Could it stand the strain? Could that small citadel stand a assault of such magnitude without crumplin’ and crumblin’ right down? Dast I venter? And then agin dast I disobey the imperative advice of Doctor Bombus? So I wuz tossted to and fro like the waves of the sea.
But one thing I wuz determined on, I wouldn’t start alone with him in the state he wuz in, for if he should lose his mind in that immense place how could I find it with no one to help me? It would be worse than lookin’ for a cambric needle in a hay-mow.
I knew how the shafts of calumny and envy might be aimed at me by his relations, so I would take along one on his side to share my responsibility, so if he did lose his mind and couldn’t find it agin, they couldn’t find fault with me and say I hadn’t done my best. So I proposed that his niece, Blandina Teeter, should go with us, she is well off and a willin’ creeter.
Josiah didn’t seem to care either way, but languidly remarked that if he did go he wanted a sky blue neck-tie. That wuz the first sign of interest he had took in anything, and I hailed it as a good omen but got the tie as dark a blue as I dast.
Blandina Teeter, formerly Allen, is a widder with a tall spindlin’ figger pale complected, with big light blue eyes that ruther stand out of her head, and a tall peaked forehead with light hair combed down smooth on both sides with scalops made in it by hand. She is good natered to a fault, you know you can kill yourself on milk porridge, and though folks don’t philosophize on it you can be too good to be comfortable.
She is a natural lover of mankind, nothin’ light in it, jest a deep meetin’ house love. She wuz born that way onbeknown to her I spoze, and so I d’no as I ort to blame her for her soft ways. I hadn’t seen her for some years and had kinder forgot how soft and squshy she wuz in her nater, and I declare for’t when I got her and Josiah both together, had marshaled my forces, as you may say before my mind’s review, I didn’t know how I wuz goin’ to git ’em to St. Louis and back agin hull. It did seem to me that if I got through all right with Josiah, she wuz that soft and meller she would spile on my hands anyway.
But she wuz the only one on his side available in the position of second chaperone to Josiah and so I took my chances.
She had been a widder some years; Teeter had used her shameful, spent her property and throwed her round considerable, but still she kep’ up her perennial love and passionate adoration of man. And thinkses I it will work well anyway with her Uncle Josiah, for lovin’ all mankind as she did from infancy to age, I knowed that bein’ the only male in the party she would keep her eye on him.
Blandina wuz more than willin’ when I explained matters to her. She said she felt that men wuz such precious creeters that too much care could not be took of ’em, and that it would give her the greatest pleasure to surround her Uncle Josiah with all the care that a most devoted affection could dictate.