“And then there is that travelin’ rat trap of brother Henzy’s, you know his grandmother wuz an Allen, I shall mayhap let him appear. And then there is all my farmin’ implements and the rest of the Allen’s I lay out to be just to all, and let ’em all come and show off in my Agricultural show.
“But of course there has got to be a head to it; Napoleon wuz the head of the other Purchase, and I’m the head of this. In short, Samantha, I am It.”
Oh, how full of pride and vain glory he wuz, and I knowed such feelin’s would have to be brung down for his spiritual good. I realized it as he went on,
“I tell you, Napoleon and I would have made a span, Samantha, if he could been spared till now.”
Oh how shamed I wuz to hear such talk, but I sot demute for reasons named, and he sez agin, “I thought mebby you would want to be one of the attractions of the Pike, Samantha; I lay out to have livin’ statutes adornin’ the side of the lane leadin’ up from the beaver medder to the horse trough.”
“Livin’ statutes!” sez I, coldly, “I don’t know what you mean by them.”
“Why, I thought for a few cents I could git a lot of children and old folks to be white-washed for a day or two and pose as statutes. It would be a new thing and a crackin’ good idee, for livin’ statutes that can wink, and bow, and talk, and walk round some, I don’t believe wuz ever hearn on before.”
“No indeed,” sez I, “but I can tell you, Josiah Allen, I’ve played many strange parts in the role of life at your request, but I tell you once for all I shall never, never be whitewashed and set up for a statute, you can set your mind to rest on that to once.”
“Mebby you’d ruther be a Historical Tabloo, Samantha; I lay out to have beautiful ones, and I thought I wouldn’t confine myself to the States, but would branch out and have the foreign nations represented figuratively.
“A naval battle between Russia and Japan would draw; if I could fix some floats on the creek my stun boat could represent Russia, and Deacon Huffer’s Japan, I jest as lives mine would be blowed up and sunk as not, ’tain’t good for much. And if I did have that I would have the Russian Bear set on the shore growlin’, and the Powers furder back lookin’ pleasantly on. You might be a Power, Samantha, if you wuzn’t a female.”
“No, thank you, Josiah, I don’t hanker after the responsibility for good or evil that ort to hang onto a Power.”
“I’d be the Russian Bear myself, Samantha, with our old buffalo robe, only I’ve got everything else to do; I could grasp holt of things and squeeze ’em tight and growl and paw first rate.”
“I wouldn’t try to take that Russian Bear’s job of graspin’ and growlin’ and pawin’ onto me, Josiah, if I wuz in your place; it would tucker anybody out.”
“The Eagle of France,” sez he dreamily, “could be represented in reduced form, as artists say, by Solomon Bobbett’s old Bramy rooster with some claws tied on. And Scotland, the land knows there is thistles enough along the cow path to represent her if they’re handled right. And for Ireland I might have two fellers fightin’ with shelalays, Ury could make the shelalays if he had a pattern.”