And I see him dash up to the old bedstead in the attick, dash off the bedclothes and the feather-bed, and beginnin’ oncordin’ of it.
I then laid hands on him, and commanded him to desist.
“I won’t desist,” sez he, “I won’t desist.”
There wuz I, still a-holdin’ him by the back of his frock—he had on his barn clothes.
“Then do you tell your pardner the meanin’ of your actions imegetly and to once.”
“I hain’t got time,” sez he, and oh! how he wuz onriddlin’ that old bedstead of the rope; the fuzz fairly flew offen the rope as he yanked it through them holes, and twice I wuz hit by it voyalently in my face, as I strove to hold him, and elicit some information out of him.
But I could git nothin’ but hard breathin’ and muttered oathes till the bed-cord wuz all onloosened, and then he gathered it over his arm and started on the run for the door, I a-follerin’.
And then I see that there stood Old Bobbet, Sime Yerden, Deacon Sypher, and, in fact, most all the men in the neighborhood and some beyend it, some from the Loontown road, and some from over towards Shackville. There wuz more’n twenty of ’em.
And I sez, and I almost fainted as I sez it—
“Has another war broke loose, or is it a wild animal from a circus? Tell me, oh, tell me what it is!”
And one on ’em hollered, “It is a wild beast in human shape, but he won’t be a wild beast much longer!”
And he pinted to the rope he had on his arm.
And I see then the fearful meanin’ hangin’ round that bed-cord. I see that others had ’em, and I see that hangin’ wuz about to take place and ensue. And I besought Josiah Allen “to pause, to stay a little, to tell me what it all meant, to not take the law into his own hands.”
I poured out words like a flood, I wuz inkoherent in the extreme, and my words wuz vain.
But Josiah Allen—oh, how that man loves me! He darted back, throwed a paper at my feet, and hollered—
“That will explain, Samantha!” And then he wuz gone; I see ’em divide into four parties, and go towards the woods, and towards the hills, and towards the creek, and towards the beaver medder, each party havin’ a rope, and I sez solemn like, before I thought—
“May God have mercy on your poor soul!”
I spoze I meant the one they wuz after, and mebby I meant them that wuz after him, I don’t know; I wuz too inkoherent and wrought up to know what I did mean.
But I know I sot down and read that paper as quick as I could find my specks. And I well remember that after huntin’ high and low for ’em and all over the house with tremblin’ knees and shaky hands cold as a frog’s, I found ’em on my own fore-top, and I sot right down in my tracts and read.
Well, it wuz enough to melt the heart of a stun, a granit stun, and as I sot there and read, the tears jest run down my face in a stream; why, they fell so that they wet the front of my gingham dress wet as sop, and ontirely onbeknown to me.