I could have brung them to that man and laid ’em down in front of him from that time, almost half past ten a.m., and kep stiddy at it till ten p.m., and then not know that I had took any from the heap, so high and lofty is the stack of injustices and wrongs committed in the name of the Law and shielded by its mantilly.
But I had only brung up two, jest two of ’em; not the most flagrant ones either, but the first ones that come into my mind, jest as it is when you go to a pile of potatoes to git some for dinner, you take the first ones you come to, knowin’ there is fur bigger ones in the pile.
But them potatoes smashed up with cream and butter are jest as satisfyin’ as if they wuz bigger.
So these little truthful incidents laid down in front of my pardner convinced him; so they wuz jest as good for me to use as if I had picked out bigger and more flagranter ones.
I first brung up before him the case of the good little Christian school-teacher who had toiled for years at her hard work and laid up a little money, and finally married a sick young feller more’n half out of pity, for he hadn’t a cent of money, and had the consumption, and took good care of him till he died.
And wantin’ to humor him, she let him make his will, though he didn’t so much as own the sheet of paper he wrote on, or the ink or the pen.
And after his death she found he had willed away their onborn child, and when it wuz a few months old, and her love had sent out its strong shoots, and wropped the little life completely round, his brother she had never seen come on from his distant home and took that baby right out of its mother’s arms, and bore it off, accordin’ to law.
I looked curiously at him as I concluded this true tale, but he murmured almost mechanically—
“I want to mingle with ’em, Samantha; I feel that I want to be intimate with ’em.”
But his axent wuz weak, weak as a cat, and I felt that my efforts wuz not bein’ throwed away. So I hurriedly laid holt of another true incident that I thought on, and hauled it up in front of him.
“Think of the case of the pretty Chinese girl of twelve years—jest the age of our Tirzah Ann, when you used to be a-holdin’ her on your knee, and learnin’ her the Sunday-school lesson, and both on us a-kissin’ her, and a-brushin’ back her hair from her sweet May-day face, and a-pettin’ her, and a-holdin’ her safe in our heart of hearts.
“Jest think of that little girl bein’ sold for a slave by her rich male father, and brought to San Francisco, the home of the brave and the free, and there put into a place which she thought wuz fur worse than the bottomless pit—for that she considered wuz jest clean brimstone, and despair, and vapory demons.
“But this child, with five or six other wimmen, wuz put into a sickenin’ den polluted with every crime, and subject to the brutal passions of a crowd of live, dirty human devils.