“No,” sez she; “Bizer wanted me to ride, and I shall die a-pleasin’ him. I took vows of obedience onto me at the altar, and if I die here, Sister Allen, tell the female sistern at Jonesville that I died a-keepin’ them vows.”
Sez I, “I’ll tell ’em you died a nateral fool;” and sez I agin, “Git down offen that camel, Selinda Dagget, before you fall off.”
And I kep clost by her, and kinder poked at her with my umbrell, to let her know I hadn’t deserted her, and havin’ a blind idee that I could hold her up with it if the worst come.
Where wuz Bizer durin’ this fearful seen? while I wuz a-showin’ plain the deathless devotion to my sect—to another one in distress.
He wuz all took up with his own feelin’s of pride and show.
He wuz a-ridin’ a donkey, and it wuz a-backin’ up and a-actin’, and took every mite of his strength and firmness to keep on.
He had a tall white hat with a mournin’ weed on’t, and a long linen duster, and the wind blowed this out some like a balloon.
He looked queer; but as soon as he stiddied himself on’t he tried his best to reach the side of Selinda—I’ll say that for him. But the donkey wuz obstinate, and kep a-backin’ up, and Bizer, bein’ his legs dragged, kinder walked along with the donkey under him. Occasionally he would set down for a spell, but the most of his journey wuz done a-walkin’ afoot. And the crowd see it and cheered.
It wuz hard on Bizer. Nothin’ but pride and ambition led him into the undertakin’, or kep him up through it.
As for me, I lost all patience, and my breath, too, and went back to my pardner.
And anon or about that time they made their rounds, and come back where Josiah and I stood.
I reached up a handkerchief to Selinda as quick as I could, but she couldn’t wipe her eyes or tend to her nose until she dismounted, or fix the gapin’ kasum at the back of her waist.
She greeted me warmly the minit her feet touched terry firmy, as one might who had come out of great peril. She’s a good-hearted creeter.
And between us both, with some pins I took out of my huzzy I always carry with me, we fixed her up agin.
And if you’ll believe it, the very minit I got her pinned up she begun to act high-headed and to boast of how much principle she’d shown.
And I said, “You’ve shown more’n principle, Selinda; you’ve showed cotton flannel that you had ort to have kep to yourself. You have made a panorama that can’t be described.”
“Yes,” sez she; “it will be sunthin’ to tell on all my life.”
She took it as a compliment. Oh dear me suz!
Bizer had scraped the patent leather all offen the toes of his shoes, and had squandered three dollars in money, but he felt good. Yes, they both said what a excitement this adventure would make in Jonesville when they told on’t.
And I thought to myself, if the Jonesvillians could see jest how she looked, and he too, it would be apt to make a excitement.