Vandemark's Folly eBook

John Herbert Quick
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 471 pages of information about Vandemark's Folly.

I wondered if he meant me.  I hardly believed that he could; for all the while he had made a great to-do about protecting my interests; and I now remembered that he had taken an oath to do so.  But he kept sneering at me all the evening, and just as I was leaving to go to bed, he called the crowd up to drink with him.

“This is on the estate,” he hiccoughed—­for he was very drunk by this time—­“and I’ll give you a toast.”

They all lined up, slapping him on the back; and as I stood in the door, they all lifted their glasses, and Jackway gave them what he called his “toast,” which ran as follows: 

     “Sold again
     And got the tin,
     And sucked another Dutchman in!”

He paid out of a fat pocketbook, staggering, and pointing at me and looking like a tipsy imp of some sort; and finally he started over toward me, saying, “Hey, Dutchman!  Wait a minute an’ I’ll tell you how you got sucked in!”

I grew suddenly very angry; and slammed the door in his face to prevent myself from doing him harm.  I had not yet seen why I ought to do him harm; and along the road to Iowa, I was all the time wondering why I got madder and madder at Jackway; and that rhyme kept running through my mind, oftener and oftener, as I drew nearer and nearer my journey’s end: 

     “Sold again
     And got the tin,
     And sucked another Dutchman in!”

It was in the latter part of March.  There were snowdrifts in places along the road, and when I reached a place about where Mt.  Horeb now is, I had to stop and lie up for three days for a snow-storm.  I was ahead of the stream of immigrants that poured over that road in the spring of 1855 in a steady tide.

As I made my start from Madison I saw Rucker and Alice standing at the door of the tavern seemingly making sure that I was really getting out of town.  He dodged back into the house when I glanced at them; but she walked out into the street and stopped me, as bold as brass.

“I’m waiting,” said she.  “Where shall I ride?” And she put one foot on the hub and stepped up with the other into the wagon box.

“I’m just pulling out for Iowa,” I said, my face as red as her hair, I suppose.

We’re just pulling out,” said she.

“I’ve got to move on,” said I; “be careful or you’ll get your dress muddy on the wheel.”

She couldn’t have expected me to take her, of course; but I thought she looked kind of hurt.  There seemed to be something like tears in her eyes as she put her arms around my neck.

“Kiss your little step-sister good-by,” she said.  “She’s been a better friend of yours than you’ll ever know—­you big, nice, blundering greenhorn!”

Project Gutenberg
Vandemark's Folly from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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