D'Ri and I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about D'Ri and I.
tumbled head over heels in thet air open grave.  There wus hell t’ pay fer a minute.  Lot on ’em clim’ over the row o’ lights, yellin’ luk wildcats, ‘n’ hauled thet air mis’able cuss out o’ the grave, ‘n’ stud ’im up, ‘n’ gin ‘im a drink o’ liquor.  In half a minute he up with his han’kerchief ‘n’ waved it over ‘is head t’ mek ’em keep still.  Soon ’s they wus quiet he up ‘n’ he says:  ‘Gentlemen,’ says he, ’this ‘ere chap hes stood the test o’ the sword.  Are ye satisfied?’ ‘We are,’ says they—­ev’ry British son uv a gun they wus there up ‘n’ hollered, ‘Then,’ says he, ‘giv’ ‘im th’ slide.’

“Ray he put down ’is sword ‘n’ picked up ’is coat ‘n’ vest.  Then they grabbed th’ lights, ‘n’ thet ‘s th’ last I see on’ em there.  Purty quick ’twus all dark.  Hearn ’em comin’ upstairs ‘n goin’ ‘cross th’ floor over my head.  ‘Gun t’ think o’ myself a leetle bit then.  Knowed I was in thet air slide, an’ hed t’ le’ go purty quick.  Hed n’t no idee where it went tew, but I cal’lated I wus middlin’ sure t’ know ‘fore long.  Knowed when I le’ go I wus goin’ t’ dew some tall slippin’ over thet air greased bottom.  See a light come down th’ box ‘n a minute.  Hearn somebody speakin’ there et the upper end.

“’This ‘ere’s th’ las’ test o’ yer courage,’ says a man, says he; ’few comes here alive ‘n’ sound es you be.  Ye wus a doomed man.  Ye ’d hev been shot at daylight, but we gin ye a chance fer yer life.  So fur ye ’ve proved yerself wuthy.  Ef ye hold yer courage, ye may yit live.  Ef ye flinch, ye ’ll land in heaven.  Ef yer life is spared, remember how we honor courage.’

“Then they gin ’im a shove, ‘n’ I hearn ‘im a-comin’.  I flopped over ‘n’ le’ go.  Shot away luk a streak o’ lightnin’.  Dum thing grew steeper ‘n’ steeper.  Jes’ hel’ up my ban’s ‘n’ let ’er go lickitty split.  Jerushy Jane Pepper! jes’ luk comin’ down a greased pole.  Come near tekin’ my breath away—­did sart’n.  Went out o’ thet air thing luk a bullet eggzac’ly.  Shot int’ the air feet foremust.  Purty fair slidin’ up in the air ’most anywheres, ye know.  Alwus come down by the nighest way.  ’T was darker ’n pitch; could n’t see a thing, nut a thing.  Hearn Ray come out o’ the box ‘bove me.  Then I come down k’slap in th’ water ‘n’ sunk.  Thought I ‘d never stop goin’ down.  ’Fore I come up I hearn Ray rip int’ th’ water nigh me.  I come up ‘n’ shook my head, ‘n’ waited.  Judas Priest! thought he wus drownded, sart’n.  Seemed so I ’d bust out ‘n’ cry there ‘n th’ water waitin’ fer thet air boy.  Soon es I hearn a flop I hed my han’s on ’im.

“‘Who be you?’ says he.

“‘D’ri,’ says I.

“‘Tired out,’ says he; ’can’t swim a stroke.  Guess I ‘ll hev t’ go t’ th’ bottom.’”

XV

D’ri’s narrative was the talk of the garrison.  Those who heard the telling, as I did not, were fond of quoting its odd phrases, and of describing how D’ri would thrust and parry with his jack-knife in the story of the bouts.

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D'Ri and I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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