My fruit cake is good, though I say it that ort not to; it is widely known and admired.
Wall, I sot there middlin’ calm, and a-hummin’ over a sam tune loud enough so’s Mary Ann could hear it; and I hummed it, too, in a strictly moral way, and for a pattern; it was this:
“Put not your trust in mortal man,
Set not your hopes on him,” etc., etc., etc.
And I see I wuz impressin’ of her, for I could hear after a while from the wood-shed that she too had broke forth in song, and she was a-jinin’ in, low and dretful impressive, with—
“Hark from the tombs a mournful sound.”
I don’t think she meant my singin’—Josiah did when we talked it over afterwards.
He believed it firm.
I believe I wuz a-moralizin’ of her, and should have done good if I hadn’t been broke in on.
But all of a sudden Josiah Allen fairly bust into the house, all wrought up, and fearful excited.
He had been a-talkin’ with Deacon Henzy out by the gate, and I spoze Deacon Henzy had disseminated some new news to him. But anyway he wuz crazy with a wild and startlin’ idee.
[Illustration: A-talkin’ with Deacon Henzy.]
He wanted to set off to once to the Equinomical Counsel, which he said wuz a-goin’ to be held by the male Methodists in Washington, D.C. And, sez he—
“Samantha, git my fine shirt and my best necktie to once, for I want to start on the noon train.”
“What for?” sez I coldly; for I discourage his wild projects all I can.
I have to act like a heavy weight in a clock movin’ half the time, or he would be jest swept to and frow like a pendulum. It makes me feel queer.
Sez I, “What are you a-layin’ out to set off for Washington, D.C., for?”
My tone kinder hung on to him, and stiddied him down some. And he lost some of his wild and excited mean. And he stopped onbuttonin’ his vest—he had onbuttoned his shirt-collar and took his old necktie off on his way from the gate—so ardent and impulsive is my dear pardner, and so anxious to start.
“Why,” sez he, “I told you, didn’t I? I am goin’ to Washington to tend to that Equinomical Counsel. Five hundred male men are a-goin’ to git together to counsel together on the best ways of bein’ equinomical. And here at last”—sez he proudly—“here at last is the chance I have always been a-lookin’ out for. Here is the opportunity for me to show off, and be somebody.”
And here he begun agin to onbutton his shirt-sleeves and loosen his collar.
But I sez slowly and firmly, and as much like a heavy weight as I could—
“It is three hours to train time. Set down and act like a human bein’ and a Methodist, and tell me what it is you want to do.”
He glanced up at the clock onto the mantelry-piece, and he see I wuz right about the time. And he sot down, and sez he—