David Harum eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 448 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.


Project Gutenberg
David Harum from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook