The Hoosier and the Salt-pile | Guide to Daily Reading 11/23/22

Nothing happened today other than Abigail Adams dying on this date.

Daily Readings

From The Hoosier and the Salt-pile. A note on formatting. I do not know while copying prose from Bartelby pastes as a table, and I cannot figure out how to change it. But it’s so cute I wanted everyone to enjoy!

“‘Well, I don’t see how in h—ll they all manage to get along in a country whar thar ain’t no ranges and they don’t make no beef. A man ain’t considered worth a cuss in Indianny what hasn’t got his brand on a hundred head.’  12
  “‘Yours is a great beef country, I believe,’ says the old gentleman.  13
  “‘Well, sir, it ain’t anything else. A man that’s got sense enuff to foller his own cow-bell with us ain’t in no danger of starvin’. I’m gwine down to Orleans to see if I can’t git a contract out of Uncle Sam to feed the boys what’s been lickin’ them infernal Mexicans so bad. I s’pose you’ve seed them cussed lies what’s been in the papers about the Indianny boys at Bony Visty.’  14
  “‘I’ve read some accounts of the battle,’ says the old gentleman, ‘that didn’t give a very flattering account of the conduct of some of our troops.’  15
  “With that the Indianny man went into a full explanation of the affair, and, gittin’ warmed up as he went along, begun to cuss and swear like he’d been through a dozen campaigns himself. The old preacher listened to him with evident signs of displeasure, twistin’ and groanin’ till he couldn’t stand it no longer.  16
  “‘My friend,’ says he, ‘you must excuse me, but your conversation would be a great deal more interesting to me—and I’m sure would please the company much better—if you wouldn’t swear so terribly. It’s very wrong to swear, and I hope you’ll have respect for our feelin’s, if you hain’t no respect for your Maker.’  17
  “If the Hoosier had been struck with thunder and lightnin’ he couldn’t have been more completely tuck aback. He shut his mouth right in the middle of what he was sayin’ and looked at the preacher, while his face got as red as fire.  18
  “‘Swearin’,’ says the preacher, ‘is a terrible bad practise, and there ain’t no use in it nohow. The Bible says, “Swear not at all,” and I s’pose you know the commandments about swearin’?’  19
  “The old lady sort of brightened up—the preacher was her ‘duck of a man’; the old fellow with the ‘nose’ and cane let off a few ‘umph, ah! umphs.’ But ‘Indianny’ kept shady; he appeared to be cowed down.  20
  “‘I know,’ says the preacher, ‘that a great many people swear without thinkin’, and some people don’t b’lieve the Bible.’  21
  “And then he went on to preach a regular sermon agin swearing, and to quote Scripture like he had the whole Bible by heart. In the course of his argument he undertook to prove the Scriptures to be true, and told us all about the miracles and propheces and their fulfilment. The old gentleman with the cane took a part in the conversation, and the Hoosier listened without ever opening his head.