Sez he, “The money has gone.”
“Wall,” sez I, “I am a disap’inted creeter. I wanted to do my part towards gittin’ them good, noble folks enough to live on till Spring.”
Sez Josiah (and mebby it wuz to git my attention off from the subject, which he felt wuz perilous to his pocket—he is clost)—sez he, “There is one man here, Samantha, that I’d give a cent to see.”
Sez I, “Who is it that you are willin’ to make such a extraordinary outlay for?”
“The Rager,” sez he.
“The Rager,” sez I dreamily; “who’s that?”
“Why, the Rager from India. I spoze,” sez he, “that he is one of the raginest men that you ever see. He took his name from that, most likely, and to intimidate his subjects. Now, King or Emperor don’t strike the same breathless terror; but Rager—why, jest the name is enough to make ’em behave.”
“Wall,” sez I, “if the Monarch of Ingy is here I must see him, and git him not to burn any more widders with their dead pardners.” Sez I, “It’s a clear waste of widders, besides bein’ wicked as wicked can be. Widders is handy,” sez I, “now to keep boardin’-housen, or to go round as agents. Old maids hain’t nothin’ by the side of ’em, and they look so sort o’ respectable behind their black veils, and then they are needed so for the widdower supply—and that market is always full.” Sez I, “I don’t want ’em wasted, and I want the wickedness to be stopped.
“And then to insist on marryin’ so many wimmen. I’d love to labor with him, and convince him that one’s enough.”
“It seems to me,” sez Josiah, “that I could make him know that one’s enough. It seems as if any married man might. Heaven knows, it seems so!” sez he.
I didn’t like his axent. There seemed to be some iron in it, but I wouldn’t dane to parley.
“And then,” sez I, “their makin’ their wimmen wear veils all the time. What a foolish habit! What’s the use on’t? Smotherin’ ’em half to death, and wearin’ out their veils for nothin’.
“And then I’d make him educate ’em—gin ’em a chance,” sez I; “but whether he gives it or not the bell of Freedom is a-echoin’ clear from Wyomin’ to Ingy, and it sounds clear under them veils. They will be throwed off whether he is willin’ or not, and I’d love to tell him so.”
Sez Josiah, “I guess it will be as the Rager sez.”
“No,” sez I solemnly; “it will be as the Lord sez, and He is callin’ to wimmen all over the earth, and they are answerin’ the call.”
But we hearn afterwards that Josiah had got it wrong—it wuz Ragah—R-a-g-a-h—instead of Rager—and he wuz one of the most sensiblest fellers that ever stepped on our shores in royal shoes. He paid his own bills, wuz modest, and intelligent, wanted to git information instead of idolatry from the American people. He didn’t want no ball, no bowin’ and backin’ off—no escort. No chance at all here for the Ward McAllisters to show off, and act.