“And I have no berth yet! The fellow promised me one when we got off,” said Uncle Nathan, chopfallen; for, if any one is keenly sensitive to an imposition, the Yankee is the man.
“There you are lame again,” replied Henry. “You may get one, and you may not. As you have paid your fare, you had better keep quiet, and to-morrow I will assist you in securing your rights.”
“Thank ye,” replied Uncle Nathan, truly grateful for the kind sympathy of the officer. “I had no sort of idee that they played such tricks upon travellers.”
“Fact, sir; this New Orleans is said to be a very naughty place,” returned Henry, amused at the simplicity of his companion.
“True as gospel!” ejaculated Uncle Nathan, fervently.
“Have you been here long?”
“Only about ten days; but I have seen more iniquity in that time than I supposed the whole airth contained.”
Henry smiled at the fervid utterance of his companion.
“You are from the North, I perceive,” said he.
“Yes, sir, I am from Brookville, State of Massachusetts, which, thank the Lord, is a long way from New Orleans!”
“Still, there are some excellent people here,” suggested Henry, who had known and appreciated Southern kindness and hospitality.
“Well—yes—I suppose there is; but their morals and religion are shockin’. It made my blood run cold, and my hair stand on eend, to see a company of soldiers marchin’ through the streets last Sabba’ day, to the tune of ‘Hail Columby;’ and then to think of balls and theatres on the Lord’s day night, really it’s terrible. I wouldn’t live in sich a place for all the world!”
“Very different from New England, certainly,” replied Henry, good-naturedly, for it must be confessed he was not so much shocked at these desecrations.
Uncle Nathan discoursed long and eloquently on Sabbath-breaking, gambling and intemperance, which prevail to such an extent in the luxurious metropolis of the South,—as long, at least, as the patience of his new-found military friend would permit. At his suggestion they retired to a hotel for the night, for the mosquitos were in undisturbed possession of the Chalmetta.
deep the waves beneath them bending glide.
The youth, who seemed to watch a time to sin,
Approached the careless guide, and thrust him in.”
“Accoutred as I was, I plunged in.”
Early on the following morning, Henry Carroll and Uncle Nathan were on board the Chalmetta, ready and eager for a start. But they were doomed to more disappointment. Nearly all day the bell banged and the steam hissed; the captain told a hundred lies, but the boat did not budge an inch from her berth. Still there were certain signs that the hour of departure could not be far distant. Fresh provisions and ice in unusually large quantities were received on board about noon, and these are unfailing prognostics of “a good time coming.”