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" You are."
general advice about going on board of his boat, " What all them thar books were about?"
“Well then, 'Squire, am I to understand that not The boatman stared with profound astonishment, one of them thar books contain a single law on and asked the lawyer, “If he was a sure enough cock-fighting ?” Squire."
Receiving an affirmative reply, he pressed every “And, Squire, am I to understand that thar ain't argument he could use, to have him undertake his no laws in Louisiana on cock-fighting ?” case and get him "jestess ;" but when he found " You are." that his efforts were unavailing, he quietly seated “And am I to understand that you call yourself himself for the first time, put his hat aside, - crossed a 'Squire, and that you don't know any thing about his legs,-then looking up to the ceiling with the cock-fighting !” expression of great patience, he requested the "You are. "'Squire, to read to him the Louisiana laws on The astonishment of the boatman at this reply cock-fighting.”
for a moment was unbounded, and then suddenly The lawyer said he did not know of a single ceased; the awe with which he looked upon statute in the State upon the subject. The boatman 'Squire” also ceased, and resuming his natural started up as if he had been shot, exclaiming awkward and familiar carriage, he took up his hat,
“No laws in the State on cock-fighting? No, no, and walking to the door, with a broad grin of 'Squire, you can't possum me; give us the law." supreme contempt in his face, he observed,
The refusal again followed; the astonishment of “That a 'Squire that did not know the laws of the boatman increased, and throwing himself in a cock-fighting, in his opinion, was distinctly an incomico-heroic attitude, he waved his long fingers fernal old chuckle-headed fool!" around the sides of the room and asked,
We shall never forget the excitement which The new comers were strangers, of course. The seized upon the inhabitants of the little village of house in which they were setting up their furniture Hardscrabble, as the report spread through the was too little arranged “to admit of calls ;” and as community, that a real piano had actually arrived the family seemed very little disposed to court within its precincts.
society, all prospects of immediately solving the Speculation was afloat as to its appearance and mystery that hung about the piano seemed hopeless. its use.
The name was familiar to every body; but In the mean time public opinion was rife.” what it precisely meant, no one could tell. That it The depository of this strange thing was looked had legs was certain ;-for a stray volume of some upon by the passers-by with indefinable awe; and literary traveller was one of the most conspicuous as noises unfamiliar sometimes reached the street, works in the floating library of Hardscrabble; and it was presumed that the piano made them, and the said traveller stated, that he had seen a piano some excitement rose higher than ever-in the midst of where in New England with pantalettes on-also, an it, one or two old ladies, presuming upon their age old foreign paper was brought forward, in which and respectability, called upon the strangers and inthere was an advertisement headed “Soiree,” which quired after their health, and offered their services informed the “citizens, generally,” that Mr. Bobo- j and friendship; meantime every thing in the house link would preside at the piano.
was eyed with great intensity, but seeing nothing This was presumed by several wiseacres, who had strange, a hint was given about the piano. One of been to a menagerie, to mean, that Mr. Bobolink the new family observed carelessly, " that it had stirred the piano with a long pole, in the same way been much injured by bringing out, that the damp that the showman did the lions and rhi-no-ce-rus. had affected its tones, and that one of its legs was
So, public opinion was in favor of its being an so injured that it would not stand up, and for the animal, though a harmless one; for there had been present it would not ornament the parlor." a land speculator through the village a few weeks Here was an explanation, indeed; injured in previously, who distributed circulars of a “Female bringing out—damp affecting its tones-leg broken. Academy,” for the accomplishment of young ladies. “Poor thing!" ejaculated the old ladies with real These circulars distinctly stated “the use of the sympathy, as they proceeded homeward ; "travelpiano to be one dollar per month.”
ling has evidently fatigued it; the Mass-is-sip fogs One knowing old chap said, if they would tell him has given it a cold, poor thing !" and they wished what so-i-ree meant, he would tell them what a to see it with increased curiosity. piano was, and no mistake.
The “ village" agreed, that if Moses Mercer, familThe owner of this strange instrument was no less iarly called “Mo Mercer," was in town, they would than a very quiet and very respectable late merchant have a description of the piano, and the uses to of a little town somewhere “north;” who having which it was put; and fortunately, in the midst of failed at home, had emigrated into the new and the excitement, “Mo" arrived, he having been temhospitable country of Arkansas, for the purpose of porarily absent on a hunting expedition. bettering his fortune, and escaping the heartless Moses Mercer was the only son of “old Mercer," sympathy of his more lucky neighbors, who seemed who was, and had been, in the State Senate ever to consider him a very bad and degraded man be- since Arkansas was admitted into the Union." cause he had become honestly poor.
Mo, from this fact, received great glory, of course;