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grinned, felt the water come into his eyes, smote his knees together, and when Billy had let his hand go, held it up, letting it hang loosely, regarded it for a moment as something entirely foreign to himself, gradually pulled its fingers apart with his other hand, and seemed gratified and somewhat surprised that such a thing could be done. Turning his eyes to him again, he asked,
, heavily: "Can it drink? Do it ever take a drink?"
Certainly. Not as a habit, but in a social way."
“ It would be my desires, then, to give it a treat. Tell it that I desires to treat it.”
In the answer that Billy made to Jack's announcement of Oglethorpe's intentions, among other signs which he made, was a pointing contemptuously toward the crowd, and then violently poking himself on the breast, as if he would commit suicide, for want of a bodkin, with a bare forefinger, gibbering the while in his throat, not loudly, but passionately.
“My gawnamighty!” exclaimed Oglethorpe, his tongue becoming now so heavy that he could not utter quite articulately himself. “ What kind o' wordth wath them?"
“ Them words,” answered Jack, with the seri. ousness of a person who had spent his years mainly in the interpretation of foreign, especially dead and occult, languages—“them words was this : Billy say that whiskey is a thing he seldom teches."
“Thildom tetheth," repeated Oglethorpe, thoughtfully, as if he would fain learn something of these strange tongues.
“But that yit he hain't got no partickler predigice agin whiskey, nor takin' of a drink hisself sometimes with a friend, or people he likes, providin' that they won't want him to carry it too fur, and
“No partickler predithith agin whithkey,” said Oglethorpe, recollectingly, his mind evidently delaying upon these words, and not following Jack—at least not keeping up with him.
“But-” began Jack.
“Oh, but !” Oglethorpe's lower jaw began to hang somewhat heavily, and all his iron was gradually turning to lead.
“Jes' so," resumed Jack. “Billy say that he feel like it would be a disgrace on hisself, and on the neighborhood in gener'l, ef a stranger was to come here among us, and we was to let him do the treatin'. He say, as for sich onpoliteness as that, he warn't raised to it hisself, and as he's now a man growed up, he ain't goin' to begin on it at this time o' day; and furthersomore
On-per-lite-neth ! fur-ther-tho-more!” repeated Oglethorpe, in a low voice.
“Jes' so: and furthersomore, Billy say, ef you 'll jine with him, and at his expense, he 'll spend the rest o' the money in a gener'l treat.”
Oglethorpe waited a moment, not sure that Jack was quite through with his translations.
“ Them-ah, them wath ith langwitheth, wath they ? "
“ They was; his very words."
“ And ef I don't agree to 'em, I th'pothe he'll be arfter uthin' yit more wariouth oneth?”
They all repaired to Fan's grocery. Billy laid his money on the counter, and the treat was accepted heartily all around.
“Gentlemen," then said Oglethorpe, “I'm sorry to part from you ; but my business calls me, and I must bid you farewell.”
Taking one more earnest, studious look at Billy, he thrust his hands into his pocket. Then saying to Jack Hall, “Tell it farewell for me," he immediately turned, left the grocery, and shortly afterward the town.
From this time Mr. Oglethorpe Josh Green began to keep himself more at or about his home, and to grow more quiet and meditative. Occasionally, when he was at the court-house, or Wright's store, and others had been telling of the strange things they had seen in foreign parts, after listening with doubtful interest to their narrations, he would point with his mere thumb vaguely and distantly toward the far South, and calling to mind what in the times when he was a traveller he had seen, say about thus;
“Gentlemen, it were a kind of a egiot; and it were grippy as a wise, and it were supple as a black-snake, and it were strong as a mule and a bull both putten together. And, gentlemen,” he would add, “egiot as it were, it were smarter'n any man ever I see; and as for its langwidges -well, gentlemen, they wa’n't no eend to its warious langwidges.”—Harper's Magazine, Au.
CHARLES GODFREY LELAND
A MUSICAL DUEL.
KNOW a story,"
suddenly exclaimed Count d'Egerlyn, one evening as we were taking supper at our parlor in the St. Nicholas, in New York. Now if the count had suddenly sung, “I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows," he would not have excited more astonishment. For though the count was a gentleman of wit, a finished cosmopolite, and a thorough good fellow, and had moreover a beautiful wife, he was never known to tell tales of any description, either in school or out of it.
At the word upstarted Wolf Short and young C-, the latter declaring that he was, like Time, all ears, while the former, listening as if dreaming,
heard him half in awe; While Cabaña's smoke came streaming
Through his open jaw. * See Biographical Sketch, p. xxix.