|File size:||406 KB|
Read an Excerpt
AN UNHISTORIC PAGE. AN elderly negro man, Uncle Enoch by name, short of stature and with hair and beard beginning to grizzle, but with arms and body yet stout and strong, stood back of his little log house, not far from a Virginia public road, endeavoring to pull his ax out of a knotty black-gum log. Often and often, when his stock of firewood had diminished to this one log, had Uncle Enoch tried to split it, and now he was trying again. While thus engaged, there came to him his son Dick. This was a youth rather taller and lighter in color than his father, of an active and good-natured disposition, and hitherto supposed to be devoid of disturbing ambitions. " Look a-heah, daddy," said he, " won't yuh lemme go to Washin'ton nex' week? " Uncle Enoch stopped tugging at his ax, and turned round to look at Dick. " What fur?" said he. " I'se gwine to be a page in Congress." "What's dat?" asked his father, his bright eyes opening very wide. " What yuh want to do dat fur?" "A page is one of dem chaps as runs round andwaits on de Congressmen, when dey're doing dere work in Washin'ton. Dere's lots of 'em, and some of 'em is culle'd. Dey hab to be mighty peart and cut around, and fetch de Congressmen eberyting dey wants. And dey don't have to work for no fifty cents a day, nudder. Dey gits sebenteen hunderd dollars a year." "What's dat?" exclaimed Uncle Enoch. " Yuh means de whole kit and boodle uv 'em gits dat." " No, I don't," said Dick. " Ebery one gits it for hisse'f." "Yuhshu'hobdat?" " Yes, sah," replied Dick. "I heerd it all from a man down at de cross-roads, when I took ole Billy to be shod dis ebenin'. He wus tellin' a lot o' folks all about it at de stoah. An' won't yuh lemme gonex' week? " The old man put his hand on his ax-handle and stood reflec...