Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/90

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

with the home-guard, but not a regular warrior. I ain't one myself, and I think all the better of him for it.

"Ah, here we are! Look at that. Smith and Pocahontas! John Smith! Isn't that gorgeous? See how she kneels over him, and sticks out her hands while he lays on the ground, and that big fellow with a club tries to hammer him up! Talk about woman's love! There it is for you! Modocs, I believe. Anyway, some Indians out West there, somewheres; and the publisher tells me that Captain Shackanasty, or whatever his name is there, was going to bang old Smith over the head with a log of wood, and this here girl she was sweet on Smith, it appears, and she broke loose, and jumped forward, and says to the man with a stick, 'Why don't you let John alone? Me and him are going to marry, and if you kill him I'll never speak to you as long as I live,' or words like them; and so the man he give it up, and both of them hunted up a preacher, and were married, and lived happy ever afterward. Beautiful story, isn't it? A good wife she made him, too, I'll bet, if she was a little copper-colored. And don't she look just lovely in that picture? But Smith appears kinder sick, evidently thinks his goose is cooked; and I don't wonder, with that Modoc swooping down on him with such a discouraging club.

"And now we come to—to—ah—to—Putnam—General Putnam: he fought in the war, too; and one day a lot of 'em caught him when he was off his guard, and they tied him flat on his back on a horse, and then licked the horse like the very mischief. And what does that horse do but go pitching down about four hundred stone steps in front of the house, with General Putnam lying there nearly skeered to death! Leastways the publisher said somehow that way, and I once read about it myself. But he came out safe, and I reckon sold the horse, and made a pretty good thing of it. What surprises me is, he didn't break his neck; but maybe it was a mule, for they're pretty sure-footed, you know. Surprising what some of these men have gone through, ain't it?

"Turn over a couple of leaves. That's General Jackson. My father shook hands with him once. He was a fighter, I know. He fit down in New Orleans. Broke up the rebel legislature, and then, when the Ku Kluxes got after him, he fought 'em behind cotton breastworks, and licked 'em till they couldn't stand. They say he was terrific when he got real mad,—hit straight from the shoulder, and fetched his