The Gentleman from Indiana (Chapter 7, page 2 of 27)


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Chapter 7

"He promised to buy me a bunch o' blue ribbon,
He promised to buy me a bunch o' blue ribbon,
He promised to buy me a bunch o' blue ribbon,
To tie up my bonny brown hair

"Oh dear! What can the matter be?
Oh dear! What can the matter be?
Oh dear! What can the matter be?
Johnnie's so long at the Fair!"

At the sound of this complaint, delivered in a manly voice, the listener's
jaw dropped, and his mouth opened and stayed open. "Him!" he muttered,
faintly. "Singin'!"

"Well, the old Triangle knew the music of our tread;
How the peaceful Seminole would tremble in his bed!"

sang the editor.
"I dunno huccome it," exclaimed the old man, "an' dat ain' hyer ner dar;
but, bless Gawd! de young man' happy!" A thought struck him suddenly, and
he scratched his head. "Maybe he goin' away," he said, querulously. "What
become o' ole Zen?" The splashing ceased, but not the voice, which struck
into a noble marching chorus. "Oh, my Lawd," said the colored man, "I pray
you listen at dat!"

"Soldiers marching up the street,
They keep the time;
They look sublime!
Hear them play Die Wacht am Rhein!
They call them Schneider's Band.
Tra la la la, la!"

The length of Main Street and all the Square resounded with the rattle of
vehicles of every kind. Since earliest dawn they had been pouring into the
village, a long procession on every country road. There were great red and
blue farm wagons, drawn by splendid Clydesdales; the elders of the family
on the front seat and on boards laid from side to side in front, or on
chairs placed close behind, while, in the deep beds back of these,
children tumbled in the straw, or peeped over the sides, rosy-cheeked and
laughing, eyes alight with blissful anticipations. There were more
pretentious two-seated cut-unders and stout buckboards, loaded down with
merrymakers, four on a seat meant for two; there were rattle-trap phaetons
and comfortable carry-alls drawn by steady spans; and, now and then, mule
teams bringing happy negroes, ready to squander all on the first Georgia
watermelons and cider. Every vehicle contained heaping baskets of good
things to eat (the previous night had been a woeful Bartholomew for Carlow
chickens) and underneath, where the dogs paced faithfully, swung buckets
and fodder for the horses, while colts innumerable trotted dose to the
maternal flanks, viewing the world with their big, new eyes in frisky
surprise.

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