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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSamantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 3
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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 3 Post by :oukhanova Category :Long Stories Author :Marietta Holley Date :May 2012 Read :3186

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Samantha At The World's Fair - Chapter 3

CHAPTER III

My beloved pardner is very easy lifted up or cast down by his emotions, and his excitement wuz intense durin' the hull of the long time that the warfare lasted as to where the World's Fair wuz to be held, where Columbus wuz goin' to be celebrated.

I thought at the time, Josiah wuz so fearful riz up in his mind, that it wuz doubtful if he ever would be settled down agin, and act in a way becomin' to a grandfather and a Deacon in the M.E. meetin'-house.

And it wuz a excitin' time, very, and the fightin' and quarrelin' between the rival cities wuz perilous in the extreme.

It would have skairt Christopher, I'll bet, if he could have seen it, and he would have said that he would most ruther not be celebrated than to seen it go on.

Why, New York and Chicago most come to hands and blows about it, and St. Louis wuz jest a-follerin' them other cities up tight, a-worryin' 'em, and a-naggin', and a sort o' barkin' at their heels, as it wuz, bound she would have it.

They couldn't all on 'em have it. Christopher couldn't be in three places at one time and simultanous, no matter how much calculation he had about him. No, that wuz impossible. He had to be in one place. And they fit, and they fit, and they fit, till I got tired of the very name of the World's Fair, and Josiah got almost ravin' destracted.

It seemed to me, and so I told Josiah, that New York wuz a more proper place for it, bein' as it wuz clost to the ocean, so many foreigners would float over here, them and their things that they wanted to show to the Fair.

It would almost seem as if they would be tired enough when they got here, to not want to disemmark themselves and their truck, and then imegiatly embark agin on a periongor or wagon, or car, or sunthin, and go a-trailin' off thousands of milds further. And then go through it all agin disembarkin' and unloadin' their truck, and themselves.

Howsumever, I spozed if they sot out for the Fair from Africa, or Hindoostan, or Asia, I spozed they would keep on till they got there, if they had to go the hull length of the Misisippi River, and travelled in more'n forty different conveniences, etc., etc. But it didn't seem so handy nor nigh.

But Chicago is dretful worrysome and active, jest like all children who have growed fast, and kinder outgrowed their clothes and family goverment.

She is dretful forward for one of her years, and she knows it. She knows she is smart, and she is bound to have her own way if there is any possible way of gittin' it.

And she had jest put her foot right down, that have that Fair she would. And like as not if she hadn't got it she would have throwed herself and kicked. I shouldn't wonder a mite if she had.

But she jest clawed right in, and tore round and acted, and jawed, and coaxed, and kinder cried, and carried the day, jest as spilte children will, more'n half the time.

Not but what New York wuz a-cuttin' up and a-actin' jest as bad, accordin' to its age.

But Chicago wuz younger and spryer, and could kick stronger and cut up higher.

New York wuz older and lamer, as you may say, its jints wuz stiffer, and it had lost some of its faculties, which made it dretful bad for her.

It wuz forgetful; it had spells of kinder losin' its memory, and had had for years.

Now, when the Great General died, why New York cut up fearful a-fightin' for the honor of havin' him laid to rest in its borders.

Why, New York fairly riz up and kicked higher than you could have spozed it wuz possible for her to kick at her age, and hollered louder than you could have spozed it wuz possible with her lungs.

When Washington, the Capital of this Great Republic, expressed a desire to have the Saviour of his Country sleep by the side of the Founder of it--why, New York acted fairly crazy, and I believe she wuz for a spell. Anyway, I believe she had a spazzum.

Her wild demeanor wuz such, her snorts, her oritorys, resounded on every side, and wuz heard all over the land. She acted crazy as a loon till she got her way.

She promised if she could have the Hero sleep there, she would build a monument that would tower up to the skies.

(Illustration: If she could have the Hero sleep there, she would build a monument that would tower up to the skies.)

The most stupendious, the most impressive work of art that wuz ever wrought by man.

Wall, she got her way. Why, she cut up so, that she had to have it, seemin'ly.

Wall, did she do as she agreed? No, indeed.

She had one of her forgetful spells come right on her, a sort of a stupor, I guess, a-follerin' on after a bein' too wild and crazy about gittin' her way.

And anyway, year after year passed, and no monument wuz raised, not a sign of one. She lied, and she didn't seem to care if she had lied.

There the grave of the Great One wuz onmarked by even a decent memorial, let alone the great one they said they would raise.

And when the Great Ones of the Old World--the renowned in Song and Story and History--when they ariv in New York, most their first thoughts wuz to visit the Grand Tomb of our Hero--

The one who their rulers had delighted to honor--the one who had been welcomed in the dazzlin' halls of their Kings. And them halls had felt honored to have his shadow rest on 'em as he passed through 'em to audiences with royalty.

They journeyed to that tomb. Some on 'em had been used to stand by the tombs of their own great dead under the magestic aisles of Westminster Abbey, whose lofty glories dwarfs the human form almost to a pigmy.

Some had stood by the white marble poem of the Tag Megal in India, wherein a royal soul has carved his love for a woman. If that race, to whom we send missionaries to civilize them, could raise such a tomb over its dead, and a woman too, who had done no great things, only loved the man who raised this incomparable monument over her--what could they expect to find raised by this great and dominant race over the dead form of the man who had saved the hull country from ruin?

So with feelin's of awe and wonder in their hearts, expectin' to see they knew not what, the awestruck, admirin' foreigner paused before the tomb of the Great Leader--and he see nothin'. Not even a respectable grave-stun, such as you see in any New England graveyard. (Or that has been the case till very lately. But now things look a little brighter in the monument line.)

But it has been a shame, and a burnin' one, so burnin' that it has seemed to me that it would take all the cool blue waters that glide along below, a-complainin' of the slight and insult to our Hero--it would take more than all these waters to wash it out and make the country clean agin.

But she had one of her spells, and whether she wuz well or whether she wuz sick, New York lied jest like a dog about it.

Whether she wuz crazy or not, the fact remained that she had bragged, and then gin out; had promised, and not performed.

I believe she wuz out of her head.

Then there wuz the same kind of a performance she went through with the Goddess of Liberty.

When France had gin that beautiful and most wondeful creeter to us as a present, it looked sort o' shabby in New York to not provide a platform for that female to stand up on.

Now, didn't it? She a-offerin' to light up the world if she only had a place to stand up on--and the great continent of America not bein' willin' to gin it to her.

(Illustration: She a-offerin' to light up the world, if she only had a place to stand up on.)

New York talked--oh, yes, it wuz a-goin' to do great things! Oh, what a big, noble door-step it wuz a-layin' out to rize up for that goddess to stand on!

But there it wuz, New York had one of her spells agin, lost her faculties, forgot all about what she said she wuz a-goin' to do--and left that noble female, left that princely present to lay round in a heap, a perfect imposition to France and to human nater.

The idee of a goddess with no place to stand up on! The Great Republic a-stretchin' out on each side, and no place for her feet to rest on.

And no knowin' but she would have been a-layin' round to-day, all broke up and onjinted, if it hadn't been for a public-sperited newspaper man, who took the matter up, and worked at it, and called public attention to it, till at last it got a place for the goddess to be histed up on her feet, and rest her legs a spell, all crumpled up under her.

The idee of a goddess, and such a goddess, a layin' round with her legs all doubled up under her, and all broke up--the idee!

Then it got the Centenial Exhibition there. And it wuzn't no more than right, what it promised and bound itself to do, to make some triumphal arches for the processions to walk under, a-triumphin'.

Why, she vowed and declared solemn that she would make 'em if she could have it there.

They wuz goin' to be, accordin' to her tell, accordin' to what New York said about it, about the most gorgus and impressive arches that ever wuz arched over anybody, fur or near, anywhere.

Now, after it got the exhibition there, did it make 'em? No, indeed.

It had another spell come on, clean forgot all about it. And there the Columbian Exposition come and no arch for it to walk under, not a arch, only some old boards nailed up, some like a barn door, only higher.

(Illustration : Wooden arch)

Wall, you see these kind o' crazy spells, losin' its faculties every once in a while, made it dretful hard for New York.

I believe she would got the World's Fair if it hadn't been for that. But the question would keep a-comin' up, and the country had to pay attention to it--what if she got the World's Fair, and then had another fit! What if she had another spell come on, and forgot all about it!

And lo! and behold! have the World's Fair sail up and halt in front of her and she not have any place for it, and mebby be out of her head so she couldn't remember nothin', wouldn't remember who Christopher wuz, or anythin'.

No; the hull country felt that it wuz resky, and that, I have always spozed, wuz one reason why New York lost it.

And then, as I have said heretofore, Chicago wuz jest bound to have it, and she did.

But then, if you'll believe it, jest like any spilte young child that cries for another big apple when both its hands are full of 'em--it hadn't no place for it.

It had got the World's Fair, but hadn't got any place to put it. The idee!

Jest crazy to have it, cried and yelled, and acted, (metafor) till it got it. And then, lo! and behold! where wuz she goin' to put it? Hadn't a place big enough, or ready for it.

Of course she had the lake. But she didn't want to drownd it, after makin' such a fuss over it; it wouldn't have seemed very horsepitable. And she didn't really want to put it out onto a prairie. And she couldn't put it right round under her feet, where it would git trampled on, and git bruised, and knocked round; that wouldn't be a-usin' Christopher Columbus as he ort to be used.

And, as I say, she wuz honorable enough to not want to put it in the lake.

And so, after worryin' and takin' on, and talkin' month after month about it, she concluded to split the Christopher Columbus World's Fair into some like this--put the Christopher part on a stagin' built out into the lake, and the Columbus part back a ways into the park.

Wall, I didn't make no objections to it; I thought I wouldn't say a word or make a move to break it up, or make their burdens any heavier. No; I jest stood still and see it go on.

Only I did talk some out to one side to my Josiah about it, about the curiosity of their behavior.

Sez I, "It seems as if, after what Columbus done for the country, he ort to be kep hull, and not be broke into, and split apart. But howsumever," sez I, "I sha'n't make any move to stop it."

And Josiah sez "he guessed it wouldn't make much difference whether I made a move or not. He guessed Chicago could take care of its own business, and would do it."

I wuz a-pinnin' the outside onto a comforter, and I had a lot of pins in my mouth, but before I put 'em in I sez--

"Wall, it looks kind o' shiftless to me, to think they hadn't no place to put it, after all their actions."

And as I resoomed my work, he went on:

"Now, you imagine how you would feel, Samantha Allen, if you had bought a big elephant, bigger than Jumbo, and you knew it wuz on its way here, approachin' nearer and nearer--had got as fur as Old Bobbet's, and we hadn't a place to put it in that wuz suitable and strong enough--we couldn't git her head hardly in the stable, we couldn't leave her out doors to rampage round and step over barns and knock down housen, and we couldn't git it offen our hands any way, kill it, or give it away--how would you feel?"

(Illustration: We couldn't git her head hardly in the stable.)

Then I took my pins out of my mouth, and sez--

"I wouldn't have bought the elephant till I had measured my barn."

Then I put my pins in my mouth agin, for I thought like as not that I wouldn't have to use my tongue agin. I didn't lay out to, for my mouth wuz full, and I wuz in a hurry for my comforter.

But Josiah sez, "O shaw! lots of folks buy things they hadn't no idee of buyin' till they see somebody else wants 'em bad.

"I remember that is the way I come to buy that two-year colt; I hadn't a idee of wantin' it till I see Old Bobbet and Deacon Sypher jest sot on havin' it, and that whetted me right up, and I wuz jest bound to have that colt, and did. I didn't expect to find it profitable any of the time. I knew it would kick like the old Harry and smash things, and it did.

"And that is jest the way with Chicago; she knew the World's Fair wuzn't over and above profitable to have round, besides bein' dretful bothersome, but she see New York and St. Louis a-dickerin' for it, and then she wanted it."

"Wall," sez I, considerable dry and sharp, for I had three pins in my mouth at the time--

"She has got it!"

"Yes," sez Josiah, "and you'll see that she will put in and work lively, now she's got it; she'll show what she can do."

"Yes," sez I, dryer than ever, and more sharper; "before she got a stun laid for a foundation to rest the World's Fair on, before she got a stick laid for Christopher to plant one of his feet on, she begun to buy up hull streets of housen to rig up for saloons, to make men drunk as fools, to make murderers and assassins of 'em.

"I wonder what Columbus would say if he could stand there and see it go on."

"He'd probable step in and take a drink," sez Josiah.

"Never," sez I. "The eye that could discover without actual sight, the soul that could apprehend without comprehension--that could look fur off into the mist of the onknown, and see a New World risin' up before his rapt vision--such a eye and such a soul didn't depend on bad whiskey for its stimulent. No, indeed!

"He didn't lay round in bar-rooms with a red nose, and a stagger onto him. He wuz up and about, with his senses all straight, and the star he follered wuzn't the light of a corner saloon.

"No, indeed! He see the invisible. He wuz beloved of God, and hearn secrets that coarser minds round him never dremp of. He didn't try to cloy up them Heavenly senses with whiskey. No, indeed!

"And Isabella now, if that likely creeter could be sot down in front of that long street of grog-shops, she would almost be sorry she ever sold her jewelry, she would be so sot back by seein' that awful sight."

"O shaw!" sez Josiah, "she didn't sell her jewelry."

"Wall, she wuz willin' to," sez I.

"Id'no as she wuz. She jest talked about it; wimmen must talk or bust anyway, they are made so."

"How are men made?" sez I dryly, as dry as ever a corncob wuz, after many years.

"Oh, men are made so's they try to answer wimmen some--they have to; they have to keep their hand in so's to not lose their speech on that very account. I presume Columbus knew all about such things. He had two wives; he knew what trouble wuz."

I see that man wuz a-tryin' every way to draw my attention away offen them long streets of saloons built up in Chicago, and I wouldn't suckumb to it. So I branched right out, and back agin, and sez I--

"The idee of a civilized city, after eighteen hundred years of Christianaty--the idee of their doin' sunthin' that if savage Africans or Inguns wuz a-doin' the World would ring with it, and missionaries would start for 'em on the run, or by the carload.

"There is a awful fuss made about a cannibal eatin' a man now and then, makin' a good plain stew of him, or a roast, and that is the end of it; they eat up his flesh, but they don't make no pretensions to fry up his soul; they leave that free and pure, and it goes right up to Heaven.

"But here in our Christian land, in city and country, this great man-eatin' trade costs the country over a billion dollars a year, and devours one hundred and twenty thousand men each year, and destroys the soul and mind first, before it tackles the body.

"They go as fur ahead of cannibals in this wickedness as eternity is longer than time.

"And the Goverment, this great beneficent Goverment, that looks down with pity on oncivilized races--the Goverment of the United States sells and rents this man-eater and soul-destroyer at so much a year.

"If I had my way," sez I, a-gittin' madder and madder the more I thought on't--

"If I had my way I'd bring over a hull drove of cannibals and Hottentots, etc., and let 'em camp round Uncle Sam a spell, and try to reform him.

"And the first thing I would have 'em make that old man do would be to empty out his pockets, turn 'em right inside out and empty out all the accursed gains he had got from this shameful traffic. And then I'd have them cannibals jest trot that old man right round to every saloon and rum-hole he had rented and wuz a partner in the proceeds, and make him lay to and empty out every barrel and hogset of whiskey and beer and cider, and make him do the luggin' and liftin' his own self.

"And then I'd let them Hottentots drive him round a spell to all the houses of infamy in which he wuz in partnership, and I'd make him haul some matches out of his pockets and set fire to 'em, and burn 'em all down, every one of 'em.

"And then I'd let the old man set down and rest a spell, and let them heathens instruct him and teach him a spell their way of man-eatin'. And I'll bet after a while they could git the old man up to their level, so if he sot out to kill a man, he would jest kill him, and not destroy his soul first. For he hain't upon a level with 'em now," sez I, a-lookin' firm and decided at my pardner.

And he sez, "I shouldn't think you would dast to talk so about Uncle Sam; you have always pretended to like him--you would never bear to hear a word agin him."

"Wall," sez I, "it is because I like him that I want him to do right. Do you spoze a mother don't like a child when she spanks him for temper, or blisters him for croup, or gives him worm-wood for worms?

"I love that old man, and wish him awful well, and when I see him so noble and sot up in lots of things, it jest makes me mad as a hen to see him so awful mean and little in others.

(Illustration: "I love that old man, and wish him awful well.")

"I wouldn't think I liked him half so well if I sot down and see him stalk right on to his own ruin, and not try to stop him.

"Do you spoze a ma would set and let the child she loved throw himself into the fire because he got mad? No; she would haul him back, and the more he kicked and struggled the more she would hang on, and like as not spank him.

"I want this country to be the Light of the World, the favored of Heaven, and the admiration of all the different nations that will camp round it at the Christopher Columbus Exhibition. But they can't be expected to uphold no such doin's as these, let alone admirin' of 'em."


Sez Josiah, "It beats all how wimmen will run on if a man gits drunk. Why don't you pitch into him, instead of blamin' the Goverment?"

And I sez, "If you go to work to move a tree you don't pull on the top branches. Of course they are more showy and easy to git holt of. But you have to dig the roots out if you want to move the tree."

Josiah looked real indifferent. He hain't like me in lots of things; he is more for dabblin' on the surface than divin' down under the water for first causes, and he spoke up the minute I had finished my last words, and sez he--

"Krit and Thomas Jefferson are a-comin' here to dinner; they are goin' up to Zoar on business, and are a-goin' to stop as they come back. And I should think it wuz about time you got sunthin' started."

And I sez, "The boys a-comin' here to dinner! Why'e--why didn't you tell me so?"

And I got right up and went to makin' a lemon puddin'.

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CHAPTER IVI knew Thomas J. wuz a-layin' out to go up to Zoar some day that week to see about a young chap to stay in his office while he wuz at the World's Fair, and it seemed that Krit had gone along for company and for the ride. Them two young fellers love to be together. They are both as smart as whips--the very keenest, snappiest kind of whips. Wall, I laid out to git a good dinner, that wuz my calm intention; and I sent out Josiah Allen to ketch two plump pullets, I a-layin' out to stuff 'em
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CHAPTER IIWall, we all enjoyed havin' Christopher there the best that ever wuz. For he wuz very agreeable, as well as oncommon smart, which two qualities don't always go together, as has often been observed by others, and I have seen for myself. Wall, it wuzn't more than a week or so after Krit arrived and got there, that another relation made his appearance in Jonesville. It wuz of 'em on his side this time--not like Krit, half hisen and half mine, but clear hisen. Clear Allen, with no Smith at all in the admixture. Proud enough wuz my pardner of
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