The snow come down like a blanket
As I passed by Taggart’s store;
I went in for a jug of molasses
And left the team at the door.
They scared at something and started,—
I heard one little squall,
And hell-to-split over the prairie
Went team, Little Breeches and all.
Hell-to-split over the prairie!
I was almost froze with skeer;
But we rousted up some torches,
And sarched for ’em far and near.
At last we struck hosses and wagon,
Snowed under a soft white mound,
Upsot, dead beat,—but of little Gabe
No hide nor hair was found.
And here all hope soured on me,
Of my fellow-critter’s aid,—
I jest flopped down on my marrow-bones,
Crotch-deep in the snow, and prayed.
* * * * *
By this, the torches was played out,
And me and Isrul Parr
Went off for some wood to a sheepfold
That he said was somewhar thar.
We found it at last, and a little shed
Where they shut up the lambs at night.
We looked in and seen them huddled thar,
So warm and sleepy and white;
And thar sot Little Breeches and chirped,
As peart as ever you see,
“I want a chaw of terbacker,
And that’s what’s the matter of me.”
How did he git thar? Angels.
He could never have walked in that storm
They jest scooped down and toted him
To whar it was safe and warm.
And I think that saving a little child,
And fotching him to his own,
Is a derned sight better business
Than loafing around The Throne.
(Remarks of Sergeant Tilmon Joy to The White Man’s
Committee of Spunky
I reckon I git your drift, gents,—
You ’low the boy sha’n’t stay;
This is a white man’s country;
You’re Dimocrats, you say;
And whereas, and seein’, and wherefore,
The times bein’ all out o’ j’int,
The nigger has got to mosey
From the limits o’ Spunky P’int!
Le’s reason the thing a minute:
I’m an old-fashioned Dimocrat too,
Though I laid my politics out o’ the way
For to keep till the war was through.
But I come back here, allowin’
To vote as I used to do,
Though it gravels me like the devil to train
Along o’ sich fools as you.
Now dog my cats ef I kin see,
In all the light of the day,
What you’ve got to do with the question
Ef Tim shill go or stay.
And furder than that I give notice,
Ef one of you tetches the boy,
He kin check his trunks to a warmer clime
Than he’ll find in Illanoy,
Why, blame your hearts, jest hear me!
You know that ungodly day
When our left struck Vicksburg Heights, how ripped
And torn and tattered we lay.
When the rest retreated I stayed behind,
Fur reasons sufficient to me,—
With a rib caved in, and a leg on a strike,
I sprawled on that cursed glacee.