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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.

“‘Lord bless you!’ quickly interrupted Uncle Jeff, ’being a good Down-east democrat, your wish shall be gratified.’  Then in great good nature he told me just to step along, and a little further into the dark smoke I’d find Grandpapa Marcy and Uncle Dib, exerting their wondrous energies over a stew they were puzzled to get to the right substance.  Knowing that their good advice was much better as example than the result of their actions, I wended my way along, leaving Guth and Jeff to their frying, and soon came upon the two old worthies, busily employed over stews of the most incomprehensible ingredients.  ‘That,’ spoke Grandpapa Marcy, as I approached within hearing distance, ’is the real democratic stew, it will cement hard shells and soft shells into one strong conglomerate mass.’  He pointed to a punch-bowl held between their legs—­(for they were seated on the floor)—­and containing a mixture they stirred with spoons containing the Tammany-hall mark.  For some time I stood contemplating the venerable appearance of these two, nor could I resist a smile at the singular occupation they had so readily adopted.  Uncle Dib seemed happy, and evidently had a keen sense of what the consistency of the stew must be to make the flounder palatable.  Grandpapa’s countenance, nevertheless, wore an air of deep anxiety.  He had undertaken the management of the most unruly set of cooks that ever infested the kitchen of a respectable gentleman; and they had made a shocking mess.  And, too, Grandpapa, was unhappy; his clothes bore seedy marks, and his breeches were in such a plight—­it really excited our pity.  I called his attention to an unmentionable rent in a conspicuous place, but he seemed careless about it—­said it was of no consequence—­and that Uncle Sam was a good old soul, and always paid the tailor—­he knew from experience.  Suddenly I heard the formidable negro-wench raising her voice in admonition.  She was scolding the General, who still kept stirring in the homony grits for the black pig.  Then a noise came through the foam and smoke as of one in trouble.  ’Faster, faster!’ it spoke, ‘stir in more grits!’ Then followed a loud splash and a deathlike shriek; alarm and consternation spread throughout the building.  From the cauldron came the cry.  Grandpapa moved for a moment, as was his custom, declared the voice to be no other than that of the General himself.  Dib agreed (’There’s trouble!’ he exclaimed) and both sprang to their feet, and with anxious countenances hastened to the rescue, Marcy crying out, as he passed Jeff and Guth, ’Stick by the flounder, boys!  Stand firm; don’t give in until he’s well cooked; we’ll save the General—­you dig in the basting.’  The boys, as Grandpapa called them, were crowding the charcoal finely.  Always having a taste for seeing what was going on, I kept close at Dib’s heels, and soon saw through the grim smoke where the trouble was.  The black pig had got the General poised by the nether part of his breeches, on his Virginia horn, and was having a nice

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