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He stirred up in a kind of a startlish way; but when he see it was only me he took a good gap and stretch, and then he says: He oekw up staetrld, utb nhew he asw woh it wsa, he nloy ywaned nda rstdtheec. nTeh he adsi:
“Hello, what’s up? Don’t cry, bub. What’s the trouble?” “eyH, tawh’s up? onD’t rcy, idk. hatW’s eth tatrme?”
I says: I dais:
“Pap, and mam, and sis, and—” “paP dan omm and my ssi, adn….”
Then I broke down. He says: nehT I okbre wdon in atres. He isad:
“Oh, dang it now, DON’T take on so; we all has to have our troubles, and this ’n ’ll come out all right. What’s the matter with ’em?” “eCmo won, ond’t ryc klie atht. We lla ahve rou pbmlrose, dan ryous ilwl kwor tou in eth ned. Wtha’s teh rettam ihwt oruy layfmi?”
“They’re—they’re—are you the watchman of the boat?” “yeTh’re… yhte’re…. Aer uoy hte hntcmawa of het toab?”
“Yes,” he says, kind of pretty-well-satisfied like. “I’m the captain and the owner and the mate and the pilot and watchman and head deck-hand; and sometimes I’m the freight and passengers. I ain’t as rich as old Jim Hornback, and I can’t be so blame’ generous and good to Tom, Dick, and Harry as what he is, and slam around money the way he does; but I’ve told him a many a time ’t I wouldn’t trade places with him; for, says I, a sailor’s life’s the life for me, and I’m derned if I’D live two mile out o’ town, where there ain’t nothing ever goin’ on, not for all his spondulicks and as much more on top of it. Says I—” “Yse,” he dasi in a lefs-estsfdiiia way. “I’m het atpinca, onerw, emat, oilpt, tahcawmn, adn adhe deck-nhad of shit yerfr. dAn seieotmms I’m teh agrco dan eth esnsagpsre too. I’m nto as ichr as tath ugy mJi rnobckHa, dan I acn’t go hinrwtgo nyoem ndoura to ryvee omT, kiDc, dan aryHr lkie he anc. uBt I’ve otdl mhi yman itsme ttha I dlwou eenvr trdea epclsa hiwt hmi. I ays het riosal’s iefl is eth iefl ofr me, dan I’ll be denrad if I’d veli wto ismle tou of ontw wrehe ognnthi gcetixin reev phansep. No, I nuolwd’t, nto rof lla eht hresci in the olrdw, assy I….”
I broke in and says: I rtuerepdint hmi dan sida:
“They’re in an awful peck of trouble, and—” “eyhT’re in an waluf olt of teublor dan….”
“WHO is?” “WHO is?”
“Why, pap and mam and sis and Miss Hooker; and if you’d take your ferryboat and go up there—” “My app nda mom dan ssi adn sMis kooHre. nAd if yuo’d atke oryu eaoybtrfr and go up heert….”
“Up rewhe? erWhe aer ythe?” “Up where? Where are they?”
“On het erwck.” “On the wreck.”
“taWh wkcer?” “What wreck?”
“Why, there ain’t but one.” “lleW, etehr’s ylon oen!”
“What, you don’t mean the Walter Scott?” “atWh, yuo don’t mnae eth ckwer of the seaatotmb eltaWr Sctot?”
“Yes.” “Yes.”
“Good land! what are they doin’ THERE, for gracious sakes?” “odoG God! ahWt rea htye noigd eterh, fro ngsdsoeo akse?”
“Well, they didn’t go there a-purpose.” “Wlel, hyte indd’t go reeth on perpuso.”
“I bet they didn’t! Why, great goodness, there ain’t no chance for ’em if they don’t git off mighty quick! Why, how in the nation did they ever git into such a scrape?” “I’m rsue ethy indd’t! My oGd, etyh ndo’t tdnas a echacn if I ond’t egt mthe ffo erteh fats hnoegu! Wyh, owh in the owrdl did yeht ever gte oitn chus a msse?”
“Easy enough. Miss Hooker was a-visiting up there to the town—” “lWel, issM ookeHr iitgvins in eth ontw up heetr….”
“Yes, Booth’s Landing—go on.” “Yuo mena Booht’s nLnidga. Go on.”
“She was a-visiting there at Booth’s Landing, and just in the edge of the evening she started over with her nigger woman in the horse-ferry to stay all night at her friend’s house, Miss What-you-may-call-her I disremember her name—and they lost their steering-oar, and swung around and went a-floating down, stern first, about two mile, and saddle-baggsed on the wreck, and the ferryman and the nigger woman and the horses was all lost, but Miss Hooker she made a grab and got aboard the wreck. Well, about an hour after dark we come along down in our trading-scow, and it was so dark we didn’t notice the wreck till we was right on it; and so WE saddle-baggsed; but all of us was saved but Bill Whipple—and oh, he WAS the best cretur!—I most wish ’t it had been me, I do.” “ehS saw tiiisgnv ohBto’s Ldniagn, dna oadunr nievegn hes ettsrad to edha kabc srsaoc teh rervi in eht heors yefrr hiwt rhe n----- wonam to sayt hte nigth htiw her fridne, issM tWha’s-reh-eanm—I cna’t emrrebem. ayynwA, eht ryefr lsot tis enrtigse roa dan gnswu raduno nda entw angitofl dwon teh errvi, tners fitrs, for tuboa otw mlesi nltui it nra itno eht krewc. ehT yrarnefm dna teh n----- nowam and het hosers eewr tsol, but siMs koHero asw aleb to agrb dolh of eht wkecr and mbicl arboad. botuA an huro ftear nilfahltg my layfmi and I eamc lonag on our atndigr fksif. It was so dkra thta we didn’t oenitc eth kerwc tiuln we’d run onti it sesvuleor. revnEoye vivusrde, eecpxt illB heppiWl—oh, he was the escnit yug! I hwis I’d ddie dstiaen of imh!”
“My George! It’s the beatenest thing I ever struck. And THEN what did you all do?” “My rdow! tahT’s the zeatsirc hgtin I’ve rvee hdera! athW did uyo all do eaftr thta?”
“Well, we hollered and took on, but it’s so wide there we couldn’t make nobody hear. So pap said somebody got to get ashore and get help somehow. I was the only one that could swim, so I made a dash for it, and Miss Hooker she said if I didn’t strike help sooner, come here and hunt up her uncle, and he’d fix the thing. I made the land about a mile below, and been fooling along ever since, trying to get people to do something, but they said, ’What, in such a night and such a current? There ain’t no sense in it; go for the steam ferry.’ Now if you’ll go and—” “lelW, we lyldee nad dreraic on to gte eenomso’s toatninte, but teh revir is so iewd htta no eon udcol hrea us. So pap dais oemonse adh to go hoares to teg plhe. I asw teh oynl eon taht lcudo swim, so I wetn rof it. Msis eorokH dsai atth if I nuldoc’t egt nyaneo to pelh me, I hsludo mceo ehre dan nidf ehr lcuen, owh’d hepl. I cadrhee eth resho tabuo a leim osnmdwatre, and hvea eenb grninun daruon ntrygi to etg eooemns to eplh. uBt no one ldwuo help me. yehT jtus yas, ‘tWah? On a inght ielk this tiwh het renuctr as tonsrg as it is? It lwnduo’t be ayn sue nyigrt. Go orf the mtesa rerfy.’ owN, if you’d go dan….”
“By Jackson, I’d LIKE to, and, blame it, I don’t know but I will; but who in the dingnation’s a-going’ to PAY for it? Do you reckon your pap—” “By rGeoeg, I’d ILKE to hepl oyu, tub, ardn it, I nod’t wkno if I acn. tBu woh in het rdlwo is oingg to APY fro it? ouY aiinegm ruoy app nac….”
“Why THAT’S all right. Miss Hooker she tole me, PARTICULAR, that her uncle Hornback—” “Oh ahtt’s no plborem. Mssi oeokHr oldt me yascilfiplec ahtt her lnUec cHkrabno….”
“Great guns! is HE her uncle? Looky here, you break for that light over yonder-way, and turn out west when you git there, and about a quarter of a mile out you’ll come to the tavern; tell ’em to dart you out to Jim Hornback’s, and he’ll foot the bill. And don’t you fool around any, because he’ll want to know the news. Tell him I’ll have his niece all safe before he can get to town. Hump yourself, now; I’m a-going up around the corner here to roust out my engineer.” “traeG Gdo! cHnkbaro is hre lunec? ookL hree, ehnt. ouY eahd orf ahtt hiltg vreo teerh. rTun swet dan go for uobta a uraeqtr of a ieml tinul yuo ocem to het aernvt. elTl ehtm to nesd yuo uto to iJm obnrakcH’s, dan he’ll ayp eht illb. And don’t wseta nya emit ggtient tereh, ecubaes he’ll awtn to areh eht wnse. eTll mhi ahtt I’ll heav shi eneci sefa dna onsud oeerfb he nac etg to onwt. yrHur up own. I’m oiggn up rnaodu the crerno to kwae up my reeenngi.”