A Yankee in Town
The following incident occured on the banks of the river one afternoon not long ago. A lot of idlers were standing, seeing which could throw stones the farthest into the stream. A tall, rawboned, slab-sided Yankee, and no mistake, came up and looked on. For a while he said nothing till the leader of the party, a conceited fellow, began to try his wit on Jonathan.
"You can’t come that," said he, and he hurled a stone way out into the river.
"Maybe not," said Jonathan, "but up in our country we’ve a purty big river, considerin’, and tother day I hove a man clear across it, and he came down fair and square on the other side."
"Ha, ha, ha!" yelled his auditors.
"Wal, now. yew may laff, but I can do it again."
"Do what?" said the green jacket quickly.
"I can take and heave you across that river yonder, just like open and shet."
"Bet you ten dollars on it."
"Done," said the Yankee, and drawing forth an X he covered the bragger’s shinplaster.
"Kin you swim, feller?"
"Like a duck," said green jacket; and without further parley the Yankee seized his knowing opponent stoutly by the nape of the neck and the basement of his pants, jerked him from his foothold, and with an almost super-human effort dashed the bully heels over head from the bank, some ten yards into the stream.
A terrible shout ran through the crowd as he floundered in the water, and amidst the jeers and screams of his companions the ducked bully put back to the shore and scrambled up the bank, half frozen by this sudden and involuntary cold bath.
South Hadley Falls —
Looking Down the Soap Hill Road.
West Farms — Westfield.
"I’ll take that ten spot if you please," said the shivering loafer. Advancing rapidly to the stakeholder. "You took us for greenhorns, eh? We’ll show you how we do things down here in the city," and the fellow claimed the twenty dollars.
"Wal, I reck’n you won’t take no ten spot jis yit, captin."
"Why? you’ve lost the bet."
"Not exactly. I didn’t calkilate on dewin’ it the first time; but I tell you I can dew it," and in spite of the loafer’s utmost efforts to escape him, he seized him by the back of the neck and the seat of his overalls, and pitched him three yards further into the river than on the first trial.
Again the bully returned amidst the shouts of his mates who enjoyed the sport immensely.
"Third time never fails," said the Yankee, stripping off his coat. "I kin dew it, I tell ye."
"Hold on!" said the almost petrified victim.
"And I will dew if I try till to-morrow mornin’"
"I give it up!" shouted the suffered between his teeth which now chattered like a mad badger’s; "take the money."
The Yankee very cooly pocketed the cash, and as he turned away remarked:
"We ain’t much acquainted with your smart folks daoun here in the city, but we sometimes take the starch out of ’em up our way; and p’rhaps yeou wunt try it ontu strangers agin; I reck’n yeou wunt," he continued, and putting on a broad grin of good-humor, he left the company to their reflections.
Sure of a premium.—An illiterate farmer, wishing to enter some animals an agricultural exhibition, wrote to the secretary as follows: "Also enter me for the best jackass; I am sure of taking the premium."
Across the distance, where the trees
Seem fain to shield it from the breeze,
A lakelet lies;
So smooth and still its waters seem,
Perchance they silent sleep, to dream
The close shut gentians backward shrink,
And open not their lips to drink
Along the strand;
The tall reeds never bend to see
Their forms in that transparency,
But silent stand.
And though without, on either hand
There stretch the wastes of scorching sand
With tropic heat--
Within the sylvan circle’s round
The air steals through the hush profound,
All cool and sweet.
The drifting clouds come down and float
In shallows, where the lily’s boat
At anchor rides;
And here, through ev’ry year’s extent,
The summer solstice of content
© Laurel O’Donnell 1996 - 2006, all rights reserved
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