Counsel for defence put on his spectacles, and says he, -
"But how did- "
Here the Judge Advocate wished to inform the caricature of humanity then speaking, that he must not try any of his low bullying here, because it wouldn't do. He must not attempt to intimidate this court with his vapor-ings.
The following witness, Alonzo Tubbs, being sworn, deposed that he had known the prisoner at the refrigerator four years, and must admit that he regarded him as a monster in human guise; had at times pronounced him to be a modern Nero, and often thought he resembled a wolf in sheep's clothing; had spoken to prisoner once as to the feasibility of his lending seven shillings for a few days, and •had been refused in traitorous language.
The counsel for the defence drew a paper from one of his pockets, and says he,-
"Will the witness inform the court-"
The Judge Advocate desired to know whether the ravings of the maddened blusterer then howling were to be longer permitted ? He must be taught that this was no place to bring his threatening airs. His braggadocia would not do here.
Abel Drinker, being properly sworn, stated that he had known deceased often, and believed the counsel for the defence to be capable of any crime when under the influence of liquor -
Here the counsel for the defence tore his hair, and says he, -
"I protest against-"
"Silence, sarah!" says Villiam, "or I'll try you for the assassination of your father. You can't bully this court, sarah!"
The Judge Advocate could not pause to mention that the calumnious pettifogger had several times attempted the life of his mother, but would consent to the introduction of his first witness - not in obedience to any of his bullying, though.
Doctor Gigby, being sworn, affirmed that he had attended the prisoner at the refrigerator during a recent illness, during which the said prisoner had complained of seeing monkeys; at one stage of the disease heard him say "Our noble President" very distinctly -
"Ah!" says Villiam, with such a start that he nearly fell into the mangle, "what was that?"
"He said, ' Our noble President' very distinctly".
"Hum!" says Villiam. "If he said that, sarah, I hereby squash the indictment, and declare him man and wife. Let the counsel for the defence be committed for a further hearing".
And, the court being therefore instantly dissolved, we repaired to the salle a manger, where Captain Munchausen, Matilda, P. Penruthers, the Provisional Governor, and an aged Confederacy (who introduced the stately fashion of wearing an overcoat and muffler indoors, by reason of being temporarily deficient in the frock-coat and shirt-collar department), awaited us at the groaning supper-board.
"Gen-til-men," said the Provisional Governor, disguising a sneer in a highly unnatural cough, " let me introduce General Lately (as slightly distinguished from General Early), whom we propose to install as President of Cotton Seminary to-morrow".
"Hum!" says Villiam, attentively eying the aged stranger through his bit of Smoked Glass. "Methinks I have seen that being behind a musket, propelling glossy missiles toward the United States of America".
"You have, my man," responded the venerable Washington, in a deep bass tone;, "but I am now a cultivator of earth's teeming bosom, and have forgiven everything. I have advised those who have surrendered their muskets, to fire no more at present; but rather to give up slavery for the time being, and pay the freedmen six dollars yearly for their labor".
" And I," said the Provisional Governor, returning from a brief absence, " have just directed the troops on the lawn to march away at once, by authority of our noble President ; for my brother is now sufficiently reconstructed to dispense with the military-who," said the Governor, casually, " have been ordered to leave their rations behind with our seneschal".
" Furthermore," exclaimed Captain Munchausen, rising with dignity from a plate of biscuit marked "U. S." - "furthermore, my sister can no longer endure the presence of Vandals drenched in the gore of her forefathers, and your immediate flight from the chateau will be a cause of family congratulation".
Here Matilda turned toward us, so that we could see the new buttons on her dress; and a dreary voice, which seemed to say something about "them nasty Yankees," was heard to float tenderly upon the twilight air.
Villiam and I moved simultaneously toward the door, and says Villiam, -
" Tell me, sarah, what message shall we convey to the United States of America?"
"Tell them," said Captain Munchausen advancing, supported by the Provisional Governor and the aged Confederacy, who had just hauled a couple of muskets from under the table, "tell them that Munchausen is fully reconstructed, and will shortly demand a bottle of Pardon for the patriot Jefferson Davis".
"But, my Chevalier Bayard," said I, in bewilderment, "this Reconstruction is only a Congressional experiment".
"Tell them," said Captain Munchausen, suddenly struck with extreme deafness, "that the sunny South offers peace to the whole country, and will shortly be prepared (in con-sideration of a few rations and six months' credit for female wearing apparel), to recognize the North as equals".
It rained drearily as Captain Villiam Brown and I set out to overtake the conic section of the Mackerel Brigade, already on its march for the railway station; and as the great drops drove each other through my clothing, I earnestly wished for at least as much pardon in a tumbler as would refract a spoon. I mentioned as much to Villiam, and says he, -
" Pardons, my fren', as there is no bar to them in this sunny clime, and as they seem to be dispensed in accordance with the lick 'er law-Ah!" says Villiam, pausing suddenly, " what's this? "
It was a miserably dilapidated roadside house, through the windows of which a feeble light and the voices of men singing came out upon the thickening darkness of the night. Moving softly to the half-open door, we looked in, and beheld many members of the freed-negro race kneeling, in the wretched room, around the figure of a one-armed sable, soldier of the Union, who, holding a lighted tallow candle in his only hand, beat time with it to the supplication all were singing. Here and there in the kneeling congregation appeared the blue uniform which, in every other, attitude than that, had stood out a score of times in the red flash of battle; and, as the voices of homely praise and prayer went up to Him who no less gave blackness to the raven than whiteness to the goose, I thought it was fitting that the light, in its intoning rise and fall, should alternately call from the shadows of a far corner and restore to them again the bust of Abraham Lincoln.
Orpheus C. Kerr.