Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMan For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 16
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 16 Post by :Joe_Coon Category :Long Stories Author :Irving Bacheller Date :May 2012 Read :2907

Click below to download : Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 16 (Format : PDF)

Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 16



For days thereafter the people of New Salem were sorely troubled. Abe Lincoln, the ready helper in time of need, the wise counselor, the friend of all--"old and young, dogs and horses," as Samson was wont to say--the pride and hope of the little cabin village, was breaking down under his grief. He seemed to care no more for work or study or friendship. He wandered out in the woods and upon the prairies alone. Many feared that he would lose his reason.

There was a wise and merry-hearted man who lived a mile or so from the village. His name was Bowlin Green. Every one on Salem Hill and in the country round about it laid claim to the friendship of this remarkable man. Those days when one of middle age had established himself in the affections of a community, its members had a way of adopting him. So Mr. Green had been adopted into many families from Beardstown to Springfield. He was everybody's "Uncle Bowlin." He had a most unusual circumference and the strength to carry it. He was indeed a man of extended boundaries, embracing noble gifts, the best of which was good nature. His jests, his loud laughter and his quaking circumference were the three outstanding factors in his popularity. The loss of either would have been a misfortune to himself and neighbors. His ruddy cheeks and curling locks and kindly dark eyes and large head were details of importance. Under all were a heart with the love of men, a mind of unusual understanding and a hand skilled in all the arts of the Kentucky pioneer. He could grill a venison steak and roast a grouse and broil a chicken in a way which had filled the countryside with fond recollections of his hospitality; he could kindle a fire with a bow and string, a pine stick and some shavings; he could make anything from a splint broom to a rocking horse with his jack-knife. Abe Lincoln was one of the many men who knew and loved him.

On a warm, bright afternoon early in September, Bowlin Green was going around the pasture to put his fence in repair, when he came upon young Mr. Lincoln. The latter sat in the shade of a tree on the hillside. He looked "terribly peaked," as Uncle Bowlin, has said in a letter.

"Why, Abe, where have you been?" he asked. "The whole village is scared. Samson Traylor was here last night lookin' for ye."

"I'm like a deer that's been hurt," said the young man. "I took to the woods. Wanted to be alone. You see, I had a lot of thinking to do--the kind of thinking that every man must do for himself. I've got the brush cleared away, at last, so I can see through. I had made up my mind to go down to your house for the night and was trying to decide whether I have energy enough to do it."

"Come on; it's only a short step," urged the big-hearted Bowlin. "The wife and babies are over to Beardstown. We'll have the whole place to ourselves. The feather beds are ladder high. I've got a haunch of venison buried in the hide and some prairie chickens that I killed yesterday, and, besides, I'm lonesome."

"What I feel the need of, just now, is a week or two of sleep," said Mr. Lincoln, as he rose and started down the long hill with his friend.

Some time later Bowlin Green gave Samson this brief account of what happened in and about the cabin:

"He wouldn't eat anything. He wanted to go down to the river for a dip, and I went with him. When we got back, I induced him to take off his clothes and get into bed. He was fast asleep in ten minutes. When night came I went up the ladder to bed. He was still asleep when I came down in the morning. I went out and did my chores. Then I cut two venison steaks, each about the size o' my hand, and a half moon of bacon. I pounded the venison to pulp with a little salt and bacon mixed in. I put it on the broiler and over a bed o' hickory coals. I got the coffee into the pot and up next to the fire and some potatoes in the ashes. I basted a bird with bacon strips and put it into the roaster and set it back o' the broiling bed. Then I made some biscuits and put 'em into the oven. I tell you, in a little while the smell o' that fireplace would have 'woke the dead--honest! Abe began to stir. In a minute I heard him call:

"'Say, Uncle Bowlin, I'm goin' to get up an' eat you out o' house and home. I'm hungry and I feel like a new man. What time is it?'

"'It'll be nine o'clock by the time you're washed and dressed,' I says.

"'Well, I declare,' says he, 'I've had about sixteen hours o' solid sleep. The world looks better to me this morning.'

"He hurried into his clothes and we sat down at the table with the steak and the chicken and some wild grape jelly and baked potatoes, with new butter and toffee and cream and hot biscuit and clover honey, and say, we both et till we was ashamed of it.

"At the table I told him a story and got a little laugh out of him. He stayed with me three weeks, choring around the place and taking it easy. He read all the books I had, until you and Doc Allen came with the law books. Then he pitched into them. I think he has changed a good deal since Ann died. He talks a lot about God and the hereafter."

In October young Mr. Lincoln returned to his surveying, and in the last month of the year to Vandalia for an extra session of the Legislature, where he took a stand against the convention system of nominating candidates for public office. Samson went to Vandalia for a visit with him and to see the place before the session ended. The next year, in a letter to his brother, he says:

"Vandalia is a small, crude village. It has a strong flavor of whisky, profanity and tobacco. The night after I got there I went to a banquet with Abe Lincoln. Heard a lot about the dam nigger-loving Yankees who were trying to ruin the state and country with abolition. There were some stories like those we used to hear in the lumber camp, and no end of powerful talk, in which the names of God and the Savior were roughly handled. A few of the statesmen got drunk, and after the dinner was over two of them jumped on the table and danced down the whole length of it, shattering plates and cups and saucers and glasses. Nobody seemed to be able to stop them. I hear that they had to pay several hundred dollars for the damage done. You will be apt to think that there is too much liberty here in the West, and perhaps that is so, but the fact is these men are not half so bad as they seem to be. Lincoln tells me that they are honest almost to a man and sincerely devoted to the public good as they see it. I asked Abe Lincoln, who all his life has associated with rough tongued, drinking men, how he had managed to hold his own course and keep his talk and habits so clean.

"'Why, the fact is,' said he, 'I have associated with the people who lived around me only part of the time, but I have never stopped associating with myself and with Washington and Clay and Webster and Shakespeare and Burns and DeFoe and Scott and Blackstone and Parsons. On the whole, I've been in pretty good company.'

"He has not yet accomplished much in the Legislature. I don't think that he will until some big issue comes along. 'I'm not much of a hand at hunting squirrels,' he said to me the other day. 'Wait till I see a bear.' The people of Vandalia and Springfield have never seen him yet. They don't know him as I do. But they all respect him--just for his good fellowship, honesty and decency. I guess that every fellow with a foul mouth hates himself for it and envies the man who isn't like him. They begin to see his skill as a politician, which has shown itself in the passage of a bill removing the capitol to Springfield. Abe Lincoln was the man who put it through. But he has not yet uncovered his best talents. Mark my word, some day Lincoln will be a big man.

"The death of his sweetheart has aged and sobered him. When we are together he often sits looking down with a sad face. For a while not a word out of him. Suddenly he will begin saying things, the effect of which will go with me to my grave, although I can not call back the words and place them as he did. He is what I would call a great Captain of words. Seems as if I heard the band playing while they march by me as well dressed and stepping as proud and regular as The Boston Guards. In some great battle between Right and Wrong you will hear from him. I hope it may be the battle between Slavery and Freedom, although at present he thinks they must avoid coming to a clinch. In my opinion, it can not be done. I expect to live to see the fight and to take part in it."

Late in the session of 1836-1837 the prophetic truth of these words began to reveal itself. A bill was being put through the Legislature denouncing the growth of abolition sentiment and its activity in organized societies and upholding the right of property in slaves.

Suddenly Lincoln had come to a fork in the road. Popularity, the urge of many friends, the counsel of Wealth and Power, and Public Opinion, the call of good politics pointed in one direction and the crowd went that way. It was a stampede. Lincoln stood alone at the corner. The crowd beckoned, but in vain. One man came back and joined him. It was Dan Stone, who was not a candidate for re-election. His political career was ended. There were three words on the sign-board pointing toward the perilous and lonely road that Lincoln proposed to follow. They were the words Justice and Human Rights. Lincoln and Dan Stone took that road in a protest, declaring that they "believed the institution of slavery was founded upon injustice and bad policy." Lincoln had followed his conscience, instead of the crowd. At twenty-eight years of age he had safely passed the great danger point in his career. The declaration at Decatur, the speeches against Douglas, the miracle of turning 4,000,000 beasts into 4,000,000 men, the sublime utterance at Gettysburg, the wise parables, the second inaugural, the innumerable acts of mercy, all of which lifted him into undying fame, were now possible. Henceforth he was to go forward with the growing approval of his own spirit and the favor of God.

If you like this book please share to your friends :

Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 3 - Chapter 17 Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 3 - Chapter 17

Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 3 - Chapter 17
BOOK THREE CHAPTER XVIIWHEREIN YOUNG MR. LINCOLN BETRAYS IGNORANCE OF TWO HIGHLY IMPORTANT SUBJECTS, IN CONSEQUENCE OF WHICH HE BEGINS TO SUFFER SERIOUS EMBARRASSMENT.There were two subjects of which Mr. Lincoln had little understanding. They were women and finance. Up to this time his tall, awkward, ill clad figure had been a source of amusement to those unacquainted with his admirable spirit. Until they had rightly appraised the value of his friendship, women had been wont to regard him with a riant curiosity. He had been aware of this, and for years had avoided women, save those of old acquaintance. When

Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 15 Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 15

Man For The Ages: A Story Of The Builders Of Democracy - Book 2 - Chapter 15
BOOK TWO CHAPTER XVWHEREIN HARRY AND ABE RIDE UP TO SPRINGDALE AND VISIT KELSO'S AND LEARN OF THE CURIOUS LONESOMENESS OF ELIPHALET BIGGS.Illinois was growing. In June score of prairie schooners, loaded with old and young, rattled over the plains from the East. There were many Yankees from Ohio, New York and New England in this long caravan. There were almost as many Irish, who had set out for this land of golden promise as soon as they had been able to save money for a team and wagon, after reaching the new world. There were some Germans and Scandinavians in