Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/237

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NICODEMUS EXAMINED.

"Pap's so po' he cain't run me no mo,' so I want to git a show somers if I kin, 'tain't no diffunce what,—I'm strong and hearty, and I don't turn my back on no kind of work, hard nur soft."

"Do you think you would like to learn the printing business?"

"Well, I don't re'ly k'yer a durn what I do learn, so's I git a chance fur to make my way. I'd jist as soon learn print'n 's anything."

"Can you read?"

"Yes,—middlin'."

"Write?"

"Well, I've seed people could lay over me thar."

"Cipher?"

"Not good enough to keep store, I don't reckon, but up as fur as twelve-times-twelve I ain't no slouch. 'Tother side of that is what gits me."

"Where is your home?"

"I'm f'm old Shelby."

"What's your father's religious denomination?"

"Him? O, he's a blacksmith."

"No, no,—I don't mean his trade. What's his religious denomination?"

"O,—I didn't understand you befo'. He's a Freemason."

"No-no, you don't get my meaning yet. What I mean is, does he belong to any church?"

"Now you're talkin'! Couldn't make out what you was a tryin' to git through yo' head no way. B'long to a church! Why boss he's ben the pizenest kind of a Free-will Babtis' for forty year. They ain't no pizener ones 'n' what he is. Mighty good man, pap is. Everybody says that. If they said any diffrunt they wouldn't say it whar I wuz,—not much they wouldn't."

"What is your own religion?"

"Well, boss, you've kind o' got me, thar,—and yit you hain't got me so mighty much, nuther. I think 't if a feller