(!d half a mile, the

whole of them irmst

have been drenched to the skin.


^

l)i^p;o8t

As
to

to

Hardy,

whom

in the proper ordc^r

we ought

arc

who

have disposcsd of
force,

first,

he was put on his horse by


off

mam
*

and was led

by

his wife, to
:

honour

whom
in,

he

was muttering as

far as I

could hear him


did,

woman's

"Why, Nancy!
a H^f^

How,
off,

you, get,

such

You'll,

fall,

your, horse, sure, as you're

home
in

born,

and

I'll

have to put you up again."


constrainc.'d to

won't

As they were
too

go

in

a walk, they
a

)t

thee;
I

must have got wringing wet, though they had quarter of an hour the start of Toby.

am

70

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

1.
1

-1

VII.

BEN Wilson's last jug-race.


1

:!

Coming up from Newport, on


steamer
'

the pretty
fell

little

Perry/ a few days ago, I

in with, or

chanced to lay across the track


flat-boatman

of,

a Mississippi

whom

had not seen

for three years,

time, a rather personal adventure with him, you may guess that the meetmg was one of curious congratulation.

and from having had, once upon a

Ben and

had both travelled - some" since we


as well as myself,

had parted, and he had,


things to
I was
tell.

many

sitting on the upper deck, consulting the opinions of one of Job Patterson's A No. 1 Havanas,

BEN Wilson's last jug-race.

71

when

a pretty muscular and sun-burnt specimen of


ah)ngsicle,

humanity hove

and brouglit a rather big

paw down upon my

right shoulder with a

bim

tiiat

made me
"

start

little.

How

are

you old J comp'ny ?" was the


I ha'nt set eyes

first

broadside.

"

on you sence we had

the scriuunidgc

down

to the

Washington bull-room,

Orleans.

Rayther a time that ar

and he winked

his little blaek eyes until I fancied I heard the lids

snap.

" Ben Wilson

I inquired.
it

"^Zactly; youVc hit

on the head

this time.

How've you ben, and whar ?"


" Travelling generally,"
looking at the
I

responded

" been
late.

Rhode Island
as

Legislature of

About health I'm


as

snug

as a kitten,

and

as hearty

you seem
"
I ?

to be."
;

Yes

ef I'd a

had them sinners" (showing

a luni}) of

bones and muscles something larger than

mine,

think), "

when

that ar

scrimmidge took

place, therc'd a

been a different
shop.
is

repcM-t of killed

and

wounded

at the perlice

Bn

that ain't no

consekense now, tho' thar

a ugly sort of a seam

on the larboard side of

my

phizognomy.

What'U

you sample ?"

72
Suc'l,

AMKIlllvv
.t

IIIUKIUII.

,,Ii,o invitation
'"

.r:,s

,1,,-

""""
"V"

,1,,

dr-

-'-''. ""J

a liquid ,t,.,.,tl,.,.c.,

iittlf

quiet conversation.
'" lu-v^.t ...t

"^

" ^

tliut

thar to(,k-,,ick about you

-y<^u.'^.kcdlk.n,aswegotuiVontoftl.ewlceu
NOtlS",

" No."
"'"-0'fnrtl,at,

f,.,.d|il.:t|,|itfo,

jowi

i-atlior

vigorously that night."

J-V".IM,iV'saidI,
If

"J

(m

ro)Ii,,,,,,,,n,,,ight.Ic.ov,, I>.utu,s to a u-vy prrtty ,il.tto scar.


,in<.,

"IVuu't

hy

all

,ho broad horu.s that over

uai-Jvec-per .';'''^''t:''7''' did that."

^''^'--T>.i.ew
I,

"Nev,.rn,id, lien," .aid


c

"

thought .twa.

3;;;--l.c..iu,e;huta,,yho,,anlWtnu,:
.

to de ate

.ee que.tio,.
to his big fist)

, ,
"is n.akiug

"'J
ills

ro.ntmg

^,

wind])ij)e/'

Wc to

""''

sail

tn";i'lt''^>r'''r "'"^""^"S-'

''''''-"

I-ess

top.ek."

change the

t;

'^^'*

HE>f

Wilson's last Jua-iucE.


F

73
iiujuircd,

"T^crn houting since


after
ii

met you?"

short piiusc.

" Well, yes, mostly," answered Hen, delilnTatcly.

"Dniv

a pretty fair business last year; only s.ink


sna^^^.ul.

one broad-horn, en that war


of the load, en lost
it

Saved part
I

agin at a cre-vassc.

had a

fust rate openin' tins sprin, but a

awkward aecidcnt

^!cked

all

the fat into the fire."

]>iid

luck, eh ?

how was

it

?"
fish ?"

Did you ever jug fur buffalo " Never."


''

" Han't no idee on the


"
it

;>rt'-cisc

way

it is

done ?"

Not the

least.

Yes, I did see something abmit


all

ni the 'Spirit,'

but I've forgotten


that's

about

it."

"'Sperit
to

Oh,

the sportin' paper dowii

York.
it.

Nolan, and

I[oop(,>r,

and Steve Tucker

writes to

Some

jokes in that ar sheet, oust in a

while."

"Occasionally, I calculate; but this jurying fur


buffaloes,"
as easy as fallin' off a log. Git a dozen jugs eu two canoes; hitch your lines t^o the handle, of the jugs, put
it's

" Sartin.

You

see

on your

bait,

and then

toss

them overboard.

When you
:

sees a
it

jug begin
begins to

to bob, there's a buffalo thar

en when

dive and run,

you may

calk'late there's

one varmint

f n
74
hooked.

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
Strike out like a pointer, pull
fish is

up the

line,

and the

thar ; but you've got to keep your

weather eye open, or yoa lose him.''

"I
'

understand; but the awkward accident you

11

spoke of ?"

"Yes, of course;

that'll
feller

come

in

good time.

D'you
hi!

recollect that

with the one eye that


at Orleans ?"

stuck by

me

in that

scrimmidg

" Perfectly;
I,

I felt

him audibly

that night."

ii

"Joe

Stilwell.

Wal, Joe and I run together, en

we run
affairs;

sens, tel

we

fell

out on one of these jug

en then he sot up for hisself


'Bout the
last of

oppersito

tion.

A-prile

we hap'nd

come
river

together to Saint Lewis, en started

down the

the same day.

Joe had the


it;

start five hours,

an' I

were glad of

for

he hadn't no good feehn'


It

towards me, en' I hadn't none for him, I swar.

war two days

'fore I see

anythink of him, but a

man

who

got on at Milses wood-yard said Joe wanted to

tackle

me; en

sez he,

'Z'likes not he'll

stop to

Ransom's
thirds
his

for ^-eight, for

he han't got morc'n twoSez

complement,'

I:

'Ef

Joe runs
konsethe

across

my
an'

bows, he knows what'll be the

kens;'
matter.

we

didn't

say

no

more about

"It was midnight when we got to Ransom's, an'

BEN Wilson's last jug-race.


I

75

was debatm' whether

it

warn't

better to shove

along then to stop,


of

when

I here's Joe's voice a usin'


all

my

name.

That was
I tied

war wanted
all

to settle

the matter.
licker.

up, and asked

hands

to

Joe he was the fust one to come up, sez

he:
'^'Ben, we've had some rily feelins, en
let's settle

them rash'nally/

"'How?'
him.

sez

I,

not

'zactly

understandin'

"'Rash'nally/

sez he.

^^H

drink with you,


we'll
call
it

and you drink with me, en then


squar.'

"''Greed!' sez

I,

en we lickered round twiste,


off'

en Joe and I shook hands, en squar'd


'counts pertensively.

all

old

"Thar was

suthin' in his looks T didn't like


;

when

we shuck hands
sleeps in the

this coon day-time maybe, but he's wide awake

but sez I to myself,

<

on

this yer night.'

Ransom, he seemed glad we'd


all

made up again

'fer

time,' es

he

said,

and we

lickered 'long a him.

" While we was drinkin' 'long

Ransom, one of

my

hands come in en whispered softly in


to the
rest,

my

car, all

unbeknown

that

somebody hed ben

76
tryin' to cut
I

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

'i\

my

starn-cuble, and then he sneaked

back

to

watch

for the marorder.

"

I got off pretty


riled.

soon

after,

en went aboard a
the

leetle

But

didn't tell

boys who

thought was the


sharp watch, en

rascal, thoar I told


fire

em

to keep a

to kill,

when they

did shoot.

But
than
did.

tha'

warn't

nobody come,
old

Joe knew better

to

play with the

fox in his

den Joe
when Joe

" Nex' mornin' we were just

castin' off,

come down

to the wharf-boat, en sez

he
?'

" ' You


"
"
'
'

ain't goin' off


I.
'

mad, ar you

No,' sez

Wal,' sez he,

less take a partin' smile.^

"

didn't like the idea, but


in,

Ransom he

said

" ' Come

Ben

!'

en in I went and drinkt.


to a

'''What d'you say


Joe, arter we'd lickered.

buffalo-iuggin

?'

said

"

'

It's

too airly in the season,' sez I

'b'sit^jsl'm

off for Orleans.'

"

'

So'm

I,'

said

Joe,

'

at

eleven

en we'll go

company.' " AA'hut's


'

the blaze

?'

said

Ransom.

" Two canoes, and one '


((

jug,' said Joe,


after then, for
it

knowed what he was

showed

^.

Jfr

'*&.

BEN Wilson's last jug-race.


clean out'n his eyes.

Joe war the best swinnner,


together an' upset the canoes,

en he thort cf we
he'd

cum

have the advantage.

He knowed

he'd git
to

catawompously chored up ashore, en he wanted

drown me."
" What
a devil incarnate
'zactly.
!

I exclaimed."
I thort a minnit,

" That's just him


then sez I
"
'

and

I'm your man.'


a skiff tuck out the only jug, en Joe en I

" Wal,
"

paddled from shore leisurely.

A bob " We was


'

!'

yelled out

Hansom, en

,ve started.

about ten rods apart, en neck-en-neck.

On we
'bout
at
1

swept like greased lightnin', Joe leadin' by


100 inches, I

should guess.

had not

look't

Joe sens
I seed

we

left ;ihore,

but as we draw'd nigh the


off.

jug

he had his coat and jacket

We

was

within ten foot of the jug, en both dropped paddles,

en

shed

my
en

coat en jacket a leetle quicker'n

com-

mon.

Tha' warn't no misunderstandin'


as the canoes

between
both

us then;

come

together,

grappled and went overboard, and underneath the


water."

Ben here paused, took out


wiped the big drops

his

bandanna, and
as coolly

off of his forehead,

nV*J"*-"*

"

**<>.

78
as if he

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
was recounting the events of n dinner-

party.

"Well,"

urged impatiently,

"you

both went

under the water 1"


" Yes, that was the ncculait hap])encd
f;,J

!"

"Accident? explain."
"

Why,

I've

no more to say'n

this.
'

I y'm,

en got

aboaril

my

broad-horn, en come away

"But Joe
knife /"

what became of him V


ivith

''Joe? he was a missin' 'long

my

hoivie-

I parted with ]Jen,

when the

'

Terry' touched the

wharf

at

Providence,

not caring, under the cir-

cumstances, to inquire which


ling.

way he was

travel-

*i

If

'ir,

^|.
If!

MIKE FINK

IN A TIOHT PLAC12.

79

VIII.

MIKE PINK IN A TIGHT PLACE.

MiKK FiNK,
contemporary

a notorious Buckeye-hunter,
the celebrated
all

was

witli

Davy

Crockett,
to

and

his

equal
It

in

things

relating

human

l)rovvess.

was even said that the animals knew


rifle,

the crack of his

and would take


first

to their secret

hiding-places,

on the

intimation

that

Mike
was

was about.
but
little

Yet strange, though

true,

he

known beyond

his

immediate "settle-

ment."

When we knew him


blasts of seventy winters

he was an old

man the
yet

had

silvered o'er his head, his limbs


;

and taken the

elasticity

from

the

'!,

80
whole of his

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
life

was Mike never worsted, except

upon one occasion.

To use

his

own language, he

never " gin in," used up, to anything that travelled

on two legs or

four,

but once.

" That once we want," said Bill Slasher, as some

dozen of us sat in the bar-room of the only tavern


in the

" settlement,"
it

\^
;

" Gin

to us

now, Mike

youVe promised long

enough, and you're old now, and needn't care,"


continued
13ill.

"Eight,
open with a

right.

Bill,"

said

Mike; "but
fust, it'll

we'll

licker all

around

kind o'save

mv
if

feelin's I

reckon."
Better than t'other barrel,

" Thar, that's good.


anything."

" Well, boys," commenced Mike, " you may talk


o'

your scrimmages, tight places and sich

like,

and

subtract 'em altogether in one all-mighty big 'un,

and they hain't no more to be compared

to the one I
I've
to a

war
font

in,
all

than a dead kitten to an old she-bar,


kinds of varmints, from a Ingun

down

rattlesnake,
this once,

and never was

willin' to quit fust,

but

and t'was with a


see,

bull

"You

boys,
I

it

was

an awful hot day in


off into

August, and

war near runnin'

pure He,

MIKE FINK IN A TIGHT PLACE.


except

81

when

war thinkin' that

a dip in the creek

mout

Well, thar was a mighty nice place in old Deacon Smithes medder for that particular
bizziness.

save me.

So

went down among the bushes


hauled the old red shirt over

to unharness.

I jest

my

head, and

war thinkin' how scrumptious a feller of would feel a wallerin^ round in that was
jest

my

size

ar water,

and
old

'bout

goin'

in,

when

seed the

Deacon's bull a makin a b-line to whar

I stood.

'a know'd
people than

the old cuss, for


all

heM
few.

skar'd

more

the parsons in
killin'

the 'settlement,'

and cum mighty near


barrel.

Think's

I,

Mike, you're in rather a tight place.


fixin's on, for he'll

Get your
o' his

be drivin' them big horns

in yer bowels afore that time.

Well, you'll hev to

try the old varmint naked, I reck'n.

big 'un,

war on one side o' the creek, and I on and the way he made the ' sile' fly for a while, as if he war diggin' my grave, war disbull
t'other,
tressin*

"The

Come

on, ye

bellerin' old heathen,'


for,

said

I,

'and don't be a standin' there; Deacon says o' the devil, yer
on.

as the old

not comely to look

"This kind
VOL.
III.

o'

reached his

understandin', and

82

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
;

made him more wishious


and made
a drive.
I

for

he hoofed a

little like,

And
gin

as I

douH

like to stand in

anybody's way,

him plenty sea-room.

So he
t'other

kind
side;

o'

passed by me, and


as

cum
o'

out on
the

and

the

captain
:

mud-swamp
for

ranger's
charg;?r.'

would

say

'

'bout

face

another

"

Though

war ready

for

him
o'

this time,

he come

mighty nigh runnin' foul

me.

So

made up

my

minde the next time he went out he wouldn't be


.

alone.

So when he passed,

grappled his

tail,

and

he pulled

me

out on the
o'

'

sile,'

and

as soon as

we

were both a'top

the bank, old Brindle stopped,

and was about

coniin'

round agin, when

begin

puU'n t'other way.


" Well,
I';
^

reckon this kind


still,

o' riled

him, for he
for a spell,

fust

stood stock

and look'd

at

me

and then commenced pawin' and

bellerin',

and the
air,

way he made
beautiful

his hind gearing play in the

war

" But

it

warn't no use, he couldn't tech me, so

he kind
as I

o'

stopped to get wind for suthiu' devilish,


stared.
stick
I

judged by the way he

By

this time I

had made up
as
it

my

mind

to

to his tail as long


I

stuck to his back-bone

didn't

like to

MIKE FINK IN A
lioller fur help,

TICJIIT

PLACE.

83
i)rinci.

nuther, kase

it

war agin iny

pics;

and then the


it

D eacon

had preaclied

at

hw

house, and

warn't far off nuther.


if

"

knovvM

he hern the noise,


;

tlie

Imll congre-

gation would
ried

come down

and
o'

as I warn't a

mar-

man, and had a kind

hankerin' arter a gal


if I

that war thar, I didn't feel as

would

like to he

seed in that ar predicament.

"'So,'
cussedst
!'

ses

I,

'you

old

sarpent,

do

yer

"And
briar

so he

did; for he drug


in

me
I

over every

and stump

the

field, until

was sweatin'
o'

and blecdin'
at
if

like a fat

bar with a pack


ain't
I

hounds

his

heels.

And my name
tail

Mike Fink,
blow out
varmint's

the

old

critter's

and
level

didn't

sometimes
back

at

dead

with

the

"So you may

kalkilate

w^e

made good
I

time.

Bimeby he slackened
for Q spell, for I jest

little,

and then

had him

dropped behind a stump, and

that

snubbed the
ses

critter.
I,

"'Now,'

'you'll pull

up this

'ere

white
till

oak, break you're tail,


blow.'

or jist

hold on

a bit

" Well, while

war

settin'

thar,

an idea struck

G 2

ttm

t<m

n
8^A

AMERICAN
tlmt I

IIUMOUtt.

me
I let

had

bettci'

be a

gcttiii'

out

o'

this
!

in

some way.

But how, adzuckly was the pmt


foul o'

If

go and run, he'd be a

me
all

sure.
its

"So cum

lookin' at the matter in

bearins,

to the conclusion that I'd better let


I

somebody

know whar

was.

So
it

gin a yell louder than a


I

locomotive whistle, and

warn't long before

seed

the Deacon's two dogs a comin'

down
fust.

like as if

they

war
"

seein'
I

which could get thar

know'd who they war


I

arter
for

they'd jine
they

the

bull agin me,

war

sartin,

war awful

wenimous, and had a spite agin me.


"
*

So,'

ses I,

'

old Brindlc,
if

as ridin'

is

as

cheap

as walkin' on this rout,


I'll

youVe no

objections,
o'

jest take

a deck passage

on that ar back

your'n.'

" So
then
if

wasn't long gettin' astride of him, and

you'd been thar, you'd 'ave sworn

thar
flew

warn't nothin'

human

in that ar
I

mix

the

sile

so orrfully as the critter and


tield

rolled

round the
t'other,

one

dog on one

side

and one on

tryin' to clinch

my

feet

"I prayM and


of any

cuss'd,

and cuss'd and prayM,


I

until I couldn't tell

which
they

did last

and neither
mix'd

warn't
up.

use,

war so

orrfully

iMIKE FINK IN
((

A TIGHT FLACK.

85

Well,

reckon

rid about an
it

hour th 18 way,

when

old IJrindh' thought

war time to stop and


little
!

take in a supjjly of wind and cool off a

So
he

when we got round


nat/rully halted
!

to a tree that stood thar,

"

'

Now,' scs

I,

'

old boy, you'll

lose

one pas-

scnger sartin V

"So
that ar

just

cluni
till

upon

a branch, kalkelating

to roost thar

starved, afore

Fd

be rid round

way any more.


tracks for the top of the tree,

"I war makin'


when
head,
thar's
I I

heard suthin' a makin' an orful buzzin' over kinder looked up, and if thar w^arn't well
sAvearin'

no use

now, but

it

war the biggest

hornet's vest ever built

"YouMl gin
thar's

in

now,

reckon,

Mike,

case

no help
that

for

you!
stand
a

But an idea struck


heap better chance
I

me,

then,

Fd

a ridin'
1,

the

old

bull
if

than where
hold
let

war.
Til
ride

Ses
to
it

'Old
next
!'

feller,

you'll

on.

the
will

station

any how,

that

be

whar

" So

I jest

drapped aboard him agin, and looked

aloft

to see

what

Fd

gained in changing quarters


liar if

and, gentlemen, Fin a

thar warn't nii^h half

DB

kTJ

7
:/ 5r

^.^

<ic

/^/^

IMAGE EVALUAT80N
TEST TARGET (MT.3)

1.0

<iiiii

u
eu

22
2.0
1.8

12
i

1^

1^

I.I

\IM

1114

i 1.6

6"

%""

.^

a^

<K'V >.

>

Pi. jjgrapiiic
23

%'
WEST MAIN STREET WEBSTER, NY. 14580
(7:6) 872-4503

Sciences Corporation

msaexm

86

AMEEICAM HUMOUE.

a bushel of the stingcn' varmints ready to pitch


into

me when
I

the word

'

go' was gin

"Well,
started

reckon they

got
!

it,

for 'all

hands'
hit the

for our

company

Some on 'em
me,

dogs

about

quart struck

and

the

rest

charged old Brindle.


''

This time, the dogs led off fust,

'

dead' beat,

for the old Deacon's^


I could get

and as soon

as old Brindle

and

under way, we followed.

And

as I v/ar

only a deck passenger, and had nothin' to do with


steariw' the craft, I

swore

if I
!

had we shouldn't have

nin that channel, any how


" But, as

I said before, the

dogs took the lead

Brindle and I next, and the hornets dre'kly arter.

The dous
buzzin'

yellin',

Brindle bellerin', and the hornets


!

and

stingin'

didn't say nothin' for

it

warn't no use.

"Well, we'd got bout two hundred yards from


the house, and the Deacon hearn us and
I

cum

out.
!

seed

him hold up

his

hands and turn white

I
to

reckon he war prayin' then, for he didn't expect

be called for so soon, and


afore

it

warn't long, neither,

the

hull

congregation,
out,

men,
all

women,

and

children,
yellin'

cum

and then

hands went to

MIKE FINK IN A TIGHT PLACE.

87
til

"None
and
I

of 'em

had th-

fust notion that Briiidle


I jest

belonged to this world.

turned
!

my
seed

head, and passed the hull congregation

the

run would be up soon,

for Brindle couldn't

turn
head.

an

inch

from

fence that stood dead a-

" Well, we reached that fence, and

went ashore,

over the old critter's head, landin' on t'other side,

and

lay

thar stunned.

It

warn't long afore some

of 'em as war not so scared,

come round

to see

what

I I

war, for

all

hands kalkclated that the bull


!

and

belonged together
off

But

when
it

Brindle
war,

walked

by himself, they seed how


:

and

one of 'em said

" ' Mike Fink has got the worst of the scrimmage
once in his
life /'

" Gentlemen, from


courtin' bizziness,

that

day

drapped

the
!

and never spoke


is

to a gal since

And when my hunt


be any more

up on

this yearth, thar

won't
to

FINKS
Bull.

nnd

it's

all

owin'

Deacon Smith's Brindle

^L3B5SBBwmS9BI3ESRi[

88

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

IX.

OUR SINGING-SCHOOL.
A CHAPTER FROM THE HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF PIGWAOKET.

My
I

second cousin by the mother's

side,

Benjamin

Blackletter,

A.M., who was born and

lived all his

lifetime in the ancient

town of Pigwacket, has comof that


I

piled, with scrupulous accuracy, the annals

venerable

town, in three volumes

folio,

which he

proposes to publish as soon as he can find a Boston


bookseller
will be

who

will

undertake the job.

hope

this
is

accomplished before long, for Pigwacket

very interesting spot, though not very widely known.


It is astonishing

what important events are going

OUR SINGINO-SCIIOOL.
On every day,
the
in

89
which
read

odd corners of

this country,

world knows nothing about.

When

title, The General History op the Town op Pigwacket, from its first settlement until the present day, com-

over these trusty Ibhos, which bear the

"

;4S

prising an authentic relation of all


ecclesiastical,

its civil, military,

financial

and

statistical

concerns,
see the

compiled

from

original records, ^c."

and

great deeds that have been done in that

res]. (actable

town, and the great

men

that have figured therein,


I'.

and

reflect

that
to

the

fame thereof, so

far

from

r\r ;nding

the

four

corners of the earth, has


I

hardly penetrated as far as Boston,


for mortal glory.

heave a sigh

im
his

my readers must be impatient for the appearance of the three folios of the History of
that

Knowing

Pigwacket, and as they cannot be put to press for

maat

some months,
their curiosity

I avail

myself of this chance to feed

he
on
bis
s

.as the cook at Camancho's wedding gave Sancho a couple of pullets to stay his stomach till dinner-time. Take then

by an extract,

the

portion

contained in Chapter

CLXXXVIIL,

a
n.

which begins as follows

ng

It

becomes

my

lot at this period of the narrative,

to chronicle

an event that formed quite an epoch in

'

AMKIIICAN
tlic

lll'M(trU.

history ot'tlic town, or rather

ol' tlial

part which
niiiy

constituted o\ir ])nrish.

This occurrence

not

be (leeuied by the worhl quite so nioinentons ns the


Dechirr.tion of Inch'pench-nee, or the
hition,

French Hevoit

but

the reiuh'r
in

may beheve me,


'I'his

was a
h'ss

prcat

alliiir

our community.
I'cud in elnireh

was no

than a mighty
8inj,Mng.
it,

matters about psahu-

Tlu' whoh- parisli

went by the ears about


rouse,
fairly

and the aflair y;ave the comuuiuity siu'h a

that

many

peo|)le

feared

we shouhl never

recovm' the shock.

The

jjarticidars

were these:
sina:

From
psabus

tinu'

innnemorial we had continued to


as

at

iuectiui>;,

became ^ood Christians and

lovers of

harmony.

Hut

my

readers, accustomed to
to

the imi)rovements of
inforuu'd that up

modern days, have need

be

to this period, our coni;re!j;ation

had practised

this

aeeomplisluuent accordinii" to that

old nu'thod of i)salmody,

known by

the desiguatiim

of " read a-lii"--aud-sing-a-line."


})ractice, whieii iiad iirst

This

j)rimitive

come

into use

when hymn-

books were scarce, was


necessity for
its

still

persisted in, th.ounh the


lon<i;er existed.

continuance no

Our

church music, therefore, exhibited the quaint and


])atriarchal

alternation of recitation
miii-ht

and melody,

if

nu'lody

it

be called, while some tow ns in the

neiii-hbt)urhood

had adopted the new fashion, and

OUR SINCUNO-srilOOh
Hurpriscd us by
tlic

91

suponority of

tlicir

porfonnunccs

over

tli(!

nulr and homely chants of old.

liut

it

WHS not

lon^^ cvc tlje

wish to improve our


itself umonj,' us.
th(!

styh;

(if sinfijiiii--

l)ej.an to

show

At
piety

the
of

first

inniounecmeiit of sueh a (h-sign,


of the ohi

many

members took

tlie

ahinn, and

the

new method was (k^nounced

as heathenish and

I
,

|)rolane.
41

T!te chief pct'sonaf^e wlio figured in the

troubh:s

whieli

arose njjon

tliis

matter was Deacon ])o,eskin,

man

of scrupulous ortho(h)xy, lii-hly (h)<;matical


Icach'r

on theoK)p:ical points, and a


fluence in the church.
it

of powerful inoffice

This di-nitary, whose


out the several
lines

had been

to

f>;ive

of the

psalm as they were

sunj?,

was one of the sturdiest

oj)ponents of the ncw-fan-led psalmody, and set his


face

against

the innovation witli

all

the zeal and

devotion of a primitive Christian.


for liim,
oj)i)osite

Unfortunately
took the
the

Deacon
side

Grizzle,

his

colhuigue,

of the

question,

exemplifying

vulgar saying, "

Two

of a trade can never agree."


tell

The discordancy,

to

the whole truth, between

these two worthies lay in

more

interests than

one,

and

it

is

to

be doubted whether they would have

come

to

a rupture in church affairs,

had not

their

9:2

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
cci'tain

mutual animosities been quickened by


poral janglings; for
so
it

tem-

happened that the two


.

deacons

kej)t
let

each a grocery store, and neither of


a

them ever

chance
Sorry
I

slij)

of getting

away the

other's custom.

am

to record the frailties

of two such reputable personages,

who

looked upon

themselves as burning and shining lights in our

community
no*

but

am

afraid that tlie

fact

can-

be concealed, that the petty bickerings which

arose between
1
;

them on these

little

matters of filthy

ucre were suffered

to intrude within the walls of

the sanctuary, and stir up the flame of discord in

the

great

psalm-singing feud;

whereby,

as

our

neighbour Hopper Paul sagely remarked, the world

may

learn wisdom, and lay

it

down

as

maxim,
dea-

that church affairs can never thrive

when the

cons are grocers.

Deacon

Grizzle, therefore, partly


spite,

from conscience

and partly from

placed himself at the head of

the innovators, and took every occasion to aimoy


his associate

with

all

sorts of

ingenious

reasons

why

the singing should be performed without any

intermixture of recitation.
the

The younger

])art

of
his

congregation were chiefly ranged under

banner, but the older people nnistercd strong on

K W

OUR
the opj)<)site side.
carried on

SINOI.NO-SCIIOOL.

93

To hear

the disputes that were


tlie

upon

this point,

and

pertinacity with

which

each

one maintained

his

opinion,

an uninte-

intbnned spectator wouUl have imagined


rests of tlie

tlie

whole Ctiristian world were

at

stake.

In truth, a great

many

of the good old souls really

looked upon the act of alt(;ring the


as a departure from the
It
ftiith

mode

of singing

given unto the saints. thing to

was a very nice and

difficult

come

to

a conclusion
rested,

where

all

parties were so hotly intefell

but an incident which

out not

lono-

afterward, contributed to hasten the revolution.

Deacon Dogskin,

as

have already remarked,


devolved, by prescrip-

was the individual on


tive right, the

whom

duty of giving out the psalm.


in
all

The

Deacon was
usages
;

things

a stickler for ancient

not only was he against giving up a hair's

breadia of the old custom, but his attachment to


the antique forms went so far as to embrace
all

the

circumstances

of

immaterial

moment

connected

with them.
voice

His predilection for the old tone of

was not to be overcome by any entreaty, and


to

we continued
drawl, which,
in the early

hear

the

same

nasal,

snuffling

nobody knows how, he had contracted


part of his deaconship,

although on

lAl

1)1

A.MIilUCAN IIUMOUII.
occasicms

common

lie

could

s|)c;ik

well
;

eiioiij,'!!.

JJut the tone

was
it,

ji

pait of his voeation

lonu; use
his

had eonsecnited
way.

and the Deacon would have

His psalm-book, too,

by constant use had

become
torn

to such a de!j:ree thnndied


it

and bluiivd and


how, with his

and worn, that

was a

|)nz/,le

old eyes, he could nuike anythin>- of one half the


li

paires.

However, a new jisalm-book was a


of, for,

tiling

he

would never hear spoken

althoudi the thin"


it

could not be styled an innovation, inasmuch as

contained precisely the same collocation of words

and
liar

syllables, yet

it

was the removal of an old famisirht,

object from his


uj) in

and

his faith

seemed

to

be bound

the ^a-easy covers and dingy leaves

of the volume.

So the

Deacon stuck

to his old

psalm-book, ami, by the help of his nunnory where


the lett(!r-prcss failed him, he

made

a shift to keep

up with the

singers,

who,

to tell the truth,

were not

remarkable for the briskness of their notes,


dealt

and

more

in

semibreves

than

in

demi-semi-

quavers.

But, on a certain day,

it

hap])encd that the Deaoffice,

con, in the performance of his

stumbled on

a line which happened

to
his

be more than usually

thumbed, and defied

all

attempts to puzzle

it

W1

Ol
out.

II

SINOINfi-SCriOOL.

95
the

In vain he

wi|)e(l

his

spcctacirs, brought

book close

to his nose, then

hchl

it

kv

off as

possible, then

brou-ht

liis

nose to the
it

b(,ok,

then
light,

took

it

away a-ain, thci held


it

up to the

then

turned

this

way

arul

that,

winked and

and hemmed and eoughed~the page was too deeply grimed by the a|)plication of his own
smittled

tlmnd),

to

be

deciplu^rcd

by any ocular power.

Tlic congregation were at a dead stand.

They waited

and waited, but


line
;

tin;

Deacon could not give out the

began

every one stared, and the greatest impatience to be manifested. At last Elder Darby,

who

conunonly took the lead

in singing, called out

" What's the matter, Deacon ?"

"I

can't

read

it,"

re])lied

the

Deacon in

dolorous and despairing tone.

"Then
gallery.

spell

it,''

exclaimed

voice

from the

All eyes were turned that way, and


to i)rocced from

it

was found

Tim

Crackbrain, a fellow
habits,

known

for

his

odd and whimsical

and respecting

whom

nobody could ever satisy himself whether he was


knave,
the
fool, or

madman. The Deacon was astounded,


gaped

congregation

and

stared,

but

there

was no more singing that day.

The profane be-

9G
haviour
of

AMIMlir.W HUMOUR.

Tim

cnuscd
in

great

scandal,
a

and he
kirk

was severely Taken


session.

hand by

rei^'dav

This,
plairdy

however,
to

was not the whole,


that

for

it

was

be

perceived

the old

nsteni had

received a severe blow in this occurrence, as no one

could deny that such an awkward

affair

could never

have happened

in the

improved method of psalmody.

The

affair

was seized bv the advocates of improve-

ment, and turned against Their opponents.

Deacon

Dogskin and bad odour


;

his old

psalm-book got into decidedly

the result could no longer be doubtful

a parish meeting was held, and a resolution passed


to abolish the old system,
school.

and establish a singing


life,

In such a manner departed this


relic

that

venerable

of ecclesiastical

antiquity,

read-a-

linc-and-sing-a-line,

and we

despatched

our

old

acquaintance to the tomb of oblivion, unwept, un-

honoured, but not unsung.


This event, like
to give sad to
all

great revolutions, did not

fail

umbrage

to

many

in the

church

and

as

Deacon Dogskin, who had fought

as the great
it

champion of the primitive system, he took


such dudgeon that he
fell

in

into a

fit

of the sullens,

which resulted in a determination to leave a com-

OtTR SimjIN'ft-SCIIOOL.
'""','">
"'"''-^

or
,,

'" "1'""'
"t

'"1

auti,,.i,j. l,a

"""""'>
!,,.

'^'

noughl.
,,i,

M-iil,i
,,|,.,|

nv
,

v,.,u-,
.;

th.f,.e,

,ld ff

f,,,

^^
,.,,

ecns

b.,tl,

to,,,I ,1 |,i,itl in

tl,c

.,

;::"""
";,

; """=,,,,

'"" ftce

,i,e.,

..i,.,.,,.

doe u8 g,,
to
'"
tl,c.

,,^

j^.^,^_._^_,

^^ ^^
,, ,,

_^^

c.lt,vti

h
^^.^^

of ., l,e

f,.,

""

2^^

"'8l''',-h,I; I.,,

,..

,^

,.^,^_^__

,?ue.,c.l at

by cvc-j , a,

Deacon

01 ciiignn.
B;^ tl.i,

].enk of tl,o ,inKing..,el,ool witl.ont evident ,.,

conid never

.1

it n,j.,

we proceeded
for
it

to orj-anise tl,e

.nK,n,.scl,ooI fortlnvitl,,
ilo

,va, deter.nined
't

lluiigs
,

to

ill
.

style.
'

, a to find a n,ging.n,arter

.,11 First f "'

"

u was
,.

iiccessarv

who w,

eon.petent

n.tr.,ct, theoretically

to

in the ,,rn,ei,,lo,

and pnt n, to the fll.,i.ci,die of o, ,,, one of course, thonght


'oi'

of the art
j,'

tins,

and onr

of going ont of the town


pitched n,,n a

dir..etors shortly

W
i?

peonage known

to every

Hopper Paul. Tin. an knew any person within twenty


n,ilcs,

body by the nan.e of


nu.re tunes than

knew, n,ore than any other n,an in the world. He couia s,g Old Hundred, and Little M.rlboron-h ' VOL, III.

and, for aught

we

98

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
iMcar,

and Saint Andrews, and Eray, and

and

Tanzar, and Qucrcy, and at least half a dozen otliers

whose names

have forgotten,

so

that

he was

looked upon as a musical prodigy.


I shall never forget

Hopper Paul,

for

hoth the

sounds and

sights he exhibited were such as could

hardly be called earthly.

He was

about

six feet

and a half high, exceedingly lank and long, with a


countenance which
to
at the first sight

would suggest

you the idea that he had

suffcved a face-quake,

for the different parts of his visage

appeared to have

been shaken out of

their places

and never

to

have

settled properly together.

His mouth

w^as capable

of

such a degree of dilation


it

and

collapse

and

twisting, that

looked like a half a dozen pair of


one.

hps

se'

ed

into

The

voice

to

which

this

comely pair of jaws gave utterance might have been

compared to the lowing of

a cow,

or the deepest
to

bass of an overgrown bull-frog, but hardly

any

sound made by human organs.

Hopper Paul, possessing


ments,
teacher
set
all

all

these

accomplishsinger,

was
of
foot.

therefore

chosen

head
was

and

the

school,

which

immediately
the eyes of

on
the

This was a great

affair in

young persons

of both sexes, the thing being

V!

OUa SINGING-SCHOOL.
tlie
first

99

in our parts

of that sort which had ever been heard of for though the natives ; of the

town

were a psalm-singing

race-

like

all

genuine

New

Englauders, yet they had hitherto learned to sing much ni the same way as they learned to talk, no" by theory, but in the plainest way of practice, each individual joining in with the strains that were chanted at meeting according to the best of his judgment. In this method, as the reader

may

suppose, they
yet as the

made but a blundering sort of melody, tunes were kw, and each note drawled
all

out to an unconscionable length,


ess

were more or
they got into
it

familiar

with then- parts, or

if

the

wrong key, had time

to change

was ended.

ere the line

But things were now

to be set

a different footing; g,eut deeds were to be done and each one was anxious to make a figure in the grand choir. All the young people of the parish were assembled, and wc begun
operations.

on

How
it.

we got through our

first essays, I

need not

say, except that

There were

we made awkward work enough of

made

a great many voices that seemed for nothing but to spoil all our melody

wlnvtcouldwedo?
to sing,

but All were determined to learn

It

and Hopper Paul was of opinion that the

ill

H 2

100

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
practice,

bad voices would grow mellow by

thongh

how he
passes
raise

coidd think so whenever he heard his own,

my

comprehension.
fall

However, we could

all

and

the notes, and that was something.


in

Wc

met two evenings

each

week

during the

winter,

and by the beginning of spring we had got

so well drilled in the


tise

gamut

that

wc began

to prac-

regular tunes.

Now wc

breathed forth such

melodies as T think have seldom been heard else-

where

but as wc had no standard of excellence to

show "s the true character of our performances, wc


could never bo aware that our music was not equal
to the
It

harmony of the
wns thought
a

spheres. peculiar
excellence
to

sing

through the nose, and take a good reasonable time


to swell out every note.

]\Iany of us were apt to

get into too high a key, but that was never re-

garded, provided we
after a great deal

made

noise enough.

In short,

more

practice

we were })ronounced

to be thoroughly skilled in the science, for our lungs

had been put

to such a course of discipline that every

one of us could roar with a most stentorian grace

and as to our commantlcr-in-chief, no man on earth


ever deserved better than he, the
or

name

of Boanerges,

Son of Thunder.

OUll SINGING-SCIIOOL.
It

101

was

(lecidccl, tlicrcforc,

that on Fast day next


all

we should

take the fiekl; so vve were

warned

to'

prepare ourselves to enter the singnig seats at the


^^^ceting

on that eventful day.

Should

hve a

thousand years,
be the
first

1 shall never forget it; tins

was

to

publie exhibition of our prowess, and


best.

were exhorted to do our


unneeessary, for

we The exhortation was


most

we were

as ambitious as the

zealous of our friends eould desire, and


espeeially careful

we were
before

rehearsing

the

tunes

hand.

The day

arrived,

and we marched

in

a body to

take possession.

^o

stalwart knights, at a tournalists

ment, ever spurred their chargers into the

with

more pompous and important


entered
course,

feelings

than

we
of

the

singing
all

seats.

The
and
it

audience,

were

expectation,

when

tymn was
hearts.
It

the

given out,

we heard

with beating

was amusing, however,

in

the midst of our

trepidation, to witness the countenance of

Deacon

Dogskin who was obliged


the whole service.
cynical as
if

during His looks were as sour and he could have diiven us out of the

to sit facing us

house, and he never vouchsafed to cast a glance at

103

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
performance.
a great

US from beginning to cud of the

There was another


stickler
for

person who had been


usage.

the

ancient

This was Elder

Darby,

who had been head

singer under the Deacon's


as dividing

administration,

and looked upon himself

the honours of that system with the Deacon himself.

He

accordingly fought hard against the innovation,


to declare that the

and was frequently heard


platform of christian
if

whole

doctrine would be undermined,

more than one


In
.uct,

line

was suffered

to

be sung
is

at a

time.

this personage,

being what
full

em-

phatically called a

" weak brother," but

of zeal

and obstinacy, gave us a great deal more trouble


than the Deacon, who was not deficient in
shrewdness,

common
This

notwithstanding his oddities.


day, therefore, to
at

was a
felt

bitter

Elder Darby,
his
all

who
same

very

awkward

finding

occupation
in the

gone, and his enemies triumphant

moment.
But we were now
eve,

called

upon

to sing,

and every
others,
out.

except those of the Deacon and a few

was turned upward:

the

hymn was

given

Hopper Paul
tunc,

brandished his

pitct-pipc and set the

and we began with stout hearts and strong

lun"-s.

Such sounds had never been heard within

OUR SINGING-SCHOOL.
those walls before.
ceiling

103
and the

The windows

rattled,

shook with the echo, in such a manner that

some people thought the great chandelier would


have a down-come.
all

Think of the united

voices of

the sturdy, able-bodied lads and lassies of the

parish pouring forth the most uproarious

symphony

of linked sweetness long drawn out, that their lungs

could furnish, and you will have some faint idea of

our melodious intonations.


a verse in the

At length we came

to

hymn where

the words chimed in

with the melody in such a striking and effective

manner

that

the result

was overpowering.

The

verse ran thus


" So pilgrims on the scorching sand,

Beneath a burning sky,

Long

for a cooling stream at hand,

And

they must drink, or die."

When we
line,

struck one after another into the third


trolled forth the reiterations,

and
"

Long

for a cooling

Long

for a cooling

Long

for a cooling

cooooooling,"
all,

we
up

\erily thought, one

and

that

we were

soaring

up

upwards on the combined euphony of the

104
tune and

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
syllables, into the seventh
rajit

mony.

heaven of harinto ecstasi.-s

The congregation were

conduet of Elder midst of this burst of enthusiastic appi-obation, never relaxed the stern and sour seventy of his looks, but took occasion of the

and thought they hud never heard music till then' It was a most brilliant triumph for us; every voice as we thought, though of course the nudeontents must be excepted, str.ick in with us, and swelled the loudpeal till the walls rung again. But I must not omit to mention the strange
in the

Darby, who,

first

momentary pause

in the

melody, to utter a very

audible and disdainful expression of - Chaff! chaff


chaff! chaff! chaff!"

Deacon Grizzle was by no means slow in perceiving these manifestations of the Elder^s mortified feelings, and did not fail to join him

home from meeting,

on his way

for

the

express purpose

of

annoying him further by commendations of the


performances. All he could get in reply was a further exclamation of "Chaff! chaff! chaff' chaff' chaff!" In fact, the Elder^s obstinacy was incurable ; he was seized during the following week with a strange deafness in one of his ears, and as it

happened very strangely

too, to

be that ear which

I
OUa SINGING-SCIIOOL.
was turned towards the singing 105
sat

m his pew,

he declared

it

seats when he would be impossible

hear sufficiently well on that side of his head to accompany the singers: as to altering
his position

to

he had occupied the same spot for forty years, and could no more be
of:

It

was not to be thought

expected to change his


creed.

seat

than to

change his

The consequence

was, that on the day

we

began singing, the Eldoleft off. iorth, he never heard the subject
alluded
to,

From

that time

of church psalmody
look, a rueful

without

chop-fallen

chne of sound christian doctrine, and a peevish and indignant exclamation of "Chaff! chaff! chaff
chaff! chaff!"

shake of the head, a sad lamentation over the de-

^p

106

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

X.

WHERE
"
I

JOE MERIWEATHER

WENT

TO.

DO

believe that's Bill Meriweather/' said the

old lady hostess of the sign of "


as attracted by the
raised her eyes

The Buck "

tavern,

noise of a

horse's hoofs, she

from her occupation of stringing

dried slips of pumpkin, and descried, this side of

the

first

bend in the road, a

traveller

riding

jaded horse towards the mansion.

"
li

do believe that's Bill Mcrivveather.

It's

about

time for him to be round agin a buyin' shoats.


whar's Joe
?

But

Phillisy

Ann," continued Mrs.

Harris,

raising her voice, " catch a couple of

young chickens,
you
di-atted lazy

i!

and get supper ready soon

as ye can,

fp

WHERE JOE MEllIWEATHER WENT


wench you,
for here

TO.

107 But

comes

Bill Merivveathcr.

vvhar's Joe ?

How

do you do, Mr. Meriwcather,"

concluded the old lady, as the stranger arrived in


front of the porch.

" Lively,"
to dismount

replied that individual as he proceeded

and

tie his horse.

"

How

do you come

on yourself, old 'omen."

" Pretty
parts ?"

well, Bill

how's craps down in your

"Bad, uncommon bad," new varmint come around


got a mortal
likin'

replied Bill,
in

"there's a

our country, that's

fur the

tobacker crap.

They

looks a good deal like a fox, but are as big as a three year old nigger, and kin climb a tree like a
squearl,

and they

steals

dozen or so 'hands'
if

every night, and next mornin'

you

notice, you'll

see all the tops of the pine-oaks

around the planta-

tion kivered with

them

a dryin',
call

and the infernal


settin'

chawtobacks that's what we


in a crotch, a chawin'

'em a
and

up

what

is

cured,

squirtin'

ambcer

all

over the country.

Got any on 'em up

here yet ?"

" The goodness, Lord ha' mercy, no.


whar's Joe ?"

Bill

But

Up

to this time

Mr. Meriweather

had been

as

pleasant and jovial a looking Green

It

108
Pivci' iium, as
tlic so(itlu!iii

AMKIUCAN
you

IIIAIOUH.

ini-lit liiid

i:i

a week's ride alung


jiiul luiil liiiilied
ol"

bonier of Kentucky,
cii

his lecture

tlu;

iiiitural

history

tlu-

chawto-

back, and

(he

nnsaddling his

liorse

at

the same

time

hnt no sooner

had the old hidy asked the

(juestion,
ili-opped

"Wiiar's Joe?" than he instantaneously

on the bench alongside the questioner, gave


imploring look
into his
oi"

her an

pity

and

diispair, let

his

head

fall

open

j)alni8,

and bending down

both until they nearly touched his knees, he uttered

such a sigh as might a Louisville and


eight boiler steam-packet in the
last

New
stage

Orleans
ol'

col-

lapsed Hues.

" Goodness, gracious,


cried the old lady,
liill.

Bill

what's the matter ?"

letting her stringing apparatus


't

" Ilev you got the cramps

Thillisy

Ann,

bring that bottle here outen the cupboard, quick,

and some pepper


"

})ods !"

Ahh

no

sighed the sufferer, not chang-

ing his position, but mournfully shaking Ids head, " I ain't got no cramps." However, riiilhsy
arriving in " no time

Ann
dis-

" with the

article of

household

furniture called for, that


\ll

gentleman,

utterly

regarding the

})epi)er pods,

proceeded to pour out

into a tumbler, preparatory to diunkiug, a sufficient

WliKIlK .rOK MEIUWKATJIF.R

WKNT

TO.

100

qunnfity of mtmIht rolonrcd fluid to utterly cxtcrminatc miy (riimi)s that mi-ht, by

nny

possibility,

be

scorctly lin^'ci-inn?:i.inst

in

his

system, or fortify liimsclf


tlw.t

imy known nnnilH.r


;

rni-lit iitfick

liini

in

tbo distant future

and bavin-

finished, ininie-

went into most surprisingly exact imitations of n wheezy loeomotive on a fogfjy morning.
"Merciful powers! what can the matter hv.V'
exclaimed the widow,

diiitcly

assumed

bis former position, and

now thoroughly
to
u|)

excited,

m
:i

Mr. Meriwcather
but

ap])eare(l

be getting no better,

was rocking himself


is

and

down,

"like a

man who
tering

sawing marble," groanin^


souiids,

and muthrst

inartieidate

as
lb,t

if

in

the

ex-

tremity of bodily anguish.

Mr. Meriwcather
reply that

was

for

some

tirm;

unal)le to

make any

eould be uiulerstood, until at length, at


elusion of a very fierce paroxysm, the

the

con-

widow thought

she could catch

th(;

two words, "Poor Joe

V
man
the

"

Is there

anything the matter w'th Joe ?" asked


If
it

the old lady.


to feel

were

possii)lc

for

any one

and

suffer, as far as

appearances went,

all

agony and misery that a half dozen of the most miserable and unfortunate of the human family
ever

have

felt

and

suffered,

and yet

live,

Mr. Meri-

110

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
for

weather certainly was that individual,


mediately went off
into

he imsighs,

such a

state

of

groans, and lamentations,


tions of "

mingled with

exclama!"

Poor Joe

\" to

Poor Brother Joe


the

that

the widow, aroused

highest state of sym-

pathy and

j)ity,

could

do nothing but wipe her

eyes with her apron, and repeat the question.

" AVhar

is

Joe, :Mr. Meriweathci, is

he sick ?"
bro-

"Oh h no!"
ther.

groaned

his

mourning

"

Is

he dead then

poor Joe

!"

faintly inquired

the old lady.

"

I don't

know

that," was the broken reply.


!

" The Lord ha' mercy on our

whar

is

sinful sowls then he ?" cried the widow, brt^aking out afresh. to

" Is he run away


Yes, that's
it
!

Orleans or gone
boy'll

to CahTorney

and the poor

be eaten' up by

them 'diggers 'that they say goes


outlandish
!

rootin'

round that
stinkin'
little

country,

like

set

of

mean

ground-hogs.
fellow, an'
it

Poor

Joe!

he was a

fine

was only the other day

last year,
all

when
little

you was on your rounds, that he cat


bo
."

my

" No, he ain

gone

to Californey as I

know,"

interrupted his brother.

WRKRl JOB MlttlWEATHER WENT


"Then,
for mercy's
!"

TO.

Ill

sake! do
tartly

till

a botly what's the old

become on him
lady.

rather

inquired

"

Why, you
still

see,

Mrs.

Ila.iis," replied

IMr, "Meri-

weather,

keeping:; the

same

position,

and

intergrief,

rupting the narrative with several bm-sts of


(which we'll leave out).

"Yon

see,

Mrs. Harris,

Joe and

went up

airly in

the Sjjring to get a boat


to

load of roek from Boone county,

put

uj)

the
Jl

foundation of the
there ain't no rock
in our parts.
able, fur

new houses

we're buildin', fm
rich sily bottoms

down

in

them

Well,
five

we got along

pretty consider-

we had

kegs of blast along, and what

with the hire of some niggers, we managed to get

our boat loaded, an' started fur home in about three


weeks.

You

never did see anythin' rain like


floatin'

it

did

the fust day


like

wc was

down, but we worked

a cornfilled

nigger ov a

Crismus week and


a matter ov nigh

pretty near

sundown we'd made


afore

twenty

mile

wc were

ashore

and

tied up.
I:

Well, as we didn't have any shelter on the

flat,

wc

raised a rousin' big fire on the bank, close to


})

whar

she was tied up, and cooked some grub

and I'd

eaten a matter of two pounds of side, and half of a

possum, and

w^as sittin'

on a log, smokin'

Kaintuck

112
regaly,

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
and a
talkin'

to Brother Joe,
fire,

who was

a
it.

standin' chock

up agin the

with his back to


allcrs

You

recollex,

Mrs. Harris, Brother Joe

was a

dressy sort of a ch:rp fond of brass buttons on his


coat

and the

flaim'cst

kind of red neckerchcrs

and

this time

he had buckskin breeches, with

straps

under his boots.

Well, when I was a talkin' to him


all

ov the prospect fur the next day,

ov a sudden I

thought the
tall;
till

little

feller

was a growin' uncommon


buckskin breeches,
in a spring rain,

I diskivered that the

that

wur

as

wet as a young rooster


to

wur beginning wur


*'

smoke and draw up kinder, and

a liftin' Brother Joe off the ground.


'

Brother Joe,' " ' Brother Bill,'


else.'

scz I,

'

you're a goin' up.'


'

sez he,

I ain't a doin' anythin'

" And he scrunched down mighty hard

but

it

warn't ov no use, fur afor long he wur a matter of

some

fifteen feet

up

in the air."

" Merciful powers," interrupted the widow. " ^ Brother Joe,' sez I.

" ' I'm

here,' sez he.

"'Catch hold ov the top ov


sez
I.
'

that black-jack,'

"

Talk

!'

sez

Brother Joe, and he sorter leaned

WHERE JOE MERI WEATHER WENT


over and grabbed the saplin', like as seed a squY>l haul in

TO.

113

maybe youVe
June

an elm switch ov a

mornin'.

But

it

warn^t ov no use, fur, old 'omen,


it

ef you'll believe me,


at the roots,
jist slipped

gradually begun to give


five foot

way
it

and afore he'd got

higher,

out er the ground, as easy as you'd pull up a spring reddish.

" ' Brother Joe


''
'

!'

sez I agin.

"'I'malist'nin',' sezhe.

Cut your straps

!'

sez I, for I seed

it

was his

last chance.

"Talk!'

sez

Brother Joe, tho' he looked sort a

reproachful like at me fur broachin' such a subject; but arter apparently considerin' awhile, he outs

with his jack-knife, an' leanin' over sideways,


a rip at the sole of his left foot.
siderable

made

There was a con-

deal

ov cracklin'
if

fur a second or two,

then a crash sorter like as

a waggon-load of
fust thing

wood

had bruck down,

and the
like,

I know'd,

the t'other leg shot up

and started him; and

the last thing

seed ov

Brother Joe, he was a

whirlin' round like a four-spoked wheel with the

nm

off,

away

overclost

toward sundown

/"

VOL. HI.

114

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

XI.

GEORGIA THEATRICS.
Tf

my memory

fail

me

not, the

10th of June,

18
called
it

found mc, at ahout eleven o'clock in the fore-

noon, ascending a long and gentle slope in what was

"The Dark Corner"


its

of Lincoln.

believe

took

name from

the moral darkness which

reigned over that portion of the county at the time

of which I
it

am

speaking.

If in this point of view,


it

was but a shade darker than the county,


If any

was

inconceivably dark.
or sin which

man

can

name

a trick

had not been committed

at the

time of
all

which
it
1
1

am

speaking in the very focus of

the

county's illumination (Lincolnton), he

murt himself

GEORGIA THEATRICS.

115

be the most inventive of the tricky, and the very

Judas of sinners.

Since that time,

however

(all

Lincoln has become a living proof " that li-ht shineth in darkness." Could I venture

humour

aside),

solemn with the ludicrous, even for the purposes of honourable contrast, I could adduce

to mingle the

from

this

county instances of the most numerous

and wonderful
virtue

transitions, from vice and folly to and holiness, which have ever perhaps been

witnessed since the days of the Apostolic ministry.

So much,
what
I

lest it

should be thought by some that


is

am
in

about to relate
it

characteristic of the

county

which

occurred.
said of the moral condition of

Whatever may be
the

Dark Corner,

at

the time just mentioned, its

natural condition was anything but dark. It ..mled in all the charms of spring ; and spring borrowed

new charms from


riant
birds,

its
its

undulating grounds,
sportive

its

luxuvocal

woodlands,

streams,

its

and

its

blushing flowers.

Rapt with the enchantment of the season, and


the

scenery around

me,

was slowly rising the

was startled by loud, profane, and boisterous Noices, which seemed to proceed fiom a thick covert of undergrowth about two hundred
I
I

slope,

when

'n

116

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

yards in the advance of


to the right of

me and
:

about one hundred

my

road

"

You

kin, kin
1

you

V
to

" Yes,

kin,

and am able

do

it

Bo

oo oo
!
!

Oh, wake snakes, and walk your chalks


stone and
fight's
lire
!

Brim-

don't hold me, Nick Stoval


let's

The

made

up, and

go

at

it.

My
'

soul, if I

don't

jump down

his throat

liug out of

him before you can say


Nick, don't hold him.

and gallop every chitter" quit !'


Jist let the wild

"Now,
cat come,
fight,

and

I'll

tame him.

Ned'll see

me

a fair

won't you
yes,
I'll

Ned ?"
see a fair fight,

"
if I

Oh

blame

my
said
!"

old shoes

don't."
is sufficient,

" That

as

Tom Haynes
let

when he

saw the elephant.

Now

him come

Thus they went


spersed,

on, with countless oaths interat,

which

dare not even hint

and wath

much

that I could not distinctly hear.


I,

" In mercy's name," thought


ruffians

" what band of

has selected this holy

season

and

this

heavenly retreat for such Pandemonian riots ?"


I
site

quickened

my

gait,

and had come nearly oppo-

to the thick grove

whence the noise proceeded,

when my eye caught

indistinctly

and

at

intervals.

GEORGIA THEATRICS.

117

through the foliage of the dwarf oaks and hickories which intervened, glimpses of a man or men who

seemed to be

in

r.

violent

struggle,

and

could

occasionally catch those deep-drawn emphatic oaths

which men in
I

conflict utter

when they

deal blows.
all

dismounted, and hurried to the


I

spot with

speed.

had overcome about half the space which


it

separated

from me, when

saw the combatants


short struggle, I

come

to the ground,

and

after a
(for I

saw the uppermost one


other)

could not see the


his

make a heavy plunge with both


the same instant I heard a cry
! :

thumbs,

and

a,t

" Enough
I

my

eye's out \"


1

was so completely horror-struck that

stood

transfixed for a

moment

to the spot where the cry


in the hellish deed
all

met me.

The accomplices

which

had been perpetrated had


at least
I

fled at

my

approach

supposed

so,

for they

were not to be

seen.
'*

Now, you

old corn-shucking rascal,"

said the

victor (a youth about eighteen years old), as he rose

from the ground, " come cutt'n your shines 'bout

me
you

agin, next time I


?

come

to the

Court House,
if

will

Get your owl eye in again,

you can."

mmmmm

wmm

118

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
this

At

moment he saw me
I

for

the

first

time.

He
ofF,

looked excessively embarrassed, and was moving

when
office

called to

him

in a tone

emboldened by
:

my
"

and the iniquity of

his crime

Come

back, you villain, and assist

me

in re-

lieving your fellow-mortal,


for ever \"

whom you

have ruined

My
replied

rudeness subdued his embarrassment in an

instant,
:

and with a taunting curl of the nose he

" You needn't kick before you're spurred. ain't nobody there, nor han't been nother.
jist seein'

There
I

was

how

could

'a fou't."

So saying, he bounded
in the fence

to his plough,

which stood

about

fifty

yards beyond the battle-

ground.

And would you


report was true?

believe

it,

gentle

reader,

his

All that I had heard and seen


less

was nothing more or


in which the youth
all

than a Lincoln rehearsal,


just left

who had

me had

played

the parts of

all

the characters in a Court

House

fight.

I went to the ground from which he had risen, and there were the prints of his two thumbs plunged

GEORGIA THEATEICS.
up
to the balls in the

119
dis-

mellow earth, about the

tance of a man's eyes apart,

and the ground around

was broken up, as

ii

two stags had been engaged

upon

it.

H''

120
I

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

XII.

TAKING THE CENSUS.

Our

next
in

encounter

was

with

an old lady,

notorious

her neighbourhood for her garrulity

Her loquaeity knew no was constant, ; unremitting, interminable, and sometimes laughably silly. She was interested
bounds
it

and simple-mindedness.

in

quite

a
its

large

Chancery

suit,

which had been


years,

dragging

slow length for

several

and

furnished her with a conversational fund, which she

drew upon extensively, under


merits

the

idea

that

its

could

never

be

sufficiently

discussed.

Having been warned of her propensity, and being

TAKING THE CENSUS.


somewhat hurried when we
cn^'cd

121

upon

her,

we

were disposed to get through business as soon as


possible,

and without hearing her enumeration of


Striding into

the strong points of her law case.


the house, and drawing our papers
:

" Taking the census, Ma'am," quoth we. " Ah,


well,
!

yes

bless your

soul,

take a scat.
Fill-

Now
well,

do

Are you the gentlemen that Mr.


to take the censis ?
!

more has sent out

wonder
Fillmore

good Lord, look down

how was Mr.

and family when you seed him ?"

We
didn't

told her

we had never

seen the President


j

know him from

a piece of sole-leather

"we
Well,

had been written


lity

to to take the census."


!

" Well now, there agin


I

love your soul


a letter,

no
ale,

s'pose
!

Mr. Fillmore writ you

did he

No

Well,

God be
down
;

praised,

there's

mighty

little

ted
3en
ind
she
its

here to take

times

is

hard, God's will be


i
)l

done

but looks

like

people can't get their rights


is all

in this country,

and the law

for the
!

ri^

'

md
ever

none
hear

for the poor, praise the


tell
?

Lord

Did you

of that case

my

boys has got agin old


I

ed-

Simpson
end on

Looks

like

they will never get to the

it,

glory to His

name

The

children will

'
^

.122

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
I'm mighty afeard, Lord give
sec
!

suffer,

us

grace

Did you ever

Judge B.

Yes!

Well,

the

Lord preserve us
what
he's

Did you ever bear him say

agwine to do in the boys' case agin

Simpson?
will

No! Good Lord! Well, Squire, you ax him the next time you see him, and

write

me

word, and

tell

him what

say

I'm

nothing but a poor widow, and


larnin',

my

boys has got no

and old Simpson tuk 'em

hard

case,

and the

will

but"

in. It's a mighty ought never to a been broke '

Here we interposed, and told the old lady that our time was precious-that we wished to take

down

the

number

of her family,

and the produce

and be off. After a good we got through with the description of the members of her family, and the
deal of trouble,
statistical
'
:

raised by her last year,

table," as far as the article " cloth."

"

How many

in 1850,

Ma'am

yards of cotton cloth did you weave ?"


the

"Well now,

Lord have mercy!

less

see.

Sally Higgins that used to live in the Smith settlement ? Poor thing
!

You know

her daddy di'ove


Miller,

her

off

all

on the 'count of Jack

poor

TAKING THE CENSUS.


crcctur
!

123
it,

poor gal

she couldn't help

I dare say.

Well, Sally she come to stay 'long wi'


the old

me

w'.icn

man druv

her away, arid she was a powerful

good hand

to weave,

and

did think she'd help

me

a power.

Well, arter she'd bin here awhile,


sick,
it.

her baby hit took

and Old Miss Stringer she

undertook to help
old
like
!

She's a powerful good hand, Miss Stringer, on roots and yearbs and sich

Well, the Lord look

down from above

she

made
gin
it

a sort of a tea, as I was a tellin',


to
Sally's

and she
poor
the

baby;
it

it

got

wuss the
like

creetur and she gin

tea,

more she gin


"

it

tea,

the

more

and looked

My

dear

Madam, I'm

in a

hurry please

tell

me how many
I

yards of cotton you wove in 1850.

wan't to get through and go on."

"Well,

well,

the

Lord have mercy! who'd a


!

thought you'd a bin so snappish


a sayin',
Sally's child
it

Well, as I waft

kept gittin' wus, and old


givin'
it

Miss Stringer she kept a


till

the yearb tea,

at

last

the child hit looked like hit would die

anyhow.
wust. Old
said
if

And
git

'bout the time the child was at Sikes

its

Daddy

he come along, and he


berries

we

some nightshed

and stew them

II

124
with a
little

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
cream and some hog's
is

lard.

Now

Old

Daddy

Sikcs

mighty

fine

old man,

and he

giv the boys a heap of mighty good counsel about


"

that case.
J"

"'Boys.' said he

go and

'

Pll

tell

you what you do

"
'

you

" In the name of goodness, old lady,"


"tell about your

said we,
child

cloth;

and

let

the
the

sick

and Miss Stringer, Daddy


the
law-suit,

Sikes,

boys,

and
in

go

the

Old Scratch

Pm

hurry I"

" Gracious, bless your dear soul


vated.
I

don't git aggrait

was

jist

a tellin' you

how

come

I didn't

weave no cloth

last year." last year.

" Oh, well you didn't weave any cloth

Good

We'll go on to the next article."


;

" Yes

you see the child

hit

begun
its

to swell
eyes,

and
a

turn yaller, and hit kept a wallin'

moanin', and I know'd

and

"Nevermind

about the childjust

tell

me

the

value of the poultry you raised last year."

" Oh, well yes the chickens, you means. Why,


the Lord love your p jor soul
;

reckon you never

in your born days see a creetur have the luck that

\M.

TAKINd THE CENSUS.


I

125 any good

did

and looks
;

like

we never

shall have

luek agin

for ever Hinco old

up

to the

Chancery (^ourt
the

Simpson tuk that case

" Never mind


chickens,
if

ease,

let's

hear

about

the

you please."
!

" God bless you, honey


we.
blessed night that the

the owls destroyed in


I

and about the best half that

did

raise.

Every

Lord did send, they'd come

and

set

on the comb of the house, and boo, boo


in particklar I

and one night

remember,
'int

had just
little

got up with the nightshed salve to

the

gal

with"
" Well,
raise ?"
well,

what was the value of what you did

" The Lord above look down

They got

so

bad

the owls did

that they tuk


bet

the old hens as well


I
!

as the

young chickens.

The night

was a

telliu'

'bout, I heard

somcthin's s-q-u-a-1-1

s-q-u-a-1-1

and says

I'll

that's old Speck, that nasty

awdacious owl's got, for I see her go to roost with


the chickens

up

in

the

plum-tree, forenenst the

smoke-house.'

" So
sleepin',
'

went to whar old Miss Stringer was


I
!

and says

" Miss Stringer

oh,

Miss

Stringer

sure's

M
'1*

126

w
you're born,
((.

AMERICAN HUMOra.
that owl's got

old Speck

out'n the

pluia-tree/

r
h
ill

her side

fill

" Well, old Miss Stringer she turned over 'pon like, and says she
:

"'What

did you say. Miss Stokes

?'

"And
H'

says I :-,^'
tired,

We
same

began to get very

and

signified the
to

to the old lady,

and begged her

answer us

dn-ectly,

and without circumlocution. "The Lord Almighty love your dear


tellin'

Tm
and

heart, honey,

you

as fast

kin.

The owls they got


Speck

worse,
all

and worse;

after they'd swept old

her gang, they went to work on t'others


(that's

and Bryant
shoot

one of

my

boys), he 'lowed he'd

fhc pestersome crceturs.

And

so

one night

arter that

we hearn one

holler,

and Bryant he tuk

the old musket

there was owley (as

and went out, and sure enough he thought) a sittin' on the

comb

of the house, so he blazed away, and

down

come what
when Bryant

on

airth

did comG down, do you reckon,

fired ?"

"The

owl, I suppose."
sich

"No
thar.

thing; no sich thing; the owl warn't

'Tvvas

my

old

house cat came a tumblin'

down

spittin', sputterin',

and

scratchin',

and the fur

TAKING THE CENSUS.

127

a flyin' every time she jumped, like you'd busted a

feather-bed open.

Bryant he said the way he come


the owl, he seed some-

pon

to shoot the
thin'

cat, instead of

white"
Stokes, give

" For heaven's sake, Mrs.

me

the

value of your poultry, or say you will not.

Do

one

thing or the other."

"Oh,
had
last

well,

dear love your heart, I

reckon

year

nigh about the same as I've got

this."

" Then

tell

me how many
see

dollars'

worth you have

now, and the thing's settled."


"I'll
let

you

for

yourself,"

said

Widow

Stokes

and taking an ear of corn between the logs

of the cabin, and shelling off a handful, she com-

menced

scattering the grain,

all

the while screaming

or rather chickee
!

screeching:
!

"Chick!

chick!

chick

chickee

chickee-ee !"
roosters, hens, pullets,

Here they came,


chicks;

and

little

crowing,

cackling,

chirping,

flying,

and

fluttering against her sides, pecking at her hands,

and creating a din and confusion altogether indescribable.

The

old lady seemed delighted, thus to

exhibit

her feathered

"stock,"

and would occa-

sionally exclaim

128
"

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

nice passel

ain't they a nice passel I V

But she never would say what they were worth, and no persuasion could bring her to the point.

Our papers
as

at

Washington contain no estimate

of the value of the

Widow
she

Stokes's poultry, though,

she

said

herself,

had a "mighty

nice

passel."

Jl

A FAMILY PICTURE.

129

XIII.

A FAMILY PICTURE.*

Mr. Hih,
ast,

in

one of his

many

visits

"down

'was belated one evening, and was compelled

to seek shelter at a

small farm-house. He thus descnbes the family party and the family doings on
that eveninjr.

Jones,
visit

The heads of the family were a Mr. and Mrs

who

of man, who told me, said he teached school in winter, and hired out in haying time. What this man^s name

from a plain
Hill,

were honoured, on this occasion, with a


sort

Mr.

that

* By G. H.

Hill.

VOL.

Ill,

'

130

AMEllICAN HUMOUR.

was, I do not exactly recollect.

It might have been Smith, and for convenience sake, we will call him

John Smith.
with him,

This Mr. Smith bron-ht a newspaper

which was printed weekly, which


it

Mr.

Jones said as

did not agree with his politics-

was a very weakly consarn.

table,

Mr. Jones was seated one side of an old pine and Mr. Smith on the other. ]\Irs. Jones
one corner, and the children nnder
cracking nuts,
Jones,
after

sat knitting in

the

tire-place some

others

whit-

tling sticks,

&c.

Mr.

perusing the

paper for some time, observed to Mrs. Jones, "


dear !"

My

Mrs. Jones.

^Vell.

Mr.
Mrs,
'I

Jones. It appears.
J.

AVell,
I say,

go on.
it

Mr.
Mrs.

J. J.

apj)ears.
1

Well, law souls,


I say, it

heard

it

go on.

Mr.
Mrs.

J. J.

appears from a jiaragraph


don't appear as
if

"Well,

it

you were ever

going to appear.

Mr.
paper

J.

I say, it

appears from a paragraph in this

Mrs.

J.

There there you go


you
spit
it

again.

Why

on

airth, Jones, don't

out.

A FAMILY PICTURE.

131

Mr.
paper

J.

I .say, it

appears from a paragraph in this

M...
t"-o

./.

Well,

I ,lcda,.,

Je,, y ., e,,|, t
VVl.y

the patience of Jb.


it.

out with

,rth don't you ^

M,:

.1.

Mrs.

m
-

Jones,
up, I'D

,vill
..,-,,

yu be
st

qniet.

my

If

danrt..,-

"-ly know
I n>

,,,_j ^,^.^ ^^^^^^

it,

tew,

M... Sn,ith
little

you must exeuse


to n,y
^^^^

obliged to be
if

peremptory
,.^1^ ^^_^

ile,

for

you

,,,,t

,,,.^
it

^^^,j

j.|^^

natur.

Well, as I sanl,

appears from this paper


Slo,,e, that

"' ^''"' ^'-l"^-)'""

k.iowM Seth

to be

used

round
J.
./.

Jiere ?

Mrs.

Yes;
Well,

well,

go on; out with


went

it.

Mr.

you know he

out

in

whalin' voyage.

Mrs.

J.

Yes, well.

Mr.
stern

J.

Well,

it

api,ears

he was

settin'

on the

when the

vessel give a lee lurch,

knoeked overboard, and hain't written to his friends


since that time.

and he was
I'

'1

Ml

Mrs.

.J.

La, souls

you don't say


I
,,,11

so.

Before going fn.ther,

you some idea of

endeavour to give

this

Seth Slope.

He was
K 2

wliat

.'V>

AMKIIICAN niMOlH.
trrin

tlicy

down

rnst, " a

poo,-

sliolc ;"

I,

is

prin-

cipal

business was picking up diips, fccilinthe

W'-

lu)-s, &c.,

&c.

I will

represent

him with

liis

hut.

fPuf.s an hat.)
mt.,
'

Mrs. Jones says


1

don't

know

nothin',

and Mr.

Jones says

don't
I

know

nothin',

{/aiffj/is ;)
T

and
say I the

everybody says

don't

know

nothin'; and
|

do knoNV
chips to
lioi^-s,

notliin', {/ai/f//is.)

I)'t

pid^
I

,,11

make
the
I

the lires?

And

don't
Ikmis
?

feed

the

iuid

dneks,

imd the
to

[Laughs.)

And
for a

don't

i;o

down
?

the store every mornin"-

jug of rum
f

And
know

don't

take a good suek

myself?

don't

nothin'

ha
?

(A/////.v.)

And
I I

don't

go to ehm-ch every Sunday and


wlu'ii

and don't

go up

stairs,

the folks go to sleep, don't


uj) ?

throw corn on 'em


fellers

to

wnke 'em
at

And

don't I

see the

winking
?

the

gals,
I

ami the gals


go honu^ ami
dim't

winking
tell

at

the iVlh-rs

And

don't

the old folk; and

when they come home,


?

the old folk kiek

up the darndest row

{Laughs.)

And

don't I drive the hogs out

of the garden, to
?

keep 'em from rooting up the taters


I

And
a

dcm't

git asleep

there, sometimes,

and don't they root


I

me

up.

(Laughs.)

And

didn't

sec

fly

on

FAMILY PICTURE.
t'utluu-

133
;

Deacon S(oI.'sml nose,


Hy.
feet

day

and didn't
|,,
)

"T-Ar

care,

I)(,,cor,

Stokes, y'll
I

j,;^

I .lon't

know nothing oh
I

{Lau,j/<,
of;

Tliis

Mrs. Jones

l.av.

spoken

was a very

a very

good kind of woman, and Mr. Jones was considered good sort of n.an l,t was
;

ratlier

fond of

the bottle.

On

<,n(.

<,ceasion, I recollect j.articularly,

>"toxK.ated,

he had been to a nuistcr, and came home so that he could hardly stand,
aj^ainst

much

and was

ohl.gcd to lean

the chimney-pi.^.e, to pre-

vent hin.self from fallin-, and Mrs. Jones says to him, - Now, Jones, aint yon ashamed of yourself V

Where on
was

airth

do you think you'd go

to, if

you

to die ni that sitiwation ?"

Jo^u's, (very drunk).


I

Well,

don't

know where
far,

should go to; but


f.ister

I
I

shouldn't go

without

could go

than

do now.

Jones had fhushed the paragraph the paper, Mrs. Jones threw on her shawl, and went over to her neighbours to connnunieate the news. I will endeavour to giv. you an idea of Mrs.
">
.funes,

As soon

as

Mr.

by assuming
cap.)

this

shan'l

and

cap.

shawl and

[Puts on

"Well, Mrs. Smith,


the news

suppose you aiu't heard

134

AMKlirCAN IH'MOirR.
no, whiit on uirth
is it

" La,
"
liere

?"

You

rccollfct Seth Slope, that

used to bo about

V
You know
he went a wlialin' voyage ?"

" Yes, very well."


"

"Ycs.'^
"A\'ell,
pajjors,
it

appears, from an advartisemcnt in

tlic
tiie

that

he

was

sittin'

on the

starn

of

vessel,

when

the vessel give a lee lurch, that he was

knocked overboard and was drowiu-d, and that he


has not written to
it's
liis

friends ever since.

Oh, dear

dreadful to think on.

Poor

critter

! he
I

was

such a clever, good-natured, kind soul.

recollect

when he was about

here,

how he used

to

come

into

the house and set down, and get up and go out, and

come
out.

in agin,

and

set

down, and get up and go


to the barn,

Then he'd go down

and throw

down some hay

to the critters,

and then he'd come


out,

into the house agin,

and get up and go

and go

down

to the stoi-e

and get a jug of rum, -and somelittle

times he'd take a


souls
!

suck of

it

himself.

But,

la,

never eared nothing about that.


!

Good,

clever critter

Then

arter he'd

come back with the

while, and get up and go out, and pick up chips, and drive the hogs out
little

rum, he'd

set

down

A FAMILY IMCTUIIK.
of
tl...

135
the hous.-

gunl.-n

una then

h(.'d cornn into

an.l

kick

over the

nwill-pail,

and

set

down,

ar.d
all

st.ck his feet over the

inantel-pieee,

and whittle
all

over the hearth, and spit tobacco jnice


carpet,

over the

and make himself so

sociable.
!

And

poor

follow

now

he's gone.
^^ot
!

Oh, dear
Well,
all

how dreadful
it

wet
goes
ters,"

he must have
to

Mrs. Siuith

show

that

we

are

accountable

Irit-

m\

AMERICAN lUJMOUK.

XIV.
1

COLONEL JONKS'S
A

II

T.

STORY OK KUNTirCKV.

Col. D.ck Jonks was decidedly the


tlu'

j^reut

man

of

v.IIag..

Sununervill...

H,

,vas

(^.loncl

of

the regin.ent--he had

.rpresentcd his district in


s,,ol<c.i

Conj,res8-he had been


Governor

of as

-he
in

candidate for
the

was

at

the

head of

bar

in

llawk.ns' eonnty,
^v.se

Kentucky, and

figured
l,.,i

other,j-,^i^

hu-gely

pubhc

life.

]U,

se.iior part of the i)opulation-his dress and taste were law to the

and advice were highly valued by the

juniors-his easy,

uflable,

and

attentive
<ligified

n,anner

charmed

all

the matrons, his

politeness

I
iil.

If

J
VVi'

COI.ONKL .rONKs's
cuplivatc.l
ll.c

J'KillT.

137
suavity and

ynini-

ladies
,i,

a..,l

his

con.lcsccnsi,,,,
iniNscs.

,l,.l,;.|.|,,l

|,|,

|,oar<lin--srl,ol

Ilr

,,ss.;ss.d

iniivrsul Hniattrrin^^ of
tli,;

ii.fonnatioii-his munncrs were


cxtirincly IVicuIly
""(I,
ar..l

,u,sl

popular;
wiltyj
com-'

..l,li^^M^^

lively

and

li

iu

shrt,

he

was

v.ry

ugrcr-ahh.

panion
V.-l (iM.lh .rqnins it to hv aduuttcd, that Col. Dick Joi.cs was pronvssionaliy ,ore sp.-cious than
'l''<-|,

.'"'(l

that

his

political

advanccn.cnt was
snp.u-ior

owinj,^

to

pcrs.n.al his

partialiy

n.uv than

...crit-

tl.at

taste

and

,|,,:ss

ucrn of (pu-stionahio pro-

Pnrty:

for instance,

inK-shirt white

ho occasionally ^um^, a hnntfnnged, ,.. a red waistcoat,


or u

fawn-skin one, or a calico morning-gown of a small y(^llow patlern, and he indulged in other
sin.ilar

vagari.'M in clothing.
niciit,

And

in

manners and deport-

there was an v\v of harndess (tru(. Vi,-ginian bred and Kent.icky raised) self-conceit and swagger, which, though not to he ad.nired,

yet ]t

gave picpianey and individuality


If further particulars
state that the Coloncd
office,

to his character.

are

required, I
at the

can only

boarded

Eagle hotel-

in

the scp.are, fronted the court-house-he

was

manager of

dl

the balls

he

was

vice-

138

AMKUICAN rH'MOUK.
"'
'"
^i"

mill.
,,,,,

I"'"'''"' '""

M,y
vl,,
..,,1

(;||,_

',(,.,.

>""

.v,.,l.,y

I,..

"''"":''
'"'"'

""
'"'

'"

>

|.M
,.,c.,l

,,
,i.

""'"

"

!'>

f
I

.^1'

lK-a.l,.,l,

,,,.,.,,,,,

,,,,

'"''I?'''''""'":''''''''^
iinoiimldi, orucopli
lif,'lil.

,,,,^,.^

^^.^1^

^_

a,. ,,.,.,,1.,,

"

" ''"'""''
"'
"'

'

'""-'. 'l'""Ki.

Colonel Jonc,
1,0

"'" """
";."'''""

''-'-""-J
^l'"'-'

"<

.".^0, .1,,,

took
,

"'

'

'Hjommg county
eftect that

^il"tl about
,,

l,i,

an,!

ono f

,,,,,,,,, , ,

he

,,d

na,u
>"..""., at

been a n.,,n., ,,;,.,

n,st..ad or ,.,yi

,.,,,.,,,;,,,
,,,^
^.
,,

" -ho, -boy j,, e,,, ,

tiJ he tove,.thcn.ntaintoeourt,ni||ptte,,,t,
'&//, tight, or run.

the tave tabic, that the n.,t

"

li#

Thi. became narrated throngl, the case and rgnn,ent of ,hc difference

tw,-thc

was discussed

rr't -- to

"""""""^ "'

"^

: the

'"-"'

'^'"'

s^-oy

conclusion that the colonel had good

'OI.ONKL .lONKs's
nansr
..f

I'lfJIIT.

130
hi,,,

(,uanTl, as

mow

lul

I,,,.,,

said of
Tl,(!

(|,a
.store

""

''

""''>'< "-'" '<Hil(l sta(l.

yf.

b.ys

of the

vinup;(,
th,,

hccui,,,.
fif^ht

j^roatly

it(,,.st,.'|. (.n.

j(rt,.,v,l

,^,, and .^avr th.-ir oiuioHwhut th..ywo,.ld dodcrsimihircm-i,n,.

how

wohl

8tm,(;cs.

TUv. as

yonK

hiwycivs,
i

und yng M.D.'s


c(,lo,.<;|'
.^x,.(..tcd

as

olf,.

(hey
'!'<

vv<.c

tU,
Ih.,

,.,,,anyi
light.
()'

"""'''"<-''

s,d)j,..ct

of

such occasions, the coh,M.;l spoke cai-clessly ar,d hantcringly.


cati,.gly,
tl>nt

Some good
in

ohl

ulics
i,,

spoke
the

d.p.-e-

the
a.Hl

general
H.-ver a so

an,!

pa.ticuhtr,

so goo,|

young n.an
an
exan.phbh,ss
;

as Coh)ncI
an.l

Dick shonhl

set

bud

the

young
little

I!

h.dics,

and

litth;

n.isses,

their

dear
ovvr,
II

innocent souls, they only eonsult.-d their


we,-e
satisfied that

kind hearts, and wicked and


fight.

he nuist be a

bad .nan

that

Colonel Jones

would

l)nng
lawyers
all

t(,rni

of the eonrts

came on, and the

started on their circuit, and, with them,

Colonel Jones went over the mountain.

y,

The whole
trip,

town was
without
subject,
at

alive to the

consequences of this
or understand!.
either

and

much communion
most of the
tavern
at
his

on tne

population
departure,

gathered
it

the

or

noticed

140

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
oflF,

from a distance, and he rode


his acquaintances,

gaily

saluting

and raising
street,

his

hat to the ladies,

on both sides of the


town.

as

he passed out of

that time, only one subject engaged the thoughts of the good people of Summerville ; and on the third day the common salutation was: ''Any news from over the mountain ?''

From

" Has any one come down the road

V
and
had,
still

The

fourth,

fifth,

and

sixth came,
:

the

public anxiety was


delay,

unappcased

it

with the

become

insufferable,

quite agonizing; busi-

ness and occupation was at a stand .till ; a doctor or a constable would not ride to the country lest

news

of the fight might arrive in their absence. Pco])le in crossing the square, or entering or comin^r out of their houses, all had their heads turned T,p that road. And many, though ashamed to confess it, sat up an hour or two past their usual bed-time^

hoping some one would return from court. Still all was doubt and uncertainl:, There is an unaccount-

able

perversity
I

in

these things that bothers con-

jecture.

days, to hear of

which I

Louisville two Grey Eagle beating Wagner, on had one hundred dollars staked, of bor-

watched the road from

COLONEL Jones's fight.


rowed money,

141

and no one eame

though before

that, sonic person passed every hour.

the seventh morning, the uneasy public were consoled by the certainty that the lawyers must be home that day, as court seldom held a week, and the universal resolve seemed to be that nothin-

On

was to be attended to
the fight.

until

they were

satisfied

abou^

Storekr-pcrs and their clerks, saddlers, hatters, cabinet-makers, and their


apprentices,
all

stood out at the doors.

The hammer ceased

to ring

on

the anvil, and


to

the bar-keeper would scared^

walk in

put away the stranger's saddle-bags,


a of

for breakfast; when suddenly young man, that had been walking from one side

who had

called

the street to the other, in a state of feverish anxiety, thought he saw dust away up the road, and stopped! I have been told a man won a wager in Philadclphia, en his collecting a crowd by
staring, without

speaking, at an opposite chimney.

So no sooner

was
a

this

young man's point

noticed, than there was

regular reconnoissance

of the

road made, and

before long,
the

loubt became certainty,


the

when one
colonel's

of

company declared he knew


his face.

old

sorrel riding-horse,

"General Jackson," by the blaze

on

142
In
tlic

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
excited state of the

public

mind

it

re-

quired no ringing of the court-house bell to convene the i)eople; those down street

walked

u]),

and those
gathered
all

across

the

square

came

over,

and

all

gradually at the Eagle

hotel,

and nearly

were

present by the time Colonel Jones alighted. had a pair of dark green specks on,

He

sling,

with
left
it

wrist;

his

hand brown paper bound round his hand held the bridle, and
the
a

his right

forefinger of
care.''

wrai)i,ed with

linen

rag - with

One

of his cars was covered with a muslin scrap,

the countrywomen's plan of covering their butter when coming to market his face was clawed all over, as if he had had it raked 'oy a cat held fast by the tail
:
.;

that looked

much

like

his

head

was
as

unshorn,
* *

it

being
about

"too
his

delicate
wife's

an

affair,^'
'

said

character.
to

His

complexion suggested

an

idea

philosophical
a treatise,

young man

present,

on which he wrote

dedicated to Arthur Tappan, proving that the negro was only a white well pummelled and his general swelled appearance would induce a belief he
;

had led the


hive.

forlorn

hope

in the

stormiug of a bee-

coLONEL Jones's fight.


t

]43

ro-

^"^""^'

.
ivcne
:Ii()sc

the

T^'

'^

^"^^-hero/'

'^id

not exaetly proclaim


his

eonqnerin^.

b,a

afFabihty
' :

icrcd

were

"tuhmM.ishcd, and he addn-sscd then, vv.th ''il'-Wy to s,e you, gents; how are you and then attempted to enter the tavern; but
JJaily arrested liim

was

all

?-

Buek

He
land
Ills

with
I see

" Wl.y, Colonel,

yo have

hart

a ,I<rim,n.e

tlic

the httle

mi of the horn, did you ?"


I

ivith

" No, not eraetly,


V"..

had a tight

tit

of

it,

thoh

rap,
I

of
his

aa act,ve as a .ild-eat,

Patterson; he,veighs one hudr..d imd seventy-live pounds, has not an onnee of -l-rflons Hesh, i, s straight as an Indi and

know

Bill

and

as <,uiek as j.o.d,.,

kcd'

very .nueh of a n.an,

and

assnre you.

Well, n,y ,vord

was
as

to
"I

<H.t

to lielchhn;

sol

hardly put up ,v horse

I'-fo.'e

found hin,

at the eonrt-house doo'r,


1

and

His
ical
Ise,

g,ve

lum a white man's ehanee,


hin,.

proposed'

<a.n.es to

He
give a

si., ,,is

daddy, long ago,

told

hnn
at

^ro
ral

S.l

%
'"

imil, and l,e was not running, so he thought he had hest fiht.
word was
fairly out,
I haule.l off
I'i."

nev,.r to

\:

the t,n,e the


in

he
3e-

the burr of the ear that raised a ;^">S">g in his head, that made hin, think he was

and took

""'^1""<"=

'"-

At

it

we went,

like killing

144

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

snakes, SO good a man, so good a boy; we had it round and round, and about and about, as dead a yoke r.s ever pulled at a log-chain. Judge Mitchell was orx the bench, and as soon
as

the

cry

of

''fightleft

was

raised,

him.

He

the bar and jury ran off and shouted, 'I command the
peace,'
th'e

within the court-house, and then ran out to see


fight,

and cried

out,

'

can't prevent yo,i

!'

'

fair

figbt!' ^stand
field

back!' and he caught parson Bene-

who, he thought, was about to interfere, and slung him on his back at
least fifteen feet.

by the

collar of the coat,

"It was
fought
:

the

evenest

and
tired

longest
of
it,

fight
I

ever

everybody was

and

must
effort

admit, in truth, that I was"


to

{/lere

he

made an

enter

the tavern.)

But

several

voices called

out

"^Vhich
out ?"

whipped?

How

did

you

come

"Why, much as I tell you; we had it round and round, about and about, over and under. I could throw hnn at rastle, but he would manage some way to turn me. Old Sparrowhawk wis there, who had seen all the best fighting
at

Natchez, under the

hill,

in the

days of

Dad

Girty

COLON,,L JONES'S FIGHT.


I

ad

^45

it

and Jim Snod^rass

load a
tchcll

anrl

!,

ly

of

^'
ti,

.e

and
pace/
c the

jackass by .he ,,

"^ *^"ow said, deserihmrr

j,

,.^

^^

"'

i
"ol.t

'

fair

So we made
//.

it

about
3cne-

and ahnnf"

round and round ^^uiiu,

was
3k at

'"'cat mio the tavern.)

But many " How

voices

demanded, '
?"

" inch gave up


did

Who

hollored '"

'

ever
iiust
(fort
illcd

you hurt your hand ?"

"01'! I forgot

ocMo

to tell you. that as I aimed a ager at hi.n he dueked his head, and he ca,

JoJe,eadiedapper,andh,ttinghi;aWr

Imywri.,.so,heigh,ethefe,Wwh:
ome

und
I

riJlrrrr--;- '-or
Bone?:
two of
hi, in

eating.

"'
.

"^

''"^^''

''I"' cto:

age

was
at
Irty

""''''"'^">ts,and

I extracted

v^.: ,

""'
'

'""'' '"'

""

--^ f-

146

AMERICAN HUIIOUR.
being

wearing gloves without

thought

proud."

[He now

tried to escape under cover

of a laugh.)

But vox populi again. " So you tanned him, did you
"

How

did the fight finish ?"

" You were not parted ?"


it out, did you ?" The colonel resumed, " Why, there

" You fought

is

no

telling

how

the fight might have gone; an old Virginian,

who had
Blevins,

seen Francesco, and Otey, and Lewis, and

and

all

the best

men

of the day, said he


to their

had never seen any one stand up


better than

fodder

we

did.

We

had Tnught round and


all

round,

and about and about,


last,

over the court-

yard, and, at

just to

end the
at

fight,

every body
t,

was getting

tired of it; so,

1 a a s

hollored." (^a;-i/ Colonel.)

f<^

'tk

THE FASTEST FUNERAL ON RECORD.

147

XV.
THE FASTEST FUNERAL ON RECORD.*

"burb, on a srltrv

"''^ '^'''^^^^

bound

r/owTr/''"'^^'"^
"S lom,

''''''^-

i consented,

and

* ByF.A. Durivage, ofBostoD.

L 2

14-8

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
en route.

we were soon

very peculiar animal.

The mare ho drove was a She had few good points to


and rejoicing

the eye, being hcavy-bodied, hammer-headed, thin in the shoulders, bald-faced,


in a little

stump
hair.

of a tail which was almost entirely innocent of But there were "lots of muscle," as Major
says, in her hind quarters.

Longbow

" She aint no Wenus, Sir," said


ance, pointing with his

my new acquainthandsome
does.
at,

whip
is

to the object of niy as

8crutiny-but handsome

Themes

my

sentiments.

She's a

rum

'un to look

but a good 'un to go."

" Indeed ?"


''Yes,

Sir!

That there marc.


say, very

Sir,

has

made

good

time I may

good time before the

hearse. '^

" Before the hearse ?"

" Before the hearse


buTT/ing a

S'pose you never heard of


!

man

on time

I'm a sexton,
at

Sir,

and

undertaker Jack

Crossbones,
call

your service-

'Daddy Crossbones' they

me

at Porter's."

"Ah

understand.

Your mare ran away with


could

the hearse."

"Kan away!
yes,

child

hold her.

Oh!

of course she ran away," added the old gentle-

B'l

THE FASTEST TONDUAL ON BBCORD.


n.a, looking /uH i

149

,, and
iiand
oil

the

y ,., ^;^^ ^ ^^ putting the forefinger of his right ^


rio-l.f

e.vi^

'"

"' '"'

proboscs.

P-^y-eoloured

"My
cunos,

arWour

.aid I, ..y have excited n,y a,angly, y and I should esteem it as a


if

clear

Sir,"

you would he a
I'd

little

cular and a httle more explicit." " I 'J""'' know as

less

ought

you was one of these here writing chaps you l.tpl<eitinthe<SpiritftheTinfes,.andthn t won d he all day with me. But
I don't care if

<,Tf If

new acquaintance vcrv ^

to tell "'"'

yu," said /"""ly mv


tantalizinjtlv

slowlv

,i\

J-Jeaeleanhreastoft.
"

Honour hrigh, you

Of course."
I live

"Well, then,

b" Ige-you can


"Si.
,

a piece up beyond Old Cam. see our steeple off on


a hill to the
little further.

when we get a
.'"^

Well, one day

Ldtrrr; be toted mto


had
to

''-<'<"^% typhus,

which

vaultthere.

-m
much

So I
fills.

the

town-cause why ? he had a rubbed down the old Le. and

Ah!

S,r! Chat critter

knows':

and more than a Nigger. She's a^ ber as a judge when she gets the shop-that'.

as an Injun,

150
what
I call

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
the

hearse-behind her. You vvouhl not think she was a thrce-minute nag, to look at her. Well, Sir, as luck would have it, by a sort of providay before, I'd took off the old wooden springs and set the body on elliptics.
dcntial insi)iration, the

For

thought

it

a hard case that a gentleman who'd


all

been riding easy

his

life,
!

should go to his grave


deal well

on wooden springs.
tomera.
I

Ah

by

my

eus-

thought of patent boxes


it,

to the wheels,

but /couldVt afford


stingy.

and the parish

arc desperate

" Well,

got

him

in,

and led

off the
at

string
the
tail

fourteen hacks, and a dearbourn


of the funeral.

wagon
show.

We
just
slides

made a
as

fine

As luck
of
Bill

would

have
out

it,

we

came

abreast

Porter's,

that

eternal

torment.

Sikes, in his

new

trotting

sulky, with the


is

brown
mighty

horse that he bought for a fast crab, and

good

for

rush, but hain^t got nigh

so

much

bottom as the mare.


sulky's a
alongside,
at the

BilFs light weight, and his

mere

feather.

Well, Sir, Bill came up

and walked

mare and then


at

Then he looked
his cheek,

He looked me, and then he winked. his nag and put his tongue in
at

his horse a bit.

and winked.

looked straight ahead.

.1

THE FASTEST FUNEHAL ON RECORD.


and only
said to myself,
let
'

151

Cuss you,

Bill

Sikes/

and

By
came

bye, he

his horse slide.

He

travelled about
1

abreast,
It

a hundred yards, and then held up till and then he winked and bantered

me a-ain
buzzum'

was aggravatin',

that's a fact.

Says I to myself
it,

says I: 'That's twice

youVe done

my

fnend and sweet-scented shrub-but you doesn't do


that 'ere again.'
let

The
It

third time he bantered

me

was only saying, 'Seat you brute,' and she was off-that mare. He had all
it.

him have

the

odds, you know, for I was toting a two hundred pounder, and he ought to have beat
sticks,

now

hadn't he

me like breaking, He had me at the firs'J

brush, .or I told you the brown horse was a mighty fas^ one for a little ways. But soon I lapped him. I had no whip, and he could use
his

had

string-but he

his

hands

full.

"Side by
crack! abuz
!

side,

customer on the road; but


losing the rac^.

away we went-rattle-te-bang thump --and I afraid of losing my


I

was more afraid of


the old

The reputation of

was

mare
fair
rails

at stake,

chance.

We

and I swore she should have a went so fast that the


posts

and

by the road

side looked like a log fence.


colleges,

The old
spun past

church and the new one, and the like Merry- Andrews.

152

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
to pay, and,

" Tlu! hackiuen did not know wimt was


afraid of not being in at

the death, tlicy put the

string on to their teams,

and came

clattering

ou

behind as

if

Satan had kicked 'em on eend.

Some

of the mourners was sporting characters, and they craned out of the carriage windows and

waved

their

handkerchiefs.

The President

of Harvard College

himself, inspired by the scene, took off his square


tile

as I passed his house,


:

and waving

it

three times

round his head, cried " * Go it. Boots !'


"
It
is

fact.

And

I beat

him, Sir

I
it

beat

him, in three miles, a hundred rods.


Sir, in despair."

He

gin

up.

off his feed for a week, and when he took to corn again he wasn't worth a straw. It was acknowledged on all hands to be the fastest

" His horse was

funeral

on record, though
undertaker,
sir,

say
I

it

as

shouldn't.

Tm

an

and

never

yet

was

over-

taken."

On

subsequent inquiry at Porter's, where the


left

sporting sexton

me, I found that his story was

strictly true in all the

main

particulars.
race,

terrible

but Crossbones swore lustily that the mare had run away that he had sawed away two inches of her lip in

rumpus was kicked up about the

THE TASTEST FUNEIIAL ON RECORD.


trying

1 j?

to hold her up, and tliat he could not have done otlicrwise, unless he had run her into a fence and spilled his " eustouicr " into the ditch. Jf any one

expects to die anywhere near the sexton's digtjhujs,


I can assure them that the jolly old boy is still alive and kicking, the very "Ace of Hearts " and "Jack

of

Spades,"
ellijjtic

and

that

now

both
his

patent

boxes
con-

and

sprnigs render

professional

veyance the easiest running thing on the road.

AMERICAN HUMOUB.

XVI.
OLD TUTTLE's last QUARTER RACE.
a matter of course a quarter race never goes without old Tuttle being thar-and he never attends without doing some business! So on Thur- -y he makes his appearance on the
off

As

track,

on

a bay gelding, (with white hind feet,) which he calls

"Indian Dick," and allows he's


there'll

as

good a scrub as

be on the ground

As

old T. is known,

and Dick has been heard

of,

the boys are rather

shy-but one

of

them thinks
!"

he's got a scrub that's


like to

" some pumpkins


out too

and would
far

know, with;

much

cost,

how

Dick can beat him

he.

OLD TUTTLE^S LAST QUARTER


therefore, proposes to
for

RAC^,.

155

"sucks

all

run them three hundred yards round Old T. understands the

game, and says

"No,
but

im
!"

I don't want yer to treat this crowd, run with yer just to show yer hoss can't

run

This w:
could
ride
tell

what H. wanted,

as

he thought he

him

the speed of a horse, even tho' old T. did so back they go to the ; score, and are
(as

be expected) H. a-head, and old T. in the rear, whipping and spurring like mad,

off-witu

might

and
at

just fast enough to put U. about the top of his speed-but he can't quite
it.

letting his horse

go

come

" H.'s horse

is

too smart and can beat

him every

inch of the road."

So says H., and most of the crowd are of the same opinion.

Old T. says he
as

believes he can beat


loose,

H. Saturday,

"Dick's shoes are

and heavy, and he can't

run in 'em."

There was nothing more said about

it,

till

old

appearance next morning, when the boys were after him with " Sharp Sticks "

Tut made

his

and

Hot

Bricks."

One wanted

to bet

him a horse on H.'s

15G
colt,

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
versus his Indian

Dick-anothcr a

V., another

an X., and so on.

"Hold
the old

ycr hosses b'hoys


at
!

Don^t be

all

after
he'll

man

wunst.

Wait a while and

comn.crdate yer

He's an old man, and

b'lievcs
all

he
yer

knows mor'n

all

on yer

but he don't want

money

at

wunst.

He

wants to be onatel with ycr,

so he can

cum

agin."

This course didn't set them back any, as they

thought the old

man was

scary, and they were after

him
I

the faster.
of the

cautioned them to look they didn/i want no cautionthey knew what they tvas about. They could
out, but

Som'

more wary

beat old Tuttle,

and

they were

going

to

"do

the State

some

service

" by skinning him.


left

They'd make the "old


!

cuss " poor afore tney

him

He
old

took

it

all

very coolly, advised some of them


fo. the next time.

'

to save their

money

He was an

i^

andb'lieved he knowed more 'n all on 'em. His father didn't teach him for nothin' sixty-five years ago But the boys said that was all gass
!

man

to

scare

them

off;

but 'twouldn't work!


out.

The

old cuss

had got to be skinned or back


was, they got

The

result

up a horse and

fifty

OLD TUTTLE^S LAST QUARTER RACE.


ler

157
o'clock,

dollars a side, to run

on Saturday,

at

two

horse, judge tops and bottoms the winning horse take the cakes and n > back out. Either party refusing to run forfeits the whole stakes.

each one to start and ride his

own

Things went on smooth that


old T. was playing some

day some

thinking

game with
tell.

the boys, but

what
night,

it
it

was,

no one could

However, before

was known there was a secret among the

They knew the speed of Dick, and knew they could slay him; but there mustn't anything
it, as when they got the old man on the track and right, they were going into him the

boys.

be said about

whole amount of his

fixins.

They'd caught the old


faster

man napping
going

once.

They'd got a plaguy sight


for,

horse than he

thought

and now they were

tc ; ^y off old scores.

o'clock came, and found old T. on the spot leading Dick round, and telling the boys they'd be surprised when they see Dick run his best-at the same time 'Moing what business offered," but somehow the boys appeared a little scary.

Two

Old

T.

was -on hand"

for every offer,

and no mistake;
he

and 'twas known he never bet

liberally, unless

"had

a sure thing."

So that the betting soon

158
began ,o
takers.
lag,

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
and the old man had the
call,

but no

Finally the old

man

said

wouldn't nnnd g.vin' you a chanee at two to one


clar iack-no one dare 6Ue. Ihere not appearing any more ehanee for invest. men., the old man

But

this set

them

and
head

ootMied a red
(as

stripped off his hat, eoat, vest, eotton bandanna

around his

an old

man

only can

tie it),

he cloths and saddle from Diek, and mounts iareaci, declaring himself ready.

then pulls off

He

the track I"

mounted, and the word was given to "clear


T.

Then Old

says;" Are
!"

yer ready?"

" Go along then

And
Bnt, oh

o
!

the score they go, H. a length ahead.

f see Dick run Before you could turn round twice, the ends of Old T.'s
!

Jeminy

were po.ntmg out the road for H., and at the outcome D,ck was one, H. nowhere.

Lndan

""
a

-M ''I'l!'." dunghdl" knows

" " "l-rter-horse-run by


how
this

was-no

apprecatc .t-the thing was out.

one else can


really

Old T.

,|

OLD TOTTIE'S LAST QUAOTEtt

ACE.

159

knew more than


what was the
secret be so stuck ?

all

seeret,

sure enough; but and how eould those in the

of thea,,

That's the idea.

The

secret was,

"the boys"

stole

Old

edour and marks, and about the same h.m m D.ek's stall,

.Id man supposing that they horse that night, and run him, had put D,ck s cloths on another horse of the

horse on Thursday night, and run horse, and beat easy. And the stuck w,, this: The

Tuttle's

Mm

him with

H 's

way they were

would

steal his

same

size,

and put

starting a shoe, so that if they

''" ":^^ "''' '"' they had taken the bait good.
shoe was gone.

-d

he should know

In the morning the

160

AMERICAN

HUiMOUIl.

xvn.
SPEECH ON THE OREGON QUESTION.* " Whoia
and

expressive

here I am, and intend, in a very few terms, to speak my sentiments.


all

Mr. Speaker, I have come


to see, in behalf of

the

way from Oregon,

my

afflicted

neighbour.,

who

live

a considerable distance apart, and I want to know,

what

in

thunder you^re about here,

in this comfort'

able location, while your fellow-countrymen,

who

are

not

allowed

to emigrate

north of the

Columbia
is

River, on account of a raging he-calf

who

bla-ting

By

G.

II. Hill,

Hr^>ff^fi

SPEECH 0\ Tirp THE n.., OIU.0ON QUESTION-.


on the
otlier side

Jd

hnf
'

fi.

thi. h y ! tms be borne?

'^''

""'^

No'

T-m

H^^^hcl ^

can ^an

^u

S'-t

ll,crc with the full bchVf n, l"-"'-.,on was t he cxtondcd to them

"ni^iatul

..public,

hc,Mhc,ke
,.,

B-'y.n,?
e"-'
^-hjcct
;;.'

"s

fro,,,

the .,oe,. and

ZVr kit"""" 11,'


of

""'

and

g..ve

ns aid, and to plant

tl.e

^'"""^^-^

stand-u-d '
a
'

--""tably on the

tli"<^'

54-40
'

a Jeetle north.

^''^

Powder and
-"')

gun-flints

piovcd
nnf
,

iind

thou"-Ii

cof

must we give u .-1 . by many of our great men men *


!

Book jjook to , belong

to

us?

p;;--e..

'" ^^''^'^'^ Sl'ellin-

ivil]

hiood

-::

-h^

^^^^^^^^

guide a by Crockett's motto.-

'

Firsf

..

''I've

trousers and a pair of saddle-ba^^s


all

my
-0 ftO

Mlled four horses,w.rn out three pair of beside. r '^" ^^^ n.oney to eome
here

b-ielOdck,
III.

11 way the nf which

andf'""'* t ^"^^
^,

before

VOL.

^''^^*^

^'

both

1G2
I'
I

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
shall

countries

hear from me, to their entire


I've left
six

satis-

faction, sooner or later.

my

grandmother,

father, wife, three children,

cows, two hosses,

eighteen

sheep,

a gross

of turkeys, geese, hens,

chickens, a black dog, and a grey cat,

who

fondly

look for

my

return,

and

wish to know, without

the shadow of a doubt, whether


tected, or not,

we

are to

be pro-

by

this

government, or are we tew be

trampled under the iron hoofs of Europe's roaring


Bull.

and true at heart for our country, but we are as yet too few in number to
offer just

We

are strong

resistance.

Give us a ehance for a few


will then look out for our-

years, however,
selves.
''

and we

Yet the time


be

is

not far

off,

when

the locomotive

will

steaming
a

its

way

to the
train

Rocky Moun-

tains,

with
it.

mighty big

of cars rumiing

Yes, the whistle of the engine will echo through the Sou ih- west Pass, and sharply
hint to

after

the free people of that great territory the approach of hundreds and thousands tew, who are to be their neighbours. No, Sir, the time is not far distant,

when our commerce with China


all

will equal that of

the

world;

when

the

Pacific

Ocean

will

be

SPEECH ON THE OREGON QUESTION.

163

"l-cs,

Mr. Speaker, as

my

he
ft

eloquent fricn.l from


'

Ioos,er State remarks:

Men

General Washington, and that old hoss. General Jaekson, I want your
attention.

ends o

of Wood, and

upon us; and Jupiter has poured out the '0 of h.s wrath. Thunder has broke loose and 'W0d .ts eahle, and is now rattling

'as burst

UyhtnM

-Shty
fellers;

.lown

the

and on the bloody ground on whieh our fathers catawampously poured out their elaret
free as ile
to
wa'tei ";: ateh w.th

Valley of the Mississippi, aee:,pai:d he mus.e of the alligator's hornpipe. Citizens

"" '^'""" -^ r" hyena eyes, the


let

--^

"" "
engines of

""""

"'"

eatamount of the
the

'O"-

l-epare

vengeanee

for the long looked-for

The crocodde
hole,

day has come.

and the sun that

of the Mississippi has gone into his


lit

King David and

aeross the Atlantie


seene,

his host

Oeean, looks
to its

and drops a tear

down upon the

memory.'

"I am
float nt

Sam, and the

with you, and while the stars of Uncle


stripes of

Ms country, tnumph and the breeze, whar, whar is the craven, low.

164
lived,

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
el,ick...b,.ed,

toad-hoppin',

red.mtl,ed

^'"

-,

and

"' '""'"1'''' "n"=o the citadel of the .-., pres, ,.a ,


,,,

,^j

Wha-ah!

Hurrah I,vhc.-e'a the

^'

iu4."

!!'

:'

""L

DEAN.

ior<

XVIII.
""' "=*- "IE TEIAN lUNGEK.*

Rak. wags Vo u eon, yet


so-lucky
valher best
s

the funniest fellow of

be found

among

the Texa,

all is

a happy,

ehap

named

Corpus Chnst, a
3 OOP

of Che. spy company, and said to be one of the seven.p" players all Texas. While at

Bill

Dean, one

lot

Kinney House, when along came B.l, Dean.

of the

of us were sitting out on the


early

o^

morn.ng

a' -ngle soul .n the crowd, although he knew we were all bound for the Rio Grande ..yet the

He

did not Icnow

fact thl:

* By G. W, Kendall.

1G6
'<^

AMERICAN ni'MOUH.
ogul,,,.

f,.,,i,i,,

Wn
"

gone

f it,,,e,i ,,j j
jj,,

tlu-ougl.
l,i,

,,,

stopping short in

^^^^^^

^.^

,vlk ,1 accosting

i,

lose ,ch
'";'

,,
l'P

.clling, yet I will

endeavour
sl,pc

" "l'

in

"^

good

possible.

as

"
eye.

oil,

ye.," said he, with a

knowing

-oK

leer of the

yes;

all

on the R,o Grande, are you?


hve,

going down among the ol.Wrs


Fine
ti,es ,<,7/

over the hft.

IVe been there


see nateral

done what a great many of you won't back; but if I didn't


at

myself,

and

do-I come
.Vngnst

h-|,_i

Lived eight days on one poor hawk and three blaekberries-couldn't kill P.n,. rat on the whole route to save us fron, starvation. The ninth day come, and wo
struck a
streak of good

that-I

a,n a teapot.

broke down, plumb

rne-ot
snake with,
to save

horse give out and ont n, the eentre of an

luek-a

open

a stiek big
let

enough

to tickle a rattle-

alone killing him.

Just had time

il!i:

butcher h., nor to cut of some ehunks of meat and stiek

the critter by shootin' him, and that was li. for ,n three minutes longer he'd have died a nateral death. It didn't take s long to

L.'^^^^cs'

'M;'t

HILL DEAN.

267

'cm on our ramrods


matter.
I

was

liigh

but the cookin' was anotl.er pild up a heap of prairie grass, Ibr it and dry, and sot it on fire;

but

it

flashed up

like

powder,

and went out

But"
"
Jiut,"

as quick ^

put

ill

one of his hearers, " but how did


after tliat ?"

you cook your horse-meat " How

" Yes, how

V
fire

" Why, the

caught the high grass close by,

and the wind


prairie.

carried the flame, streakin' across the

I followed ui) the fire, holding my chunk of meat directly over the blaze, and the way we

went

it

was a caution to anything short of

loco-

motive doings.

Once

in a while a little flurry of


fire

wind would come along, and the


few yards
lier

would get a

he start; but

Fd

brush upon her, lap

with

my

chunk, and then

weM

have

it

again,

nip aiul chuck.


it

You

never seed such a tight

race-

was beautiful." " Very, we've no doubt," ejaculated one of the

listeners, interrupting the

mad wag just


:

in season to

give

him

little

breath

- but did you cook your


chased that

meat

in the end ?" " Not bad I didn't.

d~d

fire

--* 'iki'"

168

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

heat, espeeially the meat."

"""'' "^ horse-meat eame out even_a .! "''"''


it

''But wasn't
the listeners

conVprl

v>^

P"'

>

another one of

to

split

yourself to h

"'" ^'"^^^^

-'^eL,:':rrt::::-;-^--e-to
y^Jfastho
11"'

hi

""'"*"''''"'"'''"-'''
'''''"

I'm a oin
aua

T If

*'''''''

^'"'^-

-ong

some breakfastI^J] see vm, the robbers on the Ei Granl, "

oil

"^

i
'

-niV*'

)1

I
i
i

THE

Pi RE-HUNT.

169

i^

,'

XIX.

THE FIRE-HUNT.
S^UVEL SlKKs was one
lmote
I ever knew.

of the most inveterate

He

pursuit or pastime, and


oul .vate a small

delighted in no tl>er

though he pretended to
,

spot of g..d,

porfon of

hi,

that his agrieultural interests suffered much for the want of proper attention. He lived a few m.les from town, and as you passed his house, wh,eh stood a short distance from the main road, a few acres of corn and a small patch of potatoes

game

time was spent in the pur^u^ of

greatly , need of the hoc; but the most prominent

""t ""

""^ ""'"'

y"'-

"'-

standing

170
objects
favourite

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
about

Sam's domicile

pcj-tained

to

his

antlers-a trophy of one of his proudest achievcments-occupicd a conspicuous place on the gable end; some ten or a dozen tall fishing-poles, though modestly stowed behind the chimney, projected far above the
roof of the
walls,
little

pursuit.

huge

pair

of

cabin,

and upon

its

unchinkcd

a ^coon and deer-skin were undergoing the process of drying. If all these

many

did not convince

you that the proprietor was a sportsman, the varied and clamorous music of
a score of hungry-lookinoforth
fail

hounds,

as

they

issued

in

full

cry

a't

every passer-by, could not


tion.

to force the

convic

Sam had
bim
his

early found a
ill

companion

to share with

good or

luck,

the green side of thirty,


for

and though he was yet on he was obliged to


provide

some

five or six little tallow-faced

"

responsibili-

ties;-

so

he

not

only followed

the

chase

from

wife-who hated " fishe-man's luck" worse than Sam did a miss" or a -nibble" -took him to account for spending so many broken
his

choice, but

when

days, Saturday afternoons, rainy days and odd hours, to say nothing of whole nights, in tlie woods

Without bringing

home

so

much

as a cut-squirrel or

-'%',

THE FIRE-HUNT.
horney.hcad,
his

171

was, that he v/as "^bleeged" to do the best he could to get meat for her and the " childer."

ready reply

The Fire-Hunt was Sam^s hobby, and though


legislature

the

had recently passed an

act prohibiting

that

mode
as

of hunting, he continued to indulge, as


ever,

freely

in

his

favourite

sport,

resolutely

maintaining that

the law was

" unconstitootional
often

and agin reason."

He had
to see
;

urged

me

to

accompany him, just


shine a buck^s eyes

how "

slick" he could

and such were the glowing

accounts he had from time to time given achievements in that way, that he

me

of his

me
I

a promise

to

go

had drawn from with him some of these

times."

was

sitting

one evening, after


enjoying
the

tea,

upon the
autumnal

steps

of the

porch,

cool

breeze,

when

my

friend

Sam

Sikes suddenly
fwr

made

his appearance.

He had come

me

.0

go with

him on
Eiazc,

a fire-hunt,

and was mounted on Vh mule and


his

with his pan upon one shoulder,


other.

musket on the

Ectennined

to

have every-

thing in readiness before calling on me, he gone to the kitchen and nt a <
.

had

ught-wood

splinters,

which were now biazmg

ia his pan,

and

172

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

h.ch served .he double pu,.p,e of lighing hi rough the eel,re, and of de^oustratiug
to

heao,.ofhunt.u,hyight.
th

me

house,

h. Ugu

discovered

Sitting.

AsheappLhed me hej I as
**"

"Good even< Major,"


*'

f^ t-ee

-p

said he "'^^

.f

,oVe a

"Pvo .. 1 ve come
little

out
to-

,,ud to take a

huut

entuely oo well sat.sfied with ,y pfcasaut seat in the eoo breeze, to desire to change it for a night. amble trough the woods. Not

you it
I 1

to-night, I thanl

looks like rain."'

''""*

J,?; 'T' m all fixed-come,


As he

^""

' '"'

-how-and

come

along, Alajor."

spoke, he rode close to the porch, and his

V
!

ill

" """ '"' "" y"" SSendeavounng to shake


nie to keep

M'-- Sikes ? I inonired


fit

off the lazy

my

which inclined

seat.

:,|,

^J

" Only jest up the branch a little bit-not beyant a m,le from your fence, at the
outside.

""
'

he excla,med i a louder tone, as he gave

Look

at

THE FIRE-HUNT.
the reins a jerk.
forks,

173

and

we'll

" Thar's deer a plenty up at the have r'al sport. Come, you better

look at him V> giving the reins another jerk, at the same time that he sent a kick to his mule's ribs that might have been heard an

go,

and-Why,

hundred yards, "and


the eyes of a buck.''

I'll

show you how

to shine

As he

sat in his saddle persua

,c

to go, his

mule kept
as to

frisking

and turning r

.uch a manner
his left shoulder

annoy him exceedingly.

Upon

he bore his blazing-pan, and upon his right he held his musket, holding the reins also
in

his

right

hand

so that

any

efforts

on

his part to restrain

the refractory

movements of

his
I

animal was at-

tended

with

much
to go,

difficulty.

had about made

up

my mind
"

when

the mule evinced a

more

'I

resolute determination to get at the shrubbery.

wha, now .'confound you Now, look him !" then might be heard a few good lusty kicks. "Come, Major, git your gun, and let's will you hold up yer head, you 'bominable fool ?
!

Whoa

at

and

let's

take a

little

round it'll

do you good."
curiosity,
I'll

"As

only go to satisfy

my

not

take a gun.

You

will be able to shoot all the deer

we meet."

174

AMERICAN HUMOUR,

"Well, any way you mind, Major."

We ,vei-e about to start, when suddenly the mule gave a loud bray, and when I turned to look, his heels were high in the air, and
Sam dinging
neek,

whdo

to his

the

fire

I*

.*
1,

length the infur.ated animal bae ed to the low paling fence whieh enelosed a snmll flower-garden, over whieh
pan,

The mule wl^eled, reared and kieked, and still San, lng ,0 h,s neek, shouting, "Look at lum !_whoa -wdl you mind !_whoa !_whoa, now !"_bm all to no purpose, until t
r

flow in every direet.on.

gun and

he tumbled-San, ' he discovered

all,

together

When Sam had

d.sengaged

hin.solf,
fire,

hat the saddle-blanket was on the cause of the


disaster.

which had been

"Cus

the luck," said he,

"I

thought

somethnig burniu'."

I s,elt

Then addressing himself


tone, Jie continued

to the

mule

i a louder

"TImfs what comes


about that-a-way.

o" jerkin'

yer dratted head


all

Dd

drot you, you've split

Then

the Irying.pan

there ,vas a kick or two, and a blow with


:

THE FIRE-HUNT.
" Take that, you howdacious
fool,

175 and hold ycr


you've skinned

head
''^y

still

next time, will you


to
flinders,
!

And

leg

all

dadfetch your everlastin^

picter to dingnation

Take that under your short

nbs, now, will you

Whoa
this

I've a great
!

mind

to

blow yer brains out

very night

And

you^-e

broke the Major's palins down, you unnatural cus. Whoa! step over now, if you's satisfied."

Sam had got the mule out of the and had gathered up most of his "fixins." The whole scene, after the
this time

By

inclosure,

upsetting of the pan,

had transpired

in the dark, but


flying,

from the moment I


to his
I

saw the mule's heels


neck,
it

and Sam clinging

was

with the utmost difficulty

re-

strained
closure,

my
I

laughter.

During

his solo in the instuff

was absolutely compelled to

my

handkerchief in

my

mouth, to prevent his hearing

me.

"Did you
was engaged

ever see the likes o' that. Major ?" ex-

claimed Sam, as I approached the spot where he


in readjusting his saddle and putting other matters to rights that had been deranged by the struggles of the mule to free himself from the

burning blanket.

176
<(

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
I

am

very sony

it

happened,"

I replied,

"as

it

will

prevent us from taking our hunt."


Fll be dadfeteht if
it

"No,

does,

tho' I

ain't to

be backed out that-a-way. Major, not by no means.

You know,
as
.:

'

bad beginnin' makes


said.

good

endin','

the

old

woman
o'

He

isn't

done sich a

monstrous sight
handle of

harm, nohowonly bent the


little,

my

pan

and raked some skin

off

one

o'
if

my shins but
you'll jest

that's neither here nor thar.


till

So

hold Blaze

go and

git

torch, we'll have a shoot at

a pair o' eyes yit, to-

night."
I took

the bridle, while

Sam

procured a torch,

he had gathered up the faggots which he had brought to burn in his pan, we set off for the
after

and

branch- Sam upon

his mule, with a torch in one


side.

hand, while I walked by his


It

was only necessary for us to go a short

dis-

tance, before

we were
Sam,

at the designated spot.

" Thar,"

said

as

he dismounted, " here's as


I'll

good

a place as

any

so

jest hitch

Blaze here,

and

light our pan."

Accordingly, Blaze was


pling,

made

fast to

a stout sapin his

and Sam proceeded

to kindle a fire

m\

THE FIRfi.HUNT.
it

177

voice, the

Modus operandi of

to
IS,
)
>

he accompanied with sundry precautionary


au'ccfons for

the Pire-Huut, which


hi
ta

y own

and

especial observance

present occasion.

on

>

a
be
)ff
r.

"Now. Major,"
to me,

saidhe,

and y

"you must keep dose


no racket
in
t

nrustn't n,ake

buses.

You

see,

the

way we docs

to shine

te

a
3-

stordrr"'-"^'*'""-"eH
hand.
Well, when I wants to look for eves rns round slow, and looks right at the e ge'of
*"'

myjaddcwhat'smadebythelightbehjl

"

P^"'

d
11

if

Jje,

his eyes.

tWs a deer sMneWly like

in

.un sho,

twot:;::;

now moved on through


described, but saw

This c, pUnation was as clear as Sa, could n,ake t, short of a demonstration, for which purpose we
the woods.

>ng a few hundred yards,

After p'^ceed

Sam

took a survev as

no eyes

'

-irsl"'"''''^^^"'''-'"^'

"-'..
Sam made
better
his

We
VOL.

moved on
as

cautiously,

and

.observations
III.

before,

hut

with no

'Z

>i

178
cess.

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
Thus we
travelled

on

in

silence,

from

place to place, until I began to get weary of the


sport.

"Well, Mr. Sikes,"

remarked,
is

''

I don't see that

your bad beginning to-night


better ending."

likely to insure

any

" Oh, don't git out of patience. Major


see.
))

you'll

We
and

moved on

again.

had become quite weary,

fell

some distance behind.


said, in a

Sam

stopped, and
:

when

came up, he

low voice

"You
I

better keep pretty close up, I\Iajor, 'case if

should happen to shine your eyes, you see, I


deer,

moughtn't know 'em from a

and old Betsey


and slings 'em

here toats fifteen buckshot and a


to kill."
I fell

ball,

behind no more.
for several

We

had wandered about

hours, and

the sky, which had

not been the clearest in the

commencement, now
pearance of rain.
I

began

to

assume the aponce suggested

had more

tlian

the propriety of going


to

home
shine

but
the

Sam was

eager

show

me how

to

eyes of a

buck,

and no argument or persuasion couul win him


from his purpose.

We

searched on as before for

II''

THE FIRE-HUNT,
another half hour, and I waa about to express
determination
to

179

my

go home, when Sam suddenly

paused

"Stop, stop," said he; "thar'seyes, and whappcrs they


is,

too.

Now
tiptoe

hold

still,

Major/'

I
'11

raised

on

with eager anticipation-!

heard the click of the lock-there was a portentous silence-then the old musket

moment

of

blazed forth

with a thundering report, and in the same instant was heard a loud squeal, and a noise like the snap-

ping of bridle

reins.

" Thunder and lightnin'


dropped gun, pan and

exclaimed Sam, as he
fixed to the

all,

and stood

spot"
So

I've shot old Blaze !"

soon as he had recovered from the shock, we hastened to the spot, and, sure enough, there lay the luckless nmle, still floundering in the agonies of death. The aim had been but too good, and poor
Blaze was
over

hurt "past

all

surgery."

Sam

stood

him

in silent agony, and, notwithstanding the

bitter maledictions

he had so recently beai)ed upon

him,

now

that he
in

upon the ground


fernal picter"

saw the poor animal stretched death, and knew that his "in-

greet him no more for ever, a flood of tender recollections of past services poured

would

N 2

^Ti

//

7
K*^

:/.

fA

IMAGE EVALUATION
TEST TARGET (MT-3)

1.0

US
Us

lilM

IM

1^

I.I

IM
i.8

1.25

14

11 1.6

V]
<^
'^1

/}

"^^
-r-f

'<r

//
n^///..
"-/>

'^'

!- Pn iJMJlUglldpmU
4.

Sciences Corporation

23 WEST MAIN STREET WEBSTER, NY. )4S80 (716) 872-4503

f/i

*fl*f

180

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

over his repentant heart.

He
life

uttered not a

word

until after the last signs of

were extinct thee,

with a heavy sigh, he muttered

"Pore

old

cretur

!well,

well,

reckon

Fs

done the business now, sure enough.


I calls
2l

That's what

pretty night's work, anyhow !"

bad beginning doesn't always make a good ending,' Mr. Sikes," I remarked.
*

"

" Cus the

luck,

it

will

run

so

sometimes," said

he in a sullen tone, as he commenced taking the


saddle
see
oflF

his deceased donkey.

"I'm blamed

if

how

I got so

turned round."
it

By
his

this

time

had commenced to
;

rain,

and we

were anxious to get home

but

Sam had dropped


upon

gun and pan,

as

the awful truth rushed

him, that he had killed the only mule he possessed in the world, and we now found it difficult
to

recover them.

After searching rbout for near half


drizzling
rain,

an hour in the

Sam

chanced to

come upon the spot from which he had taken the hapless aim, and having regained his gun and pan, we endeavoured to strike a fire; all our
efforts,

however, to produce a

light,

proved ineffec-

tual,

and we essayed

to grope our

way amid the

darkness.

<A

THE FIRE-HUNT.
"
Hello, Major,

181

whar

is

you ?"

" Here V' "

"

Whar you Home V'

gwine ?"

" Well, that

ain't the this

way." way."

" Why, we came

"No,

I reckon not."

"Fm

sure
in

we

didn't

come

that way.'
.

"Whar,

the

devil's

name,

is

the branoh ?"


,.ee

If I could only branch, I could soon find the way."

petulantly inquired Sara.

the

" It must be down

this

way," I replied.
tetotiatiously deluded,

" Somehow
to-night,"

or other

I'm

as he came tearing through the briers with his stirrup-irons dangling about him, his gun in one hand and frying! pan in the other. "If I hadn't a been com-

remarked

Sam,

pletely dumfoozled,

I'd never a killed Blaze like I

did."
I volunteered
o carry his gun,

but he was in
still

no humour

for the interchange of civilities "

harping" on his mule, he trudged on, grumbling to


himself

"What," he muttered,

"will Polly say

now

rU

never hear the

last

of that critter the longest

182
day I
tree
live.

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
That's worse than choppin' the coonthe sittin' hen's nest, and I liked never

across

to hearn the

eend

o'

that."
.he

After groping through

brush and

briers,

which seemed
ceeded, for

to

grow

thicker the farther

we

pro-

some

time,

Sam

stopped.

w^y." "Well, then, lead the way, and Fll follow you,"
I
replied,

"I

swar, Major, this ain't the

beginning,

myself,

to

think

was

wrong.
direction, we plodded on, occatumbling over logs and brush, until Sam concluded that all our efforts to

Changing our

sionally

find the

way were

useless.

as he tore away from a thick jungle of briers in which he had been rearing and pitching for more than a minute, it ain't no manner of use for us to try

"Oh,

thunderation !" said he,

Major-so
it till

let's

to find the way, look out a big tree, and stop under

morning."

Seeing no alternative, I reluctantly acceded to


his proposal.

Accordingly, we nestled
of a large oak.

down under

the shelter
all

For a time neither spoke, and

was
wm

still,

save

the incessant buz of the countless

THE FIRE-HUNT.
hosts of mosquitoes that

183

devouring us.

now seemed intent upon At length I broke silence, by re-

marking at
upon the
biting

the

ear,
:

same time that I gave myself a box intended for the mosquitoe that was

me

"I

think this will be

my

last

fire-hunt,

Mr.

Sikes."

" The

fact is," replied

Sam, "this

'ere ain't very

incouragin' to

new

beginners. Major, that's a


it

fact-

but you musn't give

up

so.

I hope we'll have a

better showin' next time."


is satisfied," I remarked. wouldn't pass such another night in the woods for
all

"

My

curiosity

the deer in Georgia."

"'Shaw,

I wouldn't care a tinker's

cus,"

said

Sam, " if
what
sets

I only jest hadn't a killed Blaze.

That's

me

back, monstrous."
I should

" That was indeed an unlucky mistake. think a few such exploits as that
of your fire-hunting propensity.

would cure you


I expect

But

you

never had such luck, before to-night."

"No, not 'zactly-tho'


bad luck in

I've

had some monstrous


I reckon you

my

time, too.

never

hearn about the time I got

" No

how was

among

the panters."

that ?"

mmmot

I*

84
" Why,
it

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
was 'bout

i:|

this time hist fall, I and Dudley went out and 'camped on Spcrit Creek. Well, he tuck his pan and went out one way, and
T

went another.
seed

went

shinin' along jest like

you

to-night, till I got a good bit from the camp, and bimcby, shore enough, 1 sees eyes not more'n forty yards off. I fotched old Betsey up to my face and cut loose, and the deer

me

drai)ped right

in his tracks,

but somehow in
I

my

hurryment

drapt

my

pan, jest like

did to-night
I

when

heard

old Blaze squeel.


a light,

While
I

was

tryin' to kindle

up

what should
in

see

but more eyes shinin'

the holler. I drapt the fire and loaded up old Betsey as quick as I could, to be ready for the varmint, whatever it was. Well, the eyes kep comin' closer and closer, and gettin' bigger

way down

and brighter, and the


a

fust thing I

know'd ther was

whole grist of 'em

all follerin'

right after the fust


in the

ones,
t'^^v

and dodgin' up and down was


so

dark like

many

dancin' devils.

Well, I begun to

itol sort o'

jubous of 'em, so
the
nearest
eyes,

I raised old

Betsey aud

pulled

at

but she

snapped

primed her agin, and she flashed and when I


flashed, sich another squallin'

and

yellin'
all

you never

did hear, and up the trees they went

round me.

THE FIRE-HUNT.
Thinks
as
I

185
bein'

them must be somethin' unnatural,


wouldn't shoot at

my gun
split.

'em so
camp

I jest

drapt

old Betsey,

and put out

for the

as

hard as I

could

Well, we went back the next mornin',


critters
all

and what do you think them infernal done ? eat the deer up slick and clean,
bones and horns, and a
little

had

but the

ways

off lay old Betsey,

with four fingers of buck-shot and bullets, but not a


bit of

powder

in

her.

Then

know'd they was

pantcrs."

" Why, they might have eaten you too."


" That's a fact. didn't take hold of

Dudley
me."

said he

wondered they

The
wet us
storm,

drizzling shower
to

which had already nearly

now turned to a drenching which continued for more than an hour


the skin,

without intermission.
discovered the
after,
*

When

the storm abated,

we

dawn

approaching,

and,

shortly

were enabled to ascertain our whereabouts.

five hundred yards from the clearing, and probably had not been, during the night, at a greater distance than a mile from the house which we had left in the evening.

We

were not more than

As we stepped from the wood


I contemplated, for a

into the open road,

moment, the ludicrous ap-

186
pearance
of

AMERICAN UVMOVR.

my

unfortunate

companion.

Toor

Sam

!-claylighi, and the prospect of home, brought


to

no joy
saddle

him and

as he stood before me, with the

and bridle of the deceased Blaze girded about his neck, his musket in one hand, and pan in the other, drenched with rain, his clothes torn, and a countenance that told of the
painful
conflict

withm,

I could

not but regard


ridicule.

him

as an object of

sympathy rather than


.,
I

"Well,"

said

he,

with
in the

heavy

sigh,

and

without looking

me

face,

"good morning

Major."

" Good morning," I replied, touched with sympathy for his misfortune, and reproaching myself for the mirth I had enjoyed at his expense-"

Good
your
in

morning, Mr. Sikes.


loss,

am

very

sorry for
better

and

hope

you

will

have

luck

future." " Oh, Major," said he,


it

ain't the vally of the

mule that

minds

so

much-though

old Blaze was

a monstrous

handy cretur on the

place.

wife-what'll she say when she sees home in this here fix ? Howsomedever,
lit

my

But

thar's

me comin'
what can't

be cured must be indured, as the


the

feller said

when

monkey

bit

him."

?.

THE PIRE-IIUNT.
"That's

187

the true philosophy," I remarked, seeing that he endeavoured to take courage from the train of reasoning into

which he had fallen;

"and Mrs.
worse. }f
"^

Sikes should bear in

mind

that acciit's

dents will happen,

and be thankful that

no

To be

ain't the

dents,

sure she ought," replied Sam, ''but that way with her she don't believe in accinohow; and then she's so howdacious

un-

reasonable

when

she's

raised.

But,

she

better

not," he continued, with a stem look as he spoke " she better not come a cavortin' 'bout me with any of her rantankerous carryin's on this mornin', for I
ain't in

no humour nohow

!"

and he made a

threat-

cning gesture with his head, as

much

as to say he'd

make

the fur

fly if

she did.

We
for

parted at the gate,

my

Sam for his home, and I bed; he sorely convinced that a " bad beginshould be

ning" does not always " make a good ending," and


I fully resolved that it

my

first

and

last

FIRE-HUNT.

188

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

XX.
A PAIR OP slippers; or, falling weather.
look upon the crowded thoroughor regard the large assembly, we are eom,,elled to admit that the infinite variety of form in the human raee eontributes largely to the picturesque. The eye travels over the diversity of shape and size without fatigue, and renews its strength by turnin.^
fare,

Whenever we

from one figure to another, when,


It IS

at each remove"!

sure to find a difference.

Satiated with gazing

it is^refreshed by a glance at lathiness: and, tired with stooping to the lowly, it can mount

at rotundity,

like a bird to the aspiring

pole.

head which tops a may^

A PAIR OF SLIPPERS.
But, while
tlic

189

is adi.iitted, it

potency of these pictorial beauties must be conceded that the variations


{,^ood

from the true standard, althougli


sight, are productive of
that,
utility

for the eye;

much

inconvenience
like a

and

to

consider

the subject

Benthamite,

and the general advantage would be promoted if the total amount of ilesh, blood, bone, and muscle were more equally distributed. As
affairs

are at

present arranged,

it

is

almost impossible to find a

"ready-made coat" that will answer one's purpose, and a man may stroll through
half the
shoi)s in

town without being able

to purchase a pair of boots

which he can wear with any degree of comfort. In hanging a lamp, every shop-keeper, who "lights
up," knows that
to swing
it,

it

is

a very troublesome matter so

that, while the

short can see the

comIf

modities, the tall will not demolish the glass.

an abbreviated "
his heart

turnippy'-'

man,

in the goodness of

and in articulo mortis, bequeaths his wardrobe to a long and gaunt friend, of what service
is

the posthumous present

It

is

available merely

as

new clothing

for the juveniles, or as

something

toward another kitchen carpet.


spirit
is

a martial obliged to content himself with civic emfire

'Many

ployment, although a mere bottle of

and wrath,

100

AMEltlCAN IIUMOUH.
is

bccnuse heroism
degree.

ciilist^-d

by inches,

niul not

by

If nnchM- " five foot six/' Cii-sar himself could find

no favour

in the

eyo of the

rc('ruiti>'n;.serf>:eant,
be;

and

Alexaiuh'r the Great wouhl

allowed to bestride no

Muc(!i)halus in a drajjoon regiment of


if

modern times.

Thus, both they


get too
little, in

who

got too much, and they

who
bill,

Dame

Nature's apportionment

as well as those who,

though abundantly enriowcd,


have divers reasons
that a
for

are not

'I

made
for

up,

grumbling, and

wishing

more

jjerfect

uniformity prevailed.

Some

of the troubles which arise from giving a

man more

than his share in altitude, find


:

illustra-

tion in the subjoined narrative

Linkum Langcalc
jif

is

a subject in extenso.

He

is,

to use the

words of the poet, suggested bv his


"

name,

A bout
drawn out
:"

Of linked

sweetness long

and, in speaking of him,

it is

not easy to be brief.

Linkum

is

entirely too long for his

own comfort
in

something short
this

if

the

word short may be used

connectionsomething short of the height of

the Titans of old,

who

pelted Saturn with brickbats;

A PAIR OF SLIPPKHs.

191

down

but Ih.w much, han never yet been ascertained, none of lus Kcquaintances being Huftieiu.tly aequainted with tr.gnon.etry to determine the faet. He is one of thoso men who, like the g.ntle Mareia, tower above their sex," un.l must always be eullcd
to their dinner, as
it

no information can be im-

parted to then, unless


vcrsn.g With

whom,

it

by

be hallooed up, and in eonis always necessary to begin

haihnj,' the

m^.ntop.
however, more material in

There

is n-

,,

Linkum
The

than enough for a


fault is in

man

of ordinary length.

his not being prop.rly

made

up.
as

He

is

abonunubly wie-drawnstretched out,

ShakIt
is

He

speare says, almost to the crack of doom. clear that there has been an attempt
to

much

nmke too of him, but the frame of the idea has not
filled out.

been well

He

is

the streak of a Colossus

and he resembles the willow wand at which Loeksley shot his gray goose shaft in the lists
of

Ashby de

la

Zouche.
crank

The consequence

is,

that

Linkum

is

vessel.

If he wore a feather in his cap, he


at every corner;

would be capsized
finds
,t

and as

it is,

he

very

difficult

to get along on a

windy day,
"

without a paving stone in each coat-pocket to preserve the balance of power. He is, however, of a

;li

192

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
and
will

convivial nature,

not refuse his glass, not-

withstanding the aptitude of alcohol to ascend into


the brain, and so to encumber
it

as to render a

perpendicular position troublesome to

men

shorter

than himself.

When

in this condition, his troubles

are numberless, and


it

among

other matters, he finds

very

diflScult

to get a

clear fall, there being in

compact

cities

very

little

room to spare

for

the

accommodation of long men tumbling down


world.

in the

One evening Linkum walked

forth to a convivial

meeting, and supped with a set of jolly companions.

Late at night a rain came on, which froze as

it fell,

and soon made the


ficiently

city

one universal

slide,

suf-

" glip^' for

all

purposes, without the aid of


sayings and doings at the
is

saw-dust.

Of Linkum^s
no record

social board,

preserved;

but

it

is

inferred that his


to qualify

amusements were not of a nature


journey

him

for the safe 'lerformance of a

so slippery as that

which

it

was necessary

to under-

take to reach home.

No

lamps were

lighted, they

who were abroad being under

the necessity of suptheir

posing the moonshine, and of seeing

way

as

they walked, or of gathering themselves up, they


fell,

when

by the lantern of imagination.

A PAIR OP SLIPPERS.

193

said Linkum, at the top of the steps, as the door closed after him. He palled his hat over his eyes determinedly,

"Good

night, fellers/'

buttoned his
iHs

eoat with resolution,

and sucked
v

at

cgar with that

iron energy pee

to

stormy night.

about to set forth on their way home on a cold

men

The
was

fire

of

the

cigar

from
seen;

refleetej
to

his

nose

the

only illumination
his

be

and

Linkum,
kept

putting
his

hands
on the

deep
first

into his pockets,

position

step of the six which

were between him and the

pavement.
"I've no doubt," said he, vou,es of s,oke, and
I ve not the slightest

as

he puffed forth

seemed

to cogitate
is

deeply-

M
like

doubt that this


it's

as beauli-

a night as ever was; only


it.

so dark
is

you

can't

see the pattern of

One night

pretty
it's

uch

another

night in the dark;

but
if

a great

advantage to a good-looking evening,


are ht, so

the lau.ps

you can twig the


fact
is,

stars

shme.

and the moon-

The

the hlaekest moons, and the hardest find, I ever did see. Sometimes
to send the bellman after

g.w

that in this 'ere city,

we do
to

moons

I'm most disposed


get a full-blooded

'em_or
I

Pmter
VOL.

to pint
iir.

'em out, while

hold a candle to see

194

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
pinta.
It

which w<ay he

wouldn't be a bad notion

on

sich occasions to

ask the
is.

man

in the steeple to
is

ring which

way

the

moon

Lamps

lamps, and

moons

is

moons,

in

a business pint of view, but

practically they ain't

much

if

the wicks ain't

a-fire.

When
it's

the luminaries are, as I


1

may

say, in the raw,

bad for me.

can't see the

ground as per-

forately as little fellers,

and every dark night I'm


hyst, or a

sure
>H

to

get

hyst

either a forrcrd

backerd hyst, or some sort of a hyst but more


backerds than forrerds, 'specially in winter.
of the most unfeeling tricks I

One

know

of, is

the way

Iri

some

folks have got of laughing

out,

yaw-haw!

when they

see a gentleman ketching a riggler hyst

a
Bi a;

long gentleman, for instance, with his legs in


air,

the

and his noddle

splat
is

down upon the

cold

bricks.

hyst of itself
at
:

bad enough, without

being sniggered
then,

first,

your sconce gets a crack

you see

all

sorts of stars,

and have

free ad-

mission to the fireworks; then, you scramble up,


feeling as if

you had no head on your shoulders,


wasn't you, but some confounded dis;

and

as if

it

agreeable feller in your clothes


all grin, as if

yet the jacksnipes

the misfortunes of
I

human nature was


it,

only a poppet-show.

wouldn't mind

if

you

A PAIR OF SLIPPERS.
eould get up and look a.
if

jgg
care.

you didn't

B,.t

lecis

flat.

W,.ai,
of a winter's

In

such

cases,

however

a,o,.
people

andasfor.,.*
keep
it

day,

all

fo..

thei

ono3e.adea'tbeea,edtoretai,itByt,::

anil r "" '"'"'*-'

upontrt'-""' pa" oft .

'"

"''

PJ"'^'-

"i-vtatiou

"'"'"''"

"-"on, i these
"'^''-'^-

^''''' '' '"'

'1

jptee
fall,

'=vey the idea of the ost tumble h,eh a eau


experienee.
It ,ay
is

for

mstanee,

indeterminate.

easy

aapdow-a
a

be an

^'

Vt

gentle v,sitat.on of ,theTeat


h'

-y

be done, as Linkun. observes,

a rap,d, f..eih,e perfo^anee, .1,

eUherbaekwad

n!Th',
%u.ve,
st.Il

':'""^'^''^ "'''-''

'-a-o
an
apt,

ofthenobleappelMonofhyst.
of e.press,on, and

It ,s

but

U,s
say,

often
'

fuuhor
;

'eai

for people

sometimes

P, and hyst

lower bin,

him down."

any ob,ect on wh.ch his

held on firmly to the railing, and peered keenly mto the darkness, without discover .
,

Our hero

vision could

rest.

Th:

02

196
gloom was

AMERICAN HUMOLR.
substantial.
It required
it.

sharper eyes

than his to bore a hole in

The wind was up,

and the storm continued to coat the steps and


pavements with a sheet of
"
It's
feel
ice.

raining
'em,

friz

potatoes/' observed
I can't see 'em,

Linkum

"I

though
;

bumping

the

end of
I can.^'

my

nose

so I

must hurry home

as fast as

Heedless and hapless youth

He made
step,

vain
in a

attempt to descend, but, slipping, he


sitting

came

posture upon the top


flew

and,
!

in that

attitude,

down

like lightning

bump

bump

bump

The

impetus

he

had

acquired

pre-

vented him from stopping on the sidewalk, notwithstanding his convulsive


efforts to clutch the icy

bricks, and he skuted into the gutter, whizzing over

the curbstone, and splashing into the water, like a

young Niagara.

deep silence ensued, broken solely by the patof the


rain

tering

and the howling of the wind.


receiver
;

Linkum was an exhausted


perfect, the breath

the hyst was

being completely knocked out of

him.
" Laws-a-massy
!"

at

length he panted, " ketchif

ing" breath at intervals, and twisting about as

A PAIR OF SLIPPERS.

197
a

pain

'<
;

my eyes
in

sich a hyst

Sich

quantity

of hysts

all

one

The

life's

of me, and

Pm jammed
by and

almost bu.nped out


I don't believe

up so

tight,

Vm

so tall

six inches as I
I'll

was

before.

up and

I'm druv
in

clinched,

have to get tucks

my

trousers."

Linkum
of his

sat

still,

ruminating on the curtailment

and made no effort to rise. The door soon opened again, and Mr. Broad Brevis came forth, at which a low,
uttered by
anticipating

fair proportions,

Linkum,

as

suppressed chuckle was he looked over his shoulder


all

quantity of hysts

in

one" for

the new-comer, whose figure, however-short and


icy

stout-was much
than Linkum's.

better calculated for the operation

But Brevis

seemed

to

suspect

that the sliding was good,


nificent.

and the skating

ma*

''No, you don't !" quoth he, as he tried the step foot, and recovered himself ; "1 haven't seen the Alleghany Portage and inclined planes for nothing. It takes me to diminish the

with one

friction,

and

ave the wear and tear."

and

So saying, he quietly tucked up his coat-tails sitting down upon the mat, which he
himself a gentle
slid slowly

grasped

with both hands, gave

impulse

crying "All aboard!" and

but majesti-

198
cally

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
down.

As he came

to the plain sailing across

the pavement,

he twanged forth

" Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-

ra-tra-a-a \" in excellent imitation of the post-horn,

"Clear the course for the express mail, or Pll report you to the
department !"
roared
Brevis,
to
all

and brought up against Linkum.

trumpeting

the
seen a

''alarum," so well

known

who have

tragedy"
''

Tra-tretra-ta-ra-tra-a-a !"

That's queer fun, anyhow,'' said a careful way-

farer,

turning the corner, with lantern in hand, and


foot,

sock on

who,

after a short parley,

was induced

to set the

gentlemen on their pins.

First planting

Brevis against the

pump, who sang, " Let me lean


style,

on thee," from the Sonnambula, in prime undertook to lift up Linkum.

he

"Well," observed the stranger, "this is a chap without no end to himhe'd be pretty long a
drowning anyhow.
If there
it

was many more


to

like

him

in

the gutters,

would be better
I

get

windlass,

and wind 'em up.

never seed a

man
to

with

so

much
starch

slack.

The
stiflF,

corporation ought

buy him,
in his hat,

him up

cut a hole for a clock


;

and use him for

a steeple

only

Downing

wouldn't Hke to trust himself on the top of such a


ricketty concern.

Neighbour,

shall

fetch

the

Humane

Society's apparatus ?"

A PAIR OP SLIPPERS.

199
severe,

No-I
over like a

ain't

drovvaded, only

bumped

liie curbstones

have touched
blue,

my

feelings.

I'm

all

map-red,

and green."

assistant, grinning at the joke, and at the recompense he had received for the job, " now, you two hook on to one another like Siameses, and n.osey. You've only got to tumble one a top of t'other, and it won't hurt. Tortle

"Now,-

said their friendly

off-It's

shck

going-'specially

if

you>re

Push ahead .-"continued he, as he Intched them together; and away they went, a pair of slippers, arm in arm. Many were
their their mischances before they reached their selected resting-place.

down.

going

and many

tumbles

"I

can't

stand

this,'> said

Linkum

to his
;

panion, as they were slipping and falling

com- but it's


M

mostly owing to
razee'd,

my
it

being so

tall.

wish I was

and then

wouldn't happen.

The awnin^.
;

posts almost knock the head off

me

I'm always
chikhen

tumblmg

over

wheelbarrows, dogs, and

because, if I look down,

Pm

certain to
It's

knock

my

noddle agamst something above. nuisance to be so tall.

a complete

go

to

Beds are too short ; if you a tea-fight, the people are always tumbling
ladies ain't partial to;

over your trotters, and breaking their noses,' which


IS

what young

and

if

you

"

200
tij)ple

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
too

much toddy

of a slipper)' nij^ht

about

as

easy a tiling to do as

youM

wish to

try you're

sure

to get a liyst a square long

^just

sueh a one as Pve

had.

If

Vd

thought of

it,

could have said the


figure.
i

multiplication-table while

was going the

Stumpy

chaps, such as you, ain't got no troubles in

this world."

If'

" That's

all

you know about

it,"

puffed Brevis, as
feet,

Linkuni alternately jerked him from his

and

then caused him to slide in the opposite direction,


i

with his heels ploughing the

ice, like
all

a shaft-horse

holding back
it

" phew

That's

you know about

stumpies have
"
I can't

troubles."
solilo-

borrow coats," added Linkum,


I

quizing, "because
I can't

don't like cuffs at the elbows.


it

borrow pants, because


all

isn't the fashion to

wear knee-breeches, and


I can't hide

my

stockings are socks.


a lambasting.

when anybody owes me

You

can see

me

a mile.

When
to

sit

by the

fire,

can't get near

enough
;

warm my body, without


in a stage-coach, there's

burning
rl

my

knees

and

no room between the benches, and the way you get


the cramp

don't mention it."

"

I don't

know nothing about


I

but to imagine
''Don't try;

was a
you'll

tall

chap

all

these things

hurt

yourself,

for

it's

A PAIR OP SLIPPERS.
great stretch of imagination for a
that."

201
do

little feller to

After which amicable colloquy, nothing more was heard of them, except that, before retiring
to rest,
/

they chuckled over the idea that the coming spring would sweat the ice to death for
the annoyance
live,
it

had caused them.


they remember
''

But ever while .hey

will

>i the night of hysts.^

202

AMEHICAN HUMOUK.

XXI.
A SWIM FOR A DEER.
)i

'i

" Yes, Capting, the bar war lower, I tell you why, bless your soul, honey, they war not only
powerful thick, but some on ^em war as big as common-sized horses, I do reckon ; cause why, nobody ever had hunted 'em, you see. In the winter time the overflow, and in the summer time the lakes and

snakes, bayous and alligators, rausketoes and gallinippers, buffalo-gnats and sand-flies, with a small sprinkle of the agur and a perfect cordoi congestive,

prevented

the

Ingins

from

gwine
skins

through the

country!

Oh
fat

no;

the red

would rather
hills

hunt the

turkey and deer in the Azoo

and

A SWIM FOR A DEKU.


pine lands t'other side of the Pearl river, to fat bar on the Creek or Sunflower."

203
killin'

''WelUim,
country."

tt^n have been

think they were right; you must among the first hunters in
the

" Yes, I do reckon when I country, from the Azoo Hills

first

went into that

to

the Mississippi,

there never had been but r^Aghty feto hunters. Why thar ar places thar now whar the deer ar tame as sheep, and whar the bar don't care for nobody > Fact ask Chunkey
!

never hearn the crack of a

what is the cause ; "'Cause they've never been hunted; no Sir


rifle

" That

is

very remarkable

dog; why thar ar more nor a hundred lakes and


brakes in them
diggins,

nor the yelp of a

that

hain't

never been

pressed by no mortal 'ceptin' varmints.

more nor half the country is overflowed winter, and t'other half, which is
biggest,
is

You know
in

the

a darned sight the

covered with
it

fixms;-why

man ever had hunted 'em.-Why, went to the Creek"


"Let the Creek
bear !"

and other stands to reason, and in course no


Sir,

cane, palmetto

when

I first

run,

Jim;

tell

us

about the

" Well,

Sir,

the bar war very

promiscuous

in-

20 A

AMUIIICAN HUMOUR.
inif;;lity

deed, and sonic of the old hees war


lluous, I tell i/ou.
l>ut
I

rnclli-

had no sens uhout bar then,


or caiiip
in

thar wani't no cabin

the whole

settlement,
I

and

in

conrse

soon larnt thar nati'r by


an old he bar,

livin' 'nionj^st

'em.

bar, Captitig,

ain't

no candidate or other good-natured greenhorn

to

stand goutnn' and treatin'.

Oh
and

no, he ain't,

but he's as rarnstugcnous an animal as a log-cabin


loafer in the fools with

dog days,
he'll

jist

abou;

if

a stranger

him

get sarved ont in no time.

MV

" VVell,

let's licker.

bar

is

a consaity animal,

but as far as his sens do go he's about as smart as

any other animal


I'at

arter that,

the balance

is

clear

and

fool.

have lived 'mongst 'em, and

know

ther natur, day,

have killed as

many

as seven in a

and smartly

to the rise of sixty in a season.

Arter I'd been on the Creek about two months, up


11

comes the Governor and Chuidicy


I

the Governor

'tended like he wanted to see


the elearin'
;

how

come on with
and
I

but. Sir, he were arter a spree,

knoe'd
tliing

it,

or

why

did he bring
well
;

Chunkey

Every-

looked mighty
slick

the negers looked fat


in
catfish

a^d

us

old

Ik-lcher

season.

I'd

done cut more nor two hundred acres of cane, and

had the
""

rails

on the ground.

I'd
!"

done

Come, Jim, keep the track

A SWIM FOR A DEEH.

205

"Well, Captinartcr likkcr;

they
hct-n

war mi-hty flnvn-crous


fighti,,'

thryM

the

stranger*
artcr
I

nii-hfly con.in' up,


sotr

and war pcifcctly woIHsh


and
I

har of the

clog,

Inuh.'t a

drop; so

to the Pint (Princeton, Washington County), and the ox-

started two nrgors, with mules and jugs,

a barrel. Well, Sir, the day arter, the jugs come, and we darted on 'imh" (giving a sigh),

team

artcr

"but
They

lord,
jist

what war two jugs

in sich a

crowd?

kept Chunkey IVofu dyin^ as he was so

dry he had the rattles; next day the barrel come, and then we ^rc^ovienned up to
it

in

airncst.

You know what kind of man Chunkey gits started if he commences talkin^
whistlin^ no matter which, you^d

is

when he

singin', or

jist as

well try

and stop the Mississippi

as

him.

Why

Pve knocd

him

to whistle three days and three nights on a stretch the Governor coulden't eat nor drink for

Chunkey's

whistlin',

and

at last

he gits mad, and


11

that's the last

he likes,

thing he does with anybody what and, says he to Chunkey

Chunkey, you have kept me awake two nights


*
that

barrel of whiskey

it is

is called a "stranger," from the fact brought from a distance, there being none made in the

covintrv.

"

206
a-whistlin',

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
and you must stop
it

io-night, or

you or

me must
you

quit the plantation.'


:

" Chunkey said


to

'

Governor, I don't want to put


I

no trouble, but

can't stop in the middle of

a chune, and as you have

known

the

plantation
it

longer than me, I expect you can leave


trouble.'

with lest

" The Governor

new gun and

jist

roar'd,

and gin Chunkey a

" Stop, Jim, you have forgot the bear."

" Well, whar was

I,

Capting

? oh,

remember

now
that

Well, when the barrel come we did lumber


singin'.

Chunkey he soon commenced


way nigh
a week,

We

went on

and then cooled

off.

One
to

mornin', I and

Chunkey had gone down

the

creek to git a bait of water, and I knoed the bar

would be

thar, as

it

war waterin' time with them."


they a particular time
to

"Why,
water ?"

Jim,

have

" In course they has

they come to water at a

certain place, and jist as reglar as a parson to his


eatin';

every bar

has his waterin' place, and he

comes and goes

in the

same path and

in

the same

foot-tracks always, until he moves his settlement

and

jist

you break a cane, or limb, or move a chunk

A SWIM FOR A DEER.


or st,ck near h.a
trail,

207
he'll

and

see
is

how quick

b-ab,,.s.eh

Oh ye.

ve
ahol

a bar

eighty

partiolar

h,g,_that's his ..,_.hat's his trap to find

baZnhrei' ':!?< ^-''^yo-be


stay there?"

'""'

'

'

^^ ^^

^o-S

to

" AVell, we
enoug
.

set

down on

the

stand opposite the


presently

%,,,,

&,

like a dog, no, they sucks it like a J-' ought to see bin. rais his nose and

"ter

of ,g_ ^, he come; a bar donVlap

bank and took our

JJ

horVl
sL,

""><.

M^ell.

he seed

Z
!

us,

He war
boney

and with that he

a whopper, I

My,,

He

b.g burn, and he throw'd then, arn,s about awful


It

looked l.ke a

and he took the out he went, and scampered up bank n,Hty ,uick. and then sich a ratlin'

yards to him, but I knopd . out pn an cedent,

war about one hundred and twenty


),

'""

"" """t

-with-

so

-k- hen

let

drive,

ane,

s.ch a growlin'

alnl

and
I

fj Unoe
"'
bar and

'""'''
'^''

.nortin', sieh a breakin'

-ton
hi.

you never
I

.M hear,
i
lots

,ncourse,Ihadhi,.
across-found

throwed a lo.

"f

trail,

and

fat,

but no blood I"

208

AMRRICAN HUMOUR.
strange,

"That was very


?" count for that
'

Jim

how

did you ac-

Why

he were too

fat

to bleed

Oh, you
It

think I
is

am

Chunkey. foohn' you, but you ask


I

frequently the case.

foUered his

trail

about a

and thar he lay ; so I quarter and a half a quarter, a Chunkey to git two negers and jist hollered to How to the house. yoke of steers to take him

much do you reckon he weighed


" I have no idea, Jim."

Now,

Sir,

he weighed, without head,

skin,

or

entrails, four

and hundred and ninety-three pounds,

his

head

sixty

pounds!

You donH
if

believe

me!

Well,

just

ask Chunkey

haint killed 'em


!

KiUin' him pounds smartly over seven hundred and I determined to have sorter got my blood up, been jerkin' it to the
another.

Chunkey had

and was jest Kcker gourd mighty smart, " Chunkey,' says I, let's gin it to another
' '

right."
!'

-Good
my

as

; says Chunkey.

'Who

cars

for expenses ? a

hundred

dollar bill ain't


!'

no more

in

pocket nor a cord of wood


that

" With

we

started

down

to in

the

Bend
an

when we haddent been thar long


old

comes
one

buck; he was
off.

smasher,

and

horn
his

were broke

telled

Chunkey

now's

A SWIJI FOR A DEER.


ac-

209
a bar.

toe
mto

a, I

skorn'd to toeh

l,i. avte,killin'

CImnkey

lathered away,

an.l

ca

chunk! he went
t'other

the ereek; he then gin

him a tarn with

b-n-el; the

-nk

buck wabbled about a time or two and


the head of the
I
little raft at

j,st at

the lower

endoftheclearin'.

Med

have hi,, and beheve me, I'd been worUin' at the gonrd
the bar.
I

dnft, and determined to

know'd he'd lodged agin the


if

you'll

.ince I'd

p,led

off

my

coat

and

jest

throwedmyseIfin;I.wimdottotheplaeeand
know the current are might ra,d thar. Well, I found h, yes, jf j ,,ijj^.^j

*^you

me

Moses Iwarn't
I reckon I were.

^^^

in a tight

plaee/W time?
fi.e

Well'

I'd been willin' ,o

he on the creek, and gin him the been out !"

the biggest

tirst bite, to h,ve

" Wliy, Jim, what was the matter ?"


Arter

got

in,

he matter!
tion

couldent get ont-lhat was

of

-mebody;
all sorts,

for nigh three hundred yards lo. and the creek runs under thar hke it was

eny

drift were a hon.ogificaCyprus logs, vines, and drift-wood of

You

see the

description,

arte'r'

the trees and vines,

and prognostics of

his

ar sorter nit together like a sock, and you couldent begin to get through 'c,. Well, CaptL ^ ' VOL. III.

mm^

210
I

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
T

thought iny time had come, and


cub what I tellcd
if it

knovved

it

war

for kilhn' that


sir, it

you about.

And,

would have come


felt

haddent been for the

sorritude I

arterwards.
in
tlic

You
corner
I

sec,

the
the

young
fence

cub
eatin'

was

standin'
ears,

of

roastin'

and

was

goin'

to

the

" But, Jim, yon have told that once, and

don't

want

to hear it again."

"Well, I
down'ard.

tried to rise,
I

but

I'd as well tried to rise


x\\^

then tried to swim

'bove the raft,

but

tearin'

vines ware found from the way the logs and goin' further the extras off me, that I were
fast.

wind very under, and I was gettin' out of

that was knowed thar was but one chance, and set my dean through ! So I busted loose and
to

go

paddles

to

goin'

mightily;
!

presently

my head

bumped agin

the drift
!

I div agin,
!

and kept

my

paddles a lumberin'

Chunk

my

head went agin

the thing were irrefrana log, and then I knowed workin' on my oars gahly o/- but I div agin, still
smartly, until I

hung agin

"'Good
says
I.

bye,

Chunkey ! farewell.

Governor,'

" But, Capting, T were

all

the time tryin' to do

>

SWIM

,ott

A DEEB.

jjj

green, and then o,nnifi,.ous

r*"^;

'^'""S^

l""!

begun to Ik .peeUej
,

but findin' I

w^^li
to

fl,.

-1

*^^^^Aer.,

and expectin'

gone elean

,I,,g,,,

"<' ",

,,^,,^

^eWthe.ft!
snuuly
f,.

But,

S I. ,,,:;;:;

te that I were in the Lher and connneneed an exeu,,. f , excuse lor com m' on onexpcctedly However, presently T .
'0.-Id,
!

,n

2';'^-.heni.ndx\Lrrix\.:i:;:
ne
e

.,. .ee a n,an fed


fly for

,,^
joy."

"
;
,

and I made the water


" Well,
Jin,,

'

did not leave yon ?"

what had becon.e f Chnnkey

He

*''''^"'

"itiin'' n

dr~/' afore
<1.)

','

he

'

He'd eo,,eneed
deer;

shot

the

C
go

.u key want, a drink,

and

when

if his

Chnneywonu
to h,s

daddy was drounin'

daddy.

go to the helcergonnl afore he'd I went to the house, and tkar he

-.ett,'atthetahle,jistarattlin',;istergt

t''oharsr,bs;heheIdatincupinonehaud'bt
p

213

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
his

half full of lickcr;

head were sorter throwd


set

back

he was breathin' sorter hard, his eye

on

the Governor, humpin^ himself on politics.

"
'

'

Down with
ain't

the specie kurrency,' says


it.

Chunkey

it

no account, and I'm agin


I

When we

had good times,

drank five-dollar-a-gallon brandy,

and had pockets full of money.' But,' says the Governor,


'

'

you bought the


!'
i

brandy on a credit, and never paid for it What's the difference?' asks Chunkey. 'Them
'

what

bought
it

it

from never paid

for

it;

they

bought
' I

on a
it,

credit

from them

fureigners,

and

never paid for

and them fureigners, you

say, are

a pack of scoundrels, and


far as

I go in for ruinin' 'em, so

good

licker is concarned.'

"'You
then

are

drunk,'

says

the

Governor, and

but, Capting, you look sleepy; let's lickcr,

and go to bed." " No, I am not


" Well, then,
for leavin'

sleepy, Jim."

I'll tell

you how
raft.

sarved
!

Chunkey
diddent I
takin'

me under
!

the
I

Moses
tell

pay him back

Did

ever

you 'bout

Chunkey out on Sky Lake, makin' him drunk,


i !

takin' his
tin'

gun and

knife

away from him, and a put-

him

?" to sleep in a panter's nest

SWIM FOR A DEER.

0]3

"No, you
"
Kill

never did;
kill
!

but was you not appro-

hensive they would

him

V
commenced
bitin'

him

No

If they'd

Chunkey, theyM have been

looed, as that's a

game
if

Chunkey invented !
mention
it

But here he comes ; and


it

you

afore him,

).uts

the dander in him.

Let's Wdiev."

the

ii
I

214

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

XXII.
1

DILLV JONES;

Oil,

THE PROUUESS OF

IMPROVEM/iNT.*

One
to

of the most difficult things in the world

is

run

before

the

wind;

and,

by

judiciously

observing the changes of the weather, to avoid being

thrown out.

Fashion
rapid,

is

so unsteady,

and improvevocation
in a

ments are so
yields

that the

man whose

him an abundant harvest now, may,


if

few

years,

he has not a keen eye, and a plastic


find that his skill and his business are

versatility,

both useless.

Many

were the poor barbers ship-

wrecked by the tax upon hair-powder, and numerous


*

By

J.

C. Neal.

niLLY JONES.
were *(= IcatLcr b,-.chc,'
t.'"ycu

215
,,^,.

,k ,, ,.
Tluir

by tho

triu,|,h

of wuIL,.s.
it

was
'"

skill

,lbtl..,,

very

reat. but

.,bl t
,

avail
;

" nte.,t against the usages of


l,a
all
,|,e

l,c ,vorI<l

ami

unless tl,ey
course, they

ca,,aeity to strike out a

new

shared the fate of their con.modities the darl: cellars of ,,opnlar estimation. Jivery day shows us the same ,,rinei|,le of

ami

retire.! to

ehange

at

work, and no one has more reason to ,vH,.et and mour,, about it than one Dilly J,3 , t,,;, ,

I>My M

"'I

not,

perhaps, precisely

the

person

would be ehronieled by the n.emoir writers of the


t'iue,

who

or have a

numument

erected to

him

if

he were
r

,"" ';'""

'"" '"y

""

of a useful though
i

I'umble vocation, and no one can saw hickory with ".ore classic elegance, or sit upon the curbstone and take his dmner with more picturesque effect.
lot, as has been hinted above, Dilly ] l,i, sorrows, particularly at night, after a hard day's
ani..

work, when his

pi,,, ,,,, ^,

by reducn,g gun,

^^|,^,,^^^_,

lg, to the proper n.easurc.

In

t.o,ornigheisfullof,,feadenergy,f.elingas .f 1.0 could saw a cord of Shot-towers, and snap the


Pdlars of the

Bank

across his knee hke pipe-stems.

^.1

In the

full flush

of confidence at that tin.e of day

'iri>yiffii

ijiftaq

216
reflection
nifijht

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
batters ajjainst

him

in

vain

but as

tlic

draws on, Dilly

feels exlianstod

and

spiritless.
i

His entliusiasni scenis to disappear with the sun,

and

neitlier

the

moon nor
hi.s

the stars can eans(;

hijj:h

tide in the river of

mind.

The current of

his

f^ood spirits shrinks in its ehiinnel,

leaving the gay

and gorgeous

barques

of

hope

and

confidence

drearily ashore on the


fails

nnuldy

flats;

and his heart

him

as if

it

were useless longer to struggles

against adversity.
It

was

in

this

mood

that

he was once seen


fixed
in

travelling

homeward, with his horse and saw

scientiHeally

upon

his shoulders.

He meandered

his path in the

way peculiar

to

men

of his vocation,

and travelled with that curvilinear elegance which


at

once indicates that he who

])ractiscs

it is

of the

wood-sawing profession, and

illustrates the lopsided

eonsequences of giving one leg more to do than the


other.

But Dilly was too melancholy


proud of his professional
it,

'

this

occasion to feel

air,

and

Km

:i

perhaps, had he thought of

would have reproved


sixty," for

the leg which performed the

" sweep of

mdulging
its

in

such graces, and thereby embarrassing

more humble brother, which, knowing that a


line
is

right

the shortest

distance

between two

l>ILLy JONES.

217

illy,

however, had ,ueh .tuff ia hi, tl,g|,.


,vs ,.e,i f,, t, j,,, , ^^ |._j^^^

11" .m,l

,,, ,,i,,,u.^; up with the changes f the ti, l,ieh '"" ..",.d hke a Juggenmut, d eruh all who "re uot vift enough to .naintain
"'
k-^-^pn.S

a"d ,

,,.|llj. ,edittig

the,s,.|ve in the

'<1.

lie

wondered why fa^hionn and

l-u a so eontinnally ehunge, and ,epied that he eonld not put a poke in their wheel,
of one

enton,s

early day,

one's latter years.


t.on

that the trade n.ight likewise be the trade of


his his

So eon.plete wa,
uttered

ahstrae-

that

he

unconseiously

aloud

thoughts

1.

" ";""*'' """'''' S""'S "11 to .mash," said f and that's where everything goes what I '

he,

speeulates

"'

"''"'^ """'

'^

'l^'i"S

sawyers and

these blaek stones was brought to ,,w, the woodpilers,

^ -P-

Ever sinee

and then,

soa,.-fat
;

and hiekory-

ashes men, has been going


1

down

und, for n,y part

ean't say as

how

I see what's to

be the end of

all

then, new-fangled

eontraptions.

But

it's

o; I'n, always erawling out of the


I'O'o.
>.elln,g

always

began

life in

little end of the a eon,fortable sort of a way all

<l

oysters out of a wheelbarrow, didn't owe nobody

elear grit'

nothing.

Ovsters

went
litii

218

AMKIIICAN HUMOUR.
slick ciunv^h
t\n-

down

a while,

but at

last

ccllaiii

was invented, and dain the oyster, no matter how nice it was pickled, could poor Dill sell ; so 1 had to
eat

up

capital

and

profits myself.

Then

the

'

peprcu

pot smoking' was sot up, and went ahead pretty


considerable
into
I
it,

i'or

a time

but a jiarccl of fellers

come

said

my

cats wasn't as

good

as their'n,
cats

when
the

know'd they was

as fresh as

any

in

market; and pcpree pot was no go. Beun .soup was just as bad; people said kittens wasn't good done that way, and the more 1 hollered, the more
the customers wouldn't come, and them what did,

wanted
lips,

tick.

Along with

the boys

and

their

pewter

them what got

trust

and didn't pay, and the

abusing of
victualling

my

goods, I was soon fotch'd up in the


I

line and

busted for the


I

benefit
a

of

my
of a

creditors.

But genius nz.


saw, after being

made
a

raise

horse and

wood-piler's

'prentice for a while,

and working till I was free, and now here comes the coal to knock this business
in

the head.

My

peojjle's

decent people, and

can't disgrace 'cm

by turning Charcoal Jemmy, or

smashing the black stones with a pickaxe.


wouldn't
did."
let

They
if

me

into

no

society

at

all

The idea of being excluded from the upper

circles

i
"lU.V JONES.
of the society in whieh he I,d been in the '""vng, fell l,,,i|y
,,

219
l.ahit
1^.

of

,^

,,^,,,^j

,,^

i.,.ie,, ,|,e .,,, ,,,,,, ,, ^^.,,,.__ Slancen of the ..H^toeratie fair, who ,i,,,,j with gn.t,h,.,tion t lu e.|e,s ,! t ],i,

J"-.

^^^^^^

He

J
n,

nonsense; he

,ft

su,v

hin,s..|f ,,.,,,

n,.ee,-ise,l

he street-l,solnt..ly eut hy *"-Kl.S and the thought


f

Ms

present
ca,te

finnilia,.

losing

crushed his already dejected

ahnost

spirit.

Tlie working, f his in.agination, con.hined with the fatigne of his li.nhs, caused such exhaustion, that, dishulging his horse fn,u, Ids shoulder he cuuverlcd it into a ea.np-stool, seated

hi.nself

the lee of a shop window, and, after slinging hia aw petulantly at a dog, g,ed with vacant eyes upon the people who o.casi.u.ally passed, and glanced at him with curio.sity.

under

"Hey, Mister!"
want
up.

said a

shep-boy,

at

last,

"I

to get shut of yon, 'cause we're

gom'
if

to shct

You're right in

tlie

way, and
n,e
will

boon, along,
hysenee,

you don't

why Ben and

bave to play

clearance,
to

puddin's out

with you afore


we,

you've

tin.e

ehalk you.- knuckles-won't

" We'll pUn,p

hiai oIFof baste before he can say

220
fliancc, or

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
get a sneak.

We're knuckle dabsters,

both on us.

You'd better emigrate-the old man's


if

he'll play the mischief with you, before you can sing out,

coming, and

ho finds you here,

Tm

up

if

you k"ock

it

and ketch.' "

So saying, the two lads placed themselves one on each side of Dilly, and began swinging their arms
with

an expression that hinted very plainly


Dilly,

at

forcible ejectment.

however, Avho had forof the phrases so

gotten
Rl
!

all

that he ever

knew

scientifically understand the profound game of marbles, wore the puzzled air of one who labours to comprehend what is said to him. But the meaning became so apparent as not to be mistaken, when Ben gave a sudden pull at the horse, which almost dismounted the rider.

familiar to those

who

"Don't be
clutched

so unfeelin'," ejaculated Dilly, as

he

the

cross-bars

of his
grief
is

seat;

"don't be

unfeelin', for a

man

in

like a wood-piler

a cellarmind

how you

chuck, or you'll crack

his calabash."

"Take

care of your

calabash,

then,"

was the
if

skeete, even have to cut high-dutchers with your irons

grinning response;

"you must

you

loose,

and

that's

no fun."

DILLY JONES.
'|Hio.h.clutch yourself,
if

221
lio^;

you know

go way from me, ^cause

only

I ain^t

got no time."

Tm

"Well," said the boys, "haven't we caught you on our payment ?-what do you mean bv crying here-what do you foller when you're
at

home

"I works
ing at Tom.

in

wood;

that's

what

I foller."

''You're a carpenter, I s'pose/' said Ben, wink-

"No, not

exactly; but I saws


loafs

wood

any half-dozen
wasn^t for grief,

better nor

Fd

If it give both of you six,and beat

about the

drawbridge.

I don't believe you're gentlemen's sons; nothin' but poor trash-half-and-

gum and hickory-for


to be

you, too, the best day you ever saw, goin' the rale

.-I*

half-want

and

can't, or

you wouldn't keep

a troubling of me."
"Txaulcy, Ben, if he isr'^ a M'harf-rat If you don't trot, as I've told you a'ready, boss will be down upon you, and fetch you up like a catty on a cork-line jerk !"
!

'^

That's enough," replied Dilly; "there's more

worldat least there is yet fashions haven't shut up the streets yet, and obligated people to hire hackney balloons if they want to go a-walkin', or
new
oiunibus boardin'-houses

places nor one in the

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

when
(

tliey

want

a fip^s worth of dinner, or a levy's-

worth of

sleep.

Natun.l legs

is

got some chance


if

for a while,

anyhow, and a

man

can get along


go.

he

ain't got clock-vurks to

make him

"I

hope, by'm'by," added Dill, scornfully, as he


lads,

marched away from the chuckling


that

"that there

won't be no boys to plague people.

Fd

vote for

new

fashion myself.

Boys

is

luisances,

ac

cordin' to

me."
he went, and his

Tie continued to soliloquize as


last observations Avere as follows
:

''I

wonder

if

they wouldn't

list

me

for a

Char-

ley

Hollering oysters

and bean-soup has guv'

mv. a splendid woice;

and instead of skeering 'em

away,

if

the thieves were to hear

me

singing out,
to

my

style of

doing

it

would almost coax 'em


feel

come
a

and be took up.


snake
is

They'd

like

a bird

when

after

it,

and would walk up, and poke their

coat-collars right into my fist. Then, after a while, I'd perhaps be promoted to the fancy business of pig-ketching, which, though it is

werry light and

werry elegant, requires genus.


that can

Tisn't every

man

come the

scientifics

in

that line, and has

studied the nature of a pig, so as to beat


canoeuAcring, and

him

at

make him surrende

'cause he

"

DILLY JONES.
sees

223
It
it^s

larnmg
to

no se of doing nothing. to conwince them cWtters, and be done by heading 'em np handsome,
It

ain^t

wants
onlv

hoppini.

^vh.ch

ever

way they hop, and

tripping

^em up

genteel by shaking hands with their off-hind leg IM scorn to pll their tails ont bv the roots, or
to hurt their feelings
ears.

by dragging >em about by the

'

"Bnt what's the use ? If I was listed, theyM soon find out to holler the hour and to ketch the thieves by steam; yes, and they'd
take 'em to court

on a radroad, and try 'em with biling water. They'll soon have black locomotives for watchmen and constables, and big bilers for judges and mayors. Pi^s wdl be ketehed by steam, and will be biled fit
to
eat before they are folks won't be of

done squealing.
at
all.

By and

by,

no use

people

There won't be no

the world but tea-kettles; no mouths, but

safety-valves;

and no

talking, but blowing off steam.


inside of me, I'd turn

If I had a

little biler

omnibus
to

and week-days

I'd

run from

Kensington

Navy Yard, and Sundays

the

I'd run to Eairmount

224

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

XXIII.

LANTY OLIPHANT IN COURT.

Lawyers
witnesses
:

allege that there

are four

classes of

those

who prove

too much, those

who

prove too

little,

those of a totally negative character,


at
all,

and those of no character


anything.

who

will

prove

We

have a case in point.

Far, very far

away from the

tall

Blue Mountains,

at a little place called

Lodom,

there were

upon

time three neighbours called


settle

in, as

arbitrators, to

a point relative to some stolen chickens, in dispute between one Lot Corson, and a " hard case"
called

Emanuel

Allen, better

known thereabouts

as

King of the Marsh.

mm
i-iii

1/

^ANTY OLIPH^^,
" Mister

i,v

COUKX.
one
nf
+1,

225
^"^
'^"i'"

Constahl,. " '^""staoie^


call

said

judicials,

" now

ih.

men.

necessity of sucli a useless ccreinnn,, eeiemony

among

gentle-

"iater01ipl,at,y,reo,.,re

W;.e.,nefna..aswJs:J:,^:

D,

throw'din."

'^-w,ea?;:arH:;:niTr''^ ""^ day


'"'

This matter-of-fact answer mrt from the man with


tl,c re,

"^^^en,Mistero
i^anty here testified

:;'^",'",'"'^''-

''''' '^'''

" ^''=''''' - ort of ontish old woman, ses I Tii i;.f


take a nipper 0, t or two th.

t'other

day

W^

"''

ses I ^''^ '

t the t, to

"'

'" ^"''^'

"
ill

^^^

morninV

ses I.

-M,

226

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

take the wind off

my

stomach sorter/
riz,
:

scs I.

Then

the old woman's feathers


pine's bristles,

they did, like a porky-

and ses she " ' Lanty/ says she, ' if you'd cv'y airn more
less

bread and meat, and drink

whisky, you wouldn't

have wind on your stomach.' " ' Suse,' ses I, 'this is one of

my resarved

rij^hts,

and
in'

goes agin

home

industry,' ses I, sort o' laugh-

out o' the

wrong

side o'

my

mouth.

"
*

'

Resarved rights or desarved wrongs,' ses her,

you'r always a drinkin' and talkin' politics


at

when

you orter be

work, and there's never nothin' to

eat in the house.'

" Well, as I was a-goin' over to Lot's,

jist

fernent
:

where the fence was,


there
field,

ses

to myself, ses I
critters in

'

If

isn't

the
jist
'

old

King's
tell

so

I'll

go and

him

on't.'

my cornWhen I
I

gets there,

Good mornin', Lanty,'

ses he.
;

" ' Good mornin', old boss,'

ses I
fire

and when

went

in,

there was a pot on the

a-cookin', with

a great big speckled rooster in it."

" Mister Oliphant


I

!"

here interposed one of the

'I

arbitrators,

" remember that you are on oath.


'

How
a big

do you know that the chicken in the pot was


1

speckled rooster

?'

lANTY OLIPIIANT IN COURT.


"'Kasc
I seed the

227
'

feathers at the woodpile

promptly responded Lanty, who then continued "Well, when I gits to Lot's,
ses I.

'Good mornin'. Lot '


he.

'''Good morning Lanty/ ses


ce nothin'

'You

didn't

speekled rooster that duln't belong to nobody, did you V ses he

nowhere of ar' a

big-

" 'Didn't I?'

ses

L
ses he, I 'let's take
tells

"'Come, L-mty/
ses he;'
it."

a nijjper
all

'

and then

up and

him

aboJt

" Had Mr. Allen no chickens of


the senior.
"Sai-tiu'," rejoined

his

own

?" asked

Lanty;

"but

m
there
all
vvar.i't

roorter

in

the

erowd.

They was

hens /"

layW
"^

111

" Well," inquired another of the

referees,

many

"how

of these hens had Mr. Allen ?"

This question fairly stump'd" Lanty for a moment, but he quickly answered
:

If

with what was there, and what wasn't there, counting little and big, spring chickens and all, there was forty odd, exactly !"

"Why,

No

further questions were put to this witness.

Q 2
I

ill

2J28

AMERICAN

IIURI')UR.

XXIV.
1

OLD SINGLETIRE.*
THE MAN THAT WAS NOT ANNEXKD.

GOOD

story

is

told of this bold frontiersman,

who had made himself notcious, and


on both

given his

character the bend shmter, by frequent depredationK


sides the

boundary

line

between Texas and

the United States.


thither

The

old fellow

had migrated
since,

from parts

unknown, years
fifty

knew

every foot of country for


in his vicinity,

miles on either side

and had communication by runners

with

many "

birds of the

same feather" then com-

mon

in the region.
* Bj' the late Robert Patterson.

OLD 8IN0LETIHK.
The
old fellow saw, with

229

sorrow .-iiul regret, the rapid influx of population within the last Urn years,
atid

was eon.pdled gradually


;

to

narrow his sphere

oi usefnhu'ss

for, said

he:

"Peoph-'s a gittin' too thiek about nie-tha and their varmints and critters is fijli,,'

up the woods
ain't

'^'d

piHn'

th,-

huntin'-and then tha


to speculate

no

chance for a
tha used to be
fellar.

fellar

upon

travellers as

when tha wan't anybody

to wateh a

A\l,y, tha is gettcn to

be so civylizated that

H fellar can't drink a barrel of double-rectified 'thout


liavin'

'em

all

abusin' him about


jist

it-and then
up

ef he

doas happen
of lead into a
It.

by accident

to drap half
in

an ounce

feller,

why

tha

is all

arms about

Now
me

t'other day, whe.i

w.tnted to
th.ir hogs,

mark Joe
^case

Shteses' ears like tha


called

marks

he
H,
I

a vWX-yan, they wanted to jewdkate nic

afore the court.

But, 'cuse 'em for a


'

set of fools,

they ain't a-gwoin' to fool


a-gitten old,

Old

iW

Singletire,' ef

he

is'

and

ain't as

quick on the trigger as he

used to was.

"Dang
annexate

their

skins,

don't

care

ef tha

does

Texas!
is

Pll

show 'cm somethin'-tho'


slick

tha thinks tha


countries

got

me

when tha

git the
fix

two
:|ll

wedged up

into

one but

I'll

'em;

230
I'll

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
quit,

and

go

to

Arkaiisaw,

wliur

decent

kin live 'thout bein' pestered, and 'bused and jeu>dicated !"

white

man

" Old Single/' as he was

called,

for

short,

had

several years previous to the late discussion of the

annexation question, with singular 'cutcncss ascertained the precise line dividing the two territories,

and

built his cabin thereon in such a position, that,

when

lying down, he slept, one half in the United

States,

and

the other half in

Texas, for he lay at

right angles with the line.

The

authorities

of

both

sides

had

frequently

found him

in that position,

but as their separate

claims lay severally on the entire individual, they

were not content to arrest one half of him

at a time.

A
lil..

great deal of courtesy was at times exhibited


officers,

by

the

each pressing the other to break the

forms of international law by pulling Old Single


bodily over either side of the
trap,
line.

Each was up to
to trick him,

and feared the other wished

and

declined the effort which might cause a rupture


-!

between Texas and the Union.

On
on the
other,

one occasion they were exceedingly pressing


subject, at first politely so, then teasing each

and then daring by taunt, and

jeer,

and

jibe.

':

OLD SINOLETIilK.
until they

281

worked themselves into such furious ex-

citemcnt, that

"Old Single,"

their pretended victini,

had

to

command and

preserve the peace.

'" Gcntle.me/' said he,

" you may fun, and

fret,

and quarrel

jist

as
is

much
any

as

you please

in

my

house

but when
diggins,

tha

lickin' to
is

be done 'bout these

why 'Old
and

Single'

thar

suref-m

look

out boys, ef you strikes you

dies.

Show your

sense,
to

make
one,

friends,

let's

li/cer.

You," nodding

"hand me a gourd

of water; and You,'" to


I'll

another, " pass that bottle, and


better 'quaintance."

drink to 'your

The day

passed, ''Old Single" crosses the line,


side his cot,
all

and one of the beauiies on each going it like forty at twenty-deck


game,
as
Sol.

poker a
as

sociable

Smith

says

and,
a

remarked
CuW

our inform^at, "the old

man was

perfect
curds.''

manche horse
For the

at

any game whar tha was

last three months " Old Single" had been mightily distressed" mighty oneasy 'bout annexa-

tion" iov he knew he would be compelled


travel.

to

h
-i-1

Well, the news of the action of Texas on this great question was received in "Old
Single's"
vicinity

on the 29th of June-the day

it

reached

Fort Jessup.

=*ia-M,,.

"
.

332

AMKllirAN IIUMOiru.
fron.

Next morning "tlioboys"

Boston nnd

Do

couple of bord.-r villa-es-after a glory gathering about ar.ne.vatio.i, (let.Ttnined


to storm

Kalb-u

'"Old Single/' and -rout" him.


en masse
()-la.re(,uJntor,

They accordingly,

started off for his cabin,'

and on arriving near it, a consultation was held,' and it was determined that bloodshed was useless as it was certain to occur if violence was resorted

to-and
The

that a flag of truce should be sent into the

fortress, offering terms.

M man was
rifle,

fo^nd in a gloomy mood, with


back, in

a pack strapped to his

woodsman

style.

" Old CentrespHtr his friend cf thirty years' standing, his

his favourite, his

all,

was

laid across

his knees,
11

and he

in deep thought, his eyes rest-

ing on vacancy. looked up

As

the

delegation entered,

he

"Well, boys, the time


isannixated; but

is

cum, and Texas and you


I ain't a gwoin' to be

I am, and

nnther!~so take care how you I can shoot sum yet !"

raise

my dander

The party

explained,

and

it

was agreed the old


the line for

fellow should take

up the march upon

the nearest point on

Red

River, thr party escorting

him

at

twenty paces distant on either side that the

OLD SIVOLKTIRK.
lH8t

233

mile should be
first,

run tliiit
<ro

if lie stnicl<

'- water's
oiYmdvd

edge

he shouUl

free-if otheruis.., he was


to the

to be taken

and rendered up a victim


hiws.
said

dignity of

tlie

"Affreed,"
Boys, tha
a
fri(!iully
is

Old Single,

"it's

bargain.
it

a ffal/on in that barrel, let's finish

in

way, and then travel."


the travel aceoniplished, and

The thing was done,


the
race,
fast

and

furious,

was being done.

The

old fellow led the crowd, hallooing at his topmost voice as he gained the river

"Iloopec!

Hurrah

!_/

ain't
I,'

Pm

annixated!
the States nor

offI

ain't

no ivharnuther

Texas, ut in

Akkaxsaw!"

swa.n to the opposite

shore, fired a volley, gave three cheers,


victorious.

and

retired

234

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

XXV.

MAJOR JONESES COURTSHIP.

LETTER
Dear

I.

Pinev'lle,

Sir

May

28th, 1842.

Ever sense you was down to Pineville,

it's

on

my mind
spellin'

been

to rite

you a

letter,

rd

but the boys lowed


off 'bout

better not, 'cause

my

you mought take me

and dictionary.

Eut something hap-

pencd

to

me

t'other night, so monstrous provokin'

that I can't help tellin'

you about

it.

It

all

came

of snuffing ashes over a soft

wood

fire,

and

I reckon

Tve wished

there was no sich plagy stuff, as soft

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


wood, more
'n five

235
it

hundred times sense

happened.

the Stallinses lives on the plantation in the summer, and goes to town in the winter. Well,

You know

Miss Mary

Stallins,

gal in the county,


folks.

who you know is the darlinest came home t'other day to see her
she^s been to the

You know
to

down

Macon,

for

Female College, most a year now. Before she

went, she used to be as plain as an old shoe, and


huckelberryin' with us, with nothin' but a calico sun-bonnet on, and was the wildest thing you ever saw. Well, I always used to have a sort of sneakin' notion of
so
to

used to go

fishin^

and

when she come,


have a
rite

Stallins, and brushed up, and was 'termined

Mary

matters
)42.

by

serious talk with her 'bout old not knowin' but she might be ; captivated some of them Macon fellers.

So, sure enough, off I started,

been )wed
bout
hapiin',
aiiie

unbeknowin'

to any-

body, and rode


ours
is

rite

over to the plantation, (you


the widder Stallinses.)

know
Well,
;

rite jinin'

when

I got thar, I felt a little sort of sheepish

but

I soon got over that,

when Miss Carlme

said, (but

she didn't
''

mean me

to hear her)

There Pinny,

(that's

kon
soft

Miss Mary's nick-name,

you know,)

there's your

bo rome."
sort o' redish

Miss Mary looked mighty

when

236
dn,ck
he...

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
hand
,ul fold
v,.,.
l,o,.

I,,ly
.!,,.,.

a,,,, ,,

a rt of
little

,j,

tj,

ami

I,ack, like the

gals does to the sehool-,a,-,, ad


evoni,,', At,..
,)(,)

s,M

"Good

call liie jest

,reV' (she se,l to always '

"Take a
^
ot

chair,

Joseph," said Miss Carline; and


,,a,-l..,

down

in the

and

begun

talkin' to

JI.SS

Mary

nd the bad

'bont Macon, and the long ride she Lad,


roads,

and the

and the n.onstrons hot weather,

like.

Slic didn't say nn.eh, bnt

was

in a

I-mnor and langhed a heap.


s.ch a

n.ighty good

1 told her, I

never seed

ehange

n,

anybody.

Nor

never did.

Why
kon.ed
as a

.o.iidn't look like the same ^he looked so niee and

gal-good graeions!
all

trin.,w,th her hair

down long

.,e of her face, so sliek

and shiny

mahogany bnrow.
open her mouth
tra,t

AVhen she laughed she didn't


nscd to; and she setup her chair, and look,.d so different
!

like she

and

still in

but

ax'd her a heap of liked Macon, and the ren,ale College, and s forth; and she told me a ^eap bout 'en,. But old Miss Stallins
I

so monstrous pretty

questions,

'bout

how she

.and

Carhne and Miss Kesiah, and


time interruptin'

M.ss
the

all

of

'en,,

kep

all

us, a.xi' 'bout n,other; if

she was

MAJOR JONKs's COURTS fiir.


'

237

iiiatic

Ivi!

the

and if she was gwino to the Sprinj,^ ehureh next Sunday, and what Inck she had with her erai>, ar.d all s.eh stuff, and I do helieve T told the old
well,

women

more'n twenty times that mother's old turkey hen was settin' on fourteen e'>-^-s
Well,
T

wasn't to he haeked out that-a-way-so I


til

l<cpt it a goin' the best I could,

hin.(-l,y

old Miss

Stallins let her krn-ttin^ f-dl thrc-e or four times,


icr.

mid

then begun to nod and snap baek like a fishin'-pole that was all the time gitin bites. I seed the
galls

lookin' at one another,

and pinchin' one another's


said,

elbows, and Miss

Mary

she womlc-rc-d

what
or

tune

,t

was,

and said the

eoll,>ge

diseiplines,

somethin' like that, didn't 'low late hours. liow the game was gwine-but

I seed
f

howsnmever,

kep

talkn.' to h,.r like a eotton gin in paekin' time, as hard as I eonld elip it, til bimeby the old lady went to bed, and arter a bit the gals all eleared,

II

m
,1

and

left

Miss

Mary

to herself.
sot

That was

jest the thing

wanted.

" Well, she


I
sot

on one
snuffin'

side of the fire-j>]ace,


ashes,

and

on

.i!
-

t'other,

war there was

nothin' but a lighted ehunk burnin' to give light. Wcdl, w(; talked, and I know yon would like to hear all we talked about, but that would be too long. When very interested in anything, or

Vm

V^.

238

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
forrccl

bothered 'bout anything, I ahvays leans

and

pokes the

fire,

if

there be any.

Well, we sot thar


I

and
if
'11

talked,

'bout everything a'most.

axed her

she had any bos


''
'

down

to

Macon.

Oh,

yes,'

she said, and then she went on and

named
whole

over

Matthew Matin, Nat Filosophy, and a


fellers

heap of

with

foreign,

outlandish

names, that she'd been kepin' company with 'most


all

her time.

" ' Well,' says


with
you,
ain't

I,

'

I s'pose they're

'mazhi' poplar
for
I
felt

they.

Miss Mary V

mighty oneasy, and dug


anything.

away

at

the

fire

like

"

'

Yes,'

ses she,

'

they're the

most interestin

companions I ever had, and I


their pleasant society.'

am

anxious to resume

"I
I

tell

you what, that


fire
it

sort o'
it

stumped me, and


'

poked up the

and made

flicker
it

and

flare'

like the mischief;

was a good thing

did, for I

blushed as blue as a Ginny squash.

" Then
'

s'pose
I,

you'r gwine
'

to

forget

old

acquaintances,' ses

sense you's been to Macon,


doctors
;

'mong them lawyers and

is

you,

Miss

Mary
of
I
t

You

thinks more of

them than you does

anybody

else, 1 s'pose

viAJOR Jones's couhtship.

239
think

'.

f'\

"

'

Oh

!'

scs .she,

'Fm

devoted to

them-I
right up,

of them day and night V

" That was too mueh-it shot


i

me

and
I

ot as
felt

still

as could be for more^i a minute.


afore in all
bile

never
iife.

warm behind the ears Thunder how my blood did


so
!

my

up

all

over

;ne,

and

felt

like I eould

mto
sot

knoek Matthew Matin


Miss Mary

a squash if he'd only been thar.

and then

with her handkerchief up to her faee, and I looked rite into the fire-plaee. The blue blazes was runnin' round over the ehunk, ketehin' hold here and lettin' go thar, sometimes gwine 'most out
blazin'

up a

little.

I couldn't
for tellin'

and was makin' up


siteation of

speakher the

my mind

my heart, when I gave the soft wood ehunk a desperate poke, and slap it went right over, and out it went spang
!

';i

swar I never did

feel so in all

my

born days.

1 didn't

know what

to do.
I,

";%
do
It
;

Lord, Miss Mary,' ses

^ didn't go to
and
I'll

jest tell

me

the

way

to the kitchen,

go and

git a light.'

"But

she never said nothin', so I sot

down
it

tlnnkm she'd gone


pitch dark,

agin,

to git one herself, for

was

and I couldn't

see

my

hand afore

my

m
fAl

310

AMEllICAN HUMOUIl.
thiir

"AVcll, I sot

and

ruiiiiiiated,

and waited a
I

long time, but she didn't come, so


think maybe she wasn't gone.
nothin', nor I couldn't sec nothin'
I,

begun

to

I
;

couhln't
so

hear
ses

bimeby
uj)

very low,

for

didn't

want

to

wake

the

family, ses I

" Miss '


swered.

Mary

Miss

Mary

!'

but

nobody an-

"Thinks
agm.

I,

what's

to

be

done?

trved

"'Miss Mary! Miss Mary!'


no use.
" Then
I

ses

I,

but

it

was

heard the gals snickerin' and laughin'


room, and I begun to sec
left

in the next

how

it

was

Miss iMary was gone, and

me
I,

thar alone.
pretty
loud,
so

"MVhar's my hat?'
somebody might
worse.
tell

ses

me; but they only laughed


about the room, and the fust
!

"

begun

to fee)

thing I knew,
that

spang

goes

my
The

liead agin a dore


fire

was standin'

open.

flew,

and

couldn't help but swar a

little.
'

"

'

Brot the

dore,' ses 1,

whar's
I

my

hat

?'

" But nobody said nothin', so


it

begun

to think

war best

to git out the best

way

I could,

and

never

mind

my

hat.

Well,

got through the

ff

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


parlor
do,-

241
or four

after

rakin'

my

shins
falin'

three

times agin the chairs, and was the entry for the frunt dore;

along through

but somehow I w^is

so flustrated that I tuk the rong way, and bimeby,

kerslash I went, rite over

lAIiss

Stallinscs spinnin';

whccl onto

tlie floor

hurt myself a good deal


half so
gigglin'

but that didn't make


then confounded

me

mad

as to hear
at

M
:

gals a

and laughin'

me. "
it

Oh

!"

said one of them,

(it

was Mis Kesiak,

il

wfis

for I

knowcd her voice) "there goes mother's wheel


!"

My Lord

I tried to

set the

thing up,
legs,

but

it

seemed to
I-

have more'n twenty

and wouldn't stand up


I

nohow maybe
wow
wow

it

was broke.

went out of the


steps,

dore, but I hadn't got


!
!

down the
five

when bow

comes four or
at git

infurnal grate big

coon-dogs

rite

me.
out! bellow Cato
call

"Git out!
dogs," ses
I,

off

your

as loud as I could.
asleep,

But Cato was sound


a run

and
got

if

hadn't
of the
fi
'

back

into

the

hall,

and

out
devils

frunt
o'

way

as quick as I could,

them

would

chawed

my
I

bones for true.


to

When
VOL.

got

my

horse, I felt like a feller


jj

III.

i>i|

r^'

243

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
I reckon
I

just out of a hornet's nest; and

went

home
Miss

little

of the quickest.

Next niornin' old


little

Stallins sent

my

hat

by a

nigger

but

I hain't seed

Mary

Stallins sen.

Now

you nee
Hre.

what comes of

snuffin' ashes over a soft

wood

No more

from

Your

frend,

till

deth,
Jof3.

Jo.VES.

LETTER
jv
,

II.

^.

Pineville,

August

29tli,

1842.

Jest p- I spected, only a thunderin' sight wursc

You know
betallion

said that

we wer gwine

to

have a

muster in Pineville. Well, the muster has tuck place, and I reckon sich other doins you never hearn of afore.
in town the nite afore, with my regimenbundle, so they couldn't be siled by'i-idiu', and as soon as I got my breckfast, I begun
rigin'

come

tals in a

'\\

out for the muster.


boots,

had a bran new

pair

of

made

jest a purpose,

with long legs to 'em


tallest

and a shaperdebraw, with one of the

kind of

MAJOR Jones's couutsiup.


red fcthcrs in
it,

243
all

a blu cloth

regimental cote,

gold and buttons, and a pair of ycller britches of the finest kind. Well,

titivated off with

when

went to put 'em on,


tailors

couldn't help but


in Georgia.

cu'ss all

the

and shoomakers

In the fust

place,

my

britches like to busted


to

and wouldn't reach


then
it

more'n half way


niggers to git

my

jacket,

tuck two
tail

my

boots on;

and

my

coat had

enuff for a bed-quilt, and stood


like

rite strait

out behind
rite

a fan-tail

pidgin it wouldn't hang


it.

I
<t

no

how you
specially

could pull

I never

was so dratted mad,


to fix things,

when thar was no time

for

'(4

the fellers were comin' in in gangs and beginnin'


to call for

me

to

come out and take the command.


ris

Eckspectation was

coh.iderable high,
in

cause I

was pledged to quip myself


law,
if I

uniformity to the

was lected Majer.

Well, bimeby I went to the dore and told Bill

Skinner and

Tom
all

Cullers

to fix ther companys,

and have 'em

redy when 1

made my

pearancc!

Then

the fuss
in town,

commenced.

Thar wasn't but one

drum drum

and

Bill

Skinner swore that should


it

for his

company, cause

longed to that beat

and Tom Cullers swore the nigyer should drum for his company, cause he longed to
his crowd.

R 2

?
[

II

21J.

AMERICAN

iruMorrR.

Thar was the old harry


wurse.
I

to pay,

and

it

was

gittin'
wtis

didn't
to inc

know what
bout
it,

to do, for thoy

all con.iii'

and shinin' and disputin'


Tiiinks
;

so I couldn't hardly hear one from tother.


I,

must show

my

thority in this bisncss

so says

1, " In the name of the State of Georgia, I cumniand the drum to drum for me. I's ]\lajcr of

cummander of the musick The thing tuck fust rate; thar was no more rumpus bout it, and I sot the niggers
I's

this

betallion

and

too!"

drummin' and

fifin'

as

hard

as

they could

split rite

afore the tavern dore.


It

was monstrous
thai-

diffikil

to git the

men

to fall

m,
does
Bill

hain't

been

none

of th-m

deformed
felle-

drunkerds down here


love

yit,

and the way the


is

peach and liunny

mazin.

Bimeby

Skinner tuck a stick and made a long strate


sand,
!

streak in the

yes

oh, yes
is to git

all

and then hollered out, " Oh, you as belongs to Coon-holler


on this
his
trail !"

beat

in a strate line

Tom
the

Cullers
fellers
line,
all

made

streak

for

beat,

and

begun
in

to string themselves along in a strate

about a quarter of a ower they wer settled like bees on a bean pole, pretty conArter
a

and

siderable strate.

whde they

sent

word

to

.IWfi

MAJOR
as gittin'
tlicy

.lONEs's

COURTSHIP.
I

ii

mo

that they was

all

reddy, and

had
;

was

my

horse

fotchud up to tothcr side of the tavern

disputin'

but when

cum

to him,

the bominahle fool didn't

Thinks
;

know me
and

sumhow,
cavortiu'

and
about
till

begun
like

kiekin'

and
I

i)rancin',

so says
I

mad.
I

made
sent

the

niggers
to

cuni-

hold him
the
seed

got on, then


like

Majcr of
)

word round

druunner to drum

musick
was no
a

blazes as soon as

he

me

turn the corner, aiul to the

men

to be

'

redy to salute.
side of

My

sword kep
fool

rattlin'

agin the

iggcrs

my

hors,

and the

was skeered so he
stood on;

split rite

didn't

know which eend he

and kep

dancin' about and squattin' and rarcin' so I couldn't


to fall

hardly hold on to him.

Ic formed

e felle-

The nigger went and told the men what I sed and when I thought they was all reddy, round
went
flyin'

m
I
'

liinieby

in

a canter, with

my

sash

and regimentals

g
t,

strate

and

my

red fethcr wavin' as graceful as a

''Oh,

corn tossel in a whirlwind; but

in-holler
'

Tom
the
a strate

jest as I got to the corner ther was a fuss like heaven and yearth

was cumin' together.

Rattlebang,

wher-r-r-r-r
fife rite
!

nd

went the drum, and the nigger blowcd the


out
strate,
till

,(;;

his eyes

was
all

sot in his

bed harra

ley
ty

wer
con-

hey.y.y! hurra! went

the niggers and everypitchin' worse


fore I could

body else my horse wheelin' aud


than ever,
rite

vord to

up

to the

musterand,

J''

246
draw bang
all
I
!

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

my

breth,
!

Inmg

Um-;

hiinin
tlie

de bang

bang

went every gun


was,
I

croud, and
pitchin',
till

kn.)Nved

was

whirlin',

and

and swingin' about

in

the smoke and

fire

cum
the

full

length

rite

pride,

pomp,

smack on the ground, "in all and rircunistances of glorious


ses.
I
;

war," as Mr. Shakspcar

Lucky enough
was
split
all

didn't git hurt

but

my

cote

clear to

up to the coUer, and

my

yaller britclies

bnstod
fether

flinders,

my

shaperdebruw and

all

nocked into
!

a perfect
1,

mush.

Thunder

and lightnin
fcclin's in

thinks

what must be a man's

a rale bnttle, whar th(>y're shootin' in


!

good yearnest
mistake;
the

Cum
men

to

find out,

it

was

all

didn't

know
I

nothing

bout

military ticktacks,

and thought

ment

a regular

forth of July salute.


I

had

to

lay

by

my

regimentalsbut

know'd

my

caracter was at stake as a officer,

and

larmined

to go on with the muster.

So

I told

Skinner and

Cullers to git the

men

strate agin
all

and when they

was

all in a line

sorted 'em
frunt,

out.

The

fellers

them what had sticks m the rare, and them what had no shoes, down to the bottum by them elves, so nobody couldn't

what had guns I put in

MAJOR

JV.'JBl.i'

COUttTSIIIP.

247

tratnp on ther tosc.


to forgit which

good nienny of \'m begun


rite

was ther

hand and

wiiich was

ther left; and


fikil

sum

of 'cm begun to be very difI

to
a

manage, so
old
field,

termincd to march 'em


git

rite

out to
licker,

whar they couldn't


was bleeged

no more
wear

specially sense 1

to

my
!

tothcr clothes.

Well, arter

got 'em

all fixed,

scs I,
lefl,

" Music

quick time

by the

rite flank,

file

march

!"

they stood for bout

minit lookin' at
I,

me "by
and

flank nuir-r-r-ch !" scs

as loud as I could holler.


at

Then they begun


hunchin'

lookin'

one

another

one another with ther elbows,

and the

fust thing I
snarl,

know'd they was


both

all

twisted
ends,

up
and
all

in a
all

goin'

ways

at

both

machin' through other in the middle, in


of helter skelter fashion.

sorts

"Halt!"
gwine

scs

I,

"hr.M

whcr upon ysath


was,
all in

is

you

all

!" and

thar they

a huddle.
I

They knowed
do
b'lieve.

better,

but jest

wanted to bother me,


" Never mind,"

ses I,

" gentlemen,
I got

we'll try that

revolution over ogin."


s'gir
,

So when

'em

all strait

T splained

it

to 'cm,
it.

tlit;
I,

jould understand

and gin 'cm the word so " Forward march !" scs
all

and away they went, not

together, but two

by

ffii

248
two, every feller

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
-.vaitin' til

his turn

cum

to step, so

fore the barefoot ones got started, I couldn't hardly

see to t'other

eend of the

betallion.

I let

^cm go

ahead

til

we got
;

to the old field,


in
''

and then
all

I tried to
field

stop ^em

but I had 'cm

gangs

over the
I,

in less than

no time.

Close up !" ses

as loud

as I could holler;
at

but they only stood and looked

me

like

they didn't

know what
I.

meant.

" Git

into a strait line again," ses


all

That brung ^em

together,

and

I told

'em to

rest a while, before I

put 'em through the nianuel.


'Bout this time out with

cum

a whole heap of fellers

sum

candidates, and Avanted I should Jet 'em


1 told

address the betdlion.


as they didn't kick
all

'em I didn't

care,

long

up no row.

Well, the meii wer

high up for hearin' the speeches of the candidates,


as flies

and got round 'em thick

round a

fat

gourd!

Ben Ansley-he's

the poplarest candidate


gittin'

down here

begun

to

show by

on a stump, and takin'

his hat off rite in the brilin' hot sun.

"Feller-citizens," ses he,


as

"1

spose you

all

know

how

my

friends is fotchcd

me

out to represent

this

county in the next legislater-I

countcrfit

money and
and

shinplasters

am am

posed to

posed to

abolition

free niggers, to the

morus multicaulis

MAjo^i Jones's courtship.

249

and the Florida war, and


vvhatsumcver
!

all

manner of sbeeoonery
respectable re-

If

Fs

Iccted your

presentation, I shall go in for

good munny, twenty


and shdl go for

cents for

cotton,

and no

taxes,

bolishin' prisonrnent for debt I

and the Central Bank.

bope

you'll

all

cum up

to the poles of the lection,

and vote

like a patriot for

Amen."
hands.

your very humble servant

Then he jumped down and went round shakin' '^ Hurra for Ben Ansley Ansley for ever \"
!

i1

shouted every
tf.ke

feller.

''

Down
all

with the

bank devil

the shinplasters and

the rale-roads !" ses

"Silence lor a speech from Squire Pettybone \" ''Hurra for Pet.ybone \"
Squire Pettybone was a
little

Captain

Skinner.

short fat
to

man, what
the

bad run
boys.

afore,

and knowed how

talk to

"Frends and

fellcr-citizons,'-

ses he,

"Fs
I

once
\ I

more a candidate
splain

for

your

sufferins,

and

want to

my

sentiments to yoa.

You've

jest hearn a

grate deal 'bout the Central Bank.

I ain't

no bank
a frend

man I'm
to the pore

'posed to

all
is

banks but

is

man, and

always reddy to stand up for

his constitutional rites.

When

the Central

Bank

250
put out
its

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

munny
it

it

was good, and


it

rich

men

got

it

and made use of


want to buy
it

when

was good; but now they


it's

in for less

nor what

worth to pay
put
it

ther dets to the bank,

and they

is

tryin' to

down, and make the pore man


does they want to put the bank
to cheat the pore
Elected, I shall

lose

by

it.

What
If I's

down

for, if it ain't

man who's
for

got

sum

of

it ?

go

makin' the banks redeem ther


devil of

munny
hard
for

in silver

and gold, or put every

'em

into the penitentiary to makin' nigger shoes.

I's a

munny man and in favor of the Vetos. I goes the pore man agin the rich, and if you 'lect me
what
I

that's

mean

to do."

Then he begun

shakin' hands all round.


!

Hurra

for Squire Pettybone

hurra for the bank and the

veto!"

shouted
!

some of the
the

men " Hurra


" Silence
for
for

for

Ansley

down with

bank

!"

Mr.

Johnson's

speech !"

" Hurra

Harrison !"
!

" Huri^

for the

Vetos !"

- Hurra for Jackson


!"

I can lick

any veto on the ground

" Silence !"

"Hurra
vetos

for Ansley, no

bank!"

" Whar's them

what's
!

agin
!

Ansleylet
a ring
!

me
make

at

'em!"

" Fight

fight

make

a ring

!"

"Whoop

!" hollered Bill

Sweeny,

"Fm

the blossom

MAJOR Jones's courtship.

251

go
it

it

shirt-tail \"
I,

" Hit 'em Sweeny V'~<' 'Tention


but
it

Betallion !" ses


rite in

want no
all

use they

was

at

the middle and


I

round the edges, and


bilin'

know'd the quicker


better for

got out of that

the
I
I

my

wholsum.

Thar they was, up and

down,
out

five

or six in a heap, rollin' over


bitin'

and crawlin'
and
t
.!

from under,
kickin'

and

scratchin', gougin'

cussin', head and heels all through other, none of 'em knowin' who they hurt,

strikin',

and

or

who

hurt

them all

the same whether they hit

Ansley or

or Pettybone. The candidates was runnin' about pullin^ and haulin', and

veto,

the blossom

tryin'ther best to stop it; but you couldn't hear nothin' but cursin', and "bank" and "veto," and "let me at ^em," "I'm your boy,'^ "let go my eyes !" and sich talk for more'n

twenty minits, and

then they only kep 'em apart by holdin' 'em off like dogs till they got dun pantin'.
It

want no use to

try to get

'em into

line agin.

Some

of 'em had got manuel exercise enuff, and was

and twisted out of all caracter, and it would be no use to try to put 'em through the manuel in
Lots of 'em had ther eyes bunged up so they couldn't " eyes right !" to save 'em, so I
turned
that situation.

knocked

cm

over to ther captains, accordin' to law,

ijij

252
and
left.

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
ain't sponsible for nothin' that

tuck place after I

No more

from

Your

frcnd,

til

doth

Jos. Jones.

PS. Miss Mary


the noos 'bout

most fainted when she heard


Don^t you

my

hoss throwin' me.


?

think that's a good sign

LETTER
TV ifear obir.

III.

Pineville..

December 20th, 1842.

It

seems our folks always


it

is

in a fuss.

First

it

was movin', then

was hog

killing

and now every-

thmg's topsy-turvy makin' reddy for Crismus. I do believe the niggers is scowered every spot from
the garret to
I!
;

the

dore-steps;
they's
jist

and
all

every time I
hollerin'

comes

into

the

hous

out:

"Thar, now, Mas Joe, and -Don't you


redened!" and
spit

look at your tracks!"


for it's just
!'^

on the berth,
spit

"Don't you
';

agin the jam

and

sieh
for

foolery, jist as

people's

houses wasn't

made

'em

to live in.

MAJOR Jones's couktsiiip.

253

It .cally puts ,e out of all patience to see such

And mothc,, .be', n.ggers el.oppin' sasaRcmeat to make


and poundin' and
spice

nonsensical di,.

l,a,!

all

the

n,inee-pic,

and ginger, and

n.akin' marvels'

beat,> eggs to n,ako pod-eke.

and

of sweet doin's for

all sort^

Crismus, for
ain't a

^-hen she takes

anything into her head, she

done not by nobody.

gwinc to be out-

don't come but once a-ycar now-a-days, and she's gwinc to treat it handsun, when rt does eum-she's

She

ses

Crismus

gwinc

to

show

Sta Irnscs that she's use to as good


of folkes.

the

livin'

as ,st

I g,,.y , t ,p,_ ^^^ .^,^ monstrous expensive and unpleasant to go things on thcb,gflger that she's on now; it never ought to be done only to wedin's, and it wouldn't do then nhor ther was to be many in the

Well,

same

family.

D'

tell

us what upon ycarth

all

this talk

means about

the world eomin' to a ccnd net April. I've heard a great deal about Miller's doctrine lately. Now I don't bke to believe
to

come out

true, I

nonsense ; but if it was wouldn't like to be so tuek in


Stallins,

no

sich

li

Mother and old Miss


more old
ladies, is in a

and two or three

mighty fidget about it, and mother dreamed she seed two moons t'other uight

-4-i

.'I

jj:ij

254

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
all

and one of 'cm was


about
in

blazin' with
all

fire,
1

and

flyin'

the sky like

wrath.
it,

don't 'zactly

know what
sartin,
it's

to think about

but ther's one thing


in
I

got
the
it.

to

begin

monstrous early
of
April,
set
if

the
ain't

mornin' on
I

third

day

up

to see

If anybody

was to

the woods

a fire 'bout Pineville, jest at that time,


like to
(|

L wouldn't answer for the consequence among the old

winiin.

But I'm not gwine


with
for,

to let sich matters interfere


I call
it

my
to

marryin' spekelations.
ther's

spekrlation,
is

you know,

no

tellin'

how

these thin<rs
it's

gwine
if

turn out.

In the fust place,

a chance

a body git's the gall he's courtin',


all

an<i after he's


it's

got her

to himself for
if

better or for worse,

chance agin

she don't turn out a monstrous site


for.

worse nor he tuck her

But

I think
is

mine's a

jest a leetle the smartest, and best, and the butifulest gall in

pretty safe business, for Miss

Mary

Georgia.

I've seed

her two or three times lately,


I

and

ain't

more'n half so afraid of her as

used

to be.
gift

I told

her t'other night I had a Crismus

for

her,

which

Hoped she would take and

keep.

i.

What

is it,

Majer ?"

ses she.

MAJOR Jones's courtship,

255
I

"Oh!" SCSI,

-it's

something what

wouldn't

give nobody else in the world !"

" Well, but what

is

it ^o

tell

me

?"

'^So,ething/' ses

I,

what you

stole
it

from

mc

long tunc ago, and sense you've got to keep It, and give me one
like
it

want you

in return."

it is, fust," ses she and I seed her cut her eye at Miss Carline, and sort o'

" Well do

tell

me what

(i'

smile.

" But

will

you give

me

"What, Majer tell me what


''I'll tell

one in return ?" ses I ?"


I.

you Crisraus eve," ses

"But

will

give

me

you

7/ours in return ?"

," then her face got red as a poppy, and she looked down.

"lW./eh, my

as

"You know
you."

what. Miss

Mary,"

ses

I,

'^will

She didn't say nothin', but blushed worse and


worse.

"Now, mid,"
Crismus eve."

,ea

I,

"I 3t have

a answer

ses she-and then she looked up and laughed, and sed->exchange is uo robbery, is it ' sister Carline."

"Well,"

*'.

ffi

111

25(5

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
sis/' ses slu!,

" No

" but

reckon Joseph
."

p^ni h'm

pay bout the same time you " Stop,


stop,
sister,

stoK; his

Majer didn't say

his

h<:art

"There, there!"

ses

Miss

Carline

and

MisM

Kcsiah, clappin' ther hands, and

hiuj^'hin' as loiui

m
\v.t

they

could " there,


out
o'

tlierc, litth- iiuiocent sister's


hist.
1

the cat

the bag, at

told

y<jii

mo,

Majer."
I never felt so

good

afore in

all

my

life,

and Minn

Mary, pore

gall,

hid her face in her hands and Ixigun


it

to cry, she felt so about


galls,

that's the

way with the


tin; hap|)i<!Ht

they always cry when they feel

but I soon got her in a good humour, and

theji

went home.

I'm gwine to bring her

rite

up

to the

scratch Crismus, or I ain't here.


I

I'll tell

you how

cum

out in

my next.
Your

No more
friend,
til

from
deth.

Jos. JoNios.

MAJOR Jones's courtship.

257

LETTER

IV.

Pineville,

Dgj^j, si^

December 27th, 1842.

Crismus
I told

is
i.i

over,

and the thing's

(led.

You know
to brino^
':

you

my

last letter I

was gwine

Miss Mary up to the chalk a Crismus. Well I done it, slick as a whistle, though it come mighty nigh bcm' a serious undertakin'. But I'll tell you all about the whole circumstance.

The

fact

is,

I's

made my mind up more'n twenty

rite out with the whole business; but whenever I got whar she was, and

times to jest go and come

whenever she looked

and kind

o'

at me with her witchin' eyes blushed at me. I always felt sort o'
all

^keercd and fainty, and

what

made up
it

to tell

her was forgot, so I couldn't think of mc. But you's a married


I couldn't tell

to save

man, Mr. Thompson, so

tion as they call

you nothing about popin' the quesit. It's a mighty grate favour
and to people
hard,
as ain't

to ax of a rite pretty gall,

used

to

it,

it

goes

monstrous

don't

it?
liS

They say widders don't mind it more'n But I'm makin' a transgression,
as the
ses.

nothin'.

preacher

VOL. ni.

258

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
put on n,y new
suit,

Cri.srnus eve I

and shaved
and went
as I

my

face

as

slick as a snioothin'

iron,

over to old Miss Stallinscs.


into the

As soon
all

went

parler vvhar

they was

settin^

round

the

lire,

Miss Carline and Miss Kesiali both laughed

i^<NiP4iN||

rite out.

"There, there,"
it

scs they,

"I

told

you

so, I

knew

would be Joseph."
" What's

I done.

Miss Carline

scs

I.

You come under


b'lieve she

httle sister's chicken-bone,

and

I
it

do

knew you was

coniin'

when she put

over the dore."

"
ses

No

didn't I
Mary,

didn't

no such thing, now,"


face

Miss

and her

blushed

red

all

over.

"Oh, you
"you
charm
I

needn't deny

it,"

ses

Miss Kesiah,

^long to Joseph now, jest as sure as ther's any


in chicken-bones.'^

knowd

that

was a

first-rate
little

chance to
looked

say
so

something,
sorry
zactly

but the dear

creater

and kep' blushin'


to the

so,

I couldn^t say nothin'

pint, so I tuck a chair and reached up and tuck down the bone and put it in my

pocket.
are you gwine to do with that old bone now, Mujcr ?" ses Miss Mary.

"

What

MAJOR JONPs's COURTSHIP.


t(

259

I'm gvvinc to keep

it

(t

ns a

Cnsmus

as long as I live,sos I

Georgia."

present from the hand.somest gall in

When

I sc>d that, she blushed worse

and worse.

"Ain't you shamed, Majer?" ses she. "Now you ought to give /,er a Crismus Joseph, to keep all her life," sed Miss
Carline
I

gift
'

"Ah,"
we used
to

ses old

Miss

Stallins,

"when

was a

..all

hang up our stockins "Why, mother!" ses allof'em,

rite aiore

"to say stoekins

Then

I felt

little

streaked too, 'cause they was

blushiii' as

hard as they could. "Ilighty-tity!" ses the


I'd like to

old lady,

^trous fiuement.
.s

m stockins.

"what m. knon what harm ther


is

People now-a-days
call

gittin' so
its rite

mouthed they eau't and I don t see as


t.me people was.
I

mealy,

nothin' by

name,

they's any better than the old

When I was a gall hke you. child, use to hang up n,y stockins and git 'em full of presents."
The
_

gals kep laughin'.


ses

"Never mind,"
give

me

Miss Mary, "Majer's got to


!

"Oh,
one.

a Crismus gift won't you, Majer ?" yes," ses I, "you know I promised
s 2

jf

you

260
" But
I

AMERICAN HUMOUR
didn't

mean

that,''

sho
v

"I've got one for you, wha


all

I wa?;

ni to keep

your

life,

but

it

would take a twooushel bag to

hold

it," sea I.

" Oh, that's the kind," ses she.

"But
ses
I.

will

you keep

it

as long

as

you live?"

" Certainly I

will,

Majer."
people

"Monstrous 'finement now-a-days old


don't

know

nothin' 'bout perliteness," said old Miss

Stallins,

jest

gwine to sleep with her

nittin' in

her

hand.

"Now
ses she'll

you hear
keep
I

that.

Miss Carline,"
life."

ses I.

"She

it all

her
ses

"Yes,
is it

will,"

Miss

Mary;

"but what

?"
ses I,

" Never mind,"


enuiFto hold
it

" you hang up a bag big


what
it is,

and

you'll find out

when

you

see

it

in the mornin'.

"

Miss Carline winked


whispered to her;
looked at

Miss Kesiah, and then then they both laughed and


at

me

as mischievous as they could.

They

spicioned something.

You'll be sure
tt

to give

it

to

me now,

if I

hang up

a bag," ses Miss Mary.

And

promise to keep

it," ses I.

MAJoii Jones's coT'RTsnir.

261

" Well,
give

I will, cause

know

that

you wouldn't

me

nothin' that wasn't worth keei)in'."


all

Tluy
to put
livo

agreed

tlu^y

would hang up a bag

for

me

Miss Mary's Crisnius

i)rc8ent in, in the

back

porch, and 'bout nine o'clock I told 'em goodcvcnin' and went honif
I

sot

up

till

midnight, and when

1'..

;,

was

all

gone

to bed, I

went

softly into the

back gate, and


cnufF,

went up to the porch, and thar, shore


grate

was

big

meal-bag hangiu to the


git to
I sot
it,

jiee.

It

was

monstrous unhandy to
not to back out.

but

was ^tarmined

So

some

chairs (m top of a
let

bench and got hold of the rope and

myself down

into the bag; but jest as I was gittin' in,

swung agin

the chairs,

terrible racket.

the bag and down they went with a But nobody didn't wake up but old

when

Miss Stallinses grate big cur dog, and here h" cum rippin' and tarin' through the yard like rath, and round and round he went tryin' to find what was
the matter. I sot down in the bag and didn^t breathe louder nor a kitten, for fear he'd find me
out,

Hi

and
to

after a while

he quit barkin'.
cold,
so,

The wind

begun
turni/i'

blow 'bominablc

and the old bag kcp


it

round and swingin'


I

made me
move

sea-sick
If

as the mischief.

was

III

'fraid to

for fear the

262

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
let

rope would brake and


with

me
1

fall,

and thar I
It

sot

my

teeth ratlin' like I

ad a ager.
I I

seemed
b'lieve

like it

would never come daylight, and


Miss Mary so powerful

do

f I didn't love
to

would

froze
felt

deth

for
it

my

hart was the only spot that

warm, and
only

didn't beat more'n two licks a minit,

when

thought how she would be sprised in


it

the mornin', and then

went

in a canter.

Bimeby

the cussed old dog

come up on

the porch

and begun
like

to smell about the bag,

and then he barked

he

thought he'd treed something.

"
;:(

Bow
and

wow
!"

wow
up

!" ses

he.

Then he'd smell

agin,

try to git

to the bag.

" Git out


hear me.

ses I, very low, for fear they

would

" Bow

wow
!

wow

!" ses he.

" Be gone
felt all H

you 'bominable

foci,"

ses I,

and I

over in spots, for I 'spected every minit he'd

nip me, and what

made

it

worse, 1 didn't

know whar

'bouts he'd take hold.

"

Bow

wow
here,

wow
good
it

!"

Then
"
little

1 tried coaxin'

Come

feller,"

ses I,

and whistled a
Thar he stood
all

to him, but
his

wasn't no

use.

and kep up

eternal

whinin' and barkin',

MAJOR
night.

JONfEs's COURTSHIP.

263
breakin',

I couldn't tell

when daylight was

only by the chickens crowing and I was monstrous

glad to hear 'em, for

if I'd

had

to stay thar one

hour

more, I don't b'lie-e I'd ever got out of that bag


alive.

Old Miss

Stallins

come out
:

fust,

and

as soon as

she saw the bag, ses she

" What upon yeath has Joseph went and put in that bag for Mary ? Fll lay it's a yearlin' or some
live

animal, or Bruin wouldn't bark at


in

it

so."
I sot thar,
if I
all

She went

to call the galls,

and

shiverin' all over so I couldn't


tried

hardly speak

tobut

I didn't

say nothin'.

Bimeby they

come runnin'
"

out.

My

lord,
it's

what

is it

?" ses Miss Maiy.

" Oh,
move."

alive !" ses

Miss Kesiah, "

I seed

it

"

Call Cato,

and make him cut the rope,"


let's see

ses

Miss Carline, " and

what

it is.

Come

here,

Cato, and git this bag down."


it for the world," ses Miss Mary. Cato untied the rope that was round the jice, and

" Don't hurt

'

I'

let

the bag
all

down easy on

the

floor,

and

tumbled

out

covered with corn meal, from hed to foot.


ses

"Goodness gracious!"
ain't the

Miss Mary,

"if

it

Majer hmisclf

!"

'^smm/m>>>'\

264
" Yes/'
keep

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
ses I,

" and you know you promised to


as

my

Crismus present as long

you

lived."

The

galls

laughed themselves almost to deth, and


off

went to brushin'
sayin' they

the meal as fast as they could,


to

was gwine

hang

that bag

up every

Crismus

til

they got husbands too.

Miss

MaryShe

bless her bright

eyes she blushed

as butiful as a

morninglory, and sed she'd stick to her word.

of bed, and her hair wasn't komed, and her dress wasn't fixt at all, but the way she looked
pretty was rale distraetin'.
froze
stiff,

was

rite out

do

b'lieve if I
face, as

was

one look at her charmin'

she stood

lookin'

down

to the floor with her rogish eyes,


fallin'

and

her bright curls

all

over

her snowy neck,

I tell you what, it was worth hangiu' in a meal-bag from one Crismus to another to feel as happy as I have ever
sense.
out,

would fotch'd

me

too.

went home
fire
till

after

we had the laugh

and

set
all

by the

I got thawed.

In the forenoon

the Stallinses

come over

to our house

and we had
ever was

one of the greatest Crismus dinners


seed in Georgia, and I don't b'H^
/e

ti^at

a happier

com-

pany ever
Stallins

sot

down

to

the same

to')le

Old Miss

and mother

settle-I

the match, and talked

over every thing that


'i
III

eve^' hup;.;

ned ia ther

families,

and laughed

at

me and Mary, and

jried 'bout ther

MAJOR JONESES COURTSHIP.

265

ded husbands, cause they wasn't ahve to see ther


children married.
It's all settled

now, 'ccpt we haint sot the weddin'


it all

day.

I'd like to have

over at once, but young

galls always like to be

engaged a while, you know,


a

so I spose I
ses I

must wait
call

monf^ or

so.

Mary

(she

musn't

her Miss I\Iary now,) has been a


bother.vtion to

good deal of trouble and

mo
I

but

if

you could see her, you wouldn't think grudge a little sufferin' to git sicli a
wife.

ought to
little

sweet

You must come


ril let

to the weddin' if

you possibly
from

kin.

you know when.

No more
til

Your

frend,

deth,

Jos. Jones.
J(:

LETTER

V.

TV

Dear

c.-

Pin^ville,

January 5th, 1842.

S^*.

Ther'j hcta a awful catoslerfy


I rit

Pineville sense

my

last letter to

you.
I

Little did J think then

what was u ^omin', though

always thought some

KK1

266

AMERICAN HUMOUR.

cussed thing would turn up jest to spile


piness.

my

hap-

Last nite I was over to old Miss Stallinses, talkin'

long with
lations

Mary and
when

the gals, and

niakin'

calcu-

about the weddin' and hous-kcepin', and


all at

sich things,

once ther was a terrible


the house was gwine to

shakin' and

rackin' like
us.

1 1,1
'
I

tumble down a top of

The

gals

all

squalled out
rite

as loud as they could holler,

and cotched
rae
til

hold

of me, and hugged close to

they almost

choked
i

my

breth out of me, and old Miss Stallins


into a
fit

fainted

away

of the

highstcricks.
it

The
had
a

shakin^

didn't last

morc'n

a minit, but
it

m
t
J

monstrous curious

feelin'

while

did last.
to rubin' the old

When

it

was over the gals


I

fell

woman's hands, and

poured a gourd of water in

her face to bring her too.

Bimeby she got

better,

all her sense out of her, for she scs she knows the world is

but I do b'lieve the yeath-quake has shuck

cumin' to a eend now, shore enuff, and she ses rae

and Mary musent


She
\

git

married not

til

after next April.

ses

she didn't dream bout them two moons for

'i

nothin',

and that the yeath shakin'


to

so

is

a sure sign

that

sumthing's gwine

happen.
s]<:

Mary was
got over
it,

skeered monstrous too, bul

soon

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


and
so
(11(1

267

Miss

Stallins has

Miss Kesiah, and Miss Carline, but old been talkin' bout nothin' else but

the world cornin' to a eend ever sense.

She
else

ses

nobody ought

to

think bout anything


it's

but

gittin'redy to die, and that

wicked to think bout


I told her,

weddip"
the

-.d

such

like,

now.

what

if

i-Irt

as to

come

to a eend, ses I, if

we was

niarriet
1

.r daughter wouldn't be left a widdcr, and never could die contented no way, without I was

married

fust.
it

But
b'licvcs

in

am't no use to argy with her, for she parson Miller now like a book, and

won't listen to no sort of reasonin'.

She
the

ses

it

was

jest

so

when

old Mr.

Noah

bilt

ark

no body didn't

b'lieve

him

till

the water was up to

ther chins, and


selves.

then they couldn't

help

them-

So you see what a


trouble,

fix

I'm in

after

all

my

and jest when

thought I was gwine to be


a yeath-quake must

the happiest

man

in Georgia,

I haint no notion of puttin' off the weddin' so long, but I spose I might wait if I can't do no
better.

come

jest to

upset

my

calculations.

I'm

in hopes though,

old

Miss
to

Stallins

will

git over

her

skcer,

and come

her senses

long

afore

268
April,
D'fi

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
I'll

be sure to

let

you know.

No more

from

Your
II';

frcnd,

til

deth, Jos. Jones,

III

LETTER

VI.

Pineville, February 2nd, 18^3.

Dear

Sir,

Ever sense

I writ

my
me

last letter to

you, tilings

is

gone on

jest as strate as a shingle,


is,

and the only


it's
all

thing what troubles

I'm afraid

too

good

to last.

It's

always ben the way with

me

ever

sense I ean remember, wlienever

Pm
up

the happyest

sum blamed thing seems

to turn

jest to upset all


is

my

caleulations,

and now, though the day


the
Stallinscs
is

sot for

the weddin', and

gittin'

every-

thing redy as fast as they can,


s'prised

wouldn't be
thing was to
jest
it

much

if

some

'bominable

happen, some yeath-quake or something,


bust
it

to

all

up agin, though

I should hate

mon-

strous.

Old Miss

Stallins red that piece in the Miscellany


]\Iiller's figcrs,

if:
i

'bout the mistake in Parson

and

do

I'
I

:-/

MAJOR JONESES COURTSHIP.


b'-lieve she's as

269

would

live a

it as if she was shore she whole thousand years more herself.

glad about

She

ses

she hain't got no objections to the weddin'

now, for

make

me and Mary'll have plenty of time to a fortin for our children and rais ^em up as
She
ses

they ouglit to be.

she always wondered

Miller could eifer the thing out so strait, to the very day, without , single mistake, but now he's made sich a terrible blunder of. a whole

how Mr.

thousand years,

she

ses

she
if

knows he

ain't

no

smarter nor other people,


north.
It's i'eally surprisin',

he was raised

at the

make
butiful

body

to

how 'mazin' pop'lar it does be engaged to be married to a


Sense the thing's leaked out,

a
ill

young

lady.

everyl)ody's

my

pertickeler frend,
I go,

and

I can't

meet

nobody wherever
late

but what wants to congrati-

me on my good

fortin, 'cept

Cousin Pete and


o' like

two or three other

fellers,

who

look sort

they

wanted to laugh and couldn't.

Almost every night


T'other night

Mary and me is invited to a wc went to one to old Squire

party.

Rogerses, whar I got

my

dander up a

little

the worst I've had

time.

I don't b'lieve

it for some you have ever hearn of jest

sich a fool trick as they played

on me.

Ther was a

:i,

270
good many
dancing

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
thar,

and

as

the

Squire

don't

'low
mIcIi

tliey all

played games and tricks, and

foolishness to pass

away the time, which

to

my
the

notion's a 'hominable site worse than dancin'.

Cousin Pete was thar splurgiu' about


biggest,

in

and with

his dandy-cut trowscrs

and big

whiskers, and tried to take the shine off everybody


else, jest

as

he always does.

Well,

biin(;l)y

he

ses

" S'pose we play Brother Bob

let's

play Brother

Bob."
)
;.

" Yes,

let's

play that," ses

all

of 'em

" won't

you be Brother Bob, Majer ?"

" Who's Brother Bob ?"


nothing 'bout
it,

ses I

for I didn't
I

know

and
in.

that's the

way

cum

to be so

'bominably tuck

'Til

tell

you," ses he;

"you and somebody


and be
blindfold(;d,

cli^c

must

set

down

in the chairs
all

and

the rest must

walk round and round you, and


til

keep tappin' you on the head with sumthing

you

gess

who bob'd you."


ses I.

" But how bob me ?"


"

Why,"
say,
'

ses he,

" when any one taps you, you


!'

must
ax,
'

Brother, I'm bob'd


?'

and then

tlniy'll

Who

bob'd you

and

if

you gess the

rite

one,

MAJOR Jones's courtship.

271

then they must take your place and be bob'd til IKT gcss who bob'd 'em. If you'll be bhndfoldcd Iwill, ses he, "jest for fun."

"Well/'

ses I, '^anytliing for fun."

Pete sot out two ehairs into the middle of the room, and we sot down, and they tied a ^ankercher round ,ny eyes tite as the m.ehief, so I eouldn't see to gess no more'n if I had no
eyes
I hadn't sot

And Cousm

no time

tuck

me

rite side o' the

The hre
hke

cawhalux some one hed with a dratted big book.


!

fore,

-m

my eyes in big live coals, and 1 keeled over out of the chair. I IHt my blood
mill-taii,

flew out o^

hke a

but they

all

laughed m.ghtdy
.-

at the fun,

and

after a while, ses I

" i3rother, I'm bob'd." " ^^'ho bob'd you ?"


I guessed

ses they.

but

the biggest-fisted feller in the room

It

wasn't him.
minit, spang went the book agin Cousin

The next
Pete's head.

Whew !" ses he, - brother, I'm "Who bob'd you?" ses they.
"

bob'd."

But Cousin Pete


fust thu.g I

gess rite nother, and the knowed, whang they tuek me agin. I

didn't

272
was
dredfiil
it

AMEIIICAN HUMOUR.
anxious to gcss
rite,

but

it

was no use,

I missed

every time, and so did Cousin Pete, and

the harder they hit the harder they laughed.

One

time they hit


rest.

me

great deal softUer than the

"Brother,

Fm

bob'd!"

ses I.

"

Who

bob'd you ?" ses they.


I.

" Miss Mary Stullins," ses

"No,

I never," ses she;

and they

all

roared out

worse than ever.


I begin to git monstrous tired of sich fun, which

seemed so mueh

like the frogs in the spellin'


it

book

for

it

was fun to them but

was dcth to me
if

and

I don't

know what

would done

Mary

hadn't

come up and onticd the hankereher.


"Let's play something
face was as red as
fire,

else," ses
>,he

she,

and her
o'

and

looked sort

mad

out of her eyes.


I seed ther was something

wrong

in a minit.

Well,

they

all

went on playin' "pawns," and

" 'pon

honour,"
bush,"

and
and

" Here

we go round the
sister
til

gooseberry

" Oh,

Feby,

how
all

merry we be," and


they kno
\l^
-red,

sich nonsense

they played

and while they was playin' Mary told

me

all

how

cousin Pete bob'd

me

himself.

ikJiki

11

MAJOR Jones's courtship,


This
Ijcam

273
in
I
eve,.

was

the

most audacious

take

ad now and knee with the book, to make me bheve he was bob'd too. My bed was a singin'
hen
h,ttin' his

think the cus didn't set rite down beside me, and never blindfolded himself at all, and h,t me every liek himself,

of.

Do you

-. h the lieks

when she
if
it

told

me how

and

he done me,

do b'heve

Cousin Pete sieh a


as he never

hadn't been for her I'd ^in

liekin' rite thar in that

room
'

had afore
at

in his

bom
now
h,s

days.

but I was

Blades

mad

fust.
it,

not to raise no fus about and she would fix him

Bt Mary b.gged me
it

all

over,
I to

for

smartness.

'U

hadnt no
do
It,

sort

of

ide

how she was gwine

time, so I jest let her go ahod. Well she tuek the 'bominable fool off to one side and 'whispered to him like she

any

but I know'd she was enuff for Cousin Pete

was gwine to

a grate sceret.

She

told .

what she learned down


the
eollege,

let him into him 'bout a new play Maeon when she was at

ealled

" Interduetion

to

the

and Queen," what she sed was a grate deal funuver than "Brother Bob," and
'swaded him to help to
git

Kin--

'em

all

to play.

After she and

him made

it all

p. Cousin Pete

vol. in. T

wm
Ai
>%.

//

7
u.

IMAGE EVALUATION
TEST TARGET (MT-3)

1.0

1^ ilM 110
112

IM
22

I.I

M
1.8

1.25

U
6"

III

1.6

v]
<^ /a

->
/^

VI

^^
<p

% >
e^
A.

^
Photographic Sciences Corporation
23 WEST MAIN STREET WEBSTER. N.Y. 14580 {7U) 872-4503

-\ ^k\
r='.*>!v

c;/i

"%'

'4'

o\
^

^fi^mmmmm

274

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
in a roe for a

put out three chairs close together


throne, and

Mary

she;

put a sheet over 'em to make


Bill JJycrs

'em look a

little

grand.

was to be King

and iMary was


"

to be

Queen.
all

come in t'other room/' ses Cousin Pete, " only them what belongs to the court,
and then you must come
at a time."

Now

you must

in

and be interduced, one

"

I ain't

gwine/' ses

Tom

Stailins,

" for ther's

some
"

trick in it."

No

ther ain't," ses Cousin Pete, "


ain't
I,

I'll

give you

my

word ther

no

trick,

only a

little

fun."
for

''Well," ses
nite."

"I'h had fun

enough

one

Mary
she:

looked

at

me and kind

o'

winked, and, ses

jest

" You're one of the court you know, Majer, but go out till the court is sumonsed before
the

throne."

Well, we

all

went out, and bimeby


all

Bill

Byers

called out the

names of

the lords and ladys what


all

belonged to the court, and we

went

in

and tuck

chairs on both sid^s of the throne.

Cousin Pete was to be the

first

one interduced,

and Samuwcll Rogers was

to be the feller

what

in-

'

"S-.-!~-.-''=^^..

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


a

275

voe for a

terda ed

the

company.
in

Well,

1 to
)

make

opened

and

bimoby the dore


Pete,

co.ne

Cousm

be King

-rap. and

bowin>
puttin'

and

twistin'

ooir./' ses

the court,
luced,

one

--o u
1

on French dancin' n.astcr-he beat C-.ehot all to smash. The K,ng sot on one side of the throne and the Queen on

and

rigglein^

and

mo.. a.s nor

toother,

leavm'

the middle for some one


,,

else.

Sam was

for ther's

, ,, Cousin Pete's antieks that he couldn't hardly speak.

"Doctor
I

I'de..

Jones," se, he,

give you
))

to ther Alajestys the

"I intcrduee you Khig aud Queen "

'

i.

ill

in

Cousin one

I'ete

for

on one knee,

sc-aped about a while and then drapt


afore 'era.
Bill

rite

"Rise, gallant knight," ses


and, ses

[ajer,

but

lefore the

!ill

Bycrs

dub you knight of the rcyal bath." Cousin IVte got up and bowed ,1 scraped a few more tnnes, and went to set down between 'em but they ris up jest as he went to set down, ard the fnst thing he knowd, kerslosh he went, rite
but his bed and heels stickin' out.

Byers, "rise,

we

dys what

md

tuck

He
and
,f

tried

to k,ss

Mary

as he

was takin' his


as he

seat,

you eould

jest seed

him

tcrduccd,

what

in-

tub with his arms reached out to her, and his mouth t for a kiss, I do b'lieve you'd laughed more'n T 3

went into that

mwvmmm

276

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
in

you ever did afore


90 spicious that

your
trick

life.

The

fellers

was

all

some

was gwine

to be plaved,

that they

left

the dore open, an'^


all

when

the thing
like

tuck place they

run

in slioutin'

and laughin'

they would bust ther sides. Pete got out as quick as he could, and seed a feller so wilted down in all my
life.

never got

He
in

as
I

mad
to

as a hornet,

and sed

it

was a drotted mean


specially

trick
:

serve

enny body
rite

so,

cold

wether.
to dry.

And he went

off

home by himself

Mary made the niggers take out the middle chair and put the tub of water thar when we was all in
t'other room.

Pete didn't spicion the trick was gwine to turn out that way he thought the

queen
kiss

was gwine to sentence every

feller

what didn't

her as he sot down, to do something that would make fun for the rest, and he was jest

gmne

to

open

the game.
don't think

I felt perfectly satisfied after that,

and I Cousin Pete will be quite so fond of

funny

tricks the next time.

But

I like to forgot to tell you,

my

weddin'

is

to take placepervidin' ther ain't

no more yeath-

quakes nor unaccountabcl things to prevent on the 23 of this month, which you know is a famous day

ers wag all

MAJOR JONES'S COURTSHIP.


What
pa not
ovght to be
celebrated
1

377

be plaved,
the thing ughin^ like

by every genewine
you
to

the world.

shall look for

and

come

hope

you

will

be sure

to be

nd
.

never

know you wouldn't grudge Mary Jones what is to be.

thar, for I

the ride jest so see

M.s

We's gwine

He
in

got

>ttcd
Y

mean
cold

considerable gotherin', jest to please the old folks an old Miss Stallins see she's gwine to give us real Georgia weddin' of the old time fashion

to have a

)y

himself

more from

No

Your
ddle chair

frend,

til

deth,

Jos. Jones.

vas

all

in

trick

was

the queen
lidn't kiss
liat le

p. S._I went over t'other nite to ,ee 'em all and they was as busy as bees in a tar-barrel sowin' and mak,' p fiery. Mary was sowin'

would
open

*ne
The

and wMtewU..

ruffles

and

to

,:

somethin.

lat,
)

and I

" What kind of a thing


gals looked
d,e,

is

that ?" ses I

fond of

t%
eddin'
re
;

would

one another and laughed like and n,y poor httle Mary (bless her
at

R.'

is

|J)^kepgetherin.,tpiu,,,p,y^,,^,
"Tell him,
looked rite
sis," ses

yeath-

on the

Miss

Carline,

but

Mary
"

nous day

down and

didn't say nothin'.

"I'll tell hira," ses

Miss Kesiah "It's a

mr

278

AMERICAN HUMOUU.
shan't ii..\v stop, stop,^' ses Mary,
i)i'c:tty little

"No, you
she put her

and

hand

rite

on

]\Iiss

Kesiuh's
I

mouth, and looked


'

like she'd cry for a little.

fdt

i,j

so sorry for her, I told 'em I didn't

want

to

know,

home, hut
yeath
day.
it

and they put the thin-s away, and biineby I went I kep thinkm' all the way what upon
could
be.
I s'pose

i'U

find

out some

LETTER

VII.

Piiieville,

February 21th, 1843.

Dear
I

Sir,

am

too

happy and no
is

mistakethe twentyand the " consumation


In

second of February

over,

so devotedly to be wished for" is tuck place.

other words,
siti;atic

Ts

married
all
if

man

I ain't

in

no

to tell

you

how
it

the thing- tuck place,

not by no means, and

wasn't for

don't b'lieve I could keep

away from

my promis, I my wife long

Eless her little sole, I didn't think I loved her half so good as I do; but
to tell

enough

to rite

you a

letter.

you the

rale

truth, I do b'lieve I've

ben
last.

almost out of

my

senses ever sense nite afore

MAJOR Jones's
iMai y,

ccurtsiiip.

279
gals
is

and

But

must be short

this time, while the

plagin'
tie.
t

Mary

in t'other roou).

They

are so bad.

I felt

had the

licens got

more'n a week ago, and old

to

know,

Mr. Eastman brung home


time.

my

weddin'

suit jest

in

:by I

went

vhat upon

out some

Mother would make me let Cousin Pete wait on me, and Miss Kesiah was bridesmaid. Mother and old Miss Stallins had everything 'ranged in fust
rate style long afore the time ariv,

and nothing was

wantin' but your


plete.

cumpany

to

make everything com-

Well, ^bout sun-down Cousin Pete

cum round
and
good; but

to
I
if

my
1th, 1843.

room whar we rigged out


I

for the 'casion,

don't believe

ever seed
the.i:

him look

so

he'd jest tuck off


^

'bominable grate big sorrel


site better.

twenty-

whiskers of
I

his,

he'd looked a monstrous

isumation
lace.
I't

put on

my

yaller britches

and blue cloth

cote,

and

''i.

In

white satin jacket, and

my new

beaver hat, and then

in

no

we druv round
hira into
to

to

old Squire llogerses and tuck

ck place^
promis, 1
wife long
le sole, I

the

carriage,

and away we

went out

got that ther was a most everlastin' getherin' thar waitin' to see the ceremony afore they et ther supper. EveryStallins was flyin' about like she didn't know which eend she stood

Miss Stallinses plantation.

When we

"fil!

do; but

body looked glad, and old Miss

IVe ben
fore last.

on.

280
''

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
^'""^ "'''*''''"- "I-, "thogalki,
I col,l,rt bc.,.i to
in the

Other room/'

Bt

,,it

t.,h ,

f^^. ^,^^

fellers all ,.ni-dl,auli'

ot

me

and hakia' the


was.

life

out

to tell inc

how glad they

"Howdy,

"I g.veyojy,",oshe:"yergwieton,arry'the
flower 01 the eounty, as
\

Majer, howdy," ses old Mr. Dyers

always sed.

monstrous nice gal, Majer." "That's a faet," se, old


feet,

She's

and I hope

you'll

Joseph, and that you'll have good luek with you^

Mr. Skinner, "that's a be a good husband to her

"Thank

ye,

thank ye, gentlemen; eome along.

The dore

to t'other

nt.

room was opened, and


all

in

we

never was so struek

up

-tha

in a heap afore

,t

butiful as

she seed

me

three or f. .no^e g^ls, a angel and blushin' like a rose. When

Mary

with

she kind o' looked

down and
I

.uled and sed

sort o'

"good
for

evenin'."

word

for

my

couldn't say a

life,

more'n a minit.

Thar she

sot.

"""k

to

myself what a

villain

man must

be that

MAJOR JONES'S COURTSHIP.


could marry her and

Jgl

th

,,.ke

her unhappy by

treat,nhcrn,n,andldctor.iodi,yj,'
stand atwecn her and the storm, f the world, and love her, and t ..ke earc of her, and n.ake her happy, a, h,g a,
!'" as

ncd
all

y ,,., j,,^ ,^^^ she was drcsse.l then, and you wasn't a marman, you couldn't help but envy
n,y luck, after

,i,d.

If

the trubble I've had toother.

She

kmd
bow

hite muslin frock, with short sleeves, and white satin slippers, with her hair all Imngn, over her snow-white neck and shoulders but,ful curls, without a single brcst-pin or

jest to

my

dossed

likin', in

any

o. juelry or ornament, 'eept a httle white satin on the side of her hed.

cum

Bm.cby Miss

Carline

111

the room.
sis,

" Cum,
g|'ate

Mary

and ther was b,g tears in her eyes, and she went and give a kiss rite in her
mouth, and hugged her a

they's all redy," scs she,

time or two.

We
and I

all

got

up

to go.

Mary trembled monstrous,

felt sort o'

nothm'

fainty ,yelf, but I didn't feel

like cryin\

of the flore and axed us for the -icens.

got in the room whar the cumpany was old Squire Rogers stopt us rite in the n.iddle

When we

Cousin

282

AMKUICAV

inf.MOirR.

'';"'''""'"'"- "'i-Mii,,,i,,i,.
ti'll-ni

AH,,

liid,.

I,,,

,.|,|

:'";!"",:

'"'""

"^''"-

-IM

""^ i-iv

i-1

.f
'^

..I,,.,..,,.',.
,,n,k, ,.

'iltcnviinls ljM

,,p

il,,.,.

,.,n.c_"

""''"'.vl"nl!oh,,n.v,l,-li,r<l,u,Kl,t,.r!l,,de,.

'""?;

7'"-'"l"^'-S.alli,|,.,,
'!'

7"''' "'"""' "

"'
at

'
I

l.a."l.s

.uul cryin'

sl.ot,' liko l,e


T1"...<1...

and

,,

,|,.,o,.,i'
tl,ik, I, ,,,..,

and

li,-lin'
l.|,l

(,,
't,.,..

y-tLquakc.
"""'''

l,t 1

u, Ala,.y, an.l >va


..

"""

'""'

'-' "(

.val

but

,,

all

crcati,,,, s},|,| gi,

1,^.,.

,.., ,^^^
'

" Go

al.,l,

Squire," scs Cousin Pete.

It aiu't

iiotlmi'.'^

Mary
"*H|)

blu|.,l ,l,vcllul,
florc.

aud sec.ed

like

she would

on the

W,

Mi^. Carliuc eu,u and and no.h,.,. aud

wl,ip,.,...d

sou.otl.iu. to

.vo,.tlu...e ,,.

got old M,s,

,dwi,i

Stallin,, to ,, u, fo.he,. ,.on,

The Squire went through the rert of the bimu.. n a l...irv, and me aud Alary was u.ade flesh of one bone aud bene of one flesh
before the old

woman

AIAJOII JONKs's COUKTSIIII'


lit

loud

283
^t better

({>

1-

Alter

^^"^
l'-

ovn-

hn- hi.l.steriek^.

Wh..

si..

cnn, to uw. and


hIu'

Jm-M-d

a..d kissed n.c as


all,

hard

why

this

co.dd

rite

l)iui(ls

of

'"<l,^^n-s in

old the roon. uas sah.tin' the l,ride as they


tlu:

afon, Vn.

wlnl.

all

'I"

always

^l'-lit.

I.I..IM'.

lil<etl.atpartoftheeeren.onyat
<"
l"'"^"'

' ,

'""^

"'"'^^l

with

'en.

...onstrou.

<)1>,

dear

bad.

<1

as she

After

tlu.

n.an-yi.,'
ol.l

was over we
Stallins.^s

all

tek snpper

^'in'

aud

and the way

Miss

table was kivered

over with good tlm.gs was

another
tas 'ter[)

and was

frolieki,.'

till

After playin' 'bont ten o'cloek, the b,-ide's eake

ur.co,.,,,.,.,..

cut,

and

sich a eake

was never baked

in

Georgia

of

a<o.-e. all

The

Stallinses

bein' VVashingtonians, ther


to take jest

was.i't

no wine, but the cake wasn't bad

Hain't

dvy

so.

'Uout twelve o'clock the cun.pany begun to


all

cut home,
J

of 'em

jc.st

as sober as

when they cum.


all,

would

had
all

to shake
nitc.

hands agin with 'cm

and

tell

'cm
ling to

good

"Good

nite,

Cousin Mary,"
I

ses Pete,

"good

nitc
to'

innnin

Majer," ses he, "

'spose

you
rite

ain't

gwinc back

jisncss

town to.nite,"and thrm bust aud away he went.


That's jest the

out in a big laugh,

of one
I'oraan

way with

Peter, he's a

good

feller

enough, but he haint got no better sense.

Mary

scs she's sorry she couldn't scud

you no

281
"lore cake,

AMEHiCAN HUMOUH.
but

Mr

-ul<in't hold hair she

''"'"^^'^''-^'^

\i

-^''"''bags

;>

put our

ummugc "^gc
Your

i,. .

niort^ i'roin

the Miscellany. M...n

No

..

frend,

til

deth,
'08.

JoNKS.

LET!

I viir.

Dear

Sir,

Pineville,

March 28th, I843

sense

T l

'

was

^
^i

^''^''
1
,

*oo

inarripfl

happy "^ ever


'

f,.

"y'-.ig 0,.
'""<

:i V:;.

;""'"

""."'
'"

or

to write nitcs

'"''

but

visits,

and coin

,!

"^-''^ "" Pvin'

lookiu

over ^'^

''"" my

""'"*'^''""'=^

shoulder, pullin^

tickelen nie "It., and .1; . , , disputin' bout

my

^
^^^

''^''''

d
.

snelli,.'

't.e.ften.oo.w,t,,W

sister,

and her ...othorW

MAJOR JONES',

COlfttTSII/P.

286

know how

,v

w, e.i,,

'" J"' "" you

>

s,

una the
f

lllirrvcnilca
,

"onns, and

nn.l

sich tl.in,-.

'"""'

Mary
pcnthnc

:..

..r' '

^^

'"

"'""^ ^"' ^"

'"""= '"SO tea

and

tnr-

vvirnin, Marv nrl > S-"e.hn.ek.,i.,.ex.fa.o'n,:i:''"^'' i on t know what < to make


-

J'

"uia ine old

of the weathc-

t^

o-rof rate b,g comet j, gt ,,^^ -n. and is soakin'


I

""It/, oi

tnat bonuna )If ";'


"

'-'"'

biff tail,

.. 1 tvvn fi, two thousand miles

the sun.hino p which th. ""-vvspapeis newspancV


loni?.

all

li
is
ii

'""'
more'n

sav

W.
'^^

^ost a

month a^o but

nl-n. P^'^^^^d

um corn

1t^

" wc Ji plant enny more anrl ,v .. "" " cotton's ' gwine ewinerlp.in Clean A do'n to nothin"" T donf ^ ^ "''^^n to put a scad m in the ih ground this year

ll

286
Old Miss
time,

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
Stallins reads the Bibel

most

all

the

and

ses she's jest as sure as she

wants to be

that sumthin-'s guine to turn up.

She

ses that

comet's sent to

let

us

know

the

judgment day's a
is

cumin',

and these ycathquakes and harrycanes


it

signs that
ini.

ain't far off.

She's

all

the time lookin'


rite

out,

and she's got a grate big cow-bell fixed


it

by

her bed, so the least tetch will make


can
tell

ring, so she

when the

yeathquake cums next

time.
biff

T'other nite old Sooky, the cook, who's 'bout as


as a cow, slipped

up

in the

snow on the porch, and


bell ring.

shuck the whole house and made the


old

The

woman jumped
and had us
;

out of bed and

lit

a candle in a

minit,

all

up with her

hollerin'
it

about the

yeathquake

and

last nite,

when

lightened so, 1
t'other eend

though, she'd die shore


of the world was a
cracklins afore
fire,

cnuff.

She sed
all

and we'd

be burnt into

mornm she
if
it

shouted and clapped

her hands, and prayed, and bid good-by to us all;

and

do b'lieve
as
it

hadn't thundered as soon and


kick'd the bucket
that dratted

as loud

did, slie would've

shore enuff. Jest hearin' so

much about

old Miller, has played the wild with the old


senses.
It's a grate pity thcr ain't

woman's
to stop

sum way
to

that old feller's goins on.

lie

ought

be put in
b'lieve he's

the penetentiary for tryin' to

make people

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


sich a

287

t-

monstrous sight smarter than the Lord ever intrnded him to be, that he can telhvhen the world's

gvvme

to

eum

to a cend.

The Bibel

ses that thing


in
it.

was

to be

kep a grate secret and nobody

heaven
Weil,
to
all

or ycath should
ain't
it

know anything about

most oudacious insurance, then, for him cum and say he's found it out-that he knows
about it?

And

if

he did

know

it,

he ou.ht to
<^o

'g

have pnnciple and good breedin' enufF not to

and blab

it

all

ought to be brought to the eend of a rope for his meanness.

He

about, jest to scare fokes to deth


jest

For

my

part I hain't no notion of the world bustin'


jest

up

yit,

now.

thmigh things does look kind of skeery It would jest be my luck if

sum 'bominable
Sli-i

thmg hke
was
to

a war or a coleramorbus, or a starvation

cum

along

now

that I've got the hansomest

Georgia for a wife. They say no sich thing as cumplote happiness on this yeath, and that makes me think so more,
ther
is

and smartest

gall in

thmg

for no-

short of

sum monstrous
But

grate calamity could

I do hope it Vill all do b'lieve Mary grows hansomer every day, and if things could stay jost as they is now, I'd hke to live til I was old enufF to be ^van-

nnnple

my

feathers now.
I

bIo.v

over.

i
288
daddy

AMEHICAN HUMOUR.
I

to Methusla. But it^s time over to mother's to bring her home.

was gwine
So no more

from

Your

frend,

til

deth,

Jos. Jones.

LETTER

IX.

-n

Dear

oSir,

Pineville,

June 19th, 1843.

Everything's went on pretty smooth sense I writ

my
wear

last

letter to

you.
she's

skare, but the

way

Mary soon got over her mad at Cousin Pete won't


She
if

off in a coon's age.

ses

he musent never
to,

put his foot in our house,

he don't want

get

his old red whiskers scalded off his fool face.


ses she always

She

thought Pete had some sense, but

now, she

ses,

she don't
is

know whether

he's a bigger

rascal than
ft

he

a fool.

:t

Wimmi)i's

monstrous
it

curious
takes

critters,

now
I've

'tween you and me, and


got to
then.

more hed than


diffikilties

manage 'em without some


It

now and
curiouser

seems to
I don't

me Mary's

gittin

every day.

know what upon

yeuth to

make

[Mm

MAJOR Jones's

couiitsiiip.

289

of her sometimes, she acts so quar. docs everything in my

Lord knows I power to please her-I gits


lets

everything she
o^vn

wants-I always
and
I

her have her


w^ith her

way

in everything,

stays

home

n^ore'n half

my time-but
little

every

now and then


Now^,
Jet

she
jest

takes a crym' spell, jest for nothin^


tell

TH

you one

circumstance, jest to

how

'you see

curious she does do


or three

me

sometimes.
little

Two
see

months ago
leetlest

her one of the


It's
fist,

a little
little

my

Sally Rogers gin dogs I reckon you ever did white curly thing 'bout
as big as
tail

II

with
rite

red eyes and a

little
it

bushy

screwed
touch
It's

over

it

back so

tite

that

can't hardly
it

Its

hind legs to the


little

floor,

and when
rite

barks

got a

sharp voice that goes

through a

body's hed like a cotton gimblet. the galls is all the


fixin'
it

Well,

Mary and

time w^ashin' and comin', and off with ribbons on its neck and tail, and
in ther laps
till

nursin'

it

they've got the dratted


ain't

thing

so

sasy

that

ther

no

gittin'

alon^

with

it.

Whenever

snappin' at me,
house,
all
it

flics

it's a snarlin' and and when ennybody comes in the at em' like it was gwine to tare

go 'bout Mary

'em
the

to pieces,

and makes more racket than

all

VOL. III.

290

AMERICAN HUMOUR,
It's

dogs on the place.


times, and
if

bit
it,

my

fingers

two or three

I jest tetch

it'll

squall out like its

back was broke, and run

rite to

the

wimmin and

git

under ther
to pay.

chairs,

and then the very old harry's

If ever I say anything about

it,

then they

all

say

Tm

"jealous of poor

little

Tip," and that I ought


at

to be

ashamed of myself to be mad


Well,
I

"

the dear

little feller.''

always laugh

it

off the best

way

I can, but I reckon I've wished


little

some

rat

would

catch " poor

Tip" more'n a thousand times,

I wouldn't be surpj-iscd if it was to be tuck suddenly sick and die some of these days, 'thout

and

enybody knowing the cause.


tell

But

I jest

want to

a instance of the devilment he kicks

up some-

times.

Last night we was


galls

all settin'

in the j)arlour the

was sowin', and Mary and


of drafts,

me

was playin' a

about to pen her with three kings, when one of the checks happened
jest

game

and

was

to drap off the

board

rite
it

down by Mary's
when

foot.

stooped over to pick

up,

the fust thing I

knowd, snap the by the


run
finger,

little

devil of a
set

dog tuck me

rite

and then

up a

terrible barkin'

and

rite

behind Mary's

foot.

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


'o

or three

ggx

ut like its

in

and

git

Id harry^s

ley all say


it

ought

" the dear


r

and he snapped leaned over further and further, and tried to hit him, but Mary's foot was always in the way every time, and the last time when
agin.
I

I never wanted to hit nothin' so bad in my life and I loaned over to tap him on the head, but Mary put her httle foot out before him, and I mssed Tip's nose about an ineh,

I was reaehin'

the best

rat

would
times,

nd

be tuck
^thout

in the way cus was squealin' and snappin' as hard as he eould, I got sort o' out of patience tryin' to hit him, and ses I

jest as fur as I could,

and her

foot

was

ana the

little

" Don't put your foot


Jest then

's,

in the

way

!"

want to

and

all

up someMary's
our

the " History of Eno-land" the checks on the floor, and Tip run'under
chair,

down went

clear out of sight, squallin'

like

he

the

vvas killed,

when
up

ther wasn't a hair of


face was a little red,

hm,
and

tetehed.
I

y^hen
gin a

I ris

playin' a

my

would

pen her
lappened
foot.
t

five dollar bill jest to

tramp that

infernal do^^
?

out of his hide.


fust thing I

Well, what do you think

the

knowed Mary was a

cryin' like her hart

was
thing I
i

me

rite

gwmc to brake, "Why," ses I, '^Mary,


?

what's the matter with

you
kin'

and

I didn't touch Tip."

She didn't say nothing but jest M-ent on cryin' worse and worse, and told Miss Carline to hand her

u 2

292

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
and
cried

the rolonc water; and thcr he sot snuffed the colone and sighed, and

and

nobody didn^t

know what

the matter was.


ses
I,

"Why, Mary,"
you
I

-what upon yeath


?''

ails

I didn't hurt you, did I

you-oo-did. I-didn't-think-you-oo-wouldspeak-so to-oo me, Joseph. I didn't think you'd git mad at me-e-e, so I didn't."

''

Y-e-s,

" Why, lord bless your dear


yon,
git

soul,

I ain't

mad

at

Mary
at

!" ses I

-what makes you think

I could

mad

you ?"
to hurt poor little he didn't know no better."

" 'Cause I didn't want you

Tip-poor

little feller,

"But, Mary, I wasn't mad " what makes you think so ?"

at

you

at all," ses I,

" 'Cause you never said don't so cross

to

you
so fur

me

before

said

it

jest as cross as

you could."

"But

I wasn't

mad, honcy-it was reachin' over


sort
o' quick,"
life."

made me speak

ses I,

"I

never was

mad

at

you
all

in

my

But

in spite of

git her in a

^cause I said

I could say or do I couldn't good humour the whole cvenin' jest -don't" to her when she kep'

her foot

m my

puttin'

way.

It's all

over now, but I dasn't

look sideways at Tip for fear he'll kick up another

MAjoK JONES'S couaismp.


f".
It's

293
j,.
,

monsfous

curious.

="" "

"'^'-e''

" 'h^y " have such cunous ways

b.lish ..s one of these days.

Ther's

^^-ta,I.ish,he..wasno.it.,eagsiou:
r never was so supprised in my life as when I heard bout them oudacious bank robbers. I think hey better alter the law about ju.^,s

,.

y>

thy want
jest

send

" ' eo-e and be jurymen. They'd answer the purpose jest as well, and then honest men wouldn t be put to no trouble to go to court jest to be objected to by the lawyers on account of the goodcharaters. Cesides
it's

that when to try criminal eases hereafter, they ean to the Penitentiary and git twelve fellers

man
case.

a insult to a decent
in

to

be put nnf

r>n on a jury
..

now,

criminal

Ther was a
a
oiler

trial

in

what had

our county not long ago of

killed a

man and robbed

a heap of money.

of

and when they eome to pick out the jury ther was hardly t>velve men in the county
that

Ther was

lots of lawyers

here

h.s favour,

291.

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
mean enough to
a gittin' a jury,
set

the lawyers thought

on the

case.

They was two days

and every time

they culled up a decent lookin^ man, the prisoner's lawyers would look at him and say, "give him the book," and if he sed he hadn't formed and expressed no opinion as to the gilt of the prisoner, (which most every man that cared anything about

law or justice had done,) they'd look at him close, and then whisper to one another, and if they hadn't never heard of his robin' anybody's henroost or stealin' anything, they'd say, " object."

Mose Sanders was


good-lookin'
ever lived.
felt
feller,

called up,

and Mose

ain't a

very

though he's a honest man as


at

They looked

Mose

awhile,

and he
sort o'

sort o'

bashful I s'pose, and

looked

mean, and they said " content."

Well, the case

was

tryed,

and

it

was such a perfect open and shut

bisness that they couldn't help bringin' the feller


in guilty in spite of the lawyers.

But ther

ain't a

man

ni

the county that


after

is

got any confidence in


character
is

Mose Sanders

that his

completely

ruined, cause everybody thinks the lawyers wouldn't

tuck him on that jury


rascal.

if

they didn't

know he was

For

my own

part I would jest as leav be


a sheep, as
to

^'picioned of stealin'

be put upon

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


a criminal jury by the lawyers now-a-days. more from

295

No

Your

frend,

til

deth,

Jos. Jones.

LETTER

X.

Pineville, Ga.,

March

21st, 1844.

Dear

Sir,
rit

You
little

mustn't think hard cause I hain't


long a time.

you a

letter for so

Sense the arrival of the

stranger,

my
is

the plantation
0'

time what I've had to spare from been pretty much tuck up with
after

nussin^ and gwine to town


it.

doctor stuff for

Babys
son,
as

is

wundrous

supprisin' things,

Mr. Thomp-

you know, and when one thinks how much

trouble they give a body,

we almost wunder what

have 'em. You mustn't think I'm bcginnin' to git tired of mine. No indeed, not by no means. I wouldn't give my little

makes us

so anxious to

Harry Clay
in

for

all

the niggers

and

plantations

Georgy, as

much
it

trouble and worryment as he

gives me.

Ain't

curious what store

we do

set

29G
by the
little

AMi;iUCAi\

HUMOUR.

creetci's,

even before

we\e
'em.

hail

'cm

Ion- emiff to
like a

know anything about

It seem:*

harts,

new fountin of happyncss is opened a new value given to everything


to
a

in

our

we've got,

and a new purpose


time we
look

our

lives,

when

for the fust

upon

little
is

heli)less

bein' that

is

born of our love, and


port

dependent on us for supanxious

and

protection.

How
!

we

is

to

do

everything we can for 'em


find in the pains

What

pleasure

we
But

we take

to

make 'em happy.

yon

is

man

Thompson, and
I

nuist tell

Mr. you nothin' abou ityou though, what a terrible skecr wo


I needn't
tell

of experience in these matters,

had
I

t'other night with the baby.

had been down to

Tom

Stallinses mill,
to bild

to see

about gittin' out some lumber

me

new ginall

house, and had been ridin' and workin' hard the wet, and cum home

day

monstrous

tired,

late in

the evenin'.

Mary and

the baby was

all well,

and

I went to bed pretty early, thinkin' to git a good nite's rest for the fust time in a month. Well, how

long

Pd been
up.

sleepin',

can't

tell,

but the' fust


hair to

thnig I know'd was

Mary

pullin'

my

me wake

make

" Joseph lJosephl'-'ses

she.

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


"

297
when
I .seed

Ha

wlmt's the nuittor ?" scs


^n

I,

her Icuniu' over

the bed with the h.rnp in

her

hand, and her face as pale as the gown he had


on.

"Oh, Joseph, do
That was cnuff
settin'

git

up/' scs she, " something's

the matter with the baby.'*


for nie,

and

in a twinklin'

was

up

in the bed,

as wide

awake

as if I hadn't

been asleep

in a

week.

Joseph he acta so curious," ses she, as she tuck the httle feller out of his crib, and laid him down in the bed
at him,

" Look

between

us.

For 'bout two minits we both


the baby, 'thout drawin' a breth.
its

sot

and looked
it

at

Thar

lay

on

back,
it

with

its

little
its

hands down by

its

side.

Fust
at
Its all

would spread

mouth

like

it

was laughin'

something -then

it

would

roll its
it

eyes about in

hed and wink 'em


over,
still

at
its

us-then

would twitch
it

and ketch

breth-then

would lay
or two,

right

and stop breathin'


it

for a second

and then

would twitch

its little

lims agin, and

roll its eyes

in

my

life,

about the strangest I ever seed anything and then it would coo, so pitiful,
like
till it

a little dove, two or three times,

would kind

of smuther like, and stop breathin' agin.

298
I I

AMERICAN

lltlMOUR.

could hear Mary's hart


the cold
I

Ix-at qtiitc

plain,

arid

felt

blood nmnin' hack to


nhv.

iniiu-

like

"nil-tail.

looked at Mary, and

looked at nic,
I

and
seed

siirh a expression as
in

she had in her eyes

never

any human.
\" scs she.

"Joseph
" Mary

!" ses I.

"Oh, dear!"
butiful
eyes.

ses

^die,

the big tears


!

fill-i'

her

" Oh, dear


Oh, what

the

baby

is

dyin'-I

know
what

it is.

{t/iall

wc do ?"
I,

'^Oh- no, Mary, don't get skeered," ses


little

with

breth

could

summons up

lor the

"Oh

yes,

know

it

is.

knowM

something

was gwine
last night.

to happen, I

had

sich

a dreadf.d

dream

Git up, Josci)h, and call muther and the


can.

galls,
little

quick as you

Oh

dear me,

my

poor

baby V*
on,

"Don't take
bad," scs
I,

Mary maybe
to

'taint
all

nothin'
could,

tryin'

compose her

thou-^i T was scared as bad as she was,

and put
hurry-

my

trowfcvs

)n

wron-

side before in

my

ment.
In a minit
time
I
I

had
fire

all

the fam'Iy up, and by the

got the

kindled, here

cum

old

l\Iiss

MAJOR JONKO'8 COUKTSini


Stalling

299
nit.

ana

tl.c

galls,

all

in

tlu-r

clothes,

skoorcd almost out of Micr senses.

" Dear me, what upon ycath's the matter old Miss Stallins.

ses

"Oh,

the haby
is

thr baby !" cried Mary.


?''

"What
"
I

happened

scs all

of ^;m, gcthcrin'

roinid the bed.

don't

know what
^like
it

ails

it," ses

Mary, "

l.ut

it

acts so strange

was gwine to dy."

" Mercy on us

!" ses the galls.


so,

"Don't take on
Stallins.

my

child,"

ses old

Miss

mought be very bad for you." But poor Mary didn't think of anything but
muther

"

the

baby.

*f

" What's good for


ses she.

it,

uhat'll cure

it

?"

at

The old woman put on her spccticlcs, and looked it, and felt it all over, while Mary was holdin' it
fire.

in her lap by the

"Don't be
iny child

sivared," ses she.


it's

"Don't be

skared,

maybe

nothing but the hives, or the

yaller thras.., or

some other baby ailment, what

won't hurt

it."

"Oh,

it'll

dy I
its

know

it

will," ses
at
its

Mary.
stummick.

" Maybe

only sick

little

300
muther/'
IS

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
scs
sister Carline,
<'

and

some
for

sut

tea

the

best

thing in

the

world

that,

say/'

thov -^

"And
drive
it

the thrash, some catnip tea will out in half a ower/' ses the old woman.
it's

if

''Pnssy,

make some

catnip

tea,

quick

as

you

can

" And have some water warmed to bathe


feet

its little

in,-

ses

sister

Kcsiah

"for

maybe

its

spasomy/'

"Oh
IMary.

dea?-,

see

how

it

winks

its

eyes!"

ses

" That
muther.

ain't

nothing uncommon, dear," ses her

"Now
will dy, I

it's

twitchin'
it

its little

lims again.

Oh,

it

know

will."
foi it

fft.

" Wouldn't some saffron tea be good

?" ses

Miss Carline.

" Poor

little dear !" its little

" Yes, and a rausterd poultice for


ses the old

bowels,"

woman.
the niggers on the place was up

By

this time all

and teas, and musterd poultices, and ingun-juicc, and Lord knows what all, for the
baby.

gettin' hot-baths,

and the galls was flyin' about like they was crazy, and I was so tarrified myself that I

Muther

""

MAJOR JONESES COURTSHIP.


le

30I

sut

tea

didn't

know

w^hich eend I stood on.

that,

they

"7 -^ -f-ion. Aunt


btelnn

In the hurry
tea-ldtt le

Katy upsot the

p tea
Id

will

:f;"Y loud
1

^"^^^^^--^-dhesotupayelUnthe
enuff to

be

woman,
as

heard a

knoeked the lamp


a

mil, and
spilled the

off the table,

and

you

le its little

and
he

cverythn.. tryin^ to turn round three w.ys at the san.e t.me. After breakin^ two or three eups
sassers,

od

\h

and

settin^

naybe

Mary's ni,ht-cap
Stallins

afire

its

eandle, old

wi h
.it

eaof^
yes!"
ses

M.ss

made out

to

enuff to

scald

Us
to^dc

life

out,

such^another
/' scs

as

her

and then ther nobody ever d.d

was

,.^

'^"'''
i.

Oh,

it

bab7'
''

'~'"" "'"""' "


'

^"^^

'''^

^""^

^^'^^'^'^^

itr

ses

ses sister Carline.

"mother, the tea's bdin' hot

bowels,"

se.1?
finger

"'"^'
1

'"""''

^ SO' "0 better

hotf.?.es
!e

the old

was up

woman when, ho put


'

the cup.

her

poultices,
',

for the

Jout like
If

tell ,e pour b,li' water on es Pnssy, with her eyes as big as sassers.

" Mi.s Kesiab

it

" Wa-ya
kiekm' and

ke-wa-ah

ke-wa I"

that I

ses

the

iistin'

away

baby ^

like all rath.

J'i

9l!mB^IMPi

iPinpiiiPii

302

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
.Tosej)!! '

" Whar's the draps,

Git the draps,

it

must be
I got

colicky/' ses old Miss Stalliiis.

the parrygorrick aa quick as I could, and

tried to

pour out

five draps,
I

as she told me.


it

But

my hand
me.

trimbled so

couldn't drap

to save

"Give
agitated."

it

to

me, Joseph," ses shej "you's too

And
her

she tuck the


tryin'

vial,

and poured half

of

it

on
old

lap,

to
is
it

hit

the s])oon

the

])oor

woman's eyes
I

so

bad.

Then she

told

sister
'fraid

Carline to drap

but

both the galls was

they mought pour too much.


it

So Mary had to do

herself.

Then the next

difficulty

was

to git
it

it

in
it

the baby's mouth, and


liked to
it.

when they

did git
it

thar,

choke

it

to

deth bcifore

could swaller

Pretty soon

after

that

it

got quiet, and

went
to

sound
feel a
'I*

to

sleep in

Mary's

lap,

and we

all

begun

good deal
it

better.

Old Miss

Stallins sed she

know'd what
think,
before.
if

wanted as soon

as she

had time

to
it

and she

Avondered she didn't think of

Lord only know'd what mought happened


the parrygorrick in the house.
after

we hadn't
good

We
we

all

felt so

we got over our

skare, that

sot

Major jonfs's couhtship.


!

803
little

draps,

it

tliar

and congratulated one another a

while

before gwine to bed agin.


;oul(l,

and

While we was
was beginning

all

ehattin'

and old Miss Stalhns

inc.
it

But

to save

Mary was watehin' the baby monstrous close, and her ey,-s was beginnin to git bigger and bigger, as she looked at'' its
face.

to nod, I notieed

you's too

JJinieby

it

groaned one of the longest kind of

groans.
If

of

it

on
old

"

Oh

dear !" ses Mary, I do b'licve

it's

dyin'

poor
;old

agin !"

sister
'fraid

We
enuff,
it

all

jumped up and run

to her,
it

and shure

was

look(!d a heap worse than

did before;, and


its

had to do
o git
it

kep'
last

all

the time moanin^ like

it

was breathin^

it

in

gasp.
its

tluir, it

" Oh, mother,


rag,

gwine

It's jest -s lin.ber as a

lid

swallcr

and

it's

got sieh a terrible deth look.

Send
(,v(t,

for the docter, quick," ses

Mary, trimbhn'

all

and went

and lookin'
cheer.

as if

she was gwine to faint

in

her

begun
IS

to

sed she

Miss Carline tuck hold of

its

little

hamls, and

k1

time to
of
it

moved
staid

'em, but they was jest like a ded baby's, and

link

anywhar she put 'em.

happened
!.

We
we

all

N(;d was sent to town for Doctor Caitcr, as hard as the boss could go Mary and
tlu; galls all
fell

hat

sot

u-cryin'

like

they was at a funerel, and

fdt so

304
fainty

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
myself
that
I

couldn't

hardly

stand

on

my
all

feet.

Old Miss

Stallins w(Hild give


it

the baby

some

ingin-juice,
;

and have

])ut in

a
it

warm bath
done
it

over

but nothing we could do for

any

good, and we jest had to wait in a agony of suspense


til

the doctor cum.


It ain't only three miles to

town, and Selim's one


it

of the fastest bosses in Georgia, but

seemed

like

the docter would never cum.

" Poor

little

thing !" ses

Maiy

"

know'd
it

my

hart was sot on

him

too
live.

much-^I know'd
Oh, dear
'
;

was too

pretty and sweet to


"

How
;

it

does suffer

poor

little angel,'' ses

Miss

Carline
''

" what kin

ail

the child ?"

wish the docter would

cum,"

ses

all

of

cm.
Sich thoughts as I had in that ower, I never

want
a

to

have agin, as long as


in its shroud,

I live.
all

coffin,

with

little

baby

was

the time before

my

eyes,

and a whole funeral procession was passin'

through
ears,

my
I

hed.

The sermon was

ringin' in

my

and

could almost hear the rumblin' of the

fust shovelful of yeath


little

on the grave boards of

my

boy, as I walked round and round the room,

stoppin'

now and then

to take a look at the pore

MAJOR Jones's
little

couuTsiiir.

305

thing,

and
It

to speak a

word of incouragcrncnt
fcclin',

to

Mary.
I

was a dredful

Mr. Thon.nson

and

do

lyiievo

I've felt ten years older ever sense!

iiimeby we heard tlie bosses feet-all of us drawed a long breth, and evei-y face brightened up at the sound. In a nunit more the docter laid his saddlebags on the table.

"Good eveninMadies,"
and perhte
as if

ses he, jest as pleasin'


t],e

nothing wasn't

matter.

"

Good

evenin', Majer;
"^

how

are

you this''
all

The baby

the baby !" ses

of 'em.

'^

Docter,

can't

you cure the baby ?"


Mary, "our only hope
is

''Yes, docter," ses

in

you, docter."

"And
otallins.
It

Providence,

my

child,"

ses

old

Miss

never would and gloves, and hankerchers the wnnmin was Inirryin' him and
grate-coats,

seemed

like the docter

git all his


off,

though

helpin'

him

all

they could.

Mary

Bin.eby he drawed a cheer up to whar was sittin' to look at the baby.


child,

" What's the matter with yer


scs^hc, pullin'

Mrs. Jones ?"

away

its

gown and
;

feelin' its pulse.

" I don't know, docter


Mary.
VOL.
111.

but

it's

dredful sick," ses

306

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
it

When was
^

tuck

sick,

and what

is its

simp-

toms

V SOS the docter.

All of 'em begun to tell at once, til the docter told 'em he could understand 'em better if they'd

only talk one at a time, and then

Mary told him

all

about
|i

it.

"
ses

And how much

parrygorrick did you give

it

?"

Docter Gaiter.
ses old

"Five draps,"
to give
it

Miss

Stallins,
all

'^ wanted
so skeery. ))

more, but the children was

" Let me

see your parrygorrick," ses the docter.


it

He

tuck

and smellcd

it,

and tasted

it,

and then,

says he

"You're sure you didn't give

it

only five draps.

Madam?"
"No, no more'n
out myself."
five," ses

Mary, "for I poured

it

Then

the docter looked monstrous


if

wise at the
jest seed

baby, for 'bout a minit, and


the

you could

wimmin

lookin' at him.

None

of us breathed
rite

a single breth, and poor


doctor's
face,

Mary looked

in the

as

if

she

wanted to see his veiy

thoughts.

Doc"
Is"

"

MAJOR Jones's courtship.


s

307
"ther
ain't

its

simp-

tt

'Don't be 'larmcd,
!"

Madam,"

ses he,

no danger
the docter

Sich

a change as

cum

if

theyM
him
all

over the

crowd'
It

room seemed

The

Id

to git lighter in a instant.

like the sunlight breakin'

was through a midnight sky

Mary
give
it ?
})

cried like a child,


it

and hugged her baby

to

her bussum, and kissed

a dozen times, and talked

baby
'

talk to

it

and the would be

galls
fit

I wanted

begun puttin' the room


it.

to rights, so

it

skeery."
docter.

for the docter to see

"Is you sure ther


old Miss Stallins.

ain't

no danger, docter?"

ses

and then,

"None
had a

in the least,

Madam,"

ses he.

"Ther's

nothing in the world the matter of the


ive drape,
it

little

child, only touch of the hives, what made it

laugh and

roll its

eyes about in its sleep.


its

poured

In your

it

fright,

you burnt
little,

mouth with yer hot

teas, till it

cried a
36

and then you've doctered


till

it

at the

with hot

baths, ingin-juice, and parrygorrick,


pified
it'll
it

jest seed

you've stu-

little.

That's
it

all,

Madam.

By

breathed
e in the
his

mornin'
it

be well as ever

was, if you don't give

no

more big doses of parrygorrick."

very

"I

sed so," ses old Miss Stallins.

"I

told the

child tuer was

no use

in takin'
is

on so 'bout the baby.

But young people


docter."

so easy skeered,

you know,

X 2

308

AMKRICAN

inrMoiru,

" Yes, and old gnindiiiotliors too, siuntimca," scs


lie,

lauf^hin'.

The baby soon


laid
it

quit nioanin* so bad,


it

and

lu-y

in the
it,

bod and kivcr'd

over witli kisses.


'ittle darlin'

"Bless
^m

rnudder's tvvcetcst
so
it

baby-

its dittin' well,

is and dey
its

sant dive
'ittle

it

no more

natty

fisics,

and burn
ses

tweet

niouf no
galls got

more, so
f"

dey sant,"

she;

and the

ke{!j)

round, and sich a everlastin' gubblement us they did up.

By
in'

this time

it

was most daylight, and


coffee

after drink-

cup of strong
for him,

what old Miss

Stallins

had made

and laughin'

at us for bein' so

skarcd at notliing, the good old docter bundled on


his clothes,

and went home

to charge

me

five dollars

for routin'

him

out of his bed and makin'

him

ride
for

six miles in the

cokl
if

"f^ut I

ain't sorry

we sent

him, for

do b'lieve
little

he hadn't cum, we would


nail before

dosed poor
mornin'.
if

Harry dcd as a door


is

The

little feller

doin' prime now,

and
I'll

he was to have another attack of the hives,

take monstrous good care they don't give

him no

more dratted parrygorrick.

So no more from
deth,

Your frend,

til

Jos. Jones.

MAJOR JONKs's COirRTSHIP.


LETTKR
,-

309

XI.
Ga., April 101 h, 1844.

Dear
I've
thes(!

. Sir,

I'iiieville,

been thinkin'
(lays,

'bout ritin'
fact
is,

ii

letter

one of
I

but

the;

sense last Febuary,

hain't

had nmeh time

for nothing.

The baby's

becin
it

cross as the

niischicif,

most

all

the time sense

had the

hives,

and Mary,

she's been ailin' a

good

and
IS all

deal, ever sense she got that terrible scare last

month

then you know this time of year we planters


as bissy as

we can

be, fixin' for the crap.

Nothin' very
here sense
I
rit

uncommon

hain't took place

down

my

last

letter to you,
in

oydy t'other

day a catastcrfy happened

our family that come

monstrous nigh puttin' a


tion of us.
I

("end to the

whole genera-

never was so near skecred out of


all

my
she
all

senses afore in
old

my

born days, and


will

I don't b'lieve
it,

Miss
to

Stallins

ever

git over

if

was

live a

thousand years.

But

'

tell

you

about

it.

Last

Monday

niornin'

all

of us got

up

well

and

harty as could be, and I sot in our room with Mary, and played with the baby till breckfust time,
thnikin' what was gwine to happen so soon.
little

little

The

feller

was jumpin' and crowin' so

couldn't
little

hardly hold him in

my

arms, and spreadin' his

810

AMKIUCAN HUMOUR.
jest like he

mouth, and laughiu'

know'd everything

we 8cd

to him.

Binieby,

Ant
we
all

Prissy .in to

tell

us breekfust was
to eat, 'cept

reddy, and

went into t'other room

sister Kesiah,

who

of

little

Henry

scd she would stay and take care Clay, till we was done.

Mary's so

careful she won't


I'iggers a single

trust the
niinit,

baby with none of the


slug's

and
it,

always dn-dful
so wild

oneasy when Kesiah's got


careless.

she's

and so

Well we

sot

down
stairs

to breekfust,
to
Ju.r
it,

and Kesiah, she

scampered up
jumpin'
it

up,

and

kissiu'

room with the baby, and talkin' to it as hard

as she could.
sis, do be careful of my precious little darlm'," ses Mary, loud as she could to her, when she was gwine up stairs.

" Now,

Vi

.(

breekfust, child, and don't be so 'bout the baby," ses old Miss Stallins" you don't 'low yerself a minit's peace when it's out of yer sight."
tarrified

"Oh,

eat

your

"That's a fact,"

scs

sister Carline,

" she won't


herself.

ht nobody do anything
I
I

for little

Henry but

know

I wouldn't

be so crazy 'bout no child of

mine."

" Well, but you know

sister

Kiz

is

so careless

MAJOR Jones's
I'm alwnya
git
11

couiiTsini',

811

afraid

slu;'!!

hi

it,

swullcr S'-.nctliing, or

fall

sojno way," scs


SOS
th(!

Mary.

"Tut, tut/'
Hcnsc in bcin'
thing.

old

woman, " Wwr

ain't

no

all tlu;

time scared to dcth 'bout no-

People's got onnff to do in this world to


it

bear ther trouble when


it

comes, 'thout studdyin'


houk;
of

up

all

the

time.

Take

them good

hot corn muffins," ses she, "they's mighty nice."

We

was

all

eatin*

along

the
I
I

old

talkin' 'bout her

garden and the

frost,

woman was how it had


raisin

nipped her Inglish peas, and


coffee

was

jest

my

cup to

my

mouth, when

heanl Kesiah scream

out

" Oh, my Lord


kerslash
!

the baby

the

baby

"

and

it

cum

rite

down

stairs

on to

th(! floor.

Lightnin' couldn't

knocked

me

off

my

s(!ut

quicker
table

Down went
all

the coffee, and over went the

and

the

vittles.

Mary
away
hardly
it

scrcramed, and old


in

Miss
was

Stallins

fainted
I

rite

hcv

cluicr.

so blind

couldn't
til
I

see,

but

never

breathed a breth

grabb(!d

up

in

my

arms and
I

run round

tlie

house two ov three times,


little

'fore

had
if it

the hart to look at the poor

thing, to see

was ded.

By

this

time the galls was holt of

my

coat

tail,

hollerin'

" April Fool

April Fool

"

as hard as

312
""[.
"""'''

AMERICAN riUMoUR.
'""'

"I-

'

-.."

."

look,

h,i

"\' ""7
"""'
l'l<'-

y-

'^'""- "

'

"Luck n ov.

C"in' than

laiif;l,i,i'.

JJ

'-'"'"^
::;;:;:,,;

-
""^

'fort^tocu,,.,.!..;

^''""

"" -"" '"

Ji"i.'' .-oon,,

tl,a..

the old

W"..,avv,w..dovihe..cl,e,,thhc..eyc,

".u,.vaaki.na,atcble..atc,an. Iu^_>ld do wa.jWtel,,,, ho,. hands and hollo...


motho,.', d,,,,, ,,., j^. l'"J. Ohmy,,t,,,
01.,
,,,
^^.,,_^_^

"" "; """"

''"

'""'

-' "

-n.

,ffi

,.tiek,V in

he

^^^

OI,,ydaHiu'haby!"

,,
1,^,.

^r-T "J
'"f' '""^'
'

,,,h.i,,,

it

'

J^

the old : -an;h,,t,ttucka,lsortsofhb,',andoverso

'"" =-.

-J "-

sails got at

r '''7/r"'"f-''- '"--'^"y^

'""''

'"'

-""pfiro a,l ha,.tsho and


too; and the

"-;'J"'ts.ayb.-ungtn,o,.o.annnitYreJd
1<-I
..v..

agi,

,,

do

b'liovo if

they hadn't

""

""'

'^^^'

'"'"' "'"

''-'

Wra

.qn.ll, she

never

MyiJoR Jones's courtsiiii'.

313
at

would -ot
herself yit.

ht-r .senses

agin.

She aint n.oir'n half


kin do they can't
..he

All the gals

make
won't
sei..<e.

her understand the April Fool bisiness, and


let

nobody

else

but herself nuss the baby ever

As soon

as I

had
it

titne to

think a

little,
I

was so

monstrous glad
stay

wasn't no worse, that

couldn't
I

mad

with the galls.

But

I tell

yu what,

was

terrible rathy for a few minits.

I tlu't b'lievc

in this April foolin'.

Last year the galls deviled

mc
the

almost to deth with ther botninable nonsense, sowin

up the

legs of

my
I

trowsera, punehin' holes

in

water gourd, so
I

wet

my

shirt busotn all over

when

and heatin' the handle of the tongs, and cuttin' the cowhide bottoms of tl.r cheers
drink,
loose,

went

to

so

I'd
all

fall

through 'em when


devilment.
all

wvnt

to set

down, and

sich

know
I

the Bible

ses there's a
least

time for

things; but
fool

think the

a body has to

do with

bisiness at

any

time the better for 'em.


sich doin's myself,

I'm monstrous
I didn't

tired of

and

if

think the galls

had got ther


to git a

fill

of April foolin' this time, I'd try

almynack next year what didn't have no


in
it.

fust

day of April

No more

from your frend

til

deth,

Jos. Jones.

314

AMERICAN' HUMOUR.

m
^1

XXVI.
DOWN-EAST CURIOSITY.*

On my

voyage up the North River, I was seated

in the cabin reading a newspaper,

when

I observed

an odd-looking individual reading over I looked up in his face, when


hands

my

shoulder

pocket, and not in the least disconcerted at being caught in so impertinent and un-

the fellow, with his

his

mannerly an

act,

exclaimed

" Any news

in particular ?"

" No, Sir; will you accept the paper ?"

"Oh

no!

can^t; ain't got time.

It^s

the

first

By

G. H. Hill.

DOWN-EAST CURIOSITY.
time Fve been up
looking reound.
this
river,

315
I

and

want

to be

How

can they take a fellow up

this river for a dollar


It's a take-in.''

and found.

They

can't

dew

it.

"

How

is

that ?"
in,

"

Why

they charge one dollar to take you


git

and when you


pay another
fixed

up

to

Albany, you've got to

dollar to git eout.

Got

this
I

place

all

up

so.

Sophy's

all

reound tew.

never use

Sophy's myself,

but once courted a gal by that

looks a kind o' natural to see Sophy's reound J and them stuffed-bottom chairs eout there. I thought I'd set deown on 'em; by
it

name, and

thunder, I
if

jumped up

three feet.

Oh,

I'll

be darned

I didn't

thmk
see I

was sitting down on somebody's baby.


;

You
i

chaw tobacco

grandfather chawed, and

..her

he chawed, and mother,

she eh no,

she didn't

she snuffed, so you see I have to keep running up

our doctor says, overboard. I expect I shall have to go again in about a minute."

to expectorate as

" You need not take that " here


are spittoons."
!

trouble. Sir," said I

" Spittoons
for,

Oh

yes,

know'd what them was


so,

but they've got 'em brightened up


'em.
I

I didn't

like to nasty

went

to the the-ater to see

316
::f;

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
Didn't you see

you t'other night.

m front
" No,

me ?

I ,ol

right

of you."
Sir,
I

cUd not."

'|Wal,

hull lot of fellers there.

don^t suppose you could; there was a


I

got jarnn.ed

in.

on a stnped
^acks

had
the
c^i^e

vest,

benig made

the fronts were new, but of cotton, sometimes


will

remarked.

I got te^y laughing, so away went back, slitted right up to the collar. I was a little the tornest critter you ever did see." " J am very sorry for your misfortune," I
l^e

eout

By

golly,

"

oil,

you needn't
a wore
it

fret

abeout

it,

stranger.

shouldn't

,eh ,re

,.

three weeks

'0.^0., how. You see I never wear my best clothes ,0 sieh plaees, 'eause it kind a rips them eout a leetle. I had a bet abeout you. Some feller said you was bom on Long Island. I told him you wasn't, you was born

any

down-east."

"You

were right.

Sir, I

was born

in

Eastern States."

e of the

Massachusetts ?"

" ' ^""'"'^ y s, 'cause I know'd you '^'T' couldnt get along so well as you did, if you wasn't born deown that way somewhere. Have you been in

DOWN-EAST CURIOSITY.
sot right

317

" Yes, Sir/'

I said.

" Been in the State of Maine ?" " Yes, Sir/'


ere
.

was a
I

" Been

in

New Hampshire ?"

had
the
give

" Yes, Sir."


"

but
v'ill

Ah
No,

got a good
''

Maybe you was born many Hills."


was not."

there

They've

ay went
I

Sir, I

was a

" Wal, you might have been. Vermont ?"


" Yes, Sir."
"

Ever been

in
''I

me/'

You know
Nor
a

old Zeke Hill ?"

ger.
'

" No, Sir."


"
I nuther,
feller,

weeks

ny best
s
le

but I've hearn

tell

there

was

such

didn't

them
feller

know but you might have


in Connecticut ?"

known him tew."


" Have you ever been
"Yes,
Sir."
in

Id

him

"Ever been
of the

Rhode Island?

that

little bit

of

a thing in there."

"Yes, Sir."
'd

you

" Have you ever been

in

Boston ?"

wasn^t
een in

"Yes
Having thus obtained nothing very
from
me,
in relation
to

satisfactory

my

birth-place,

he

318 commenced

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
asking

me

if

had been

to

the

Capital of this

State,

and then the other,


;

until he

had got through the whole of them

he then, to
country
last

my
upon
little

astonishment,

commenced

with

the

towns, doubtless with the hope of hitting at


the

one in which I was born.


:

Getting a

out of patience, I said

"

presume.

Sir,

you wish to ascertain where

was born ?"

"Wal,

yes,

shouldn^t
to
tell,

mind knowing,
and
if

if

you

have no objection
before,

you had told

me

you would have saved

me

a darned sight of

trouble."

" Well,''

said,
*lie

"

was born in Boston,

in the

year 1809, on
in the

8th day of October, at six o'clock

morning."
six o'clock, six

"At "At
Street."

eh?"
precisely,

o'clock

down

in

Water

"Dew
the

tell.

But, stranger,

dew you remember

number of the house ?"

A SAGE CONVERSATION.
to

319

the

until he
3

then^ to

country
ig

at last

jetting a

where

if

you

told

me
XXVII.

sight of

1,

in the

A SAGE CONVERSATION.
I

X o'clock

LOVE the aged matrons

class,

of our land. As a they are the most pious, the most benevolent,

Water

the most useful, and the

most
a

harmless
life

human
^member

of the
offices.

family.

Their
are

life is

of good

At

home,

they

patterns

of industry, care,

economy, and hospitality abroad, they are ministers ; of comfort, peace, and consolation. Where
afflic-

tion

is,

there are they, to mitigate


is,

its

pangs

where

sorrow

there are they to assuage

its pains.

Nor

night, nor day, nor


cold,

summer's

heat,

nor winter's

nor angry

elements,

can deter them

from

320

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
They
are the first
it.

scenes of suffering and distress.


at the fevered couch^

and the
cup

last to leave

They They

hold the

first

and

last

to the

parched

lip.

bind the aching head,

close

the

dying eye, and

linger in the death-stricken habitation, to pour the


last

drop of consolation into the


I

afflicted

bosoms of

the bereaved.
myself,
presence.

cannot, therefore, ridicule


ridiculed

them

nor bear to hear them

in

my
re-

And
J

yet,

am

often

amused

at their

conversations

and have amused them with a

hearsal of their

own

conversations, taken
I

down by

me when
them.

they

little

dreamed that

was listening to

Perhaps
with

my
a
all

reverence for their character,


native

conspiring

propensity

to

extract

amusement from

that 'passes under

my

obser-

vation, has accustomed

me

to pay a uniformly strict

attention to

all

they say in
in

my

presence.

This

much

extraordinary

courtesy to those

who cannot

distinguish between a simple narrative

of an amusing interview, and ridicule of the parties


to
it.

Indeed
I

do not know that the conversation

which

am

about to record, will be considered

amusing by any of

my

readers.

Certainly the
is

amusement of the readers of my own times


the leading object of
it,

not

or of any of the " Georgia

A SAGE CONVERSATION.
;

SOJ

the

first

Scenes;" forlorn as

may

t.

They They
and

mam

be the hope, that their

object will ever be answered.

p.

My

intention

is

eye,

between three

ladies,

pour the

merely to detail a conversation which I heard many


years
it

since; confining myself to only so

osoms of
ule
1

much

of

as

sprung from the

ladies'

own

them

thoughts, unawakened

by the suggestions of

others.

in

my
re-

I was travelling with,

at their th a

when we stopped

at

old f.-iend, Ned Brace the dusk of the evening at a

my

down by
ening to
haracter,

house on the road-side, for the night. Here we found three nice, tidy, aged matrons, the youngest of whom could not have been under sixty; one of

extract
ly

obser-

them of course was the lady of the house, whose husband, old as he was, had gone from home upon a land-exploring expedition
tably,

ily strict

She received us hospihad our horses well attended to, and soon

prepared for us a comfortable supper.


;o

those

While these things were doing, Ned and I engaged


the other two in

larrative
3

parties

which,
ness.

Ned

'ersatiou
iiijidercd

; in the course of deported himsea'with becoming seriousThe kind lady of the house

conversation

occasionally

jomed

us,

and

became

permanently one of the

Inly
:s

the

party, from the time the first dish was placed


table.

on the

is

not

Georgia

VOL.

III.

322

AMEUICAN HUMOUR.

to supper; which the conversation turned upon marriages, happy and imliappy, strange, unequal, runaways,
after

At the usual hour wc ucrc summoned

&c.

Ned

rose at last,
sleep.

we shoidd

and asked the landlady where She pointed to an open shedin

room adjoining the room

which we were
partition,
all

sitting,

and separated from

it

by a log

between

the spaces of which might be seen


the dining-room
;

that passed in

and so

close

to the fire-place of

this apartment, that a loud whisper

might be

easily

heard from one to the other.


I could not resist the temptation of casting

an

eye through the cracks of the partition to sec the effect of Ned's wonderful stories upon the kind
ladies.
J\Irs.

13arney

(it is

time to give their nan.es)

in a thoughtful posture; her left hand supporting her chin, and her knee supporting her
left

was

sitting

elbow.

Her countenance was


slight tooth-ache.

that of one

who

suffers

from a

Mrs. Shad leaned forward, resting her fore-arm


on her knees, and looking into the
ffroup^ ofchildrm playing in
it.

fire as if
I\Irs.

she saw

Reed, the

landlady,

who was

tlie

fattest of the three,

was

thinking and
vals.

laughing alternately
it

at short inter-

From my bed

required

but a slight

A SAGE CONVERSATION.
to Slipper;

change of position to
pleasure.

see

marriages,

any one of ""^ H ^^"^

'

S''""P at

runaways,
lady where
ipeii

I was no sooner

composed on

mv

nil]

.,

slied-

the following rollnnn,.

^-^^^"<^'.
,

-md began

crc sitting,
n,
t

between

passed hi

re-place of
it

be easily

f'
,f
the

'

^*''- I'
"^^''-

rao,l
to

to

Why
'

1,0

snre ho did

-T

In

casting

an

to sec the

an

,nea

""""' "'

-"-'

"''="

*>

the kind
sir

nan.es)

^Miat

Ive been

left

hand

^rting her

:f
study

>

---0
out, iM.hmi

thinki,i'

about
,.

n,o .o,,.

h.

It

1/

Tf

7";;
'

''

'

one

who

fore-arm
she saw

if

Reed, the
Iiree,

was

art

inter-

"'''""*" '^-'
don't?

slight

<^n'' )-ou

h,ow

it

Y 2

33i
Mrs.
linrd tor
li.

AMEIllCAN' rruMoi'it.

AVfU,

woiililn't

think
ii

so;

hut

it's

iiif,

somehow,

to (Hspiitc

C/iris/'ian ihiiii'm

word.

Mrs. B.

I've
I

hrrn thinkini? the


reckon

thing- all over in

my

minil,

and

now
at

(h)n't

suy

it

is

so,
I

for I

don't

know nothing
o^

all

ahoiit it-biit

reckon that one


in

them nirn was a woman dressM


lor

men's clothes;

Pve

often hearn o' wonuni


thi'ir

doin'

them

things,

and

following

Trne-love

to the wars,
sich.

and

bcin' a watin'-hoy to 'f?p

and

all

The
story,

ladies

here took leave of Ned's nnirvellous


closely

drew themselves

round the
:

tire,

lighted

their jjipes,

and proceeded
Jist

as follows

Mrs. B.

before

me and my
^^^ "

old irnui was


]\h)untcastlc
likely

married, there was

a gal

name Nancy
iiiis^'ty

{p^'ff~~P^ff)) '^"^ ^^'^


{pitff), I

gal

knowM
Darden

her mighty well

she dressed
in

her-

self

up

in

men's clothes
from

{puff, puff)) 5^"^ followed

Jem>^ry

r'ankatank^

K'my and

Queen

{puff), clean up to Loudon.

Mrs.

S. {puff, puff, puff, puff, puff.)


?

And

did he

marry her

Mrs. B.
marry her

{sif/hiuff

deeply.)

No

Jemmy

didn't

pity he hadn't, poor thing.

A
;

N.\(3K

fONVKIlSATrON.

l')r,

hut

it's

tian

iiiiiu'h

Mrs./{. Well.
the
NUMi..

lvu..uMu^.uh,nTar|{iv..r. done
j,lj;

lhin;--(y>,,//;

j,jr.)

Sh,.

lulluwed

all

over in
it

AloMcs

Uu.sh.r 'way

down Non.ruh.iT

in the.

South

luy

is

HO,
I

it but

Mrs.

S.

{l>iil)\ J>tr, i>i,f,

j,ir.)

And what

.h.l h.-

lau dri'ssM
()'

do

'{

Avonuni

Mrs. n.
lioney,
1

Ah
t<-ll

{j>njr, pjr,)

Lord
did.

hh-.s,s

your

onI,

'

Ti'uc-lovo
'<)>

can't

you what he
it N<;enis

l{.,d n....,^!,.
I

iuul

siil

Mrs. 11 Well, now


luueh about
i

to

nu-

d(,n'tknow
|iK,,

but

it

,s.-eniH

to m- uk'u doo'i,
](,

lUiU'VcUoUS
ire, ligiitcd

to

marry

;;als

that take, on that way.


o* eoneait of 'enj.

U,U

hk<.

<t j)ut.s

'cm out
I

Mr.s. S.
[

lu.ow'n one

man

that married a

woman
;

iiiiiii

was

that foHowed himfn.u, Car'lina to


1h^

thi.s 8tat.;

but

louutcastlc
kcly gal

(bdn't

dress
'.-m.

h.-rsrlf

in

m.-n's

eh,thes.

\ou

''th
sister

kn.nv

You

know

8in.,.son

Tr^tly's

ressed lu;r>d followed

and

jlaehej's un,

It.mben.

'Twas hno and

his wife.

Kiny and

Mrs. H. and Mrs. U.


welL

()h

y<^s,

kn.,w

'.-m ...i^^hty

\nd did

lie

Mrs. H. Well
out to this State.

it

was his wifc-nhe foHowed him

liny

didn't

Mrs.
da'ter
vvIkju

Ii.

knowM

'.mi

all

rm'-hty
bit

m'W.

Wvx

I.uey
it

waw the
1

httlcst

tcteny

of a thin^'
th<;y fell M,e

was born
I

ever did see.


I

Hut

that

when

was

born now

don't

know anything

ilii

HW

'TT'MWMwiia

32G
about
it

AMICIIICAN

HUMOUR.
tell

niysclf-hut the old folks used to

mc,

that vvhc.i I uas born, tl.oy put nic in u (i.uut.mug,'

and niought

o'

covered nic up in
!

it.

Mrs.
Mrs.
JJaniy
?

S.
1{.

The lackaday

What

ailment uid Lucy

die of

Mis'

Mrs. n. Why,

first

she took the ager and fever,


o' doctor'r

and took a 'bundancc

means

for that!

then she got a powerful bad cough, and it kei)t gittin' worse and worse, till at last it turned into a consumption, and she jist nat'ly wasted away, till she was nothing but skin and bone, and she died; but, poor crcater, she died mighty happy ; and
I

And

think in

my

heart, she

made
I

the prettiest corpse,


seed.

considering of any bod


Mr.^.

most ever
!

and Mrs.

S.

Emph

{solemnhj.)
for the

Mrs. R. What did the doctors give her fever and ager ?
Mrs. B. Oh, they
I don't
all.

gin' her a 'bundance o'


;

truck
at

know what

all

and none of 'em holp her


it,

But

at last she got over


giji'

someho^/ or other.
o' bitter yerbs,

If they'd have just


jist as

her a sweat
it

the

s])ell

was comin' on,

would have cured

her right away.

Mrs. R. Well,

reckon shcep-sa^ron the onliest

thing in nater for the a^er.

A SA(iE CONVERSATION, Mr,,


h'vcs,
li

337

I've ,.y, ,,

ij

^^^

and

nicasly i|,eis.

a poworiiiJ sweat.

]\Irsri....L.

cousin IVt

""" ^"''^ "^^'^ ^^'t

.n

i'er

f"f

^- "'''y

y". don't

tell ,<,r,

" 0'' 1^-

y--

".oa.^ lu,ncy, it', every

^/"S.

lui'd,

hard shakin' a-er

^'.
^/-

Ohj.cs,l,ey,it',t|,e;;h.
,

5. AVell, ,' t,a ,, if

CO three days

reg'lar to a
it,

young

--ground
;''''"'
:':,

per.i,n,on a d
tie

and every day.

three ,:t3

-='' ''''- dayMhat

Will leave you.

the age

^-/know about

I've often hearn .

0' that, but I don't Son.e people don't believe in it

did^\1-''.''''^^'"''''^''-''"'f''"-"e *dntbel,eve,,t; but she


tried
it,

her sound and well.

ud

it

eured

Mrs. R.

I've hearn of

away.
JMis'

And what
?

Barney

folks bein' cured in did they do for Luey's eough


^

many

'

Mrs. B.

Oh

dear me, they gin' her a powerful

328
chance
o'

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
truck.
I reckon, first

and

last,

she took

at least a pint o'

lodimy.
!

Mrs. S. and Mrs. R. The law


Mrs.
nothing
S.

Why

that ought to have killed her,


little

if

else.

If they'd jist gin' her a

cumfry

and alccainpane, stewed


lasses,
it
:

in honey, or sugar, or
o'

mo-

with a

little

lump

mutton suet or butter in

it

would haye cured her in two days sound and

well.

Mrs. B. Fve always counted cumfry and alecam-

pane the lead of

all

yerbs for colds.

Mrs.

S.

Horehound and sugar's 'mazin' good.

Mrs. B. IMighty good

mighty good.
I

Mrs. R. Powerful good.

take mightily to a

sweat of sage-tea, in desperate bad colds.

Mrs.

S.

And

so do I,

Miss Reid.

Indeed
all

have

a great Icanin' to sweats of yerbs, in


&

ailments

as colds,

and rheumaty pains, and

pleurisies,

and sichthey're wonderful good.


Smith came to
a

Old

brother

my

house from Bethany meeting, in


cold,

mighty bad way, with a


all

and cough, and


like it

his

throat and nose

stopt

up

seemed
it

would
o'

'most take his breath away, and


winter,

was dead

and

had nothiu' but dried yerbs,

sich as

camomile, sage, pennyryal, catmint, horehound, and


sich
;

put a hot rock

to his feet,

and made hini

A SAGE CONVERSATION.

329

a large bowl o' catmint tea, and I reckon he drank 'most two quarts of it through the night, and it put

him

in a

mighty

fine sweat,
all

and loosened
head
;

all

the

phleem, and opened

his

and the next


''

morning, says he to me, says he


(you

Sister Sliad"

know

he's a miglity kind spoken

man, and

always was so 'fore he joined society; and the old man like a joke yet right well,
the old

man

does

but he's a mighty good man, and I think he prays with greater libity, than 'most any one of his age I ^most ever seed) Don't you think he does. Miss

Reed?
Mrs, R. Powerful.
Mrs. B.

Who

did he marry

Mrs.
directly

S.

Why, he married stop, I'll tell you Why, what does make my old head
it

forget so

Mrs. B. Well,
like I

seems to

me

I don't

remember
?

used

to.

Didn't he marry a Ramsbottom


Stay,
!

Mrs. R. No.

I'll

tell

you who he

mamed

presently-Oh, stay
ried

why

I'll tell

you who he marHooer's d'ater,

: He married old daddy Johnny


!

Mcurniu'.

Mrs. S. Why, la messy on me, so he did Mrs. B. Why, did he marry a Hooer ?

330

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
he did.-fou knew

Mrs. S. Why, to be sure Mournin' ?

Mrs.B. Oh, mighty


brother

well;
:

but

Vd

forgot that

Smith married her

I really

thought he

married a Ramsbottom.

Mrs. R. Oh no,
ried Mournin'.

bless

your

soul,

honey, he mar-

Mrs. B. Well, the law me, I'm


Mrs.
S.

clear beat
it is.

Oh,

it's

so,

you may be sure


!

Mrs. B. Emp, ernph, cmph, cmph ther Smith married Mournin'


Ilooer
clear

And
Well

bro-

I^m

put out
!

Seems

to

me

Tm

gittin'

mighty

forgetful

somehow.

Mrs.

S.

Oh

yes,

he

married

Mournin^ and

saw her when she joined society. Mrs. B. Why, you don't
tell

me

so

Mrs. S. Oh,
after she

it's

the truth.

She didn't join

till

was married,

mightily about his

and the ehureh took on marrying one out of society.

But

after she joined, they all got satisfied.

Mrs. B. Why,
over here

la

me, the seven stars

is

^vay

Mrs. B. Well,

let's

light our pipes,

and take a

short smoke, and go to bed.


raisin'

How

did you
!

come on

chickens this year. Mis' Shad

J'

A SAGE CONVERSATION.

331

seed

till

the vara.ent took to killin' 'em


t

^^''R-'""lMn.B. The varment


mar^'
*'''
'''''"''

Z'

y""-

The hawk catohed ,

..^htrthe.adthetheva,.I:;'o
em and .afiy cm up
t othc,.

took 'em fore and

aft,

bodily

till

day,

and thee wafnt but thirty-nine

tliatjbtcomcoff of hcrnest. Mrs. R. and Mrs. B. I[u,nph-h_h_h_ Mrs.li. ^nu. I've had bad Inck too. Billy', ' hound-dogs bfoka up most all my
I

ucsts.

wa

Tn
!'
>

''"'

" ""^

''""

"^' Miss Bccd.

r al.

^hic
will

th
1,

:
""
I

way

'?", r" Tup's

"'"'

the beat of

:: ''^' ""'=. hut Billy ""* in my soul his old


e,.eatet.s I evet.

r"r

^''""'""-'-

y bom

days a suekin'

seed i

aJ

o'

"ost broke me up

hen's e...s_II.

*"'

cnti,.ely.

J/".S. Thelachaday!
that was hatehcd out, some ^^ 'ook to takm' the gaps, and some the pip, a do "'"ent Of other, tilllhey

f-

And them

most

all

died

mmi

332
111,
h

AMERICAN HUMOUR.
I

Mrs. S. Well

reckon there must be somethin'

in the season this year, that an't

good

for fowls

for Larkin Goodman's brother Jimmc's wife's aunt

Penny, told me, she

lost

most

all

her fowls with

dif-

ferent sorts of ailments, the like of

which she never

seed
well,

before

They'd
right
o'

jist

go 'long lookin', right

and

tilt

right over backwards, {Mrs. B.

The
!)

law

!)

and

die

away, {Mrs. R. Did ever

with a sort

somethin' like the blind staggers.

Mrs. B. and Mrs. R.

Messy on me

Mrs. B.

I reekt)u

they must have eat somethin'

didn't agree with them.

Mrs.

S.

No

they didn't, for she fed 'em every

mornin' with her own hand.


M?'s. B. Well,
it's

mighty curious

short pause ensued, which was broken by Mrs.

Barney,

with

" And
!" It

brother

Smith

married

Mournin' Ilooer

came

like

an opiate upon

my

senses,

and

I dropt asleep.

If
n

THE END.

if

LONDON:
Printed by Schulze and Co., 13 Poland Street.

lu*;^/

'UiA

:#