David Harum eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about David Harum.
o’ ’Lish he was a forty hosspower angil with a hull music store o’ harps; an’ even my father c’d ‘a’ given him cards an’ spades; an’ as fer the victuals” (here David dropped his cigar end and pulled from his pocket the silver tobacco box)—­“as fer the victuals,” he repeated, “they mostly averaged up putty high after what I’d ben used to.  Why, I don’t believe I ever tasted a piece of beefsteak or roast beef in my life till after I left home.  When we had meat at all it was pork—­boiled pork, fried pork, pigs’ liver, an’ all that, enough to make you ‘shamed to look a pig in the face—­an’ fer the rest, potatoes, an’ duff, an’ johnny-cake, an’ meal mush, an’ milk emptins bread that you c’d smell a mile after it got cold.  With ’leven folks on a small farm nuthin’ c’d afford to be eat that c’d be sold, an’ ev’rythin’ that couldn’t be sold had to be eat.  Once in a while the’ ’d be pie of some kind, or gingerbread; but with ’leven to eat ’em I didn’t ever git more ’n enough to set me hankerin’.”

“I must say that I think I should have liked the canal better,” remarked John as David paused.  “You were, at any rate, more or less free—­that is, comparatively, I should say.”

“Yes, sir, I did,” said David, “an’ I never see the time, no matter how rough things was, that I wished I was back on Buxton Hill.  I used to want to see Polly putty bad once in a while, an’ used to figure that if I ever growed up to be a man, an’ had money enough, I’d buy her a new pair o’ shoes an’ the stuff fer a dress, an’ sometimes my cal’lations went as fur ‘s a gold breastpin; but I never wanted to see none o’ the rest on ’em, an’ fer that matter, I never did.  Yes, sir, the old ditch was better to me than the place I was borned in, an’, as you say, I wa’n’t nobody’s slave, an’ I wa’n’t scairt to death the hull time.  Some o’ the men was rough, but they wa’n’t cruel, as a rule, an’ as I growed up a little I was putty well able to look out fer myself—­wa’al, wa’al (looking at his watch), I guess you must ‘a’ had enough o’ my meemores fer one sittin’.”

“No, really,” John protested, “don’t go yet.  I have a little proposal to make to you,” and he got up and brought a bottle from the bottom of the washstand.

“Wa’al,” said David, “fire it out.”

“That you take another cigar and a little of this,” holding up the bottle.

“Got any glasses?” asked David with practical mind.

“One and a tooth mug,” replied John, laughing.  “Glass for you, tooth mug for me.  Tastes just as good out of a tooth mug.”

“Wa’al,” said David, with a comical air of yielding as he took the glass and held it out to John, “under protest, stric’ly under protest—­sooner than have my clo’es torn.  I shall tell Polly—­if I should happen to mention it—­that you threatened me with vi’lence.  Wa’al, here’s lookin’ at ye,” which toast was drunk with the solemnity which befitted it.

CHAPTER XXVI.

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David Harum from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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