“Drink it with three cheers, standin’!” shouted a formidably mustached figure, leaning against the counter with his left hand, while his right was grasping the jug from which he was attempting in vain to water his whiskey. To this the physic gentleman bows assent; and they are given to the very echo. Taking his departure for the city, as the sounds of cheering die away, he emerged from the front door, as Mr. M’Fadden, unexpectedly as a ghost rising from the tomb, made his entrance from the old staircase in the back. The citizens-for of such is our assembly composed-are astonished and perplexed. “Such a set of scapegoats as you are!” grumbles out the debutant, as he stands before them like a disentombed spectre. With open arms they approach him, congratulate him on his recovery, and shower upon him many good wishes, and long and strong drinks.
A few drinks more, and our hero is quite satisfied with his welcome. His desire being intimated, mine host conducts himself to the corn-shed, where he satisfies himself that his faithful property (the preacher excepted) is all snugly safe. Happy property in the hands of a prodigious democrat! happy republicanism that makes freedom but a privilege! that makes a mockery of itself, and enslaves the noblest blood of noble freemen! They were happy, the victims of ignorance, contented with the freedom their country had given them, bowing beneath the enslaving yoke of justice-boasting democracy, and ready to be sold and shipped, with an invoice of freight, at the beckon of an owner.
Mr. M’Fadden questions the people concerning Harry’s departure; but they are as ignorant of his whereabouts as himself. They only remember that he came to the shed at midnight, whispered some words of consolation, and of his plain fare gave them to eat;—nothing more.
“Poor recompense for my goodness!” says Mr. M’Fadden, muttering some indistinct words as he returns to the tavern, followed by a humorous negro, making grimaces in satisfaction of “mas’r’s” disappointment. Now friends are gathered together, chuckling in great glee over the large reward offered for the lost parson, for the capture of which absconding article they have numerous horses, dogs, confidential negroes, and a large supply of whiskey, with which very necessary liquid they will themselves become dogs of one kine. The game to be played is purely a democratic one; hence the clansmen are ready to loosen their souls’ love for the service. M’Fadden never before witnessed such satisfactory proofs of his popularity; his tenderest emotions are excited; he cannot express the fullness of his heart; he bows, puts his hand to his heart, orders the balance of his invoice sent to his plantation, mounts his horse, and rides off at full gallop, followed by his friends.
A friend is woman.
The reader will again accompany us to the time when we find Annette and Nicholas in the hands of Graspum, who will nurture them for their increasing value.