“Upon this assurance, I ordered him to repair to the tailor’s, which he did, and was not long in returning and bringing with him a pair of fashionables suited to the times. ‘Great country,’ said he, holding them before me and shaking his black sides with laughter. Into them I slid myself; the bottoms only reached a little below my knees. The negro, with eyes like astonished stars, set upon the straps, and such a tugging and pulling as there allowed! I began to think I was being pulled in two, (after the fashion of Mister Pierce’s promises and performances), when Cato, (such was the negro’s name), his face almost white with exertion, begged I would not be alarmed—that he would very soon get them all right! In another minute something went—pop! Simultaneously with the report was my head driven clean through the pine-board ceiling into a chamber unfortunately occupied by a lean old maid of some forty-seven summers. ‘Good mornin, missus,’ I said, trying to make a bow; ‘hope I ain’t intruding.’ The old lady looked mighty streaked, and wouldn’t be pacified, until I told her I was merely giving a few feats, just to illustrate the principles of the ‘Young American’ party. It’s only Young America, ma’am, he’s cutting the three figures of his sentiments, as made known by his particular stars,—Soule, Saunders, and Sickles. Didn’t intend to disturb you, my good woman,’ says I. I wanted to seem polite—to put the very best foot forward; but it was to no earthly use. The old critter screamed, jumped out of the bed, and like a ghost shaking his cotton to the storm, ran away in dismay.
“‘Good Christopher Columbus!’ exclaimed the negro, almost bursting with fright. With this he commenced pulling and jerking at my legs, until, finding his efforts useless, he hastened down stairs and spread the alarm. Major Smooth was in an alarming situation!—’most dying!—would breathe his last!—warn’t no help fo’h him!—must die, sartin!! Such a ringing and dinging of bells, such a tampering up stairs, such a puffing and blowing of excited citizens as followed, never was heard or seen before. Although in a tight place, I was neither alarmed nor crest fallen. Indeed, I thought I’d enjoin the old lady on the other side to enter upon the discussion of a political question, just by way of keeping up the characteristic sociability of the nation. Presently about a dozen dangerously excited faces presented themselves in the room. ‘He’s gone, certain,’ says one; ‘Major Smooth’s a cold chicken,’ mutters another; ’Young America’s cutting a figure,’ rejoins a third; ’he’s only at rest while performing some overt act,’ interposes a fourth. ’Much you know about it!’ says I, cool as Labrador: ’I merely put my head through this ere place for the purpose of being friendly with this lone female lodger—pull me out!’ In right good earnest they seized me by the boots, saying:—’Let us bring Young America into a respectable position;’ and with the most unmerciful jerks they laid me measuring