Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition
Part 4 out of 4
But I sez, "You can't prune apple trees into figgers, Josiah, it takes
different trees, and that is too big anyway."
"That's a woman's way of talkin'; I want her in heroic size, she's
worthy on't. I expect," he went on, "the road will be jest lined with
Jonesvillians, and we'l see 'em hangin' over the orchard fence lookin'
on and admirin' the beautiful statter, I think I can see her now, head
up, tail out, mane a flutterin'--you'll see, Samantha."
"Oh, dear!" sez I, "I expect I will see more than I want to."
But goin' on a little furder we see what put such vain and onpractical
idees out of his head. We wandered into a spot where there wuz
old-fashioned flowers, such as grow in the green meadows and hedges of
old England, and there wuz some old wimmen wrinkled and gray, poorly
clad, lookin' at them daisies and cow-slips and laughin' and cryin' over
They wuz fur from the old home and the summer time of youth and love, a
half century of years and dreary wastes of sea and land lay between 'em,
but these cow-slip blows and daisies took them back to their youth and
the sunny fields they wandered in with the young lover whose eyes wuz as
blue as the English violets, while their own cheeks wuz as rosy as the
When the hull world lay hid in a rosy mist, and they wuz the centre of
it, and life wuz new, and hope and happiness gilded the future, and the
Fairy land of America wuz beckonin' to 'em out of the rosy mist.
Fifty years of dusty, smoky tenement life, hard work, child-birth,
rearing children, toil, disappointment, pain--where wuz they? They had
all gone. They wuz eighteen agin; they wuz pickin' the rosy blooms in
the dear home land, and love wuz whisperin' to 'em that they wuz sweeter
than the flowers.
I took out my snowy handkerchief and almost cried myself, the tears just
run down my face, and Josiah blowed his nose on his bandanna, and I
believe furtively wiped his eyes. But men never love to betray such
sentimental emotion, and most immegiately he asked me in a gruff tone
for a fried cake, and I handed him one absently and as one who dreams,
and we went on and met the girls at the rondevoo appointed.
I'd had my supper and wuz restin' in my room, Molly and Blandina had
gone for a walk accompanied by Billy Huff, and Josiah had gone down to
set with grandpa Huff a spell, when Aunt Tryphena come in and said a
lady wuz there to see me; I asked her who it wuz, and she said:
"I don't know, but guess it is some 'big bug trash,' 'tennyrate she come
in a antymobile that stands to the door without hitchin'."
I knowed in a minute it wuz Jane Olive Perkins and told her to bring her
up to my room. And she entered with more than her usual gushin' warmth
of manner, and told me the first thing that I grew better and younger
lookin' every year.
But I kinder waved the idee off and told her, I didn't feel so young as
I did twenty or thirty years ago.
I acted well. (But then I spoze I do look remarkable young for one of my
years, and I admired her good horse sense in seein' it so plain.) But
she looked real mauger, and I sez:
"You look kinder beat out, Jane Olive, hain't you well?"
Yes, she said she wuz well, but had so many cares that they wore on her.
"Why," sez I, "you don't try to do your housework alone, do you?"
No, she said she had ten servants.
So I knowed she didn't have to do the heaviest of her work, but her face
looked dretful tired and disappinted and I knowed it wuz caused by her
efforts to git into fashionable society, for I'd hearn more about it
since I come here, Miss Huff knowed a woman that lived neighbor to her,
she said that in spite of all Sam Perkinses money and Jane Olive's
efforts she couldn't git so fur into the circle of the first as she
wanted to, though she had done everything a woman could do.
Went off summers where the first went and winters too. When it wuz
fashionable to go to springs and seasides she went and ocean trips and
south and north, and when it wuz the fashion to go into the quiet
country she come to Jonesville.
And now she wuz tryin' a new skeem to git into the first, she got up a
name for bein' very charitable. That took her in, or that is part way
in, for her money went jest as fur and wuz jest as welcome to heathens
and such as if it wuzn't made out of pork. It went jest as fur as the
money that wuz handed down from four fathers or even five or six fathers
who wuz small farmers and trappers in Manhattan years and years ago. Her
money went jest as fur as though it had descended onto her from the sale
of the mink skins and cabbages of the grandpas of the 400.
Well, as I say, this did more than all her other efforts put together,
and took her inside furder, for givin' as much as she did they had to
invite her to set down on the same charitable boards where these genteel
females wuz settin'. And when a passel of wimmen are settin' down on one
board they have to be more sociable and agreeable like, than if they wuz
settin' round on different piles of lumber.
So Jane Olive wuz highly tickled and gin money freely. And now I don't
want it understood that Jane Olive done every mite of this work and gin
every cent of money for the speech of people or to git on in fashionable
life. No, she wuz kinder good hearted and felt sorry for the afflicted.
Her motives wuz mebby about half and half, half goodness and half
ambition, and that is I spoze a little worse than the average, though
motives will git dretfully mixed up, evil is worse than Canada thistles
to git mixed with good wheat.
When some good object rises up and our souls burn within us aginst wrong
and injustice and bigotry and such, we may think in our wropped moments
that our motives are all good. But most always some little onworthy
selfish motive will come sneakin' in by some back door of the heart and
wiggle its way along till it sets down right by the side of our highest
whitest motives and stays there onbeknown to us. It is a pity that it is
so, but human nater is human nater and we are all on us queer, queer as
dogs. Once in awhile you'll see some rare soul that seems as if all
onworthy motives have been driv out by the angels of divine Purity and
Endeavor, but they're scurce, scurce as hen's teeth.
Jane Olive wuz highly tickled with her success, and then, as is the way
of human creeters, when she'd done well she wanted to do better. She
wanted to outdo the other females settin' on the boards with her, she
wanted her board to tip higher than theirn, so she took it into her head
to build a Home for Fallen Wimmen in that end of the city where she
lived. She said that there wuz sights and sights of wimmen that had
fallen round there, and sights that wuz fallin', and I spozed there wuz.
I spozed that anywhere that Sam Perkins lived there would be apt to be,
and she took the idee of buildin' a home for 'em, it wuz a first rate
thought, but in my opinion it didn't go fur enough, it didn't cover the
Well, Jane Olive had gin of her own money ten thousand dollars and had
raised nine thousand more, twenty thousand would build it, and she wuz
collectin' round even in St. Louis when she met anybody she thought
would give; she knowed how the welfare of humanity, specially female
humanity, lay down on my heart, therefore she tackled me.
She talked real eloquent about it, and kinder begun to shed tears. She's
a capital hand to git money, she could always cry when she wanted to
when she went to school, did it by holdin' her breath or sunthin'.
And when I say that I don't want it understood that I believe she did
all her cryin' that way. No, I spoze she could draw on her imagination
and feelin's to that extent and git 'em so rousted up that she did
actually shed tears, wet tears jest like anybody, some of the time, and
some she made, so I spoze.
Well, when she begun to cry I looked keen at her and sez, how much she
made me think of herself when we went to school together. And she
stopped sheddin' tears to once and acted more natural and went on to
tell about her skeem. She said female vice wuz stalkin' round fearful,
fallen wimmen appeared on the streets with shockin' frequency, sunthin'
must be done for these lost souls or their blood would be on our dress
She told me how much she'd gin to this object and how much ministers had
gin and how they wuz all goin' to preach sermons about these poor lost
wimmen and try to wake the public up to the fact of the enormity of
their sins and the burnin' need of such an institution.
She talked powerful about it, and I sez: "Jane Olive, I've gin a good
deal of thought to this subject, and I think this house of yourn is a
good idee, but to my mind it don't cover the hull ground. Now I will
give five dollars for the Home for Fallen Wimmen and the other five for
the Home for Fallen Men."
Sez she, and she screamed the words right out: "There hain't any such
institution in the hull city!"
"Why, there must be!" sez I. "It hain't reasonable that there shouldn't
be. Why, if a man and a woman go along over a bridge together, and both
fall through, and are maimed and broke to pieces, they are carried to a
male and female hospital to be mended up. Or if they fall through a
sidewalk or anywhere else they have to both be doctored up and have the
same splints on and rubbed with the same anarky, etc."
"That's very different," sez Jane Olive.
"Why different?" sez I. "If they both fall morally their morals ort to
be mended up agin both on 'em. The woman ort to be carried to the Home
for Fallen Wimmen, the Home for Magdalenes, and the men to the Home for
Fallen Men, the Home for Mikels."
"There hain't no such place!" sez Jane Olive agin decidedly.
Sez I, "Did you ever inquire?"
"No," sez she, "I wouldn't make a fool of myself by inquirin' for such a
thing as that, Home for Mikels! I don't know what you mean by that
"Why," sez I, "fallen men angels. You know Mikel wuz a angel once and he
"Well, there is no such place," sez she, tossin' her head a little.
"Well," sez I, "you ort to know, you're from the city and I hain't; but
I know that if there hain't such a place it's a wicked thing. Just look
at them poor fallen men that are walkin' the streets night after night,
poor creeters goin' right down to ruin and nobody trying to lead 'em up
agin to the way of safety and virtue--poor fallen, ruined men! I feel to
Sez Jane Olive, "Oh, shaw! they don't feel ruined, they're all right,
I'll resk them."
"How do you know how they feel? Take a tender hearted, innocent man,
that some bad, designin' woman has led astray, led him on till she has
betrayed and ruined him, and he feels that the screen door of society is
shet aginst him----"
"Oh, shaw!" sez Jane Olive agin. "The door of society hain't shet aginst
the man, it never is."
"Then," sez I, "there is sunthin' wrong with the door and it ort to be
Sez she, "Things are winked at in a bad man that hain't in a bad woman."
"Not by me," sez I firmly. "The man won't git a wink out of me more or
less than I would give to the woman."
"It don't hurt a man," sez Jane Olive. "And," sez she, "no self
respectin' man goes to any place that hain't licensed and respectable."
"If such houses are respectable," sez I, "and the law makes 'em so, why
hain't the wimmen called so that keep 'em? Why hain't the wimmen looked
up to that work there?"
Sez Jane Olive, "You don't talk no good sense at all."
Sez I, "Jane Olive, I am spozin'. Mark you well, I don't say they are
respectable; I say they are the depths of infamy. But I am talkin' from
the standpoint of legislators and highest officials, and if they call
'em respectable, and throw the mantilly of law and order over 'em it is
only justice to let the mantilly spread out, so it will cover the males
and females too. Agin I quote the words of the poet to you, 'what is
sass for the goose ort to be sass for the gander.'"
Says she, "Such things are looked on so different in a man, they can
hold their heads up jest as high as they did before."
"Not if I had my way," sez I. "If the female is dragged off to the Home
for Fallen Wimmen let the same team come back and haul the men off to
the Home for Fallen Men, tie 'em up with the same rope, preach to 'em
from the same text, let 'em out when they've both repented and want to
do better. That's my scheme," sez I.
"Oh, shaw!" sez Jane Olive, "it wouldn't work."
"Why not?" sez I. "I'll bet if that course wuz took for the next five
years with fallen men you wouldn't have to raise so much money for
fallen wimmen; I'll bet it would ameliorate their condition more than
anything else would."
"It don't hurt a man," sez Jane Olive agin.
"Why don't it hurt 'em?" sez I. "If it makes a woman so bad the hull
world calls her ruined and lost, and prints her name out in the daily
papers, as they always do, givin' her full name and address and sayin'
some wild young man (but nameless) of respectable family was implicated,
and talks of her as if Heaven wuz shet aginst her, and she has got to
pray and repent in sack-cloth and ashes all the rest of her days, and
never, never git her old place back in the eyes of the community, it
hain't reasonable to spoze it don't hurt a man a mite to fall at the
same time and in the same way. There is no sense in it, and I'll bet if
you hunt round in your city you'll find where fallen men are kep' hid
away till they can repent and reform.
"Why," sez I, "men's hearts and souls and morals are made out of exactly
the same stuff that wimmens be. And as I said before, let a man and a
woman fall out of a high winder together it smashes him jest as bad as
it duz her. They have to be carried off to hospitals jest the same, the
same doctor tends 'em, the same medicine has to be administered to 'em
and they have to come back slowly to health agin. It takes the same
length of time to lose the marks of the woonds and bruises, and they
have to hobble round on the same kind of crutches. And why under the
sun, moon and stars there is any difference in the woonds on their souls
and morals I can't see, nor I don't believe you can."
Agin she snorted and acted real high headed, and sez she, "There hain't
no such a Home as that you're talkin' about, and never wuz."
"Well," sez I, "then it is high time there wuz." And I went on real
eloquent, "Poor fallen men have been neglected too long and their ruin
will lay on our doorsteps if we don't do sunthin' to help 'em; I won't
give a cent to help fallen wimmen, who have had ten times as much
preachin' to 'em and as much done for 'em, till justice has been done to
fallen men. Poor mizable creeters! They'll find out they've got one
friend that will stand by 'em if they've never had a mite of pity or
help or encouragement held out to 'em before in the world. It is high
time sunthin' wuz done for 'em; and when you who live right in the midst
of fallen men come here and say you've started a home for 'em, where
there will be preachin' to 'em, and encouragement gin 'em to repent and
reform, when you've come and told me you've started this job I'll give,
and give liberal."
She sot kinder demute for a minute, and I went right on, and sez I, "I'd
have a immense big house built if I had my way so's to accommodate 'em
if I could git a house big enough. And I would set 'em there in immense
rows and let 'em meditate on their sins a spell and I'd have good likely
preachers of both sects go and preach to 'em about fallen men and fallen
wimmen, and how they could git up agin with God's help if they tried
hard enough to. And I'd have pictures hung on the wall of Mikel and
Magdaline and them old fallen men castin' stuns at fallen wimmen and
what the Lord said about it. And then to kinder encourage 'em and show
'em to what they might rise up to, if they repented and reformed, I
would have pictures of some likely he angels flyin' round up in a purer
I wuz almost carried away and by the side of myself with this beautiful
and inspirin' picture I'd cunjered up in my heated brain, when she broke
in all wrought up with excitement and horrow with a new thought that had
dawned on her:
"Why," sez she, "if you did that, if you shet up such men there wouldn't
be a man left outside." And she sort o' screamed out, "Where would I git
a coachman to drive for me or a butler?"
"Drive yourself," sez I sternly, "and buttle too; if that is so, but I
don't believe it."
But she still looked most wild with excitement and horrow, and agin she
sez, "It would take away every man in the world! and what would we do
for men?" sez she.
"Do!" sez I, all wrought up, "Do without 'em if that is the case, though
I don't believe it; but if it is so it's high time we begun fresh,
educate and bring up men babys in the right way, and begin agin; start a
new world with 'em, jest as you'd start a new kind of gooseberry or
anything. But I don't believe a word on't, not a word. I believe there
are good men in the world, lots and lots of 'em."
"I know there hain't," sez she.
And I sez, "I know there is."
And we disputed back and forth several times but didn't convince each
other. You can see jest how it wuz, it wuz the example of our own
companions that wuz influencin' us in our opinions. She havin' lived
with a perfect sardeen and he-wretch, thought all men wuz like him, I
nerved up by the thought of my noble-minded (though small) companion
held my faith firm as a iron anchor that the world wuz full of good men,
scattered here and there like good wheat among the tares, and I felt and
knowed that the tearers wuz fur scurser than the wheat.
But Jane Olive riz up and kinder let her train flop out over the floor,
she'd held it up as she come in.
I bid her a cordial good-by and told her to come and see me in
Jonesville, but she acted kinder cold and hauty and I hain't much hopes
that she will foller my advice.
Josiah came in pretty soon, and when I told him about it he acted real
huffy and agreed with Jane Olive, and resented the idee of a Home for
Fallen Men. Blandina, who come while we wuz talkin' about it to borry a
few needlefuls of white thread, she shed tears and said she wouldn't
mortify men by namin' a home like that for thousands of worlds like
And Josiah acted puggicky all the evenin'. But I knowed I wuz in the
right on't. Truly the path of duty is a thorny one anon or oftener.
We went into the Fair the next mornin' by what they call the Skinker
Entrance, and we hadn't hardly got in when Josiah sez to me, pintin' to
a small low house, "What do you spoze they show there, Samantha? It must
be pretty poor if they can't afford shingles or a tar ruff."
And sure enough the ruff wuz covered with straw. It wuz a low buildin'
built of sunthin' that looked like stun. But come to find out it wuz the
cottage of Robert Burns, and I hastened my steps, Josiah and Blandina
For low as that buildin' is, lookin' like a ant hill almost by the side
of the high red granite administration buildin', that little cabin holds
memories that soar up higher than the peakedest, highest ruffs on the
Fair ground. The Home of Robert Burns, the Poet of the People. How his
inimitable poetry come troopin' through my mind as I walked through the
low rooms, there is only four on 'em, kitchen, settin' room, store room
I didn't approve of havin' the stables so nigh the livin' rooms, and
should have advised Robert's wife to stood her ground and not had it.
But I wuzn't there, and she gin in probable, and mebby she wanted it so,
it wuz handy, you could open the door and milk into your coffee cup if
so inclined. The bed is built in the kitchen wall; I spoze they couldn't
afford anything better, and 'tennyrate that humble bed pillowed the form
that will walk down the ages crowned with honor and lovin' memories,
while many monarchs who at that time rested on carved rose-wood have
sunk into oblivion.
The people are not goin' to forgit their poet. He who taught that no
matter what the rank, a man wuz a man "for a' that." Who sung and
dignified the humble pleasures of the poor. "The Cotter's Saturday
Night" will be remembered when many a scientific tome and eloquent poem
writ in long words is dust and ashes. And the scathing irony and wit
satirizing the ignorant rich, the scorn of meanness and bigotry, the
love of liberty and justice the melting tenderness of his love poems,
the People he loved and wrote for, will not forget.
The big open fireplace might have been the one immortalized in his
poetry. There wuz a high clock like the one that told him the hours,
anxious hours, weary hours, happy hours, hours radiant with the poet's
inspiration. Despairin' hours full of anxiety and dread for the wife and
children he loved. It told the hours of day and night too, for Robert
did love what he called a good time, and I presoom Bonnie Jean read the
face of that old clock with anxiety and weariness writ in her own face
when the small hours struck and her Robbie wuz away with gay companions.
And with what despairin' grief did she read its calm old face while her
poet writ this sad truth:
"I'm wearin' awa' to the Land o' the Leal."
And there wuz a cupboard with blue and white dishes and a sugar bowl
that he and Bonnie Jean had used. Oh, warm fingers, tired fingers! how
long you've been dust, and the little piece of metal still endures. Oh,
my soul! the wonder and the pity on't.
There are chairs, tables, spinning wheel, etc., similar to those that
were in the Burns cottage. But there is a reel that wuz used by Bonnie
Jean herself, I took holt on't tryin' to bring to my mind what emotions
she had time and agin as she reeled her threads on and off, love,
anxiety, ambition, fear, hopes and sorrows; how they twined and ontwined
in her faithful breast as the reel turned, emotions stilled long ago,
And there wuz the very griddle and toaster with which Bonnie Jean
toasted the bread for her Robbie. Many and many a time her heart, I
presoom to say seemin' to git seared in the burnin' fires of jealousy
whilst the bread wuz toastin'. For Robert wuz a man of many fancies, and
though a wife through pride or affection may seem blind to such things,
yet burns will smart and "jealousy is as cruel as the grave."
But many a time also whilst she toasted her bread her heart would bound
with joy and pride thinkin' of some triumph the man she loved had won,
or rememberin' some words of love and appreciation he had whispered in
her ear, which made the dark world over in a minute into a bright one,
for wimmen's hearts beat the same in Ayr or Jonesville, and Bonnie Jean
wuz proud of her poet lover and loved him. And he loved her the biggest
heft of the time, and mebby all the time; men are queer in such things
and their ways past findin' out.
'Tennyrate my heart bent in homage to his genius and his bravely borne
poverty and sufferin'. And I wished, oh, how I wished that some of the
pride and honor showered on him now the world over could have brightened
his hard life when it wuz needed. But it wuzn't to be, I wuzn't there to
advise folks, or to cheer him and Jean up by my warm appreciation and
good vittles. And I reluctantly tore myself away from the memory-hanted
Molly wuz dretful interested here too, but naterally wanted to ride in
the Intremoral railway and see all she could, it bein' her first visit.
So as I had spoke of wantin' to see the air-ships we went there next and
then to the Philippines.
Sister Sylvester Bobbett laughed when I told her that probable Josiah
and I would go to the next Exposition through the air.
Sez she, "You might jest as well talk about goin' through the ground."
But I wuz glad to see that other folks realized the importance of the
subject, for they have given as much space to air navigation as for all
the other modes of transportation put together. The buildin' covers
about fourteen acres--I wonder what Sister Bobbett would say to that,
the walls are thirty feet high, the lower twelve feet, air tight, the
upper eighteen feet lattice work.
Part on't is a sort of a harbor for their air-ships to light in. They
say they need a still harbor away from boisterous winds jest as much as
water ships do. This is the first Air-Ship harbor ever built. Josiah
said it wuz the humbliest buildin' on the Fair ground, and it wuzn't a
beauty so fur as architecture goes.
But I sez, "Handsome is as handsome duz! I don't spoze," sez I, "that
Noah's Ark wuz a beauty, but he started a new world with it, and I
believe this buildin' holds the great hope and promise of the future in
the way of transportation, and it looks good to me."
It stands between Physical Culture Hall and the Hall of Lady Managers. I
wuz glad it wuz where wimmen could keep an eye on 'em and keep 'em from
bein' run on. In one corner on't is two stalls, jest as they have horse
stalls in barns, but these stalls are one hundred and eighty feet long
and forty feet wide. There wuz most ninety entries for the contest. If
they make a speed of twenty milds an hour they git a prize of one
hundred thousand. I would like to know what Sister Bobbett would think
Josiah said he believed they wuz dangerous, but the head of this company
told me with his own mouth that he had traveled over fifteen States in
air-ships and had never been hurt or even skairt, and I told Josiah that
wuz more than he could say of our wheel-barrow that had never been out
of Jonesville. Josiah went out one dark night to shet the barn door and
fell over it, and it rared up on him and throwed him; he wuz skairt to
death thinkin' it wuz a burglar who wuz tryin' to fight him.
I had to take the lantern and go out and rescue him, and I hain't goin'
to tell how he kicked that wheel-barrow when he re_cog_nized it, and the
language he hurled at it. It wuz onbecomin' a deacon, and I told him so.
Next to the Hall of Electricity, the great onseen Wizard that sways the
world, this Hall of Air-Ships wuz interestin' to me, for it is the
transportation of the future. Baby eyes blinkin' now at the canopys of
their cribs will look up and see the blue sky above 'em cleft by the
white wings of great ships of the air sailin' to and fro with no
treacherous rocks to dash aginst, no forests to subdue or mountains to
tunnel, no roads to break, to and fro, back and forth shining white
aginst the crimson sunset, aginst the rosy dawn, and the cloudless noon.
Oh, what a sight for the eyes that will behold 'em! I wish I could stand
it till then, but most probable I can't, and I wouldn't want to anyway
if Josiah couldn't be there to see 'em with me; and his health hain't
what it wuz, his liver is bad. But I think sometimes that Josiah and I
may look on and behold this glorious sight from some cloudy terrace of
the Better Country; I'd love to if we could. But 'tennyrate it will be
seen by them that live long enough.
I took solid comfort and lots and lots of it wandering round seeing
these immense Travelers of the Sky and askin' questions and lookin'
forward towards the glories that is to be.
Josiah and Blandina didn't enjoy it so much as I did, though Josiah,
always wantin' to embark in some new enterprise, thought he should go up
in one whilst he wuz there. He said he wanted to brag on't to Deacon
Henzy and Deacon Huffer. And I told him that wuzn't the right sperit to
show, it wuzn't the sperit of a true Discoverer tryin' to solve the
problems of the future through love for God and humanity.
And he said he guessed he knew what he took comfort in and what he
Well, we rid round considerable so's to give Molly a view of the
Cascades and big buildin's, and then we went on to the Philippines. This
is the largest single exhibit at the Fair and covers forty-seven acres
of beautiful woodland and water spaces, and is the largest colonial
display ever made. I told Josiah as we walked towards it, Molly and
Blandina goin' a little ahead, "What wuz the use of travelin' so fur to
see our new possessions?"
"Yes," sez he; "no use spendin' so much money."
This wuz to me one of the most interestin' exhibits at the Fair. And I
thought it a first rate idee to show off to the world the almost
limitless wealth as well as the hard problems that face Uncle Sam in his
new possessions, for like a careful pa he will see that they learn how
to take care of themselves before he sets 'em up in independent
We went over a fine bridge, copied from one of their own into the walled
city of Manila. Here in one room you see all of its war exhibits,
immense cannons, the blow guns of the Negritos; axes the Iggorote
head-hunters used to cut off the heads of their enemies. The Moro cris,
the wooden guns and bamboo cannons and home-made powder used in 'em by
the insurgent army with the rough machinery used in makin' it.
Wanderin' on you see the nita huts of the Visayans, big handsome fellows
they are and pretty refined wimmen, and hear their weird melodies as
they are at work making their beautiful bamboo furniture, and weaving
their handsome blankets, etc.
You see on the hillside the huts of the Negritos, black little creeters.
Then you see the Iggrotes, a real village, some of the housen brought
from their own land and the rest built here by them from their own
materials. It is jest as though you stepped over to the mountains of
Luzon and see 'em at their simple housekeepin'.
I whispered anxiously to Josiah to keep clost watch of his own head, for
though they promised to not pursue their favorite pastime till they got
back home agin, yet I didn't know what might happen, though I felt he
wuzn't in so much danger, his bald head bein' so slippery and nothin' to
lay holt on, still I kep' a clost watch on that dear head all the while
we wuz there.
Josiah didn't sense his own danger, but whispered, "I'm glad enough
Bruno is to home." They will eat dogs and dance their war dances, but I
spoze I couldn't hender 'em, so didn't try to advise 'em. Some on 'em
didn't have clothes enough on to be decent unless you call the tatooin'
on their naked bodies, clothes. I see Josiah looked at 'em with
interest, and he wondered if common ink and diamond dyes could be used,
and if Ury could handle 'em.
And I hurried him on to the encampment of the Moros. Here we see the men
and wimmen dressed in silk and satin, but cut after patterns I would
never let Josiah wear or wear myself. Some of these Moro girls are quite
handsome in their bright striped mantillys, their long hair hanging down
under their gay turbans. One of these villages is on land and one built
on bamboo poles over the water. Jest open sheds covered with nipa
leaves. Anyone with rumatiz couldn't stand it in 'em.
But what took Josiah most of all wuz the tree dwellers, their houses are
built up in the highest trees they can find, and they git to 'em by
ladders they pull up after 'em; as he looked on 'em I see in Josiah's
reminescent eye dreams of summer housen in our ellums and maples, and I
hurried him on. Blandina said she could be perfectly happy up there with
a congenial companion, and I knowed she wuz thinkin' of Aspire Todd; but
she never could git him up there, for his tongue is the strongest part
We all admired the Native Scouts; they live in a little village of tents
in a beautiful piece of woodland. There are four companies, Visayan,
Tagalog, Maccabebe and Ilicano. Their band of music, and the band of
eighty pieces of the native constabulary are called the finest at the
Exposition. When they march they all seem to be one body; so smooth and
even are their movements, they are called the most perfectly drilled
soldiers in the country.
Jest think on't, if they show off so now what will they do at the next
Exposition. There are ten large buildings containing their enormous
display of art and science, education, agriculture, horticulture,
manufactures, commerce, etc. Some of the statutes and pictures are
beautiful; you couldn't tell some of 'em from them brought from abroad.
But folks don't seem to realize that some of the Filippinos are as
refined and cultured as if they come from the middle of Boston.
Their forestry exhibit is the finest ever brought to any Exposition and
contains everything relating to the fifty million acres of Philippine
forests, splendid timber, over fifteen hundred different kinds of wood,
rattans, gutta percha, dye stuffs, trees yielding oil, gums, rosin, etc.
The mineral exhibit shows how rich these islands are in gold, copper,
coal and other minerals. In agriculture you see the great display of
fibres, Manila hemp which brought 'em over twenty-two millions last
year, ropes made from bamboo, cocoa-nut, rattan. Sugar, tobacco, coffee,
hats, baskets and other articles made from palm leaves, bamboo, rattan
and nito, colored by their own native dyes. In the flower display are
the most rare and exquisite orchids growing jest as common there as
weeds along the Jonesville road. One interestin' display wuz a map built
out doors showin' more than 2,000 islands, their shape and comparitive
But most of all I wuz interested in the educational exhibit. So anxious
have they been to learn night schools have had to be established. The
big normal school building in Manila is handsome enough for any American
city, and the smaller district and industrial schools are doing jest as
good work. Our Government sent five hundred and forty teachers there in
1901, and now we have about seven hundred there. I took comfort in
seein' the great work they have done, as well as the church and private
schools, and how well they're learning and getting along.
Anyone could spend five weeks at least jest at the Philippine display,
and find abundance to interest 'em all the time in the educational, art,
manufacturing, horticultural, agricultural and other displays, but we
hadn't no five weeks to spend, so we had to move on, but I felt proud
enough to see what my revered Uncle Sam had done and wuz doing.
Truly he took a big job on his hands to take care of such an immense
family, and differin' so widely in cultivation, temperament and clothes,
to lead the ignorant ones into civilization and keep peace in the family
and among his own folks.
He'll have as hard work to do it as that widower I hearn on who had
three or four children of his own, and married a widow who also had a
number, and then they had several, and one day she came callin' to her
husband, "Come quick! come quick! Your children and my children are
fightin' with our children."
But Uncle Sam will be on hand, he'll wade right in with a birch gad or a
spellin' book, jest which he thinks they need most at the time, and
settle the differences all right, and I believe it will be a star in his
crown in time to come: turning the savages and cannibals that inhabit
part of these new possessions into good American citizens.
I don't spoze I shall see the day when this shall fully come to pass,
and mebby the babies of to-day will be great-grandpas before it takes
place, but it will be, I believe, and so duz Josiah.
Yes, he's doin' a good job by his step-children, I guess they would be
called that seein' he stepped in when they wuz poor and oppressed and
took 'em under his care.
I honor him for it, but wish he would do as well by his steal children,
the dark complexioned ones stole away from their own land to be slaves
and drudges for his white children.
He'll mebby tell me they wuz ignorant and degraded and wuz better off
here than in their own land, but I'll say back to him, "Samuel, Josiah
and I would probable be in a better house and more high-toned society if
some king or other should steal us and carry us away from our humble
farm to their palace. But do you spoze we would enjoy ourselves as well?
And 'tennyrate they're here, the problem that lays so heavy on the
Southern and Northern heart and conscience and the riddle gits harder
and harder to solve. The lurid blaze of livin' torches makes bloody
blindness in the eyes of them that look on and light them fires. The
disgraceful glare flames out, shamin' you in the eyes of the world, and
streams up to the pityin' heavens askin' for justice.
Mebby you'll tell me you don't see how you can help it, but Samuel, you
must try, for though there are here and there oasises in the gloom
lighted up by education and inteligence still there remains the great
multitude of your steel children that you ort to help, you ort to do as
well by them settin' in long rows right on your very doorstep as you're
doin' for them six thousand milds off. Sinners must be punished by law,
else what is law made for? Order must be kep', the helpless protected,
but you know, Samuel, that if some of the disgraceful seens that are
bein' enacted here right under your dear old nose took place amongst
your adopted Philippine children or even amongst your protejays in
Turkey or China you would send out a warship to once. I am sorry for
you, Samuel, and think the world on you, but faithful are the woonds of
a friend; you must hear the truth once in awhile or who knows what would
become on you, you might puff up with proud flesh and have to have an
operation, and I guess you will anyway before you git through with this
I presoom you want me to advise you what to do, only bein' a man you
hain't really wanted to come out and ask me. Josiah acts jest like that
lots of times.
So I'll say to you, I honor you, Samuel, for what you're doin' for these
foreign children, but I want you to do jest as much to home. I want you
to send teachers and found schools at your own expense; you're four
handed and able to do it. And Id'no but you had better buy land in their
own home you stole them from, buy a small farm for each one that wants
to go. Travelers say that in the Valley of the Nile, a country with
similar climate and soil to the south land where they wuz born, is an
unoccupied place big enough for each one to have a small farm of their
own. I want you, Samuel, to buy this land for 'em, take 'em back there
at your own expense, all that want to go. There are plenty of the young
and enterprising who would go full of the hope of foundin' a new
republic for their own race, where they can expand and grow strong away
from parlyzing influence of racial and social hatred.
There would be lots of 'em who wouldn't want to go, and why can't you,
Samuel, I'd say, buy them a little home here, for instance, on the vast
unoccupied area of Florida? Let 'em have the hull state if necessary;
let each family have their little piece of land, and then make 'em work
it; send teachers, found schools, teach 'em to be self sustaining and
Samuel would probable sass me back and say, You can't teach a nigger to
respect himself and stand upright.
And I'd say, "'Tain't so, Sam, but if it wuz, centuries have been spent
by the white race in teachin' this people to be dependent and helpless,
to not think for themselves, to lean entirely on the judgment and
justice of the white people (weak reeds to lean on anon or oftener)."
And then I'd say, "Samuel, you did a foolish thing after the Civil war,
you did it with the best of motives, and you needn't be skairt, I hain't
goin' to scold you for it, but it wuz jest like turnin' a company of
babies out into the world and tellin' 'em they wuz jest as tall and
inteligent as their pas and mas and they must go on and take care of
themselves, and with their utter lack of all knowledge and strength take
an equal part in public affairs. How could these babies do it, Samuel, I
would say. But you wuz gropin' along most blind in them dark days, and
you did the best you knowed how to then. But when you see you've made a
mis-step you must draw your foot back and start off agin jest like a
elephant crossin' a weak bridge, I've seen 'em go down into the water
and wade ruther than resk it. You may have to wade through deep waters
to fix it all right, but that would be better than to fall through a
weak bridge and break your neck.
"It is because I think so much on you, Samuel, that I talk so plain to
you, for I don't want you to git the name Miss Eben Simmons got. She
jest spent her hull mind and income on foreign missions and let her own
children go so dirty and ragged they wuz a disgrace to Jonesville. I
want you and Miss Simmons to not scrimp in your foreign charities but
begin to home and make your own dependent ones comfortable."
I presume I could convince him if I had time enough, but we are busy
creeters, Samuel and I, both on us, and Id'no as he'd have time to argy
back and forth with me, but it would be well for him if he did, men must
have wimmen advise 'em if they ever expect to amount to anything.
But to resoom forwards. These thoughts wuz runnin' through my head as we
wended our way around, it did my soul good, as I said, to see the
progress these Filipinos are makin', and to meditate on the fact how
enterprisin' Uncle Samuel is when he sets out. Why jest think on't, he's
taught them Filipinos more English in four years than the Spaniards
taught 'em their language in the four hundred years they took care on
I wuz so proud and happy as I thought on't that I stepped considerable
high as I walked along, and I hearn a profane bystander say (wicked
creeter to think on't),
"That woman has took too much stimulant."
And Josiah sez, "What ails you, Samantha? You walk as if you wuz
follerin' a band of music."
And I wuz, it wuz the music of the Future that sounds out in my ears
anon or oftener, sweet inspirin' strains that even Josiah can't hear if
his head lays on the same piller.
It sings of an ignorant, oppressed race changed into an enlightened
prosperous one, this great work done by our own country, this song comes
floatin' into my ears over the wide Pacific. And another louder strain
comes from nigher by made tender and pathetic by years of oppression and
suppressed suffering that could find expression in no other way than
this heart searching pathos. And blending with it, ringing over and
above it, triumphant happy echoes telling of real freedom of mind and
conscience, the true liberty.
Well, Blandina wanted to go to the Anthropological Buildin'. She said
Professor Todd had recommended it. I should knowed he would choose that
spot in preference to any other. I hadn't a idee what it meant, but
didn't feel obleeged to tell her so, but spozed it wuz sunthin' hard to
tackle, judgin' from the name, but told her I wuz willin' to go to see
_it_ or _her_ or _him_, not knowin' which it would turn out to be. But
come to find out it wuz everything relatin' to the history of man, and
spozed that wuz one reason why Blandina wuz interested in it.
It wuz a monstrous big buildin', and in it and outside on't wuz exhibits
from all the different countries of the world, showin' the difference in
the races of mankind, their difference through all the ages, anatomy,
industries, customs, education, different religious rites, games, books
and pictures, maps illustrating mankind and his works, etc., and I could
fill a dozen pages with etcs., and not half exhaust the contents of the
Blandina wuz in her glory here, she wuz studyin' in full magesty the
history of her idol, man. But as I told her, I spozed the term, man,
included woman also. But she looked dubersome, she didn't like the idee
I could see, and Josiah didn't. But I knowed I wuz right, and I guess
Molly thought so too.
This is the most complete gathering of the world's people and races that
has ever been got together, and includes different types, from the
smallest pigmies from Central Africa to the Patagonian giants. Josiah
wuz delighted to learn of the strength of these pigmies, how they kill
elephants and rhinocerhorses, and sez he, "I tell you, Samantha, it
hain't size that counts, it is most always the smallest men that are the
smartest, looked at Napoleon and me."
But I whispered to him to keep still, for he wuz attractin' attention,
and I led the way to see the giants. But he looked coldly on 'em, and
"They hain't thought much on, it speaks about their mean statter in the
But I thought to myself how handy it would be to have one on 'em in the
neighborhood to rent out by the day to whitewash overhead or shingle the
barn; they wouldn't even have to git up in a chair, and Id'no but they
could lay a chimbly standin' on the ground; they wuz immense.
And there wuz displays of the works and habits and native surroundin's
of the lowest types from the beginnin' of the stun age up to the present
finished glory of Jonesville and the world at large. And I wondered
what, what would be the glory showed off a hundred years from now, what
hites would men stand on, sailin' round through the air and comin' from
other planets to the show like as not jest as easy as we come from
Jonesville. And where will Josiah and I be then? That wuz another
thought that hanted me, and what would we be lookin' on? 'Tennyrate I
hope we will be together wherever it is.
But to resoom. There wuz the skin housen of the Indians from Mexico and
the display of the Ainu tribes from Japan; red negroes from Central
Africa, and all the Indian tribes left in North America, so fast meltin'
away like the leaves of the forest before the march of winter. Basket
makers from California and Arizonia, bead workers, arrow workers, all
carryin' on their work before us and goin' through their ceremonies and
playin' their games.
And there wuz the tradin' post, with the agent cheatin' the Injuns jest
as nateral as life, so I spoze. Mexico had a wonderful collection,
native books on Maguey paper, amulets of gold, sculpture, carved idols,
remarkable lookin', though I wouldn't worship one on 'em not for a
Egypt, where Civilization first started, had to crumple down and send
her best treasures to the fur away West. Oh, how fur, how fur
Civilization has traveled since she left the Lotus land. And she hadn't
better set down yet and fold her hands. She's got a good many jobs
before her that I could pint out to her right here in America.
And there wuz a hull Egyptian tomb, mummies, ancient pottery, necklaces
and beads took out of old Egyptian tombs. Oh, where wuz the throbbin'
hearts that beat agin them with boundin' life and joy? So much stronger
and greater than the fragile things, yet gone to dust and ashes
centuries ago, while these senseless toys outlive 'em and are brought
thousands of milds to be looked on by a strange race. And there wuz
scarabes, symbols, strange lookin' things as I ever see and piles on
And there wuz a display showing how they first started fire, which they
worshipped when first discovered as the Red Flower God, and everything
up to its present development. And so with the earliest attempts at
makin' weapons, blades of bamboo and wood, hammered copper up to the
deadly life destroyers of to-day.
And in one room wuz the priceless treasures of the Vatican, and a
exquisite collection of the Jubilee presents of the Widder Albert carved
ivory gems, beautifully set jewels, fans, feathers, leather work and
wrought gold, carved ebony, sandal-wood, embroidered silk and velvet
caskets, silver prayer wheel (though she never used it I'll warrant, no
quicker than I would) gold boxes from Africa, Burmah and all her
provinces; gold and velvet harnesses and saddle cloths, chains and
plumes; a chair of state of carved ivory; kneeling cushion in rich
embroidered velvet; elephants' tusks mounted on ebony and on rosewood;
there are thirty cases in all, and as I looked on 'em, lent to this
Exposition by his Gracious Majesty, King Edward VII, jest as willin' as
I'd lend sister Bobbett a drawin' of tea, my feelin's pretty nigh
overpowered me and I almost bust into tears, but knowin' Josiah's state
of nerves I kep' up and restrained myself in a measure.
But I noticed Blandina wuz beginin' to act restless and looked at her
watch, and finally she said that Professor Todd had promised to meet her
at the Anthropometric Display.
Sez I, "I should know that of all the places in the world that would be
his chosen rondevoo."
"Yes," sez she, "he has got such exquisite taste--in dress."
I don't believe she had a idee what it wuz, I believe she thought from
what she said that it wuz some kind of men's clothes, or scarf pins
mebby. I myself didn't even hazard a inward guess, but made up my mind
to be resigned to the sight whatever it wuz and bear up under it the
best I could.
But we found out it included all kinds of measures, attitudes and
angles, photographs, moulds, casts and rates of pulsation, measurements
of respiration, tryin' to measure and estimate as well as they can the
different physical values of the different races and people, it wuz a
sight to see it.
Sure enough Professor Todd wuz there, and I willin'ly resigned her into
his care. He offerin' to see her home after the illumination. I knowed
he wuz to be trusted, and they went off, Blandina lookin' up happy and
adorin', he happy, patronizin' and lookin' down. Both on 'em contented
creeters. He leadin' her a willin' victim to where the biggest named
articles wuz and explainin' 'em to her in words more'n two inches long,
I'll bet, but if anybody is happy that's enough. And though it is
puttin' the wagon considerable ways before the horse, I may as well tell
a conversation I overheard between Professor Todd and Blandina later in
the day. Molly and Josiah wuz interested in lookin' at a display a
little ways off, and I'd sot down for a spell restin' my tired head on
my hand, and closed my eyes, for they too wuz so weary I felt I should
almost be ashamed to face them two gray orbs in the lookin'-glass, for I
knowed I had worked 'em too hard, and no knowin' when they would git any
rest, for it seemed as though the more we see the more there wuz to see.
And I sot there lost in wistful retrospection of the view from our back
door where there wuz but one object in front of me, and that wuz a plain
barn with no cupolas or minarets, or towers or domes on it. No, jest a
plain barn with a slidin' door enriched and bejeweled when open only by
the form of my beloved pardner. And the only vista visible the grassy
path that led round the hen house to the ash-barrel, and the only
ornamental water, the waterin' trough embellished only by the green moss
on its sides.
I felt I'd seen too many ornaments, I most knowed I should never hanker
agin for a minaret or a mosque, or a steeple or a crescent, or a wavin'
banner, or gildin', I felt that my heart would never more long and pine
for water to squirt up in the air or drizzle down three or four hundred
feet, nor for statutes or peaks or pillers. No, I almost felt I should
have Dave Yerden saw off the top of the whatnot because it riz up in a
sort of ornamental fashion, and I almost despised the thought of the M.
E. steeple in Jonesville, to such wicked and reckless lengths will
over-weariness lead one. But jest as I wuz rebukin' myself to myself, I
hearn jest on the other side on me the voices of Blandina and Professor
Aspire Todd. He wuz evidently continuing a conversation begun sometime
"Oh, that lost companion of mine! oh, that beauchious female so
humilitous in her sweet humility, so super-conscious of man's superior
attainments, she seemingly only existed to minister to my corporial
"Well she might, Professor, well she might," sez Blandina. "Any woman of
right feelin' would feel only too blest and honored to do the same."
"I experienced from the first moment my eyes rested on you," sez the
Professor in solemn axents, "a sensation, or a feeling, as you may say,
that you wuz my affinity, that your soul wuz congenial, and every
transitory period of time that has progressively advanced since then has
but intensified the impression."
Though I couldn't see her, I could feel Blandina simper. But at that
minute Josiah interrupted the dialogue by askin' where Samantha wuz, and
I come forward and jined 'em. Blandina looked radiantly happy, and I
motioned to Molly and Josiah to come on, I knowed they would rather have
our room than our company. For I remembered I wuz onmarried myself once,
and though my sperit wuz never incarnated in the personality of a
Blandina, yet I had a vivid remembrance of the time when Love first laid
holt on me, and I well remembered the feelin's I felt at the ardent
attentions of a Josiah.
Professor Todd might not be an object of admiration to me, indeed he wuz
not, fur from it! But one of the last things we learn in life is not to
judge other folks attachments and desires by our own liking, and not to
condemn other people for having fur different ideals than our own. I had
found out that Professor Todd wuz likely and respectable and well off,
and if Blandina had got to git along through life without knowin' much,
she had better git along with a protector and under comfortable
circumstances. So I stood ready to give away the bride at any time, for
to tell the truth I had worried about her future, not knowin' but I had
her on my hands for life. But true to my principles I felt that I would
make no matches nor break none, but would only smooth the path for True
Love to trundle along in.
Josiah wuz blind as a bat to what I see, and wanted to know, "What
Blandina wuz pokin' round with that fool for?"
Truly men can't see through a stun wall or a matrimonial movement with
anything like the clearness of a woman. As I wended my way onwards I
felt jest as sure in my mind how it would end as I did two months
afterwards when I see 'em at the altar.
But to resoom backwards. Josiah, Molly and I wended our way off to
another department of the immense buildin', goin' from one display to
another, and could have stayed a week and seen sunthin' new every
I took sights of comfort at the Indian schools. Seein' on one side the
old poor oncivilized way of living, habits and customs; and then to see
what education and culture had done and wuz doing for 'em, what swift
strides they wuz makin' along the road that leads upwards. And to see
'em workin' away right before us at all the industrial trades, to see
inteligence in the eyes that had held savagery, to hear the inteligent
conversation in place of gutteral axents, I wuz highly tickled.
And I sez to Josiah and Molly, "I hope Uncle Sam will do well by all the
folks he's gardeen over, the Indians, Negroes, Philippinos and all, I
believe he means well by the hull on 'em, but he has so much on his
hands he don't know which way to turn, and I spoze it will be some time
before he gits 'round to do what he wants to for all on 'em, and," sez
I, "they had better in the mean time try to git along and do all they
can for themselves, it will be best for 'em anyway."
I wuz walkin' along with my Josiah in a quiet part of the grounds, if
any of 'em can be called so, 'tennyrate there wuzn't many round when I
hearn some workmen passin' along say, "There is the President."
And lookin' round eagerly and anxiously I see a good-lookin' man with
eye glasses settin' on a bench readin' a paper. And I knowed to once
that it wuz our Teddy, so dear to the heart of them that set store by
manliness, fearlessness, bravery, bright badges from Heaven's mint
shinin' on the breast of a man faithful to wife, children and country.
He didn't look exactly like his pictures, but I knowed pictures didn't
always favor their originals, specially in newspapers. I wuz highly
tickled to see him, for I had some errents for him, and wanted to advise
him for his good, and I advanced with outstretched hand and sez "Mr.
President, I am delighted to see you!"
He shook hands and said polite, "You have the advantage of me, mom."
"Yes," sez I, "folks see your face in the papers." I mentioned my name
and then went right on to say, "I wanted to tell you the first thing, I
hadn't nothin' to do with that slightin' piece about you you probable
read in the Jonesville Auger. The Nation knew I had writ for it, and for
the Gimlet, and I wuz awful afraid you'd think it wuz me, and be mad at
me, but I'm as innocent as a infant babe. Keturah Snyder writ it, and
she's been through with trials enough to make her bitter but bein' so
mad she sez things she can't prove. Now she thinks you could kep' her
from bein' turned out of the Jonesville post-office and you could keep
the price of meat down. No use arguin' with her, she sez you had it in
your power to squelch some of the Trusts, and didn't do nothin' but
"And that Post-Office scandal, she said she spozed you wuz goin' to make
public samples of them stealers, but it all squizzled out, nothin' done
about it, only jest talk. And you remember she said in her piece, 'she
wuz turned out of the post-office for borryin' five cents from the
Government, and bein' backward with another five, ten cents in all, and
them post-office clerks in Washington stealin' hundreds of thousands and
nothin' done.'" Here Theodore tried to say sunthin', and knowin' he wuz
such a fluent talker I wuz bound to git my explanation in before he
begun, for I wouldn't interrupted him for the world after he got to
Sez I, "I wanted you to know jest what reason she had for bein' so mad
and writin' it, for I knowed you wouldn't feel so mortified about it.
The way on't wuz, she wuz in the Office, and hadn't baked that week
owin' to the cat tippin' over her yeast, she's so petickular she won't
use boughten, and a hull load of company driv up onexpected at leven
forty-five. The baker come and not havin' a cent of change by her, and
he refusin' to trust her jest out of meanness, she knowin' she wuz to
have some money paid her in the mornin', jest borrowed five cents from
Uncle Sam. I don't say it wuz right, she'd better made biscuit, but I
say she wuz punished pretty hash for that and two other small things,
for bein' half distracted by her cares, she forgot to cancel three
letters, the first mistake she'd made in the three years she'd been in
office. One wuz a drop letter, so Uncle Sam wuz only out five cents.
Well, you know Theodore, that when trials come, they come as Shakespeare
said, 'Not as single spiders but hull battles on 'em,' or words to that
"Right on top of that Baker come the Inspector. He discovered the
deficit of ten cents, and also that other incident, where I got mixed up
in the Jonesville P.O. Scandal. Keturah had to have help in the office
once in awhile, and two men wanted to work for her, Nate Yerden and Sam
Pendergrast. She didn't like Nate, and she did like Sam, and I don't
spoze it made much difference in her feelin's, but Sam kep' sheep and
did gin her yarn for a pair of stockin's, and jest out of pure kindness
I colored it for her in my indigo dye tub.
"I never thought of committin' any sin, let alone one with such a big
name, Misprision of Treason and Maladministration of Justice, I believe
he called it. Why, for a spell I thought I should have to be shot up,
Josiah wuz skairt to death, and told him he never hearn of such crimes,
and sez he, 'I'll bet you can't find 'em in the Velosipeder.'
"He meant the Encyclepeder, but poor man he wuz most crazy. I emptied
out my blue dye and don't know as I shall ever set up another. And
Keturah raveled out her stockin's and gin back the yarn, I got off with
the awfulest talkin' to I ever had, and warnin's never, never to trifle
in such a heedless and wicked way with Public Matters and the sacred
rights of the people. But Keturah, poor thing! wuz jest turned right out
of office root and branch. She knowed what high influence duz in
politics, and she got Thomas Jefferson to argy with the Inspector and
tell him jest how it wuz. But he said the dignity of a great Nation wuz
at stake and out she must go.
"Keturah wep' and cried, and reminded him the yarn wuz gin back and how
small the sum wuz. And he said, 'A straw showed which way the wind
blowed, and the Nation must trust its public servants implicitly, or
where would be the safety of the people.'
"Then Keturah sassed him and said if a straw showed the direction of the
wind in Jonesville, how wuz it with the dead loads and stacks of straw
in Washington, sez she, they're so heavy with rottenness and corruption
they can't blow. You'll remember that powerful figger of speech in the
article. I told her it would make you mad as a hen and I spoze it did.
And I felt it my duty to molify you and tell you that a honester creeter
never lived than Keturah, and it wuz only these extronnery circumstances
that made her borry the ten cents. And workin' out by the day and eatin'
codfish as she duz, makes her more morbid, kinder salts her blood I
believe, and she lays it to you onjustly, for meat bein' so high that
she can't buy any.
"Ive told her time and agin it wuzn't your fault. But she sez you might
hold in the Trusts some if you wuz a minter.
"She sez you had 'em in your power once and could made a sample on 'em
but didn't, and so, sez she, I've got to live on codfish, and the flour
trust is bringin' up flour so Id'no but I'll have to eat saw-dust bread.
You remember them powerful metafors in the Auger. I wanted to explain
all this and I also had some errents of my own."
He made another effort to speak, but knowin' his remarkable eloquence,
and that I wouldn't try to git a word in after he begun, I should enjoy
his talk so, I kep' on:
"I want to be open and above board, Theodore, jest as you are nachelly.
And that other piece you remember that come out about the same time in
the Jonesville Gimlet I'll tell you plain that I approved on it, though
I didn't write it. You remember it begun with this quotation:
"'They enslave their children's children
Who make compromise with sin.'
"And it went on to talk about our great dignified Nation bein' a pardner
in Saloons, ruinin' men, breakin' wimmen's hearts, starvin' children,
committin' theft, murder, adultery, arson, helpin' on fights, death and
ruin, jest goin' in snux, as you may say with all this for the money got
out of it; it said that though there wuz many great evils to face and
overthrow, there wuz none that brutalized the race and agonized the
hearts of the people like this, and though all sin left its mark, no
other sin changed a man so into the loathsome body and soul wrecks, that
drunkenness did, and all for a little money.
"It wuz a powerful piece, and as full of facts as a brick is of sand. It
told jest how much money Uncle Sam got out of every drunkard he made. My
memory hain't what it wuz, Theodore, and I can't tell exactly jest how
much money it would be in Uncle Sam's pocket to make your four bright
good boys drunkards, and finish up the job and land 'em in the
drunkard's grave, via the saloon and gutter. But if you stood by and see
it goin' on before your face as so many thousands of proud and lovin'
fathers have to, you would think a million dollars of such blood money
wuz too cheap, yes indeed!
"That tells the hull story, Theodore, I could throw statistics at you
till you wuz black and blue, about our country spendin' for what is
useless and ruinous to soul, body and estate, one billion four hundred
millions a year, and about the hundred thousand drunkards that stumble
along into the staggerin' slobberin' ranks every year, and drop into the
drunkard's grave. I could eppisode eloquent to you about all this but
what's the use; you're real smart and you know all about it. You've seen
on every side on you the beast drivin' out the angel in man, you've seen
the staggerin' army march by you to ruin. You've seen the saloons spring
up by the thousands on every side, for the purpose of makin' drunkards,
you've seen wives murdered by them that promised to protect 'em, you've
seen children driv to starvation and the streets by it; you've seen
Poverty drive Prosperity out everywhere the curse fell. And you've seen
nothin' good come from it, nothin' at all, only the money that Uncle Sam
takes with one hand, and pays out with the other, for law's machinery to
punish the criminals he makes, and prisons, jails, reformatories, poor
houses, orphan's homes, cheap coffins, etc.
"No use my tellin' you all this for you know it, but you love your boys,
and I want you to promise me to do by other boys as you'd want me to do
by yourn if I see the Saloon tryin' its best to entice 'em, and see
their bright innocent eyes beginnin' to enjoy the deathly glitter on't.
You'd want me to slam that door to and keep 'em out. Put my shoulder
blade agin it, prop it up with all the strength I could git holt on in
law and gospel, so they couldn't git in. And that's what I want you to
do, Theodore, I want you to help keep out other children jest as dear to
their fathers and mothers as your children are to you. And you know that
you and their mother would ruther see 'em lay dead at your feet, than to
see 'em enter that door with the doom of the place on 'em.
"It's a heavy door, Theodore, loaded down with greed and lowest
passions, you can't shet it alone, nor I can't, but I would feel guilty
as a dog if I didn't try my very best. Public Opinion backed by Law is
what has got to slam that door to and lock it. But you and I can help,
and you can do more than I can, and I want you to promise me to do all
Agin I see he wuz strugglin' for speech, and I hurried to git my last
words in, "I believe you want to do right, and I will encourage you by
tellin' you that Josiah is goin' to vote for you, though we hain't got
nothin' agin Mr. Parker. He's close-mouthed, which is a good quality,
though it can be carried too fur.
"A neighbor of ourn had warned her girl to not be too familiar with the
hired man, a good Christian he wuz too. And once when her ma wuz gone he
asked her where the milk pail wuz, and she wantin' to be on the safe
side wouldn't say a word. That wuz bein' too cautious, and a good many
think he's been a little too mute about some things, he didn't tell jest
where his politics wuz. But then the tongue is a onruly member and has
to be curbed in, and I guess he means well. And Mr. Davis, too, of
course he's gittin' along in years. But jest think of Methusaler, Mr.
Methusaler's folks would call Mr. Davis nothin' but a child."
Here he blurted right out, "I hain't Theodore, though I've been took for
him before, I'm President of a Gas Company."
I wuz mortified for most a minute, but come to think it over I knowed
such seeds of truth as I'd been a scatterin' couldn't help but do good
even if the sile wuzn't so rich as I'd spozed.
Well, the next week we had a busy time, Josiah and Molly and I went
mostly together, Blandina most always meetin' Professor Aspire Todd
somewhere nigh the entrance, I guess it wuz planned, but 'tennyrate I
wuz willin', plan or no plan.
And we visited every interestin' spot from Morocco to the Model City and
from Physicial Culture Hall to Nevada.
There wuz a meetin' that scientific folks held there, and its main aim
seemed to be to make light of the religion of Christ. It madded Josiah
dretfully, and he sez, "I feel it my duty as a deacon to go and give in
my testimony and break up such wicked doin's."
Sez I, "Josiah you let 'em alone. You couldn't break it up, nothin' but
the power of the God they deny could do it. But we'll punish 'em by not
goin' near 'em. That will mortify 'em and mebby make 'em see where they
stand, denyin' the power that gives em the breath they spend in such
folly." So when Sunday come agin we went to the same M.E. meetin' house
and hearn a splendid sermon on what the Christian Religion had done for
the World. And we visited Lincoln's Cabin and I had probable fifty
emotions a minute all the time I wuz there thinkin' of that wise,
child-hearted man and what he did for humanity.
And I had about the same emotions in Grant's Log Cabin. Noble creeters,
both on 'em! They wuz cramped for room in these humble homes, and wuz
probable put to it for comforts. But they have room enough now, the
Great World claims 'em, and they will walk down the ages together
crowned with the love and reverence of the people.
And Josiah wanted to see the Boer War, and though a war wuz nothin' I
wanted to see I felt I musn't cross him. And all the while I sot there
seein' them contendin' armies contend I wuz thinkin' of poor Oom Paul
and his brave fight for liberty, and at last losin' all and dyin'
broken-hearted in a strange land.
But onbeknown to myself these words come to me:
"The mills of the gods grind slowly
But they grind exceedingly small."
I can't look ahead and see jest what they're grindin' out for this brave
people and them that conquered 'em, nor Josiah can't.
And I took solid comfort in the Hall of Lady Managers seein' how well
they managed. In this Exposition there is no seperate place fenced off
for wimmen's exhibit. They carry the idee here that good work is equally
valuable when done by man or woman. They claim that works of art,
invention, manufacture, etc., are as sexless as religion, and you know
our Lord said plain of men and wimmen, "Ye are one in Christ."
I wuz glad enough to see it, it seems to bring us nigher to the day of
justice and true liberty for all. That glorious day hain't dawned yet
(wimmen are still classed in law with idiots, criminals and lunaticks).
But by standin' on tip-toe I can catch a faint glow in the East showin'
that the day is goin' to break in rosy splendor bime-by.
I cant begin to tell jest where we went or what we see, enough
'tennyrate I felt to last me through life, but time hurried on jest as
usual and brought the last days of our stay here.
I told Josiah that I never would go home without seein' President
Francis and thankin' him for the treat he'd gin us.
Josiah didn't want to go but I sez, "David will expect it of me, it's
only showin' him common politeness. You know I brought the children up
to always thank the folks that entertained 'em. And such a entertainment
as this! Do you spoze I am goin' to slight and mortify him by not
noticin' it and thankin' him? No, indeed!"
Josiah argyed and said that "he guessed if everybody follered David up
and thanked him he would have his hands full."
"But," I sez, "Other folks can do as they're a mind to, I shall do my
duty," so I went up to his office follered by a onwillin' Josiah, and
advanced towards him where he sot alone at his desk.
He's a dretful handsome man, sometimes smart men are humbly, and it is a
treat to find one that combines beauty, smartness, and faculty, for it
took more than smartness alone to plan this show, it took faculty and
tack, sights and sights of tack. For as I told him, after I'd introduced
myself and shook hands cordially with him, sez I:
"I couldn't leave without thankin' you for the great treat you've gin
us, and to tell you how I appreciate what you've done for us." Sez I,
"I'm a housekeeper and know what it is to fix up for company and how
much work it is to git two or three rooms and the front steps and door
yard all right for half a dozen folks for jest one afternoon, and then
to clear up and ornament as you have more'n twelve hundred acres, and
have so many visitors come right onto you and settle down for a six
months' stay, I don't see how you stand it.
"Why last winter I had six of the relation on my side and on hisen,
snowbound to our house for a week, and I thought I should go distracted
tryin' to keep the house clean, and suit 'em all in vittles, and some on
'em jealous thinkin' I gin the others a better bed, and the other
relation comin' in to see 'em and kinder disputin' and twittin' 'em as
relation will, and kinder jealous of me because they wuz visitin' me
instead of them, and my folks callin' me extravagant in vittles--I had a
dretful time. And what wuz it compared to what you're goin' through with
fifteen thousand visitors settlin' right down on you for a six months'
visit, some on 'em smart and high headed, some not knowin' putty, some
good-natered and easy to please, some quarrelsome, some awful petickular
and fussy about their vittles, some that will eat dogs, some too dressy,
some that will go most naked, and hundreds of millions comin' and goin'
all the time, and more than thirty millions of your own folks
complainin' and sassin' you as your own folks will. Payin' out fifty
millions and mebby called extravagant for it--why what a time you're
"And I wanted to tell you how I appreciated what you're goin' through,
and thank you from the bottom of my heart for givin' me and Josiah such
a great treat, and also Blandina.
"And if you ever come to Jonesville I want you to feel free to come
right to our house and stay as long as you can. Though of course I can't
do for you what you've done for me, but I'll kill a hen and make a bag
puddin', and do the best I can."
He thanked me real polite and said "if he wuz ever in Jonesville he
should certainly come and see me."
And I sez, "How I do wish it wuz so you could come this fall. We're
goin' to have a big Harvest Entertainment for the benefit of the Grange,
and you do have such a talent for gittin' up sunthin' interestin', your
advice would be onvaluable about ornamentin' the hall and givin' 'em all
a equal show. Of course every mother wants her children to speak the
openin' piece, and every man wants the best place to show off his
squashes and rutabagers. Pomona wants the hall trimmed one way, and
Cerius 'tother way, whilst Flora and Hygea are settin' on the fence. I
d'no how it will turn out and whether or not it will lead to bloodshed.
"If we only had your faculty and your tack to fall back on what a boon
it would be, for you must have gone through with as much agin with
everybody wantin' the best place.
"But I know it is too much to ask of you with all this doin's on your
hands, millions of visitors comin' and goin' and thousands of help to
look after, and I shan't say a word to you about it, only wishin' you
could be there to enjoy it with us when it is ready.
"And now thankin' you agin for all you've done for us I will bid you
adoo." And I shook hands with him almost warmly.
He seemed glad and relieved about sunthin' as we took leave, I guess it
wuz because I thought so high on him.
And bein' wunk at by me, Josiah Allen advanced and held out his hand and
said, "how de do," and "good-bye," at the same time, and I sez to kinder
smooth it over, "In this world, Mr. Francis, it is hail and farewell
time and agin."
And then we bowed ourselves out, I'd told Josiah to be sure and not turn
his back. And we got along first-rate, only onfortinat'ly jest as we got
to the door we backed into the Chinese Minister and his party who wuz
jest comin' in.
But then, as I told Josiah as we went down the steps when he wuz blamin'
me for this _contrary temps_, as men always will blame their pardners
for most everything, I sez:
"China is used to bein' backed into by foreigners, I guess they'll
I didn't bandy words with Josiah, I knowed I'd done my duty and that
kep' me serene. When you're follerin' a star you don't mind the bite of
The last week of our stay in St. Louis Aunt Trypheny on leavin' the Fair
ground one day wuz struck by the twenty-mule team that perambulates the
ground, was knocked down and carried to an emergency hospital on the
Fair ground. The head doctor there wuz Miss Huff's nephew, and she got a
little room for her till she could be moved with safety.
The day before we went home Josiah went down into the city to do a few
errents for the bretheren, Blandina had gone with Aspire Todd to visit a
sister of hisen (they wuz engaged), and I had been to work gittin' ready
to leave the next mornin', and Molly and I wuz goin' in the afternoon to
take a last look at the Fair, and she come into my room as I wuz gittin'
my bunnet on with her hands full of the most beautiful flowers she could
get, and proposed that we should go and see Aunt Pheeny and cheer her up
Sweet creeter, I hadn't thought on't. The hospital wuz quite a distance
off from where we had laid out to go, and I knowed I would be tired as a
dog anyway. But not wantin' to be behind hand in good works I said I
would go with her, and I selected some of the nicest of the fruit I had
bought to take home to the grandchildren, and put in my silk bag for
her, and put on my mantilly and told her I wuz ready. And then that dear
child proposed we should take Dorothy with us, knowin' Aunt Trypheny
would ruther see her than any Emperor or Zar, and I gin my consent to
that, and we sot off, Dotie happy as a Queen at goin' with us.
Well, Aunt Pheeny wuz glad enough to see us, specially Dorothy. But we
found her blissful in mind anyway for she told us the first thing her
Prince Arthur had been there to see her and had been gone only a few
minutes, and she showed us a couple of gold pieces he had gin her, big
enough to bear witness to his goodness of heart as well as his wealth.
She said with her linement all aglow (she never liked her) that his
mother had died two months ago leaving him a free man, he had stayed
with her and devoted himself to her because he thought it wuz his duty,
and since her death he had been on a long journey, it seemed, she said,
as if he wuz hunting for something or other, though what she didn't
know. And he had promised her that some time in the future she should
come and live with him, and sez she, with her characterestic irreligion,
"If I had my choice to live with him or in heaven I wouldn't look at
heaven." The idee! We give her the fruit and flowers and asked her if
she had everything for her comfort, and she said:
"Yes, indeed! 'tain't much here like the ironfirmary I wuz sent to in
Chicago. I wuz jest as white as you are, Miss Molly, when I went there,
and them iggorent doctors jest turned my skin black as tar; I wuz so
mortified when I come to my senses and found what they'd done and I wuz
a nigger, I jest leaped out o' bed and rushed right out into the street,
I wuz so mortified. But 'twuzn't no use, I wuz a nigger, and so I've
been ever since."
And all the time she wuz tellin' this, Dotie's little white arms wuz
'round her neck and she was pattin' the black cheeks. And as she
finished she said lovingly, "Pheeny is nice! Pheeny is pretty! Pheeny
has got white teef!" And indeed they did glisten like ivory in the
blackness of her face as she held the baby clost to her heart with broad
Well, we made quite a long call and cheered her up considerable by
listenin' to some more of her most eloquent and unlikely fabrications,
and then bid her good-bye. A man's gray kid glove lay on the table and a
little book, and she said Prince Arthur had forgot them.
Well, jest as we passed out of the long corridor, Dotie, who wuz looking
back, cried out, "There is Pheeny's Prince Arthur!" And refused to stir
another step till she went back to see him. She said Aunt Pheeny had
showed her his picture and that wuz the Prince that could do anything.
Aunt Pheeny I spoze had filled her mind full of stories of his
perfections, she said he'd gone back to git his glove and book, and she
would wait and see him.
I wuz in a hurry and wuz for goin' on, but Molly, sweet-natured thing,
said we might sit down on the bench for a few minutes and then Dotie
would be willing to go. So we sot down and Dotie begun to state with
much excitement her reasons for wanting to stay, sez she:
"Billy has been bolsting to me that he see a Prince to the Fair, a real
live meat Prince. He wuz bolsting about it, and said Aunt Pheeny didn't
have no Prince, but I see his picture my own self, and I'll let Billy
know that Aunt Pheeny did have a nice live, meat Prince and I see him.
And there he comes now!" sez she, she wuz a little in advance of us and
could see furder. And sure enough we hearn a quick light step coming
down the corridor, it come nigher and nigher, a handsome elegant-looking
young man turned the corner right by us, Molly looked up--and had the
desire of her heart.
* * * * *
He left his friend's house and Molly, thinking his duty kept him by his
mother, and he had decided it was wrong to ask a young happy girl to
enter the shadow of selfish invalidism with him. He didn't say jest
that, but I knowed it from what he didn't say as well as from what he
did. The minute he wuz free he had flown to his friends where they had
met. The house wuz closed, the family in Europe, he didn't know where,
he had tried in vain to find her, and wuz jest on the eve of departing
for Europe that afternoon to try to find his friends hoping to get a
clue of her. Had she not gone to the hospital that day, had she come a
little earlier or a little later, had she not humored Dorothy by
waiting, they would not have met. That's what worldlings might say, but
I didn't say it even to myself. She wuz safe, she could not have been
either too early or too late. She had like a little child, asking its pa
for a gift, asked her Lord for the desire of her heart and jest as he
promised, he brought it to pass, usin' that bare corridor jest as he
might the Valley of the Nile, or the Rocky Mountains if necessary. The
hull world is but a tiny doorstep leadin' up to the shinin' pavilion of
They wuz led towards each other, she couldn't miss her way, he couldn't.
The broad ocean rolled between 'em and mountain and valley, but they wuz
both led by the hand like two little children out May-flowering with
their ma--they _had_ to meet.
Well, Josiah met us, accordin' to promise in front of Festival Hall, and
we stayed to the illumination, Dotie havin' gone home with Miss Huff
Molly and Arthur stood on the high terrace with light fallin' all 'round
'em and before 'em, their faces needin' no light, so bright wuz they
with heart sunshine. Josiah and I sot a little in the shadder, but where
we could see plain. And one by one like brilliant jewels dropped from an
endless storehouse of glory, lights sprung out along the front of the
stately white palaces, adown the broad avenues they shone in gleamin'
lines and clusters, and starred with brilliance all the long glorious
vistas. Broad beams of crimson, gold and azure changin' every minute
fell on the cascades, the flowers gleamed out from the emerald grass
like jewels of every color.
Music riz softly from the lagoon, the great organ pealed out in
triumphant notes, and my heart boyed up on waves of beauty and melody
follered the strains heavenward as if it didn't ever want to come back
agin to earth and Jonesville.
But as my eye fell on Josiah's face I knowed that where the star of Love
went it wuz my duty and joy to foller it. He wuz gittin' worrisome and
wanted to go, and so I sez:
"Beautiful! beautiful! Ivory City, farewell!"
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