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. .




UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



FROM THH LIBRAE



BENJAMIN PARKE AVERY.



GIFT OF MRS. AVERY.

August. 1806
JFJ S7 i

Accessions M



y August, i8on.

io..6$7i 7 VMS NO. CIS

L Ji



THE



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS.







NEW YOKE:
BLAKE MAN & MASON,

21 MURRAY STREET.
1862.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by

BLAKEMAN & MASON,

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the [Tnited States, for the Southern
District of New York.



ELKCTROTVPKD UY SMITH & McDouoxi., 82 k 8t Beekman Street.
PRINTED BY C. S. WESTCOTT & Co., 79 John Street.







VA /



CONTENTS.



LETTER I.

PAGB

SHOWING HOW OTTR CORRESPONDENT CAME INTO THE WORLD . WITH SOME PAR
TICULARS CONCERNING HIS EARLY CHILDHOOD 9

LETTER II.

SHOWING HOW THE WRITER INCREASED IN TEARS AND INDISCRETION, AND
HOW HE WAS SAVED FROM MATRIMONY BY THE LAMENTABLE EXAMPLE OF
JED SMITH 14

LETTER III.

OUR CORRESPONDENT BECOMES LITERARY, AND FATHOMS CERTAIN MYSTERIES
OF JOURNALISM. HE PRODUCES A DISTINCTIVE AMERICAN POEM, AND
GAINS TUB USUAL REWARD OF YOUTHFUL GENIUS 22

LETTER IV.

DESCRIBING THE 6OUTH IN TWELVE LINES, DEFINING THE CITIZEN S FIRST DUTY,

AND RECITING A PARODY 81

LETTER T.

CONCERNING THE GREAT CROWD AT THE CAPITAL, OWING TO THE VAST INFLUX
OF TROOPS, AND TOUCHING UPON FIRE-ZOUAVE PECULIARITIES AND OTHER
MATTERS 87

LETTER VI.

INTRODUCING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, DILATING ON HAVELOCKS AS FIRST
MADE BY THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, ILLUSTRATING THE STRENGTH OF HABIT
AND WEAKNESS OF " SHODDY," AND SHOWING HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT
INDULGED IN A HUGE CANARD, AFTER THE MANNER OF AN ENLIGHTENED
DAILY PRESS 42



IV CONTENTS.

LETTER VII. P,

RECORDING TIIE FIRST SANGUINARY EXPLOIT OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, AND
ITS VICTORIOUS ISSUE

LETTER VIII.

THE REJECTED "NATIONAL HYMNS"



LETTER IX.

IN WHICH OUR CORRESPONDENT TEMPORARILY DIGRESSES FROM WAR MATTERS

TO BOMANTIC LITERATURE, AND INTRODUCES A WOMAN S NOVEL. 68

LETTER X.

MAKING CONSERVATIVE MENTION OF THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN AND ITS EVENTS.

THE FIRE-ZOUAVE S VERSION OF THE AFFAIR, AND so ON 74

LETTER XI.

GIVING AN EFFECT OF TIIE NEW BUGLE DRILL IN THE MACKEREL BRIGADE, AND

MAKING SOME NOTE OF THE LATEST IMPROVEMENTS IN ARTILLERY, ETC 82

LETTER XII.

GIVING AN ABSTRACT OF. A GREAT ORATOR S FLAGGING SPEECH, AND RE
CORDING A DEATHLESS EXPLOIT OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE 88

LETTER XIII.

SUBMITTING VARIOUS RUMORS CONCERNING THE CONDITION OF THINGS AT
THE SOUTH, WITH A SKETCH OF A LIGHT SKELETON REGIMENT AND A NOTE
OF VILLIAM BROWN S RECRUITING EXPLOIT 94



LETTER XIV.

BHOWINO HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT MADE A SPEECH OF VAGUE CONTINUITY,
AFTER TIIE MODEL OF TIIE LATEST APPROVED STUMP ORATORY



LETTER XV.

WHEREIN WILL BE FOUND THE PARTICULARS OF A VISIT TO A SUSPECTED



NEWSPAPER OFFICE, AND SO ON.



105



LETTER XVI.

INTRODUCING THE GOTHIC STEED, PEGASUS, AND THE REMARKABLE GERMAN

CAVALRY FROM THE WEST. . . 109



CONTEXTS.



LETTER XVII.



PAGE



NOTINa A NEW VICTORY OP THE MACKEREL BRIGADE IX VIRGINIA, AND IL
LUSTRATING T1IE PECULIAR THEOLOGY OF VILLIAM BROWN J W1TU SOME
MENTION OF THE SHARP-SHOOTERS 114



LETTER XVIII.

DESCRIBING THE TERRIBLE DEATH AND MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OP A

CONFEDERATE PICKET, WITH A TRIBUTE TO HIS MEMORY 120



LETTER XIX.

NOTICING THE ARRIVAL OP A SOLID BOSTON MAN WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED
LITERARY PRIZF., AND SHOWING HOW VILLIAM BROWN WAS TRIUMPHANTLY
PROMOTED. . . 124



LETTER XX.

CONCERNING A SIGNIFICANT BRITISH OUTRAGE, AND THE CAPTURE OP MASON

AND 8LIDELL 7 181



LETTER XXI.

DESCRIBING CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN S GREAT EXPEDITION TO ACCOMAC, AND

ITS MARVELLOUS SUCCESS 186

LETTER XXII.

TREATING OF VILLIAM S OCCUPATION OF ACCOMAC, AND HIS WISE DECISION IN

A CONTRABAND CASE 144



LETTERXXIII.

CONCERNING BRITISH NEUTRALITY AND ITS COSMOPOLITAN EFFECTS, WITH

SOME ACCOUNT OF HOW CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY LOST HIS COMPANY 149



LETTER XXIV.

NARRATING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE S MANNER OP CELEBRATING CHRIBT-
MAB, AND NOTING A DEADLY AFFAIR OF HONOR BETWEEN TWO WELL-
KNOWN OFFICERS 158

LETTER XXV.

PRESENTING THE CHAPLAIN S NEW YEAR POEM, AND REPORTING THE Bltf-
GULAR CONDUCT OF THE GENERAL OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE ON THB
DAT HE CELEBRATED 1W



VI CONTENTS.



LETTER XXYI. PAGE

PARTICULARS OF A FALSE ALARM, AND A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
OF THE OFFICER COMMANDING. . . . . 173



LETTER XXVII.

TOUCHING INCIDENTALLY UPON THE CHARACTER OF ARMY FOOD, AND CELE
BRATING THE GREAT DIPLOMATIC EXPLOIT OF CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN
AT ACCOMAC 177

LETTER XXVIII.

CONCERNING THE CONTINUED INACTIVITY OF THE POTOMAC ARMY, AND SHOW
ING HOW IT WAS POETICALLY CONSTRUED BY A THOUGHTFUL RADICAL. . . . 184

LETTER XXIX.

INTRODUCING A VERITABLE "MUDSILL," ILLUSTRATING YANKEE BUSINESS
TACT, NOTING THE DETENTION OF A NEWSPAPER CHARTOGRAPHIST,
AND 60 ON , .. 190



LETTER XXX.

DESCRIPTION OF THE GORGEOUS FETE AT THE WHITE HOUSE, INCLUDING THE
OBSERVATIONS OF CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN I WITH SOME NOTES OF THE
TOILETTES, CONFECTIONS, AND PUNCH 196

LETTER XXXI.

TREATING OF THE GREAT MILITARY ANACONDA, AND THE MODERN XANTIPPE. 203

LETTER XXXII.

COMMENCING WITH A BURST OF EXULTATION OVER NATIONAL VICTORIES, RE
FERRING TO A SENATORIAL MISTAKE, DEPICTING A WELL-KNOWN CHARAC
TER, AND REPORTING THE RECONNOISSANCE OF THE WESTERN CEN
TAURS... .. 209



LETTER XXXIII.

EXEMPLIFYING THE TERRIBLE DOMESTIC EFFECTS OF MILITARY INACTIVITY
ON THE POTOMAC, AND DESCRIBING THE METAPHYSICAL CAPTURE OF
FORT MUGGINS 219

LETTER XXXIV.

BEGINNING WITH A LAMENTATION, BUT CHANGING MATERIALLY IN TONE AT

TUB DICTUM OF JED SMITH 22S



CONTENTS. Vll



LETTER XXXY. PA GE

GIVING PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION OP MODERN PATRIOTISM, AND CELEBRATING

TH ADVANCE OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE TO MANASSA8, ETC 289

LETTER XXX V I .

CONCERNING THE WEAKNESSES OF GREAT MEN, THE CURIOUS MISTAKE OF A
FRATERNAL MACKEREL, AND THE REMARKABLE ALLITERATIVE PERFORM
ANCE OF CAPTAIN V1LLIAM BROWN 248



LETTER XXXVII.

DESCRIBKTG THE REMARKABLE STRATEGICAL MOVEMENT OF THE CONIC

SECTION, UNDER CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY 254

LETTER XXXVIII.

INTRODUCING THE VERITABLE " HYMN OF THE CONTRABANDS," WITH EMAN
CIPATION MUSIC, AND DESCRIBING THE TERRIFIC COMBAT A LA MAIN
BETWEEN CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
AND CAPTAIN MUNCUAUSEN, OF THE SOUTUEUN CONFEDERACY 260

LETTER XXXIX.

SHOWING HOW A REBEL WAS REDUCED, AND CONVERTED TO " RECONSTRUC
TION," BY TIIE VALOROUS ORANGE COUNTY HOWITZERS 270

LETTER XL.

RENDERING TRIBUTE OF ADMIRATION TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, WITH A

REMINISCENCE OF HOBBS & DOBBS, ETC 2T6

LETTER XLI.

CITING A NOTABLE CASE OF VOLUNTEER SURGERY, AND GIVING AN OUTLINE

SKETCH OF " COTTON SEMINARY 11 . . . 283



LETTER XLII.

REVEALING A NEW BLOCKADING IDEA, INTRODUCING A GEOMETRICAL STEED,
AND NARRATING THE WONDERFUL EXPLOITS OF THE MACKEREL SHARP
SHOOTER AT YORKTOWN



LETTER XLIII.

CONCERNING MARTIAL LITERATURE; INTRODUCING A DIDACTIC POEM BY
THE "ARKAN8AW TRACT SOCIETY," AND A BIOGRAPHY OF GARIBALDI
FOR THE SOLDIER ..294



Vlll CONTENTS.



LETTER XLIY.

SHOWING HOW THE GREAT BATTLE OF PARIS WAS FOUGHT AND WON BY THE
MACKEREL BRIGADE, AIDED AND ABETTED BY THE IRON-PLATED FLEET
OF COMMODORE HEAD 306

LETTER X L Y .

EXEMPLIFYING THE INCONSISTENCY OF THE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENT, AND
SETTING FORTH THE MEASURES ADOPTED BY CAPTAIN VILLIAM BROWN IN
HIS MILITARY GOVERNMENT OF PARIS 314

LETTER XLVI.

WHEREIN IS SHOWN HOW THE GENERAL OF THE MACKEREL BRIGADE FOL
LOWED AN ILLUSTRIOUS EXAMPLE, AND VETOED A PROCLAMATION. ALSO
RECORDING A MILITARY EXPERIMENT WITH RELIABLE CONTRABANDS 322

LETTER X L Y I I .

INTRODUCING A POEM BASED UPON AN IDEA THAT IS IN VIOLET A POEM FOR

WHICH ONE OF THE WOMEN OF AMERICA IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE 829

LETTER XL Y III.

TREATING CHIEFLY OF A TERRIBLE PANIC WHICH BROKE OUT IN PARIS, BUT

SUBSEQUENTLY PROVED TO BE ONLY A NATURAL EFFECT OF STRATEGY 333

LETTER XLIX.

NOTING THE ARCHITECTURAL EFFECTS OF THE GOTHIC STEED, PEGASUS, AND
DESCRIBING THE MACKEREL BRIGADE S SANGUINARY ENGAGEMENT WITH
THE RICHMOND REBELS , . . 840



LETTER L.

REMARKING UPON A PECULIARITY OF VIRGINIA, AND DESCRIBING COMMODORE
HEAD S GREAT NAVAL EXPLOIT ON DUCK LAKE, ETC 361



LETTER LI.

GIVING DUE PROMINENCE ONCE MORE TO THE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENT, NOTING
A CAT-AND-DOG AFFAIR, AND REPORTING CAPTAIN BOB SHORTY S FORAG
ING EXPEDITION ...



LETTER LIT.

DESCRIBING AMONG OTHER THINGS, A SPECIALITY OF CONGRESS, A VENERABLE
POPULAR IDOL, AND THE DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED BY CAPTAIN SAM-
YULE SA-MITH IN DYING. . . . . 874



LETTER I.

SHOWING HOW OUR CORRESPONDENT CAME INTO THE "WORLD: WITH
SOME PARTICULARS CONCERNING HIS EARLY CHILDHOOD.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 20tb, 1861.

JUDGE not by appearances, my boy ; for appear
ances are very deceptive, as the old lady cholcrically
remarked when one, who was really a virgin on to
forty, blushingly informed her that she was a just
twenty-five this month."

Though you find me in Washington now, I was
born of respectable parents, and gave every indica
tion, in my satchel and apron days, of coming to
something better than this, much better, my boy.

Slightly northward of the Connecticut river, where
a pleasant little conservative village mediates be
tween two opposition hills, you may behold the land
scape on which my infantile New England eyes first
traced the courses of future railroads.

Near the centre of this village in the valley, my
boy, and a little back from its principal road, stood
the residence of my worthy sire and a very pretty
residence it was. From the frequent addition of a

1*



10 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS.

new upper-room here, a new dormer window there,
and an innovating skylight elsewhere, the roof of the
mansion had gradually assumed an Alpine variety of
juts and peaks somewhat confusing to behold. Local
tradition related that, on a certain showery occasion,
a streak of lightning was seen to descend upon that
roof, skip vaguely about from one peak to another,
and finally slink ignominiously down the water-pipe,
as though utterly disgusted with its own inability to
determine, where there are so many, which peak it
should particularly perforate.

Years afterwards, my boy, this strange tale was
told me by a venerable chap of the village, and I
might have believed it, had he not outraged the prob
ability of the meteorological narrative with a sequel.

" And when that streak came down the pipe,"
says the aged chap, thoughtfully, "it struck a man
who was leaning against the house, ran down to his
feet, and went into the ground without hurting him
a mite !"

With the natural ingenuousness of childhood I
closed one eye, my boy, and says I :

" Do you mean to tell me, old man, that he was
struck by lightning, and yet wasn t hurt ?"

" Yes," says the venerable chap, abstractedly cut
ting a small log from the door-frame of the grocery
store with his jack-knife ; " the streak passed off
from him, because he was a conductor."



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 11

" A conductor ?" says I, picking up another stone
to throw at the same dog.

"Yes/ says the chap confidentially, "he was a
conductor on a railroad."

The human mind, my boy, when long affected by
country air, tends na-turally to the marvellous, and
affiliates with the German in normal transcendent
alism.

Such was the house in which I came to life a cer
tain number of years ago, entering the world, like a
human exclamation point, between two of the an
griest sentences of a September storm, and adding
materially to the uproar prevailing at the time.

Next to my parents, of whom I shall say little at
present, the person I can best remember, as I look
back, was our family physician. A very obese man
was he, my boy, with certain sweet-oiliness of man
ner, and never out of patients. I think I can see
him still, as he arose from his chair after a profound
study of the case before him, and wrote a prescrip
tion so circumlocutory in its effect, that it sent a
servant half a mile to his friend, the druggist, for
articles she might have found in her own kitchen,
aqua pumpaginis and sugar being the sole ingredients
required.

The doctor had started business in our village as a
veterinary surgeon, my boy ; but, as the entire extent
of his practice for six months in that line was a call



12 ORPHEUS C. KERB PAPERS.

to mend one of Colt s revolvers, lie finally turned his
attention to the ailings of his fellows, and wrought
many cures with sugar and water Latinized.

At first., my father did not patronize the new doc
tor, having very little faith in the efficacy of sugar
and water without the addition of a certain other
composite often seen in bottles ; but the doctor s neat
speech at a Sunday school festival won his heart at
last. The festival was held near a series of small
waterfalls just out of the village, my boy, and the
doctor, who was an invited guest, was called upon
for a few appropriate remarks. In compliance with
the demand he made a speech of some compass, end
ing with a peroration that is still quoted in my native
place. He pointed impressively to the waterfalls,
and says he :

" All the works of nature is somewhat beautiful,
with a good moral. Even them cataracts/ says he,
sagely, " have a moral, and seem eternally whisper
ing to the young, that Those what err falls ."
. The effect of this happy illustration was very
pleasing, my boy ; especially with those who prefer
morality to grammar ; and after that, the physician
had the run of all the pious families our own in
cluded.

It was a handsome compliment this worthy man
paid me when I. was about six months old.

Having just received from my father the amount



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 13

of his last bill, he was complacent to the last degree,
and felt inclined to do the handsome thing. He
patted iny head as I sat upon my mother s lap, and
says he :

" How "beautiful is babes ! So small, and yet so
much like human beings, only not so large. This
boy," says he, fatly, looking down at me, " will make
a noise in the world yet. He has a long head, a
very long head."

" Do you think so ?" says my father.

" Indeed I do," says the doctor. " The little fel
low/ says he, in a sudden fit of abstraction, " has a
long head, a very long head and it s as thick as it is
long."

There was some coolness between the doctor and
my father after that, my boy : and, on the following
Sunday, my mother refused to look at his wife s new
bonnet in church.

I might cover many pages with further account of
childhood s sunny hours ; but enough has been given
already to establish the respectability of my birth,
despite my present location ; and there I let the mat
ter rest, my boy, for the time being.

Yours, retrospectively,

ORPHEUS C. KERR.



LETTER II.

SHOWING HOW THE WRITER INCREASED IN YEARS AND INDISCRETION,
AND HOW HE WAS SAVED FROM MATRIMONY BY THE LAMENTABLE
EXAMPLE OF JED SMITH.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 25th, 1861.

To continue from where I left off, my boy : be
tween the interesting ages of ten and eighteen I went
to school at the village academy, working through
the English branches and the Accidence, with a
lively sense of a preponderance of birch in the former,
and occasional class-sickness in the latter.

Those were my happiest days, my boy ; and as I
look back to them now, for a moment all my flip
pancy leaves me, and 1 forget that I am an American
and a politician. Those dear old days ! those short,
unreal days ! Only long in being long past.

It was just after the eternal " Bonus Bona Bo-
num" of the master had ceased to ring in my ears,
that I commenced to be a young man. I knew that
I was becoming a young man, my boy ; for it was
then that I began to regard the unmarried women of
America with sheepish bashfulness, and stumbled
awkwardly as I entered my father s pew in church.



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 15

Then it was that the sound of a young female giggle
threw me into a cold perspiration, and a looking-
glass deluded me into gesticulating in solitude before
it, and extemporizing the speeches I was to make
when called upon to justify the report of fame by
admiring populaces.

Do you remember the asinine time in your own
life, my boy, do you remember it ? I know that
you do, my boy, for I can feel your blush on iny own
cheeks.

Of the few women of America who looked upon
me with favor, there was one Ellen whom I really
loved, I think ; for of all the girls, the mention of
her name, alone, gave me that peculiar feeling in
which instinctive impulse blends undefinably and
perpetually with a sense of reverent respect ; or,
rather, with a sense of some unworthiness of self.
Ellen died before I had known her a year. I thought
afterwards, like any other youngster, that I loved
half-a-dozen different girls ; but, even in maturer
years, second love is a poor imitation. Say what you
will about second love, my boy, in the breast of him
truly a man, it is but an imperium in imperio a
flower on the grave of the first.

There was one young woman of America in our
village, my boy, about whom the chaps teased me not
a little ; and I might, perhaps, have been teased into
matrimony, like many another unfortunate, but for



16 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS.

the example of a Salsbury chap I met one night in
one of the village stores. He was a Yankee chap
with much southwestern experience, my boy, and
when he heard the lads teasing me about a woman,
he hoisted his heels upon the counter, and says he :

" Anybody d think that creation was born with a
frock on, to hear the way you younkers talk woman.
Darn the she-critters !" says he, shutting his jack-
knife with a clash. " I d rayther be as lonesome as a
borryed pup, than see a piece of caliker as big as a
pancake. What s wimmen but a tarnation bundle of
gammon and petticoats. Powerful ! Be you married
folks, stranger ?"

" Not yet," says I.

"Don t never be then," says he. " My name s
Smith one of the Smithses down to Salsbury, that s
guaranteed to put away as much provender and carry
as big a turkey as ever set on critters down in that
dees trie t. And whilst my name s Smith, there ll
never be a younker to call me daddy, ef a gal was
to have Jerusalem tantrums after me. You rn a
stranger, and ain t married folks ; but I don t mind
tellin ye about a golfired rumpus I got into down in
Salsbury when I .took to a gal that stuck out all
around like a hay-stack, an was a screamer at choir-
meetin and such like. Her name was Sal Green
one of the Greenses down in Pegtown and the first
time I took a notion to her was down to the old shingle



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 17

meetin -house, when Sam Spooner had a bury in .
"When the parson gets out a hymn, she straightened
up like a rooster at six o clock of daybreak, and let
out a string of screams that set all the babies to
yelping as though big pins was goin clean through
their insides. Geewhillikins ! how the critter did
squawk and squeal, and turn up her eyes like a sick
duck in a shower. I was jest fool enough to think it
pooty ; and when my old man says, says he, i Jed,
you re took all of a heap with that pooty creeter,
I felt as ef chills an fever was givin me partikiler
agony. Says I, i She s an armful fur the printze of
Wales, and ef that Bob Tompkins don t stop makin
eyes at her over there, I ll give him sech a lacing that
he won t comb his hair for six weeks/

" The old man. put a chaw into his meat-safe, and
shut one eye ; and, sez he-: ( Jed, you re a fool ef
you don t hook that gal s dress fur her before next
harvestin . She s a mighty scrumptious creetur, and
just about ripe for the altar. Jest tell her there s
more Smithses wanted an she ll leave the Greenses
thout a snicker. I rayther liked the idee : but I
told the old man that his punkin-pie was all squash ;
because it wouldn t do to let on too soon. When the
folks was startin from the church, I went up to Sal,
and sez I, l Miss, I s pose you wouldn t mind lettin
me see you tu hum. She blushed like a biled lob
ster, and sez she : I don t know your folks. I felt

2



18 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS.

sorter streaked ; but I gev my collar a hitch, and sez
I : i I m Mister Smith : one of the Smithses of this
deestriet, an always willin for a female in distress/
Then she made a curtesy, an was goin to say some-
thin , when Bob Tompkins steps up, and sez he :
There s a-goin to be another buryin in this settle
ment, ef some folks don t mind their own chores, an
quit foolin with other folkses company ! This riled
me rite up, and sez I : There s a feller in this
deestrict that hain t had a spell of layin on his back
for some time : but he s in immediate clanger of
ketchin the disease bad. Bob took a squint at the
width of my chist, and then he turned to Sal, who
was shakin like a cabbage leaf in a summer gale, and
sez he : ( Sal, let s marvel out of bad company before
it spiles our morials/ With that he crooked one of
his smashin machines, and Sal was jest hookin on,
when I put the weight of about one hundred pounds
under his ear, an sez I : e Jest lay there, Bob Tomp
kins, until your parients comes out to look fur your
body. He went down as ef he d been took with a
suddint desire to examine the roots of the grass, and
Sal screamed out that I d murdered the rantankerous
critter. Sez I : The tombstun that s fur his head
ain t cut yet : but I calkilate it ll be took out of
the quarry ef he comes smellin around my heels
ag in. Jest as I made this feelin remark, the var
mint began to scratch earth as ef he had a mind to



ORPHEUS C. KERIl PAPERS. 19

see how it would feel to be on his pins ag in, and I
crooked my elbow to Sal and thought it was about
time to marvel. She layed up to me like a pig to a
rough post, and we peregrinated along for some dis
tance until we were pretty nigh hum. I was askin
her cf it hurt her much when she sung, an she was
sayin not partikeler, when all of a suddint somethin
knocked Fourth-o -July fireworks out of my eyes,
and I went to grass with my heels up. It was Bob
Tompkins, and sez he : Lay there, Mr. Smith, and
let us here from you by the next mail/ For a min
ute, I thought I was bound for glory, but pooty soon
I come to my oats, and then I rolled over and seen
Bob a-squeezing Sal s hand. All right, my prooshian
blue, thinks I, there ll be a pothecary s bill for some,
family in this here deestrict : but I won t say who s
to pay it at present. I jest waited to see the feller
try to put his nose into Sal s face, and then I stretched
to my feet, and sez I : This here pasture wants a
little mashin down to make it fruitful, and it s my
impreshun that I can do it. Sal see that I was
bound to make somebody smell agony, so she jist
ripped away from Bob, and marveled for the house,
screaming fire, like a scrumptious fire-department.
Bob looked after her for a minit, and then he turned
to me, and sez he : I hope your folks have got some
crape to hum ; because there s goin to be a job fur
our wirtuous sexton. I kinder smiled outer one eye,



20 ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS.

and sez I : ( When Sal and I is married, we ll drop a
tear fur the early decease of an individual who never
would hev been born if it hadn t been for your pa-
rients. This riled Bob up awful, and he came right
at me, like a mad bull at a red shawl. I felt some-
thin drop on the bridge of my nose, and see a hull
nest of sky rockets all at onct ; but I only keeled for
the shake of a tail, and then I piled in like a mad
buffalo with the cholic. It was give and take for
about five minutes ; and, I tell you, Bob played
away on my nose like a Trojan. The blood flu some,
and I was sorry I hadn t said good-bye to the folks
before I left them ; but I gave Bob some happy
evidences of youthful Christianity around his goggles,
.and pooty soon he looked as ef he d been brought up
to the charcoal business. We was makin pooty
good time round the lot, when, all of a suddint, Sal
came running up with her father and mother ; and,
sez the old feller : Ef you two members of the church
don t stop your religious exercises, there ll be some
preachin from the book of John.

" With that, Bob took his paw out of my hair,
and sez he : Smithses son hit me the first whack.
I jest promenaded up to the old man, and sez I : If
you ll jest show me a good buryin -place, I ll take
pleasure in makin a funeral for the Tompkinses.
The old man looked kinder queerious at Sally, and
she commenced to snicker ; and sez she : What are
you two fellers rumpussin about ? I looked lovin



ORPHEUS C. KERR PAPERS. 21

at her, and sez I : l It s to see who shall hev the poot-


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Online LibraryR. H. (Robert Henry) NewellThe Orpheus C. Kerr papers (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 19)