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Jamestown alert. [volume] (Jamestown, Stutsman County, D.T. [N.D.]) 1878-1882, January 27, 1880, Image 3

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ie ^ittimlown ^ilcrt.
To-morrow is Thanksgiving day an' Pompey's
gwine ter try
To borrow de l'at turkey from ole massar on
de sly
Do chickens, dey git out de way wken Pom
pey.comes along,
An' when do turkeys fine liLn out,dey'll Bing
I auudder song.
Del pots a-bile'n on dc liarf, already foh ter
De turkey, when dat lazy Pomp cornea lar
fin in de house—
0,igolly! heah dat watch dog bark and heah
dat niggah yell—
)at mus uePomp—hi! dereheeomcs,across
de lot pell-mell.
dog hab got him by de seat—Pomp, like de
^tebbil run
.par comes ole massar arter you 0, Lawd!
he's got a gun.
Now you is safe, de turkey's safe, de cabin door
Take off dose panLs for mendiu, dey,—0,
Lawdy, who dat knocked?
Git down de bible miglrly quick—put on dose
specs an' prjty
As if de debbil come foh you upon de jedg
ment day
Hi! stop dat lcnockin' on de door. I'se comin'
—I declali!
If 'taint ole massar, jest in time ter jiue de
family prayer.
Your turkey stole? dun tolo me dat—who am
de wretched tief
De wickedness dcre's hi dis world jes fills dis
heart wid grief
Wiiah Ponipey bin? Lor bress yer soul, dat
niggah hab so bad
De rheuinaiiz, he dun go out—dat makes him
berry sad.
An' dere he sits dla berry night an' read de
book of lif
An' try tei 'b plain de Sabior's words unto his
lubbii TVLfe
ain't no turkey tief—he lub de Bi­
ble so
Dat if he fouu a turkey lost, ho'd let de gob­
bler go.
Go way, you dog, you'll burn youself—stop
pokin' in depot
De debbil take de beast—O, Lawd! dat's
only water hot.
Foh landy's sake! a turkey—can I b'lieve dese
open eyes?
Stop, massar, dat's de debbil, wid defeddalia
foh disguise.
Pick up dat bible, Pomp, ycr dropped, and dun
yer look so pale
Dat tremblin' eomcs from rheumatiz—dat
niggah's onde fall
Ail* 'sense me, boss, fob eayin' dat you'so in
terruptin' now
De family prayers, an' dat's a ting I ncber
can allow.
De way dat turkey git in dere?—jis lissen,
massar, deah,
While I dun 'splain de mystery—de debbil's
.. tricks make cleah
De thimly dere hab got a hole, up yonder on
de roof
'jlspecs dat turkey .must have flown right
I down, an' dat's de trufe.
Skia»want it back? good massar, yer a gen'le
man, dut's true.
An' when we gib de tanks nex day, we'll gib
some tanks 1'oii you.
Au' now you niggah tief, you, Pomp, put up
dat book, you heah?
Nex time you hook de turkey, see dere ain't
no watch dog neah.
Or, Fanner Jones' Thanksgiving.
The cold northern blasts had settled
themselves down into legitimate winter
business, bridging streams and locking
up nature in festers of ice. Everywhere
through the broad and fertile land huge
granaries were stored with the golden
harvest, cellars actually groaned with
their rick stores ot fruit and vegetables,
and the thrifty and industrious inhabi­
tants were about tojcelebrate their annual
Thanksgiving to their great and bounti­
ful Giver of such plenty, prosperity and
But nowhere did greater bounty pro
vail than in the homestead ef farmer Joel
TAfes. His broad acres lay but a mile
from the thrifty village of Centerville,
where he found an easy market for all
his produce, and where every Sabbath
his round and rudily facc might be seen
alongside of the thin and tallow one of his
spinster sister Betsy, in the old
carry-all on their way to the vil­
lage church, which ever fjund a willing
heart and ready hand in the unsentimen­
tal Joel Jones, as its thrifty aspect fully
A few days previous to the one appoint­
ed a» Thanksgiving ho came into his am­
ple kitchen with a huge golden pujnp
kin in his strong arms.
"Here, Betsy," he said, "is me of the
Yankee pumpkins, and 1 want ye to
spread yerself a makin' a batch of piies.
And jest say when ye want that air tur­
key killed."
"What fur, I'd like to know Joel? You
talk as ef yer war goin' ter feed a regi
when thar is only you and me and
hired man to eat the best Tbanksgiv
inner ever invented."
1 know as well as ye, Betsy, we hain't
no folks to speak of, but that hain't
sign we hain't ter eat like other Chris
ns on Thanksgiving day, 'spercerlv
len I've worked the hull year like ev
thing, and been prospered beyond my
An hour later lie' looked upon Betsy
her sullen preparation for the coming
"I'm goin' ter town with er load ot
:s, ana I'll bring you some cranberries
go erlong with yer turkey, Betsy,"
he, "an' if yer want anvtbin' else
ak quick, fer i'm off."
The answer of the spinster was ft grunt
dissatisfaction as she continued knead
hei snowy bread, while the pumpkin
ewed and sputtered on the stove in the
oet pavage manner.
"Btfsy grows groutier every day oi
life, poor thing. She's gittin' old,
1 the work is tew heavy for her. But
hain't no use ofspeakin'ofgettin'help.
e'd fight me down on *that forever,"
liloquized the old man as he drove
ong. "Hey, bub, want ter ride?" he
Ued out to a small specimen of hum an
who was trudging along under a
avy load, and who most gladly accept
the kind offer.
"Yer Widow ^Burton's boy, hain't ye?"
he asked in continuation, after the boy
had scrambled up behind, and perched
himself upon a bag of grain.
"Yes, sir."
"What ye got in yer sack, bub?"
"Coal, sir, that I have been picking up
alcng the trr-ck."
"Dangerous piece o' business, and it's
strange ycr ma should sensl yer out on
sich. er errand. T»her cars will come er­
long some day and chop yer into mince­
"The poor, little, pale-faced lad made
no reply. He was too happy in the en­
joyment of the unexpected ride to care lor
any anticipated danger. At the door of
his -humble home the farmei stopped
and, to the surprise of the lad, got down
from the wagon and hitched his horses.
"I want ter see yer ma. So I'll jest
run infer aminit, ifye'11 mind the team."
One of the children answered the sum­
mons, and conducted him into the little
kitchen, where the widow sat sewing with
her brood of little ones about the scanty
"Don't get up, Miss Burton. 1 can't
stop but a minit. I give yer boy a lift as
I come along, and he told me he goes
over on the railroad to pick up coal, and
I thought, maybe, ye didn't know it was
dangerous. Ther lad is tu small for sich
work, and some day he'll git killed. So
I hope ye won't take it amiss that I
named it ter you."'
Tears were in the good woman's eyes
long before he had ceased speaking, and
she answered:
"You are very kind, sir, but what can
I do? It is hard for ne to keep my little
family together simply with my needle,
and the coal the children gather from the
track keeps one comfortable, and leaves
my scanty earnings for other needs."
"Yer girls hain't any on 'em old enuft
ter w»rk out be they, Miss Burton? If so,
I'd take one ot 'em to help sister Betsy.
That would be one less mouth to feed,
at any rate, and she'd fare well."
"Janey is twelve years old, and has
been brought up to be useful, can wash
dishes, sweep and do a great deal of or­
dinary work of a household."
"All right Miss Burton. Have the girl
ready when I come along back from
town, and I'll take her home with me."
Again in his wagon, farmer Jqnes
communed with himselt.
"•Don't seem to be much of a show for
a Thanksgivin' dinner at Miss Burton's.
Poor thing! It's agin natur that such a
pretty girl as she used to be should have
married that shiftless drunken rake, Jim
Burton, only to be left with a lot of
young ones ter slave jor."
All that day farmer Jones seemed in an
uncommon grave mcod. The town peo­
ple missed a certain heartiness in his
manner, and not once did hi* old boy­
like laugh ring out to notify Centerville
that Joel Jones was in town.
It was almost dark when he reached
the widow's cottage, and a furious snow
storm had commenced. But securing his
restless, team, he stamped into the little
"It's a stormin' terribly, Miss Burton,
and I guess your little Janey better not
think of going to-night."
"No, thank you. I fear it. would be
too tedious for the child. But will you
not be seated, Mr. Jones, and get warm
before you go on?"
"Slim chance for that," thought hte.
But after an awkward pause he answered:
"I would like to have a word with you
in private, Miss Burton."
With an expression surprise, she led
the way into the cold and cheerless little
sitting room.
"Jane Burton," began he, after clear­
ing his throat, "you and I have known
each other sirce we war children. We
was young folks together, and, though
you war er pile above me, I always loved
ye. But knowin' I warn't fit fer ye ter
wipe yer old shoes on, I never said a
word, and let yer marry Jim Burton,
while I took Nancy Price. Since then
ther good Lord has taken both on 'em,
leavin' you with an empty purse and me
with an empty house. Well, ter make a
long story short, I haiA't had you out of
my mind since I was here this mornin',
and my heart is chock full of ye. And
now, Jane, if I am good ernuff fer yer,
say so, and I'll try and do my duty by ye
and the little ones."
During his earnest, stammering speech
the poor woman had blushed and grown
like a full-blown rose, and actually look­
ed youthful again, and like the fair voung
girl he had loved before and tears dimm
ed her eyes as she answered:
"I cannot thiak for a moment of ac­
cepting so noble and generous an oiler.
Reflect what a burden vouwould assume.
I can bring you nothing but a broken con­
stitution and five children. No, my good
friend. I shall think ol you ever as the
kindest and best of men."
She broke down compUtely and could
only extend her hand. The good man
grasped it with a vise-like pressure, and,
as the little woman began to sob, he took
her in his great, strong arms, and to his
ample breast, whether she would or no,
and talked so earnestly and long that the
children, grew tired ot. staying alone in
the dark (for the mother bad carried
away the lamp), and the horses were
stamping impatiently outside in the
"God bless ye, Jane. Ye'll come to
big heart and a warm, full house," said
the farmer, as the little woman at last
smiled consent, and blushed more thau
ever as he fervently kissed hei and took
his departure.
If ever a man walked on air, Joel Jones
did for the next two days, and Betsy de
clared to the hired man that he acted
"jest like a crazy critter.'' He was al
most omnipresent, went in and out of the
bouse in a state of mental disquiet, and
mixed himself up with the domestic
preparations for the coming feast in the
mo3t promiscuous fashion. He insisted
upon an immense plum cake being made
—stoned raisins, beat eggs—and declared
with many a chuckle, when it was at.
length finished, "that it looked for all
ther world like a bride's cake!"
And then when Betsy actually iced it,
and placed a wreath of pressed and dried
gorgeous autumn leaves upon its bulging
top by way of ornament, he was ecsta­
"Wal, there it is, Joel, and I do hope
you are satisfied for once. Ye will have
a grand dinner, and no one tu it," said
Ins sister.
"Don't ye believe that, Betsy. Jist
set the table for a full halt dozen beside
you an' mc, and see if I don't fetch along
some body to fill their places when I
come hum to-mOrrow from church."
Betsey gave a sniff of disapproval, but
continued the completion ot the prepar­
ations, thinking what an old fool her
brother was getting to be.
Thanksgiving day dawned clear and
bright though very cold, and the good
folks of Centervflle were quite surprised
to see farmer Jones coming dashing up
to the church door, in his fine new sleigh
with a most jubilant chime of bells and
the Widow Burton snugly tucked beneath
the robes, by his side. And a little later
they actually took away tho breath of the
congregation as they marched up the
aisle—the little woman clinging to his
arm, dressed in some simple gray materi­
al, with a rich shawl about her shoulders
—the very one he had purchased the day
before, and as he said, "for sister Betsy."
A pretty little gray velvet hat, with a
dash of lavender and white flowers and
ribbons completed tho delicate costume.
They passed many unsccupied pews,
and only paused when they had gained
a position opposite the pulpit. And
then, before the wondering people real
ized it, Parson Doolittle was reading
to them the marriage ceremony, and
when it was completed the happy man
kissed the bride and led. her to his own
pew, now and forever Mrs. Joel Jones.
It ever a Thanksgiving sermon failed
to reach listening ears it did that day, for
the little congregation were in the most
blissful flutter. They had actually wit­
nessed the knitting of two lives together,
and, though they were not youthful ones,
yet there was romance in the suddenness
and surprise of the whole thing.
The benediction said, how hearty were
the congratulations, and how proud and
happy the bridegroom and how bright
and blushing the bride! Away they
dashed at last, amid cheers and tne merry
chimes of the bells. At the cottage they
paused and "took it the little brood"—
as the farmer called them—and then
drove merrily on, amiu the youthful
shouts and laughter, to his great white
farm house, whose blue curling smoke
proclaimed the warmth and good cheer
"As I live," exclaimed Betsey, looking
out of the window, "if Joel hain't brought
that stuck-up widow Buiton and her
brats to dinner. There won't be a hull
piece of the old-fashioned clnney left on
the table. If I had dreamed of his bring­
ing them, I wouldn't hafe put it on, even
if Joel did insist on it."
The widow Burton and her brats—as
she called them—were ushered into the
parlor by the master, where a cheerful
fire blazed, and where Mis3 Betsey stiffly
received them and their wrappings.
When dinner was announced, very
much to her disgust, her brother came
out with the little woman upon his arm
and leading the youngest child by the
"If ye have no objection, Betsey," said
he, "I'd like to place this little woman at
the head of my table, 'specially as it is
the position Ae is likely to occupy the
rest of her days, thank God."
"Joel, you hain't goin' tu git married?"
screamed the horrified spinster, and she
almost dropped the "chiney" pot of
scalding .tea in her excitement.
"Never wain in my life," he chuckled,
as he scatea his new wile at the head of
the table, despite her protest and as he
spoke he stooped and kissed her, while
Betsey looked on in blank and horrified
amazement, utterly speechless at such
disreputable conduct, "fer this day, in
Centerville Church, this little woman
has promised to shaie my bed and board
for the rest of her mortal days.".
"Married?" gasped Betsey, "and all
them ar' children?"
"Yes, they all belong ter me, thank
God. I've got some folks of my own how,
Betsey, and no more lonely days and
nights for me. or cheerless Thanksgiv­
He bustled about and seated each lit­
tle child, rewarded by a tearful glance
of gratitude from their mother's eyes.
Then such a tremendous prayer of thanks­
giving praise as ascenned from that
beautilul board, was rarely heard by men
or angels. Then came the feast. And
how everybody did eat except Miss Bet­
sy. She received the praise of her cook­
ing in frightful silence, and actually re­
fused to taste the bride's cake."
"No wonder," thought she, "that Joel
was so sot on having it made. I'd have
cut my right hand off before I'd have
touched it, if I had only known what
he was about—the sly eld fool."
The next day she packed her trunk
and depaited to find a home with some
other of her' relatives in Connecticut,
positively refusing to share a home with
the new mistress where she had so long
reigned supreme. And when a year later
sho received a letter from her brother
Joel, announcing the birth of a son to
this last and happy wedlock, sho ex­
"There's no fool like an old fool."
She consigned the missive to the
flames with Sic words. But peaco and
prosperitv smiled upon her brother as
the happy husband and father and the
"little woman" blessed the day she ac­
cepted the {ough diamond for a life
partner—all of her days being those of
A THK&XOKKTKB gains notoriety bf
Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather's house we go
The li«rse knows tho way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted Bn'ow.
Over the river and through the wood,
Oh how the wind docs blow!
It stings the toes
Aud bites the nose
As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play,
Hear the bells ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through tho
Trot fast, my dapple gray.
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barn-yard gate
We seem to go
Extremely slow
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood—
Now grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the padding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie.
"I'll be blamed If I have anything to
be thankful for," said Mr. Bolter. "You
can all go home and chaw away at your
gobblers, and sing hymns if you want to
there'll be nothing to do in the store, any­
way. Everybody'll have to stufl them­
selves to-day, and of course business must
stop. I wish the man that invented
Thanksgiving day had a turkey-gobbler
tied around his neck, and had to sleep
and eat with it!"
And then Mr. Benjamin Bolter, mer
chant, kicked over a stool and yelled at
Peter, the office man, to look to the fires
and close up for the day.
The six men employed about the estab­
lishment silently left, except Peter, and
while the latter carried .out bis-employ­
er's instructions, Bolter sat down and
thought it over.
'•Such an idiotic custom," he said to
himself. "It don't matter a cent's worth
what the times have been, we've got to
have Thanksgiving reg'lar, and go on pre­
tending we've been blessed, no matter
how we've been persecuted. The whole
Country might be on the verge of starva­
tion, and they'd appoint one day in which
the provisions should be all eaten up.
"This year has been the hardest one
I've known. Everything's shrunk. I've
worxed day and night, and if I get
through and make both ends meet at the
end of the year, 1 will be lucky, Yet
they talk of Thanksgiving!"
And then Mr. Bolter got up and paced
about for a moment, and saw Peter stand-'
ing by the stove.
"What are you standing there for?"
said Bolter.
"I've closed up,"' respondedTeter.
"Well!" exclaimed Bolter.
"If you hain't got my more lor me to
do,' said Peter, "I'd like to get off."
Oh, you would!' replied. Bolter, "I
'spose you've got a turkey to eat, too, and
thanks to give?"
"Not turkey, zackly," said Peter,
scratching his head, "but we has a pig­
eon or two sir.
"Humph 1'' growled Bolter. "Well,
go on but mind you, you be back bright
and early in the morning, and ready for
hard work."
"Yes, sir," said Peter, and he slipped
lightly out the back door and went on
his way cheerily.
Then Bolter sat down awhile and re­
flected, and grew more bitter at the hard
times, and grumbled at the slow pace
which he was compelled to keep in his
march toward riches. By-and-by he
grew sleepy, and he thought he would
go home, and went for his overcoat and
shoes. Some way he didn't recollect
anything ajtdlr that, until he stepped off
the street cars up town and walked to­
ward his residence.
As he drew near his home Bolter was
surprised to see a carriage at the door
anda crowd collected about it. Two
men were carrying a burden of some kind
up the steps, and glancing at the door­
way he saw his wife and his daughter
Florence wringing their hands and gazing
at the moving figures.
Bolter darted forward, and in a mo­
ment was met by some of his neighbors,
who broke the painful news to him.
His oUly son, Paul, his pride, his hope,
on whose life centered bis ambition, had
been thrown from a moving train and
fearfully mangled. Life was not extinct,
but the breath came slow and painful,
and the end was nigh.
They had laid the bruised form on the
snowy bed, and Bolter threw himself on
his knees beside it in helpless agony.
The physicians came and looked and
turned away. There were whispers in
the parlor, in the corridor sadness every­
where for there was no hope.
"Save him?" cried Bolter, "Save my
son, and take all I have—everything,
everything!" But the doctors only told
him to bear it manfully, and shoo* their
"Dead 1"
Bolter never realized how much that
werd signified until he stood there and
gazed into the face of his earthly idol.
All night he sat half daxed nor could
he be induced to leave the room.
Morning came, and he walked bewih
dered about the house, noticing here and
there the preparations for £he funeral.
He opened the closet and saw before
him a coat worn by the boy, ane then
he broke down again and wept until the
tears would no longer come.
The next day came ana the funeral
service was read.
Old Peter was there, his sober, solemn
face framed between others from the
store, but looking out always pitifully
at his gnef-stricken master.
7.:'f f# -^.T.
At last came tbe lowering of the coffin,
the fall of the clods, and the old, old
"Ashes to ashes and dust to duet."
Bolter stood till the last clod fell, and
then followed the others away, back to
the silent home, back to communion
with his bruised heart, back to the weary
round1 of existence.
Ilis wife and daughter were left him,
the former a patiear, faithful woman
the later a sweet modest girl, but the
idol of his heart was gone, and he seemed
to have little to live for now.
"I do not care to get rich," he said to
himself again and again, "now tha the
is gone. Business may take care of it­
self. No misfortune that can befall me will
effect "me now.
But Bolter was mistaken. There came
sudden reverses. At first he almost smil­
ed at them, but then came others, and he
grew anxious.
Finally, affairs bccame desperate, and
he thoroughly roused himself. But it
was idle. His goods were se'zed and
sold his very home was levied upon and
soon passed from his possession. He
gathered the little remnants of property
that he had saved, and moved his family
into modest quarters. Soon he was
forced to leave these for humbler rooms,
and necessity at last drove him to the
fifth floor of a tenement house, and start­
ed him out on the streets in search of
work for bread enough to save himsell
and family from starvation.
Oh, how he looked back then, to the
bright days when he had abundance, a
cheerful home, a happy family and how
he wondered that he could have repined
at such a lot.
So the days went by, and another
Thanksgiving day came around. Sitting
by the dying embers in his bleak quar­
ters, looking upon the pinched faces and
shivering forms of his wife and daughter
seeing no hope for the morrow, the
strong man broke down completely, and
threw himself on his coarse bed in utter
Lying there, convulsed with the great
sobs which shook his frame, he beard
footsteps on the stairs, and then there
came a knock at the door.
His wife opened it, and there stood
who but old Peter, with a basket of veg­
etables on his arm, and his hand a
brace of very fat fowls.
Peter took oft' his hat in the old fash­
ion, and stammeringly said: "It hain't
turkey, 'zackly, you see, missus, but it's
a pigeon or two for Thanksgiving."
Almost his very words of a year before,
and Bolter hushed his breathing as he
"You see," continued Peter, "I got a
little work to do this week, and bein' as
to-morrow was Thanksgiving, I thought
I bring 'em round."
"Bless his noble soul," thought Bolter.
"Could I speak to the boss a minute?"
said Peter, giancmg toward the bed.
"He's asleep, poor man," returned
Mrs. Bolter.
"Well, then, you can tell him when
he wakes up," said Peter, "that there's a
good place open for him now in Carson's
warerooms, and they told me I might call
'round and say he could begin right
Mrs. Bolter caught Peter's hands in
hers, Florence began to cry, and Bolter
lay perfectly still for a moment, almost
afraid to breathe, but thinking that to­
morrow would be, atter all, the happiest
Thanksgiving be had ever known. Then
he sat up on the bed, and with tears
streaming down his face, he held out his
hands to Peter, and said, "God bless you,
my faithful friend, God bless you?"
And Peter grasped the prof erred hand,
but in a moment more began shaking
him most vigorously, and crying out:
"Rouse up, sir rouse up! What can be
the matter with you?"
Tnen his wife and Florence came and
there was more shaking, and at last Mr.
Bolter stood up and gazed in a stupefied
way, around, not at dying embers, not at
Peter's pigeons, bnt at three astonished,
though laughing faces, and at the well
furnished office of his own stoie.
"Why will you never wake up 1" sai
Mrs. Bolter. "Here Peter has been try­
ing for five minutes to rouse you, and the
dinner will be cold. We came after you,
fearing you would be late, and Paid is
waiting in the carriage for us."
"Paul!" exclaimed Mr. Bolter, "Paul 1"
"Yes, Paul btlt we should never have
found you if old Peter hadn't been going
past with his pigeons and let us in.
And was this indeed all a dream? Was.
Paul spared to him as well as his home
and his business?
Mr. Bolter sat down in his chair once
more, and buried his face in his hands.
"I thank God," said he, "that all these
blessings, so undeserved and hitherto
unrecognized, have been spared to me.
This shall be a day of Thanksgiving in­
deed, for me."
He turned, as he was passing meekly
out at the door, to Peter, who was fol­
lowing, and placing a bank-note in his
hand, said:
"Peter, there is time yet for a turkey
if you can't cook it to-day, have it to­
morrow. I have changed my mind, and
we will not open any earlier than usual.
Besides you can have a double holiday it
you wisTi. We have much to be thank­
ful lor." And then he got in beside
Paul and they drove away.
This is not a true story, but it ought
to be, it might be, it may be yet to some
who read it, it will aof be amiss to repeat
the prayer of Bolter, and say.
"Thank God that all these blessings,
so undeserved and hitherto unrecognized,
have been spared to me.
"I AU the oak you are the vine," re­
marked an ardent though silly lover to
his Marianne. "Lei the vine, therefore,
creep around the oak until it reaches
the topmost leaves—" "And finds noth­
ing there," exclaimed the heartless

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