« PředchozíPokračovat »
woman as is to be, Boadicea; Increase-and-Multiply, the schoolmaster in Connecticut; Brandywine, what keeps the Rock of Columbia hotel at Boston, and a mighty powerful log-tavern it is as you 'll see in a year's march; Leandish, that has the plate-house at Hoboken ; Skinner, what set up the leather and finding store in Kentucky: I some think that's the tote, but four or five squeakers, squealers, younkers, whelps, and rubbish, that keeps about the ould log-house at home as yet. Pray how ould's your wife, 'squire ? and where was she raised ?”
" I suppose," said the physician, taking no notice of this question, “ that Master Backwoodsley is growing rich, and likes his settlement, by his not coming to England."
“Oh yaas ! he conducts well, and likes his location," was the reply. “ He bought at a good lay first, and then filled it with betterments, and farming trade, and creturs, and helps, and niggers, at an awful smart outlay of the dollars, I calkilate; but he has got along considerable well for all that. For sartain he is the yellow flower of the forest for prosperity. As for coming back, he used to say, when the war had a closure he would go to the ould country, and bring away the plunder he left behind ; but about last fall the ague give him a purty particular smart awful shaking, and put him in an unhandsome fix, so the journey wouldn't convene. So one day, as I was a-looking over my snake-fence at Rams-Babylon, almost partly opposite to his clearing, what doos I see, but the 'squire coming along the road at a jouncing pace on his Narragansett mar, what is a raal smasher at a trotting, and then he pulled up close to the zig-zag, and I stuck myself atop of a stake, and we held a talk. Says the 'squire, says he, . Son-in-law Spanker P. Pokehorn as is to be'— my name's Anthony Spanker Pendleton Pokehorn, but he always shorts it,—Son-in-law Spanker P. Pokehorn, I'll tell you what it is—I guess I'm getting ould now, and more than that, I've a desp’ut ugly ague, what has made me quite froughy and brash to what I was, so that I should take two good blows of my fist to bring down a beef-cretur; which doosn't ought to be, when a man's only sixty. Now, you see, as I can't go to get in my debits and plunder from the ould country, I'll deed them all to you for thirty dollars cash, or lumber, or breadstuffs, or farmers' produce, if
you admire; and the tote appreciates to mighty near two
hundred, I guess.?
“Well, sir,” said Curetoun, “and on this account you have come to England ?”
“ Oh yaas !" answered the Columbian; “ but at first I declined off to buy at a better lay; for, arter higgling back and forth for a while, I give the 'squire but twenty dollars in all, and he give me the nigger, Ivory Whiteface there, besides. Sartain he was awful sharp to make an ugly bargain ; but if he was the steel blade, I guess I was the unpierceable di'mond; and, for fear he should squiggle, I got all set down in black and white afore the authority, and a letter to Lawyer Sharples. Now I calkilate to put up all at auction, and to sell some notions of my own, what I've brought over in my plunder, to make more avails.—How do you allot upon that ?”
“Why, sir,” said Dr. Downwithit, “ that sensible notions from America are very much wanted at this time, to show us the excel
lence of her equitable laws and liberties, and the purity of her religion. I say, sir, publish them. There's no doubt of their selling well and quickly; for any bookseller"
“ The Lord !” exclaimed Mr. Pokehorn, with a shrill whistle and a sidelong glance at the minister, and then, turning to Curetoun, he said, “ The ould 'squire 's awful wordy; he's a Congress-man or a slangwhanger, I guess, or else he's mighty moosical, I reckon.-Bookseller! -Publish !-What doos he mean? —You tarnation nigger! who told you to laugh ? You calkilate as I harn't got the cowskins here; but I'll whop you cooriously all as one.—I 'll tell you what it is, friend, I doosn't know what you means, I doosn't.”
“Why, Mr. Pokehorn, that you should print your American notions." “ Print !-Oh yaas ! I guess now,—in the notice of vendue you
Why, there's no merchants' trade, no awful package; only a few small little notions, and such wares, though they arn't got genoowine into the ould country, I reckon. It's some Indian plunder as I cleared out when I came away."
“ Is it possible, then,” exclaimed Downwithit, “ that the highlyfavoured inhabitants of America deal in plunder! Restore that illgotten spoil of the Indians, young man, or
“What doos he mean?" interrupted Pokehorn, in a perplexed and angry voice. “Why, doosn't he understand English? Arn't plunder travelling stuff?-And what did you think notions was ?"
“ Sir," said the minister, “ in our language the term signifies thoughts; and I supposed that you had meant intellectual, or moral, or religious views of America ; not the base wares of worldly traffic.”
“ Perhaps, Mr. Pokehorn,” said the physician, wishing to relieve both his guests,
you interest yourself more in the politics of your country. Did
witness any of the late actions ? or was your residence near the seat of war ?"
“ Sartain l" returned the American. “ I guess that we had purty considerable tough skrimmageing about us. What with the Indians, and the riglars, and the skinners, and the cow-boys, there warn't no keeping a beef-cretur in the pen, nor sleeping ten winks at a time. You'd have thought the devil was let loose.”
“ And no doubt he was, as he always is in war,” said Downwithit, “ or rather he sent forth his legions to vex your persecuted land ; for his only proper habitation on earth is this sin-devising city of London!”
“That a berry true, massa,” interposed the negro, “ for Massa Backwoodsley often say, · Ivory, I whop you, sure as a devil in London ;' and he always do it. But folk say, another devil in Ameriky, for all that. He know story of man what see um and talk to um. He not b’lieve it at all, dough. Good parson sometime preach about he's tempatation.”
“That's a fact,” added Mr. Pokehorn, “ and an awful strange bistory it is, if true. If you want to hear the story, the nigger can fix you; for he's precious tonguey and wordy about them devil. doms, and witches, and wild Indians, when he sits in the mud in the sunshine, at Rams-Babylon and High-Forks, keeping the helps from work, or at a maple-log fire in the winter.”
“ Then, my sable friend,” said Downwithit, “ with the good leave of all present, we'll have it now.”
“Why, I'll tell you what it is," answered Pokehorn, “if it will happify the ould 'squire, the nigger shall have his own head for once in a while; so fire away, Ivory, and when you 're not right I'll set you wrong myself.”
“ Iss, massa," began the negro; " ebbery body like a hear ole Ivory tell he story about a PLUNDER CREEK :
“In um ole ancient time of York, afore a great war, all a West Indy keys and a Long Island Straits and Sound war' a berry full of a ugly cruel pirates ;-s'pose massa often heard of they ;—and um ould folk, what sure to know, say a devil fuss help 'em get plunder, and then larn 'em how to hide it safe, in a middle of dark stormy nights, under bluffs, and up a creeks, all along shore, nighum Bowery Lane.—S'pose massa know a Bowery Lane, in um end of York?”
“ Sartain the 'squire doos know that, you tarnation Guinea-crow, though he doos keep in the ould country," interposed Mr. Pokehorn; “ but I guess it's enough to make mankind rile to hear a body doubt it, sin' the Bowery Lane, in the free independent city of York, in York State, must be knowed by all the tote of the univarsal arth, I reckon ! Well, now I calkilate it was a mighty coorious place for them ugly pirates, and did convene well, being partly all nigh the straits, awful rocky, and considerable full of trees hanging over, because there warn't then no clearing them away; and the say was, that the devil and them tarnation set of sarpents buried their plunder there, where mankind mought look for it till the week arter doomsday, and never get it out again. They say the devil's hands is cruel clitchy when he takes money to keep; and though a purty considerable banditti of moneydiggers has often been arter it, they couldn't fix it, that's a fact, and I some think that nobody never will now.”
“ Him that try a last,” resumed the negro,—"a half-starve crazy schoolmaster and almanack-maker, name a Domine Crolius Arend Keekenkettel, what some call he Peep-in-a-pot,—he travel about and live by him wits, wherever him find good cupboard. He ask a ole governor of York let him conjure-away a devil
, and get up money for a state ; only he want a pay first to help him dig. But golly! a governor he mighty smart for white man, and no fool; he say, Dere shovel and pickaxe, dem all you want now, I guess. You go dig; you find considerable much treasure of a ugly pirates, you hab a halt' then, but no tink a get anyting afore, I calkilate.”
“ Shut your ugly beak, you croaking blackbird !" interrupted the American, incensed by Ivory's singular praise of the whites; “ and doosn't be moosical upon your betters; though he was an Englisher, I reckon that he was a purty middling sight afore a small world of niggers. Well, the schoolmaster he contrived to make friends with a fat little Dutcher, which had to name Dyckman Deypester, and was located on a clearing in the Bloomendael, up the Bowery Lane, on the road to Yonkers and Tarry Town. The say was, that he had such an almighty quantity of dollars, that he floored his keeping-room with them under the bricks; and I rather guess that he did keep 'em awfullyclose out of the sight of mankind. I doosn't tell you this for sartain : but, to be sure, he was considerable of a farmer, he was; and
made as many betterments, and got as many humans and creturs about his clearing, as brought a whole banditti of suitorers arter his daughter Dortje ; and she was besides a dreadful smart, clever, coorious lass as you shall see between Cow-neck and Babylon. There was young Louis Hudson, a springy, active young fellow. He was a settler ; but nobody knowed where he was born, nor himself neither, like a homeless and markless ram. I guess, though, he was raised to York State, he was such a flower of mankind. Then there was ould Morgan Hornigold, from Jamaica : belike he was a leetle of the buccaneer, for he'd been to sea all his days, and looked some between a Jarman and a Spaniard, with a cross of the sea bull-dog. He was purty kedge still ; but I some think he wanted to lay up for life where it warn't knowed what he had been. Then there was the almanackmaker, and a banditti of suitorers besides, as I said afore. I calkilate that dollars warn’t awful plenty with any of them: but what they wanted in cash, they made up in fierce love to Doll Deypester; and stuff, and notions, and palaver to the ould Dutcher. He was a coorious smart individual, and considerably moosical, and so he let them think that they 'd got his good word by sarving as helps on his clear. ing, making his zig-zag grand against breachy cattle, or the likes of that; but I reckon that he warn't the fish to be caught without the golden hook : though, if the devil had been the fisherman then, he would have fixed the Dutcher. I some think that it was nigh spring that Doll Deypester's birth-day came about, and all the suitorers were awful earnest with ould Dyckman to fix for one of them; the woman being most for young Hudson, and the Dutcher for him as had most plunder, and could best get well along in the world. So says the mynheer, says he, “I 'll tell you what it is,' says he; ‘ you're all mighty smart fellows, you are; but afore I give my gal to any of you, I must know if you can pay the charges; for I reckon for me to give the dollars and the wife both is what I call a leetle too purty middling particklar. I won't have no squatting on my clearing, and no bundÎing with my darter, I won't ; and so, to save squiggling, whoever of you can bring me first five hundred hard dollars on her birth-day shall have Dortje Deypester.'— That was what ould Dyckman said, only I rather guess that he didn't talk such coorious elegant English as I doos, because he was an awful smoker, and a Dutcher besides. Upon the hearing of this, they mighty soon took themselves slick right away off, all but
young Hudson and the schoolmaster; for one knowed when he was in good quarters, and t'other loved Dortje too well, I calkilate, to leave till he couldn't stay no longer.—I say, Ivory, arn't you going to tell the 'squire the story, or do you calkilate as I should go the whole hog for you, you ’tarnal lazy log of ebony ?"
“: Him tinkee massa like to hear heself talk best," answered the negro. “Golly! he tell it awful elegant, sure;-most as well as ole Ivory. A day afore a Dortje's birth-day, come on mighty ugly storm, what a ole folk say tear up ebberyting he meet on a ground, and rocks on a shore, so that man see considerable much strange tings dere, what he never know afore or again. A wind crack a biggest trees, and snap a strongest zig-zags like a twigs, and a rain pour down like a water-spout. Toward a night a storm he little clear up, and a wind he blow but in puff and gusts, and a moon show heself, dough in
mighty cloudy watery sky. Then Louis he leave a house of ole Deypester, 'cause he not see Dortje give away next morning to Jamaica-man, and bote of 'em sad enough, he calkilate ; but there no help, and away he go in despair. He not got far from a clearing when he see a moon shine down mighty ugly narrow gulf, where a road go to a Hudson River below, and he stop little and look, 'cause he never remember he to see a place afore. While he stand, he tink he hear man speak, and then he see him sitting on rock in a moonlight, half way down a gulf, and another standing by. Hudson then go down heself on a dark side, till he get opposite, and then he look over and see a Domine Keekenkettel talking to a mighty 'tickler handsome, grand, ole colour gentleum
“ Sartain it was the ould gentleman, surely," interrupted the American, " in the shape of a nigger, which arn't considerably much of a hiding for the devil, I calkilate."
“ I don't tink he look a bit of a devil,” answered Ivory, somewhat offended. “ A tink a devil so handsome as a colour man? he no devil, 'cause ebberybody know he all white !"
“Quit, you lying jackdaw !" replied Pokehorn with great promptness, and a long stroke at Ivory; " that 's only in Guinea, I calkilate, that he mayn't be mistaken for one of the family. Go on, and don't be moosical, or I trounce you."
“Well," resumed the negro, “ Louis soon hear a domine say, “ This our bargain, then, I take your place to watch a pirates' treasure,--I guess I soon fix him, and get him all slick away. But afore you
and I deal, p'raps you show where a money is buried.' A stranger then point between a rocks beside him, and say in he's deep voice, · Dere! And then down by a colour man, Louis he see into a ground, what seem all full of treasure shining in a moonlight; here awful much gold and dollars, and dere a gold and silver plate, and a t'other place full of a di'monds and jewels, bright as stars in a night sky. Grach! I tink he won'er, and b’lieve he rile a little that a almanack-maker so easy get a five hundred dollars for Dortje Deypester. A domine stare into a cave as if he's eyes eat up all he look at ; but at last he get up and say, · I gree, and dere my hand on a bargain ; I take care of all instead of you, and much more as you can show me.' So he fill he's pouches, and then go away to ole Deypester for a horses and bags to bring away a rest, dough he often turn a head to look back at a treasure. He hardly gone when a strange colour man call out to Louis in he's deep voice, “This a dark night for a sad heart to journey in.' Louis turn he round directly, and see him close beside, berry tall and genteel, such a bootiful gentleum ! dough he no make out he's face for a clouds over a moon. He little feared and won'ered at first, but soon he get up he's pluck and say, “I guess it dark enough, but how you know my heart sad?' T' other answer him smart, That want no wizard, when he hear a sighs like yours. But he know little more yet : he reckon you want a five hundred dollars afore to-morrow, or lose your sweetheart, which a true shame for active springy lad like you: a pirates' treasure dere, hab a ten thousand times as much, as he know by a watching it these twenty years.'—'In a God's name !' say Louis then, • who are you,--and who set you there ?'—' One of a last of a Spanish buccaneers,' say the other; that berry Captain Hornigold, what make