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Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 04

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<SPAN name="Page_711" id="Page_711">[Pg 711]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="AN_APRIL_ARIA" id="AN_APRIL_ARIA"></SPAN>AN APRIL ARIA</h2> <h3>BY R.K. MUNKITTRICK</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now, in the shimmer and sheen that dance on the leaf of the lily,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Causing the bud to explode, and gilding the poodle's chinchilla,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Gladys cavorts with the rake, and hitches the string to the lattice,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While with the trowel she digs, and gladdens the heart of the shanghai.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now, while the vine twists about the ribs of the cast-iron Pallas,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And, on the zephyr afloat, the halcyon soul of the borax<br /></span> <span class="i0">Blends with the scent of the soap, the brush of the white-washer's flying<br /></span> <span class="i0">E'en as the chicken-hawk flies when ready to light on its quarry.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Out in the leaf-dappled wood the dainty hepatica's blowing,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While the fiend hammers the rug from Ispahan, Lynn, or Woonsocket,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And the grim furnace is out, and over the ash heap and bottles<br /></span> <span class="i0">Capers the "Billy" in glee, becanning his innermost Billy.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_712" id="Page_712">[Pg 712]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now the blue pill is on tap, and likewise the sarsaparilla,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And on the fence and the barn, quite worthy of S. Botticelli,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Frisk the lithe leopard and gnu, in malachite, purple, and crimson,<br /></span> <span class="i0">That we may know at a glance the circus is out on the rampage.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Put then the flannels away and trot out the old linen duster,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Pack the bob-sled in the barn, and bring forth the baseball and racket,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For the spry Spring is on deck, performing her roseate breakdown<br /></span> <span class="i0">Unto the tune of the van that rattles and bangs on the cobbles.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_713" id="Page_713">[Pg 713]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="MEDITATIONS_OF_A_MARINER4" id="MEDITATIONS_OF_A_MARINER4"></SPAN>MEDITATIONS OF A MARINER<SPAN name="FNanchor_4_4" id="FNanchor_4_4"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_4_4" class="fnanchor">[4]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY WALLACE IRWIN</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">A-watchin' how the sea behaves<br /></span> <span class="i2">For hours and hours I sit;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I know the sea is full o' waves&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I've often noticed it.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For on the deck each starry night<br /></span> <span class="i2">The wild waves and the tame<br /></span> <span class="i0">I counts and knows 'em all by sight<br /></span> <span class="i2">And some of 'em by name.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">And then I thinks a cove like me<br /></span> <span class="i2">Ain't got no right to roam;<br /></span> <span class="i0">For I'm homesick when I puts to sea<br /></span> <span class="i2">And seasick when I'm home.<br /></span> </div></div> <p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_714" id="Page_714">[Pg 714]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="VICTORY5" id="VICTORY5"></SPAN>VICTORY<SPAN name="FNanchor_5_5" id="FNanchor_5_5"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_5_5" class="fnanchor">[5]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY TOM MASSON</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I turned to the dictionary<br /></span> <span class="i2">For a word I couldn't spell,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And closed the book when I found it<br /></span> <span class="i2">And dipped my pen in the well.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Then I thought to myself, "How was it?"<br /></span> <span class="i2">With a sense of inward pain,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And still 'twas a little doubtful,<br /></span> <span class="i2">So I turned to the book again.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">This time I remarked, "How easy!"<br /></span> <span class="i2">As I muttered each letter o'er,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But when I got to the inkwell<br /></span> <span class="i2">'Twas gone, as it went before.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Then I grabbed that dictionary<br /></span> <span class="i2">And I sped its pages through,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And under my nose I put it<br /></span> <span class="i2">With that doubtful word in view.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I held it down with my body<br /></span> <span class="i2">While I gripped that pen quite fast,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I howled, as I traced each letter:<br /></span> <span class="i2">"I've got you now, <i>at last</i>!"<br /></span> </div></div> <p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_715" id="Page_715">[Pg 715]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_FAMILY_HORSE" id="THE_FAMILY_HORSE"></SPAN>THE FAMILY HORSE</h2> <h3>BY FREDERICK S. COZZENS</h3> <p>I have bought me a horse. As I had obtained some skill in the <i>man&egrave;ge</i> during my younger days, it was a matter of consideration to have a saddle-horse. It surprised me to find good saddle-horses very abundant soon after my consultation with the stage proprietor upon this topic. There were strange saddle-horses to sell almost every day. One man was very candid about his horse: he told me, if his horse had a blemish, he wouldn't wait to be asked about it; he would tell it right out; and, if a man didn't want him then, he needn't take him. He also proposed to put him on trial for sixty days, giving his note for the amount paid him for the horse, to be taken up in case the animal were returned. I asked him what were the principal defects of the horse. He said he'd been fired once, because they thought he was spavined; but there was no more spavin to him than there was to a fresh-laid egg&mdash;he was as sound as a dollar. I asked him if he would just state what were the defects of the horse. He answered, that he once had the pink-eye, and added, "now that's honest." I thought so, but proceeded to question him closely. I asked him if he had the bots. He said, not a bot. I asked him if he would go. He said he would go till he dropped down dead; just touch him with a whip, and he'll jump out of his hide. I inquired how old he was. He answered, just eight years, exactly&mdash;some<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_716" id="Page_716">[Pg 716]</SPAN></span> men, he said, wanted to make their horses younger than they be; he was willing to speak right out, and own up he was eight years. I asked him if there were any other objections. He said no, except that he was inclined to be a little gay; "but," he added, "he is so kind, a child can drive him with a thread." I asked him if he was a good family horse. He replied that no lady that ever drew rein over him would be willing to part with him. Then I asked him his price. He answered that no man could have bought him for one hundred dollars a month ago, but now he was willing to sell him for seventy-five, on account of having a note to pay. This seemed such a very low price, I was about saying I would take him, when Mrs. Sparrowgrass whispered that I had better <i>see the horse first</i>. I confess I was a little afraid of losing my bargain by it, but, out of deference to Mrs. S., I did ask to see the horse before I bought him. He said he would fetch him down. "No man," he added, "ought to buy a horse unless he's saw him." When the horse came down, it struck me that, whatever his qualities might be, his personal appearance was against him. One of his fore legs was shaped like the handle of our punch-ladle, and the remaining three legs, about the fetlock, were slightly bunchy. Besides, he had no tail to brag of; and his back had a very hollow sweep from his high haunches to his low shoulder-blades. I was much pleased, however, with the fondness and pride manifested by his owner, as he held up, by both sides of the bridle, the rather longish head of his horse, surmounting a neck shaped like a pea-pod, and said, in a sort of triumphant voice, "three-quarters blood!" Mrs. Sparrowgrass flushed up a little when she asked me if I intended to purchase <i>that</i> horse, and added, that, if I did, she would never want to ride. So I told the man he would not suit<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_717" id="Page_717">[Pg 717]</SPAN></span> me. He answered by suddenly throwing himself upon his stomach across the backbone of his horse, and then, by turning round as on a pivot, got up a-straddle of him; then he gave his horse a kick in the ribs that caused him to jump out with all his legs, like a frog, and then off went the spoon-legged animal with a gait that was not a trot, nor yet precisely pacing. He rode around our grass plot twice, and then pulled his horse's head up like the cock of a musket. "That," said he, "is <i>time</i>." I replied that he did seem to go pretty fast. "Pretty fast!" said his owner. "Well, do you know Mr. &mdash;&mdash;?" mentioning one of the richest men in our village. I replied that I was acquainted with him. "Well," said he, "you know his horse?" I replied that I had no personal acquaintance with him. "Well," said he, "he's the fastest horse in the county&mdash;jist so&mdash;I'm willin' to admit it. But do you know I offered to put my horse agin' his to trot? I had no money to put up, or rayther, to spare; but I offered to trot him, horse agin' horse, and the winner to take both horses, and I tell you&mdash;<i>he wouldn't do it!</i>"</p> <p>Mrs. Sparrowgrass got a little nervous, and twitched me by the skirt of the coat "Dear," said she, "let him go." I assured her that I would not buy the horse, and told the man firmly I would not buy him. He said, very well&mdash;if he didn't suit 'twas no use to keep a-talkin': but he added, he'd be down agin' with another horse, next morning, that belonged to his brother; and if he didn't suit me, then I didn't want a horse. With this remark he rode off....</p> <p>"It rains very hard," said Mrs. Sparrowgrass, looking out of the window next morning. Sure enough, the rain was sweeping broadcast over the country, and the four Sparrowgrassii were flattening a quartet of noses against the window-panes, believing most faithfully the man<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_718" id="Page_718">[Pg 718]</SPAN></span> would bring the horse that belonged to his brother, in spite of the elements. It was hoping against hope; no man having a horse to sell will trot him out in a rainstorm, unless he intend to sell him at a bargain&mdash;but childhood is so credulous! The succeeding morning was bright, however, and down came the horse. He had been very cleverly groomed, and looked pleasant under the saddle. The man led him back and forth before the door. "There, 'squire, 's as good a hos as ever stood on iron." Mrs. Sparrowgrass asked me what he meant by that. I replied, it was a figurative way of expressing, in horse-talk, that he was as good a horse as ever stood in shoe-leather. "He's a handsome hos, 'squire," said the man. I replied that he did seem to be a good-looking animal; but, said I, "he does not quite come up to the description of a horse I have read." "Whose hos was it?" said he. I replied it was the horse of Adonis. He said he didn't know him; but, he added, "there is so many hosses stolen, that the descriptions are stuck up now pretty common." To put him at his ease (for he seemed to think I suspected him of having stolen the horse), I told him the description I meant had been written some hundreds of years ago by Shakespeare, and repeated it:</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Round-hooft, short-joynted, fetlocks shag and long,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Broad breast, full eyes, small head, and nostrils wide,<br /></span> <span class="i0">High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide."<br /></span> </div></div> <p>"'Squire," said he, "that will do for a song, but it ain't no p'ints of a good hos. Trotters nowadays go in all shapes, big heads and little heads, big eyes and little eyes, short ears or long ears, thick tail and no tail; so as they have sound legs, good l'in, good barrel, and good stifle, and wind, 'squire, and speed well, they'll fetch a price.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_719" id="Page_719">[Pg 719]</SPAN></span> Now, this animal is what I call a hos, 'squire; he's got the p'ints, he's stylish, he's close-ribbed, a free goer, kind in harness&mdash;single or double&mdash;a good feeder." I asked him if being a good feeder was a desirable quality. He replied it was; "of course," said he, "if your hos is off his feed, he ain't good for nothin'. But what's the use," he added, "of me tellin' you the p'ints of a good hos? You're a hos man, 'squire: you know&mdash;" "It seems to me," said I, "there is something the matter with that left eye." "No, <i>sir</i>" said he, and with that he pulled down the horse's head, and, rapidly crooking his forefinger at the suspected organ, said, "see thar&mdash;don't wink a bit." "But he should wink," I replied. "Not onless his eye are weak," he said. To satisfy myself, I asked the man to let me take the bridle. He did so, and as soon as I took hold of it, the horse started off in a remarkable retrograde movement, dragging me with him into my best bed of hybrid roses. Finding we were trampling down all the best plants, that had cost at auction from three-and-sixpence to seven shillings apiece, and that the more I pulled, the more he backed, I finally let him have his own way, and jammed him stern-foremost into our largest climbing rose that had been all summer prickling itself, in order to look as much like a vegetable porcupine as possible. This unexpected bit of satire in his rear changed his retrograde movement to a sidelong bound, by which he flirted off half the pots on the balusters, upsetting my gladioluses and tuberoses in the pod, and leaving great splashes of mould, geraniums, and red pottery in the gravel walk. By this time his owner had managed to give him two pretty severe cuts with the whip, which made him unmanageable, so I let him go. We had a pleasant time catching him again, when he got among the Lima-bean poles; but his owner led him back with<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_720" id="Page_720">[Pg 720]</SPAN></span> a very self-satisfied expression. "Playful, ain't he, 'squire?" I replied that I thought he was, and asked him if it was usual for his horse to play such pranks. He said it was not "You see, 'squire, he feels his oats, and hain't been out of the stable for a month. Use him, and he's as kind as a kitten." With that he put his foot in the stirrup, and mounted. The animal really looked very well as he moved around the grass-plot, and, as Mrs. Sparrowgrass seemed to fancy him, I took a written guarantee that he was sound, and bought him. What I gave for him is a secret; I have not even told Mrs. Sparrowgrass....</p> <p>We had passed Chicken Island, and the famous house with the stone gable and the one stone chimney, in which General Washington slept, as he made it a point to sleep in every old stone house in Westchester County, and had gone pretty far on the road, past the cemetery, when Mrs. Sparrowgrass said suddenly, "Dear, what is the matter with your horse?" As I had been telling the children all the stories about the river on the way, I managed to get my head pretty well inside of the carriage, and, at the time she spoke, was keeping a lookout in front with my back. The remark of Mrs. Sparrowgrass induced me to turn about, and I found the new horse behaving in a most unaccountable manner. He was going down hill with his nose almost to the ground, running the wagon first on this side and then on the other. I thought of the remark made by the man, and turning again to Mrs. Sparrowgrass, said, "Playful, isn't he?" The next moment I heard something breaking away in front, and then the rockaway gave a lurch and stood still. Upon examination I found the new horse had tumbled down, broken one shaft, gotten the other through the check-rein so as to bring his head up with a round turn, and besides<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_721" id="Page_721">[Pg 721]</SPAN></span> had managed to put one of the traces in a single hitch around his off hind leg. So soon as I had taken all the young ones and Mrs. Sparrowgrass out of the rockaway, I set to work to liberate the horse, who was choking very fast with the check-rein. It is unpleasant to get your fishing-line in a tangle when you are in a hurry for bites, but I never saw fishing-line in such a tangle as that harness. However, I set to work with a pen-knife, and cut him out in such a way as to make getting home by our conveyance impossible. When he got up, he was the sleepiest-looking horse I ever saw. "Mrs. Sparrowgrass," said I, "won't you stay here with the children until I go to the nearest farm-house?" Mrs. Sparrowgrass replied that she would. Then I took the horse with me to get him out of the way of the children, and went in search of assistance. The first thing the new horse did when he got about a quarter of a mile from the scene of the accident was to tumble down a bank. Fortunately the bank was not over four feet high, but as I went with him, my trousers were rent in a grievous place. While I was getting the new horse on his feet again, I saw a colored person approaching, who came to my assistance. The first thing he did was to pull out a large jack-knife, and the next thing he did was to open the new horse's mouth and run the blade two or three times inside the new horse's gums. Then the new horse commenced bleeding. "Dah, sah," said the man, shutting up his jack-knife, "ef 't hadn't been for dat yer, your hos would a' bin a goner." "What was the matter with him?" said I. "Oh, he's only jis got de blind-staggers, das all. Say," said he, before I was half indignant enough at the man who had sold me such an animal, "say, ain't your name Sparrowgrass?" I replied that my name was Sparrowgrass. "Oh," said he, "I knows<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_722" id="Page_722">[Pg 722]</SPAN></span> you, I brung some fowls once down to you place. I heerd about you and your hos. Dats de hos dats got de heaves so bad, heh! heh! You better sell dat hoss." I determined to take his advice, and employed him to lead my purchase to the nearest place where he would be cared for. Then I went back to the rockaway, but met Mrs. Sparrowgrass and the children on the road coming to meet me. She had left a man in charge of the rockaway. When we got to the rockaway we found the man missing, also the whip and one cushion. We got another person to take charge of the rockaway, and had a pleasant walk home by moonlight. I think a moonlight night delicious, upon the Hudson.</p> <p>Does any person want a horse at a low price? A good stylish-looking animal, close-ribbed, good loin, and good stifle, sound legs, with only the heaves and blind-staggers, and a slight defect in one of his eyes? If at any time he slips his bridle and gets away, you can always approach him by getting on his left side. I will also engage to give a written guarantee that he is sound and kind, signed by the brother of his former owner.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_723" id="Page_723">[Pg 723]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="SONNET_OF_THE_LOVABLE_LASS_AND_THE_PLETHORIC_DAD6" id="SONNET_OF_THE_LOVABLE_LASS_AND_THE_PLETHORIC_DAD6"></SPAN>SONNET OF THE LOVABLE LASS AND THE PLETHORIC DAD<SPAN name="FNanchor_6_6" id="FNanchor_6_6"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_6_6" class="fnanchor">[6]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY J.W. FOLEY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Shee sez shee neavur neavur luvd befoar<br /></span> <span class="i0">shee saw me passen bi hur paws frunt dore<br /></span> <span class="i0">wenn shee wuz hangen on the gait ann i<br /></span> <span class="i0">Lookt foolish att hur wenn ime goen bi.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Uv korse sheed hadd sum boze butt nun thatt sturd<br /></span> <span class="i0">hur hart down too itts deppths until shee hurd<br /></span> <span class="i0">me wissel ann shee saw mi fais. Ann wenn<br /></span> <span class="i0">shee furst saw mee sheed neavur luv agen<br /></span> <span class="i0">shee sedd shee noo. ann iff i shunnd hur eye<br /></span> <span class="i0">sheed be a nunn ann bidd thee wurld good bi.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">How swete itt is wenn munnys on thee throan<br /></span> <span class="i0">uv life to bee luvd fore ureself aloan<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ann no thatt u have gott thee powr to stur<br /></span> <span class="i0">a woomans hart wenn u jusst look att hur.<br /></span> <span class="i0">ann o itts sweeter still iff u kan no<br /></span> <span class="i0">hur paw has gott jusst oshuns uv thee doe<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ann u jusst hav to furnish luv ann hee<br /></span> <span class="i0">wil furnish munny fore boath u ann shee.<br /></span> <span class="i0">i wood nott kair iff shee wuz poor butt o<br /></span> <span class="i0">itts dubley swete too no sheez gott thee doe:<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_724" id="Page_724">[Pg 724]</SPAN></span></div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">i wood nott hezzetait iff shee wuz poor<br /></span> <span class="i0">Too marrie hur. togeathur weed endoor<br /></span> <span class="i0">wottever forchun sennt with rite good will<br /></span> <span class="i0">butt sins sheeze rich itts awl thee bettur stil.<br /></span> <span class="i0">ide luv hur in a cottidge jusst thee saim<br /></span> <span class="i0">fore luv is such a holey sakerud flaim<br /></span> <span class="i0">thatt burns like tindur wenn u strike a lite<br /></span> <span class="i0">butt still itt burns moar gloarious ann brite<br /></span> <span class="i0">wenn shee has lotts uv munny ann hur paw<br /></span> <span class="i0">with menny thowsunds is ure fawthernlaw.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_725" id="Page_725">[Pg 725]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_LOVE_SONNETS_OF_A_HUSBAND" id="THE_LOVE_SONNETS_OF_A_HUSBAND"></SPAN>THE LOVE SONNETS OF A HUSBAND</h2> <h3>BY MAURICE SMILEY</h3> <h3><br />I LOVE YOU STILL</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You ask me if I love you still, tho' you<br /></span> <span class="i2">And I were wed scarce one short happy year<br /></span> <span class="i2">Agone. How well do I remember, dear,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The day you put your hand in mine, and through<br /></span> <span class="i0">Life's good and ill, tho' skies were gray or blue,<br /></span> <span class="i2">We plighted faith that should not know a fear.<br /></span> <span class="i2">That was the day I kissed away the tear<br /></span> <span class="i0">That trembled on your cheek like morning dew.<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of course I love you&mdash;still. You're at your best,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Your perihelion, when you're silentest.<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'd love you as I did, dear heart, of yore,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And still a little more, nor ever tire:<br /></span> <span class="i2">Why, I would love you like a house afire<br /></span> <span class="i0">If you were only still a little more.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>SOUL TO SOUL</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I think I loved you first when in your eyes<br /></span> <span class="i2">I saw the glad, rapt answer to the spell<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of Paderewski, when we heard him tell<br /></span> <span class="i0">Life's gentler meaning, Love's sweet sacrifice.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The master caught the rhythm of your sighs<br /></span> <span class="i2">And then, inspired, the story rose and fell<br /></span> <span class="i2">And sang of moonlight in a leafy dell,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of souls' Arcadias and dreaming skies,<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_726" id="Page_726">[Pg 726]</SPAN></span> <span class="i2">Of hearts and hopes and purposes that blend.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Your bosom heaved beneath the witcheries<br /></span> <span class="i2">That seemed to set a halo on his brow,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And then the message sobbed on to its end.<br /></span> <span class="i2">"That's fine," you murmured, chewing faster; "please<br /></span> <span class="i2">Ask him if he won't play 'Bedelia' now."<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>YOU SAID THAT YOU WOULD DIE FOR ME</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You said that you would die for me, if e'er<br /></span> <span class="i2">That price would buy me happiness. I dreamed<br /></span> <span class="i2">Not of devotion like to that, that seemed<br /></span> <span class="i0">To joy in sacrifice; that, tenderer<br /></span> <span class="i0">Than selfish Life's small immolations were,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Made Love an altar whereupon it deemed<br /></span> <span class="i2">It naught to offer all; a shrine that gleamed<br /></span> <span class="i0">With utter loyalty's red drops. I ne'er<br /></span> <span class="i2">Believed that you were just quite in your head<br /></span> <span class="i0">In saying death would prove Fidelity.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But when I saw the packages of white and red<br /></span> <span class="i0">Your druggist showed me&mdash;he's my chum, you see&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I knew you meant, dear heart, just what you said,<br /></span> <span class="i0">When you declared that you would dye for me.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>I CAN NOT BEAR YOUR SIGHS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Your smiles, dear one, have all the glad surprise<br /></span> <span class="i2">The sunshine hath for roses; what the day<br /></span> <span class="i2">Brings to the waiting lark. When you are gay<br /></span> <span class="i0">My spirit sings in tune, and sorrow flies<br /></span> <span class="i0">Away. But, dear, I can not bear your sighs<br /></span> <span class="i2">When on my knees you nestle and you lay<br /></span> <span class="i2">Your tear-wet face upon my shoulder. Nay,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I can not help the pain that fills mine eyes.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_727" id="Page_727">[Pg 727]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">So, love, whatever cup of Life you drain<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'll stand for. Send the cashier's check to me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Smile" all you want to; smile and smile again.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But as you weigh two hundred pounds, you see<br /></span> <span class="i2">Why, when you cuddle down upon my knee,<br /></span> <span class="i0">It is your size, dear heart, that gives me pain.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>A HAND I HELD</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The heartless years have many hopes dispelled.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But they have left me one dear night in June.<br /></span> <span class="i2">They've left the still white splendor of the moon.<br /></span> <span class="i0">They've left the mem'ry of a hand I held,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While up thro' all my soul the rapture welled<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of victory. I hear again the croon<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of twilight time, the lullaby that soon<br /></span> <span class="i0">To all the day's glad music shall have swelled.<br /></span> <span class="i2">I hold a hand I never held before,<br /></span> <span class="i2">A hand like which I'll never hold some more.<br /></span> <span class="i0">It was the first time I had ever "called."<br /></span> <span class="i2">'Twas at the club, as we began to leave.<br /></span> <span class="i0">I held five aces, but the dealer balled<br /></span> <span class="i2">The ones that he had planted up his sleeve.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>YOUR CHEEK</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">To feel your hands stray shyly to my head<br /></span> <span class="i2">And flutter down like birds that find their nest,<br /></span> <span class="i2">To see the gentle rise and fall of your dear breast,<br /></span> <span class="i0">To hear again some tender word you said,<br /></span> <span class="i0">To watch the little feet whose dainty tread<br /></span> <span class="i2">Fell light as flowers upon the way they pressed,<br /></span> <span class="i2">To touch again the lips I have caressed&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">All these are precious. But your cheek of red<br /></span> <span class="i2">Outlives the mem'ry of all other things.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_728" id="Page_728">[Pg 728]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">I'd known you scarce a month, or maybe two;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I had not yet made up my mind to speak,<br /></span> <span class="i2">You trots out Tifny's catalogue of rings;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Says No. 6 (200 yen) will do.<br /></span> <span class="i2">So I remember best of all your cheek.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>WITH ALL YOUR FAULTS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You would not stop this side the farthest line<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of Truth, you said, nor hide one little falsity<br /></span> <span class="i2">From my sweet faith that was too kind to see.<br /></span> <span class="i0">You said a keener vision would divine<br /></span> <span class="i0">All failings later, bare each hid design,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Each poor disguise of loving's treachery<br /></span> <span class="i2">That screened its weaknesses from even me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">How oft you said those cherry lips were mine<br /></span> <span class="i2">Alone. The cherries came in little jars,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I learned. Those auburn locks, I found with pain,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Cost forty plunks, according to the bill<br /></span> <span class="i0">I saw. Those pearly teeth were porcelain.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But I forgive you for each fault that mars.<br /></span> <span class="i2">With all your faults, dear heart, I love you still.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_729" id="Page_729">[Pg 729]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="HOW_WE_BOUGHT_A_SEWIN_MACHINE_AND_ORGAN" id="HOW_WE_BOUGHT_A_SEWIN_MACHINE_AND_ORGAN"></SPAN>HOW WE BOUGHT A SEWIN' MACHINE AND ORGAN</h2> <h3>BY JOSIAH ALLEN'S WIFE</h3> <p>We done dretful well last year. The crops come in first-rate, and Josiah had five or six heads of cattle to turn off at a big price. He felt well, and he proposed to me that I should have a sewin' machine. That man,&mdash;though he don't coo at me so frequent as he probable would if he had more encouragement in it, is attached to me with a devotedness that is firm and almost cast-iron, and says he, almost tenderly: "Samantha, I will get you a sewin' machine."</p> <p>Says I, "Josiah, I have got a couple of sewin' machines by me that have run pretty well for upwards of&mdash;well it haint necessary to go into particulars, but they have run for considerable of a spell anyway"&mdash;says I, "I can git along without another one, though no doubt it would be handy to have round."</p> <p>But Josiah hung onto that machine. And then he up and said he was goin' to buy a organ. Thomas Jefferson wanted one too. They both seemed sot onto that organ. Tirzah Ann took hern with her of course when she was married, and Josiah said it seemed so awful lonesome without any Tirzah Ann or any music, that it seemed almost as if two girls had married out of the family instead of one. He said money couldn't buy us another Tirzah Ann, but it would buy us a new organ, and he was determined to have one. He said it would be so handy for<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_730" id="Page_730">[Pg 730]</SPAN></span> her to play on when she came home, and for other company. And then Thomas J. can play quite well; he can play any tune, almost, with one hand, and he sings first-rate, too. He and Tirzah Ann used to sing together a sight; he sings bearatone, and she sulfireno&mdash;that is what they call it. They git up so many new-fangled names nowadays, that I think it is most a wonder that I don't make a slip once in a while and git things wrong. I should, if I hadn't got a mind like a ox for strength.</p> <p>But as I said, Josiah was fairly sot on that machine and organ, and I thought I'd let him have his way. So it got out that we was goin' to buy a sewin' machine, and a organ. Well, we made up our minds on Friday, pretty late in the afternoon, and on Monday forenoon I was a washin', when I heard a knock at the front door, and I wrung my hands out of the water and went and opened it. A slick lookin' feller stood there, and I invited him in and sot him a chair.</p> <p>"I hear you are talkin' about buyin' a musical instrument," says he.</p> <p>"No," says I, "we are goin' to buy a organ."</p> <p>"Well," says he, "I want to advise you, not that I have any interest in it at all, only I don't want to see you so imposed upon. It fairly makes me mad to see a Methodist imposed upon; I lean towards that perswasion myself. Organs are liable to fall to pieces any minute. There haint no dependence on 'em at all, the insides of 'em are liable to break out at any time. If you have any regard for your own welfare and safety, you will buy a piano. Not that I have any interest in advising you, only my devotion to the cause of Right; pianos never wear out."</p> <p>"Where should we git one?" says I, for I didn't want Josiah to throw away his property.</p> <p>"Well," says he, "as it happens, I guess I have got one<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_731" id="Page_731">[Pg 731]</SPAN></span> out here in the wagon. I believe I threw one into the bottom of the wagon this mornin', as I was a comin' down by here on business. I am glad now I did, for it always makes me feel ugly to see a Methodist imposed upon."</p> <p>Josiah came into the house in a few minutes, and I told him about it, and says I:</p> <p>"How lucky it is Josiah, that we found out about organs before it was too late."</p> <p>But Josiah asked the price, and said he wasn't goin' to pay out no three hundred dollars, for he wasn't able. But the man asked if we was willin' to have it brought into the house for a spell&mdash;we could do as we was a mind to about buyin' it; and of course we couldn't refuse, so Josiah most broke his back a liftin' it in, and they set it up in the parlor, and after dinner the man went away.</p> <p>Josiah bathed his back with linement, for he had strained it bad a liftin' that piano, and I had jest got back to my washin' again (I had had to put it away to git dinner) when I heerd a knockin' again to the front door, and I pulled down my dress sleeves and went and opened it, and there stood a tall, slim feller; and the kitchen bein' all cluttered up I opened the parlor door and asked him in there, and the minute he catched sight of that piano, he jest lifted up both hands, and says he:</p> <p>"You haint got one of them here!"</p> <p>He looked so horrified that it skairt me, and says I in almost tremblin' tones:</p> <p>"What is the matter with 'em?" And I added in a cheerful tone, "we haint bought it."</p> <p>He looked more cheerful too as I said it, and says he "You may be thankful enough that you haint. There haint no music in 'em at all; hear that," says he, goin' up and strikin' the very top note. It did sound flat enough.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_732" id="Page_732">[Pg 732]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Says I, "There must be more music in it than that, though I haint no judge at all."</p> <p>"Well, hear that, then," and he went and struck the very bottom note. "You see just what it is, from top to bottom. But it haint its total lack of music that makes me despise pianos so, it is because they are so dangerous."</p> <p>"Dangerous?" says I.</p> <p>"Yes, in thunder storms, you see;" says he, liftin' up the cover, "here it is all wire, enough for fifty lightnin' rods&mdash;draw the lightnin' right into the room. Awful dangerous! No money would tempt me to have one in my house with my wife and daughter. I shouldn't sleep a wink thinkin' I had exposed 'em to such danger."</p> <p>"Good land!" says I, "I never thought on it before."</p> <p>"Well, now you <i>have</i> thought of it, you see plainly that a organ is jest what you need. They are full of music, safe, healthy and don't cost half so much."</p> <p>Says I, "A organ was what we had sot our minds on at first."</p> <p>"Well, I have got one out here, and I will bring it in."</p> <p>"What is the price?" says I.</p> <p>"One hundred and ninety dollars," says he.</p> <p>"There won't be no need of bringin' it in at that price," says I, "for I have heerd Josiah say, that he wouldn't give a cent over a hundred dollars."</p> <p>"Well," says the feller, "I'll tell you what I'll do. Your countenance looks so kinder natural to me, and I like the looks of the country round here so well, that if your mind is made up on the price you want to pay, I won't let a trifle of ninety dollars part us. You can have it for one hundred."</p> <p>Well, the end on't was, he brung it in and sot it up the other end of the parlor, and drove off. And when Josiah come in from his work, and Thomas J. come home from Jonesville, they liked it first rate.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_733" id="Page_733">[Pg 733]</SPAN></span></p> <p>But the very next day, a new agent come, and he looked awful skairt when he katched sight of that organ, and real mad and indignant too.</p> <p>"That villain haint been a tryin' to get one of them organs off onto you, has he?" says he.</p> <p>"What is the trouble with 'em?" says I, in a awestruck tone, for he looked bad.</p> <p>"Why," says he, "there is a heavy mortgage on every one of his organs. If you bought one of him, and paid for it, it would be liable to be took away from you any minute when you was right in the middle of a tune, leavin' you a settin' on the stool; and you would lose every cent of your money."</p> <p>"Good gracious!" says I, for it skairt me to think what a narrow chance we had run. Well, finally, he brung in one of hisen, and sot it up in the kitchen, the parlor bein' full on 'em.</p> <p>And the fellers kep' a comin' and a goin' at all hours. For a spell, at first, Josiah would come in and talk with 'em, but after a while he got tired out, and when he would see one a comin' he would start on a run for the barn, and hide, and I would have to stand the brunt of it alone. One feller see Josiah a runnin' for the barn, and he follered him in, and Josiah dove under the barn, as I found out afterwards. I happened to see him a crawlin' out after the feller drove off. Josiah come in a shakin' himself&mdash;for he was all covered with straw and feathers&mdash;and says he:</p> <p>"Samantha there has got to be a change."</p> <p>"How is there goin' to be a change?" says I.</p> <p>"I'll tell you," says he, in a whisper&mdash;for fear some on 'em was prowlin' round the house yet&mdash;"we will git up before light to-morrow mornin', and go to Jonesville and buy a organ right out."<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_734" id="Page_734">[Pg 734]</SPAN></span></p> <p>I fell in with the idee, and we started for Jonesville the next mornin'. We got there jest after the break of day, and bought it of the man to the breakfast table. Says Josiah to me afterwards, as we was goin' down into the village:</p> <p>"Let's keep dark about buyin' one, and see how many of the creeters will be a besettin' on us to-day."</p> <p>So we kep' still, and there was half a dozen fellers follerin' us round all the time a most, into stores and groceries and the manty makers, and they would stop us on the sidewalk and argue with us about their organs and pianos. One feller, a tall slim chap, never let Josiah out of his sight a minute; and he follered him when he went after his horse, and walked by the side of the wagon clear down to the store where I was, a arguin' all the way about his piano. Josiah had bought a number of things and left 'em to the store, and when we got there, there stood the organ man by the side of the things, jest like a watch dog. He knew Josiah would come and git 'em, and he could git the last word with him.</p> <p>Amongst other things, Josiah had bought a barrel of salt, and the piano feller that had stuck to Josiah so tight that day, offered to help him on with it. And the organ man&mdash;not goin' to be outdone by the other&mdash;he offered too. Josiah kinder winked to me, and then he held the old mare, and let 'em lift. They wasn't used to such kind of work, and it fell back on 'em once or twice, and most squashed 'em; but they nipped to, and lifted again, and finally got it on; but they was completely tuckered out.</p> <p>And then Josiah got in, and thanked 'em for the liftin'; and the organ man, a wipin' the sweat offen his face&mdash;that had started out in his hard labor&mdash;said he should be down to-morrow mornin'; and the piano man, a pantin' for breath, told Josiah not to make up his mind till <i>he</i><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_735" id="Page_735">[Pg 735]</SPAN></span> came; he should be down that night if he got rested enough.</p> <p>And then Josiah told 'em that he should be glad to see 'em down a visitin' any time, but he had jest bought a organ.</p> <p>I don't know but what they would have laid holt of Josiah, if they hadn't been so tuckered out; but as it was, they was too beat out to look anything but sneakin'; and so we drove off.</p> <p>The manty maker had told me that day, that there was two or three new agents with new kinds of sewin' machines jest come to Jonesville, and I was tellin' Josiah on it, when we met a middle-aged man, and he looked at us pretty close, and finally he asked us as he passed by, if we could tell him where Josiah Allen lived.</p> <p>Says Josiah, "I'm livin' at present in a Democrat."</p> <p>Says I, "In this one-horse wagon, you know."</p> <p>Says he, "You are thinkin' of buyin' a sewin' machine, haint you?"</p> <p>Says Josiah, "I am a turnin' my mind that way."</p> <p>At that, the man turned his horse round, and follered us, and I see he had a sewin' machine in front of his wagon. We had the old mare and the colt, and seein' a strange horse come up so close behind us, the colt started off full run towards Jonesville, and then run down a cross-road and into a lot.</p> <p>Says the man behind us, "I am a little younger than you be, Mr. Allen; if you will hold my horse I will go after the colt with pleasure."</p> <p>Josiah was glad enough, and so he got into the feller's wagon; but before he started off, the man, says he:</p> <p>"You can look at that machine in front of you while I am gone. I tell you frankly, that there haint another machine equal to it in America; it requires no strength at<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_736" id="Page_736">[Pg 736]</SPAN></span> all; infants can run it for days at a time; or idiots; if anybody knows enough to set and whistle, they can run this machine; and it's especially adapted to the blind&mdash;blind people can run it jest as well as them that can see. A blind woman last year, in one day, made 43 dollars a makin' leather aprons; stitched them all round the age two rows. She made two dozen of 'em, and then she made four dozen gauze veils the same day, without changin' the needle. That is one of the beauties of the machine, its goin' from leather to lace, and back again, without changin' the needle. It is so tryin' for wimmen, every time they want to go from leather to gauze and book muslin, to have to change the needle; but you can see for yourself that it haint got its equal in North America."</p> <p>He heerd the colt whinner, and Josiah stood up in the wagon, and looked after it. So he started off down the cross road.</p> <p>And we sot there, feelin' considerable like a procession; Josiah holdin' the stranger's horse, and I the old mare; and as we sot there, up driv another slick lookin' chap, and I bein' ahead, he spoke to me, and says he:</p> <p>"Can you direct me, mom, to Josiah Allen's house?"</p> <p>"It is about a mile from here," and I added in a friendly tone, "Josiah is my husband."</p> <p>"Is he?" says he, in a genteel tone.</p> <p>"Yes," says I, "we have been to Jonesville, and our colt run down that cross road, and&mdash;"</p> <p>"I see," says he interruptin' of me, "I see how it is." And then he went on in a lower tone, "If you think of buyin' a sewin' machine, don't git one of that feller in the wagon behind you&mdash;I know him well; he is one of the most worthless shacks in the country, as you can plainly see by the looks of his countenance. If I ever see a face in which knave and villain is wrote down, it is on hisen.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_737" id="Page_737">[Pg 737]</SPAN></span> Any one with half an eye can see that he would cheat his grandmother out of her snuff handkerchief, if he got a chance."</p> <p>He talked so fast that I couldn't git a chance to put in a word age ways for Josiah.</p> <p>"His sewin' machines are utterly worthless; he haint never sold one yet; he cant. His character has got out&mdash;folks know him. There was a lady tellin' me the other day that her machine she bought of him, all fell to pieces in less than twenty-four hours after she bought it; fell onto her infant, a sweet little babe, and crippled it for life. I see your husband is havin' a hard time of it with that colt. I will jest hitch my horse here to the fence, and go down and help him; I want to have a little talk with him before he comes back here." So he started off on the run.</p> <p>I told Josiah what he said about him, for it madded me, but Josiah took it cool. He seemed to love to set there and see them two men run. I never <i>did</i> see a colt act as that one did; they didn't have time to pass a word with each other, to find out their mistake, it kep' 'em so on a keen run. They would git it headed towards us, and then it would kick up its heels, and run into some lot, and canter round in a circle with its head up in the air, and then bring up short ag'inst the fence; and then they would leap over the fence. The first one had white pantaloons on, but he didn't mind 'em; over he would go, right into sikuta or elderbushes, and they would wave their hats at it, and holler, and whistle, and bark like dogs, and the colt would whinner and start off again right the wrong way, and them two men would go a pantin' after it. They had been a runnin' nigh onto half an hour, when a good lookin' young feller come along, and seein' me a settin' still and holdin' the old mare, he up and says:<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_738" id="Page_738">[Pg 738]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"Are you in any trouble that I can assist you?"</p> <p>Says I, "We are goin' home from Jonesville, Josiah and me, and our colt got away and&mdash;"</p> <p>But Josiah interrupted me, and says he, "And them two fools a caperin' after it, are sewin' machine agents."</p> <p>The good lookin' chap see all through it in a minute, and he broke out into a laugh it would have done your soul good to hear, it was so clear and hearty, and honest. But he didn't say a word; he drove out to go by us, and we see then that he had a sewin' machine in the buggy.</p> <p>"Are you a agent?" says Josiah.</p> <p>"Yes," says he.</p> <p>"What sort of a machine is this here?" says Josiah, liftin' up the cloth from the machine in front of him.</p> <p>"A pretty good one," says the feller, lookin' at the name on it.</p> <p>"Is yours as good?" says Josiah.</p> <p>"I think it is better," says he. And then he started up his horse.</p> <p>"Hello! stop!" says Josiah.</p> <p>The feller stopped.</p> <p>"Why don't you run down other fellers' machines, and beset us to buy yourn?"</p> <p>"Because I don't make a practice of stoppin' people on the street."</p> <p>"Do you haunt folks day and night; foller 'em up ladders, through trap-doors, down sullers, and under barns?"</p> <p>"No," says the young chap, "I show people how my machine works; if they want it, I sell it; and if they don't, I leave."</p> <p>"How much is your machine?" says Josiah.</p> <p>"75 dollars."</p> <p>"Can't you," says Josiah, "because I look so much like your old father, or because I am a Methodist, or because<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_739" id="Page_739">[Pg 739]</SPAN></span> my wife's mother used to live neighbor to your grandmother&mdash;let me have it for 25 dollars?"</p> <p>The feller got up on his wagon, and turned his machine round so we could see it plain&mdash;it was a beauty&mdash;and says he:</p> <p>"You see this machine, sir; I think it is the best one made, although there is no great difference between this and the one over there; but I think what difference there is, is in this one's favor. You can have it for 75 dollars if you want it; if not, I will drive on."</p> <p>"How do you like the looks on it, Samantha?"</p> <p>Says I, "It is the kind I wanted to git."</p> <p>Josiah took out his wallet, and counted out 75 dollars, and says he:</p> <p>"Put that machine into that wagon where Samantha is."</p> <p>The good lookin' feller was jest liftin' of it in, and countin' over his money, when the two fellers come up with the colt. It seemed that they had had a explanation as they was comin' back; I see they had as quick as I catched sight on 'em, for they was a walkin' one on one side of the road, and the other on the other, most tight up to the fence. They was most dead the colt had run 'em so, and it did seem as if their faces couldn't look no redder nor more madder than they did as we catched sight on 'em and Josiah thanked 'em for drivin' back the colt; but when they see that the other feller had sold us a machine, their faces <i>did</i> look redder and madder.</p> <p>But I didn't care a mite; we drove off tickled enough that we had got through with our sufferin's with agents. And the colt had got so beat out a runnin' and racin', that he drove home first-rate, walkin' along by the old mare as stiddy as a deacon.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_740" id="Page_740">[Pg 740]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="CHEER_FOR_THE_CONSUMER" id="CHEER_FOR_THE_CONSUMER"></SPAN>CHEER FOR THE CONSUMER</h2> <h3>BY NIXON WATERMAN</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and it really doesn't matter<br /></span> <span class="i0">If you crowd me in the street cars till I couldn't well be flatter;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and the strikers may go striking,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For it's mine to end my living if it isn't to my liking.<br /></span> <span class="i0">I am a sort of parasite without a special mission<br /></span> <span class="i0">Except to pay the damages&mdash;mine is a queer position:<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Fates unite to squeeze me till I couldn't well be flatter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For I'm only a consumer, and it really doesn't matter.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The baker tilts the price of bread upon the vaguest rumor<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of damage to the wheat crop, but I'm only a consumer,<br /></span> <span class="i0">So it really doesn't matter, for there's no law that compells me<br /></span> <span class="i0">To pay the added charges on the loaf of bread he sells me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The iceman leaves a smaller piece when days are growing hotter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'm only a consumer, and I do not need iced water:<br /></span> <span class="i0">My business is to pay the bills and keep in a good humor,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And it really doesn't matter, for I'm only a consumer.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The milkman waters milk for me; there's garlic in my butter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'm only a consumer, and it does no good to mutter;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I know that coal is going up and beef is getting higher,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'm only a consumer, and I have no need of fire;<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_741" id="Page_741">[Pg 741]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">While beefsteak is a luxury that wealth alone is needing,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and what need have I for feeding?<br /></span> <span class="i0">My business is to pay the bills and keep in a good humor,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And it really doesn't matter, since I'm only a consumer.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The grocer sells me addled eggs; the tailor sells me shoddy,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and I am not anybody.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The cobbler pegs me paper soles, the dairyman short-weights me,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and most everybody hates me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">There's turnip in my pumpkin pie and ashes in my pepper,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The world's my lazaretto, and I'm nothing but a leper;<br /></span> <span class="i0">So lay me in my lonely grave and tread the turf down flatter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and it really doesn't matter.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_742" id="Page_742">[Pg 742]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="A_DESPERATE_RACE" id="A_DESPERATE_RACE"></SPAN>A DESPERATE RACE</h2> <h3>BY J.F. KELLEY</h3> <p>Some years ago, I was one of a convivial party that met in the principal hotel in the town of Columbus, Ohio, the seat of government of the Buckeye state.</p> <p>It was a winter's evening, when all without was bleak and stormy and all within were blithe and gay,&mdash;when song and story made the circuit of the festive board, filling up the chasms of life with mirth and laughter.</p> <p>We had met for the express purpose of making a night of it, and the pious intention was duly and most religiously carried out. The Legislature was in session in that town, and not a few of the worthy legislators were present upon this occasion.</p> <p>One of these worthies I will name, as he not only took a big swath in the evening's entertainment, but he was a man <i>more</i> generally known than our worthy President, James K. Polk. That man was the famous Captain Riley, whose "Narrative" of suffering and adventures is pretty generally known all over the civilized world. Captain Riley was a fine, fat, good-humored joker, who at the period of my story was the representative of the Dayton district, and lived near that little city when at home. Well, Captain Riley had amused the company with many of his far-famed and singular adventures, which, being mostly told before and read by millions of people that have seen his book, I will not attempt to repeat.</p> <p>Many were the stories and adventures told by the com<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_743" id="Page_743">[Pg 743]</SPAN></span>pany, when it came to the turn of a well-known gentleman who represented the Cincinnati district. As Mr. &mdash;&mdash; is yet among the living, and perhaps not disposed to be the subject of joke or story, I do not feel at liberty to give his name. Mr. &mdash;&mdash; was a slow believer of other men's adventures, and, at the same time, much disposed to magnify himself into a marvellous hero whenever the opportunity offered. As Captain Riley wound up one of his truthful though really marvellous adventures, Mr. &mdash;&mdash; coolly remarked that the captain's story was all very <i>well</i>, but it did not begin to compare with an adventure that he had, "once upon a time," on the Ohio, below the present city of Cincinnati.</p> <p>"Let's have it!"&mdash;"Let's have it!" resounded from all hands.</p> <p>"Well, gentlemen," said the Senator, clearing his voice for action and knocking the ashes from his cigar against the arm of his chair,&mdash;"gentlemen, I am not in the habit of spinning yarns of marvellous or fictitious matters; and therefore it is scarcely necessary to affirm upon the responsibility of my reputation, gentlemen, that what I am about to tell you I most solemnly proclaim to be truth, and&mdash;"</p> <p>"Oh, never mind that: go on, Mr. &mdash;&mdash;," chimed the party.</p> <p>"Well gentlemen, in 18&mdash; I came down the Ohio River, and settled at Losanti, now called Cincinnati. It was at that time but a little settlement of some twenty or thirty log and frame cabins, and where now stand the Broadway Hotel and blocks of stores and dwelling-houses, was the cottage and corn-patch of old Mr. &mdash;&mdash;, the tailor, who, by the bye, bought that land for the making of a coat for one of the settlers. Well, I put up my cabin, with the aid of my neighbors, and put in a patch of corn and potatoes,<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_744" id="Page_744">[Pg 744]</SPAN></span> about where the Fly Market now stands, and set about improving my lot, house, etc.</p> <p>"Occasionally I took up my rifle and started off with my dog down the river, to look up a little deer or bar meat, then very plenty along the river. The blasted red-skins were lurking about and hovering around the settlement, and every once in a while picked off some of our neighbors or stole our cattle or horses. I hated the red demons, and made no bones of peppering the blasted sarpents whenever I got a sight of them. In fact, the red rascals had a dread of me, and had laid a good many traps to get my scalp, but I wasn't to be catched napping. No, no, gentlemen, I was too well up to 'em for that.</p> <p>"Well, I started off one morning, pretty early, to take a hunt, and traveled a long way down the river, over the bottoms and hills, but couldn't find no <i>bar</i> nor deer. About four o'clock in the afternoon I made tracks for the settlement again. By and by I sees a buck just ahead of me, walking leisurely down the river. I slipped up, with my faithful old dog close in my rear, to within clever shooting-distance, and just as the buck stuck his nose in the drink I drew a bead upon his top-knot, and over he tumbled, and splurged and bounded a while, when I came up and relieved him by cutting his wizen&mdash;"</p> <p>"Well, but what has that to do with an <i>adventure</i>?" said Riley.</p> <p>"Hold on a bit, if you please, gentlemen; by Jove, it had a great deal to do with it. For, while I was busy skinning the hind-quarters of the buck, and stowing away the kidney-fat in my hunting-shirt, I heard a noise like the breaking of brush under a moccasin up 'the bottom.' My dog heard it, and started up to reconnoiter, and I lost no time in reloading my rifle. I had hardly got my priming out before my dog raised a howl and broke through<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_745" id="Page_745">[Pg 745]</SPAN></span> the brush toward me with his tail down, as he was not used to doing unless there were wolves, painters (panthers), or Injins about.</p> <p>"I picked up my knife, and took up my line of march in a skulking trot up the river. The frequent gullies on the lower bank made it tedious traveling there, so I scrabbled up to the upper bank, which was pretty well covered with buckeye and sycamore, and very little underbrush. One peep below discovered to me three as big and strapping red rascals, gentlemen, as you ever clapped your eyes on! Yes, there they came, not above six hundred yards in my rear, shouting and yelling like hounds, and coming after me like all possessed."</p> <p>"Well," said an old woodsman, sitting at the table, "you took a tree, of course."</p> <p>"Did I? No, gentlemen, I took no tree just then, but I took to my heels like sixty, and it was just as much as my old dog could do to keep up with me. I run until the whoops of my red-skins grew fainter and fainter behind me, and, clean out of wind, I ventured to look behind me, and there came one single red whelp, puffing and blowing, not three hundred yards in my rear. He had got on to a piece of bottom where the trees were small and scarce. 'Now,' thinks I, 'old fellow, I'll have you.' So I trotted off at a pace sufficient to let my follower gain on me, and when he had got just about near enough I wheeled and fired, and down I brought him, dead as a door-nail, at a hundred and twenty yards!"</p> <p>"Then you skelp'd (scalped) him immediately?" said the backwoodsman.</p> <p>"Very clear of it, gentlemen; for by the time I got my rifle loaded, here came the other two red-skins, shouting and whooping close on me, and away I broke again like a quarter-horse. I was now about five miles from the<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_746" id="Page_746">[Pg 746]</SPAN></span> settlement, and it was getting toward sunset. I ran till my wind began to be pretty short, when I took a look back, and there they came, snorting like mad buffaloes, one about two or three hundred yards ahead of the other: so I acted possum again until the foremost Injin got pretty well up, and I wheeled and fired at the very moment he was 'drawing a bead' on me: he fell head over stomach into the dirt, and up came the last one!"</p> <p>"So you laid for him, and&mdash;" gasped several.</p> <p>"No," continued the "member," "I didn't lay for him, I hadn't time to load, so I laid my <i>legs</i> to ground and started again. I heard every bound he made after me. I ran and ran until the fire flew out of my eyes, and the old dog's tongue hung out of his mouth a quarter of a yard long!"</p> <p>"Phe-e-e-e-w!" whistled somebody.</p> <p>"Fact, gentlemen. Well, what I was to do I didn't know: rifle empty, no big trees about, and a murdering red Indian not three hundred yards in my rear; and what was worse, just then it occurred to me that I was not a great ways from a big creek (now called Mill Creek), and there I should be pinned at last.</p> <p>"Just at this juncture, I struck my toe against a root, and down I tumbled, and my old dog over me. Before I could scrabble up&mdash;"</p> <p>"The Indian fired!" gasped the old woodsman.</p> <p>"He did, gentlemen, and I felt the ball strike me under the shoulder; but that didn't seem to put any embargo upon my locomotion, for as soon as I got up I took off again, quite freshened by my fall! I heard the red-skin close behind me coming booming on, and every minute I expected to have his tomahawk dashed into my head or shoulders.</p> <p>"Something kind of cool began to trickle down my legs into my boots&mdash;"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_747" id="Page_747">[Pg 747]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"Blood, eh? for the shot the varmint gin you," said the old woodsman, in a great state of excitement.</p> <p>"I thought so," said the Senator; "but what do you think it was?"</p> <p>Not being blood, we were all puzzled to know what the blazes it could be; when Riley observed,&mdash;</p> <p>"I suppose you had&mdash;"</p> <p>"Melted the deer-fat which I had stuck in the breast of my hunting-shirt, and the grease was running down my leg until my feet got so greasy that my heavy boots flew off, and one, hitting the dog, nearly knocked his brains out."</p> <p>We all grinned, which the "member" noticing, observed,&mdash;</p> <p>"I hope, gentlemen, no man here will presume to think I'm exaggerating?"</p> <p>"Oh, certainly not! Go on, Mr. &mdash;&mdash;," we all chimed in.</p> <p>"Well, the ground under my feet was soft, and, being relieved of my heavy boots, I put off with double-quick time, and, seeing the creek about half a mile off, I ventured to look over my shoulder to see what kind of chance there was to hold up and load. The red-skin was coming jogging along, pretty well blowed out, about five hundred yards in the rear. Thinks I, 'Here goes to load, anyhow.' So at it I went: in went the powder, and, putting on my patch, down went the ball about half-way, and off snapped my ramrod!"</p> <p>"Thunder and lightning!" shouted the old woodsman, who was worked up to the top-notch in the "member's" story.</p> <p>"Good gracious! wasn't I in a pickle! There was the red whelp within two hundred yards of me, pacing along and <i>loading up his rifle as he came</i>! I jerked out the broken ramrod, dashed it away, and started on, priming<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_748" id="Page_748">[Pg 748]</SPAN></span> up as I cantered off, determined to turn and give the red-skin a blast, anyhow, as soon as I reached the creek.</p> <p>"I was now within a hundred yards of the creek, could see the smoke from the settlement chimneys. A few more jumps, and I was by the creek. The Indian was close upon me: he gave a whoop, and I raised my rifle: on he came, knowing that I had broken my ramrod and my load not down: another whoop! whoop! and he was within fifty yards of me. I pulled trigger, and&mdash;"</p> <p>"And killed <i>him</i>?" chuckled Riley.</p> <p>"No, <i>sir</i>! I missed fire!"</p> <p>"And the red-skin&mdash;" shouted the old woodsman, in a frenzy of excitement.</p> <p>"<i>Fired and killed me!</i>"</p> <p>The screams and shouts that followed this finale brought landlord Noble, servants and hostlers running up stairs to see if the house was on fire!<span class='pagenum'>
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