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of pride and extravagance. So goes
this strange world.
The quilt was replaced, and several good housewives seated themselves at it, determined to “see it out.” I was reluctantly compelled to excuse myself, my inexperienced fingers being pricked to absolute
But I have since ascertained that the quilt was finished that evening, and placed on Mrs. Boardman's best bed immediately; where indeed I see it every time I pass the door, as it is not our custom to keep our handsome things in the background. There were some long stitches in it, I know, but they do not shew as far as the road; so the quilt is a very great treasure, and will probably be kept as an heir-loom.
I have some thoughts of an attempt in the “patchwork” line myself. One of the company at Mrs. Boardman's remarked that the skirt of the French cambric dress I wore would make a “splendid” quilt. It is a temptation, certainly.
Mr. Sibthorpe's vexations and trials with his workmen are neither few nor small, but I shall leave the description for his pen. We never enjoyed better health, for which I fear we are not as thankful as we ought to be for so great a blessing.
A RUNNING FIGHT UPON THE RACKENSAC.
In the fall, I found myself in Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, and very tired, too, of that “brisk” little city. I came to the determination, therefore, of leaving it, and going down the river.
As ill luck would have it, there was but one boat bent upon the downward trip, and that a small one, a very small one indeed. To look at her as she lay by the landing, she reminded you of a large hen-coop, with a stove-pipe sticking out of the roof. She was so small that the most remote point of her that you could reach from the furnace, was just near enough to subject you to the agreeable process of a slow baking; and Heaven knows an Arkansas sun is, about this season, hot enough of itself. She was named the “Olive Branch," though a less appropriate name could hardly have been thought of — for instead of being a boat of pacific principles, she was the most quarrelsome, cardplaying, whiskey-drinking little craft, it has ever been my misfortune to put my foot upon. Thoroughly tired, however, of “ life in Little Rock," I had made up my mind to leave it; so on the morning of the boat's departure, I stepped aboard, paid my passagemoney, and was soon on my way down stream. My fellow-passengers amounted to about two dozen—rough-looking fellows hunters, planters, traders, and “legs," all on their way
for the lower country. About ten miles below Little Rock, our captain put in to the shore, and took on board a tall lathy gentleman, with a peculiar hang-dog look, whom I had frequently seen in the city, and who went by the sobriquet of " THE COLONEL." I imagine that he held some public office in the “Rackensac” capital.
The evening before our departure I had accidentally overheard the following fragment of a dialogue between him and the captain of the “Olive Branch."
“ You'll take me through for two hundred, cap'n ?”
“ Three hundred, Ke-nel-three—not a figger less."
“Too much, cap'n—say two-fifty ?"
“Besides, it hurts the repitation of the boat.”
“Say you'll take two-seventy !”
“No! the even three hundred. I'll take you through as slick as goose grease—I've said it, and by I'll do it, in spite of all."
“Well, I suppose you must have it—here; you'll find me in Willis's Woods, ten miles below. What time will you be down ?”
“ By ten in the morning, or a leetle after.” “Very well, I'll wait for you.”
So saying, the Colonel walked off, and I saw no more of him until he became my fellow
passenger at Willis's Woods. From what I had heard and seen, I concluded that he had found the "Rock” little too hot for him. All this, however, was no business of mine; and getting as far from the furnace as I could, I sat down by the after guard, determined upon making myself as comfortable as circumstances would permit. The excessive heat had made me drowsy, and I soon fell fast asleep.
“They are comin', captin! they're comin'! By that's old Waley on the grey! I could tell him ten miles off!"
These words, with an unusual running to and fro over the boat, awoke me from my nap, and on starting up and looking towards the shore, I beheld about a dozen horsemen coming at full gallop down the bank of the river, and apparently endeavouring to overtake the boat. They were mostly dressed in jean coats, with broad-brimmed white hats, and each of them balanced upon his left shoulder about six feet of a Kentucky rifle. They were the sheriff and his posse in pursuit of a runaway defaulter, who was supposed to be on board the “ Branch."
“What's to be done, cap'n?” inquired the Colonel, evidently alarmed at the approach of the sheriff's party,
“Done! why nothing! Do you s'pose I'm goin' to let that party stop my boat ? "
“But they may fire upon you !”
“Let them fire and be hang'd! Didn't I expect all that? Here, Bill! Nick ! get out the muskets, and make ready to handle 'em! Look out, passengers ! go to larboard and get behind the cabin! Now, Nettles, keep her close to the bank, and give 'em a wide berth! Do you hear ?"
Not having any ambition to be killed in the quarrel of an Arkansas defaulter, I took the captain's hint and got behind the cabin,