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Title: In The Boyhood of Lincoln - A Tale of the Tunker Schoolmaster and the Times of Black Hawk
Author: Butterworth, Hezekiah, 1839-1905
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: THE RESCUE.]



IN THE BOYHOOD OF LINCOLN

A Tale of the Tunker Schoolmaster
and the Times of Black Hawk

BY

HEZEKIAH BUTTERWORTH

AUTHOR OF THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA

Let us have faith that right makes might, and
in that faith as to the end dare to do our duty.
                     PRESIDENT LINCOLN.

_ILLUSTRATED_

[Illustration]

NINTH EDITION

NEW YORK
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
1898


COPYRIGHT, 1892,
BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.



PREFACE.


Abraham Lincoln has become the typical character of American
institutions, and it is the purpose of this book, which is a true
picture in a framework of fiction, to show how that character, which so
commanded the hearts and the confidence of men, was formed. He who in
youth unselfishly seeks the good of others, without fear or favor, may
be ridiculed, but he makes for himself a character fit to govern others,
and one that the people will one day need and honor. The secret of
Abraham Lincoln's success was the "faith that right makes might." This
principle the book seeks by abundant story-telling to illustrate and
make clear.

In this volume, as in the "Log School-House on the Columbia," the
adventures of a pioneer school-master are made to represent the early
history of a newly settled country. The "Log School-House on the
Columbia" gave a view of the early history of Oregon and Washington.
This volume collects many of the Indian romances and cabin tales of the
early settlers of Illinois, and pictures the hardships and manly
struggles of one who by force of early character made himself the
greatest of representative Americans.

The character of the Dunkard, or Tunker, as a wandering school-master,
may be new to many readers. Such missionaries of the forests and
prairies have now for the most part disappeared, but they did a useful
work among the pioneer settlements on the Ohio and Illinois Rivers. In
this case we present him as a disciple of Pestalozzi and a friend of
Froebel, and as one who brings the German methods of story-telling into
his work.

"Was there ever so good an Indian as Umatilla?" asks an accomplished
reviewer of the "Log School-House on the Columbia." The chief whose
heroic death in the grave of his son is recorded in that volume did not
receive the full measure of credit for his devotion, for he was really
buried _alive_ in the grave of his boy. A like question may be asked in
regard to the father of Waubeno in this volume. We give the story very
much as Black Hawk himself related it. In Drake's History of the Indians
we find it related in the following manner:

"It is related by Black Hawk, in his Life, that some time before the War
of 1812 one of the Indians had killed a Frenchman at Prairie des Chiens.
'The British soon after took him prisoner, and said they would shoot him
next day. His family were encamped a short distance below the mouth of
the Ouisconsin. He begged permission to go and see them that night, as
he was _to die the next day_. They permitted him to go, after promising
to return the next morning by sunrise. He visited his family, which
consisted of a wife and six children. I can not describe their meeting
and parting to be understood by the whites, as it appears that their
feelings are acted upon by certain rules laid down by their
_preachers_!--while ours are governed only by the monitor within us. He
parted from his wife and children, hurried through the prairie to the
fort, and arrived in time. The soldiers were ready, and immediately
_marched out and shot him down_!' If this were not cold-blooded,
deliberate murder on the part of the whites I have no conception of what
constitutes that crime. What were the circumstances of the murder we are
not informed; but whatever they may have been, they can not excuse a
still greater barbarity."

It belongs, like the story of so-called Umatilla in the "Log
School-House on the Columbia," to a series of great legends of Indian
character which the poet's pen and the artist's brush would do well to
perpetuate. The examples of Indians who have valued honor more than life
are many, and it is a pleasing duty to picture such scenes of native
worth, as true to the spirit of the past.

We have in this volume, as in the former book, freely mingled history,
tradition, and fiction, but we believe that we have in no case been
untrue to the fact and spirit of the times we picture, and we have
employed fiction chiefly as a framework to bring what is real more
vividly into view. We have employed the interpretive imagination merely
for narrative purposes. Nearly all that has distinctive worth in the
volume is substantially true to history, tradition, and the general
spirit of old times in the Illinois, the Sangamon, and the Chicago; to
the character of the "jolly old pedagogue long ago"; and to that
marvelous man who accepted in youth the lesson of lessons, that "right
makes might."

28 WORCHESTER STREET, BOSTON, MASS.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                         PAGE

I.--INTRODUCED                                                     1

II.--THOMAS LINCOLN'S FAMILY STORIES                              17

III.--THE OLD BLACKSMITH'S SHOP AND THE MERRY STORY-TELLERS       33

IV.--A BOY WITH A HEART                                           55

V.--JASPER COBBLES FOR AUNT OLIVE.--HER QUEER STORIES             62

VI.--JASPER GIVES AN ACCOUNT OF HIS VISIT TO BLACK HAWK.--AUNT
INDIANA'S WIG                                                     75

VII.--THE EXAMINATION AT CRAWFORD'S SCHOOL                        87

VIII.--THE PARABLE PREACHES IN THE WILDERNESS                    100

IX.--AUNT INDIANA'S PROPHECIES                                   108

X.--THE INDIAN RUNNER                                            115

XI.--THE CABIN NEAR CHICAGO                                      122

XII.--THE WHITE INDIAN OF CHICAGO                                133

XIII.--LAFAYETTE AT KASKASKIA.--THE STATELY MINUET               140

XIV.--WAUBENO AND YOUNG LINCOLN                                  156

XV.--THE DEBATING SCHOOL                                         166

XVI.--THE SCHOOL THAT MADE LINCOLN PRESIDENT                     177

XVII.--THOMAS LINCOLN MOVES                                      184

XVIII.--MAIN-POGUE                                               196

XIX.--THE FOREST COLLEGE                                         202

XX.--MAKING LINCOLN A "SON OF MALTA"                             214

XXI.--PRAIRIE ISLAND                                             218

XXII.--THE INDIAN PLOT                                           229

XXIII.--FOR LINCOLN'S SAKE                                       236

XXIV.--"OUR LINCOLN IS THE MAN"                                  251

XXV.--AT THE LAST                                                265



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                               FACING PAGE

The rescue                                                   _Frontispiece_

The Tunker school-master's class in manners                        14

Lines written by Lincoln on the leaf of his school-book            22

Story-telling at the smithy                                        35

The home of Abraham Lincoln when in his tenth year                 55

Aunt Olive's wedding                                               68

Abraham as a peace-maker                                           90

Black Hawk tells the story of Waubeno                             118

A queer place to write poetry                                     160

Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's step-mother                 217

The approach of the mysterious Indian                             240

The Lincoln family record                                         250

Abraham Lincoln, the man                                          262



IN THE BOYHOOD OF LINCOLN.



CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCED.


"Boy, are there any schools in these parts?"

"Crawford's."

"And who, my boy, is Crawford?"

"The schoolmaster, don't yer know? He's great on thrashing--on
thrashing--and--and he knows everything. Everybody in these parts has
heard of Crawford. He's great."

"That is all very extraordinary. 'Great on thrashing, and knows
everything.' Very extraordinary! Do you raise much wheat in these
parts?"

"He don't thrash wheat, mister. Old Dennis and young Dennis do that with
their thrashing-flails."

"But what does he thrash, my boy--what does he thrash?"

"He just thrashes boys, don't you know."

"Extraordinary--very extraordinary. He thrashes boys."

"And teaches 'em their manners. He teaches manners, Crawford does.
Didn't you never hear of Crawford? You must be a stranger in these
parts."

"Yes, I am a stranger in Indiana. I have been following the timber
along the creek, and looking out on the prairie islands. This is a
beautiful country. Nature has covered it with grasses and flowers, and
the bees will swarm here some day; I see them now; the air is all bright
with them, my boy."

"I don't see any bees; it isn't the time of year for 'em. Do you
cobble?"

"You don't quite understand me. I was speaking spiritually. Yes, I
cobble to pay my way. Yes, my boy."

"Do you preach?"

"Yes, and teach the higher branches--like Crawford. He teaches the
higher branches, does he not?"

"Don't make any odds where he gets 'em. I didn't know that he used the
higher branches. He just cuts a stick anywhere, and goes at 'em, he
does."

"You do not comprehend me, my boy. I teach the higher branches in new
schools--Latin and singing. I do not use the higher branches of the
trees."

"Latin! Then you must be a _wizard_."

"No, no, my boy. I am one of the Brethren--called. My new name is
Jasper. I chose that name because I needed polishing. Do you see? Well,
the Lord is doing his work, polishing me, and I shall shine by and by.
'They that turn many to righteousness shall shine like the stars of
heaven.' They call me the Parable."

"Then you be a Tunker?"

"I am one of the wandering Brethren that they call 'Tunkers.'"

"You preach for nothin'? They do."

"Yes, my boy; the Word is free."

"Then who pays you?"

"My soul."

"And you teach for nothin', too, do ye?"

"Yes, my boy. Knowledge is free."

"Then who pays you?"

"It all comes back to me. He that teaches is taught."

"You don't cobble for nothin', do ye?"

"Yes--I cobble to pay my way. I am a wayfaring man, wandering to and fro
in the wilderness of the world."

"You cobble to pay yourself for teachin' and preachin'! Why don't you
make _them_ pay you? I shouldn't think that you would want to preach and
teach and cobble all for nothin', and travel, and travel, and sleep
anywhere. Father will be proper glad to see you--and mother; we are glad
to see near upon anybody. I suppose that you will hold forth down to
Crawford's; in the log meetin'-'ouse, or in the school-'ouse, may be, or
under the great trees over Nancy Lincoln's grave. Elkins he preached
there, and the circuit-rider."

"If I follow the timber, I will come to Crawford's, my boy?"

"Yes, mister. You'll come to the school-'ouse, and the meetin'-'ouse.
The school-'ouse has a low-down roof and a big chimney. Crawford will be
right glad to see you, won't he now? They are great on spellin' down
there--have spellin'-matches, and all the people come from far and near
to hear 'em spell--hundreds of 'em. Link--he's the head speller--he
could spell down anybody. It is the greatest school in all these here
new parts. You will have a right good time down there; they'll treat ye
right well."

"Good, my boy; you speak kindly. I shall have a good time, if the people
have ears."

"Ears! They've all got ears--just like other folks. You didn't think
that they didn't have any ears, did ye?"

"I mean ears for the truth. I must travel on. I am glad that I met you,
my lad. Tell your father and mother that old Jasper the Parable has gone
by, and that he has a message for them in his heart. God bless you, my
boy--God bless you! You are a little rude in your speech, but you mean
well."

The man went on, following the trail along the great trees of Pigeon
Creek, and the boy stood looking after him. The water rippled under the
trees, and afar lay the open prairie, like a great sun sea. The air was
cool, but the light of spring was in it, and the blue-birds fluted
blithely among the budding trees.

As he passed along amid these new scenes, a singular figure appeared in
the way. It was a woman in a linsey-woolsey dress, corn sun-bonnet, and
a huge cane. She looked at the Tunker suspiciously, yet seemed to retard
her steps that he might overtake her.

"My good woman," said the latter, coming up to her, "I am not sure of my
way."

"Well, I am."

"I wish to go to the Pigeon Creek--settlement--"

"Then you ought to have kept the way when you had it."

"But, my good woman, I am a stranger in these parts. A boy has directed
me, but I feel uncertain. What do you do when you lose your way?"

"I don't lose it."

"But if you were--"

"I'd just turn to the right, and keep right straight ahead till I found
it."

"True, true; but this is a new country to me. I am one of the Brethren."

"Ye be, be ye? I thought you were one of them land agents. One of the
Brethren. I'm proper glad. Who were you lookin' for?"

"Crawford's school."

"The college? Am you're goin' there? I go over there sometimes to see
him wallop the boys. We must all have discipline in life, you know, and
it is best to begin with the young. Crawford does. They say that
Crawford teaches clear to the rule of three, whatever that may be. One
added to one is more than one, according to the Scriptur'; now isn't it?
One added to one is almost three. Is that what they call high
mathematics? I never got further than the multiplication-table, though I
am a friend to education. My name is Olive Eastman. What's yourn?"

"Jasper."

"You don't? One of the old patriarchs, like. Well, I live this way--you
go _that_. 'Tain't more'n half a mile to Crawford's--close to the
meetin'-'ouse. Mebby you'll preach there, and I'll hear ye. Glad I met
ye now, and to see who you be. They call me Aunt Olive sometimes, and
sometimes Aunt Indiana. I settled Pigeon Creek, or husband and I did. He
was kind o' weakly; he's gone now, and I live all alone. I'd be glad to
have you come over and preach at the 'ouse, though I might not believe a
word on't. I'm a Methody; most people are Baptist down here, like the
Linkuns, but we is all ready to listen to a Tunker. People are only
responsible for what they know; and there are some good people among the
Tunkers, I've hern tell. Now don't go off into some by-path into the
woods. Tom Lincoln he see a bear there the other day, but he wouldn't
'a' shot it if it had been an elephant with tusks of ivory and gold.
Some folks haven't no calculation. The Lincolns hain't. Good-by."

The Tunker was a middle-aged man of probably forty-five or more years.
He had a benevolent face, large, sympathetic eyes, and a patriarchal
beard. His garments had hooks instead of buttons. He carried a leather
bag in which were a Bible and a hymn-book, some German works of
Zinzendorf, and his cobbling-tools. We can not wonder that the boy
stared after him. He would have looked oddly anywhere.

My reader may not know who a Tunker was, as our wandering schoolmaster
was called. A Tunker, or Dunker, was one of a sect of German Baptists or
Quakers, who were formerly very numerous in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The
order numbered at one time some thirty thousand souls. They called
themselves Brethren, but were commonly known as "Tunkards," or
"Dunkards," from a German word meaning to _dip_. At their baptisms they
dip the body of a convert three times; and so in their own land they
received the name of Tunkers, or _dippers_, and this name followed them
into Holland and to America. A large number of the Brethren settled in
Germantown, Pa. Thence they wandered into Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois,
preaching and teaching and doing useful work. Like the Quakers, they
have now nearly disappeared.

Their doctrines were peculiar, but their lives were unselfish and pure,
and their influence blameless. They believed in being led by the inner
light; that the soul was a seat of divine and spiritual authority, and
that the Spirit came to them as a direct revelation. They did not eat
meat or drink wine. They washed each other's feet after their religious
services, wore their beards long, and gave themselves new names that
they might not be tempted by any worldly ambitions or rivalries. They
thought it wrong to take oaths, to hold slaves, or to treat the Indians
differently from other men. They would receive no payment for preaching,
but held that it was the duty of all men to live by what they earned by
their own labor. They traveled wherever they felt moved to go by the
inward monitor. They were a peculiar people, but the prairie States owe
much that was good to their influence. The new settlers were usually
glad to see the old Tunker when he appeared among them, and to receive
his message, and women and children felt the loss of this benevolent
sympathy when he went away. He established no church, yet all people
believed in his sincerity, and most people listened to him with respect
and reverence. The sect closely resembled the old Jewish order of the
Essenes, except that they did not wear the garment of white, but loose
garments without buttons.

The scene of the Tunker's journey was in Spencer County, Indiana, near
the present town of Gentryville. This county was rapidly being occupied
by immigrants, and it was to this new people that Jasper the Parable
believed himself to be guided by the monitor within.

Early in the afternoon he passed several clearings and cabins, where he
stopped to receive directions to the school-house and meeting-house.

The country was one vast wilderness. For the most part it was covered
with gigantic trees, though here and there a rich prairie opened out of
the timber. There were oaks gray with centuries, and elms jacketed with
moss, in whose high boughs the orioles in summer builded and sang, and
under which the bluebells grew. There were black-walnut forests in
places, with timber almost as hard as horn. The woods in many places
were open, like colonnades, and carpeted with green moss. There were no
restrictions of law here, or very few. One might pitch his tent
anywhere, and live where he pleased. The land, as a rule, was common.

Jasper came at last to a clearing with a rude cabin, near which was a
three-faced camp, as a house of poles with one open side was called.
Spencer County was near the Kentucky border, and the climate was so warm
that a family could live there in a house of poles in comfort for most
of the year.

As Jasper the Parable came up to the log-house, which had neither hinged
doors nor glass windows, a large, rough, good-humored-looking man came
out to the gate to meet him, and stood there leaning upon a low
gate-post.

"Howdy, stranger?" said the hardy pioneer. "What brings you to these
parts--lookin' fer a place to settle down at?"

"No, my good friend--I'm obliged to you for speaking so kindly to a
wayfarer--peace be with you--I am looking for the school-house. Can you
direct me there?"

"I reckon. Then you be going to see the school? Good for ye. A great
school that Crawford keeps. I've got a boy and a girl in that there
school myself. The boy, if I do say it now, is the smartest fellow in
all the country round--and the laziest. Smart at the top, but it don't
go down. Runs all to larnin'. Just reads and studies about all the time,
speaks pieces, and preaches on stumps, and makes poetry, and things. I
don't know what will ever become of him. He's a queer one. My name is
Linkem" (Lincoln)--"Thomas Linkem. What's yourn?"

"They call me Jasper the Parable--that is my new name. I'm one of the
Brethren. No offense, I hope--just one of the Brethren."

"Oh, you be--a Tunker. Well, we'll all be proper glad to see you down
here. I come from Kentuck. Where did you come from?"

"From Pennsylvania, here. I was born in Germany."

"Sho, you did? From Pennsylvany! And how far are you going?"

"I'm going to meet Black Hawk. My good friend, I stop and preach and
teach and cobble along the way."

"What! Black Hawk, the chief? Is it him you're goin' to see? You're an
Indian agent, perhaps, travelin' for the State or the fur-traders?"

"No, I am not a trader of any kind. I am going to meet Black Hawk at
Rock River. He has promised me a young Indian guide, who will show me
all these paths and act as an interpreter, and gain for me a passage
among all the Indian tribes. I have met Black Hawk before."

"You've been to Illinois, have ye? Glad to hear ye say so. What kind of
a kentry is that, now? I've sometimes thought of going there myself. It
ain't over-healthy here. Say, stranger, come back and stop with us after
you've been to the school. I haven't any great accommodations, as you
see, but I will do the best I can for you, and it will make my wife and
Abe and the gal proper glad to have a talk with a preacher. Ye will,
won't ye, now? Say yes."

"Yes, yes, if it is so ordered, friend. Thank you, yes. I feel moved to
say that I will come back. You are very good, my friend."

"Yes, yes, come back and see us all. I won't detain ye any longer now.
You see that there openin'? Well, you just follow that path as the
crow flies, and you'll come to the school-'ouse. Good-day,
stranger--good-day."

It was early spring, a season always beautiful in southern Indiana. The
buds were swelling; the woodpeckers were tapping the old trees, and the
migrating birds were returning to their old homes in the tree-tops.
Jasper went along singing, for his heart was happy, and he felt the
cheerful influence of the vernal air. The birds to him were prophets and
choirs, and the murmur of the south winds in the trees was a sermon. A
right and receptive spirit sees good in everything, and so Jasper sang
as he walked along the footpath.

The school-house came into view. It was built of round logs, and was
scarcely higher than a tall man's head. The chimney was large, and was
constructed of poles and clay, and the floor and furniture were made of
puncheons, as split logs were called. The windows consisted of rough
slats and oiled paper. The door was open, and Jasper came up and stood
before it. How strange the new country all seemed to him!

The schoolmaster came to the door. He affected gentlemanly and almost
courtly manners, and bowed low.

"Is this Mr. Crawford, may I ask?" said Jasper.

"Andrew Crawford. And whom have I the honor of meeting?"

"My new name is Jasper. I am one of the Brethren. They call me the
Parable. I am on my way to Rock Island, Illinois, to meet Black Hawk,
the chief, who has promised to assist me with a guide and interpreter
for my missionary journeys among the new settlements and the tribes. I
have come, may it please you, to visit the school. I am a teacher
myself."

"You do us great honor, and I assure you that you are very welcome--very
welcome. Come in."

The scholars stared, and presented a very strange appearance. The boys
were dressed in buckskin breeches and linsey-woolsey shirts, and the
girls in homespun gowns of most economical patterns. The furniture
seemed all pegs and puncheons. The one cheerful object in the room was
the enormous fireplace. The pupils delighted to keep this fed with fuel
in the chilly winter days, and the very ashes had cheerful suggestions.
It was all ashes now, for the sun was high, and the spring falls warm
and early in the forests of southern Indiana.

It was past mid afternoon, and the slanting sun was glimmering in the
tops of the gigantic forest-trees seen from the open door.

"We have nearly completed the exercises of the day," said Mr. Crawford.
"I have yet to hear the spelling-class, and to conduct the exercises in
manners. I teach manners. Shall I go on in the usual way?"

"Yes, yes, may it please you--yes, in the usual way--in the usual way.
You are very kind."

"You do me great honor.--The class in spelling," said Mr. Crawford,
turning to the school. Five boys and girls stood up, and came to an open
space in front of the desk. The recitation of this class was something
most odd and amusing to Jasper, and so it would seem to a teacher of
to-day.

"_Incompatibility_" said Mr. Crawford. "You may make your manners and
spell _incompatibility_, Sarah."

A tall girl with a high forehead and very short dress gave a modest and
abashed glance at the wandering visitor, blushed, courtesied very low,
and thus began the rhythmic exercise of spelling the word in the
old-time way:

"I-n, in; there's your in. C-o-m, com, incom; there's your incom; incom.
P-a-t, pat, compat, incompat; there's your incompat; incompat. I-, pati,
compati, incompati; there's your incompati; incompati. B-i-l, bil; ibil,
patibil, compatibil, incompatibil; there's your incompatibil;
incompatibil. I-, bili, patibili, compatibili, incompatibili; there's
your incompatibili; incompatibili. T-y, ty, ity, bility, ibility,
patibility, compatibility, incompatibility; there's your
incompatibility; _incompatibility_."

The girl seemed dazed after this mazy effort. Mr. Crawford bowed, and
Jasper the Parable looked serene, and remarked, encouragingly:

"Extraordinary! I never heard a word spelled in that way. This is an
age of wonders. One meets with strange things everywhere. I should think
that that girl would make a teacher one day; and the new country will
soon need teachers. The girl did well."

"You do me great honor," said Mr. Crawford, bowing like a courtier. "I
appreciate it, I assure you; I appreciate it, and thank you. I have
aimed to make my school the best in the country. Your commendation
encourages me to hope that I have not failed."

But these polite and generous compliments were exchanged a little too
soon. The next word that Mr. Crawford gave out from the "Speller" was
_obliquity_.

"Jason, make your manners and spell _obliquity_. Take your hands out of
your pockets; that isn't manners. Take your hands out of your pockets
and spell _obliquity_."

Jason was a tall lad, in a jean blouse and leather breeches. His hair
was tangled and his ankles were bare. He seemed to have a loss of
confidence, but he bobbed his head for manners, and began to spell in a
very loud voice, that had in it almost the sharpness of defiance.

"O-b, ob; there's your ob; ob." He made a leer. "L-i-k, lik, oblik;
there's your oblik--"

"No," said Mr. Crawford, with a look of vexation and disappointment.
"Try again."

Jason took a higher key of voice.

"Wall, O-b, ob; there's your ob; ain't it? L-i-c-k, and there's your
lick--"

"Take your seat!" thundered Mr. Crawford. "I'll give you a _lick_ after
school. Think of bringing obliquity upon the school in the presence of
a teacher from the Old World! Next!"

But the next pupil became lost in the mazes of the improved method of
spelling, and the class brought dishonor upon the really conscientious
and ambitious teacher.

The exercise in manners partly redeemed the disaster.

"Abraham Lincoln, stand up."

A tall boy arose, and his head almost touched the ceiling. He was
dressed in a linsey-woolsey frock, with buckskin breeches which were
much too short for him. His ankles were exposed, and his feet were
poorly covered. His face was dark and serious. He did not look like one
whom an unseen Power had chosen to control one day the destiny of
nations, to call a million men to arms, and to emancipate a race.

"Abraham Lincoln, you may go out, and come in and be introduced."

It required but a few steps to take the young giant out of the door. He
presently returned, knocking.

"James Sparrow, you may go to the door," said Mr. Crawford.

The boy arose, went to the door, and bowed very properly.

"Good-afternoon, Mr. Lincoln. I am glad to see you. Come in. If it
please you, I will present you to my friends."

Abraham entered, as in response to this courtly parrot-talk.

"Mr. Crawford, may I have the honor of presenting to you my friend
Abraham Lincoln?--Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Crawford."

[Illustration: THE TUNKER SCHOOLMASTER'S CLASS IN MANNERS.]

Mr. Crawford bowed slowly and condescendingly. Abraham was then
introduced to each of the members of the school, and the exercise was a
very creditable one, under the untoward circumstances. And this shall be
our own introduction to one of the heroes of our story, and, following
this odd introduction, we will here make our readers somewhat better
acquainted with Jasper the Parable.

He was born in Thuringia, not far from the Baths of Liebenstein. His
father was a German, but his mother was of English descent, and he had
visited England with her in his youth, and so spoke the English language
naturally and perfectly. He had become an advocate of the plans of
Pestalozzi, the father of common-school education, in his early life.
One of the most intimate friends of his youth was Froebel, afterward the
founder of the kindergarten system of education. With Froebel he had
entered the famous regiment of Lützow; he had met Körner, and sang the
"Wild Hunt of Lützow," by Von Weber, as it came from the composer's pen,
the song which is said to have driven Napoleon over the Rhine. He had
married, lost wife and children, become melancholy and despondent, and
finally fallen under the influence of the preaching of a Tunker, and had
taken the resolution to give up himself entirely, his will and desires,
and to live only for others, and to follow the spiritual impression,
which he believed to be the Divine will. He was simple and sincere. His
friends had treated him ill on his becoming a Tunker, but he forgave
them all, and said: "You reject me from your hearts and homes. I will go
to the new country, and perhaps I may find there a better place for us
all. If I do, I will return to you and treat you as Joseph treated his
brethren. You are oppressed; you have to bear arms for years. I am left
alone in the world. Something calls me over the sea."

He lived near Marienthal, the Vale of Mary. It was a lovely place, and
his heart loved it and all the old German villages, with their songs and
children's festivals, churches, and graves. He bade farewell to Froebel.
"I am going to study life," he said, "in the wilderness of the New
World." He came to Pennsylvania, and met the Brethren there who had come
from Germany, and then traveled with an Indian agent to Rock Island,
Illinois, where he had met Black Hawk. Here he resolved to become a
traveling teacher, preacher, and missionary, after the usages of his
order, and he asked Black Hawk for an interpreter and guide.

"Return to me in May," said the chief, "and I will provide you with as
noble a son of the forest as ever breathed the air."

He returned to Ohio, and was now on his way to visit the old chief
again.

The country was a wonder to him. Coming from middle Germany and the
Rhine lands, everything seemed vast and limitless. The prairies with
their bluebells, the prairie islands with their giant trees, the forests
that shaded the streams, were all like a legend, a fairy story, a dream.
He admired the heroic spirit of the pioneers, and he took the Indians to
his heart. In this spirit he began to travel over the unbroken prairies
of Indiana and Illinois.



CHAPTER II.

THOMAS LINCOLN'S FAMILY STORIES.


The red sun was glimmering through the leafless boughs of the great oaks
when Jasper again came to the gate of Thomas Lincoln's log cabin. Mr.
Crawford had remained after school with the tall boy who had brought
"obliquity" upon the spelling-class. Tradition reports that there was a
great rattling of leather breeches, and expostulations, and lamentations
at such solemn, private interviews. Mr. Crawford, who was "great on
thrashing," no doubt did his duty as he understood it at that private
session at sundown. Sticks were plenty in those days, and the will to
use them strong among most pioneer schoolmasters.

Abraham Lincoln and his sister accompanied Jasper to the log-house. They
heard the lusty cry for consideration and mercy in the log school-house
as they were going, and stopped to listen. Jasper did not approve of
this rugged discipline.

"I should not treat the boy in that way," said he philosophically.

"You wouldn't?" said Abraham. "Why? Crawford is a great teacher; he
knows everything. He can cipher as far as the rule of three."

"Yes, lad, but the true purpose of education is to form character. Fear
does not make true worth, but counterfeit character. If education fails
to produce real character, it fails utterly. True education is a matter
of the soul as much as of the mind. It should make a boy want to do
right because it is the right thing to do right. Anything that fails to
produce character for its own sake, and not for a selfish reason, is a
mistake. But what am I doing--criticising? Now, that is wrong. I seemed
to be talking with Froebel. Yes, Crawford is a great teacher, all things
considered. He does well who does his best. You have a great school. It
is not like the old German schools, but you do well."

Jasper began a discourse about Pestalozzi and that great thinker's views
of universal education. But the words were lost on the air. The views of
Pestalozzi were not much discussed in southern Indiana at this time,
though the idea of common-school education prevailed everywhere.

Thomas Lincoln stood at the gate awaiting the return of Jasper.

"I'm proper glad that you've come back to see us all," said he. "Wife
has been lookin' for ye. What did you think of the school? Great, isn't
it? That Crawford is a big man in these parts. They say he can cipher to
the rule of three, whatever that may be. Indiana is going to be great on
education, in my opinion."

He was right. Indiana, with an investment of some ten million of dollars
for public education, and with an army of well-trained teachers, leads
the middle West in the excellence of her schools. Her model school
system, which to-day would delight a Pestalozzi or a Froebel, had its
rude beginning in schools like Crawford's.

"Come, come in," said Thomas Lincoln, and led the way into the
log-house.

"This is my wife," said he to Jasper.

The woman had a serene and benevolent face. Her features were open and
plain, but there was heart-life in them. It was a face that could have
been molded only by a truly good heart. It was strong, long-suffering,
sympathetic, and self-restrained. Her forehead was high and thoughtful,
her eyes large and expressive, and her voice loving and cheerful. Jasper
felt at once that he was in the presence of a woman of decision of
character.

"Then you are a Tunker," she said. "I am a Baptist, too, but not your
kind. But such things matter little if the heart is right."

"You have well said," answered Jasper. "The true life is in the soul. We
both belong to the same kingdom, and shall have the same life and drink
from the same fountain and eat the same bread. Have you been here long?"

"Yes," said Thomas Lincoln, "and we have seen some dark days. We lived
in the half-faced camp out yonder when I first came here. My first wife
died of milk-sickness here. She was Abraham's mother. Ever heard of the
milk-sickness, as the fever was called? It swept away a great many of
the early inhabitants. Those were dark, dark days. I shall never forget
them."

"So your real mother is dead," said Jasper to Abraham.

"I try to be a mother to him, poor boy," said Mrs. Lincoln. "Abraham is
good to me and to everybody; one of the best boys I ever knew, though I
ought not to praise him to his face. He does the best he can."

"Awful lazy. You didn't tell that," said Thomas Lincoln; "all head and
books. He is. I believe in tellin' the whole truth."

"Oh, well," said Mrs. Lincoln, "some persons work with their hands, and
some with their heads, and some with their hearts. Abraham's head is
always at work--he isn't like most other boys. And as far as his
heart--Well, I do love that boy, and I am his step-mother, too. He's
always been so good to me that I love to tell on't. His father, I'm
thinkin', is rather hard on him sometimes. Abe's heart knows mine and I
know his'n, and I couldn't think more on him if he was my own son. His
poor mother sleeps out there under the great trees; but I mean to be
such a mother to him that he will never know no difference."

"Yes," said Thomas Lincoln, "Abraham does middlin' well, considerin'.
But he does provoke me sometimes. He would provoke old Job himself. Why,
he will take a book with him into the corn-field, and he reads and
reads, and his head gets loose and goes off into the air, and he puts
the pumpkin-seeds in the wrong hills, like as not. He is great on the
English Reader. I'd just like for you to hear him recite poetry out of
that book. He's great on poetry; writes it himself. But that isn't
neither here nor there. Come, preacher, we'll have some supper."

The Tunker lifted his hand and said grace, after which the family sat
down to the table.

"We used to eat off a puncheon when we first came to these parts," said
Mr. Lincoln. "We had no beds, and we slept on a floor of pounded clay.
My new wife brought all of this grand furniture to me. That beereau
looks extravagant--now don't it?--for poor folks, too. I sometimes think
that she ought to sell it. I am told that in a city place it would be
worth as much as fifty dollars."

There were indeed a few good articles of furniture in the house.

The supper consisted of corn-bread of very rough meal, and of bacon,
eggs, and coffee.

"Do you smoke?" asked Mr. Lincoln, when the meal was over.

"No," said Jasper. "I have given up everything of that kind, luxuries,
and even my own name. Let us talk about our experiences. There is no
news in the world like the news from the soul. A man's inner life and
experience are about all that is worth talking about. It is the king
that makes the crown."

But Thomas Lincoln was not a man of deep inward experiences and
subjective ideas, though his first wife had been such a person, and
would have delighted Jasper. Mr. Lincoln liked best to talk about his
family and the country, and was more interested in the slow news that
came from the new settlements than in the revelations from a higher
world. His former wife, Abraham's mother, had been a mystic, but there
was little sentiment in him.

"You said that you were going to meet Black Hawk," said Mr. Lincoln.
"Where do you expect to find him? He's everywhere, ain't he?"

"I am going to the Sac village at Rock Island. It is a long journey, but
the Voice tells me to go."

"That is away across the Illinois, on the Mississippi River, isn't it?"

"Yes, the Sac village looks down on the Mississippi. It is a beautiful
place. The prairies spread around it like seas. I love to think of it.
It commands a noble view. I do not wonder that the Indians love it, and
made it the burial-place of their race. I would love it myself."

"You favor the Indians, do you?"

"Yes. All men are my brothers. The field is the world. I am going to try
to preach and teach among the Sacs and Foxes, as soon as I can find an
interpreter, and Black Hawk has promised me one. He has sent for him to
come down to Rock Island and meet me. He lives at Prairie du Chien, far
away in the north, I am told."

"Don't you have any antipathy against the Indians, preacher?"

"No, none at all. Do you?"

"My father was murdered by an Indian. Let me tell you about it. Not that
I want to discourage you--you mean well; but I don't feel altogether as
you do about the red-skins, preacher. You and Abe would agree better on
the subject than you and I. Abe is tender-hearted--takes after his
mother."

Thomas Lincoln filled his pipe. "Abe," as his oldest boy was called, sat
in the fireplace, "the flue," as it was termed. By his side sat John
Hanks, who had recently arrived from Kentucky--a rough, kindly-looking
man.

[Illustration: LINES WRITTEN BY LINCOLN ON THE LEAF OF HIS SCHOOL-BOOK
IN HIS FOURTEENTH YEAR.

Preserved by his Step-mother.

_Original in possession of J. W. Weik._]

"Wait a minute," said great-hearted Mrs. Lincoln--"wait a minute before
you begin."

"What are you going to do, mother (wife)?"

"I'm just going to set these potatoes to roast before the fire, so we
can have a little treat all by ourselves when you have got through your
story. There, that is all."

The poor woman sat down by the table--she had brought the table to her
husband on her marriage; he probably never owned a table--and began to
knit, saying:

"Abraham, you mind the potatoes. Don't let 'em burn."

"Yes, mother."

"Mother"--the word seemed to make her happy. Her face lighted. She sat
knitting for an hour, silent and serene, while Thomas Lincoln talked.


_THOMAS LINCOLN'S STORY._

"My father," began the old story-teller, "came to Kentucky from
Virginia. His name was Abraham Lincoln. I have always thought that was a
good, solid name--a worthy name--and so I gave it to my boy here, and
hope that he will never bring any disgrace upon it. I never can be much
in this world; Abe may.

"This was in Daniel Boone's day. On our way to Kentucky we began to hear
terrible stories of the Indian attacks on the new settlers. In 1780, the
year that we emigrated from Virginia, there were many murders of the
settlers by the Indians, which were followed by the battle of Lower Blue
Licks, in which Boone's son was wounded.

"I have heard my mother and the old settlers talk over that battle.
When Daniel Boone found that his son was wounded, he tried to carry him
away. There was a river near, and he lifted the boy upon his back and
hurried toward it. As he came to the river, the boy grew heavy.

"'Father, I believe that I am dying,' said the boy.

"'We will be across the river soon,' said Boone. 'Hold on.'

"The boy clung to his father's neck with stiffening arms. While they
were crossing the river the son died. Oh, it was a sight for pity--now,
wasn't it, preacher? Boone in the river, with the dead body of his boy
on his back. Our country has known few scenes like that. How that father
must 'a' felt! You furriners little know these things.

"The Indians swam after him. He laid down the body of his son on the
ground and struck into the forest.

"It was in this war that Boone's little daughter was carried away by the
Indians. I must tell ye. I love to talk of old times.

"She was at play with two other little girls outside of the stockade at
Boonesborough, on the Kentucky River. There was a canoe on the bank.

"'Let us take the canoe and go across the river,' said one of the girls,
innocent-like.

"Well, they got into the boat and paddled across the running river to
the opposite side. They reached shallow water, when a party of Indians,
who had been watching them, cunning-like, stole out of the thick trees
'n' rushed down to the canoe 'n' drew it to the shore. The girls
screamed, and their cries were heard at the fort.

"Night was falling. Three of the Indians took a little girl apiece,
and, looking back to the fort in the sunset, uttered a shriek of
defiance, such as would ha' made yer flesh creep, and disappeared in the
timber.

"That night a party was got together at the fort to pursue the Indians
and rescue the children.

"Well, near the close of the next day the party came upon these Indians,
some forty miles from the fort. They approached the camp cautiously,
coyote-like, 'n' saw that the girls were there.

"'Shoot carefully, now,' said the leader. 'Each man bring down an
Indian, or the children will be killed before we can reach them.'

"They fired upon the Indians, picking out the three who were nearest the
children. Not one of the Indians was hit, but the whole party was
terribly frightened, leaped up, 'n' run like deer. The children were
rescued unharmed 'n' taken back to the fort. You would think them was
pretty hard times, wouldn't ye?

"There was one event that happened at the time about which I have heard
the old folks tell, with staring eyes, and I will never forget it. The
Indians came one night to attack a log-house in which were a man, his
wife, and daughter, named Merrill. They did not wish to burn the cabin,
but to enter it and make captives of the family; so they cut a hole in
the door, with their hatchets, large enough to crawl through one at a
time. They wounded Mr. Merrill outright.

"But Mrs. Merrill was a host in herself. Her only weapon was an axe, and
there never was fought in Kentucky, or anywhere else in the world, I'm
thinkin', such another battle as that.

"The leader of the Indians put his head through the hole in the door and
began to crawl into the room, slowly--slowly--so--"

Mr. Lincoln put out his great arms, and moved his hands mysteriously.

"Well," he continued, "what do you suppose happened? Mrs. Merrill she
dealt that Indian a death-blow on the head with the axe, just like
_that_, and then drew him in slowly, slowly. The Indians without thought
that he had crawled in himself, and another Indian followed him slowly,
slowly. That Indian received his death-blow on the head, and was pulled
in like the first, slowly. Another and another Indian were treated in
the same way, until the dark cabin floor presented an awful scene for
the morning.

"Only one or two were left without. The women felt that they were now
the masters in the contest, and stood looking on what they had done.
There fell a silence over the place. Still, awful still everywhere. What
a silence it was! The two Indians outside listened. Why were their
comrades so still? What had happened? Why was everything so still? One
of them tried to look through the hole in the door into the dark and
bloody room. Then the two attempted to climb down the chimney from the
low roof of the cabin, but Mrs. Merrill put her bed into the fireplace
and set it on fire.

"Such were some of the scenes of my father's few years of life in
Kentucky; and now comes the most dreadful memory of all. Oh, it makes me
wild to think o' it! Preacher, as I said, my father was killed by the
Indians. You did not know that before, did you? No; well, it was so.
Abraham Lincoln was shot by the red-skins. I was with him at the time, a
little boy then, and I shall never forget that awful morning--never,
never!--Abraham, mind the potatoes; you've heard the story a hundred
times."

Young Abraham Lincoln turned the potatoes and brightened the fire.
Thomas Lincoln bent over and rested his body on his knees, and held his
pipe out in one hand.

"Preacher, listen. One morning father looked out of the cabin door, and
said to mother:

"'I must go to the field and build a fence to-day. I will let Tommy go
with me.'

"I was Tommy. I was six years old then. He loved me, and liked to have
me with him. It was in the year 1784--I never shall forget the dark days
of that year!--never, never.

"I had two brothers older than myself, Mordecai and Josiah. We give boys
Scriptur' names in those days. They had gone to work in another field
near by.

"We went to the field where the rails were to be cut and laid, and
father began to work. He was a great, noble-looking man, and a true
pioneer. I can see him now. I was playing near him, when suddenly there
came a shot as it were out of the air. My poor father reeled over and
fell down dead. What must have been his last thoughts of my mother and
her five children? I have often thought of that--what must have been his
last thoughts? Well, Preacher, you listen.

"A band of Indians came leaping out of the bush howling like demons. I
fell upon the ground. I can sense the fright now. A tall, black Indian,
with a face like a wolf, came and stood over me, and was about to seize
hold of me. I could hear him breathe. There came a shot from the house,
and the Indian dropped down beside me, dead. My brother Mordecai had
seen father fall, 'n' ran to the house 'n' fired that shot that saved my
life. Josiah had gone to the stockade for help, and he returned soon
with armed men, and the Indians disappeared.

"O Preacher, those were dark days, wasn't they? Dark, dark days! You
never saw such. They took up my father's body--what a sight!--and bore
it into the cabin. You should have seen my poor mother then. What was to
help us? Only the blue heavens were left us then. What could we do? My
mother and five children alone in the wilderness full of savages!

"Preacher, I have seen dark days! I have known what it was to be poor
and supperless and friendless; but I never sought revenge on the
Indians, though Mordecai did. I'm glad that you're going to preach among
them. I couldn't do it, with such memories as mine, perhaps; but I'm
glad you can, 'n' I hope that you will go and do them good. Heaven bless
those who seek to do good in this sinful world--"

"Abraham, are the potatoes done?" said a gentle voice.

"Yes, mother."

"Then pass them 'round. Give the preacher one first; then your father. I
do not care for any."

The tall boy passed the roasted potatoes around as directed. Jasper ate
his potato in silence. The stories of the hardships of this forest
family had filled his heart with sympathy, and Thomas Lincoln had
_acted_ the stories that he told in such a way as to leave a most vivid
impression on his mind.

"These stories make you sad," said Mrs. Lincoln to Jasper. "They are
heart-rendin', and I sometimes think it is almost wrong to tell them. Do
you think it is right to tell a story that awakens hard and rebellious
feelin's? 'Evil communications corrupt good manners,' the Good Book
says. I sometimes wish that folks would tell only stories that are good,
and make one the better for hearin'--parables like."

"My heart feels for you all," said Jasper. "I feel for everybody. This
life is all new to me."

"Let us have something more cheerful now," said Mrs. Lincoln.--"Abraham,
recite to the preacher a piece from the English Reader."

"Which one, mother?"

"The Hermit--how would that do? I don't know much about poetry, but
Abraham does. He makes it up. It is a queer turn of mind he has. He
learns all the poetry that he can find, and makes it up himself out of
his own head. He's got poetry in him, though he don't look so. How he
ever does it, puzzles me. His mother was poetic like. It is a gift, like
grace. Where do you suppose it comes from, and what will he ever do with
it? He ain't like other boys. He's kind o' peculiar some.--Come,
Abraham, recite to us The Hermit. It is a proper good piece."

The tall boy came out of "the flue" and stood before the dying fire. The
old leather-covered English Reader, which he said in later life was the
best book ever written, lay on the table before him. He did not open it,
however. He put his hands behind him and raised his dark face as in a
kind of abstraction. He began to recite slowly in a clear voice, full
of a peculiar sympathy that gave color to every word. He seemed as
though he felt that the experience of the poet was somehow a prophecy of
his own life; and it was. He himself became a skeptical man in religious
thought, but returned to the simple faith of his ancestors amid the dark
scenes of war.

The poem was a beautiful one in form and soul, an old English pastoral,
by Beattie. How grand it seemed, even to unpoetic Thomas Lincoln, as it
flowed from the lips of his studious son!

_THE HERMIT._

    At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
      And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove;
    When naught but the torrent is heard on the hill,
      And naught but the nightingale's song in the grove:
    'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar,
      While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began;
    No more with himself or with Nature at war,
      He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man:

    "Ah, why, all abandoned to darkness and woe,
      Why, lone Philomela, that languishing fall?
    For spring shall return, and a lover bestow,
      And sorrow no longer thy bosom inthrall.
    But, if pity inspire thee, renew the sad lay,
      Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn;
    O soothe him whose pleasures like thine pass away:
      Full quickly they pass--but they never return.

    "Now gliding remote, on the verge of the sky,
      The moon, half extinguished, her crescent displays:
    But lately I marked when majestic on high
      She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze.
    Roll on, thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue
      The path that conducts thee to splendor again:
    But man's faded glory what change shall renew?
      Ah, fool! to exult in a glory so vain!

    "'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more:
      I mourn; but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you;
    For morn is approaching, your charms to restore,
      Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glitt'ring with dew.
    Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn;
      Kind Nature the embryo blossom will save:
    But when shall spring visit the moldering urn?
      Oh, when shall day dawn on the night of the grave?

    "'Twas thus by the glare of false science betrayed,
      That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind;
    My thoughts wont to roam, from shade onward to shade,
      Destruction before me, and sorrow behind.
    'Oh pity, great Father of light,' then I cried,
      'Thy creature who fain would not wander from thee!
    Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride:
      From doubt and from darkness thou only canst free.'

    "And darkness and doubt are now flying away;
      No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn:
    So breaks on the traveler, faint and astray,
      The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
    See truth, love, and mercy, in triumph descending,
      And Nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom!
    On the cold cheek of death smiles and roses are blending,
      And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb."

Mrs. Lincoln used to listen to such recitations as this from the English
Readers and Kentucky Orators with delight and wonder. She loved the boy
with all her heart. In all the biographies of Lincoln there is hardly a
more pathetic incident than one told by Mr. Herndon of his visit to Mrs.
Lincoln after the assassination and the national funeral. Mr. Herndon
was the law partner of Lincoln for many years, and we give the incident
here, out of place as it is. Mrs. Lincoln said to her step-son's friend:

"Abe was a poor boy, and I can say what scarcely one woman--a
mother--can say, in a thousand: Abe never gave me a cross word or look,
and never refused, in fact or appearance, to do anything I requested
him. I never gave him a cross word in all my life.... His mind and my
mind--what little I had--seemed to run together.... He was here after he
was elected President." Here she stopped, unable to proceed any further,
and after her grateful emotions had spent themselves in tears, she
proceeded: "He was dutiful to me always. I think he loved me truly. I
had a son, John, who was raised with Abe. Both were good boys; but I
must say, both being now dead, that Abe was the best boy I ever saw or
ever expect to see. I wish I had died when my husband died. I did not
want Abe to run for President, did not want him elected; was afraid,
somehow--felt it in my heart; and when he came down to see me, after he
was elected President, I felt that something would befall him, and that
I should see him no more."

Equally beautiful was the scene when Lincoln visited this good woman for
the last time, just before going to Washington to be inaugurated
President.

"Abraham," she said, as she stood in her humble backwoods cabin,
"something tells me that I shall never see you again."

He put his hand around her neck, lifted her face to heaven and said,
"Mother!"



CHAPTER III.

THE OLD BLACKSMITH'S SHOP AND THE MERRY STORY-TELLERS.


_JOHNNIE KONGAPOD'S INCREDIBLE STORY._

The country store, in most new settlements, is the resort of
story-tellers. It was not so here. There was a log blacksmith-shop by
the wayside near the Gentryville store, overspread by the cool boughs of
pleasant trees, and having a glowing forge and wide-open doors, which
was a favorite resort of the good-humored people of Spencer County, and
here anecdotes and stories used to be told which Abraham Lincoln in his
political life made famous. The merry pioneers little thought that their
rude stories would ever be told at great political meetings, to generals
and statesmen, and help to make clear practical thought to Legislatures,
senates, and councils of war. Abraham Lincoln claimed that he obtained
his education by learning all that he could of any one who could teach
him anything. In all the curious stories told in his hearing in this
quaint Indiana smithy, he read some lesson of life.

The old blacksmith was a natural story-teller. Young Lincoln liked to
warm himself by the forge in winter and sun himself in the open door in
summer, and tempt this sinewy man to talk. The smithy was a common
resort of Thomas Lincoln, and of John and Dennis Hanks, who belonged to
the family of Abraham's mother. The schoolmaster must have liked the
place, and the traveling ministers tarried long there when they brought
their horses to be shod. In fact, the news-stand of that day, the
literary club, the lecture platform, the place of amusement, and
everything that stirred associated life, found its common center in this
rude old smithy by the wayside, amid the running brooks and fanning
trees.

The stories told here were the curious incidents and adventures of
pioneer life, rude in fact and rough in language, but having pith and
point.

Thomas Lincoln, on the afternoon of the next day, said to Jasper:

"Come, preacher, let's go over to the smithy. I want ye to see the
blacksmith. We all like to see the blacksmith in these parts; he's an
uncommon man."

They went to the smithy. Abraham followed them. The forge was low, and
the blacksmith was hammering over old nails on the anvil.

"Hello!" said Thomas Lincoln; "not doin' much to-day. I brought the
preacher over to call on you--he's a Tunker--has been to see the
school--he teaches himself--thought you'd want to know him."

"Glad you come. Here, sit down in the leather chair, and make yourself
at home. Been long in these new parts?"

"No, my friend; I have been to Illinois, but I have never been here
before. I am glad to see you."

[Illustration: STORY-TELLING AT THE SMITHY.]

"What do you think of the country?" said the blacksmith. "Think it is a
good place to settle in? Hope that you have come to cast your lot with
us. We need a preacher; we haven't any goodness to spare. You come from
foreign parts, I take it. Well, well, there's room for a world of people
out here in the woods and prairies. I hope that you will like it, and
get your folks to come. We'll do all we can for you. We be men of good
will, if we be hard-looking and poor."

"My good friend, I believe you. You are great-hearted men, and I like
you."

"Brainy, too. Let me start up the forge."

"Preacher, come here," said Thomas Lincoln. "I haven't had no edication
to speak of, but I've invented a new system of book-keepin' that beats
the schools. There's one of them there. The blacksmith keeps all of his
accounts by it. I've got one on a puncheon at home; did you notice it?
This is how it is; you may want to use it yourself. Come and look at
it."

On a rough board over the forge Thomas Lincoln had drawn a number of
straight lines with a coal, as are sometimes put on a blackboard by a
singing-master. On the lower bars were several cloudy erasures, and at
the end of these bars were initials.

"Don't understand it, do you? Well, now, it is perfectly simple. I
taught it to Aunt Olive, and she don't know more than some whole
families, though she thinks that she knows more than the whole creation.
Seen such people, hain't ye? Yes. The woods are full of 'em. Well, that
ain't neither here nor there. This is how it works: A man comes here to
have his horse shod--minister, may be; short, don't pay. Nothin' to pay
with but funeral sermons, and you can't collect them all the time. Well,
all you have to do is just to draw your finger across one of them lines,
and write his initials after it. And when he comes again, rub out
another place on the same lines."

"And when you have rubbed out all the places you could along that line,
how much would you be worth?" said the blacksmith.

"I call that a new way of keeping accounts," continued Thomas Lincoln,
earnestly. "Did you ever see anything of the kind before? No. It's a new
and original way. We do a great lot o' thinkin' down here in
winter-time, when we haven't much else to do. I'm goin' to put one o'
them new systems into the mill."

The meetings of the pioneers at the blacksmith's shop formed a kind of
merry-go-round club. One would tell a story in his own odd way, and
another would say, "That reminds me," and tell a similar story that was
intended to exceed the first in point of humor. One of Thomas Lincoln's
favorite stories was "GL-UK!" or, as he sometimes termed it--


"_HOW ABRAHAM WENT TO MILL._

"It was a mighty curi's happenin'," he would say. "I don't know how to
account for it--the human mind is a very strange thing. We go to sleep
and are lost to the world entirely, and we wake up again. We die, and
leave our bodies, and the soul-memory wakes again; if it have the new
life and sense, it wakes again somewhere. We're curi's critters, all on
us, and don't know what we are.

"When I first came to Indiana I made a mill of my own--Abe and I did.
'Twas just a big stone attached to a heavy pole like a well-sweep, so as
to pound heavy, up and down, up and down. You can see it now, though it
is all out of gear and kilter.

"Then, they built a mill 'way down on the river, and I used to send Abe
there on horseback. Took him all day to go and come: used to start early
in the mornin', and, as he had to wait his turn at the mill, he didn't
use to get back until sundown. Then came Gordon and built his mill
almost right here among us--a horse-mill with a windlass, all mighty
handy: just hitch the horse to a windlass and pole, and he goes round
and round, and never gets nowhere, but he grinds the corn and wheat.
Something like me: I go round and round, and never seem to get anywhere,
but something will come of it, you may depend.

"Well, one day I says to Abraham:

"You must hitch up the horse and go to Gordon's to mill. The meal-tub is
low, and there's a storm a-brewin'.'

"So Abe hitched up the horse and started. That horse is a mighty steady
animal--goes around just like a machine; hasn't any capers nor
antics--just as sober as a minister. I should have no more thought of
his kickin' than I should have thought of the millstones a-hoppin' out
of the hopper. 'Twas a mighty curi's affair.

"Well, Abe went to Gordon's, and his turn come to grind. He hitched the
horse to the pole, and said, as always, 'Get up, you old jade!' I always
say that, so Abe does. He didn't mean any disrespect to the horse, who
always maintained a very respectable-like character up to that day.

"The horse went round and round, round and round, just as steady as
clock-work, until the grist was nearly out, and the sound of the
grindin' was low, when he began to lag, sleepy-like. Abe he run up
behind him, and said, 'Get up, you old jade!' then puckered up his
mouth, so, to say 'Gluck.' 'Tis a word I taught him to use. Every one
has his own horse-talk.

"He waved his stick, and said 'Gl--'

"Was the horse bewildered? He never did such a thing before. In an
instant, like a thunder-clap when the sun was shinin', he h'isted up his
heels and kicked Abraham in the head, and knocked him over on the
ground, and then stopped as though to think on what he had done.

"The mill-hands ran to Abraham. There the boy lay stretched out on the
ground just as though he was dead. They thought he was dead. They got
some water, and worked over him a spell. They could see that he
breathed, but they thought that every breath would be his last.

"'He's done for this world,' said Gordon. 'He'll never come to his
senses again. Thomas Lincoln would be proper sorry.' And so I should
have been had Abraham died. Sometimes I think like it was the Evil One
that possessed that horse. It don't seem to me that he'd 'a' ever ha'
kicked Abe of his own self--right in the head, too. You can see the scar
on him now.

"Well, almost an hour passed, when Abe came to himself--consciousness
they call it--all at once, in an instant. And what do you think was the
first thing he said? Just this--'uk!'

"He finished the word just where he left it when the horse kicked him,
and looked around wild-like, and there was the critter standin' still as
the mill-stun.' Now, where do you think the soul of Abe was between
'Gl--' and 'uk'? I'd like to have ye tell me that."

A long discussion would follow such a question. Abraham Lincoln himself
once discussed the same curious incident with his law-partner Herndon,
and made it a subject of the continuance of mental consciousness after
death.

It was a warm afternoon. A dark cloud hung in the northern sky, and grew
slowly over the arch of serene and sunny blue.

"Goin' to have a storm," said the blacksmith. "Shouldn't wonder if it
were a tempest. We generally get a tempest about this time of year, when
winter finally breaks up into spring. Well, I declare! there comes
Johnnie Kongapod, the Kickapoo Indian from Illinois--he and his dogs."

A tall Indian was seen coming toward the smithy, followed by two dogs.
The men watched him as he approached. He was a kind of chief, and had
accepted the teachings of the early missionaries. He used to wander
about among the new settlements, and was very proud of himself and his
own tribe and race. He had an honest heart. He once composed an epitaph
for himself, which was well meant but read oddly, and which Abraham
Lincoln sometimes used to quote in his professional career:

    "Here lies poor Johnnie Kongapod,
    Have mercy on him, gracious God,
    As he would do if he was God,
    And you were Johnnie Kongapod."

The Indian sat down on the log sill of the blacksmith's shop, and
watched the gathering cloud as it slowly shut out the sky.

"Storm," said he. "Lay down, Jack; lay down, Jim."

Jack and Jim were his two dogs. They eyed the flaming forge. One of them
seemed tired, and lay down beside his master, but the other made himself
troublesome.

"That reminds me," said Dennis Hanks; and he related a curious story of
a troublesome dog, perhaps the one which in its evolutions became known
as "SYKES'S DOG," though this may be a later New Salem story. It was an
odd and a coarse bit of humor. Lincoln himself is represented as telling
this, or a like story, to General Grant after the Vicksburg campaign,
something as follows:

"'Your enemies were constantly coming to me with their criticisms while
the siege was in progress, and they did not cease their ill opinions
after the city fell. I thought that the time had come to put an end to
this kind of criticism, so one day, when a delegation called to see me
and had spent a half-hour, and tried to show me the great mistake that
you had made in paroling Pemberton's army, I thought I could get rid of
them best by telling the story of Sykes's dog.

"'Have you ever heard the story of Sykes's dog?' I said to the spokesman
of the delegation.

"'No.'

"'Well, I must tell it to you. Sykes had a yellow dog that he set great
store by; but there were a lot of _small boys_ around the village, and
the dog became very unpopular among them. His eye was so keen on his
master's interests that there arose prejudice against him. The boys
counseled how to get rid of him. They finally fixed up a cartridge with
a long fuse, and put the cartridge in a piece of meat, and then sat down
on a fence and called the dog, one of them holding the fuse in his
hand. The dog swallowed the meat, cartridge and all, and stood choking,
when one of them touched off the fuse. There was a loud report. Sykes
came out of the house, and found the ground was strewed with pieces of
the dog. He picked up the biggest piece that he could find--a portion of
the back with the tail still hanging to it--and said:

"'Well, I guess that will never be of much account again--_as a
dog_.'--'I guess that Pemberton's forces will never amount to much
again--as an army.' By this time the delegation were looking for their
hats."

Like stories followed among the merry foresters. One of them told
another "That reminds me"--how that two boys had been pursued by a small
but vicious dog, and one of them had caught and held him by the tail
while the other ran up a tree. At last the boy who was holding the dog
became tired and knew not what to do, and cried out:

"Jim!"

"What say?"

"Come down."

"What for?"

"To help me let go of the dog."

This story, also, whatever may have been the date of it, President
Lincoln used to tell amid the perplexities of the war. In the darkest
times of his life at the White House his mind used to return for
illustration to the stories told at this backwoods smithy, and at the
country stores that he afterward came to visit at Gentryville, Indiana,
and New Salem, Illinois.

He delighted in the blacksmith's own stories and jokes. The man's name
was John Baldwin. He was the Homer of Gentryville, as the village
portion of this vast unsettled portion of country was called. Dennis
Hanks, Abraham Lincoln's cousin, who frequented the smithy, was also a
natural story-teller. The stories which had their origin here evolved
and grew, and became known in all the rude cabins. Then, when Abraham
Lincoln became President, his mind went back to the quaint smithy in the
cool, free woods, and to the country stores, and he told these stories
all over again. It seemed restful to his mind to wander back to old
Indiana and Illinois.

The cloud grew. The air darkened. There was an occasional rustle of wind
in the tree-tops.

"It's comin'," said the blacksmith. "Now, Johnnie Kongapod, you tell us
the story. Tell us how Aunt Olive frightened ye when you went to pilot
her off to the camp-meetin'."

"No," said Johnnie Kongapod. "It thunders. You must get Aunt Olive to
tell you that story."

"When you come to meet her," said the blacksmith to Jasper. "Kongapod
would tell it to you, but he's afraid of the cloud. No wonder."

A vivid flash of lightning forked the sky. There followed an appalling
crash of thunder, a light wind, a few drops of rain, a darker air, and
all was still. The men looked out as the cloud passed over.

"You will have to stay here now," said the blacksmith, "until the cloud
has passed. Our stories may seem rather rough to you, edicated as you
are over the sea. Tell us a story--a German story. Let me put the old
leather chair up here before the fire. If you will tell us one of those
German stories, may be I'll tell you how Johnnie Kongapod here and Aunt
Olive went to the camp-meetin', and what happened to them on the way."

There was a long silence on the dark air. The blacksmith enlivened the
fire, which lit up the shop. Jasper sat down in the leather chair, and
said:

"Those Indian dogs remind me of scenes and stories unlike anything here.
The life of the dog has its lesson true, and there is nothing truer in
this world than the heart of a shepherd's dog. I am a shepherd's dog. I
am speaking in parable; you will understand me better by and by.

"Let me tell you the story of 'THE SHEPHERD DOG,' and the story will
also tell a story, as do all stories that have a soul; and it is only
stories that have souls that live. The true story gathers a soul from
the one who tells it, else it is no story at all.

"There once lived on the borders of the Black Forest, Germany, an old
couple who were very poor. Their name was Gragstein. The old man kept a
shepherd dog that had been faithful to him for many years, and that
loved him more than it did its own life, and he came to call him
Faithful.

"One day, as the old couple were seated by the fire, Frau Gragstein
said:

"'Hear the wind blow! There is a hard winter comin', and we have less in
our crib than we ever had before. We must live snugger than ever. We
shall hardly have enough to keep us two. It will be a long time before
the birds sing again. You must be more savin', and begin now. Hear the
wind howl. It is a warning.'

"'What would you have me do?' asked Gragstein.

"'There are three of us, and we have hardly store for two.'

"'But what would you have me do with _him_? He is old, and I could not
sell him, or give him away.'

"'Then I would take him away into the forest and shoot him, and run and
leave him. I know it is hard, but the pinch of poverty is hard, and it
has come.'

"'Shoot Faithful! Shoot old Faithful! Take him out into the forest and
shoot him! Why, a man's last friends are his God, his mother, and his
dog. Would you have me shoot old Faithful? How could I?'

"At the words 'Shoot old Faithful,' the great dog had started up as
though he understood. He bent his large eyes on the old woman and
whined, then wheeled around once and sank down at his master's feet.

"'He acts as though he understood what you were saying.'

"'No, he don't,' said the old woman. 'You set too much store by the dog,
and imagine such things. He's too old to ever be of service to us any
more, and he eats a deal. The storm will be over by morning. Hear the
showers of the leaves! The fall wind is rending the forest. 'Tis seventy
falls that we have seen, and we will not see many more. We must live
while we do live, and the dog must be put out of the way. You must take
Faithful out into the forest in the morning and kill him.'

"The dog started up again. 'Take Faithful and kill him!' He seemed to
comprehend. He looked into his master's face and gave a piteous howl,
and went to the door and pawed.

"'Let him go out,' said the old woman. 'What possesses him to go out
to-night into the storm? But let him go, and then I can talk easier
about the matter. Did you see his eyes--as if he knew? He haunts me! Let
him go out.'

"The old man opened the door, and the dog disappeared in the darkness,
uttering another piteous howl.

"Then the old couple sat down and talked over the matter, and Gragstein
promised his wife that he would shoot the dog in the morning.

"'It is hard,' said the old woman, 'but Providence wills it, and we
must.'

"The wind lulled, and there was heard a wild, pitiful howl far away in
the forest.

"'What is that?' asked the old woman, starting.

"'It was Faithful.'

"'So far away!'

"'The poor dog acted strange. There it is again, farther away.'

"The morning came, but the dog did not return. He had never stayed away
from the old hut before. The next day he did not come, nor the next. The
old couple missed him, and the old man bitterly reproached his wife for
what she had advised him to do.

"Winter came, with pitiless storms and cold, and the old man would go
forth to hunt alone, wishing Faithful was with him.

"'It is not safe for me to go alone,' said he. 'I wish that the dog
would come back.'

"'He will never come back,' said the old woman. 'He is dead. I can hear
him howl nights, far away on the hill. He haunts me. Every night, when I
put out the light, I can hear him howl out in the forest. 'Tis my
tender heart that troubles me. 'Tis a troubled conscience that makes
ghosts.'

"The old man tottered away with his gun. It was a cold morning after a
snow. The old woman watched him from the frosty window as he
disappeared, and muttered:

"'It is hard to be old and poor. God pity us all!'

"Night came, but the old man did not return. The old woman was in great
distress, and knew not what to do. She set the candle in the window, and
went to the door and called a hundred times, and listened, but no answer
came. The silent stars filled the sky, and the moon rose over the snow,
but no answer came.

"The next morning she alarmed the neighbors, and a company gathered to
search for Gragstein. The men followed his tracks into the forests, over
a cliff, and down to a stream of running water. They came to some thin
ice, which had been weakened by the rush of the current, and there the
tracks were lost.

"'He attempted to cross,' said one, 'and fell in. We will find his body
in the spring. I pity his poor old wife. What shall we tell her?--What
was that?'

"There was heard a pitiful howl on the other side of the stream.

"'Look!' said another.

"Just across the stream a great, lean shepherd dog came out of the snow
tents of firs. His voice was weak, but he howled pitifully, as though
calling the men.

"'We must cross the stream!' said they all.

"The men made a bridge by pushing logs and fallen trees across the ice.
The dog met them joyfully, and they followed him.

"Under the tents of firs they found Gragstein, ready to perish with cold
and hunger.

"'Take me home!' said he. 'I can not last long. Take me home, and call
home the dog!'

"'What has happened?' asked the men.

"'I fell in. I called for help, and--the dog came--Faithful. He rescued
me, but I was numb. He lay down on me and warmed me, and kept me alive.
Faithful! Call home the dog!'

"The men took up the old man and rubbed him, and gave him food. Then
they called the dog and gave him food, but he would not eat.

"They returned as fast as they could to the cottage. Frau Gragstein came
out to meet them. The dog saw her and stopped and howled, dived into the
forest, and disappeared.

"The old man died that night. They buried him in a few days. The old
woman was left all alone. The night after the funeral, when she put out
the light, she thought that she heard a feeble howl in the still air,
and stopped and listened. But she never heard that sound again. The next
morning she opened the door and looked out. There, under a bench where
his master had often caressed him in the summer evenings of many years,
lay the body of old Faithful, dead. He had never ceased to watch the
house, and had died true. 'Tis the best thing that we can say of any
living creature, man or dog, he was true-hearted.

"Remember the story. It will make you better. The storm is clearing."

The cloud had passed over, leaving behind the blue sky of spring.

"That was an awful good dog to have," said John Hanks. "There are human
folks wouldn't 'a' done like that."

"I wouldn't," said one of the men. "But here, I declare, comes the old
woman. Been out neighborin', and got caught in the storm, and gone back
to Pigeon Creek. We won't have to tell that there story about her and
the wig, and Johnnie Kongapod here. She'll tell it to you herself,
elder--she'll tell it to you herself. She's a master-hand to go to
meetin', and sing, and tell stories, she is.--Here, elder--this is Aunt
Olive."

The same woman that Jasper had met on his way to Pigeon Creek came into
the blacksmith's shop, and held her hands over the warm fire.

"Proper smart rain--spring tempest," said she. "Winter has broke, and we
shall have steady weather.--Found your way, elder, didn't you? Well, I'm
glad. It's a mighty poor sign for an elder to lose his way. You took my
advice, didn't you?--turned to the right and kept straight ahead, and
you got there. Well, that's what I tell 'em in conference-meetin's--turn
to the right and keep straight ahead, and they'll get there; and then I
sing out, and shout, 'I'm bound for the kingdom!' Come over and see me,
elder. I'm good to everybody except lazy people.--Abraham Lincoln, what
are you lazing around here for?--And Johnnie Kongapod! This ain't any
place for men in the spring of the year! I've been neighborin'. I have
to do it just to see if folks are doin' as they oughter. There are a
great many people who don't do as they oughter in this world. Now I am
goin' straight home between the drops."

The woman hurried away and disappeared under the trees.

The cloud broke in two dark, billowy masses, and red sunset, like a sea,
spread over the prairie, the light heightening amid glimmerings of
pearly rain.

Jasper went back to Pigeon Creek with Abraham.

"Isn't that woman a little queer?" he asked--"a little touched in mind,
may be?"

"She does not like me," said the boy; "though most people like me. I
seem to have a bent for study, and father thinks that the time I spend
in study is wasted, and Aunt Olive calls me lazy, and so do the
Crawfords--I don't mean the master. Most people like me, but there are
some here that don't think much of me. I am not lazy. I long for
learning! I will have it. I learn everything I can from every one, and I
do all I can for every one. She calls me lazy, though I have been good
to her. They say I am a lively boy, and I like to be thought well of
here, and when I hear such things as that it makes me feel down in the
mouth. Do you ever feel down in the mouth? I do. I wonder what will
become of me? Whatever happens, or folks may say, elder, I mean to make
the best of life, and be true to the best that is in me. Something will
come of it. Don't you think so, elder?"

They came to Thomas Lincoln's cabin, and the serene face of Mrs. Lincoln
met them at the door. A beautiful evening followed the tempest gust, and
the Lincolns and the old Tunker sat down to a humble meal.

The mild spring evening that followed drew together another group of
people to the lowly home of Thomas Lincoln. Among them came Aunt Olive,
whose missionary work among her neighbors was as untiring as her tongue.
And last among the callers there came stealing into the light of the
pine fire, like a shadow, the tall, brown form of Johnnie Kongapod, or
Konapod.

The pioneer story-telling here began again, and ended in an episode that
left a strange, mysterious impression, like a prophecy, on nearly every
mind.

"Let me tell you the story of my courtship," said Thomas Lincoln.

"Thomas!" said a mild, firm voice.

"Oh, don't speak in that tone to me," said the backwoodsman to his wife,
who had sought to check him.--"Sally don't like to hear that story,
though I do think it is to her credit, if simple honesty is a thing to
be respected. Sally is an honest woman. I don't believe that there is an
honester creatur' in all these parts, unless it was that Injun that
Johnnie Kongapod tells about."

A loud laugh arose, and the dusky figure of Johnnie Kongapod retreated
silently back into a deep shadow near the open door. His feelings had
been wounded. Young Abraham Lincoln saw the Indian's movement, and he
went out and stood in the shadow in silent sympathy.

"Well, good folks, Sally and I used to know each other before I removed
from Kentuck' to Indiany. After my first wife died of the milk-fever I
was lonesome-like with two young children, and about as poor as I was
lonesome, although I did have a little beforehand. Well, Sally was a
widder, and used to imagine that she must be lonesome, too; and I
thought at last, after that there view of the case had haunted me, that
I would just go up to Kentucky and see. Souls kind o' draw each other a
long way apart; it goes in the air. So I hitched up and went, and I
found Sally at home, and all alone.

"'Sally,' said I, 'do you remember me?'

"'Yes,' said she, 'I remember you well. You are Tommy Linken. What has
brought you back to Kentuck'?'

"'Well, Sally,' said I, 'my wife is dead.'

"'Is that so,' said she, all attention.

"'Yes; wife died more than a year ago, and a good wife she was; and I've
just come back to look for another.'

"She sat like a statue, Sally did, and never spoke a word. So I said:

"'Do you like me, Sally Johnson?'

"'Yes, Tommy Linken.'

"'You do?'

"'Yes, Tommy Linken, I like you well enough to marry you, but I could
never think of such a thing--at least not now.'

"'Why?'

"'Because I'm in debt, and I would never ask a man who had offered to
marry me to pay my debts.'

"'Let me hear all about it,' said I.

"She brought me her account-book from the cupboard. Well, good folks,
how much do you suppose Sally owed? Twelve dollars! It was a heap of
money for a woman to owe in those days.

"Well, I put that account-book straight into my pocket and _run_. When
I came back, all of her debts were paid. I told her so.

"'Will you marry me now?' said I.

"'Yes,' said she.

"And, good folks all, the next morning at nine o'clock we were married,
and we packed up all her things and started on our weddin' tour to
Indiany, and here we be now. Now that is what I call an honest
woman.--Johnnie Kongapod, can you beat that? Come, now, Johnnie
Kongapod."

The Indian still stood in the shadow, with young Abraham beside him. He
did not answer.

"Johnnie is great on telling stories of good Injuns," said Mr. Lincoln,
"and we think that kind o' Injuns have about all gone up to the moonlit
huntin'-grounds."

The tall form of the Indian moved into the light of the doorway. His
eyes gleamed.

"Thomas Linken, that story that I told you was true."

"What! that an Injun up to Prairie du Chien was condemned to die, and
that he asked to go home and see his family all alone, and promised to
return on his honor?"

"Yes, Thomas Linken."

"And that they let him go home all alone, and that he spent his night
with his family in weepin' and wailin', and returned the next mornin' to
be shot?"

"Yes, Thomas Linken."

"And that they shot him?"

"Yes, Thomas Linken."

"Well, Johnnie, if I could believe that, I could believe anything."

"An Injun has honor as well as a white man, Thomas Linken."

"Who taught it to him?"

"His own heart--_here_. The Great Spirit's voice is in every man's
heart; his will is born in all men; his love and care are over us all.
You may laugh at my poetry, but the Great Spirit will do by Johnnie
Kongapod as he would have Johnnie Kongapod do by him if Johnnie Kongapod
held the heavens. That story was true, and I know it to be true, and the
Great Spirit knows it to be true. Johnnie Kongapod is an honest Injun."

"Then we have two honest folks here," said Aunt Olive. "Three,
mebby--only Tom Linken owes me a dollar and a half. So, Jasper, you see
that you have come to good parts. You'll see some strange things in your
travels, way off to Rock River. Likely you'll see the Pictured Rocks on
the Mississippi--dragons there. Who painted 'em? Or Starved Rock on the
Illinois, where a whole tribe died with the water sparklin' under their
eyes. But if you ever come across any of the family of that Indian that
went home on his honor all alone to see his family, and came back to be
shot or hung, you just let us know. I'd like to adopt one of his boys.
That would be something to begin a Sunday-school with!"

The company burst into another loud laugh.

Johnnie Kongapod raised his long arm and stood silent. Aunt Olive
stepped before him and looked him in the face. The Indian's red face
glowed, and he said vehemently: "Woman, that story is true!"

Sally Lincoln arose and rested her hand on the Indian's shoulder.
"Johnny Kongapod, I can believe you--Abraham can."

There was a deep silence in the cabin, broken only by Aunt Olive, who
arose indignantly and hurried away, and flung back on the mild air the
sharp words "_I_ don't!"

The story of the Indian who held honor to be more than life, as related
by Johnnie Kongapod, had often been told by the Indians at their
camp-fires, and by traveling preachers and missionaries who had faith in
Indian character. Among those settlers who held all Indians to be bad it
was treated as a joke. Old Jasper asked Johnnie Kongapod many questions
about it, and at last laid his hand on the dusky poet's shoulder, and
said:

"My brother, I hope that it is true. I believe it, and I honor you for
believing it. It is a good heart that believes what is best in life."

How strange all this new life seemed to Jasper! How unlike the old
castles and cottages of Germany, and the cities of the Rhine! And yet,
for the tall boy by that cabin fire new America had an opportunity that
Germany could offer to no peasant's son. Jasper little thought that that
boy, so lively, so rude, so anxious to succeed, was an uncrowned king;
yet so it was.

And the legend? A true story has a soul, and a peculiar atmosphere and
influence. Jasper saw what the Indian's story was, though he had heard
it only indirectly and in outline. It haunted him. He carried it with
him into his dreams.

[Illustration: THE HOME OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN WHEN IN HIS TENTH YEAR.]



CHAPTER IV.

A BOY WITH A HEART.


Spring came early to the forests and prairies of southern Indiana. In
March the maples began to burn, and the tops of the timber to change,
and to take on new hues in the high sun and lengthening days. The birds
were on the wing, and the banks of the streams were beginning to look
like gardens, as indeed Nature's gardens they were.

The woodland ponds were full of turtles or terrapins, and these began to
travel about in the warm spring air.

There was a great fireplace in Crawford's school, and, as fuel cost
nothing, it was, as we have said, well fed with logs, and was kept
almost continually glowing.

It was one of the cruel sports of the boys, at the noonings and recesses
of the school, to put coals of fire on the backs of wandering terrapins,
and to joke at the struggles of the poor creatures to get to their homes
in the ponds.

Abraham Lincoln from a boy had a tender heart, a horror of cruelty and
of everything that would cause any creature pain. He was merciful to
every one but the unmerciful, and charitable to every one but the
uncharitable, and kind to everyone but the unkind. But his nature made
war at once on any one who sought to injure another, and he was
especially severe on any one who was so mean and cowardly as to
disregard the natural rights of a dumb animal or reptile. He had in this
respect the sensitiveness of a Burns. All great natures, as biography
everywhere attests, have fine instincts--this chivalrous sympathy for
the brute creation.

Lincoln's nature was that of a champion for the right. He was a born
knight, and, strangely enough, his first battles in life were in defense
of the turtles or terrapins. He was a boy of powerful strength, and he
used it roughly to maintain his cause. He is said to have once exclaimed
that the turtles were his brothers.

The early days of spring in the old forests are full of life. The Sun
seems to be calling forth his children. The ponds become margined with
green, and new creatures everywhere stir the earth and the waters. Life
and matter become, as it were, a new creation, and one can believe
anything when he sees how many forms life and matter can assume under
the mellowing rays of the sun. The clod becomes a flower; the egg a
reptile, fish, or bird. The cunning woodchuck, that looks out of his
hole on the awakening earth and blue sky, seems almost to have a sense
of the miracle that has been wrought. The boy who throws a stone at him,
to drive him back into the earth, seems less sensible of nature than he.
It is a pleasing sight to see the little creature, as he stands on his
haunches, wondering, and the brain of a young Webster would naturally
seek to let such a groundling have all his right of birth.

One day, when the blue spring skies were beginning to glow, Abraham went
out to play with his companions. It was one of his favorite amusements
to declaim from a stump. He would sometimes in this way recite long
selections from the school Reader and Speaker.

He had written a composition at school on the defense of the rights of
dumb animals, and there was one piece in the school Reader in which he
must have found a sympathetic chord, and which was probably one of those
that he loved to recite. It was written by the sad poet Cowper, and
began thus:

    "I would not enter on my list of friends
    (Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
    Yet wanting sensibility) the man
    Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
    An inadvertent step may crush the snail,
    That crawls at evening in the public path;
    But he that has humanity, forewarned,
    Will tread aside, and let the reptile live."

As Abraham and his companions were playing in the warm sun, one said:

"Make a speech for us, Abe. Hip, hurrah! You've only to nibble a pen to
make poetry, and only to mount a stump to be a speaker. Now, Abe, speak
for the cause of the people, or anybody's cause. Give it to us strong,
and we will do the cheering."

Abraham mounted a stump in the school-grounds, on which he had often
declaimed before. He felt something stirring within him, half-fledged
wings of his soul, that waited a cause. He would imitate the few
preachers and speakers that he had heard--even an old Kentucky preacher
named Elkins, whom his own mother had loved, and whose teachings the
good woman had followed in her short and melancholy life.

He began his speech, throwing up his long arms, and lifting at proper
periods his coon-skin cap. The scholars cheered as he waxed earnest. In
the midst of the speech a turtle came creeping into the grounds.

"Hello!" said one of the boys, "here's another turtle come to school!
He, too, has seen the need of learning."

The terrapin crawled along awkwardly toward the house, his head
protruding from his shell, and his tail moving to and fro.

At this point young Abraham grew loud and dramatic. The boys raised a
shout, and the girls waved their hoods.

In the midst of the enthusiasm, one of the boys seized the turtle by the
tail and slung it around his head, as an evidence of his delight at the
ardor of the speaker.

"Throw it at him," said one of the scholars. "Johnson once threw a
turtle at him, when he was preachin' to his sister, and it set him to
runnin' on like a minister."

Abraham was accustomed to preach to the young members of his family. He
would do the preaching, and his sister the weeping; and he sometimes
became so much affected by his own discourses that he would weep with
her, and they would have a very "moving service," as such a scene was
called.

The boy swung the turtle over his head again, and at last let go of it
in the air, so as to project it toward Abraham.

The poor reptile fell crushed at the foot of the stump and writhed in
pain.

Abraham ceased to speak. He looked down on the pitiful sight of
suffering, and his heart yearned over the helpless creature, and then
his brain became fired, and his eyes flashed with rage.

"Who did that?" he exclaimed. "Brute! coward! wretch!" He looked down
again, and saw the reptile trying to move away with its broken shell.
His anger turned to pity. He began to expostulate against all such
heartlessness to the animal world as the scene exhibited before him. The
poor turtle again tried to move away, his head just protruding, looking
for some way out of the world that would deny him his right to the
sunshine and the streams. The young orator saw it all; his lip curled
bitterly, and his words burned. He awakened such a sympathy for the
reptile, and such a feeling of resentment against the hand which had
ruined this little life, that the offender shrank away from the scene,
calling out defiantly:

"Come away, and let him talk. He's only chicken-hearted."

The scholars knew that there was no cowardice in the heart of Lincoln.
They felt the force of the scene. The boys and girls of Andrew
Crawford's school never forgot the pleas that Abraham used to make for
the animals and reptiles of the woods and streams.

Nearly every youth exhibits his leading trait or characteristic in his
school-days.

"The tenor of our whole lives," said an English poet, "is what we make
it in the first five years after we become our masters"; and a wiser
than he has said, "The thing that has been is, and God requireth the
past." Columbus on the quays of Genoa; Zinzendorf forming among his
little companions the order of the "Grain of Mustard-Seed"; the poets
who "lisped in numbers"; the boy statesmanship of Cromwell; and the
early aspiration of nearly every great leader of mankind--all showed the
current of the life-stream, and it is the current alone that knows and
prophesies the future. When Abraham Lincoln fell, the world uncovered
its head. Thrones were sorrowful, and humanity wept. Yet his earliest
rostrum was a stump, and his cause the natural rights of the voiceless
inhabitants of the woods and streams. The heart that throbbed for
humanity, and that won the heart of the world, found its first utterance
in defense of the principles of the birds'-nest commandment. It was a
beginning of self-education worthy of the thought of a Pestalozzi. It
was a prophecy.

As the young advocate of the rights and feelings of the dumb creation
was ending his fiery discourse, the buttonless Tunker, himself a
disciple of Pestalozzi, came into the school-grounds and read the
meaning of the scene. Jasper saw the soul of things, and turned always
from the outward expressions of life to the inward motive. He read the
true character of the boy in buckskin breeches, human heart, and fluent
tongue. He sat down on the log step of the school-house in silence, and
Mr. Crawford presently came out with a quill pen behind his ear, and sat
down beside him.

"That boy has been teaching what you and I ought first to teach," said
Jasper.

"What is that?" asked Mr. Crawford.

"The heart! What is head-learning worth, if the heart is left
uneducated? As Pestalozzi used to say, The soul is the true end of all
education. Religion itself is a failure, without right character."

"But you wouldn't teach morals as a science, would you?"

"I would train the heart to feel, and the soul to love to be just and do
right, and make obedience to the moral sense the habit of life. This
can best be done at the school age, and I tell you that this is the
highest education. A boy who can spell all the words in the
spelling-book, and bound all the countries in the world, and repeat all
the dates of history, and yet who could have the heart to crush a
turtle, has not been properly educated."

"Then your view is that the end of education is to make a young person
do right?"

"No, my good friend, pardon me if I speak plain. The end of education is
not to _make_ young people do right, but to train the young heart to
love to do right; to make right doing the nature and habit of life."

"How would you begin?"

"As that boy has begun. He has made every heart on the ground feel for
that broken-shelled turtle. That boy will one day become a leader among
men. He has a heart. The head may make friends, but only the heart can
hold them. It is the heart-power that serves and rules. The best thing
that can be said of any one is, 'He is true-hearted.' I like that boy.
He is true-hearted. His first client a turtle, it may not be his last.
Train him well. He will honor you some day."

The boys took the turtle to the pond and left him on the bank. Jasper
watched them. He then turned to the backwoods teacher, and said:

"That, sir, is the result of right education. First teach character;
second, life; third, books. Let education begin in the heart, and
everybody made to feel that right makes might."



CHAPTER V.

JASPER COBBLES FOR AUNT OLIVE.--HER QUEER STORIES.


Aunt Olive Eastman had made herself a relative to every one living
between the two Pigeon Creeks. She had formed this large acquaintance
with the pioneers by attending the camp-meetings of the Methodists and
the four-days' meetings of the Baptists in southern Indiana, and the
school-house meetings everywhere. She was a widow, was full of rude
energy and benevolence, had a sharp tongue, a kindly heart, and a
measure of good sense. But she was "far from perfect," as she used to
very humbly acknowledge in the many pioneer meetings that she attended.

"I make mistakes sometimes," she used to say, "and it is because I am a
fallible creatur'."

She was an always busy woman, and the text of her life was "Work," and
her practice was in harmony with her teaching.

"Work, work, my friends and brethren," she once said in the log
school-house meeting. "Work while the day is passin'. We's all children
of the clay. To-day we're here smart as pepper-grass, and to-morrer
we're gone like the cucumbers of the ground. Up, and be doin'--up, and
be doin'!"

One morning Jasper the Tunker appeared in the clearing before her
cabin. She stood in the door as he appeared, shading her eyes with one
hand and holding a birch broom in the other. The sunset was flooding the
swollen creek in the distance, and shimmering in the tops of the ancient
trees. Jasper turned to the door.

"This is a lovely morning," said he. "The heavens are blue above us. I
hope that you are well."

"The top of the morning to you! You are a stranger that I met the other
day, I suppose. I've been hopin' you'd come along and see me. Where do
you hail from, anyway? Come in and tell me all about it."

"I am a German," said Jasper, entering. "I came from Germany to
Pennsylvania, and went from there to Ohio, and now I am here, as you
see."

"How far are you goin'? Or are you just goin' to stop with us here?
Southern Injiany is a goodly country. 'Tis all land around here, for
_millions_ of miles, and free as the air. Perhaps you'll stop with us."

"I am going to Rock Island, on the Mississippi River, across the prairie
of the Illinois."

"Who are you now, may it please you? What's your callin'? Tell me all
about it, now. I want to know."

"I am one of the Brethren, as I said. I preach and teach and cobble. I
came here now to ask you if you had any shoe-making for me to do."

"One of the Tunkers--a Tunker, one o' them. Don't belong to no sect, nor
nothin', but just preaches to everybody as though everybody was alike,
and wanders about everywhere, as if you owned the whole world, like the
air. I've seen several Tunkers in my day. They are becomin' thick in
these woods. Well, I believe such as you mean well--let's be charitable;
we haven't long to live in this troublesome world. I'm fryin' doughnuts;
am just waitin' for the fat to heat. Hope you didn't think that I was
wastin' time, standin' there at the door? I'll give you some doughnuts
as soon as the fat is hot--fresh ones and good ones, too. I make good
doughnuts, just such as Martha used to make in Jerusalem. I've fried
doughnuts for a hundred ministers in my day, and they all say that my
doughnuts are good, whatever they may think of me. Come in. I'm proper
glad to see ye."

Jasper sat down in the kitchen of the cabin. The room was large, and had
a delightful atmosphere of order and neatness. Over the fire swung an
immense iron crane, and on the crane were pot-hooks of various sizes,
and on one of these hung a kettle of bubbling fat.

The table was spread with a large dish of dough, a board called a
kneading-board, a rolling-pin, and a large sheet of dough which had been
rolled into its present form by the rolling-pin, which utensil was white
with flour.

"I knew you were comin'," said Aunt Olive. "I dropped my rollin'-pin
this mornin'; it's a sure sign. You said that you are goin' to Rock
Island. The Injuns live there, don't they? What are ye goin' there for?"

"Black Hawk has invited me. He has promised to let me have an Indian
guide, or runner, who can speak English and interpret. I'm going to
teach among the tribes, the Lord willing, and I want a guide and an
interpreter."

"Black Hawk? He was born down in Kaskaskia, the old Jesuit town, 'way
back almost a century ago, wasn't he? Or was it in the Sac village? He
was a Pottawattomie, I'm told, and then I've heard he wasn't. Now he's
chief of the Sacs and Foxes. I saw him once at a camp-meetin'. His face
is black as that pot and these hooks and trummels. How he did skeer me!
Do you dare to trust him? Like enough he'll kill ye, some day. I don't
trust no Injuns. Where did you stay last night?"

"At Mr. Lincoln's."

"Tom Linken's. Pretty poor accommodations you must have had. They're
awful poor folks. Mrs. Linken is a nice woman, but Tom he is shiftless,
and he's bringin' up that great tall boy Abe to be lazy, too. That boy
is good to his mother, but he all runs to books and larnin', just as
some turnips all run to tops. You've seen 'em so, haven't ye?"

"But the boy has got character, and character is everything in this
world."

"Did you notice anything _peculiarsome_ about him? His cousin, Dennis
Hanks, says there's something peculiarsome about him. I never did."

"My good woman, do you believe in gifts?"

"No, I believe in works. I believe in people whose two fists are full of
works. Mine are, like the Marthas of old."

Aunt Olive rolled up her sleeves, and began to cut the thin layer of
dough with a knife into long strips, which she twisted.

"I'm goin' to make some twisted doughnuts," she said, "seein' you're a
preacher and a teacher."

"I think that young lad Lincoln has some inborn gift, and that he will
become a leader among men. It is he who is willing to serve that rules,
and they who deny themselves the most receive the most from Heaven and
men. He has sympathetic wisdom. I can see it. There is something
peculiar about him. He is true."

"Oh, don't you talk that way. He's lazy, and he hain't got any
calculation, 'n' he'll never amount to shucks, nor nothin'. He's like
his father, his head in the air. Somethin' don't come of nothin' in this
world; corn don't grow unless you plant it; and when you add nothin' to
nothin' it just makes nothin'.

"Well, preacher, you've told me who you are, and now I'll tell ye who I
am. But first, let me say, I'll have a pair of shoes. I have my own
last. I'll get it for you, and then you can be peggin' away, so as not
to lose any time. It is wicked to waste time. 'Work' is my motto. That's
what time is made for."

Aunt Olive got her last. The fat was hot by this time--"all sizzlin',"
as she said.

"There, preacher, this is the last, and there is the board on which my
husband used to sew shoes, wax and all. Now I will go to fryin' my
doughnuts, and you and I can be workin' away at the same time, and I'll
tell ye who I am. Work away--work away!

"I'm a widder. You married? A widower? Well, that ain't nothin' to me.
Work away--work away!

"I came from old Hingham, near Boston. You've heard of Boston? That was
before I was married. Our family came to Ohio first, then we heard that
there was better land in Injiany, and we moved on down the Ohio River
and came here. There was only one other family in these parts at that
time. That was folks by the name of Eastman. They had a likely smart
boy by the name of Polk--Polk Eastman. He grew up and became lonesome. I
grew up and became lonesome, and so we concluded that we'd make a home
together--here it is--and try to cheer each other. Listenin', be ye?
Yes? Well, my doughnuts are fryin' splendid. Work away--work away!

"A curious time we had of it when we went to get married. There was a
minister named Penney, who preached in a log church up in Kentuck, and
we started one spring mornin', something like this, to get him to marry
us. We had but one horse for the journey. I rode on a kind of a second
saddle behind Polk, and we started off as happy as prairie plovers. A
blue sky was over the timber, and the bushes were all alive with birds,
and there were little flowers runnin' everywhere among the new grass and
the moss. It seemed as though all the world was for us, and that the
Lord was good. I've seen lots of trouble since then. My heart has grown
heavy with sorrow. It was then as light as air. Work away!

"Well, the minister Penney lived across the Kentuck, and when we came to
the river opposite his place the water was so deep that we couldn't ford
it. There had been spring freshets. It was an evenin' in April. There
was a large moon, and the weather was mild and beautiful. We could see
the pine-knots burnin' in Parson Penney's cabin, so that we knew that he
was there, but didn't see him.

"'What are we to do now?' Polk said he. 'We'll have to go home again,'
banterin'-like."

"'Holler,' said I. 'Blow the horn!' We had taken a horn along with us.
He gave a piercin' blast, and I shouted out, 'Elder Penney! Elder
Penney!'

"The door of the cabin over the river opened, and the elder came out and
stood there, mysterious-like, in the light of the fire.

"'Who be ye?' he called. 'Hallo! What is wanted?'

"'We're comin' to be married!' shouted Polk. 'Comin' to be
married--_married_! How shall we get across the river?'

"'The ford's too deep. Can't be done. Who be ye?' shouted the elder.

"'I'm Polk Eastman--Polk Eastman!' shouted Polk.

"'I'm Olive Pratt--Olive Pratt--Olive!' shouted I.

"'Well, you just stay where you be, and I'll marry you there.'

"So he began shouting at the top of his voice:

"'Do you, Olive Pratt, take that there man, over there on the horse, to
be your husband? Hey?'

"I shouted back, 'Yes, sir!'

"'Do you, Polk Eastman, take that there woman, over there on the horse,
to be your wife?'

"Polk shouted back, 'Yes, elder, that is what I came for!'

"'Then,' shouted the minister, 'join your right hands.'

"Polk put up his hand over his shoulder, and I took it; and the horse,
seein' his advantage, went to nibblin' young sprouts. The elder then
shouted:

"'I pronounce you husband and wife. You can go home now, and I'll make a
record of it, and my wife shall witness it. Good luck to you! Let us
pray.'

[Illustration: AUNT OLIVE'S WEDDING.]

"Polk hitched up the reins and the horse stood still. How solemn it
seemed! The woods were still and shady. You could hear the water rushing
in the timber. The full moon hung in the clear sky over the river, and
seemed to lay on the water like a sparkling boat. I was happy then. On
our journey home we were chased by a bear. I don't think that the bear
would have hurt us, but the scent of him frightened the horse and made
him run like a deer.

"Well, we portaged a stream at midnight, just as the moon was going
down. We made our curtilage here, and here we lived happy until husband
died of a fever. I'm a middlin' good woman. I go to all the meetin's
round, and wake 'em up. I've got a powerful tongue, and there isn't a
lazy bone in my whole body. Work away--work away! That's the way to get
along in the world. Peg away!"

While Aunt Olive had been relating this odd story, John Hanks, a cousin
of the Lincolns, had come quietly to the door, and entered and sat down
beside the Tunker. He had come to Indiana from Kentucky when Abraham was
fourteen years of age, and he made his home with the Lincolns for four
years, when he went to Illinois, and was enthused by the wonders of
prairie farming. It was Uncle John who gave to Abraham Lincoln the name
of rail-splitter. He loved the boy Lincoln, and led his heart away to
the rich prairies of Illinois a few years after the present scenes.

"He and I," he once said of Abraham, "worked barefooted, grubbed,
plowed, mowed, and cradled together. When we returned from the field, he
would snatch a piece of corn-bread, sit down on a chair, with his feet
elevated, and read. He read constantly."

This man had heard Aunt Olive--Indiana, or "Injiany," he called
her--relate her marriage experiences many times. He was not interested
in the old story, but he took a keen delight in observing the curiosity
and surprise that such a novel tale awakened in the mind of the Tunker.

"This is very extraordinary," said the Tunker, "very extraordinary. We
do not have in Germany any stories like that. I hardly know what my
people would say to such a story as that. This is a very extraordinary
country--very extraordinary."

"I can tell you a wedding story worth two o' that," said Uncle John
Hanks. "Why, that ain't nowhere to it.--Now, Aunt Injiany, you wait, and
set still. I'm goin' to tell the elder about the 'TWO TURKEY-CALLS.'"

The Tunker only said, "This is all very extraordinary." Uncle John
crossed his legs and bent forward his long whiskers, stretched out one
arm, and was about to begin, when Aunt Olive said:

"You wait, John Hanks--you wait. I'm goin' to tell the elder that there
story myself."

John Hanks never disputed with Aunt Olive.

"Well, tell it," said he, and the backwoods woman began:

"'Tis a master-place to get married out here. There's a great many more
men than women in the timber, and the men get lonesome-like, and no man
is a whole man without a wife. Men ought not to live alone anywhere.
They can not out here. Well, well, the timber is full of wild turkeys,
especially in the fall of the year, but they are hard to shoot. The best
way to get a shot at a turkey is by a turkey-call. You never heard one,
did you? You are not to blame for bein' ignorant. It is like this--"

Aunt Indiana put her hands to her mouth like a shell, and blew a low,
mysterious whistle.

"Well, there came a young settler from Kentucky and took up a claim on
Pigeon Creek; and there came a widow from Ohio and took a claim about
three miles this side of him, and neither had seen the other. Well,
well, one shiny autumn mornin' each of them took in to their heads to go
out turkey-huntin', and curiously enough each started along the creek
toward each other. The girl's name was Nancy, and the man's name was
Albert. Nancy started down the creek, and Albert up the creek, and each
had a right good rifle.

"Nancy stood still as soon as she found a hollow place in the timber,
put up her hand--_so_--and made a turkey-call--_so_--and listened.

"Albert heard the call in the hollow timber, though he was almost a mile
away, and he put up his hands--_so_--and answered--_so_.

"'A turkey,' said Nancy, said she. 'I wish I had a turkey to cook.'

"'A turkey,' said Albert, said he. 'I wish I had some one at home to
cook a turkey.'

"Then each stole along slowly toward the other, through the hollow
timber.

"It was just a lovely mornin'. Jays were callin', and nuts were fallin',
and the trees were all yellow and red, and the air put life into you,
and made you feel as though you would live forever.

"Well, they both of them stopped again, Nancy and Albert. Nancy she
called--_so_--and Albert--_so_.

"'A turkey, sure,' said Nancy.

"'A turkey, sure,' said Albert.

"Then each went forward a little, and stopped and called again.

"They were so near each other now that each began to hide behind the
thicket, so that neither might scare the turkey.

"Well, each was scootin' along with head bowed--_so_--gun in
hand--_so_--one wishin' for a husband and one for a wife, and each for a
good fat turkey, when what should each hear but a voice in a tree! It
was a very solemn voice, and it said:

"'Quit!'

"Each thought there was a scared turkey somewhere, and each became more
stealthy and cautious, and there was a long silence.

"At last Nancy she called again--_so_--and Albert he answered
her--_so_--and each thought there was a turkey within shootin' distance,
and each crept along a little nearer each other.

"At last Nancy saw the bushes stir a few rods in front of her, and
raised her gun into position, still hiding in the tangle. Albert
discovered a movement in front of him, and he took the same position.

"Nancy was sure she could see something dark before her, and that it
must be the turkey in the tangle. She put her finger on the lock of the
gun, when a voice in the air said:

"'Quit!'

"'It's a turkey in the tops of the timber,' thought she, 'and he is
watchin' me, and warnin' the other turkey.'

"Albert, too, was preparin' to shoot in the tangle when the command
from the tree-top came. Each thought it would be well to reconnoiter a
little, so as to get a better shot.

"Nancy kneeled down on the moss among the red-berry bushes, and peeked
cautiously through an openin' in the tangle. What was that?

"A hat? Yes, it was a hat!

"Albert he peeked through another openin', and his heart sunk like a
stone within him. What was that? A bonnet? Yes, it was a bonnet!

"Was ever such a thing as that seen before in the timber? Bears had been
seen, and catamounts, and prairie wolves, but a bonnet! He drew back his
gun. Just then there came another command from the tree-top:

"'Quit!'

"Now, would you believe it? Well, two guns were discharged at that
turkey in the tree, and it came tumblin' down, a twenty-pounder, dead as
a stone.

"Nancy run toward it. Albert run towards it.

"'It's yourn,' said Nancy.

"'It's yourn,' said Albert.

"Each looked at the other.

"Nancy looked real pink and pretty, and Albert he looked real noble and
handsome-like.

"'I'm thinkin',' said Albert, 'it kind o' belongs to both of us.'

"'So I think, too,' said Nancy, said she. 'Come over to my cabin and
I'll cook it for ye. I'm an honest girl, I am.'

"The two went along as chipper as two squirrels. The creek looked really
pretty to 'em, and the prairie was all a-glitter with frost, and the
sky was all pleasant-like, and you know the rest. There, now. They're
livin' there yet. Just like poetry--wasn't it, now?"

"Very extraordinary," said the Tunker, "very! I never read a novel like
that. Very extraordinary!"

A tall, lank, wiry boy came up to the door.

"Abe, I do declare!" said Aunt Olive. "Come in. I'm makin' doughnuts,
and you sha'n't have one of them. I make Scriptur' doughnuts, and the
Scriptur' says if a man spends his time porin' over books, of which
there is no end, neither shall he eat, or somethin' like that--now don't
it, elder?--But seein' it's you, Abe, and you are a pretty good boy,
after all, when people are in trouble, and sick and such, I'll make you
an elephant. There ain't any elephants in Injiany."

Aunt Olive cut a piece of doughnut dough in the shape of a picture-book
elephant and tossed it into the fat. It swelled up to enormous
proportions, and when she scooped it out with a ladle it was, for a
doughnut, an elephant indeed.

"Now, Abe, there's your elephant.--And, elder, here's a whole pan full
of twisted doughnuts. You said that you were goin' to meet Black Hawk.
Where does he live? Tell us all about him."

"I will do so, my good woman," said Jasper. "I want you to be interested
in my Indian missions. When I come this way again, I shall be likely to
bring with me an Indian guide, an uncommon boy, I am told. You shall
hear my story."



CHAPTER VI.

JASPER GIVES AN ACCOUNT OF HIS VISIT TO BLACK HAWK.--AUNT INDIANA'S WIG.


Aunt Indiana, Jasper, John Hanks, and young Abraham Lincoln sat between
the dying logs in the great fireplace and the open door. The company was
after a little time increased for Thomas Lincoln came slowly into the
clearing, and saying, "How-dy?" and "The top of the day to ye all," sat
down in the sunshine on the log step; and soon after came Dennis Hanks
and dropped down on a puncheon.

"I think that you are misled," said Jasper, "when you say that Black
Hawk was born at Kaskaskia. If I remember rightly, he said to me: 'I was
born in this Sac village. Here I spent my youth; my fathers' graves are
here, and the graves of my children, and here where I was born I wish to
die.' Rock Island, as the northern islands, rapids, and bluffs of the
Mississippi are called, is a very beautiful place. Black Hawk clings to
the spot as to his life. 'I love to look down,' he said, 'upon the big
rivers, shady groves, and green prairies from the graves of my fathers,'
and I do not wonder at this feeling. His blood is the same and his
rights are the same as any other king, and he loves Nature and has a
heart.

"It is my calling to teach and preach among the Indians and new towns
of Illinois. This call came to me in Pennsylvania. God willed it, and I
had no will but to obey. I heard the Voice within, just as I heard it in
Germany on the Rhine. _There_ it said, 'Go to America.' In Pennsylvania
it said, 'Go to the Illinois.'

"I went. I have walked all the way, teaching and preaching in the log
school-houses. I sowed the good seed, and left the harvest to the
heavens. Why should I be anxious in regard to the result? I walk by
faith, and I know what the result will be in God's good time, without
seeking for it. Why should I stop to number the people? I know.

"I wanted an Indian guide and interpreter, and the inward Voice told me
to go to Black Hawk and secure one from the chief himself. So I went to
the bluffs of the Mississippi, and told Black Hawk all my heart, and he
let me preach in his lodges, and I made some strong winter shoes for
him, and tried to teach the children by signs. So I was fed by the
ravens of the air. He had no interpreter or runner such as he would
trust to go with me; but he told me if I would return in the May moon,
he would provide me one. He said that it would be a boy by the name of
Waubeno, whose father was a noble warrior and had had a strange and
mysterious history. The boy was then traveling with an old uncle by the
name of Main-Pogue. These names sound strange to German ears: Waubeno
and Main-Pogue! I promised to return in May. I am on my way.

"If I get the boy Waubeno--and the Voice within tells me that I will--I
intend to travel a circuit, round and round, round and round, teaching
and preaching. I can see my circuit now in my mind. This is the map of
it: From Rock Island to Fort Dearborn (Chicago); from Fort Dearborn to
the Ohio, which will bring me here again; and from the Ohio to the
Mississippi, and back to Rock Island, and so round and round, round and
round. Do you see?"

The homely travels of Thomas Lincoln and the limited geography of Andrew
Crawford had not prepared Jasper's audience to see even this small
circuit very distinctly. Thomas Lincoln, like the dwellers in the
Scandinavian valleys, doubtless believed that there "are people beyond
the mountains, _also_" but he knew little of the world outside of
Kentucky and Illinois. Mrs. Eastman was quite intelligent in regard to
New England and the Middle States, but the West to her mind was simply
land--"oceans of it," as she expressed herself--"where every one was at
liberty to choose without infringin' upon anybody."

"Don't you ever stop to build up churches?" said Mrs. Eastman to Jasper.

"No."

"You just baptize 'em, and let 'em run. That's what I can't understand.
I can't get at it. What are you really doin'? Now, say?"

"I am the Voice in the wilderness, preparing the way."

"No family name?"

"No. What have I to do with a name?"

"No money?"

"Only what I earn."

"That's queerer yet. Well, you are just the man to preach to the
uninhabited places of the earth. Tell us more about Black Hawk. I want
to hear of him, although we all are wastin' a pile of time when we all
ought to be to work. Tell us about Black Hawk, and then we'll all up and
be doin'. My fire is goin' out now."

"He's a revengeful critter, that Black Hawk," said Thomas Lincoln, "and
you had better be pretty wary of him. You don't know Indians. He's a
flint full of fire, so people say that come to the smithy. You look
out."

"He has had his wrongs," said Jasper, "and he has been led by his animal
nature to try to avenge them. Had he listened to the higher teachings of
the soul, it might have been different. We should teach him."

"What was it that set him against white folks?" asked Mrs. Eastman.

"He told me the whole story," said Jasper, "and it made my heart bleed
for him. He's a child of Nature, and has a great soul, but it needs a
teacher. The Indians need teachers. I am sent to teach in the
wilderness, and to be fed by the birds of the air. I am sent from over
the sea. But listen to the tale of Black Hawk. You complain of your
wrongs, don't you? Why should not he?

"Years ago Black Hawk had an old friend whom he dearly loved, for the
friendships of Indians are ardent and noble. That friend had a boy, and
Black Hawk loved this boy and adopted him as his own, and became as a
father to him, and taught him to hunt and to go to war. When Black Hawk
joined the British he wished to take this boy with him to Canada; but
his own father said that he needed him to care for him in his old age,
to fish and to hunt for him. He said, moreover, that he did not like
his boy to fight against the Americans, who had always treated him
kindly. So Black Hawk left the boy with his old father.

"On his return to Rock River and the bluffs of the Mississippi, after
the war on the lakes, and as he was approaching his own town in the
sunset, he chanced to notice a column of white smoke curling from a
hollow in one of the bluffs. He stepped aside to see what was there. As
he looked over the bluff he saw a fire, and an aged Indian sitting alone
on a prayer-mat before it, as though humbling himself before the Great
Spirit. He went down to the place and found that the man was his old
friend.

"'How came you here?' asked Black Hawk. But, although the old Indian's
lip moved, he received no answer.

"'What has happened?' asked Black Hawk.

"There was a pitiful look in the old man's eyes, but this was his only
reply. The old Indian seemed scarcely alive. Black Hawk brought some
water to him. It revived him. His consciousness and memory seemed to
return. He looked up. With staring eyes he said, suddenly:

"'Thou art Black Hawk! O Black Hawk, Black Hawk, my old friend, he is
gone!'

"'Who has gone?'

"'The life of my heart is gone, he whom you used to love. Gone, like a
maple-leaf. Gone! Listen, O Black Hawk, listen.

"'After you went away to fight for the British, I came down the river at
the request of the pale-faces to winter there. When I arrived I found
that the white people had built a fort there. I went to the fort with
my son to tell the people that we were friendly."

"'The white war-chief received me kindly, and told us that we might hunt
on this side of the Mississippi, and that he would protect us. So we
made our camp there. We lived happy, and we loved to talk of you, O
Black Hawk!

"'We were there two moons, when my boy went to hunt one day,
unsuspicious of any danger. We thought the white man spoke true. Night
came, and he did not return. I could not sleep that night. In the
morning I sent out the old woman to the near lodges to give an alarm,
and say that my boy must be sought.

"'There was a band formed to hunt for him. Snow was on the ground, and
they found his tracks--my boy's tracks. They followed them, and saw that
he had been pursuing a deer to the river. They came upon the deer, which
he had killed and left hanging on the branch of a tree. It was as he had
left it.

"'But here they found the tracks of the white man. The pale-faces had
been there, and had taken our boy prisoner. They followed the tracks and
they found him. O Black Hawk! he was dead--my boy! The white men had
murdered him for killing the deer near the fort; and the land was ours.
His face was all shot to pieces. His body was stabbed through and
through, and they had torn the hair from his head. They had tied his
hands behind him before they murdered him. Black Hawk, my heart is dead.
What do the hawks in the sky say?'

"The old Indian fell into a stupor, from which he soon expired. Black
Hawk watched over his body during the night, and the next day he buried
it upon the bluff. It was at that grave that Black Hawk listened to the
hawks in the sky, and vowed vengeance against the white people forever,
and summoned his warriors for slaughter."

"He's a hard Indian," said Thomas Lincoln. "Don't you trust Black Hawk.
You don't know him."

"Hard? Yes, but did not your brother Mordecai make the same vow and
follow the same course after the murder of your father by the Indians? A
slayer of man is a slayer of man whoever and wherever he may be. May the
gospel bring the day when the shedding of human blood will cease! But
the times are still evil. The world waits still for the manifestation of
the sons of God; as of old it waits. I have given all I am to the
teaching of the gospel of peace. The Indians need it; you need it, all
of you. You do the same things that the savages do."

"Just hear him!" said Aunt Indiana.--"Who are you preachin' to, elder?
Callin' us savages! I'm an exhorter myself, I'd like to have you know. I
could exhort _you_. Savages? We know Indians here better than you do.
You wait."

"Let me tell you a story now," said Thomas Lincoln.

"Of course you will," said Aunt Indiana. "Thomas Lincoln never heard a
story told without telling another one to match it; and Abe, here, is
just like him. The thing that has been, is, as the Scriptur' says."


_AN ASTONISHED INDIAN._

"Well," said Thomas Lincoln, "I hain't no faith at all, elder, in
Injuns. I once knew of a woman in Kentuck, in my father's day, who knew
enough for 'em, and the way that she cleared 'em out showed an amazin'
amount of spirit. Women was women in Daniel Boone's time, in old
Kentuck. The Injuns found 'em up and doin', and they learned to sidle
away pretty rapid-like when they met a sun-bonnet.

"Well, as I was sayin', this was in my father's time. The Injuns were
prowlin' about pretty plenty then, and one day one of 'em came, all
feathers and paint, and whoops and prancin's, to a house owned by a Mr.
Daviess, and found that the man of the house was gone.

"But the wimmin-folks were at home--Mrs. Daviess and the children. Well,
the Injun came on like a champion, swingin' his tommyhawk and liftin'
his heels high. The only weapon that the good woman had was a bottle of
whisky.

"Well, whisky is a good weapon sometimes--there's many a man that has
found it a slow gunpowder. Well, this woman, as I was sayin', had her
wits about her. What do you think that she did?

"Well, she just brought out the whisky-bottle, and held it up before
him--_so_. It made his eyes sparkle, you may be sure of that!

"'Fire-water,' said she, 'mighty temptin'.

"'Ugh!' said the Indian, all humps and antics and eyes.

"Ugh! Did you ever hear an Injun say that--'Ugh?'

"'Have some?' said she.

"Have some? Of course he did.

"She got a glass and put it on the table, and then she uncorked the
bottle and _handed_ it to him to pour out the whisky. He lost his wits
at once.

"He set down his gun to pour out a dram, all giddy, when Mrs. Daviess
seized the shooter and lifted it up quick as a flash and pointed to his
head.

"'Set that down, or I'll fire! Set that bottle down!'

"The poor Injun's jaw dropped. He set down the bottle, looked wild, and
begged for his life.

"'Set still,' said she; and he looked at the whisky-bottle and then
slunk all up in a heap and remained silent as a dead man until Mr.
Daviess came home, when he was allowed to crawl away into the forest. He
gave one parting look at the bottle, but he never wanted to see a white
woman again, I'll be bound."

"You ridicule the Indian for his love of whisky," said the Tunker, "but
who taught him to love it? Woe unto the world because of offenses."

"Hello!" said John Hanks, starting up. "Here comes Johnnie Kongapod
again, from the Illinois. I like to see any one from Illinois, even if
he is an Indian. I'm goin' there myself some day. I've a great opinion
of that there prairie country--hain't you, elder?"

"Yes, it is a garden of wild flowers that seems as wide as the sky. It
can all be turned into green, and it will be some day."

Aunt Indiana greeted the Indian civilly, and the Tunker held out his
hand to him.

"Elder," said Aunt Indiana, "I must tell you one of my own experiences,
now that Johnnie Kongapod has come--the one that they bantered me about
over to the smithy. Johnnie and I are old friends. I used to be a kind
of travelin' preacher myself; I am now--I go to camp-meetin's, and I
always do my duty.

"Well, a few years ago, durin' the Injun troubles, there was goin' to be
a camp-meetin' on the Illinois side, and I wanted to go. Now, Johnnie
Kongapod is a good Injun, and I arranged with him that he should go with
me.

"You didn't know that I wore a wig, did ye, elder? No? Well, most people
don't. I have had to wear a wig ever since I had the scarlet fever, when
I was a girl. I'm kind o' ashamed to tell of it, I've so much nateral
pride, but have to speak of it when I tell this story.

"Johnnie Kongapod never saw a wig before I showed him mine, and I never
showed it to him until I had to.

"Well, he came over from Illinois, and we started off together to the
camp-meetin'. It was a lovely time on the prairies. The grass was all
ripe and wavin', and the creeks were all alive with ducks, and there
were prairie chickens everywhere. I felt very brisk and chipper.

"We had two smart horses, and we cantered along. I sang hymns, and sort
o' preached to Johnnie, when all at once we saw a shadow on the prairie
like a cloud, and who should come ridin' up but three Injuns! I was
terribly frightened. I could see that they were hostile Injuns--Sacs,
from Black Hawk. One of them swung his tommyhawk in the air, and made
signs that he was goin' to scalp me. Johnnie began to beg for me, and I
thought that my last hour had come.

"The Injun wheeled his pony, rode away, then turned and came dashin'
towards me, with tommyhawk lifted.

"'Me scalp!' said he, as he dashed by me. Then he turned his horse and
came plungin' towards me again.

"Elder, what do you think I did? I snatched off my bonnet and threw it
upon the ground. Then I grabbed my wig, held it up in the air, and when
the Injun came rushin' by I held it out to him.

"'There it is,' said I.

"Well--would you believe it?--that Injun gave one glance at it, and put
spurs to his horse, and he never stopped runnin' till he was out of
sight. The two other Injuns took one look at my wig as I held it out in
my hand.

"'Scalped herself!' said one.

"'Took her head off!' said the other. 'She conjur's!'

"They spurred their horses and flew over the prairie like the wind.
And--and--must I say it?--Johnnie Kongapod--he ran too; and so I put on
my wig, picked up my sun-bonnet, and turned and came home again.

"There are some doughnuts, Johnnie Kongapod, if you did desert me.

"Elder, this is a strange country. And don't you believe any stories
about honest Injuns that the law condemns, and that go home to see their
families overnight and return again; you will travel a long way, elder,
before you find any people of that kind, Injuns or white folks. I know.
I haven't lived fifty years in this troublesome world for nothin'.
People who live up in the air, as you do, elder, have to come down. I'm
sorry. You mean well!"

Johnnie Kongapod arose, lifted his brown arm silently, and, bending his
earnest face on Jasper, said:

"_That_ story is true. You will know. Time tells the truth. Wait!"

"Return in the morning to be shot!" said Aunt Olive. "Injuns don't do
that way here. When I started for Injiany I was told of a mother-in-law
who was so good that all her daughters' husbands asked her to come and
live with them. They said she moved to Injiany. Now, I have traveled
about this State to all the camp-meetin's, and I never found her
anywhere. Stands to reason that no such story as that is true. You'll
have to travel a long way, elder, before you find any people of that
kind in these parts."

Whom was Jasper to believe--the confident Indian or the pioneers?



CHAPTER VII.

THE EXAMINATION AT CRAWFORD'S SCHOOL.


Examination-day is an important time in country schools, and it excited
more interest seventy years ago than now. Andrew Crawford was always
ambitious that this day should do credit to his faithful work, and his
pupils caught his inspiration.

There were great preparations for the examination at Crawford's this
spring. The appearance of the German school-master in the place who
could read Latin was an event. Years after, when the pure gold of fame
was no longer a glimmering vision or a current of fate, but a wonderful
fact, Abraham Lincoln wrote of such visits as Jasper's in the settlement
a curious sentence in an odd hand in an autobiography, which we
reproduce here:

[Illustration: If a straggler ^{supposed to understand latin?} happened
to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizzard--]

With such a "wizard" as Jasper in the settlement, who would certainly
attend the examination, it is no wonder that this special event excited
the greatest interest in all the cabins between the two Pigeon Creeks of
southern Indiana.

"May we decorate the school-house?" asked a girl of Mr. Crawford, before
the appointed day. "May we decorate the school-house out of the woods?"

"I am chiefly desirous that you should decorate your minds out of the
spelling-book," said Mr. Crawford; "but it is a commendable thing to
have an eye to beauty, and to desire to present a good appearance. Yes,
you may decorate the house out of the woods."

The timber was green in places with a vine called creeping Jenney, and
laurels whose leaves were almost as green and waxy as those of the
Southern magnolia. The creeping Jenney could be entwined with the
laurel-leaves in such a way as to form long festoons. The boys and girls
spent the mornings and recesses for several days in gathering Jenney,
and in twining the vines with the laurel and making decorative festoons.

They hung these festoons about the wooden walls of the low building and
over the door. Out of the tufts of boxberry leaves and plums they made
the word "Welcome," which they hung over the door. They covered the rude
chimney with pine-boughs, and in so doing filled the room with a
resinous odor. They also covered the roof with boughs of evergreen.

The spelling-book was not neglected in the preparations of the eventful
week. There was to be a spelling-match on the day, and, although it was
already felt that Abraham Lincoln would easily win, there was hard study
on the part of all.

One afternoon, after school, in the midst of these heroic preparations,
a party of the scholars were passing along the path in the timber. A
dispute arose between two boys in regard to the spelling of a word.

"I spelled it just as Crawford did," said one.

"No, you didn't. Crawford spelled it with a _i_."

"He spelled it with a _y_, and that is just the way I spelled it."

"He didn't, now, I know! I heard Crawford spell it himself."

"He did!"

"Do you mean to tell me that I lie?"

"You do--it don't need telling."

"I won't be called a liar by anybody. I'll make you ache for that!"

"We'll see about that. You may ache yourself before this thing is
settled. I've got fists as well as you, and I will not take such words
as that from anybody. Come on!"

The two backwoods knights rushed toward each other with a wounded sense
of honor in their hearts and with uplifted arms.

Suddenly a form like a giant passed between them. It took one boy under
one of its arms and the other under the other, and strode down the
timber.

"He called me a liar," said one of the boys. "I won't stand that from
any _man_."

"He _sassed_ me," said the other, "and I won't stand any sassin', not
while my fists are alive."

"_You_ wouldn't be called a liar," said the first.

"Nor take any sassin'," said the second.

The tall form in blue-jean shirt and leather breeches strode on, with
the two boys under its arms.

"I beg!" at last said one of the boys.

"I beg!" said the other.

"Then I'll let you go, and we'll all be friends again!"

"Yes, Abraham, I'll give in, if he will."

"I will. Let me go."

The tall form dropped the two boys, and soon all was peace in the
April-like air.

"Abraham Lincoln will never allow any quarrels in our school," said
another boy. "Where he is there has to be peace. It wouldn't be fair for
him to use his strength so, only he's always right; and when strength is
right it is all for the best."

The boy had a rather clear perception of the true principles of human
government. A will to do right and the power to enforce it, make nations
great as well as character powerful.

The eventful day came, with blue-birds in the glimmering timber, and a
blue sky over all. People came from a distance to attend the
examination, and were surprised to find the school-house changed into a
green bower.

[Illustration: ABRAHAM AS A PEACE-MAKER.]

The afternoon session had been assigned to receiving company, and the
pupils awaited the guests with trembling expectation. It was a warm day,
and the oiled paper that served for panes of glass in the windows had
been pushed aside to admit the air and make an outlook, and the door had
been left open. The first to arrive was Jasper. The school saw him
coming; but he looked so kindly, benevolent, and patriarchal, that the
boys and girls did not stand greatly in awe of him. They seemed to feel
instinctively that he was their friend and was with them. But a
different feeling came over them when 'Squire Gentry, of Gentryville,
came cantering on a horse that looked like a war-charger. 'Squire Gentry
was a great man in those parts, and filled a continental space in their
young minds. The faces of all the scholars were turned silently and
deferently to their books when the 'Squire banged with his whip-handle
on the door. Aunt Olive was next seen coming down the timber. She was
dressed in a manner to cause solicitude and trepidation. She wore knit
mits, had a lofty poke bonnet, and a "checkered" gown gay enough for a
valance, and, although it was yet very early spring, she carried a
parasol over her head. There was deep interest in the books as her form
also darkened the festooned door.

Then the pupils breathed freer. But only for a moment. Sarah Lincoln,
Abraham's sister, looked out of the window, and beheld a sight which she
was not slow to communicate.

"Abe," she whispered, "look there!"

"Blue-nose Crawford," whispered the tall boy, "as I live!"

In a few moments the school was all eyes and mouths. Blue-nose Crawford
bore the reputation of being a very hard taskmaster, and of holding to
the view that severe discipline was one of the virtues that wisdom ought
to visit upon the youth. He once lent to Abraham Lincoln Weems's "Life
of Washington." The boy read it with absorbing interest, but there came
a driving storm, and the rain ran in the night through the walls of the
log-cabin and wet and warped the cover of the book. Blue-nose Crawford
charged young Lincoln seventy-five cents for the damage done to the
book. "Abe," as he was called, worked three days, at twenty-five cents a
day, pulling fodder, to pay the fine. He said, long after this hard
incident, that he did his work well, and that, although his feelings
were injured, he did not leave so much as a strip of fodder in the
field.

"The class in reading may take their places," said Andrew Crawford.

It was a tall class, and it was provided with leather-covered English
Readers. One of the best readers in the class was a Miss Roby, a girl of
some fifteen years of age, whom young Lincoln greatly liked, and whom he
had once helped at a spelling match, by putting his finger on his eye
(_i_) when she had spelled _defied_ with a _y_. This girl read a
selection with real pathos.

"That gal reads well," said Blue-nose Crawford, or Josiah Crawford, as
he should be called. "She ought to keep school. We're goin' to need
teachers in Indiana. People are comin' fast."

Miss Roby colored. She had indeed won a triumph of which every pupil of
Spencer County might be proud.

"Now, Nathaniel, let's hear you read. You're a strappin' feller, and you
ought not to be outread by a gal."

Nathaniel raised his book so as to hide his face, like one near-sighted.
He spread his legs apart, and stood like a drum-major awaiting a word of
command.

"You may read Section V in poetry," said Mr. Crawford, the teacher.
"Verses supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk. Speak up loud, and
mind your pauses."

He did.

"I am monarch of all I survey," he began, in a tone of vocal thunder.
Then he made a pause, a very long one. Josiah Crawford turned around in
great surprise; and Aunt Olive planted the chair in which she had been
sitting at a different angle, so that she could scrutinize the reader.

The monarch of all he surveyed, which in the case of the boy was only
one page of the English Reader, was diligently spelling out the next
line, which he proceeded to pronounce like one long word with surprising
velocity:

"My-right-there-is-none-to-dispute."

There was another pause.

"Hold down your book," said the master.

"Yes, hold down your book," said Josiah Crawford. "What do ye cover yer
face for? There's nuthin' to be ashamed of. Now try again."

Nathaniel lowered the book and revealed the singular struggle that was
going on in his mind. He had to spell out the words to himself, and in
doing so his face was full of the most distressing grimaces. He
unconsciously lifted his eyebrows, squinted his eyes, and drew his mouth
hither and thither.

    "From the cen-t-e-r, center; center, all round _to_ the sea,
      I am lord of the f-o-w-l _and_-the-brute."

The last line came to a sudden conclusion, and was followed by a very
long pause.

"Go on," said Andrew Crawford, the master.

"Yes, go on," said Josiah. "At the rate you're goin' now you won't get
through by candle-light."

Nathaniel lifted his eyebrows and uttered a curiously exciting--

"O"--

"That boy'll have a fit," said Aunt Olive. "Don't let him read any more,
for massy sake!"

"O--What's that word, master? S-o-l-i-t-u-d-e, so-li-tu-de.
O--So-li-tu-de."

"O Solitude, where are the charms?" read Mr. Andrew Crawford,

      "That sages have seen in thy face?
    Better dwell in the midst of alarms
      Than reign in this horrible place."

Nathaniel followed the master like a race-horse. He went on smoothly
until he came to "this horrible place," when his face assumed a startled
expression, like one who had met with an apparition. He began to spell
out _horrible_, "h-o-r-, hor--there's your hor, _hor_; r-i-b-, there's
your _rib_, horrib--"

"Don't let that boy read any more," said Aunt Olive.

Nathaniel dropped his book by his side, and cast a far-away glance into
the timber.

"I guess I ain't much of a reader," he remarked, dryly.

"Stop, sir!" said the master.

Poor Nathaniel! Once, in attempting to read a Bible story, he read, "And
he smote the Hittite that he died"--"And he smote him Hi-ti-ti-ty, that
he _did_" with great emphasis and brief self-congratulation.

In wonderful contrast to Nathaniel's efforts was the reading in concert
by the whole class. Here was shown fine preparation for a forest school.
The reading of verses, in which "sound corresponded to the
signification," was smoothly, musically, and admirably done, and we give
some of these curious exercises here:


_Felling trees in a wood._

    Loud sounds the axe, redoubling strokes on strokes;
    On all sides round the forest hurls her oaks
    Headlong. Deep echoing groan the thickets brown,
    Then rustling, crackling, crashing, thunder down.


_Sounds of a bow-string._

                                The string let fly
    Twanged short and sharp, like the shrill swallow's cry.


_The pheasant._

    See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
    And mounts exulting on triumphant wings.


_Scylla and Charybdis._

    Dire Scylla there a scene of horror forms,
    And here Charybdis fills the deep with storms.
    When the tide rushes from her rumbling caves,
    The rough rock roars; tumultuous boil the waves.


_Boisterous and gentle sounds._

    Two craggy rocks projecting to the main,
    The roaring winds' tempestuous rage restrain:
    Within, the waves in softer murmurs glide,
    And ships secure without their hawsers ride.


_Laborious and impetuous motion._

    With many a weary step, and many a groan,
    Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone:
    The huge round stone resulting with a bound,
    Thunders impetuous down, and smokes along the ground.


_Regular and slow movement._

    First march the heavy mules securely slow;
    O'er hills, o'er dales, o'er crags, o'er rocks they go.


_Motion slow and difficult._

    A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
    That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.


_A rock torn from the brow of a mountain._

    Still gath'ring force, it smokes, and urged amain,
    Whirls, leaps, and thunders down impetuous to the plain.


_Extent and violence of the waves._

    The waves behind impel the waves before,
    Wide-rolling, foaming high, and tumbling to the shore.


_Pensive numbers._

    In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
    Where heav'nly pensive contemplation dwells,
    And ever-musing melancholy reigns.


_Battle._

            Arms on armor clashing brayed
    Horrible discord; and the madding wheels
    Of brazen fury raged.


_Sound imitating reluctance._

    For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
      This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned;
    Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
      Nor cast one longing, ling'ring look behind?

A spelling exercise followed, in which the pupils spelled for places, or
for the head. Abraham Lincoln stood at the head of the class. He was
regarded as the best speller in Spencer County. He is noted to have soon
exhausted all that the three teachers whom he found there could teach
him. Once, in after years, when he was asked how he came to know so
much, he answered, "By a willingness to learn of every one who could
teach me anything."

"Abraham," said Master Crawford, "you have maintained your place at the
head of the class during the winter. You may take your place now at the
foot of the class, and try again."

The spelling for turns, or for the head, followed the method of the old
Webster's "Speller," that was once so popular in country schools:

    ail, to be in trouble.
    ale, malt liquor.
    air, the atmosphere.
    _h_eir, one who inherits.
    all, the whole.
    awl, an instrument.
    al-tar, a place for offerings.
    al-ter, to change.
    ant, a little insect.
    a_u_nt, a sister to a parent.
    ark, a vessel.
    arc, part of a circle.

All went correctly and smoothly, to the delight and satisfaction of
Josiah Crawford and Aunt Olive, until the word _drachm_ was reached,
when all the class failed except Abraham Lincoln, who easily passed up
to the head again.

The writing-books, or copy-books, were next shown to the visitors. The
writing had been done on puncheon-desks with home made ink. Abraham
Lincoln's copy-book showed the same characteristic hand that signed the
Emancipation Proclamation. In one corner of a certain page he had
written an odd bit of verse in which one may read a common experience in
the struggles of life after what is better and higher. Emerson said, "A
high aim is curative." Poor backwoods Abe seemed to have the same
impression, but he did not write it down in an Emersonian way, but in
this odd rhyme:

    "Abraham Lincoln,
      His hand and pen,
    He will be good,
      But God knows when."

The exercises ended with a grand dialogue translated from Fénelon
between Dionysius, Pythias, and Damon, in which fidelity in friendship
was commended. After this, each of the visitors, Aunt Olive included,
was asked to make a "few remarks." Aunt Olive's remarks were "few," but
to the point:

"Children, you have read well, and spelled well, and are good
arithme_tickers_, but you ain't sot still. There!"

Josiah Crawford thought the progress of the school had been excellent,
but that more of the rod had been needed.

(Where had all the green bushes gone in the clearing, but to purposes of
discipline?)

Then good Brother Jasper was asked to speak. The "wizard" who could
speak Latin arose. The pupils could see his great heart under his face.
It shone through. His fine German culture did not lead him away from the
solid merits of the forest school.

"There are purposes in life that we can not see," he began, "but the
secret comes to those who listen to the beating of the human heart, and
at the doors of heaven. Spirits whisper, as it were. The soul, a great
right intention, is here; and there is a conscience here which is power;
and here, for aught we can say, may be some young Servius Tullius of
this wide republic."

Servius Tullius? Would any one but he have dreamed that the citizens of
Rome would one day delight to honor an ungainly pupil of that forest
school?

One day there came to Washington a present to the Liberator of the
American Republic. It looked as follows, and bore the following
inscription:

[Illustration: "To Abraham Lincoln, President, for the second time, of
the American Republic, citizens of Rome present this stone, from the
wall of Servius Tullius, by which the memory of each of those brave
assertors of liberty may be associated. Anno 1865."]

It is said that the modest President shrank from receiving such a
compliment as that. It was too much. He hid away the stone in a
storeroom of the capital, in the basement of the White House. It now
constitutes a part of his monument, being one of the most impressive
relics in the Memorial Hall of that structure. It is twenty-four hundred
years old, and it traveled across the world to the prairies of Illinois,
a tribute from the first advocate of the rights of the people to the
latest defender of all that is sacred to the human soul.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE PARABLE PREACHES IN THE WILDERNESS.


The house in which young Abraham Lincoln attended church was simple and
curious, as were the old forest Baptist preachers who conducted the
services there. It was called simply the "meeting-house." It stood in
the timber, whose columns and aisles opened around it like a vast
cathedral, where the rocks were altars and the birds were choirs. It was
built of rude logs, and had hard benches, but the plain people had done
more skillful work on this forest sanctuary than on the school-house.
The log meeting-house stood near the log school-house, and both revealed
the heart of the people who built them. It was the Prussian
school-master, trained in the moral education of Pestalozzi, that made
the German army victorious over France in the late war. And it was the
New England school-master that built the great West, and made Plymouth
Rock the crown-stone of our own nation. The world owes to humble
Pestalozzi what it never could have secured from a Napoleon. It is right
ideas that march to the conquest, that lift mankind, and live.

It had been announced in the school-house that Jasper the Parable would
preach in the log church on Sunday. The school-master called the
wandering teacher "Jasper the Parable," but the visitor became commonly
known as the "Old Tunker" in the community. The news flew for miles that
"an old Tunker" was to preach. No event had awakened a greater interest
since Elder Elkins, from Kentucky, had come to the settlement to preach
Nancy Lincoln's funeral sermon under the great trees. On that occasion
all the people gathered from the forest homes of the vast region. Every
one now was eager to visit the same place in the beautiful spring
weather, and to "hear what the old Tunker would have to say."

Among the preachers who used to speak in the log meeting-house and in
Thomas Lincoln's cabin were one Jeremiah Cash, and John Richardson, and
young Lamar. The two latter preachers lived some ten miles distant from
the church; but ten miles was not regarded as a long Sabbath-day journey
in those days in Indiana. When the log meeting-house was found too small
to hold the people, such preachers would exhort under the trees. There
used to be held religious meetings in the cabins, after the manner of
the present English cottage prayer-meetings. These used to be appointed
to take place at "early candle-lighting," and many of the women who
attended used to bring tallow dips with them, and were looked upon as
the "wise virgins" who took oil in their lamps.

It was a lovely Sunday in April. The warm sunlight filled the air and
bird-songs the trees. The notes of the lark, the sparrow, and the
prairie plover were bells--

    "To call me to duty, while birds in the air
    Sang anthems of praise as I went forth to prayer,"

as one of the old hymns used to run. The buds on the trees were
swelling. There was an odor of walnut and "sassafrax" in the tides of
the sunny air. Cowslips and violets margined the streams, and the sky
over all was serene and blue, and bright with the promise of the summer
days.

The people began to gather about the meeting-house at an early hour. The
women came first, in corn-field bonnets which were scoop-shaped and
flaring in front, and that ran out like horns behind. On these
funnel-shaped, cornucopia-like head-gears there might now and then be
seen the vanity of a ribbon. The girls carried their shoes in their
hands until they came in sight of the meeting-house, when they would sit
down on some mossy plat under an old tree, "bein' careful of the
snakes," and put them on. All wore linsey-woolsey dresses, of which four
or five yards of cloth were an ample pattern for a single garment, as
they had no use for any superfluous polonaises in those times.

Long before the time for the service the log meeting-house was full of
women, and the yard full of men and horses. Some of the people had come
from twenty miles away. Those who came from the longest distances were
the first to arrive--as is usual, for in all matters in life promptness
is proportioned to exertion.

When the Parable came, Thomas Lincoln met him.

"You can't preach here," said he. "Half the people couldn't hear you.
You have a small voice. You don't holler and pound like the rest of 'em,
I take it. Suppose you preach out under the trees, where all the people
can hear ye. It looks mighty pleasant there. With our old sing-song
preachers it don't make so much difference. We could hear one of them
if you were to shut him up in jail. But with you it is different. You
have been brought up different among those big churches over there. What
do you say, preacher?"

"I would rather preach under the trees. I love the trees. They are the
meeting-house of God."

"Say, preacher, would you mind goin' over and preachin' at Nancy's
grave? Elder Elkins preached there, and the other travelin' ministers.
Seems kind o' holy over there. Nancy was a good woman, and all the
people liked her. She was Abraham's mother. The trees around her grave
are beautiful."

"I would like to preach there, by that lonely grave in the wilderness."

"The Tunker will preach at Nancy's grave," said Thomas Lincoln in a loud
voice. He led the way to the great cathedral of giant trees, which were
clouded with swelling buds and old moss, and a long procession of people
followed him there.

Among them was Aunt Olive, with a corn-field bonnet of immense
proportions, and her hymn-book. She was a lively worshiper. At all the
meetings she sang, and at the Methodist meetings she shouted; and after
all religious occasions she "tarried behind," to discuss the sermon with
the minister. She usually led the singing. Her favorite hymns were, "Am
I a soldier of the Cross," "Come, thou Fount of every blessing," and "My
Bible leads to glory." The last hymn and tune suited her emotional
nature, and she would pitch it upon a high key, and make the woods ring
with the curious musical exhortation of the chorus:

      "Sing on, pray on,
    Ye followers of Emmanuel."

At the early candle-meetings at Thomas Lincoln's cabin and other cabins,
she sang hymns of a more persuasive character. These were oddly
appropriate to the hard-working, weary, yet hopeful community. One of
these began thus:

    "Come, my brethren, let us try,
      For a little season,
    Every burden to lay by--
      Come, and let us reason.
    What is this that casts you down?
      What is this that grieves you?
    Speak, and let the worst be known--
      Speaking may _relieve_ you."

The music was weird and in a minor key. It was sung often with a
peculiar motion of the body, a forward-and-backward movement, with
clasped hands and closed eyes. Another of the pioneer hymns began:

    "Brethren, we have met for worship,
      And to adore the Lord our God:
    Will you pray with all your power,
      While we wait upon the Lord?
    All is vain unless the Spirit
      Of the Holy One comes down;
    Brethren, pray, and heavenly manna
      Will be showered all around.

    "Sisters, will you join and help us?
      Moses' sister help-ed him," etc.

The full glory of a spring day in Indiana shone over the vast forests,
as the Tunker rose to speak under the great trees. It was like an
Easter, and, indeed, the hymn sung at the opening of the service was
much like an Easter hymn. It related how--

    "On this lovely morning my Saviour was rising,
    The chains of mortality fully despising;
    His sufferings are over, he's done agonizing--
    This morning my Saviour will think upon _me_."

The individuality of the last line seemed especially comforting to many
of the toiling people, and caused Aunt Olive to uplift her voice in a
great shout.

"Come with me," said Jasper; "come with me this morning, and we will
walk beside the Sea of Galilee together. Galilee! I love to think of
Galilee--far, far away. The words spoken on the shores of Galilee, and
on the mountains over-looking Galilee, are the hope of the world. They
are the final words of our all-loving Father to his children. Times may
change, but these words will never be exceeded or superseded; nothing
can ever go beyond these teachings of the brotherhood of man, and the
way that the heart may find God, and become conscious of the presence of
God, and know its immortality, and the everlasting truth. What did the
great Teacher say on Galilee?"

The Parable began to repeat from memory the Sermon on the Mount and the
Galilean teachings. The birds came and sang in the trees during the long
recitations, and the people sank down on the grass. Once or twice Aunt
Olive's corn-field bonnet rose up, and out of it came a shout of
"Glory!" One enthusiastic brother shouted, at one point of the
quotations: "That's right, elder; pitch into 'em, and give it 'em--they
need it. We're all sinners here; a good field to improve upon! Go on!"

It was past high noon when Jasper finished his quotations from the
Gospels. He then paused, and said:

"Do you want to know who I am, and why I am here, and what has sent me
forth among the speckled birds of the forest? I will tell you. A true
life has no secrets--it needs none; it is open to all like the
revelations of the skies, and the sea, and the heart of Nature--what is
concealed in the heart is what should not be.

"I had a teacher. He is living now--an old, broken man--a name that will
sound strange to your ears. He gave up his life to teach the orphans
made by the war. He studied with them, learned with them, ate with them;
he saw with their eyes and felt with their hearts. He taught after the
school of Nature; as Nature teaches the child within, so he taught,
using outward objects.

"He once said to me:

"'For thirty years my life has been a struggle against poverty. For
thirty years I have had to forego many of the barest necessities of
life, and have had to shun the society of my fellow-men for want of
decent clothes. Many and many times I have gone without a dinner, and
eaten in bitterness a dry crust of bread on the road, at a time when
even the poorest were seated around a table. All this I have suffered,
and am suffering still to-day, and with no other object than to realize
my plan for helping the poor.'

"When I heard him say that, I loved him. It made me ashamed of my
selfish life. Then I heard the Dunkards preach, and tell of America over
the sea. I began to study the words of the Teacher of Galilee. I, too,
longed to teach. My wife died, and my two children. Then I said: 'I
will live for the soul. That is all that has any lasting worth. I will
give up everything for the good of others, and go over the sea, and
teach the children of the forest.' I am now on my way to see Black Hawk,
who has promised to send out with me an interpreter and guide. I have
given up my will, my property, and my name, and I am happy. Good-by, my
friends. I have nothing, and am happy."

At this point Aunt Olive's corn-field bonnet rose up, and her voice rang
out on the air:

    "My brother, I wish you well!
    My brother, I wish you well!
    When my Lord calls, I hope I shall
    Be _mentioned_ in the promised land.

    "My sister, I wish you well!" etc.

    "Poor sinners, I wish you well!" etc.

Galilee! There was one merry, fun-making boy in that sacred place, to
whom, according to tradition, that word had a charm. He used to love to
mimic the old backwoods preachers, and he became very skeptical in
matters of Christian faith and doctrine, but he never forgot the
teachings of the Teacher of Galilee. In the terrible duties that fell to
his lot the principles of the Galilean teachings came home to his heart,
and he came to know in experience what he had not accepted from the
mouths of men. He is said to have said, just before his death, which
bowed the nation: "When the cares of state are over, I want to go to
Galilee," or words of like meaning. The legend is so beautiful that we
could wish it to be true.



CHAPTER IX.

AUNT INDIANA'S PROPHECIES.


Jasper heard the local stories at the smithy and at Aunt Indiana's with
intense interest. To him they furnished a study of the character of the
people. They were not like stories of beautiful spiritual meaning that
he had been accustomed to hear at Marienthal, at Weimar, and on the
Rhine. The tales of Richter, Haupt, Hoffman, and Baron Fouqué could
never have been created here. These new settlements called for the
incident or joke that represented a practical fact, and not the
soul-growth of imagination. The one question of education was, "Can you
cipher to the rule of three?" and of religion, "Have you found the
Lord?" The favorite tales were of Indians, bears, and ghosts, and the
rough hardships that overcome life. Jasper heard these tales with a
sympathetic heart.

The true German story is a parable, a word with a soul. Jasper loved
them, for the tales of a people are the heart of a people, and express
the progress of culture and opinion.

One day, as Jasper was cobbling at Aunt Olive's, he sought to teach her
a lesson of contentment by a German household story. Johnnie Kongapod
had come in, and the woman was complaining of her hard and restricted
life.

"Aunt Indiana," said Jasper, "do you have fairies here?"

"Never have seen any. We don't spin air here in America."

"We have fairies in Germany. All the children there pass through
fairy-land. There once came a fairy to an old couple who were
complaining, like you."

"Like me? I'm the contentedest woman in these parts. 'Tis no harm to
wish for what you haven't got."

"There came a fairy to them, and said:

"'You may have three wishes. Wish.'

"The old couple thought:

"'We must be very wise,' said the woman, 'and not make any mistake,
since we can only wish three times. I wish I had a pudding.'

"Immediately there came a pudding upon the table. The poor woman was
greatly surprised.

"'There, you see what you have done by your foolish wishing!' said the
man.

"'One of our opportunities has gone,' said the woman. 'We have but two
chances left. We must be _wiser_.'

"They sat and looked into the fire. The fairy had disappeared from the
hearth, and there were only embers and ashes there.

"The man grew angry that his wife had lost one of their opportunities.

"'Nothin' but a pudding!' said he. 'I wish that that miserable pudding
were hung to your nose!'

"The pudding leaped from the table and hung at the end of the old
woman's nose.

"'There!' said she, 'now you see what you have done by your foolish
wishing.'

"The old man sighed. 'We have but one wish left. We must now be the
wisest people in all the world.'

"They watched the dying embers, and thought. As they did so, the pudding
grew heavy at the end of the old woman's nose. At last she could endure
it no longer.

"'Oh!' she said, 'how I wish that pudding was off again!'

"The pudding disappeared, and the fairy was gone."

"'Tain't true," said Aunt Indiana.

"Yes," said Jasper, "what is true to life is true. Stories are the
alphabet of life."

Johnnie Kongapod had listened to the tale with delight. Aunt Indiana
knew that no fairy would ever appear on her hearth, but Johnnie was not
so sure.

"I've seen 'em," said he.

"You--what? What have you seen? I'd like to know," said Aunt Indiana.

"Fairies--"

"Where?"

"When I've been asleep."

"There never was any fairies in my dreams," said Aunt Indiana.

No, there were not. The German Tunker and the prairie Indian might see
fairies, but the hard-working Yankee pioneer had no faculties for
creative fancy. Her fairy was the plow that breaks the ground, or the
axe that fells the timber. Yet the German soul-tale seemed to haunt her,
and she at last said:

"I wish that we had more such stories as that. It is pleasant talk. Abe
Lincoln tells such things out of the Pilgrim's Progress. He's all
imagination, just like you and the Indians. People who don't have much
to do run to such things. I suppose that he has read that Pilgrim's
Progress over a dozen times."

"I have observed that the boy had ideals," said Jasper.

"What's them?" said Aunt Indiana.

"People build life out of ideals," said Jasper. "A cathedral is an ideal
before it is a form. So is a house, a glass--everything. He has the
creative imagination."

"Yes--that's what I said: always going around with a book in his hand,
as though he was walking on the air."

"His step-mother says that he's one of the best of boys. He does
everything that he can for her, and he has never given her an unkind
word. He loves his step-mother like an own mother, and he forgets
himself for others. These are good signs."

"Signs--signs! Stop your cobblin', elder, and let me prophesy! That boy
just takes after his father, and he will never amount to anything in
this world or any other. His mother what is dead was a good woman--an
awful good woman; but she was sort o' visionary. They say that she used
to see things at camp-meetin's, and lose her strength, and have far-away
visions. She might have seen fairies. But she was an awful good
woman--good to everybody, and everybody loved her; and we were all sorry
when she died, and we all love her grave yet. It is queer, but we all
seem to love her grave. A sermon goes better when it is preached there
under the great trees. Some folks had rather hear a sermon preached
there than at the meetin'-house. Some people leave a kind o' influence;
_Miss_ Linken did. The boy means well--his heart is all right, like his
poor dead mother's was--but he hasn't got any head on 'im, like as I
have. He hasn't got any calculation. And now, elder, I'm goin' to say
it, though I'm sorry to: he'll never amount to shucks! There, now!
Josiah Crawford says so, too."

"There is one very strong point about Abraham," said Jasper. "He has a
keen sense of what is right, and he is always governed by it. He has
faith that right is might. Didn't you ever notice it?"

"Yes, I'll do him justice. I never knew him to do a thing that he
thought wrong--never. He couldn't. He takes after his mother's folks,
and they say that there is Quaker blood in the Linkens."

"But, my good woman, a fool would be wise if he always did right,
wouldn't he? There is no higher wisdom than to always do right. And a
boy that has a heart to feel for every one, and a conscience that is
true to a sense of right, and that loves learning more than anything
else, and studies continually, is likely to find a place in the world.

"Now, I am going to prophesy. This country is going to need men to lead
them, and Abraham Lincoln will one day become a leader among men. He
leads now. His heart leads; his mind leads. I can see it. The world here
is going to need men of knowledge, and it will select the man of the
most learning who has the most heart, the most sympathy with the people.
It will select him. I have a spiritual eye, and I can see."

"A leader of the people--Abe Lincoln! You have said it now. I would as
soon think of Johnnie Kongapod! A leader of the people! Are you daft?
When the prairies leap into corn-fields and the settlements into banks
of gold, and men can travel a mile a minute, and clodhoppers become
merchants and Congressers, and as rich as Spanish grandees, then Abraham
Lincoln may become a leader of the people, but not till then! No, elder,
you are no Samuel, that has come down here among the sons of Jesse to
find a shepherd-boy for a king. You ain't no Samuel, and he ain't no
shepherd-boy. He all runs to books and legs, and I tell you he ain't got
no calculation. Now, I've prophesied and you've prophesied."

"Time tells the truth about all things," said Jasper. "We shall meet, if
I make my circuits, and we will talk of our prophecies in other years,
should Providence permit. My soul has set its mark on that boy: wait,
and we will see if the voice within me speaks true. It has always spoken
true until now."

At the close of this prophetic dialogue the subject of it appeared at
the door. He was a tall boy, with a dark face, homely, ungainly,
awkward. He wore a raccoon-skin cap, a linsey-woolsey shirt, and leather
breeches, and was barefooted, although the weather was yet cool. He did
not look like one who would ever cause the thrones of the world to lean
and listen, or who would find in the Emperor of all the Russias the
heart of a brother.

"Abe," said Aunt Indiana, "the Tunker here has been speakin' well of
you, though you don't deserve it. He just says as how you are goin' to
be somebody, and make somethin' in the world. I hope you will, though
you're a shaky tree to hang hopes on. I ain't got nothin' ag'in ye. He
says that you'll become a leader among men. What do you think o' that,
Abe? Don't stand there gawkin'. Come in and sit down."

"It helps one to have some one believe in him," said the tall boy. "One
tries to fulfill the good prophecies made about him. I wish I was
good.--Thank ye, elder, for your good opinion. I wonder if I will ever
make anything? I sometimes think I will. I look over toward mother's
grave there, and think I will; but you can't tell. Crawford the
schoolmaster he thinks good of me, but the other Crawford--Josiah--he's
ag'in me. But if we do right, we'll all come out right."

"Yes, my boy," said Jasper, "have faith that right is might. This is
what the Voice and the Being within tells me to preach and to teach. Let
us have faith that right is might, and do our duty, and the Spirit of
God will give us a new nature, and make us new creatures, and the
rebirth of the spiritual life into the eternal kingdom."

The prairie winds breathed through the trees. A robin came and sang in
the timber.

The four sat thoughtful--the Tunker, the Indian, the pioneer woman, and
the merry, sad-faced boy. It was a commonplace scene in the Indiana
timber, and that one lonely grave is all that is left to recall such
scenes to-day--the grave of the pioneer mother.



CHAPTER X.

THE INDIAN RUNNER.


The young May moon was hanging over the Mississippi on the evening when
Jasper came to the village of the Sacs and Foxes. This royal town, the
head residence of the two tribes, and the ancient burying-ground of the
Indian race, was very beautifully situated at the junction of the Rock
River with the Mississippi. The Father of Waters, which is in many
places turbid and uninteresting, here becomes a clear and impetuous
stream, flowing over beds of rock and gravel, amid high and wooded
shores. The rapids--the water-ponies of the Indians--here come leaping
down, surging and foaming, and are checked by monumental islands. The
land rises from the river in slopes, like terraces, crowned with hills
and patriarchal trees. From these hills the sight is glorious. On one
hand rolls the mighty river, and on the other stretch vast prairies,
flower-carpeted, sun-flooded, a sea of vegetation, the home of the
prairie plover and countless nesters of the bright, warm air. It is a
park, whose extent is bounded by hundreds of miles.

Water-swept and beautiful lies Rock Island, where on a parapet of rock
was built Fort Armstrong in the days of the later Indian troubles.

The royal town and burying-ground was a place of remarkable fertility.
The grape-vine tangled the near woods, the wild honeysuckle perfumed the
air, and wild plums blossomed white in May and purpled with fruit in
summer. If ever an Indian race loved a town, it was this. The Indian
mind is poetic. Nature is the book of poetry to his instinct, and here
Nature was poetic in all her moods.

The Indians venerated the graves of their ancestors. Here they kept the
graves beautiful, and often carried food to them and left it for the
dead.

The chant at these graves was tender, and shows that the human heart
everywhere is the same. It was like this:

    "Where are you, my father?
      Oh, where are you now?
    I'm longing to see thee;
      I'm wailing for thee.
                          (Wail.)

    "Are you happy, my father?
      Are you happy now?
    I'm longing to see thee;
      I'm wailing for thee.
                          (Wail.)

    "Spring comes to the river,
      But where, then, art thou?
    I'm longing to see thee;
      I'm wailing for thee.
                          (Wail.)

    "The flowers come forever;
      I'll meet thee again;
    I'm longing to see thee--
      Time bears me to thee!"
                           (Wail.)

As Jasper ascended the high bluffs of the lodge where Black Hawk dwelt,
he was followed by a number of Indians who came out of their houses of
poles and bark, and greeted him in a kindly way. The dark chief met him
at the door of the lodge.

"You are welcome, my father. The new moon has bent her bow over the
waters, and you have come back. You have kept your promise. I have kept
mine. There is the boy."

An Indian boy of lithe and graceful form came out of the lodge, followed
by an old man, who was his uncle. The boy's name was Waubeno, and his
uncle's was Main-Pogue. The latter had been an Indian runner in Canada,
and an interpreter to the English there. He spoke English well. The boy
Waubeno had been his companion in his long journeys, and, now that the
interpreter was growing old, remained true to him. The three stood
there, looking down on the long mirror of the Mississippi--Black Hawk,
Main-Pogue, and Waubeno--and waiting for Jasper to speak.

"I have come to bring you peace," said Jasper--"not the silence of the
hawk or the bow-string, but peace here."

He laid his hand on his breast, and all the Indians did the same.

"I am a man of peace," continued Jasper. "If any one should seek to slay
me, I would not do him any harm. I would forgive him, and pray that his
blindness might go from his soul, and that he might see a better life.
You welcome me, you are true to me, and, whatever may happen, I will be
true to your race."

The black chief bowed, Main-Pogue, and the boy Waubeno.

"I believe you," said Black Hawk. "Your face says 'yes' to your words.
The Indian's heart is always true to a friend. Sit down; eat, smoke the
peace-pipe, and let us talk. Sit down. The sky is clear, and the
night-bird cries for joy on her wing. Let us all sit down and talk. The
river rolls on forever by the graves of the braves of old. Let us sit
down."

The squaws brought Jasper some cakes and fish, and Black Hawk lighted
some long pipes and gave them to Main-Pogue and Waubeno.

"I have brought the boy here for you," said Black Hawk. "He comes of the
blood of the brave. Let me tell you his story. It will shame the
pale-face, but let me tell you the story. You will say that the Indian
can be great, like the pale-face, when I tell you his story. It will
smite your heart. Listen."

A silence followed, during which a few puffs of smoke curled into the
air from the black chief's pipe. He broke his narrative by such
silences, designed to be impressive, and to offer an opportunity for
thought on what had been said.

Strange as it may seem to the reader, the story that follows is
substantially true, and yet nothing in classic history or modern heroism
can surpass in moral grandeur the tale that Black Hawk was always proud
to tell:

"Father, that is the boy. He knows all the ways from the Great Lakes to
the long river, from the great hills to Kaskaskia. You can trust him; he
knows the ways. Main-Pogue knows all the ways. Main-Pogue was a runner
for the pale-face. He has taught him the ways. Their hearts are like one
heart, Main-Pogue's and Waubeno's.

[Illustration: BLACK HAWK TELLS THE STORY OF WAUBENO.]

"His father is dead, Waubeno's. Main-Pogue has been a father to him.
They would die for each other. Main-Pogue says that Waubeno may run with
you, if I say that he may run. I say so. Main-Pogue and Waubeno are true
to me.

"The boy's father is dead, I said. Who was the father of that
boy?--Waubeno, stand up."

The boy arose, like a tall shadow. There was a silence, and Black Hawk
puffed his pipe, then laid it beside his blanket.

"Who was the father of Waubeno? He was a brave, a warrior. He wore the
gray plume, and honor to him was more than life. He would not lie, and
they put him to death. He was true as the stars, and they killed him."

There followed another silence.

"Father, you teach. You teach the head; you teach the heart: to live a
true life, is the thing to teach--the thing you call conscience, soul,
those are the right things to teach. What are books to the head, if the
soul is not taught to be true?

"Father, the father of Waubeno could teach the pale-face. In the head?
No, in the heart? No, in the soul, which is the true book of the Great
Spirit that you call God. You came to us to teach us God. It is good.
You are a brother, but God came to us before. He has written the law of
right in the soul of every man. The right will find the light. You teach
the way--you bring the Word of him who died for mankind. It is good.
I've got you a runner to run with you. It is good. You help the right to
find the light.

"Father, listen. I am about to speak. Before the great war with the
British brother (1812) that boy's father struck down to the earth a
pale-face who had done him wrong. The white man died. He who wrongs
another does not deserve the sun. He died, and his soul went to the
shadows. The British took the red warrior prisoner for killing this man
who had wronged him. Waubeno was a little one then, when they took his
father prisoner.

"The British told the old warrior that they had condemned him to die.

"'I am not afraid to die,' said the warrior. 'Let me go to the
Ouisconsin (Wisconsin) and see my family once more, and whisper my last
wish in the ear of my boy, and I will return to you and die. I will
return at the sunrise.'

"'You would never return,' said the commander of the stockade.

"The warrior strode before him.

"'Can a true man lie?'

"The commander looked into his face, and saw his soul.

"'Well, go,' said he. 'I would like to see an Indian who would come back
to die.'

"The warrior went home, under the stars. He told his squaw all. He had
six little children, and he hugged them all. Waubeno was the oldest boy.
He told him all, and pressed him to his heart. He whispered in his
ear.--What was it he said, Waubeno?"

The shadowy form of the boy swayed in the dim light, as he answered. He
said:

"'Avenge my death! Honor my memory. The Great Spirit will teach you
how.' That is what my father said to me, and I felt the beating of his
heart."

There was a deep silence. Then Black Hawk said:

"The warrior looked down on the Ouisconsin under the stars. He looked up
to heaven, and cried, 'Lead thou my boy!' Then he set his face toward
the stockades of Prairie du Chien.

"He strode across the prairie as the sun was rising; he arrived in time,
and--Father, listen!"

There was another silence, so deep that one might almost hear the
puffing smoke as it rose on the air.

"_They shot him!_ That is his boy, Waubeno."

Jasper stood silent; he thought of Johnnie Kongapod's story, and the
night-scene at Pigeon Creek.

"I shall teach him a better way," said Jasper, at last. "I will lead him
to honor the memory of his great father in a way that he does not now
know. The Great Spirit will guide us both. His father was a great man. I
will lead him to become a greater."

"Father," said the boy, coming forward, "I will always be true to you,
but I have sworn by the stars."

Jasper stood like one in a dream. Could such a tale as this be true
among savages? Honor like this only needed the gospel teaching to do
great deeds. Jasper saw his opportunity, and his love of mankind never
glowed before as it did then. He folded his hands, closed his eyes, and
his silent thoughts winged upward to the skies.



CHAPTER XI.

THE CABIN NEAR CHICAGO.


Jasper and Waubeno crossed the prairies to Lake Michigan. It was June,
the high tide of the year. The long days poured their sunlight over the
seas of flowers. The prairie winds were cool, and the new vegetation was
alive with insects and birds.

The first influence that Jasper tried to exert on Waubeno was to induce
him to forego the fixed resolution to avenge his father's death.

"The first thing in education," he used to say, "is conscience, the
second is the heart, and the third is the head."

He had planned to teach Waubeno while the Indian boy should be teaching
him, and he wished to follow his own theory that a new pupil should
first learn to be governed by his moral sense.

"Waubeno," he said, in their long walk over the prairie, "I wish to
teach you and make you wise, but before I can do you justice you must
make a promise. Will you, Waubeno?"

"I will. You would not ask me to do what is wrong."

"It may be a hard thing, but, Waubeno, I wish you to promise me that
you will never seek to avenge your father. Will you, Waubeno?"

"Parable, I will promise you any right thing but that. I have made
another promise about that thing--it must hold."

"Waubeno, I can not teach you as I would while you carry malice in your
heart. The soul does not see clearly that is dark with evil. Do you see?
I wish it for your good."

"The white man punishes his enemies, does he not? Why should not I
avenge a wrong? The white fathers at Malden" (the trade-post on Lake
Erie) "avenge every wrong that is done them by the Indians, do they
not?"

"Christ died for his enemies. He forgave them, dying. You have heard."

"Then why do his followers not do the same?"

"They do."

"I have never seen one who did."

"Not one?"

"No, not one."

"Then they are false to the cross. Waubeno, I love you. I am seeking
your good. Trust me. I would make you any promise that I could. Make me
this promise, and then we will be brothers. Your vow rises between us
like a cloud."

"Parable, listen. I will promise, on one condition."

"What, Waubeno?"

"You say that right is might, Parable?"

"Yes."

"_When I find a single white man who defends an Indian to his own hurt
because it is right, I will promise._ I have known many white men who
defended the Indian because they thought that it was good for them to
do it--good for their pockets, good for their church, good for their
souls in another world--but never one to his own harm, because it was
right; listen, Parable--never one to his own harm because it was right.
When I meet one--such a one--I will promise you what you ask. Parable,
my folks did right because it was right."

"Waubeno, I once knew a boy who defended a turtle to his own harm,
because it was right. The boys laughed at him, but his soul was true to
the turtle."

"I would like to meet that boy," Waubeno said. "He and I would be
brothers. But I have never seen such a boy, Parable. I have never seen
any man who had the worth of my own father, and, till I do, I shall hold
to my vow to him! God heard that vow, and he shall see that I prove true
to a man who died for the truth!"

The two came in sight of blue Lake Michigan, where the old Jesuit
explorer had had a vision of a great city; and where Point au Sable, the
San Domingo negro, for a time settled, hoping to be made an Indian king.
Here he found the hospitable roofs of John Kinzie, the pioneer of
Chicago, the Romulus of the great mid-continent city, where storehouses
abounded with peltries and furs.

John Kinzie (the father of the famous John H. Kinzie) was a grand
pioneer, like the Pilgrim Fathers of the elder day. He dealt honestly
with the Indians, and won the hearts of the several tribes. He settled
in Chicago in 1804, at which time a block-house was built by the
Government as a frontier house or garrison. This frontier house stood
near the present Rush Street Bridge. Mr. Kinzie's house stood on the
north side of the Chicago River, opposite the fort. The storm-beaten
block-house was to be seen in Chicago as late as 1857, and the place of
Mr. Kinzie's home will ever be held as sacred ground. The frontier house
was known as Fort Dearborn. A little settlement grew around the fort and
the hospitable doors of Mr. Kinzie, until in 1830 it numbered twelve
houses. Twelve houses in Chicago in 1830! Pass the bridge of sixty
years, and lo! the rival city of the Western world, with its more than a
million people--more than fulfilling the old missionary's dream!

For twenty years John Kinzie was the only white man not connected with
the garrison and trading-post who lived in northern Illinois. He was a
witness of the Indian massacre of the troops in 1812, when he himself
was driven from his home by the lake.

He saw another and different scene in August, 1821--a scene worthy of a
poet or painter--the Great Treaty, in which the Indian chiefs gave up
most of their empire east of the Mississippi. There came to this
decisive convocation the plumes of the Ottawas, Chippewas, and
Pottawattamies. General Cass was there, and the old Indian agents. The
chiefs brought with them their great warriors, their wives and children.
There the prairie Indians made their last stand but one against the
march of emigration to the Mississippi.

Me-te-nay, the young orator of the Pottawattamies, was there, to make a
poetic appeal for his race. But the counsels of the white chiefs were
too persuasive and powerful. A treaty was concluded, which virtually
gave up the Indian empire east of the Mississippi.

Then the chiefs and the warriors departed, their red plumes
disappearing over the prairie in the sunset light. Before them rolled
the Mississippi. Behind them lay the blue seas of the lakes. It was a
sorrowful procession that slowly faded away. Some twelve years after, in
August, 1835, another treaty was concluded with the remaining tribes,
and there occurred the last dance of the Pottawattamies on the grounds
where the city of Chicago now stands.

Five thousand Indians were present, and nearly one thousand joined in
the dance. The latter assembled at the council-house, on the place where
now is the northeast corner of North Water and Rush Streets, and where
the Lake House stands. Their faces were painted in black and vermilion;
their hair was gathered in scalp-locks on the tops of their heads, and
was decorated with Indian plumes. They were led by drums and rattles.
They marched in a dancing movement along the river, and stopped before
each house to perform the grotesque figures of their ancient traditions.

They seemed to be aware that this was their last gathering on the lake.
The thought fired them. Says one who saw them:

"Their eyes were wild and bloodshot. Their muscles stood out in great,
hard knots, as if wrought to a tension that must burst them. Their
tomahawks and clubs were thrown and brandished in every direction."

The dance was carried on in a procession through the peaceful streets,
and was concluded at Fort Dearborn in presence of the officers and
soldiers of the garrison. It was the last great Indian gathering on the
lake.

A new civilization began in the vast empire of the inland seas with the
signing of the Treaty of Chicago and these concluding rites. Around the
home of pastoral John Kinzie were to gather the new emigrations of the
nations of the world, and the Queen City of the Lakes was to rise, and
Progress to make the seat of her empire here. Never in the history of
mankind did a city leap into life like this, which is now setting on her
brow the crown of the Columbus domes.

On the arrival of Jasper and Waubeno at Fort Dearborn, an incident
occurred which affords a picture of the vanished days of the prairie
chiefs and kings. There came riding up to the trading-houses a
middle-aged chief named Shaubena.

This chief may be said to have been the guardian spirit of the infant
city of Chicago. He hovered around her for her good for a half-century,
and was faithful to her interests from the first to the end of his long
life. If ever an Indian merited a statue or an imperishable memorial in
a great city, it is Shaubena.

He was born about the year 1775, on the Kankakee River. His home was on
a prairie island, as a growth of timber surrounded by a prairie used to
be called. It was near the head-waters of Big Indian Creek, now in De
Kalb County. This grove, or prairie island, still bears his name.

Here were his corn-fields, his sugar-camps, his lodges, and his happy
people. In his youth he had been employed by two Ottawa priests, or
prophets, to instruct the people in the principles of their religion,
and so he had traveled extensively in the land of the lakes, and spoke
English well. The old Methodist circuit-riders used to visit him on his
prairie island, and his family was brought under their influence and
accepted their faith. When, in 1812, Indian runners from Tecumseh
visited the tribal towns of the Illinois River to tell the warriors that
war had been declared between the United States and England, and to
counsel them to unite with the English, Shaubena endeavored to restrain
his people from such a course, and to prevent a union of the tribes
against the American settlers. When he found that the Indians were
marching against Chicago, he followed them on his pony.

He arrived too late. A scene of blood met his eyes. Along the lake,
where the blue waves rolled in the sun, lay forty-two dead bodies, the
remains of white soldiers, women, and children. These bodies lay on the
prairie for four years, until the rebuilding of Fort Dearborn in 1816,
with the exception of the mutilated remains of Captain Wells, which
Black Partridge buried.

John Kinzie and his family had been saved, largely by the influence of
Shaubena. Black Partridge summoned his warriors to protect the house.
Shaubena rushed up to the porch-steps and set his rifle across the
doorway. The rooms were occupied by Mrs. Kinzie, her children, and Mrs.
Helm. A party of excited Indians rushed upon the place and forced their
way into the house, to kill the women. The intended massacre was delayed
by the friendly Indians.

In the mean time a half-breed girl, who had been employed by good John
Kinzie, and who was devoted to his family, had stolen across the prairie
to Sauganash, or Billy Caldwell, the friendly chief. This warrior seized
his canoe and came paddling down the waters, plumed with eagle-feathers,
with a rifle in his hand. He rose up in his canoe, in the dark, as he
came to the shore.

"Who are you?" asked Black Partridge.

"I am Sauganash."

"Then save your white friends. You only can save them."

The chief came to the house.

"Go!" he said to the Indians. "I am Sauganash!"

John Kinzie was not only ever after grateful to Sauganash and the
half-breed girl for what they had done to save him and his family, but
he saw that he had found a faithful heart in Shaubena. So when, to-day,
Shaubena came riding up to his door from his prairie island on his
little pony, he said, heartily:

"Shaubena, thou art welcome!"

Jasper and Waubeno joined John Kinzie and the prairie chief.

"Thou, too art welcome," said John Kinzie. "Whence do you come?"

Jasper told again his simple story: how that he was a Tunker, traveling
to preach to every one, and to hold schools among the Indians; how that
he had been to Black Hawk for an interpreter and guide, and how Black
Hawk had sent out Waubeno as his companion.

Jasper and Waubeno built a cabin of logs, bark, and bushes, in view of
the lake, a little distance above the fort. They spent several days on
the rude structure.

"There are many Indian children who come to the trading-post," said
Jasper, "and I may be able to begin here my first Indian school. You
will do all you can for me, will you not, Waubeno?"

"Parable, listen! You love my people, and I will do all that this arm,
this heart, and this head can do for you. Whatever may happen, I will be
true to you. If it costs my life, I will be true to you! You may have my
life. Do you not believe Waubeno?"

"Yes, I believe you, Waubeno. You hold honor dearer than life. You say
that I love your people. You know that I would do right by your people,
to my own harm. Then why will you not make to me the promise I sought
from you on the prairie?"

"I have not seen you tried. We know not any one until he is tried. My
father was tried. He was true. I would talk with the boy that was
laughed at for defending the turtle. He was tried. He did right because
it was right. We will know each other better by and by. But Waubeno will
always be true to you while you are true to Waubeno."

The school opened in the new cabin about the time that the troops were
withdrawn from the fort and the place left in the charge of the Indian
agent. Waubeno was the teacher, and Jasper his only pupil. After a time
Jasper secured a few pupils from the post-trading Indians. But these
remained but for a short time. They did not like the confinement of
instruction.

One day a striking event occurred. The Indian agent came to visit the
school. He was interested in the Indian boys, and especially in the
progress of Waubeno, who was quick to learn. Before leaving, he said:

"I have a medal in my hand. It was given to me by the general of
Michigan. On one side of it is the Father of his Country--see him with
his sword--Washington, the immortal Washington."

He held up the medal and paused.

"On the other side is an Indian chief. He is burying his hatchet. I was
given the medal as a reward, and I will give it at the end of three
weeks to the boy in this school who best learns his lessons. Jasper
shall decide who it shall be."

"I am glad you have said that," said Jasper. "That is the education of
good-will. I am glad."

The Indian boys studied well, but Waubeno excelled them all. At the end
of three weeks the Indian agent again appeared, and Jasper hoped to gain
the heart of Waubeno by the award of the medal.

"To whom shall I give the medal?" asked the agent, at the end of the
visit.

Jasper looked at his boy.

"It has been won by Waubeno," said Jasper. "I would be unjust not to say
that all have been faithful, but Waubeno has been the most faithful of
all."

Waubeno sat like a statue. He did not lift his eyes.

"Waubeno," said the agent, "you have heard what your teacher has said.
The medal is yours. Here it is. You have reason to be proud of it.
Waubeno, arise."

Waubeno arose. The agent held out the medal to him.

"Will you let me look at the medal?" said the boy.

The medal was handed to him. He examined it. He did not smile, or show
any emotion. His look was indifferent and stoical. What was passing in
his mind?

"The Indian chief is burying his hatchet, in the picture on this side of
the medal," he said, slowly.

"Yes," said the Indian agent, "he is a good chief."

"The picture on this side represents Washington, you say?"

"Yes--Washington, the Father of his Country."

"He has a sword by his side, general, has he not? See."

"Yes, Waubeno, he has a sword by his side."

"He is a good chief, too?"

"Yes, Waubeno."

"Then why does he not bury his sword? I do not want the medal. What is
good for the red chief should be as good for the white chief. I would be
unlike my father to take a mean thing like that."

He stood like a statue, with curled lip and a fiery eye. The agent
looked queerly at Jasper. He had nothing more to say. He took back the
medal and went away. When he had gone, Waubeno said to Jasper:

"Pardon, brother; _he_ is not _the_ man--my promise to my father holds.
They teach well, but they do not do well: it is the doing that speaks to
the heart. The chief that buried his hatchet is a plumb fool, else the
white chief would do so too. I have spoken!"

He sat down in silence and looked out upon the lake, on which the waves
were breaking into foam in the purple distances. His face had an injured
look, and his eyes glowed.

He arose at last and raised his hand, and said:

"I will pay them all some day!--"

Then he turned to Jasper and marked his disappointed face, and added:

"I will be true to you. Waubeno will be true to you."



CHAPTER XII.

THE WHITE INDIAN OF CHICAGO.


One morning, as Jasper threw aside the curtain of skins that answered
for a door to his cabin, a strange sight met his eyes. In the clearing
between the cabin and the lake stood the tall form of an Indian. It was
the most noble and beautiful form that he had ever seen, and the
Indian's face and hands were white.

Jasper stood silent. The white Indian bent his eyes upon him, and the
two looked in surprise at each other.

The Indian's eyes were dark, and like the eyes of the native races; but
his nose was Roman, and his skin English, with a slight brown tinge. His
hair was long and curly, and tinged with brown.

"Waubeno," said Jasper, "who is that?"

Waubeno came to the entrance of the cabin, and said:

"The white Indian. _They_ bring good. Speak to him. It is a good sign."

"They?" said Jasper. "I never knew that there were white Indians,
Waubeno. Where do they live? Where do they come from?"

"From the Great River. They come and go, and come and go, and they are
unlike other Indians. They know things that other Indians do not know.
They have a book that talks to them. It came from heaven."

Jasper stepped out on to the clearing, and Waubeno followed him. The
white Indian awaited their approach.

"Welcome, stranger," said Jasper. "Where are you journeying from?"

"From the Great River (Mississippi) to the land of the lakes. They are
coming, coming, my brothers from over the sea, as the prophet said. I
have not seen you here before. I am glad that you have come."

"Where do you live?" asked Jasper.

"My tribe is few, and they wander. They wander till the brothers come.
We are not like other people here, though all the tribes treat us well
and give us food and shelter. We are wanderers. We have lived in the
country many years, and we have often visited Kaskaskia. You will hear
of us there. When the French came, we thought they were brothers. Then
the English came, and we felt that they were brothers. The white people
are our brothers."

"Come in," said Jasper, "and breakfast with us. You are strange to me. I
never heard of you. You seem like a visitant from another world. Tell
me, my brother, how came you to be white?"

"I beg your pardon, stranger, but I ask you the same question, How came
you to be white? The same Power that made your face like the cloud and
the snow, made mine the same. There is kindred blood in our veins, but I
know not how it is--we do not know. Our ancestors had a book that told
us of God, but it was lost when the French raised the cross at
Kaskaskia. We had a legend of the cross, and of armies marching under
the cross, and when the bell began to ring over the praise house there,
we found that we, too, had ancient tales of the bell. More I can not
tell. All the tribes welcome us, and we belong to all the tribes, and we
have wandered for years and years. Our fathers wandered."

"This is all very strange," said Jasper. "Tell us more."

"I expected your coming," said the white Indian. "I was not surprised to
see you here. I expected you. I knew it. There are more white brothers
to come--many. Let me tell you about it all.

"We had a prophet once. He said that we came from over the sea, and that
we would never return, but that we must wander and wander, and that one
day our white brothers would come from over the sea to us. They are
coming; their white wagons are crossing the plains. Every day they are
coming. I love to see them come and pass. The prophet spoke true.

"The French say that we came from a far-away land called Wales. The
French say that a voyager, whose name was Modoc, set sail for the West
eight hundred years ago, and was never heard of again in his own land;
that his ships drifted West, and brought our fathers here. That is what
the French say. I do not know, but I think that you and I are brothers.
I feel it in my heart. You have treated me like a brother, and I kiss
you in my heart. I love the English. They are my friends. I am going to
Malden. There will be more white faces here when I come again."

He took breakfast in the cabin, and went away. Jasper hardly
comprehended the visit. He sought the Indian agent, and described to him
the appearance of the wandering stranger, and related the story that the
man had told.

"There are white crows, white blackbirds, white squirrels, and white
Indians," said the agent, "strange as it may seem. I know nothing about
the origin of any of them--only that they do exist. Ever since the
French and Indians came to the lakes white Indians have been seen. So
have white crows and blackbirds. The French claim that these white
Indians are of Welsh origin, and are the descendants of a body of
mariners who were driven to our shores in the twelfth century by some
accident of navigation or of weather. If so, the Welsh are the second
discoverers of America, following the Northmen. But I put no faith in
these traditions. I only know that from time to time a white-faced
Indian is seen in the Mississippi Valley. There are many tales and
traditions of them. It is simply a mystery that will never be solved."

"But what am I to think of the white Indian's story?"

"Simply that he had been taught by the French romancers, and that he
believed it himself. Black faces have strangely appeared among white
peoples, and Nature alone, could she speak, could explain her laws in
these cases. The Indians have various traditions of the white Indian's
appearance in the regions about Chicago; they regard him as a
medicine-man, or a prophet, or a kind of good ghost. It is thought to be
good fortune to meet him."

"Why does he come here?" said Jasper.

"To see the white people. He believes that the white people are his
kindred, and that they are coming, 'coming,' and one day that they will
flock here in multitudes. The French have told him this. He is a
mythical character. Somehow he has white blood in his veins. I can not
tell how. The Welsh tradition may be true, but it is hardly probable."

Years passed. The white Indian appeared again. The fort had become a
town. The Indian races were disappearing. He saw the white wagons
crossing the prairies, and the reluctant Pottawattomies making their way
toward the Great River and the lands of the sunset. He went away,
solitary as when he came, and was never seen again.

Who may have been these mysterious persons whose white faces for
generations haunted the lakes and the plains? They appeared at
Kaskaskia, their canoes glided mysteriously along the Mississippi, and
they were often seen at the hunting-camps of the North. They sought the
French and the English as soon as these races began to make settlements,
and they seemed to be strangely familiar with English tones, sounds, and
words.

Jasper loved to look out from his cabin on the blue lake, and to dream
of the old scenes of the Prussian war, of Körner, Von Weber, of
Pestalozzi, and his friend Froebel, and contrast them with the rude new
life around him. The past was there, but the future was here, and here
was his work for the future. It is not what a man has that makes him
happy, but what he is; not his present state, but the horizon of the
future around him that imparts glow to life, and Jasper was at peace
with himself in the sense of doing his duty. Heaven to him was bright
with the smile of God, and he longed no more for the rose-gardens of
Marienthal or the castles of the Rhine.

The appearance of the white Indian filled the mind of Waubeno with pride
and hope.

"We will be happy now," he said. "You will be happy now; nothing happens
to them who see the white Indian; all goes well. I know that you are
good within, else he would not come; only they whose beings within are
good see the white Indian, and he brings bright suns and moons and
calumets of peace, and so the days go on forever. I now know that you
speak true. And Waubeno has seen him; he will do well; he has seen the
white crow among the black crows, and he will do well. Happy moons await
Waubeno."

The lake was glorious in these midsummer days. The prairie roses hung
from the old trees in the groves, and the air rang with the joyful notes
of the lark and plover. Indians came to the fort and went away.
Pottawattomies encamped near the place and visited the agency, and white
traders occasionally appeared here from Malden and Fort Wayne.

But these were uneventful days of Fort Dearborn. The stories of Mrs.
John Kinzie are among the most interesting memories of these days of
general silence and monotony. The old Kinzie house was situated where is
now the junction of Pine and North Water Streets. The grounds sloped
toward the banks of the river. It had a broad piazza looking south, and
before it lay a green lawn shaded by Lombardy poplars and a cottonwood
tree. Across the river rose Fort Dearborn, amid groves of locust trees,
the national flag blooming, as it were, above it.

The cottonwood tree in the yard was planted by John Kinzie, and lived
until Chicago became a great city, in Long John Wentworth's day.

The old residents of Chicago will ever recall the beauty of the outlook
from the south piazza. At the dull period of the agency, only an Indian
canoe, perhaps from Mackinaw, disturbed the peace of the river.

It was on this piazza that on a June morning was heard the chorus of
Moore's Canadian Boat Song on the Chicago River, and here General Lewis
Cass presently appeared. The great men of the New West often gathered
here after that. Here the best stories of the lake used to be told by
voyagers, and Mark Beaubien, we may well suppose, often played his
violin.

The scene of the lake and river from the place was changed by moonlight
into romance.

Amid such scenes the old Chief Shaubena related the legends of the
tribes, and Mrs. Kinzie the thrilling episodes of the massacre of 1812.
Jasper, we may imagine, joined the company, with the beautiful spiritual
tales of the Rhine, and Waubeno added his delightful wonder-tale of the
white Indian, whose feet brought good fortune. No one then dreamed that
John Kinzie's home stood for two millions of people who would come there
before the century should close, or that the cool cottonwood tree would
throw its shade over some of the grandest scenes in the march of the
world.



CHAPTER XIII.

LAFAYETTE AT KASKASKIA--THE STATELY MINUET.


Jasper made the best use of the story-telling method of influence in his
school in the little cabin on the lake near Chicago River. He sought to
impart moral ideas by the old Roman fables and German folk-lore stories.
He often told the tale of the poor girl who went out for a few drops of
water for her dying mother, in the water famine, and how her dipper was
changed into silver, gold, and diamonds, as she shared the water with
the sufferers on her return. But neither Æsop nor fairy lore so
influenced the Indian boys as his story of the Indiana boy who defended
the turtles and pitied the turtle with the broken shell.

"I would like to meet him," said Waubeno, one day when the story had
been told. "What is his name, Parable? What do you call him by?"

"Lincoln," said Jasper, "Abraham Lincoln."

"Where does he live, Parable?"

"On Pigeon Creek, in Indiana."

"Is the place far away?"

"Yes, very far away by water, and a hard journey by land. Pigeon Creek
is far away, near the Ohio River; south, Waubeno--far away to the
south."

"Will you ever go there again?"

"Yes--I hope to go there again, and to take you along with me," said
Jasper. "I have planned to go down the Illinois in the spring, in a
canoe, to the Mississippi, and down the Mississippi to the Ohio, and
visit Kaskaskia, and thence along the Ohio to the Wabash, and to the
home where the boy lives who defended the turtles. It will be a long
journey, and I expect to stop at many places, and preach and teach and
form schools. I want you to go with me and guide my canoe. All these
rivers are beautiful in summer. They are shaded by trees, and run
through prairies of flowers. The waters are calm, and the skies are
bright, and the birds sing continually. O Waubeno, this is a beautiful
world to those who use it rightly--a beautiful, beautiful world!"

"Me will go," said Waubeno. "Me would see that boy. I want to see a
story boy, as you say."

The attempt to establish an Indian school on the Chicago was not wholly
successful. The pupils did not remain long enough to receive the
intended influence. They came from encampments that were never stable.
The Indian village was there one season, and gone the next. The Indians
who came in canoes to the agency soon went away again. Jasper, in the
spring of 1825, resolved to carry out the journey that he had described
to Waubeno, and with the first warm winds he and the Indian boy set out
for Kaskaskia by the way of the Illinois to the Mississippi, and by the
Mississippi to the Kaskaskia.

It was a long journey. Jasper stopped often at the Indian encampments
and the new settlements. Waubeno was a faithful friend, and he came to
love him for true-heartedness, sympathy, and native worth of soul. He
often tried to teach him by stories, but as often as he said, "Now,
Waubeno, we will talk," he would say, "Tell me the one with broken
shell"--meaning the story. There was some meaning behind this story of
the turtle with the broken shell that had completely won the heart of
Waubeno. The boy Abraham Lincoln was his hero. Again and again, after he
had listened to the simple narrative, he asked:

"Is the story boy alive?"

"Yes, Waubeno."

"And we will meet him?"

"Yes."

"That is good. I feel for him here," and he would lay his hand on his
heart. "I love the story boy."

They traveled slowly. After a long journey down the Illinois, the
Mississippi rolled before them in the full tides of early spring. They
passed St. Louis, and one late April evening found them before the once
royal town of Kaskaskia.

The bell was ringing as they landed, the bell that had been cast in fair
Rochelle, and that was the first bell to ring between the Alleghanies
and the Mississippi. Most of the black-robed missionaries were gone, as
had the high-born French officers, with their horses, sabers, and
banner-plumes, who once sought treasure and fame in this grand town of
the Mississippi Valley. The Bourbon lilies had fallen from old Fort
Chartres a generation ago, and the British cross had come down, and
to-day all the houses, new and old, were decked with the stars and
stripes. It was not a holiday. What did it mean?

Jasper and Waubeno entered the old French town, and gazed at the brick
buildings, the antique roofs, the high dormer windows, and the faded
houses of by-gone priest and nun. The tavern was covered with flags,
French and American, as were the grand house of William Morrison and the
beautiful Edgar mansion. The house once occupied by the French
commandant was wrapped in the national colors. It had been the first
State House of Illinois. A hundred years before--just one hundred
years--Kaskaskia Commons had received its grand name from his most
Christian Majesty Louis XV, and it then seemed likely to become the
capital of the French mid-continent empire in the New World. The Jesuits
flocked here, zealous for the conversion of the Indian races. Here came
men of rank and military glory, and Fort Chartres rose near it, grand
and powerful as if to awe the world. But there was a foe in the fort of
the French heart, and the boundless empire faded, and the old French
town went to the American pioneer, and the fort became a ruin, like
Louisburg at Cape Breton.

As Jasper and Waubeno passed along the broad streets they noticed that
the town was filled with country people, and that there were Indians
among them.

One of these Indians approached Waubeno, and said:

"She--yonder--see--Mary Panisciowa--daughter of the Great Chief--Mary
Panisciowa."

Waubeno followed with his eye the daughter of the Chief of the Six
Nations. He went forward with the crowd and came to the house that she
was making her home, and asked to meet her. Jasper had followed him.

They turned aside from the street, which was full of excited
people--excited Jasper knew not why. The door of the house where Mary
Panisciowa was visiting stood open, and they were asked to enter.

She looked a queen, yet she had the graces of the English and French
people. She was a most accomplished woman. She spoke both English and
French readily, her education having been conducted by an American agent
to whom she had been commended by her father.

"This is good news," she said.

"What?" said Jasper. "Good news comes from God. Yet all events are news
from heaven. The people seem greatly exercised. What has happened?"

"Lafayette, the great Lafayette--have you not heard?--the marquis--he is
on his way to Kaskaskia, and that is why I am here. My father fought
under him, and the general sent him a letter thanking him for his
services in the American cause. It was written forty years ago. I have
brought it. I hope to meet him. Would you like to see it?--a letter from
the great Lafayette."

Mary Panisciowa took from her bosom a faded letter, and said:

"My father fought for the new people, and I have taken up their religion
and customs. I suppose that you have done the same," she said to
Waubeno.

"No; that can not be, for me."

"Why? I supposed that you were a Christian, as you travel with the
Tunker."

"Mary Panisciowa knows how my father died. I am his son. I swore to be
true to his name. The Tunker says that I must forswear myself to become
a Christian. That I shall never do. I respect the teachings of your new
religion, and I love the Tunker and shall always be true to him, but I
shall be true to the memory of my father. Mary Panisciowa, think how he
died, and of the men who killed him. They claimed to be Christians.
Think of that! I am not a Christian. Mary Panisciowa, there is a spot
that burns in my heart. I do not dissemble. I do not deceive. But that
fire will burn there till I have kept my vow, and I shall do it."

"Waubeno," said the woman, "listen to better counsels. Revenge only
spreads the fires of evil. Forgiveness quenches them.--That is a noble
letter," she said to Jasper.

"Yes, a noble letter, and the marquis is an apostle of human liberty, a
friend of all men everywhere. What brings him here?"

"The old French and new English families. His visit is unexpected. The
people can not receive him as they ought to, but he is to dine at the
tavern, and there are to be two grand receptions at the great houses,
one at Mr. Edgar's. I wish I could see him and show him this letter. I
shall try. But they have not invited me. They are proud people, and they
will not invite me; but I shall try to see him. It would be the happiest
hour of my life if I could take the hand of the great Lafayette."

Mary Panisciowa was thrilled with her desire to meet General Lafayette.

Cannons boomed, drums and fifes played, and all the people hurried
toward the landing. The marquis came in the steamer Natchez from St.
Louis. When Mary Panisciowa heard the old bell ringing she knew that the
marquis was coming, and she hid the faded old letter in her bosom and
wept. She sent a messenger to the tavern, who asked Lafayette if he
would meet the daughter of Panisciowa, and receive a message from her.

Just at night she looked out of the door, and saw an officer in uniform
and a party of her own people coming toward the house. The officer
appeared before the door, touched his head and bowed, and said:

"Mary Panisciowa, I am told."

"My father was Panisciowa."

"He fought under General Lafayette?"

"Yes, he fought under Lafayette, and I have a letter from the general
here, written to him more than forty years ago. Will you read it?"

The officer took the letter, read it, and said:

"You should meet the general."

"You are very kind, sir. I want to meet him; but how? There is to be a
reception at the Morrisons, but I am not invited. The Governor is to be
there. But they would not invite me."

"Come to the reception at the Morrisons. I will be responsible. The
marquis will welcome you. He is a gentleman. To say that a man is a
gentleman, is to cover all right conduct. Bring your letter, and he will
receive you. I will speak to Governor Coles about you. You will come?"

"May my friend Waubeno come with me? I am the daughter of a chief, and
he is the son of a warrior. It would be befitting that we should come
together. I wish that he might see the great Lafayette."

"As you like," said the officer, hurrying away with uncovered head.

Mary Panisciowa prepared to go to the grand reception. Early in the
evening she and Waubeno, followed by Jasper, came up to the Morrison
mansion, where a kind of court reception was to be held.

The streets were full of people. The houses were everywhere illuminated,
and people were hurrying to and fro, or listening to the music in the
hall.

Lafayette was now nearly threescore and ten years of age, the beloved
hero of France and America, and the leader of human liberty in all
lands. He had left Havre on July 12th, 1824, and had arrived in New York
on the 15th of August. He was accompanied by his son, George Washington
Lafayette, and his private secretary, M. Levasseur. His passage through
the country had been a triumphal procession, under continuous arches of
flags, evergreens, and flowers, bearing the words, "Welcome, Lafayette."
Forty years had passed since he was last in America. The thirteen States
had become twenty-four. He had visited Joseph Bonaparte, the grave of
Washington, and the battle-field of Yorktown. His reception in the South
had been an outpouring of hearts. And now he had turned aside from the
great Mississippi to see Kaskaskia, the romantic town of the vanished
French empire of the Mississippi.

Mary and Waubeno waited outside of the door. The Indian woman listened
for a time to the gay music, and watched the bright uniforms as they
passed to and fro under the glittering astrals. At last an American
officer came down the steps, lifted his hat, and said to the two Indians
and to Jasper:

"Follow me."

Lafayette had already received the public men of the place. Airy music
arose, and the officials and their wives and guests were going through
the form of the old court minuet.

The music of Mozart's Don Giovanni minuet has been heard in a thousand
halls of state and at the festivals of many lands. We may imagine the
charm that such music had here, in this oaken room of the forest and
prairie. At the head of the plumed ladies and men in glittering uniforms
stood the Marquis of France, whom the world delighted to honor, and led
the stately obeisances to the picturesque movement of the music under
the flags and astrals. A remnant of the old romantic French families
were there, soldiers of the Revolution, the leaders of the new order of
American life, Governor Coles and his officers, and rich traders of St.
Louis. As the music swayed these stately forms backward and forward with
the fascinating poetry of motion that can hardly be called a dance, the
two Indian faces caught the spirit of the scene. Waubeno had never heard
the music of the minuet before, and the strains entranced him as they
rose and fell.

[Illustration: Minuet from Don Giovanni.

BY MOZART. ARR. BY CARL ERICH.

Published by the permission of Arthur P. Schmidt.

Copyright, 1880, by Carl Prüfer.]

After the minuet, Lafayette and Governor Coles received the
towns-people, and among the first to be presented to the marquis was
Mary Panisciowa.

She bowed modestly, and told him her simple tale. The marquis listened
at first with courtly interest, then with profound emotion. She drew
from her bosom the letter that he had written to her father, the chief.
His own writing brought before him the scenes of almost a half-century
gone, the struggle for liberty in the new land to which he had given his
young soul. He remembered the old chief, and the forest scenes of those
heroic years; Washington, and the generals he had loved, most of whom
were gone, arose again. His heart filled with emotion, and he said:

"Nothing in my visit here has affected me so much as this. I thank you
for seeking me. I welcome you with all my heart. Let me spend as much
time as I may in your company. Your father was a hero, and your presence
fills my heart with no common pleasure and delight. Stay with me."

The marquis welcomed Waubeno cordially, and expressed his pleasure at
meeting him here. At the romantic festival no people were more warmly
met than the chief's daughter and her escort.

"The French have always been true to the Indians," said Waubeno, on
leaving the general, "and the Indians have been as true to the French."

"Never did rulers have better subjects," said the general.

"Never did subjects have better rulers," said Waubeno, almost repeating
the scene of Dick Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London, by virtue of
his wonderful cat, to King Henry.

The Indians withdrew amid the gay strains of national music, the stately
minuet haunting Waubeno and ringing in his ears.

He tried to hum the rhythms of the beautiful air of the courts. Jasper
saw how the music had affected him, and that he was happy and
susceptible, and said:

"Waubeno, you have met a man to-night who would forget his own position
and pleasure to do honor to the Indian girl."

"Yes, I am sure of that."

"You are your best self to-night--in your best mood; the music has
awakened your better soul. You remember your promise?"

"Yes, but, Brother Jasper--"

"What, Waubeno?"

"Lafayette is a _Frenchman_, and--a gentleman. The Indians and French do
not spill each other's blood. Why?"



CHAPTER XIV.

WAUBENO AND YOUNG LINCOLN.


One leafy afternoon in May, Jasper and Waubeno came to Aunt Olive's, at
Pigeon Creek. Southern Indiana is a glory of sunshine and flowers at
this season of the year, and their journey had been a very pleasant one.

They had met emigrants on the Ohio, and had seen the white sail of the
prairie schooner in all of the forest ways.

"The world seems moving to the west," said Jasper, "as in the white
Indian's dream. There is need of my work more and more. Every child that
I can teach to read will make better this new empire that is being
sifted out of the lands. Every school that I can found is likely to
become a college, and I am glad to be a wanderer in the wilderness for
the sake of my fellow-men."

In the open door, under the leafing vines, stood Aunt Indiana, in cap,
wig, and spectacles. She arched her elbow over all to shade her eyes.

"The old Tunker, as I live, come again, and brought his Indian boy with
him!" said she. "Well, you are welcome to Pigeon Creek. You left a sight
of good thoughts here when you were here before. You're a good pitcher,
if you are a little cracked, with the handle all one side. Come in, and
welcome. Take a chair and sit down--

    ''Tis a long time since I see you.
    How does your wife and children do?'

as the poet sings."

"I am well, and am glad to be toiling for the bread that does not fail
in the wilderness. How are the people of Pigeon Creek--how are my good
friends the Lincolns?"

"The Linkens? Well, Tom Linken makes out to hold together after a
fashion--all dreams and expectations. 'The thing that hath been is,' the
Scriptur' says, and Thomas Linken _is_--just as he always was, and
always will be to the end of the chapter. He's got to the p'int after
which there is no more to be told, long ago. The life of such as he
repeats itself over and over, like a buzzin' spinnin'-wheel. And _Miss_
Linken, she is as patient as ever; 'tis her mission just to be patient
with old Tom."

"And Abraham?"

"That boy Abe--the one that we prophesied about! Well, elder, I do hate
to say, 'cause it makes you out to be no prophet, and you mean well,
goin' about tryin' to get a little larnin' into the skulls of the people
in this new country; but that boy promises pretty slim, though I ain't
nothin' to say agin' him. In the first place, he's grown up to be a
giant, all legs and ears, mouth and eyes. Why, he is the tallest young
man in this part of Indiana!

"Then, his head's off. He goes about readin' books, just as he did when
you were here last--this book, and that book, and the other book; and
then he all runs to talk, which some folks takes for wisdom. He tells
stories that makes everybody laugh, and he seems very chipper and happy,
but they do say that he has melancholy spells, and is all down in the
mouth at times. But he's good-hearted, and speaks the truth, and helps
poor folks, and there's many a wuss one than Abraham Linken now. They
didn't invite him to the great weddin' of the Grigsbys, cos he's so
homely, and hadn't anythin' to wear but leather breeches, and they only
come down a little below his knees. Queer-lookin' he'd 'a' been to a
weddin'!

"He felt orful bad at not bein' invited, and made some poetry about 'em.
When I feel poetic I talk prose, and give people as good as they send. I
don't write no poetry.

"You are welcome to stay here, elder. You needn't go to the Linkens'. I
have a prophet's chamber in my house--though you ain't a prophet--and
you can always sleep there, and your Indian boy can lay down in the
kitchen; and I can cook, elder--now you know that--and I won't ask ye to
cobble; your time is too valuable for that."

Jasper, who was not greatly influenced by Aunt Indiana's unfavorable
views of her poor neighbor, went to see Thomas Lincoln. Waubeno went
with him. Here the young Indian met with a hearty greeting from both Mr.
and Mrs. Lincoln.

"I am glad that you have come again," said poor Mrs. Lincoln to Jasper.
"You comforted me and encouraged me when you were here last. I want to
talk with you. Abe has all grown up, and wants to make a new start in
life; and I wish to see him started right. There's so much in gettin'
started right; a right start is all the way, sometimes. We don't travel
twice over the same years. I want you to talk with him. You have seen
this world, and we haven't, but you kind o' brought the world to us when
you were here last. Elder, you don't know how much good you are doin'."

"Where is Abraham?" asked Jasper.

"He's gone to the store for the evenin'. He's been keepin' store for
Jones, in Gentryville, and he spends his evenin's there. There ain't
many places to go to around here, and Abe he's turned the store into a
kind of debatin' club. He speaks pieces there. There's goin' to be a
debate there to-night. He's great on debatin'. I do hope you'll go. The
subject of the debate to-night is, 'Which has the greater cause for
complaint, the negro or the Indian?'"

"I'm goin' over to the store to-night myself, elder," said Thomas
Lincoln. "You must go along with me and hear Abraham talk, and then come
back and spend the night here. The old woman has been hopin' that you
would come. It pleased her mightily, what you said good about Abraham
when you was here last. She sets her eyes by Abraham, and he does by
her. Abraham and I don't get along none too well. The fact is, he all
runs to books, and is kind o' queer. He takes after his mother's
folks--they all had houses in the air, and lived in 'em. Abe might make
somethin'; there's somethin' in him, if larnin' don't spile him. I have
to warn him against larnin' all the time, but it all goes agin the
grain, and I declare sometimes I do get all out of patience, and clean
discouraged. Why, elder, he even takes a book out when he goes to shuck
corn, and he composes poetry on the wooden shovel, and planes it out
with my plane, and wears the shovel all up. There, now, look
there!--could you stand it?"

Thomas Lincoln took up a large wooden fire-shovel, and held it before
the eyes of the Tunker. On the great bowl of the shovel were penned some
lines in coal.

"What does that read, elder?--I can't tell. I ain't got no larnin' to
spare. What does it read, elder?"

Jasper scanned the writing on the surface of the back of the shovel. The
writing was clear and plain. Mrs. Lincoln came and looked over his
shoulder.

"Writ it himself, likely as not," said she. "Abe writes poetry; he can't
help it sometimes--it's a gift. Read it, elder."

Jasper read slowly:

    "'Time! what an empty vapor 'tis!
      And days, how swift they are!
    Swift as an arrow speed our lives,
      Swift as the shooting star.
    The present moment--'"

"He didn't finish it, did he, elder? I think it is real pooty--don't
you?"

Mrs. Lincoln turned her broad, earnest face toward the Tunker.

"Real pooty, ain't it?"

"Yes," said Jasper. "He'll be likely to do some great work in life, and
leave it unfinished. It comes to me so."

[Illustration: A QUEER PLACE TO WRITE POETRY.]

"Don't say so, elder. His father don't praise him much, but he's real
good to me, and I hope no evil will ever happen to him. I set lots of
store by Abe. I don't know any difference between him and my own son.
His poor, dead mother, that lies out there all alone under the trees,
knows that I have done by him as if he were my own. You know, the
guardian angels of children see the face of the Father, and I kind o'
think that she is his guardian; and if she is, now, I hain't anything to
reflect upon."

"Only you're spilin' him--that's all," said Mr. Lincoln. "Some women are
so good that they are not good for anything, and between me and Sarah
and his poor, dead mother, Abraham has never had the discipline that he
ought to have had. But Andrew Crawford, the schoolmaster, and Josiah
Crawford, the farmer, did their duty by him. Come, elder, let us go up
to Jones's store, and talk politics a while. Jones, he's a Jackson man.
He sets great store by Abe, and thinks, like you and Sarah, that the boy
will make somethin' some day. Well, I hope he will--can't tell."

Mr. Jones's store was the popular resort of Gentryville. Says one of the
old pioneers, Dougherty: "Lincoln drove a team, and sold goods for
Jones. Jones told me that Lincoln read all of his books, and I remember
the History of the United States as one. Jones afterward said to me that
Lincoln would make a great man one of these days--had said so long
before to other people, and so as far back as 1828 and 1829."

The store was full of men and boys when Thomas Lincoln and Jasper and
Waubeno arrived. Dennis Hanks was there, and the Grigsbys. Josiah
Crawford, who had made Abraham pull fodder for three days for allowing a
book that he had lent him to get wet one rainy night, was seated on a
barrel. His nose was very long, and he had a high forehead, and wide
look across the forehead. He looked very wise and thought himself a
Solomon.

The men and boys all seemed to be glad to see the Tunker, and they
greeted Waubeno kindly, though curiously, and plied him with civil
questions about Black Hawk.

There was to be a debate that evening, and Mr. Jones called the men to
order, and each one mounted a barrel and lit his pipe--or all except
Abraham and Waubeno, who did not smoke, but who stood near each other,
almost side by side.

"Abraham," said Thomas Lincoln, "you'll have to argue the p'int for the
Indian well to-night, or--there he is!"--pointing to Waubeno--"he'll
answer ye."

The debate went slowly at first, then grew exciting. When Abraham
Lincoln's turn came to speak, all the store grew still. The subject of
the debate was, as Thomas Lincoln had said: "Which has the greater cause
for complaint, the Indian or the negro?"

Abraham Lincoln claimed the Indian was more wronged than the negro, and
his homely face glowed as with a strange fire as he pictured the red
man's wrongs. He towered above the men like a giant, and moved his arms
as though they possessed some invisible power.

Waubeno fixed his eyes on him, and felt the force and thrust of his
every word.

"If I were a negro," said Lincoln, "I would hope that some redeemer and
deliverer would arise, like Moses of old. But if I were an Indian, what
would I have to hope for, if I fell under the avarice of the white man?
Let the past answer that."

"Let the heavens answer that," said Waubeno, "or let their gates be ever
closed."

Thomas Lincoln started.

"Waubeno, you have come from Black Hawk. He slays men, and we know him.
An Indian killed my father."

"An Indian killed your father--and what did you do?"

"My brother Mordecai avenged his death, and caused many Indians to bite
the dust."

"White brother," said Waubeno, "a white man killed my father. What ought
_I_ to do?"

The men held their pipes in silence.

"My father was an innocent man," said the pioneer.

"My father was an honorable warrior," said Waubeno, "and defended his
own rights--rights as dear to him as your father's, or yours, or mine.
What ought _I_ to do?" He turned to young Lincoln. "What would _you_
do?"

"I hold that in all things right is might, and I defend the right of an
Indian as I would the rights of a white man, but I never would shed any
man's blood for avarice or malice. Waubeno, I would defend you in a
cause of right against the world. I would rather have the approval of
Heaven than the praise of all mankind."

"Brother," said Waubeno, "I believe that you speak true, but I do not
know. If I only knew that you spoke true, I would not do as Mordecai
did. I would forgive the white man."

The candles smoked, and the men talked long into the night. At last
Thomas Lincoln and Jasper and Waubeno went home, where Mrs. Lincoln was
awaiting them. They expected Abraham to follow them. They sat up that
night late, and talked about the prairie country, and the prospects of
the emigrants to Illinois.

"Now you had better go to rest," said Sarah Lincoln. "I will sit up
until Abe comes. I do not see why he is so late to-night, when the
Tunker is here, too, and the Indian boy."

"He's with the Grigsbys, I guess," said Mr. Lincoln.

The two men went to their beds, and Waubeno laid down on a mat on the
floor. Hour after hour passed, and Mrs. Lincoln went again and again to
the door and listened, but Abraham did not return. It was midnight when
she laid down, but even then it was to listen, and not to sleep.

In the morning Abraham returned. His eyes were sunken and his cheeks
were white.

"Get me some coffee, mother," he said. "I have not slept a wink
to-night."

"Why, where have you been, Abraham?"

"Watchin'--watchin' with a frozen drunken man. I found him on the road,
and carried him to Dennis's on my back. He seemed to be dead, but I
rubbed him all night long, and he breathed again."

"Why did you not get some one to help you?"

"The boys all left me. They said that old Holmes was not worth revivin',
even if he had any life left in him; that it would be better for himself
and everybody if he were left to perish."

"Holmes! Did you carry that man on your back, Abraham?"

"Yes. I could not leave him by the road. He is a human being, and I did
by him as I would have him do by me if I lost my moral senses. They told
me to leave him to his fate, but I couldn't, mother. I couldn't."

Waubeno gazed on the young giant as he drank his coffee, and sank into a
deep slumber on a mat in the room. He watched him as he slept.

When he woke, Jasper said to him:

"Abraham, I wish you to know this Indian boy. I think there is a native
nobility in him. Do you remember Johnnie Kongapod's story, at which the
people all used to laugh?"

"Yes, elder."

"Abraham Lincoln, I can believe that story was true. I have faith in
men. You do. Your faith will make you great."



CHAPTER XV.

THE DEBATING SCHOOL.


There were some queer people in every town and community of the new
West, and these were usually active at the winter debating school. These
schools of the people for the discussion of life, politics, literature,
were, on the whole, excellent influences; they developed what was
original in the thought and character of a place, and stimulated reading
and study. If a man was a theorist, he could here find a voice for his
opinions; and if he were a genius, he could here uncage his gifts and
find recognition. Nearly all of the early clergymen, lawyers,
congressmen, and leaders of the people of early Indiana and Illinois
were somehow developed and educated in these so-called debating schools.

Among the odd people sure to be found in such rural assemblies were the
man with visionary schemes for railroads, canals, and internal
improvements, the sanguine inventor, the noisy free-thinker, the
benevolent Tunker, the man who could preach without notes by "direct
inspiration," the man who thought that the world was about to come to an
end, and the patriot who pictured the American eagle as a bird of fate
and divinity. The early pioneer preacher learned to talk in public in
the debating school. The young lawyer here made his first pleas.

The frequent debates in Jones's store led to the formation of a debating
school in Gentryville and Pigeon Creek. In this society young Abraham
Lincoln was the leader, and his cousin Dennis Hanks and his uncle John
were prominent disputants. The story-telling blacksmith furnished much
of the humor, and Josiah Crawford, or "Blue-Nose Crawford," as he was
called, was regarded as the man of hard sense on such occasions as
require a Solomon, or a Daniel, or a Portia, and he was very proud to be
so regarded.

There was a revival of interest in the cause of temperance in the
country at this time, and the noble conduct of Abraham Lincoln, in
carrying to his cousin Dennis's the poor drunkard whom he had found in
the highway on the chilly night after the debate at Jones's store, may
have led to a plan for a great debate on the subject of the pledge,
which was appointed to take place in the log school-house at Pigeon
Creek. The plan was no more than spoken of at the store than it began to
excite general attention.

"We must debate this subject of the temperance pledge," said Thomas
Lincoln, "and get the public sense. New times are at hand. On general
principles, I'm a temperance man; and if nobody drank once, then nobody
would drink twice, and the world would all go dry. But there's the
corn-huskin's, and the hoe-down, and the mowin' times, and the
hog-killin's, and the barn-raisin's. It is only natural that men should
wet their whistles at such times as these. In the old Scriptur' times
people who wanted to get great spiritual power abstained from strong
drink; but you can't expect no such people as those down here at Pigeon
Creek."

"But Abe is a temperancer, and I want the debate to come off in good
shape, so that all you uns can hear what he has to say."

It was decided by the leading debaters that the subject for the debate
should be, "Ought temperance people to sign the temperance pledge?" and
that Abraham Lincoln should sustain the affirmative view of the
question.

The success of young Lincoln as a debater had greatly troubled Aunt
Indiana.

"It's all like the rattlin' of a pea-pod in the blasts o' ortum," she
said. "It don't signify anything. He just rains words upon ye, and makes
ye laugh, and the first thing ye know he's got ye. Beware--beware! his
words are just like stool-pigeons, what brings you down to get shot.
It's amazin' what a curi'us gift of talk that boy has!"

When she heard of the plan of the debate, and the part assigned to young
Lincoln, she said:

"'Twill be a great night for Abe, unless I hinder it. I'm agin the
temperance pledge. Stands to reason that a man's no right to sign away
his liberty. And I'm agin Abe Linkern, because he's too smart for
anythin', and lives up in the air like a kite; and outthinks other
people, because he sits round readin' and turkey-dreamin' when he ought
to be at work. I shall work agin him."

And she did. She first consulted upon the subject with Josiah
Crawford--"the Esquire," as she called him--and he promised to give the
negative of the question all the weight of his ability.

There was a young man in Gentryville named John Short, who thought that
he had had a call to preach, and who often came to Aunt Indiana for
theological instruction.

"Don't run round the fields readin' books, like Abraham Linkern," she
warned him. "He'll never amount to a hill o' beans. The true way to
become a preacher is to go into the desk, and open the Bible, and put
yer fingers on the first passage that you come to, and then open yer
mouth, and the Lord will fill it. I do not believe in edicated
ministers. They trust in chariots and horses. Go right from the plow to
the pulpit, and the heavens will help ye."

John Short thought Aunt Indiana's advice sound, and he resolved to
follow it. He once made an appointment to preach after this unprepared
manner in the school-house. He could not read very well. He had once
read at school, "And he smote the Hittite that he died" "And he smote
the Hi-ti-ti-ty, that he did," and he opened the Bible at random for a
Scripture lesson on this trying occasion. His eye fell upon the hard
chapters in Chronicles beginning "Adam, Sheth, Enoch." He succeeded very
well in the reading until he came to the generations of Japheth and the
sons of Gomer, which were mountains too difficult to pass. He lifted his
eyes and said, "And so it goes on to the end of the chapter, without
regard to particulars."

"That chapter was given me to try me," he said, as a kind of commentary,
"and, my friends, I have been equal to it. And now you shall hear me
preach, and after that we'll take up a contribution for the new
meetin'-house."

The sermon was a short one, and began amid much mental confusion. "A
certain man," he began, "went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell
among thieves; and the thieves sprang up and choked him; and he said,
'Who is my neighbor?' You all know who your neighbors are, O my
friends." Here followed a long pause. He added:

"Always be good to your neighbors. And now we will pass around the
contribution-box, and after that we'll _all_ talk."

This beginning of his work as a speaker did not look promising, but he
had conducted "a meetin'," and that fact made John Short a shining light
in Aunt Indiana's eyes. To this young man the good woman went for a
champion of her ideas in the great debate.

But, notwithstanding her theory, she proceeded to instruct him as to
what he should say on the occasion.

"Say to 'em, John, that he who comes to ye with a temperance pledge
insults yer character. It is like askin' ye to promise not to become a
jackass; and what would ye think of a man who would ask ye to sign a
paper like that? or to sign the Ten Commandments? or to promise that
ye'd never lie any _more_? It's one's duty to maintain one's dignity of
character, and, John, I want ye to open yer mouth in defense of the
rights of liberty on the occasion; and do yer duty, and bring down the
Philistine with a pebble-stun, and 'twill be a glorious night for Pigeon
Creek."

The views of Aunt Olive Eastman on preaching without preparation and on
temperance were common at this time in Indiana and Illinois. By not
understanding a special direction of our Lord to his disciples as to
what they should do in times of persecution, many of the pioneer
exhorters used to speak from the text on which their eyes first rested
on opening the Bible. They seemed to think that this mental field needed
no planting or culture--no training like Paul's in the desert of Arabia,
and that the pulpit stood outside of the universal law. The moral
education of the pledge of Father Matthew was just beginning to excite
attention. Strange as it may seem, the thoughts and plans of the Irish
apostle of temperance and founder of the Order of St. Vincent de Paul
seemed to have come to Abraham Lincoln in his early days much as
original inspiration. His first public speech was on this subject. It
was made in Springfield, Illinois, in 1842, and advocated the plan which
Father Matthew was then originating in Ireland, the education of the
public conscience by the moral force of the temperance pledge.

It was a lengthening autumn evening when the debate took place in the
school-house in the timber. The full moon rose like a disk of gold as
the sun sank in clouds of crimson fire, and the light of the day became
a mellowed splendor during half of the night. The corn-fields in the
clearings rose like armies, bearing food on every hand. Flocks of birds
darkened the sunset air, and little animals of the woods ran to and fro
amid the crisp and fallen leaves. The air was vital with the coolness
that brings the frost and causes the trees to unclasp their countless
shells, barks, and burrs, and let the ripe nuts fall.

The school-room filled with earnest faces early in the evening. The
people came over from Gentryville, among them Mr. Gentry himself and Mr.
Jones the store-keeper. Women brought tallow dips for lights, and
curious candlesticks and snuffers.

Aunt Indiana and Josiah Crawford came together, an imposing-looking
couple, who brought with them the air of special sense and wisdom. Aunt
Indiana wore a bonnet of enormous proportions, which distinguished her
from the other women, who wore hoods. She brought in her hand a brass
candlestick, which the children somehow associated with the ancient
Scripture figures, and which looked as though it might have belonged to
the temples of old. She was tall and stately, and the low room was too
short for her soaring bonnet, but she bent her head, and sat down near
Josiah Crawford, and set the candle in the shining candlestick, and cast
a glance of conscious superiority over the motley company.

The moderator rapped for order and stated the question for debate, and
made some inspiring remarks about "parliamentary" rules. John Short
opened the debate with a plea for independence of character, and
self-respect and personal liberty.

"What would you think," he asked, "of a man who would come to you _in
the night_ and ask you to sign a paper not to lie any more? What? You
would think that he thought you had been lying. Would you sign that
paper? No! You would call out the dogs of retribution, and take down
your father's sword, and you would uplift your foot into the indignant
air, and protect your family name and honor. Who would be called a liar,
in a cowardly way like that? And who would be called a drunkard, by
being asked to sign the paper of a tee-totaler? Who?"

Here John Short paused. He presently said:

"Hoo?"--which sounded in the breathless silence like the inquiries of
an owl. But his ideas had all taken wings again and left him, as on the
occasion when he attempted to preach without notes or preparation.

Aunt Indiana looked distressed. She leaned over toward Josiah Crawford,
and said:

"Say somethin'."

But Josiah hesitated. Then, to the great amusement of all, Aunt Indiana
rose to the ceiling, bent her generously bonneted head, stretched forth
her arm, and said:

"He is quite right--quite right, Josiah. Is he not, Josiah?"

"Quite right," said Josiah.

"People do not talk about what is continuous--what goes right along. Am
I not right, Josiah?"

"Quite right! quite right!"

"If a man tells me he is honest, he is not honest. If he tells me that
he is pure, he isn't pure. If he were honest or pure he says nothing
about it. Am I not right, Josiah?"

"Quite right! quite right!"

"Nobody tells about his stomach unless it is out of order; and no one
puts cotton into keyholes unless he himself is peeking through keyholes.
Am I not right, Josiah?"

"Quite right! quite right!"

"And no one asks ye to sign a temperance pledge unless he's been a
drunkard himself, or thinks ye are one, or likely to be. Ain't I right,
Josiah?"

"Quite right!"

"The best way to support temperance is to live temperately and say
nothin' about it. There, now! If I had held my peace, the stones would
have cried out. Olive Eastman has spoken, and Josiah says that I am
right, and I'm agin the temperance pledge, and there's nothin' more to
be said about it."

Aunt Indiana sat down amid much applause. Then Jasper rose, and showed
that intemperance was a great evil, and that public sentiment should be
educated against it.

"This education should begin in childhood," he said, "in habits of
self-respect and self-restraint. The child should be first instructed to
say "No" to himself."

He proceeded to argue for the temperance pledge from his point of view.

"The world is educated by pledges," he said. "The patriot is kept in his
line of march by the pledge; the business man makes a pledge when he
signs a note; and the Christian takes pledges when he joins the Church.
We should be willing to take any pledge that will make life better. If
eating meat cause my brother to stumble and offend, then I will not eat
meat. I will sacrifice myself always to that which will help the world
and honor God. I am sorry to differ from the good woman who has spoken,
but I am for the use of the pledge. I never drank strong drink, and this
hand shall sign any pledge that will help a poor tempted brother by my
example."

Tall Abraham Lincoln arose.

"There! he's goin' to speak--I knew he'd been preparin'," whispered Aunt
Indiana to Josiah Crawford. "Wonder what he'll have to say. _You'll_
have to answer him. He's just a regular Philistine, and goes stalkin'
through the land, and turns people's heads; and he's just Tom Linkern's
son, who is shiftless and poor, and I'm goin' agin him."

The tall young man stood silent. The people were silent. Aunt Indiana
gave her puncheon seat a push to break the force of that silence, and
whispered to Josiah:

"There! they are all ears. I told ye 'twould be so. You must answer
him."

Young Lincoln spoke slowly, and after this manner:

"My friends: When you pledge yourself to enforce a principle, you
identify yourself with that principle, and give it power."

There was a silence. Then the people filled the little room with
applause. He continued most impressively in the words of grand
oration:[A]

[Footnote A: We use here some of the exact sentences which young Lincoln
employed on a similar occasion at Springfield.]

"The universal sense of mankind on any subject is an argument, or at
least an influence, not easily overcome. The success of the argument in
favor of the existence of an over-ruling Providence mainly depends upon
that sense; and men ought not, in justice, to be denounced for yielding
to it in any case, or giving it up slowly, especially when they are
backed by interest, fixed habits, or burning appetites.

"If it be true that those who have suffered by intemperance personally
and have reformed are the most powerful and efficient instruments to
push the reformation to ultimate success, it does not follow that those
who have not suffered have no part left them to perform. Whether or not
the world would be vastly benefited by a total and final banishment from
it of all intoxicating drinks seems to me not now an open question.
Three fourths of mankind confess the affirmative with their tongues;
and, I believe, all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts.

"But it is said by some, that men will think and act for themselves;
that none will disuse spirits or anything else because his neighbors do;
and that moral influence is not that powerful engine contended for. Let
us examine this. Let me ask the man who could maintain this position
most stiffly, what compensation he will accept to go to church some
Sunday and sit during the sermon with his wife's bonnet upon his head?
Not a trifle, I'll venture. And why not? There would be nothing
irreligious in it, nothing immoral, nothing uncomfortable--then why not?
Is it not because there would be something egregiously unfashionable in
it? Then, it is the influence of fashion. And what is the influence of
fashion but the influence that other people's actions have on our own
actions--the strong inclination each of us feels to do as we see all our
neighbors do? Nor is the influence of fashion confined to any particular
thing or class of things. It is just as strong on one subject as
another. Let us make it as unfashionable to withhold our names from the
temperance pledge as for husbands to wear their wives' bonnets to
church, and instances will be just as rare in the one case as in the
other."

The people saw the moral point clearly. They felt the force of what the
young orator had said. No one was willing to follow him.

"Have you anything to say, Mr. Crawford?" said the moderator.

Josiah merely shook his head.

"He don't care to put on his wife's bonnet agin public opinion," said
the blacksmith.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE SCHOOL THAT MADE LINCOLN PRESIDENT.


While teaching and preaching in Decatur, Jasper heard of the new village
of Salem, Illinois, on the Sangamon. He thought that the little town
might offer him a chance to exert a new influence, and he resolved to
visit it, and to preach and to teach there for a time should the people
receive him kindly.

The village was a small one, consisting of a community store, a
school-house, a tavern, and a few houses; and Jasper knew of only one
friend there at the time, a certain Mr. Duncan, who lived some two miles
from the main street and the store.

One afternoon, after a long journey over prairie land, Jasper came to
Mrs. Duncan's door, and was met cordially by the good woman, and invited
by her to make his home there for a time.

The family gathered around the story-telling missionary after supper,
and listened to his tales of the Rhine, all of which had some
soul-lesson in his view, and enabled him to preach by parables. No
stories better served this peculiar mission than Baron Fouqué's, and
this night he related Thiodolf, the Icelander.

There came a rap at the door.

"Who can that be?" said Mrs. Duncan in alarm.

She opened the door, and a tall, dark-faced young man stood before her.

"Why, Abe," said Mrs. Duncan, "what has brought you here at this late
hour? I hope that nothing has happened!"

"That bill of yours. You paid me two dollars and six cents, did you not?
It was not right."

"Isn't it? Well, I paid you all that you asked me, like an honest woman,
so I am not to blame for any mistake. How much more do you want? If it
isn't too much I'll pay it, for I think that you mean well."

"More! That isn't it, Mrs. Duncan; you paid me six cents too much--you
overpaid me. It was my fault."

"Your fault!--and honest Abe Lincoln, you have walked two miles out of
your way to pay me that six cents! Why didn't you wait until to-morrow?"

"I couldn't."

"Why, what is going to happen?"

"I can't sleep with a thing like that on my conscience. Now I feel light
and free again."

"Come in, if it is late. We've got company--a Tunker--teaches, preaches,
and works. May be you have met him before. He's been traveling down in
Indiana and middle Illinois."

Abraham came in, and Jasper rose to receive him.

"Lincoln," said the wandering school-master, "it does my heart good to
see you. I see that you have grown in body and in soul. What brought you
here? I have been telling stories for hours. Sit down, and tell us
about what has happened to you since we met last."

The tall young man sat down.

"He's clark down to Orfutt's store now," said Mrs. Duncan, "and his word
is as good as gold, and his weights are as true as the scales of the
Judgment Day. Why, one day he made a wrong weight of half a pound, and
as soon as he found it out he shut up the shop and went shivering
through the village with that half-pound of tea as though the powers of
the air were after him. He's schooled his conscience so that he couldn't
be dishonest if he were to try. I do believe a dishonorable act would
wither him and drive him crazy."

"Character, which is the habit of obedience to the universal law of
right, is the highest school of life," said Jasper. "That is what I try
to teach everywhere. But Abraham has heard me say that before. Where
have you been since I saw you last? Tell me, what has been your school
of life?"

"I have been to New Orleans in a flat-boat. I went for Mr. Orfutt, who
now keeps the store in this place. When I came back he gave me a place
in his store here. I have been here ever since."

"What did you see in New Orleans?"

"Slavery--men sold in the market like cattle. Jasper, it made me long to
have power--to control men and congresses and armies. If I only had the
power, I would strike that institution hard. I said that to John Hanks,
and he thought that slavery wasn't in any danger from anything that I
would be likely to do. It don't look so, does it, elder? I have one
vote, and I shall always cast that against wrong as long as I live. That
is my right to do.

"Elder, listen. I want to tell you what I saw there one day, in a
slave-pen. I saw a handsome young girl, with white blood in her, brought
forward by a slave-driver and handled and struck with a whip like a
horse. I had heard of such things before, but it did not seem possible
that they could be true. Then I saw the same girl sold at auction, and
purchased by a man who carried the face of a brute. When she saw who had
purchased her, she wrung her hands and cried, but she was helpless and
hopeless; and I turned my face toward the sky and vowed to give my soul
against a system like that. I'm a Free-Soiler in my heart, and I have
faith that right is might, and that the right in this matter will one
day prevail."

Jasper remained with Mrs. Duncan for some days, and then formed a small
school in the neighborhood, on the road to the town of Springfield,
Illinois.

While teaching here he could not but notice the growth of Orfutt's clerk
in the confidence of all the people. In all the games, he was chosen
umpire or referee; in most cases of dispute he was consulted, and his
judgment was followed. Long before he became a lawyer, people were
accustomed to say, in a matter of casuistry:

"Take the case to Lincoln. He will give an opinion that will be fair."

Amid this growing reputation for character, a test happened which showed
how far this moral education and discipline had gone.

A certain Henry McHenry, a popular man, had planned a horse-race, and
applied to young Lincoln to go upon the racing stand as judge.

"The people have confidence in you," he said to Lincoln.

"I must not, and I will not do it," said Lincoln. "This custom of racing
is wrong."

The man showed him that he was under a certain obligation to act as
judge on this occasion.

"I will do it," he said; "but be it known to all that I will never
appear at a horse-race again; and were I to become a lawyer, I would
never accept a case into which I could not take an honest conscience, no
matter what the inducements might be."

There was a school-master in New Salem who knew more than the honest
clerk had been able to learn. This man, whose name was Graham, could
teach grammar.

Abraham went to him one day, and said:

"I have a notion to study grammar."

"If you ever expect to enter public life, you should do so," said Mr.
Graham. "Why not begin now and recite to me?"

"Where shall I secure a book?" asked the student of this hard college of
the wood.

"There is a man named Vaner, who lives six miles from here, who has a
grammar that I think he will be willing to sell."

"If it be possible, I will secure it," said Lincoln.

He made a long walk and purchased the book, and so made a
grammar-school, a class of one, of his leisure moments in Orfutt's
store.

While he thus was studying grammar, the men whom he thirty or more years
afterward made Cabinet ministers, generals, and diplomats were enjoying
the easy experiences of schools, military academies, and colleges. Not
one of them ever dreamed of such an experience of soul-building and
mind-building as this; and some of them, had they met him then, would
have felt that they could not have invited him to their homes. Orfutt's
store and that one grammar were not the elms of Yale, or the campus of
Harvard, or the great libraries or bowery streets of English Oxford or
Cambridge. Yet here grew and developed a soul which was to tower above
the age, and hold hands with the master spirits not only of the time but
the ages.

Years passed, and one day that sad-faced boy, who was always seeking to
make others cheerful amid the clouds of his own gloom, stood before a
grim council of war. He had determined to call into the field of arms
five hundred thousand men.

"If you do that thing," said a leader of the council, "you can not
expect to be elected again President of the United States."

The dark form rose to the height of a giant and poured forth his soul,
and he said:

"It is not necessary for me to be re-elected President of the United
States, but it is necessary for the soldiers at the front to be
re-enforced by five hundred thousand men, and I shall call for them; and
if I go down under the act, I will go down like the Cumberland, with my
colors flying."

It required a high school of experience to train a soul to an utterance
like that; and that fateful declaration began in those moral syllables
that defended the rights of the animals of the woods, that said "No" to
a horse-race, that refused from the first to accept an unjust case at
law, and that from the first declared that right is might.



CHAPTER XVII.

THOMAS LINCOLN MOVES.


Jasper taught school for a time in Boonesville, Indiana, and preached in
the new settlements along the Wabash. While at Boonesville, he chanced
to meet young Lincoln at the court house, under circumstances that
filled his heart with pity.

It was at a trial for murder that greatly excited the people. The lawyer
for the defense was John Breckinridge, a man of great reputation and
ability.

Jasper saw young Lincoln among the people who had come to hear the great
lawyer's plea, and said to him:

"You have traveled a long distance to be here to-day."

"Yes," said the tall young man. "There is nothing that leads one to seek
information of the most intelligent people like a debating society. We,
who used to meet to discuss questions at Jones's store, have formed a
debating society, and I want to learn all I can of law for the sake of
justice, and I owed it to myself and the society not to let this great
occasion pass. I have walked fifteen miles to be here to-day. Did you
know that father was thinking of moving to Illinois?"

"No. Will you go with him?"

"Yes, I shall go with him and see him well settled, and then I shall
strike out for myself in the world. Father hasn't the faculty that
mother has, you know. I can do some things better than he, and it is the
duty of one member of the family to make up when he can for what another
member lacks. We all have our own gifts, and should share them with
others. I can split rails faster than father can, and do better work at
house-building than he, and I am going with him and do for him the best
I can at the start. I shall seek first for a roof for him, and then a
place for myself."

The great lawyer arrived. The doors of the court-house were open, and
the people filled the court-room.

The plea was a masterly one, eloquent and dramatic, and it thrilled the
young soul of Lincoln. Full of the subject, the young debater sought Mr.
Breckinridge after the court adjourned, and extended his long arm and
hand to him.

The orator was a proud man of an aristocratic family, and thought it the
proper thing to maintain his dignity on all occasions. He looked at the
boy haughtily, and refused to take his hand.

"I thank you," said Lincoln. "I wish to express my gratitude."

"Sir!"

With a contemptuous look Breckinridge passed by, and the slight filled
the heart of the young man with disappointment and mortification. The
two met again in Washington in 1862. The backwoods boy whose hand the
orator had refused to take had become President of the United States. He
extended his hand, and it was accepted.

"Sir," said the President, "that plea of yours in Boonesville, Indiana,
was one of the best that I ever heard."

"In Boonesville, Indiana?"

How like a dream to the haughty lawyer the recollection must have been!
Such things as this hurt Lincoln to the quick. He was so low-spirited at
times in his early manhood that he did not dare to carry with him a
pocket-knife, lest he should be overcome in some dark and evil moment to
end his own life. There were times when his tendencies were so alarming
that he had to be watched by his friends. But these dark periods were
followed by a great flow of spirits and the buoyancy of hope.

In the spring of 1830, Jasper and Waubeno came to Gentryville, and there
met James Gentry, the leading man of the place.

"Are the Linkens still living in Spencer County?" he asked.

"Yes," said Mr. Gentry, "but it has been a hard winter here, and they
are about to move. The milk sickness has been here again and has carried
off the cattle, and the people have become discouraged, and look upon
the place as unhealthy. I have bought Thomas Linken's property. The man
was here this morning. You will find him getting ready to go away from
Indiana for good and all."

"Where is he going?" asked Jasper.

"Off to Illinois."

"So I thought," said Jasper. "I must go to see him. How is that bright
boy of his?"

"Abe?"

"Yes. I like that boy. I am drawn toward him. There is something about
him that doesn't belong to many people--a spiritual graft that won't
bear any common fruit. I can see it with my spiritual eye, in the open
vision, as it were. You don't understand those things--I see you don't.
I must see him. There are not many like him in soul, if he is ungainly
in body. I believe that he is born to some higher destiny than other
men. I see that you do not understand me. Time will make it plain."

"I'm a trader, and no prophet, and I don't know much about such matters
as these. But Abe Linken, he's grown up now, and _up_ it is, more than
six feet tall. He's a giant, a great, ungainly, awkward, clever, honest
fellow, full of jokes and stories, though down at times, and he wouldn't
do a wrong thing if it were for his right hand, and couldn't do an
unkind one. He comes up to the store here often and tells stories, and
sometimes stays until almost midnight, just as he used to do at Jones's.
Everybody likes him here, and we shall all miss him when he goes away."

Jasper and Waubeno left the little Indiana town, and went toward the
cabin of the Lincolns. On the way Jasper turned aside to pay a short
visit to Aunt Olive.

The busy woman saw the preacher from her door, and came out to welcome
him.

"I knew it was you," was her salutation, "and I am right glad that you
have come. It has been distressin' times in these parts. Folks have
died, and cattle have died, and we're all poor enough now, ye may
depend. Where are ye goin'?"

"To see the Lincolns."

"Sho'! goin' to see them again. Well, ye're none too soon. They're
gettin' ready to move to Illinois. Thomas Linken's always movin.' Moved
four times or more already, and I 'magine he'll just keep movin' till he
moves into his grave, and stops for good. He just lives up in the air,
that man does. He always is imaginin' that it rains gold in the _next_
State or county, but it never rains anythin' but rain where he is; and
if it rained puddin' and sugar-cane, his dish would be bottom upward,
sure. Elder, what does make ye take such an interest in that there
family?"

"Mrs. Lincoln is a very good woman, an uncommon one; and Abraham--"

"Yes, elder, I knew ye were goin' to say somethin' good of Abraham. Yer
heart is just set on that boy. I could see it when ye were here. I
remember all that ye prophesied about him. I ain't forgot it. Well, I am
a very plain-spoken woman. Ye ain't much of a prophet, in my opinion. He
hain't got anywhere yet--now, has he? He's just a great, tall, black,
jokin' boy; awful lazy, always readin' and talkin'; tellin' stories and
makin' people laugh, with his own mind as blue as my indigo-bag behind
it all. That is just what he is, elder, and he'll never amount to
anythin' in this world or any other. It's all just as I told ye it would
be. There, now, elder, that's as true as preachin', and the plain facts
of the case. You wait and see. Time tells the truth."

"His opportunity is yet to come; and when it does, he will have the
heart and mind to fill it," said Jasper. "A soul that is true to what is
best in life, becomes a power among men at last--it is spiritual
gravitation. 'Tis current leads the river. You do not see."

"No, I do not understand any such things as those; but when you've been
over to see the Linkens, you come back here, and I'll make ye some more
doughnuts. Come back, won't ye, and bring yer Indian boy? I'm a plain
woman, and live all alone, and I do love to hear ye talk. It gives me
somethin' to think about after ye're gone; and there ain't many
preachers that visit these parts."

Jasper moved on under the great trees, and came to the simple Lincoln
cabin.

"You have come back, elder," said Thomas Lincoln. "Travelin' with your
Indian boy? I'm glad to see you, though we are very poor now. We're
goin' to move away--we and some other families. We're all off to
Illinois. You've traveled over that kentry, preacher?"

"Yes, I've been there."

"Well, what do you think of the kentry?"

"It is a wonderful country, Mr. Lincoln. It can produce grain enough to
feed the world. The earth grows gold. It will some day uplift cities--it
will be rich and happy. I like the prairie country well."

"There! let me tell my wife.--Mother, here's the preacher. What do you
think he says about the prairie kentry? Says the earth grows gold."

Poor Mrs. Lincoln looked sad and doubtful. She had heard such things
before. But she welcomed Jasper heartily, and the three, with Waubeno,
sat down to a meal of plain Indian pudding and milk, and talked of the
sorrowful winter that had passed and the prospects of a better life
amid the flowery prairies of Illinois.

A little dog played around them while they were thus eating and talking.

"It is not our dog," said Mrs. Lincoln, "but he has taken a great liking
to Abraham. The boy is away now, but he will be back by sundown. The dog
belongs to one of the family, and is always restless when Abraham has
gone away. Abraham wants to take him along with us, but it seems to me
that we've got enough mouths to feed without him. We are all so poor!
and I don't see what good he would do. But if Abraham says so, he will
have to go."

"How is Abraham?" asked Jasper.

"Oh, he is well, and as good to me as ever, and he studies hard, just as
he used to do."

"And is as lazy as ever," said Thomas Lincoln. "At the lazy folks' fair
he'd take the premium."

"You shouldn't say that," said Mrs. Lincoln. "Just think how good he was
to everybody during the sickness! He never thought of himself, but just
worked night and day. His own mother died of the same sickness years
ago, and he's had a feelin' heart for the sufferers in this calamity. I
tell you, elder, that he's good to everybody, and if he does not take
hold to work in the way that father does, his head and heart are never
idle. I am sorry that he and father do not see more alike. The boy is
goin' to do well in the world. He begins right."

When Abraham returned, there was one heart that was indeed glad to see
him. It was the little dog. The animal bounded heels over head as soon
as he heard the boy's step, and almost leaped upon his tall shoulder as
he met him.

"Humph!" said Mr. Lincoln.

"Animals know who are good to them," said Mrs. Lincoln. "Abraham, here
is the preacher."

How tall, and dark, and droll, and yet how sad, the boy looked! He was
full grown now, uncouth and ungainly. Who but Jasper would have seen
behind the features of that young, sinewy backwoodsman the soul of the
leader and liberator?

It was a busy time with the Lincolns. Their goods were loaded upon a
rude and very heavy ox-wagon, and the oxen were given into the charge of
young Abraham to drive.

The young man's voice might have been heard a mile as he swung his whip
and called out to the oxen on starting. They passed by the grave under
the great trees where his poor mother's body lay and left it there,
never to be visited again. There were some thirteen persons in the
emigrant party.

Emigrant wagons were passing toward Illinois, the "prairie country," as
it was called, over all the roads of Indiana. The "schooners," as these
wagons were called, were everywhere to be seen on the great prairie sea.
It was the time of the great emigration. Jasper had never dreamed of a
life like this before. He looked into one prairie wagon, whose young
driver had gone for water. He turned to Waubeno, and said:

"What do you think I saw?"

"Guns to destroy the Indians; trinkets and trifles to cheat us out of
our lands; whisky for tent-making."

"No, Waubeno. There was an old grandmother there, a sick woman, and a
little coffin. This is a sad world sometimes. I pity everybody, and I
would that all men were brothers. Go, look into the wagon, Waubeno."

The Indian went, and soon returned.

"Do you pity them, Waubeno?"

"Yes; but--"

"What, Waubeno?"

"I pity the Indian mother too. Your people drove her from her
corn-fields at Rock Island, and she left the graves of her children
behind her."

There was a shadow of sadness in the hearts of the Lincoln family as
they turned away forever from the grave of Nancy Lincoln under the
trees. The poor woman who rested there in the spot soon to be
obliterated, little thought on her dying bed that the little boy she was
leaving to poverty and adventure would be one day ranked with great men
of the ages--with Servius Tullius, Pericles, Cincinnatus, Cromwell,
Hampden, Washington, and Bolivar; that he would sit in the seat of a
long line of illustrious Presidents, call a million men to arms, or that
his rude family features would find a place among the grand statues of
every liberated country on earth.

Poor Nancy Hanks! Every one who knew her had felt the warmth of her
kindness and marked her sadness. She was an intellectual woman, was
deeply religious, and is believed to have been a very emotional
character in the old Methodist camp-meetings. Her family, the Hankses,
were among the best singers and loudest shouters at the camp-meetings,
and she was in sympathy with them.

Her heart lived on in Abraham. When she fell sick of the epidemic fever,
Abraham, then a boy of ten years of age, waited upon her and nursed
her. There was no doctor within twenty-five miles. She was so slender,
and had been so ill-sustained that the fever-fires did their work in a
week. Finding her end near, she called Abraham and his little sister to
her, and said:

"Be good to one another."

Her face looked into Abraham's for the last time.

"Live," she said, "as I have taught you. Love your kindred, and worship
God."

She faded away, and her husband made her coffin with a whip-saw out of
green wood, and on a changing October day they laid her away under the
trees. They were leaving her grave now, the humblest of all places then,
but a shrine to-day, for her son's character has glorified it.

He must have always remembered the hymns that she used to sing. Some of
them were curious compositions. In the better class of them were; "Am I
a soldier of the cross," "Alas! and did my Saviour bleed," and "How
tedious and tasteless the hour." The camp-meeting melodies were simple,
mere movements, like the negro songs.

Abraham swung his whip lustily over the oxen's heads on that long spring
journey, and directed the way. The wheels of the cart were great
rollers, and they creaked along. Here and there the roads were muddy,
but the sky was blue above, and the buds were swelling, and the birds
were singing, and the little dog that belonged to the party kept close
to his heels, and the poor people journeyed on under the giant timber,
and out of it at times along the ocean-like prairies of the Illinois.
The world was before them--an expanse of forest and prairie that in
fifty years were to be changed by the axe and plowshare into prosperous
farms and homesteads, and settled by the restless nations of the world.

The journey was long. There were spells of wintry weather, for the
spring advanced by degrees even here. Streams overflowing their banks
lay across their way, and these had to be forded.

One morning the party came to a stream covered with thin ice. The oxen
and horses hesitated, but were forced into the cold water. After a
dreary effort the hardy pilgrims passed over and mounted the western
bank. A sharp cry was heard on the opposite side.

"You have left the dog, Abe," said one. "Good riddance to him! I am glad
that we are quit of him at last."

The dog's pitiable cry rang out on the crisp, cool air. He was barking
_to_ Abraham, and the teamster's heart recognized that the animal's call
was to him.

"See him run, and howl!" said another. "Whip up, Abe, and we will soon
be out of sight."

Young Lincoln looked behind. The little animal would go down to the
water, and try to swim across, but the broken ice drove him back. Then
he set up a cry, as much as to say:

"Abe, Abe, you will not leave me!"

"Drive on," said one of the men. "He'll take care of himself. He'd no
business to lag behind. What do we want of the dog, anyway?"

The animal cried more and more piteously and lustily.

"Whoa!" said Lincoln.

"What are you going to do, Abe?"

"To do as I would be done by. I can't stand that."

Lincoln plunged into the frozen water and waded across. The dog,
overjoyed, leaped into his arms. Lincoln returned, having borne the
little dog in his arms across the stream. He was cold and dripping, and
was censured for causing a needless delay. But he had a happy face and
heart.

Referring to this episode of the journey a long time afterward, Lincoln
said to a friend:

"I could not endure the idea of abandoning even a dog. Pulling off shoes
and socks, I waded across the stream, and triumphantly returned with the
shivering animal under my arms. His frantic leaps of joy, and other
evidences of gratitude, repaid me for all the exposure I had
undergone."



CHAPTER XVIII.

MAIN-POGUE.


Jasper taught for a time near New Salem, then made again his usual
circuit, after which he made his home for a time at Springfield,
Illinois. When Jasper was returning from this last circuit of his
self-appointed mission the Black Hawk war had begun again. He came one
day, after long wanderings, to Bushville, in Schuyler County, Illinois,
and found the place in a state of great excitement. The town was filling
with armed men, and among them were many faces that he had seen at New
Salem, when Waubeno was his companion.

He recognized a Mr. Green, whom he had known in New Salem, and said to
him:

"My friend, what does this armed gathering mean?"

"Black Hawk has crossed the Mississippi and is making war on the
settlers. The Governor has called for volunteers to defend the State."

"What has led to this new outbreak?" said Jasper, although few knew the
cause better than he.

"Oh, sentiment--Indian sentiment. Black Hawk wants the old Indian town
on the bluff again. He says it is sacred to his race; that his
ancestors are buried there, and that there is no place like it on earth,
or none that can take its place in his soul. He claims that the chiefs
had been made drunk by the white men when they signed the treaty that
gave up the town; that he never sold his fathers' graves. His heart is
full of revenge, and he and all his tribe cling to that old Sac village
with the grasp of death."

"The trouble has been gathering long?"

"Yes. The settlers came up, under the treaty, to occupy the best lands
around the Sac town and compel the Indians to live west of the
Mississippi. Then the Indians and settlers began to dispute and quarrel.
The settlers brought whisky, and Black Hawk demanded that it should not
be sold to his people. He violently entered a settler's claim, and stove
in a barrel of whisky before the man's eyes. Then the Indians went over
the Mississippi sullenly, and left their cabins and corn-fields. But
hard weather came, and the women would come back to the old corn-fields,
which they had planted the year before, to steal corn. They said that
the corn was theirs, and that they were starving for their own food.
Some of them were killed by the settlers. Black Hawk had become enraged
again. He has been trying to get the Indian tribes to unite and kill all
of the whites. He has violated the old Indian treaty, and is murdering
people on every hand, and the Governor has asked for volunteers to
protect the lives and property of the settlers. He had to do it. Either
the whites or the Indians must perish. The settlers came here under a
legal treaty; they must be protected. It is no time for sentiment now."

"Are nearly all of the men of New Salem here?" said Jasper.

"Yes; Abraham Lincoln was the first to enlist, and he is our leader. He
ought to be a good Indian fighter. His grandfather was killed by the
Indians."

"So I have heard."

"But Lincoln himself is not a hard man; there's nothing revengeful about
him. He would be more likely to do a good act to an Indian than a
harmful one, if he could. His purpose is not to kill Indians, but to
protect the State and save the lives of peaceful, inoffensive people."

The men from the several towns in the vicinity gathered in the open
space, and proceeded to elect their officers.

The manner of the election was curious. There were the two candidates
for captain of the company. They were Abraham Lincoln and a man by the
name of Fitzpatrick. Each volunteer was asked to put himself in the line
by the side of the man of his choice.

One by one they stepped forward and arranged themselves by the side of
Lincoln, until Lincoln stood at the head of a larger part of the men.

"Captain Lincoln!" said one, when he saw how the election was going.
"Three cheers for Honest Abe! He is our man."

There arose a great shout of "Captain Lincoln!"

Jasper marked the delight which the election had given his old New Salem
friends. Lincoln himself once said that that election was the proudest
event of his life.

The New Salem Company went into camp at Beardstown, and was disbanded
at Ottawa thirty days after, not having met the enemy. Lincoln, feeling
that he should be true to his country and the public safety at the hour
of peril, enlisted again as a common private, served another thirty
days, and then, the war not being over, he enlisted again. The war
terminated with the battle of Bad Axe and the capture of Black Hawk, who
became a prisoner of state.

One day, when the volunteers were greatly excited by the tales of Indian
murders, and were beset by foes lurking in ambush and pirogue, a
remarkable scene occurred in Lincoln's camp.

The men, who had been talking over a recent massacre by the Indians,
were thirsting to avenge the barbarities, when suddenly the withered
form of an Indian appeared before them.

They started, and an officer demanded:

"Who are you?"

"Main-Pogue."

"How came you here?"

"I am a friend to the white man. I'm going to meet my son, a boy whom I
have made my own."

"You are a spy!"

"I am not a spy. I am Main-Pogue. I am hungry; I am old. I am no spy.
Give an old Indian food, and I will serve you while you need. Then let
me go and find my boy."

"Food!" said one. "You are a spy, a plotter. There is murder in your
heart. We will make short work with you. That is what we are sent out to
do."

"I never did the white man harm," said the old man, drawing his blanket
around him.

"You shall pay for this, you old hypocrite!" said another officer. "Men,
what shall we do with this spy?"

"Kill him!" said one.

"Shoot him!" said another.

"Torture him, and make him confess!" said a third.

The old Indian stood bent and trembling.

"I am a wandering beggar, looking for my boy," said the Indian. "I never
did the white man harm. Hear me."

"You belong to Black Hawk's devils," said an officer, "and you are
plotting our death. You shall be shot. Seize him!"

The old Indian trembled as the men surrounded him bent on his
destruction.

There came toward the excited company a tall young officer. All eyes
were bent upon him. He peered into the face of the old Indian. The men
rushed forward to obey the officer.

"Halt!" said the tall captain. "This Indian must not be killed by us."

That speaker was Abraham Lincoln. The men jeered at him, but he stood
between the Indian and them, like a form of iron.

The Indian gave his protector a grateful look, and there dropped from
his hand a passport, which in his confusion he had failed to give the
officer. It was a certificate saying that he had rendered good service
to the Government, and it was signed by General Cass.

"Why should you wish to save him?" asked a volunteer of young Lincoln.
"Your grandfather was killed by an Indian. You are a coward!"

"I would do what is right by any man," said Lincoln, fiercely. "Who says
I am a coward? I will meet him here in an open contest. Now, let the man
who says I am a coward meet me face to face and hand to hand."

He stood over the cowering Indian, dark, self-confident and defiant.

"I stand for justice. Let him come on. I stand alone for right. Let him
come on.--Main-Pogue, go!"

Out of the camp hobbled the Indian, with the long, strong arm of Abraham
Lincoln lifted over him. The eyes of the men followed him in anger,
disappointment, and scorn. Hard words passed from one to the other. He
felt for the first time in his life that he stood in this matter utterly
alone.

"Jeer on," he said. "I would shield this Indian at the cost of my life.
I would not be a true soldier if I failed in my duty to this old man. In
every event of life it is right that makes might; and the rights of an
Indian are as sacred as those of any other man, and I would defend them,
at whatever cost, as those of a white man.--Main-Pogue, go hence! Here
will I stand between you and death."

"Heaven bless you for protecting a poor old man! I have been a runner
for the whites for many years, but I have never met a man like you. I
will tell my boy of this. Your name is Lincoln?"

"Yes--Abraham Lincoln, though the name matters nothing."



CHAPTER XIX.

THE FOREST COLLEGE.


"Well, how time flies, and the clock of the year does go round! Here's
the elder again! It's a bright day that brings ye here, though I
shouldn't let ye sleep in the prophet's chamber, if I had one, 'cause ye
ain't any prophet at all. But ye are right welcome just the same. Where
is yer Indian boy?"

"He's gone to his own people, Aunt Olive."

"To whet his tommyhawk, I make no doubt. Oh, elder, how ye have been
deceived in people! Ye believe that every one is as good as one can be,
or can be grafted to bear sweet fruit, but, hoe-down-hoe, elder, 'taint
so. Yer Aunt Indiana knows how desperately wicked is the human heart. If
ye don't do others, others will do ye, and this world is a warfare. Come
in; I've got somethin' new to tell ye. It's about the Linkens' Abe."

The Tunker entered the cheerful cabin in the sunny clearing of the
timber.

"I've been savin' up the news to tell ye when ye came. Abe's been to
war!"

"He has not been hurt, has he?"

"_Hurt!_ No, he hasn't been hurt. A great Indian fighter he proved! The
men were all laughin' about it. He'll live to fight another day, as the
sayin' goes, and so will the enemy. Well, I always thought that there
was no need of killin' people. Let them alone, and they will all die
themselves; and as for the enemy, let them alone, and they will come
home waggin' their tails behind them, as the ditty says. Well, I must
tell ye. Abe's been to war. He didn't see the enemy, nor fight, nor
nothin'. But a wild Indian came right into his camp, and the soldiers
started up to kill him, and what do ye suppose Abe did?"

"I think he did what he thought to be right."

"He let him go! There! what do you think of that? He just went to
fightin' his own company to save the Indian. There's a warrior for ye!
And that wasn't all. He talked in such a way that he frightened his own
men, and he just gave the Indian some bread and cheese, and let him off.
And the Indian went off blessin' him. Abe will never make a soldier or
handle armies much, after all yer prophecies. Such a soldier as that
ought to be rewarded a pinfeather."

"His conduct was after the Galilean teaching--was it not?--and produced
the result of making the Indian a friend. Was not that a good thing to
do? Who was the Indian?"

"It was old Main-Pogue. He was uncle, or somethin', to that boy who used
to travel about with you, teachin' you the language--Waubeno; the old
interpreter for General Cass's men. He'll go off and tell Waubeno. I
wonder if Main-Pogue knew who it was that saved him, and if he will tell
Waubeno that?"

"Lincoln did a noble act."

"Oh, elder, ye've got a good heart, but ye're weak in yer upper story.
That ain't all I've got to tell ye. Abe has failed, after all yer
prophecies, too. He and another man went to keepin' store up in New
Salem, and he let his partner cheat him, and they _failed_; and now he's
just workin' to pay up his debts, and his partner's too."

"And his partner's too? That shows that he saved an honest purpose out
of losses. The greatest of all losses is a loss of integrity of purpose.
I'm glad to hear that he has not lost that."

"Oh, elder, ye've allus somethin' good to say of that boy. But I'm not
agin him. He's Tom Linken's son, just as I told ye; and he'll never come
to anythin' good. He all runs to books and gabble, and goes 'round
repeatin' poetry, which is only the lies of crazy folks. I haven't any
use for poetry, except hymns. But he's had real trouble of late, besides
these things, and I'm sorry for that. He's lost the girl what he was
goin' to marry. She was a beautiful girl, and her death made him so
downhearted that they had to shut him up and watch him to keep him from
committin' suicide. They say that he has very melancholy spells. He
can't help that, I don't suppose. His mother what sleeps over yonder
under the timber was melancholy. How are all the schools that you set to
goin' on the Wabash?"

"They are all growing, good woman, and it fills my heart with delight to
see them grow. They are all growing like gardens for the good of this
great country. It does my heart good, and makes my soul happy, to start
these Christian schools. It's my mission. And I try to start them
right--character first, true views of things next, and books last; but
the teaching of young children to think and act right spiritually is the
highest education of all. This is best done by telling stories, and so I
travel and travel telling stories to schools. You do not see my plan,
but it is the true seed that I am planting, and it will bear fruit when
I am gone to a better world than this."

"Oh, ye mean well," said Aunt Olive, "but ye don't know more than some
whole families--pardon my plainness of speech. I don't doubt that ye are
doin' some good, after a fashion; but don't prophesy--yer prophecies in
regard to Abe have failed already. He'll never command the American
army, nor run the nation, nor keep store. Yer Aunt Indiana can read
character, and her prophecies have proved true so far."

"Wait--time tells the whole truth; and worth is worth, and passes for
the true gold of life in time."

"Ye don't think that there's any chance for him yet, do ye, elder, after
lettin' the Indian go, and failin', and havin' that melancholy spell?"

"Yes, I do. My spiritual sense tells me so."

"Yer spiritual sense! Elder, ye ought to go to school. Ye are nothin'
but a child yerself. And let me advise ye never to have anythin' more to
do with that there Indian boy. Fishes don't swim on rocks, nor hawks go
to live in a cage. An Indian is an Indian, and, mark my words, that boy
will have yer scalp some day. He will, now--he will. I saw it in his
eye."

The Tunker journeyed toward the new town of Springfield, Illinois, along
the fragrant timber and over the blooming prairies. Everywhere were to
be seen the white prairie schooner and the little village of people that
followed it.

Springfield was but a promising village at this time, in a very fertile
land. Probably no one ever thought that it would become a capital city
of an empire of population, the hub of that great wheel of destiny
rimmed by the Wabash, the Mississippi, Rock River, and the Lake; and
still less did any one ever dream that it would be the legislative
influence of that tall, laughing, sad-faced boy, Lincoln, who would
produce this result.

Jasper preached at Springfield, and visited the log school-house, and
told stories to the little school. He then started to walk to New Salem,
a distance of some eighteen or twenty miles.

It was a pleasant country, and all things seemed teeming with life, for
it was now the high tide of the year. The prairies were billows of
flowers, and the timber was shady and cool, carpeted with mosses,
tangled with vines, with its tops bright with sunshine and happy with
the songs of birds.

About half-way between the two towns Jasper saw some lofty trees, giants
of the forest, that spread out their branches like roofs of some ancient
temple. There were birds' nests made of sticks in their tops, and a cool
stream ran under them. He sought the place for rest.

As he entered the great shadow, he saw a tall young man seated on a log,
absorbed in reading a book. He approached him, and recognized him as
young Lincoln.

"I am glad to meet you here, in this beautiful place," he said.

"This is my college," said Lincoln.

"What are you studying, my friend?"

"Oh, I am trying my hand at law a little. Stuart, the Springfield
lawyer, lends me his law-books, and I walk over there from New Salem to
get them, and when I get as far back as this I sit down on this log and
study. I can study when I am walking. I once mastered forty pages of
Blackstone in a walk. But I love to stop and study on this log. It is
rather a long walk from New Salem to Springfield--almost twenty
miles--and when I get as far back as this I feel tired. These trees are
so grand that they look like a house of Nature, and I call them my
college. I can't have the privileges of better-off young men, who can go
to Philadelphia, New York, or Boston to study law, and so I do the best
I can here. I get discouraged sometimes, but I believe that right is
might, and do my best, and there is something that is leading me on."

"I am glad to find you here, Abraham Lincoln. I love you in my heart,
and I wish that I might help you in your studies. But I have never
studied law."

"But you do help me."

"How?"

"By your faith in me. Elder, I have been having a hard row to hoe, and
am an unlucky fellow. Have been keeping a grocery, and we have
failed--failed right at the beginning of life. It hurt my pride, but,
elder, it has not hurt my honor. I've worked and paid up all my debts,
and now I am going to pay _his_. I might make excuses for not paying his
part of the debts, but, elder, it would not leave my name clear. I must
live conscience free. People call me a fool, but they trust me. They
have made me postmaster at New Salem, though that ain't much of an
office. The mail comes only once a week, and I carry it in my hat.
They'll need a new post-office by and by."

"My friend, you are giving yourself a moral self-education that has more
worth than all the advantages of wealth or a famous name or the schools
of Boston. The time will come when this growing people will need such a
man as you to lead them, and you will lead them more grandly than others
who have had an easier school. You have learned the first principles of
true education--it is, the habit that can not do wrong without feeling
the flames of torment within. Every sacrifice that you have made to your
conscience has given you power. That power is a godlike thing. You will
see all one day, as I do now."

"Elder, they call me a merry-maker, but I carry with me a sad heart. I
wish to tell you, for I feel that you are my true friend. I loved Ann
Rutledge. She was the daughter of James Rutledge, the founder of our
village and the owner of the mill on the Sangamon. She was a girl of a
loving heart, gentle blood, and her face was lovely. You saw her at the
tavern. I loved her--I loved her very name; and she is dead. It has all
happened since you were here, and I have wished to meet you again and
tell you all. Such things as these make me melancholy. A great darkness
comes down upon me at times, and I am tempted to end all the bright
dream that we call life. But I rise above the temptation. Elder, you
don't know how my heart has had to struggle. I sometimes think of my
poor mother's grave in the timber in Indiana, and I always think of
_her_ grave--Ann Rutledge's--and then it comes over me like a cloud,
that there is no place for me in the world. Do you want to know what I
do in those hours, elder? I repeat a long poem. I have said it over a
hundred times. It was written by some poet who felt as I do. I would
like to repeat it to you, elder. I tell stories--they only make me more
melancholy--but this poem soothes my mind. It makes me feel that other
men have suffered before, and it makes me willing to suffer for others,
and to accept my lot in life, whatever it may be."

"I wish to hear the poem that has so moved you," said the Tunker.

Abraham Lincoln stood up and leaned against the trunk of one of the
giant trees. The sunlight was sifting through the great canopy of
leaves, boughs, and nests overhead, and afar gleamed the prairies like
gardens of the sun. He lifted his long arm, and, with a sad face, said:

"Elder, listen.

    "'Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
    Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
    A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
    He passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

    "'The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
    Be scattered around, and together be laid;
    And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
    Shall molder to dust, and together shall lie.

    "'The infant a mother attended and loved,
    The mother that infant's affection who proved,
    The husband that mother and infant who blest--
    Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

    "'[_The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,_
    _Shone beauty and pleasure, her triumphs are by;_
    _And the memory of those who loved her and praised,_
    _Are alike from the minds of the living erased_.]

    "'The hand of the king that the scepter hath borne,
    The brow of the priest that the miter hath worn,
    The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,
    Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.

    "'The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap,
    The herdsman who climbed with his goats up the steep,
    The beggar who wandered in search of his bread,
    Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

    "'[The saint who enjoyed the communion of Heaven,
    The sinner who dared to remain unforgiven,
    The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
    Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.]

    "'So the multitude goes, like the flower or the weed
    That withers away to let others succeed;
    So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
    To repeat every tale that has often been told.

    "'For we are the same our fathers have been;
    We see the same sights our fathers have seen;
    We drink the same stream, we view the same sun,
    And run the same course our fathers have run.

    "'The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;
    From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink;
    To the life we are clinging they also would cling;
    But it speeds from us all like a bird on the wing.

    "'They loved, but the story we can not unfold;
    They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
    They grieved, but no wail from their slumber will come;
    They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

    "'They died, ay, they died: we things that are now,
    That walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
    And make in their dwellings a transient abode,
    Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.

    "'Yea, hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
    Are mingled together in sunshine and rain;
    And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge,
    Still follow each other like surge upon surge.

    "''Tis the wink of an eye, 'tis the draught of a breath,
    From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
    From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud--
    Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?'"

He stood there in moody silence when he had finished the recitation,
which was (unknown to him) from the pen of a pastoral Scotch poet. The
Tunker looked at him, and saw how deep were his feelings, and how
earnest were his desires to know the true way of life and to do well his
mission, and go on with the great multitude, whose procession comes upon
the earth and vanishes from the scenes. But he did not dream of the
greatness of the destiny for which that student was preparing in the
hard college of the woods.

"My education must always be defective," said the young student. "I can
not read law in great law-offices, like other young men, but I can be
just--I can do right; and I would never undertake a case of law, for any
money, that I did not think right and just. I would stand for what I
thought was right, as I did by the old Indian, and I think that the
people in time would learn to trust me."

"Abraham Lincoln, to school one's conscience to the habit of right, so
that it can not do wrong, is the first and the highest education. It is
what one is that makes him a knight, and that is the only true
knighthood. The highest education is that of the soul. Did you know that
the Indian whom you saved was Main-Pogue?"

"Yes."

"And that Main-Pogue is the uncle and foster-father of my old guide,
Waubeno?"

"No. Waubeno was the boy who came with you to the Wabash?"

"Waubeno's father was killed by the white people. He was condemned to
death. He asked to go home to see his family once more, and returned
upon his honor to die. That old story is true. Does it seem possible
that an English soldier could ever take the life of an Indian like
that?"

"No, it does not. Will Main-Pogue tell Waubeno that it was I who saved
him?"

"Does Main-Pogue know you by name? I hope he does."

"He may have forgotten. I would like for him to remember it, because the
Indian boy liked me, and an Indian killed my grandfather. I liked that
Indian boy, and I would do justice, if I could, by all men, and any
man."

"Lincoln, I came to love and respect that Indian boy. There was a native
nobility in him. But my efforts to make him a Christian failed, for he
carried revenge in his heart. I wish that he could know that it was you
who did that deed; your character might be an influence that would
strike an unknown cord in the boy's heart, for Waubeno has a noble
heart--Waubeno is noble. I wish he knew who it was that spared
Main-Pogue. Acts teach where words fail, and the true teacher is not
lips, but life. The boy once said to me that he would cease to seek to
avenge his father's death if he could find a single white man who would
defend an Indian to his own harm, because it was right. Now, Lincoln,
you have done just the act that would change his heart. But he has gone
with the winds. How will he ever hear of it? How will he ever know it?

"When Main-Pogue meets him, if he ever does again, he may tell him all.
But does Main-Pogue understand the relations that exist between you and
me, and us and that boy? O Waubeno, Waubeno, I would that you might hear
of this!"

He thought, and added: "He _will_ hear of it, somehow, in some way.
Providence makes golden keys of deeds like yours. They unlock the doors
of mystery. Let me see, what was it Waubeno said--his exact words?
_'When I find a single white man who defends an Indian to his own hurt,
because it is right, I will promise.'_ Lincoln, he said that. You are
that man. Lincoln, may God bless you, and call you into his service when
he has need of a man!"



CHAPTER XX.

MAKING LINCOLN A "SON OF MALTA."


When Jasper, some years later, again met Aunt Eastman, she had a yet
more curious story to tell about Abraham.

It was spring, and the cherry-trees were in bloom and musical with bees.
In the yard a single apple-tree was red with blooms, which made fragrant
the air.

"And here comes Johnnie Apple-seed!" said Aunt Olive. "Heaven bless ye!
I call ye Johnnie Apple-seed because ye remind me so much of that good
man. He was a good man, if he had lost his wits; and ye mean well, just
as he did. Smell the apple-blossoms! I don't know but it was _him_ that
planted that there tree."

To explain Aunt Olive's remarks, we should say that there once wandered
along the banks of the Ohio, a poor wayfaring man who had a singular
impression of duty. He felt it to be his calling in life to plant
apple-seeds. He would go to a farmer's house, ask for work, and remain
at the place a few days or weeks. After he had gone, apple-seeds would
be found sprouting about the farm. His journeys were the beginnings of
many orchards in the Middle, West, and prairie States.

"I love to smell apple-blossoms," said Aunt Olive. "It reminds me of old
New England. I can almost hear the bells ring on the old New England
hills when I smell apple-blooms. They say that Johnnie Apple-seed is
dead, and that they filled his grave with apple-blooms. I don't know as
it is so, but it ought to be. I sometimes wish that I was a poet,
because a poet fixes things as they ought to be--makes the world all
over right. But, la! Abe Linken was a poet. _Have_ ye heard the news?"

"No. What?--nothing bad, I hope?"

"_He's_ hung out his shingle."

"Where?"

"In Springfield."

"In Springfield?"

"Yes, elder, I've seen it. I have traveled a good deal since I saw
you--'round to camp-meetin', and fairs, rightin' things, and doin' all
the good I can. I've seen it. And, elder, they've made a mock Mason on
him."

In the pioneer days of Illinois the making of mock Masons, or _pseudo_
Sons of Malta, was a popular form of frolic, now almost forgotten. Young
people formed mock lodges or secret societies, for the purpose of
initiating new members by a series of tricks, which became the jokes of
the community.

"Yes," said Aunt Olive, "and what do ye think they did? Well, in them
societies they first test the courage of those who want to be new
members. There's Judge Ball, now; when they tested his courage, what do
you think? They blindfolded him, and turned up his blue jean trousers
about the ankles, and said, 'Now let out the snakes!' and they took an
elder-bush squirt-gun and squirted water over his feet; and the water
was cold, and he thought it was snakes, and he jumped clear up to the
cross-beams on the chamber floor, and screamed and screamed, and they
wouldn't have him."

Jasper had never heard of these rude methods of making jokes and odd
stories in the backwoods.

"What did they do to test Abraham's courage?" he asked.

"I don't know--blindfolded him and dressed him up like a donkey, and led
him up to a lookin'-glass, and made him promise that he would never tell
what he saw, and then _on_bandaged his eyes--or something of that kind.
His courage stood the test. Of course it did; no matter what they might
have done, no one could frighten Abe. But he got the best o' them."

"How?"

"He took up a collection for a poor woman that he had met on the way,
and proposed to change the society into a committee for the relief of
the poor and sufferin'."

"That shows his heart again."

"I knew that you would say that, elder."

"Everything that I hear of Lincoln shows how that his character grows.
It is my daily prayer that Waubeno may hear of how he saved Main-Pogue.
It would change the heart of Waubeno. He will know of it some day, and
then he will fulfill his promise to me."

The Tunker sat down in the door under the blooming cherry-trees, and
Aunt Olive brought a tray of food, and they ate their supper there.

[Illustration: SARAH BUSH LINCOLN, ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S STEP-MOTHER.

_After photograph taken in 1865._]

Afar stretched the prairies. The larks quivered in the air, happy in the
May-time, and gurgling with song. In the sunny outlines were seen a
train of prairie schooners winding over the plain.

These were rude times, when all things were new. Men were purchasing the
future by hardship and toil. But the two religious enthusiasts presented
a happy picture as they sat under the cherry-trees and talked of
camp-meetings, and the inner light, and all they had experienced, and
ate their frugal meal. Odd though their views and beliefs and habits may
seem in some respects, each had a definite purpose of good; each lived
in the horizon of bright prospects here and hereafter, and each was
happy.



CHAPTER XXI.

PRAIRIE ISLAND.


The beautiful country between Lake Michigan, or old Fort Dearborn, and
the Mississippi, or Rock Island, was once a broad prairie, a sea of
flowers, birds, and bright insects. The buffaloes roamed over it in
great herds, and the buffalo-birds followed them. The sun rose over it
as over a sea, and the arched aurora rose red above it like some far
gate of a land of fire. Here the Sacs and Foxes roamed free; the Iowas
and the tribes of the North. It was one vast sunland, a breeze-swept
brightness, almost without a dot or shadow.

Almost, but not quite. Here and there, like islands in a summer sea,
rose dark groves of oak and vines. These spots of refreshment were
called prairie islands, and in one of these islands, now gone, a pioneer
colony made their homes, and built a meeting-house, which was also to be
used as a school-house. Six or more of these families were from
Germantown, Pennsylvania, and were Tunkers. The other families were from
the New England States.

To this nameless village, long ago swept away by the prairie fires, went
Jasper the Parable, with his cobbling-tools, his stories, and his gospel
of universal love and good-will. The Tunkers welcomed him with delight,
and the emigrants from New England looked upon him kindly as a good and
well-meaning man. There were some fifteen or twenty children in the
settlement, and here the peaceful disciple of Pestalozzi, and friend of
Froebel, applied for a place to teach, and the school was by unanimous
consent assigned to him.

So began the school at Prairie Island--a school where the first
principles of education were perceived and taught, and that might
furnish a model for many an ambitious institution of to-day.

"It is life that teaches," the Parable used to say, quoting Pestalozzi.
"The first thing to do is to form the habits that lead to character; the
next thing is to stamp the young mind with right views of life; then
comes book-learning--words, figures, and maps--but stories that educate
morally are the primer of life. Christ taught spiritual truths by
parables. I teach formative ideas by parables. The teacher should be a
story-teller. In my own country all children go through fairy-land. Here
they teach the young figures first, as though all of life was a
money-market. It is all unnatural and wrong. I must teach and preach by
stories."

The school-house was a simple building of logs and prairie grass, with
oiled paper for windows, and a door that opened out and afforded a view
of the vast prairie-sea to the west. Jasper taught here five days in a
week, and sang, prayed, and exhorted on Sunday afternoons, and led
social meetings on Sunday evenings. The little community were united,
peaceful, and happy. They were industrious, self-respecting people, who
were governed by their moral sense, and their governing principle
seemed to be the faith that, if a person desired and sought to follow
the divine will, he would have a revelation of spiritual light, which
would be like the opening of the gates of heaven to him. Nearly every
man and woman had some special experience of the soul to tell; and if
ever there was a community of simple faith and brotherhood, it was here.

Jasper's school began in the summer, when the sun was high, the cool
shadows of the oaks grateful, and the bluebells filled the tall, wavy
grasses, and the prairie plover swam in the air.

Jasper's first teaching was by the telling of stories that leave in the
young mind right ideas and impressions.

"My children, listen," said the gracious old man, as he sat down to his
rude desk, "and let me tell you some stories like those Pestalozzi used
to tell. Still, now!"

He lifted his finger and his eyebrows, and sat a little while in
silence.

"Hark!" he said. "Hear the birds sing in the trees! Nature is teaching
us. When Nature is teaching I listen. Nature is a greater teacher than
I, or any man."

The little school sat in silence and listened. They had never heard the
birds sing in that way before. Presently there was a hush in the trees.

"Now I will begin," said he.


_PESTALOZZI'S STORIES._

"Did you ever see a mushroom? Yes, there are mushrooms under the cool
trees. Once, in the days when the plants and flowers and trees all
talked--they talk now, but we have ceased to hear them, a little
mushroom bowed in the winds, and said to the grass:

"'See how I grow! I came up in a single night. I am smart.'

"'Yes,' said the grass, waving gently.

"'But you,' said the smart little mushroom, 'it takes you a whole year
to grow.'

"The grass was sorry that it took so long for it to grow, and hung its
head, and thought, and thought.

"'But,' said the grass, 'you spring up in the night, and in a day or two
you are gone. It takes me a year to grow, but I outlive a hundred crops
of mushrooms. I will have patience and be content. Worth is of slow
growth.'

"In a week the boastful little mushroom was gone, but the grass bloomed
and bore seed, and left a lovely memory behind it. Hark! hear the breeze
in the trees! Nature is teaching now. Listen!

"Now I will tell you another little story, such as I used to hear
Pestalozzi relate. I am going to tell this story to myself, but you may
listen. I have told a story to you, but now I will talk to myself.

"There once was a king, who had been riding in the sun, and he saw afar
a lime-tree, full of cool, green leaves. Oh, how refreshing it looked to
him! So he rode up to the lime-tree, and rested in the shadow.

"The leaves all clung to the branches, and the winds whispered among
them, but did not blow them away.

"Then the king loved the tree, and he said:

"'O tree, would that my people clung to me as thy leaves do to thy
branches!'

"The tree was pleased, and spoke:

"'Would you learn from me wisdom to govern thy people?'

"'Yes, O lime-tree! Speak on.'

"'Would you know, then, what makes my leaves so cling to my branches?'

"'Yes, O Lime Tree! Speak on.'

"'I carry to them the sap that nourishes them. 'Tis he that gives
himself to others that lives in others, and is safe and happy himself.
Do that, and thy kingdom shall be a lime-tree.'"

A child brought into the room a bunch of harebells and laid them upon
the teacher's desk.

"Look!" said Jasper, "Nature is teaching. Let us be quiet a little and
hear what she has to say. The harebells bring us good-will from the sun
and skies. There is goodness everywhere, and for all. Let us be
grateful.

"Now I will give you another little Pestalozzian story, told in my own
way, and you may tell it to your fathers and mothers and neighbors when
you go home.

"There was once a man who had two little ponies. They were pretty
creatures, and just alike. He sold one of them to a hard-hearted man,
who kicked him and beat him; and the pony said:

"'The man is my enemy. I will be his, and become a cunning and vicious
horse.'

"So the pony became cunning and vicious, and threw his rider and
crippled him, and grew spavined and old, and every one was glad when he
was dead.

"The man sold the other pony to a noble-hearted man, who treated him
kindly and well. Then the pony said:

"'I am proud of my master. I will become a good horse, and my master's
will shall be my own.'

"Like the master became the horse. He became strong and beautiful. They
chose him for the battle, and he went through the wars, and the master
slept by his side. He bore his master at last in a triumphal procession,
and all the people were sorry when he came to die. Our minds here are
one of the little colts.

"So we will all work together. The lesson is ended. You have all the
impressions that you can bear for one day. Now we will go out and play."

But the play-ground was made a field of teaching.

"There are plays that form right ideas," said Jasper, "and plays that
lead to an evil character. I teach no plays that lead to cruelty or
deception. I would no sooner withhold amusements from my little ones
than water, but my amusements, like the water, must be healthy and
good."

There was one odd play that greatly delighted all the children of the
Prairie Island school. The idea of it was evolved in the form of a
popular song many years afterward. In it the children are supposed to
ask an old German musician how many instruments of music he could play,
and he acts out in pantomime all of the instruments he could blow or
handle. We think it was this merriment that became known in America as
the song of Johnnie Schmoker in the minstrel days.

Not the children only, but the parents also all delighted to see Jasper
pretend to play all the instruments of the German band. Often at
sunset, when the settlers came in from the corn-fields and rested under
the great trees, Jasper would delight the islanders, as they called
themselves, with this odd play.

"The purpose of education," Jasper used to repeat over and over to his
friends in this sunny island of the prairie sea, "is not to teach the
young how to make money or get wealth by a cunning brain, but how to
live for the soul. The soul's best interests are in life's highest
interest, and there is no poverty in the world that is like spiritual
poverty. In the periods of poetry a nation is great; and when poetry
fails, the birds cease to sing and the flowers to bloom, and divinities
go away, and the heart turns to stone."

There was one story that he often repeated to his little school. The
pupils liked it because there was action in it, as in the play-story of
the German musician. He called it "CHINK, CHINK, CHINK"--though we
believe a somewhat similar story is told in Germany under the name of
"The Stone-cold Heart."

He would clasp his hands together and strike them upon his knee, making
a sound like the jingling of silver coin. Any one can produce this
curious sound by the same action.

"Chink, chink, chink," he would say. "Do you hear it? Chink, chink,
chink. Listen, as I strike my hands on my knees. Money? Now I will open
my hands. There is no money in them; it was fool's gold, all.

"There lived in a great German forest a poor woodman. He was a giant,
but he had a great heart and a willing arm, and he worked contentedly
for many years.

"One day he chanced to go with some foresters into the city. It was a
festival day. He heard the jingle of money, just like that" (striking
his clasped hands on his knee). "He saw what money would buy. He thought
it would buy happiness. He did not know that it was fool's gold, all.

"He went back to his little hut in the forest feeling very unhappy. His
wife kissed him on his return, and his children gathered around him to
hear him tell the adventures of the day, but his downcast spirit made
them all sad.

"'What has happened?' asked his wife. 'You always seemed happy until
to-night.'

"'And I was always happy until to-day. But I have seen the world to-day,
and now I want that which will buy everything.'

"'And what is that?' asked his wife.

"'Listen! It sounds like that,' and he struck his clasped hands on his
knee--chink, chink, chink. 'If I had that, I would bring to you and the
little ones the fine things I saw in the city, and you would be happy.
You are contented now because you do not know.'

"'But I would rather that you would bring to me a happy face and loving
heart,' said his wife. 'You know that the Book says that "a man's life
consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Love
makes happiness, and gold is in the heart.'

"The forester continued to be sad. He would sit outside of his door at
early evening and pound his hands upon his knees so--chink, chink,
chink--and think of the gay city. Then he would strike his hands on his
knees again. He did not know that it was fool's gold, all.

"He grew more and more discontented with his simple lot. One day he went
out into the forest alone to cut wood. When he had become tired he sat
down by a running stream to hear the birds sing and to strike his hands
on his knees.

"A shadow came gliding across the mosses of the stream. It was like the
form of a dark man. Slowly it came on, and as it did so the flowers on
the banks of the stream withered. The woodman looked up, and a black
giant stood before him.

"'You look unhappy to-day,' said the black giant. 'You did not use to
look that way. What is wanting?'

"The woodman looked down, clasped his hands, and struck them on his
knees--chink, chink, chink.

"'Ah, I see--money! The world all wants money. Selfishness could not
thrive without money. I will give you all the money that you want, on
one condition.'

"'Name it.'

"'That you will exchange your heart.'

"'What will you give me for my heart?'

"'Your heart is a human heart, a very simple human heart. I will put in
its place a heart of stone, and then all your wishes shall turn to gold.
Whatever you wish you shall have.'

"'Shall I be happy?'

"'Happy! Ha, ha, ha! are not people happy who have their wishes?'

"'Some are, and some are happy who give up their wishes and wills and
desires."

"The woodman leaned his face upon his hands for a while, seemed in
great doubt and distress. He thought of his wife, who used to say that
contentment was happiness, and that one could be rich by having a few
wants. Then he thought of the city. The vision rose before him like a
Vanity Fair. He clasped his hands again, and struck them on his
knees--chink, chink, chink--and said, 'I will do it.'

"Suddenly he felt a heart within him as cold as stone. He looked up to
the giant, and saw that he held his own good, true heart in his hands.

"'I will put it away in a glass jar in my house,' he said, 'where I keep
the hearts of the rich. Now, listen. You have only to strike your locked
hands on your knees three times--chink, chink, chink--whenever you want
for gold, and wish, and you will find your pockets full of money.'

"The woodman struck his palms on his knees and wished, then felt in his
pockets. Sure enough, his pockets were full of gold.

"He thought of his wife, but his thought was a cold one; he did not love
her any more. He thought of his little ones, but his thoughts were
frozen; he did not care to meet them any more. He thought of his
parents, but he only wished to meet them to excite their envy. The
stream no longer charmed him, nor the flowers, nor the birds, nor
anything.

"'I will dissemble,' he said. He hurried home. His wife met him at the
door. He kissed her. She started back, and said:

"'Your lips are cold as death! What has happened?'

"His children kissed him, but they said:

"'Father, your cheeks are cold.'

"He tried to pray at the meal, but his sense of God was gone; he did not
love God, or his wife, or his children, or anything any more--he had a
stone-cold heart.

"After the evening meal he told his wife the events of the day. She
listened with horror.

"'In parting with your heart you have parted with everything that makes
life worth having,' said she. But he answered:

"'I do not care. I do not care for anything but gold now. I have a
stone-cold heart.'

"'But will gold make you happy?' she asked.

"He started. He went forth to work the next day, but he was not happy.
So day by day passed. His gold did not make his family happy, or his
friends, or any one, but he would not have cared for all these, for he
had a stone-cold heart. Had it made him happy? He saw the world all
happy around him, and heavier and heavier grew his heart, and at last he
could endure it no longer.

"One day he was sitting in the same place in the woods as before, when
he saw the shadowy figure stealing along the mosses of the stream again.
He looked up and beheld the giant, and exclaimed:

"'Give me back my heart!'"

"Have you learned the lesson?"



CHAPTER XXII.

THE INDIAN PLOT.


One sultry August night a party of Sac and Fox Indians were encamped in
a grove of oaks opposite Rock Island, on the western side of the
Mississippi. Among them were Main-Pogue and Waubeno.

The encampment commanded a view of the burial hills and bluffs of the
abandoned Sac village.

As the shadow of night stole over the warm, glimmering twilight, and the
stars came out, the lights in the settlers' cabins began to shine; and
as the Indians saw them one by one, their old resentment against the
settlers rose and bitter words passed, and an old warrior stood up to
rehearse his memories of the injustice that his race had suffered in the
old treaties and the late war.

"Look," he said, "at the eyes of the cabins that gleam from yonder
shore. The waters roll dark under them, but the lights of the canoes no
more haunt the rapids, and the women and children may no more sit down
by the graves of the braves of old. Our lights have gone out; their
lights shine. Their lights shine on the bluffs, and they twinkle like
fireflies along the prairies, and climb the cliffs in what was once the
Red Man's Paradise. Like the fireflies to the night the white settlers
came.

"Rise up and look down into the water. There--where the stream runs
dark--they shot our starving women there, for crossing the river to
harvest their own corn.

"Look again--there where the first star shines. She, the wife of Wabono,
floated there dead, with the babe on her breast. Here is the son of
Wabono.

"Son of Wabono, you ride the pony like the winds. What are you going to
do to avenge your mother? You have nourished the babe; you are good and
brave; but the moons rise and fall, and the lights grow many on the
prairie, and the smoke-wreaths many along the shore. Speak, son of
Wabono."

A tall boy arose, dressed in yellow skins and painted and plumed.

"Father, it is long since the rain fell."

"Long."

"And the prairies are yellow."

"Yellow."

"And they are food for fire."

"Food for fire."

"I would touch them with fire--in the east, in the west, in the north,
and in the south. The lights will go out in the cabins, and the white
woman will wander homeless, and the white man will hunger for corn. They
shot our people for harvesting our corn. I would give their corn-fields
to the flames, and their families to the famine in the moons of
storms."

"Waubeno, you have heard Wabono. What would _you_ do?"

"I would punish those only who have done wrong. The white teacher taught
so, and the white teacher was right."

"Waubeno, you speak like a woman."

"Those people should not suffer for what others have done. You should
not be made to bear the punishments of others."

"Would you not fire the prairies?"

"No. I may have friends there. The Tunker may be there. He who spared
Main-Pogue may be there. Would I burn their cabins? No!"

"Waubeno, who was your father?"

"I am the son of Alknomook."

"He died."

"Yes, father."

"There was neither pity nor mercy in the white man's heart for him. You
made your vow to him. What was that vow, Waubeno?"

"To avenge his enemies--not our friends."

"Brothers, listen. The white men grow many, and we are few. In war we
are helpless--only one weapon remains to us now. It is the
thunderbolt--it is fire.

"Warriors, listen. The moon grows. Who of you will cross the river and
ride once more into the Red Man's Paradise, and give the prairies to the
flames? The torch is all that is left us now."

Every Indian raised his arm except Main-Pogue and Waubeno, and signified
his desire to unite in the plan for the desolation of the prairies.

"Main-Pogue, will you carry your torch in the night of fire?"

"I have been saved by the hand of a white man, and I will not turn my
hand against the white man. I could not do it if I were young. But I am
old--my people are gone. Leave me to fall like the leaf."

"Son of Alknomook, what will you do?"

"I will follow your counsel for my father's sake, but I will spare my
friends for the sake of the arm that was stretched out over the head of
Main-Pogue."

"Then you will go."

"I would that I were dead. I would that I could live as the white
teacher taught me--in peace with every one. I would that I had not this
blood of fire, and this memory of darkness, and this vow upon my head.
The white teacher taught me that all people were brothers. My brain
burns--"

Late in the evening Waubeno went to Main-Pogue and sat down by his side
under the trees. The river lay before them with its green islands and
rapid currents, serene and beautiful. The lights had gone out on the
other shore, and the world seemed strangely voiceless and still.

"How did _he_ look, Waubeno?"

"Who look?"

"That man who saved you--stretched his arm over you."

"His arm was long. His face was as sad as an Indian's; and he was tall.
He was a head taller than other men; he rose over them like an oak over
the trees. The men laughed at him; then his face looked as though it was
set against the people--he looked like a chief--and the men cowered,
and jeered, and cowered. I can see how he looked, but I can not tell
it--I can see it in my mind. I told him that I would tell Waubeno, and
he seemed to know your name. Did you never meet such a man?"

"Yes, in the Indiana country. He was journeyed from the Wabash."

The Indians, after the council we have described, began to cross the
Mississippi by night, and to make stealthy journeys into the Rock River
country, once known as the Red Man's Paradise. Rock River is a beautiful
stream of the prairies. It comes dashing out of a bed of rocks, and runs
a distance of some two hundred miles to the Mississippi. Here once
roamed the deer and came the wild cattle in herds. Here rose great
cliffs, like ruins of castles, which were then, as now, cities of the
swallows. Eagles built their nests upon them, and wheeled from over the
flowers of the prairies. The banks in summer were lined with wild
strawberries and wild sunflowers. Here and there were natural mounds and
park-like woods, and oaks whose arms were tangled with grapevines.

Into this country ran Black Hawk's trail, and not far from this trail
was Prairie Island, with its happy settlers and new school. The German
school-master might well love the place. Margaret Fuller (Countess
Ossoli) came to the region in 1843, and caught its atmosphere and
breathed it forth in her Summer in the Lakes. Here, in this territory of
the Red Man's Paradise, "to me enchanting beyond any I have ever seen,"
where "you have only to turn up the sod to find arrow-heads," she
visited the bluff of the Eagles' Nest on the morning of the Fourth of
July, and there wrote "Ganymede to his Eagle," one of her grandest
poems.

"How happy," says this gifted soul, "the Indians must have been here! I
do believe Rome and Florence are suburbs compared to this capital of
Nature's art."

Black Hawk's trail ran from this region of perfect beauty to the
Mississippi; and long after the Sacs and Foxes were compelled to live
beyond the Mississippi, the remnants of the tribes loved to return and
visit the scenes of the land of their fathers.

The Indians who had plotted the firing of the prairies made two stealthy
journeys along the Rock River and over the old trail under the August
moon. In one of these they rode round Prairie Island, and encamped one
night upon the bluff of the Eagles' Nest, under the moon and stars.
Waubeno went with them, and gazed with sad eyes upon the scenes that had
passed forever from the control of his people.

He saw the new cabins and corn-fields, the prairie wagons and the
emigrants. One evening he passed Prairie Island, and saw the lights
glimmering among the trees, and heard the singing of a hymn in the
school-house, where the people had met to worship. He wished that his
own people might be taught these better ways of living. He reined up his
pony and listened to the singing. He wished that he might join the
little company, though he did not know that Jasper was there.

He rode away amid the stacks and corn-fields. He saw that the fields
were dry as powder.

Out on the prairie he turned and looked back on the lights of the
settlement as they glimmered among the trees. Could he apply the torch
to the dry sea of grasses around the peaceful homes?

Once, revenge would have made it a delight to his eyes to see such a
settlement in flames. But Jasper's teaching had created a new view of
life and a new conscience. He felt what the Tunker taught was true, and
that the young soldier who had spared Main-Pogue had done a nobler deed
than any act of revenge. What was that young man's motive? He pondered
over these things, and gave his pony a loose rein, and rode on under the
cool cover of the night under the moon and stars.



CHAPTER XXIII.

FOR LINCOLN'S SAKE.


"The prairie is on fire!" So cried a horseman, as he rode by the school.

It was a calm, glimmering September day. Prairie Island rose with red
and yellow and crisping leaves, like a royal tent amid a dead sea of
flowers. The prairie grass was dry, though still mingled with a green
undergrowth. Prairie chickens were everywhere, quails, and plover.

At midday a billowy cloud of smoke began to wall the eastern horizon,
and it slowly rolled forward, driven by the current of the air.

"O-o-oh!" said one of the scholars! "Look! look! What the man said is
true--the prairie _is_ on fire!"

Jasper went to the door. The blue sky had turned to an ashy hue, and the
sun was a dull red. An unnatural wind had arisen like a draft of air.

"Teacher, can we go out and look?" asked several voices.

"Yes," said Jasper, "the school may take a recess."

The pupils went to the verge of the trees, and watched the billowy
columns of smoke in the distance.

The world seemed to change. The air filled with flocks of frightened
birds. The sky became veiled, and the sun was as red as blood.

Since the great snow of 1830 but few buffaloes had been seen on the
prairie. But a dark cloud of flesh came bounding over the prairie grass,
bellowing, with low heads and erect tails. The children thought that
they were cattle at first, but they were buffaloes. They rushed toward
the trees of Prairie Island, turned, and looked behind. Then the leader
pawed the earth, and the herd rushed on toward the north.

The fire spread in a semicircle, and seemed to create a wind which
impelled it on with resistless fury.

"O-o-oh, look! look!" exclaimed another scholar. "See the horses and the
cattle--droves of them! Look at the sky--see the birds!"

There were droves of cattle hurrying in every direction. The men in the
fields near Prairie Island came hurrying home.

"The prairie is on fire!" said each one, not knowing what else to say.

"Will it reach us?" asked Jasper of the harvesters.

"What is to hinder it? The wind is driving it this way. It has formed a
wall of fire that almost surrounds us."

"What can we do?" asked Jasper. The harvesters considered.

"We are safer here than elsewhere, let what will come," said one. "If
the fire sweeps the prairie, it would overtake us before we could get to
any great river, and the small creeks are dry."

The afternoon grew darker and darker. The sun went out; under the black
smoke rolled a red sea whose waves grew nearer and nearer. The children
began to cry and the women to pray. An old man came hobbling out to the
arch of the trees.

"I foretold it," said he. "The world is on fire. The Day of Judgment has
come! A time and times time, and a half."

He had been a Millerite.

"It will be here in an hour," said a harvester.

But there arose a counter-wind. The wall of fire seemed to be stayed.
The smoke columns rose to the heavens like Babel towers.

Afar, families were seen fleeing on horseback toward the bed of a creek
which they hoped to find flowing, but which had run dry.

"This is awful!" said Jasper. "It looks as though the heavens were in
flames."

He shaded his hands and looked into the open space.

"What is that?" he asked.

A black horse came running toward the island, bounding through the grass
as though impelled by spurs. As he leered, Jasper saw the form of a
human being stretched at his side. Was the form an Indian?

On came the horse. He leered again, exposing to view a yellow body and a
plumed head.

"It's an Indian," said Jasper.

The fire flattened and darkened for a time, and then rolled on again.
Animals were fleeing everywhere, plunging and bellowing, and the air was
wild and tempestuous with the cries of birds. The little animals could
be seen leaping out of the prairie grass. The earth, air, and sky
seemed alive with terror.

The black horse came plunging toward the island.

"How can a horse run that way and live?" asked Jasper. "He is bearing a
messenger. It is friendly or hostile Indian that is clinging to his
side."

Jasper bent his eyes on the plunging animal to see him leer, for
whenever the sidling motion was made it brought to view the tawny
horizontal form that seemed to be clinging to the bridle, as if riding
for life. Suddenly there arose a cry from the islanders:

"Look! look! Who has done it? There is a counter-fire ahead. _They_ will
all perish!"

A mile or more in front of the island, and in the opposite direction
from the other fire, another great billow of smoke arose spirally into
the air. The people and animals who had been fleeing toward the creek,
which they thought contained water, but which was dry, all turned and
came running toward the island grove. Even the birds came beating back.

"_That_ fire was set by the Indians," said the harvesters. "It is
started across the track of the other fire to destroy us all. An Indian
set the fires."

"That is an Indian skirting around us on the back of a horse," said
another. "He is holding on to the horse by the mane with his hands, and
by the flanks with his feet. The Indians have done this!"

"The other fire will run back, though against the wind. The prairie is
so dry that the fire will run everywhere. We must set a counter-fire."

"Set a counter-fire!" exclaimed many voices.

The purpose of the counter-fire was to destroy the dry grass, so that
when the other fires should reach the place it would find nothing to
burn.

"But the people!" said Jasper. "See them! They are hurrying here; a
counter-fire would drive them away!"

An awful scene followed. Horses, cattle, animals of many kinds came
panting to the island. Many of them had been fleeing for miles, and sank
down under the trees as if ready to perish. There was one enormous bison
among them. The tops of the trees were filled with birds, cawing and
uttering a chaos of cries. The air seemed to rain birds, and the earth
to pour forth animals. The sky above turned to inky blackness. Men,
women, and children came rushing into the trees from every direction,
some crying on Heaven for mercy, some begging for water, all of them
exhausted and seemingly ready to die. The island grove was like a great
funeral pyre.

Jasper lifted his hands and called the school and the people around him,
knelt down, and prayed for help amid the cries of distress that rose on
every hand. He then looked for the black horse and the plumed rider
again.

They were drawing near in the darkening air. The figure of the rider was
more distinct. The people saw it, and cried, "An Indian!" Some said, "It
is a scout!" and others, "It is he who set the fire!"

The wind rose and changed, caused by the heated air in the distance. The
currents ran hither and thither like drafts in a room of open doors. One
of these unnatural drafts caused a new terror to spread among the people
and animals and birds. It drew up into the air a great column of sparks
and, scattered them through the open space, and a rain of fire filled
the sky and descended upon the grove.

[Illustration: THE APPROACH OF THE MYSTERIOUS INDIAN.]

It was a splendid but terrible sight.

"The end of all things is at hand," said the old Millerite. "The stars
are beginning to fall."

But the rain of fire lost its force as it neared the earth, and it fell
in cinders and ashes.

"An Indian! an Indian!" cried many voices.

The black horse came plunging into near view, and rushed for the trees
and sank down with foaming sides and mouth. The people shouted. There
rolled from his side the lithe and supple form of a young Indian,
plumed, and dressed in yellow buckskin. What did it mean? The Indian lay
on the ground like one dead. The people gathered around him, and Jasper
came to him and bent over him, and parted the black hair from his face.
Suddenly Jasper started back and uttered a cry.

"What is it?" asked the people.

"It is my old Indian guide--it is Waubeno. Bring him water, and we will
revive him, and he will tell us what to do.--Waubeno! Waubeno!"

The Indian seemed to know that voice. He revived, and looked around him,
and stared at the people.

"Give him water," said Jasper.

A boy brought a cup of water and offered it to the Indian. The latter
started up, and cried:

"Away! I am here to die among you. My tongue burns, but I did not come
here to drink. I came here to die. The white man killed my father, and I
have come back with the avengers, and we have brought with us the
Judgment Day." He stood and listened to the cries of distress.

"Hear the trees cry for help--all the birds of the prairie--but they cry
for naught. My father hears them cry. The cry is sweet to his ears. He
is waiting for me. We are all about to die. When the wheat-fields blaze
and the stacks take fire, and the houses crackle, then we shall all die.
So says Waubeno." He listened again.

"Hear the earth cry--all the animals. My father hears--his soul hears.
This is the day that I have carried in my soul. My spirit is in the
fire."

He listened again. The prairie roared with the hot air, the flames, and
the clouds of smoke. There fell another rain of fire, and women shrieked
for mercy, and children cried on their mothers' breasts.

"Hear the people cry! I have waited for that cry for a hundred moons. I
have paid my vow. We have kindled the fire of the anger of the
heavens--it is coming. I will die with you like the son of a warrior.
The souls of the warriors are gathering to see me die. I am Waubeno."

The people pressed upon him, and glared at him.

"He set the fire!" they cried. "The Indian fiend!"

"I set the fire," he said; "I and Black Hawk's men. _They_ have escaped.
I have done my work, and I want to die."

Jasper lifted his hat, and with bared head stood forth in the view of
the Indian.

"Waubeno, do you want to see _me_ die?"

He started with a cry of pain. His eyes burned.

"My father--I did not know that you were here. Heaven pity Waubeno now!"

"Waubeno, this is cruel!"

"Cruel? This country was once called the Red Man's Paradise. Cruel? The
white man made the red man drunk with fire-water, and made him sign a
false treaty, and then drove him away. Cruel? Think of the women the
whites shot in the river for coming back to their own corn-fields
starving to gather their own corn. Cruel? Why is the Red Man's Paradise
no longer ours? Cruel? The Rock River flows for us no more; the spring
brings the flowers to these prairies for us no more; the bluff rises in
the summer sky, but the red man may no longer sit upon it. Cruel? Think
how your people murdered my father. Is it more cruel for the Indian to
do these things than for the white man to do them? You have emptied the
Red Man's Paradise, and Waubeno has fulfilled the vow that he made to
his father. The clouds are on fire. I would have saved you had I known,
but you must perish with your people. I shall die with you. I am
Waubeno. I am proud to be Waubeno. I am the avenger of my race.

"But, white brother, listen. I tried to prevent it. I remembered your
teaching, and I tried to prevent it by our council-fires over the
Mississippi. Main-Pogue tried to prevent it. I thought of the man who
saved him in the war, and I wondered who he was, and tried to prevent it
for _his_ sake.

"Then said they to me: 'We go to avenge the loss of our country, the Red
Man's Paradise. The grass is feathers. We go to burn. Waubeno, remember
your father's death. You are the son of Alknomook!'

"White brother, I have come. I tried to prevent it, but this hand has
obeyed the voice of my people. I have kindled the fires of the woe. The
world is on fire. I tried to prevent it, but it has come."

"Waubeno, do you remember _Lincoln_?"

"Lincoln? The Indians killed his father's father. I have often thought
of that. He said that he would do right by an Indian. I have thought of
that. I love that man. I would die for such a man."

"Waubeno, who saved the life of Main-Pogue?"

"I don't know, father. I would die for _that man_."

"Did Main-Pogue not tell you?"

"He told me 'twas a white captain saved him. Is the white captain here?"

"No. Waubeno, listen. That white captain was Lincoln."

"Lincoln? Whose father's father the red man killed? Was it he who saved
Main-Pogue? Lincoln? He forced his men to do right. He did himself
harm."

"Yes, he did himself harm to do right. Waubeno, do you remember your
promise that you made to me? You said that you would never avenge the
death of your father, if you could find one white man who would do
himself harm for the sake of an Indian."

Waubeno leaped upon his feet, and his black eye swept the clouds, and
the circle of fire, and the distressed people on every hand.

"Father, I can save you now. I know how. I will do it _for Lincoln's
sake_.

"Ho! ho!" he cried. "Kill me an ox, and Waubeno will save you. Kill me
six oxen, and Waubeno will save you. Give me raw hides, and do as I do,
and Waubeno will save you. Ho! ho! The gods have spoken to Waubeno. A
voice comes from the sky to Waubeno. It has spoken here. Ho! ho!"

He put his hand upon his heart, then rushed in among the oxen. A company
of men followed him.

He slew an ox with his knife, and quickly removed the hide. The people
looked upon him with horror; they thought him demented. What was he
doing? What was he going to do?

He tied the great hide to his horse's neck, so that the raw side of it
would drag flat upon the ground, and, turning to Jasper, he said:

"That will smother fire. Ho! ho! How?"

The fire was fast approaching some stacks of wheat on the edge of the
settlement. Waubeno saw the peril, and leaped upon his horse.

"Kill more cattle. Get more hides for Waubeno," he said.

He rode away toward the stacks, guiding the horse in such a way that the
raw hide swept the ground. The people watched him. He seemed to ride
into the fire.

"He is riding to death!" said the people. "He is mad!"

But as he rode the fire was stayed, and a rim of black smoke rose in its
stead. Near the stacks the fire stopped.

"He is the Evil One himself," said the old Millerite. "That Indian boy
is no human form."

Out of the black came the horse plunging, bearing the boy, who waved his
hands to the people. Then the horse plunged away, as though wild, toward
the outer edge of the great sea of fire.

The horse and rider rushed into the flames, and the same strange effects
followed. The running flame and white cloud changed into black smoke,
and the destruction was arrested.

The people watched the boy as he rode half hidden in rolling smoke, his
red plumes waving above the verge of the flaming sea. What a scene it
was as he rode there, round and round, like the enchanted form of a more
than human deliverer! But the effect of his movements at last ceased.

"He is coming back," said the people.

Out of the fire rushed the horse and rider toward the island grove
again.

"Give me new hides!" he cried, as, singed and blackened, he swept into
the trees. "The hide is dead and shriveled. Give me new hides. Ho! ho!"

New hides were provided by killing oxen. He tied two together like a
carpet, with the raw side upon the earth. He attached them by a long
rope to the horse's neck, and dashed forth again, crying:

"Do the same, and follow me."

The horse seemed maddened again. It flew toward the fire as if drawn by
a spell, and plunged into it like a bather into the sea. Waubeno tried
to deaden the fire in the whole circle. Round and round the island he
rode, in the tide of the advancing flames. The people understood his
method now, and the men secured new hides and attached them to horses,
and followed him. He led them, crying and waving his hands. Round and
round he led them, round and round, and where they rode the white smoke
changed into black smoke and the fire died.

The people secured raw hides by killing the poor cattle, and came out to
the verge of the fiery sea and checked the progress of the flames in
places. In the midst of the excitement a roll of thunder was heard in
the sky.

"'Tis the trumpet of doom," said the old Millerite.

The people heard it with terror, and yet with hope. It might be an
approaching shower. If it were, they were saved.

The fire in front of them was checked. Not the great sea, but the
current that was rolling toward the island grove. The fire at the north
was rushing forward, but it moved backward toward the place slowly. The
women began to soak blankets and clothing in water, and so prepared to
help the men fight the flames. An hour passed. In the midst of the
crisis the riding men, the hurrying women, the encircling fire, the
billows of smoke, a flame came zigzagging down from the sky. The people
stood still. Had the last day indeed come?

Then followed a crash of thunder that shook the earth. The people fell
upon their knees. The sky darkened, and great drops of rain began to
fall.

Waubeno had checked the current of the flame that would have destroyed
the settlement in an hour, and had taught the men how to arrest an
advancing tide of flame. The people began to have hope. All was now
activity on the part of the people. Smoke filled the sky.

"There is a cloud above the smoke," said many. "God will save us all."

Waubeno came flying back again to the grove.

"It thunders," he cried. "The Rain-god is coming. If I can keep back
the fire an hour, the Rain-god will come. Hides! hides! Quick, more
hides! Ho! ho!"

New hides were provided, and he swept forth again.

The island grove was now like a vast oven. The air was stifling. The
animals laid down and rolled their tongues from their mouths. But the
fire in front did not advance. It seemed deadened. The river of flame
forked and ran in other directions, but it was stayed in front of the
grove, houses, corn-fields, and stacks, and it was the hand that had set
flames that had broken its force in the road to the settlements.

There were sudden dashes of rain, and the smoke turned into blackness
everywhere. Another flash of lightning smote the gloom, followed by a
rattling of thunder that seemed as if the spirit of the storm was
driving his chariot through the air. Then it poured as though a lake was
coming down. In an hour the fire was dead. The cloud parted, the
slanting sun came out, revealing a prairie as black as ink.

The people fled to the shelter of the houses and sheds at the approach
of the rain. The animals crowded under the trees, and the birds hid in
the boughs. After the rain-burst the people gathered together again, and
each one asked:

"Where is the Indian boy?"

He was not among them.

Had he perished?

A red sunset flamed over the prairies and the birds filled the tree-tops
with the gladness of song. It seemed to all as if the earth and sky had
come back again.

In the glare of the sunset-fire a horse and rider were seen slowly
approaching the island grove.

"It is Waubeno," said one to the other. "The horse is disabled."

The people went out to meet the Indian boy. The horse was burned and
blind, and staggered as he came on. And the rider! He had drawn the
flames into his vitals; he had been internally burned, and was dying.

He reeled from his blind horse, and fell before the people. Jasper laid
his hand upon him.

"Father, I have drunk the cup of fire. I have kept my promise. I am
about to die. The birds are happy. They are singing the death-song of
Waubeno."

His flesh quivered as he lay there, and Jasper bent over him in pity.

"Waubeno, do you suffer?"

"The stars do not complain, white brother. The clouded sun does not
complain. The winds complain, and the waters, and women and children.
Waubeno does not complain."

A spasm shook his frame. It passed.

"White brother, go beyond the Mississippi and teach my people. You do
pity them. This was once their paradise. They loved it. They struggled.
Go to them with the Book of God."

"Waubeno, I will go."

"The sun sets over the Mississippi. 'Tis sunset there. You will go to
the land of the sunset?"

"Yes, Waubeno. I feel in my heart the call to go. I love and pity your
people."

"Pour water upon me; I am burning. I shall go when the moon comes up,
when the moon comes up into the shady sky. My father suffered, but he
did not complain. Waubeno does not complain. Don't pity me. Pity my poor
people. I love my people. Teach my people, and cover me forever with a
blanket of the earth."

He lay on the cool grass under the trees for several hours in terrible
agony, and the people watched by his side.

"When the moon rises," he said, "I shall go. I shall never see the Red
Man's Paradise again. Tell me when the moon rises. I am going to sleep
now."

The great moon rose at last, its disk hanging like a wheel of dead gold
on the verge of the horizon in the smoky air.

"Waubeno," said Jasper, "the moon is rising."

He opened his eyes, and said:

"We kindled the fire for our fathers' sake, and I smote it for him who
protected Main-Pogue. What was his name, father? Say it to me."

"Lincoln."

"Yes, Lincoln. He had come for revenge, but he did what was right. He
forgave. I forgive everybody. I drank the fire for Lincoln's sake."

The moon burned along the sky; the stars came out; and at midnight all
was still. Waubeno lay dead under the trees, and the people with timid
steps vanished hither and thither into the cabins and sheds.

They killed the poor blind horse in the morning, and laid Waubeno to
rest in a blanket, in a grave under the trees.

[Illustration: LINCOLN FAMILY RECORD,

Written by Abraham Lincoln in his Father's Bible.

_From original in possession of C. F. Gunther, Esq., Chicago._]



CHAPTER XXIV.

"OUR LINCOLN IS THE MAN."


Fifteen years have passed since the events described in the last
chapter. It is the year 1860. A great political crisis is upon the
country, and Abraham Lincoln has been selected to lead one great party
of the people, because he had faith in the principle that right is
might. The time came, as the Tunker had prophesied, when the people
wanted a man of integrity for their leader--a man who had a heart that
could be trusted. They elected him to the Legislature when he was almost
a boy and had not decent clothes to wear. The young legislator walked
over the prairies of Illinois to the Capitol to save the traveling fare.
As a legislator he had faith that right is might, and was true to his
convictions.

"He has a heart that we can trust," said the people, and they sent him
to Congress. He was true in Washington, as in Illinois.

"He has a heart we can trust," said the people; "let us send him to the
Senate."

He failed of an election, but it was because his convictions of right
were in advance of the public mind at the time; but he who is defeated
for a principle, triumphs. The greatest victors are those who are
vanquished in the cause of truth, justice, and right; for the cause
lives, and they live in the cause that must prevail.

Again the people wanted a leader--all the people who represented a great
cause--and Illinois said to the people:

"Make our Lincoln your leader; he has a heart that we can trust," and
Lincoln was made the heart of the people in the great cause of human
rights. Lincoln, who had defended the little animals of the woods.
Lincoln, who had been true to his pioneer father, when the experience
had cost him years of toilsome life. Lincoln, who had pitied the slave
in the New Orleans market, and whose soul had cried to Heaven for the
scales of Justice. Lincoln, who had protected the old Indian amid the
gibes of his comrades. Lincoln, who had studied by pine-knots, made
poetry on old shovels, and read law on lonely roads. Lincoln, who had
had a kindly word and pleasant story for everybody, pitied everybody,
loved everybody, and forgave everybody, and yet carried a sad heart.
Lincoln, who had resolved that in law and politics he would do just
right.

John Hanks had brought some of the rails that the candidate for the
presidency had split into the Convention of Illinois, and the rails that
represented the hardships of pioneer life became the oriflamme of the
leader from the prairies. He who is true to a nation is first true to
his parents and home.

That was an ever-to-be-remembered day when, in August, 1860, the people
of the great West with one accord arranged to visit Abraham Lincoln, the
candidate for the presidency, at Springfield, Illinois. Seventy
thousand strangers poured into the prairie city. They came from Indiana,
Iowa, and the lakes. Thousands came from Chicago. Men came in wagons,
bringing their wives and children. They brought tents, camp-kettles, and
coffee-pots. Says a graphic writer who saw the scene:

"Every road leading to the city is crowded for twenty miles with
vehicles. The weather is fine, and a little overwarm. Girls can dress in
white, and bare their arms and necks without danger; the women can bring
their children. Everything that was ever done at any other mass-meeting
is done here. Locomotive-builders are making a boiler; blacksmiths are
heating and hammering their irons; the iron-founders are molding their
patterns; the rail-splitters are showing the people how Uncle Abe used
to split rails; every other town has its wagon-load of thirty-one girls
in white to represent the States; bands of music, numerous almost as
those of McClellan on Arlington Heights in 1862, are playing; old men of
the War of 1812, with their old wives, their children, grandchildren,
and great-grandchildren, are here: making a procession of human beings,
horses, and carriages not less than ten miles in length. And yet the
procession might have left the town and the people would scarcely be
missed.

"There is an immense wigwam, with galleries like a theatre; but there
are people enough not in the procession to fill a dozen like it. Half an
hour is long enough to witness the moving panorama of men and women,
horses, carriages, representatives of trades, mottoes, and burlesques,
and listen to the bands."

And among those who came to see the great procession, the
rail-splitters, and the sights, were the Tunker from the Indian schools
over the Mississippi, and Aunt Indiana from Indiana.

There was a visitor from the East who became the hero of the great day.
He is living now (1891) in Chelsea, Mass., near the Soldiers' Home, to
which he often goes to sing, and is known there as "Father Locke." He
was a natural minstrel, and songs of his, like "Down by the Sea," have
been sung all over the world. One of his songs has moved thousands of
hearts in sorrow, and pictures his own truly loving and beautiful soul:

    "There's a fresh little mound near the willow,
      Where at evening I wander and weep;
    There's a dear vacant spot on my pillow,
      Where a sweet little face used to sleep.
    There were pretty blue eyes, but they slumber
      In silence, beneath the dark mold,
    And the little pet lamb of our number
      Has gone to the heavenly fold."

This man, with the approval of President Lincoln, went as a minstrel to
the Army of the Potomac. We think that he was the only minstrel who
followed our army, like the war-singers of old. In a book published for
private use, entitled Three Years in Camp and Hospital, "Father Locke"
thus tells the story of his interview with President Lincoln at the
White House:

"Giving his hand, and saying he recollected me, he asked what he could
do for me.

"'I want no office, Mr. President. I came to ask for one, but have
changed my mind since coming into this house. When it comes to turning
beggar, I shall shun the places where all the other beggars go. I am
going to the army to sing for the soldiers, as the poets and balladists
of old sang in war. Our soldiers must take as much interest in songs and
singing as did those of ancient times. I only wished to shake hands with
you, and obtain a letter of recommendation to the commanding officers,
that they may receive and treat me kindly.'

"'I will give you a letter with pleasure, but you do not need one; your
singing will make you all right.'

"On my rising to leave, he gave his hand, saying: 'God bless you; I am
glad you do not want an office. Go to the army, and cheer the men around
their camp-fires with your songs, remembering that a great man said,
"Let me but make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its
laws."'"

The President then told him how to secure a pass into the lines of the
army, and the man went forth to write and to sing his inspirations, like
a balladist of old.

His songs were the delight of many camps of the Army of the Potomac in
the first dark year of the war. They were sung in the camp, and they
belonged to the inside army life, but were little known outside of the
army. They are still fondly remembered by the veterans, and are sung at
reunions and camp-fires.

We give one of these songs and its original music here. It has the
spirit of the time and the events, and every note is a pulse-beat:


_We are Marching on to Richmond._

WORDS AND MUSIC BY E. W. LOCKE.

Published by the permission of the Composer.

    1. Our knapsacks sling and blithely sing, We're marching on to
    2. Our foes are near, their drums we hear, They're camped a-bout in

    Rich-mond; With weap-ons bright, and hearts so light, We're
    Rich-mond; With pick-ets out, to tell the route Our

    march-ing on to Rich-mond; Each wea-ry mile with
    Ar-my takes to Rich-mond; We've craft-y foes to

    song be-guile, We're marching on to Richmond; The roads are
    meet our blows, No doubt they'll fight for Richmond; The brave may

    rough, but smooth e-nough To take us safe to Richmond.
    die, but nev-er fly, We'll cut our way to Richmond.

    CHORUS.

    Then tramp a-way while the bu-gles play, We're
    march-ing on to Rich-mond; Our flag shall gleam in the
    morn-ing beam, From man-y a spire in Rich-mond.

    3.

    "But yesterday, in murderous fray,
      While marching on to Richmond,
    We parted here from comrades dear,
      While marching on to Richmond;
    With manly sighs and tearful eyes,
      While marching on to Richmond,
    We laid the braves in peaceful graves,
      And started on to Richmond.

    4.

    "Our friends away are sad to-day,
      Because we march to Richmond;
    With loving fear they shrink to hear
      About our march to Richmond;
    The pen shall tell that they who fell
      While marching on to Richmond,
    Had hearts aglow and face to foe,
      And died in sight of Richmond.

    5.

    "Our thoughts shall roam to scenes of home,
      While marching on to Richmond;
    The vacant chair that's waiting there,
      While we march on to Richmond;
    'Twill not be long till shout and song
      We'll raise aloud in Richmond,
    And war's rude blast will soon be past,
      And we'll go home from Richmond."

This song-writer had brought a song to the great Springfield assembly.
He sang it when the people were in a receptive mood. It voiced their
hearts, and its influence was electric. As he rose before the assembly
on that August day under the prairie sun, and sang: "Hark! hark! a
signal-gun is heard," a stillness came over the great sea of the people.
The figures of the first verse filled the imagination, but the chorus
was like a bugle-call:

    "THE SHIP OF STATE.

    "(Sung at the Springfield Convention.)

    "Hark! hark! a signal-gun is heard,
      Just out beyond the fort;
    The good old Ship of State, my boys,
      Is coming into port.
    With shattered sails, and anchors gone,
      I fear the rogues will strand her;
    She carries now a sorry crew,
      And needs a new commander.

        "Our Lincoln is the man!
        Our Lincoln is the man!
          With a sturdy mate
        From the Pine-Tree State,
        Our Lincoln is the man!

    "Four years ago she put to sea,
      With prospects brightly beaming;
    Her hull was strong, her sails new-bent,
      And every pennant streaming;
    She loved the gale, she plowed the waves,
      Nor feared the deep's commotion;
    Majestic, nobly on she sailed,
      Proud mistress of the ocean.

    "There's mutiny aboard the ship;
      There's feud no force can smother;
    Their blood is up to fever-heat;
      They're cutting down each other.
    Buchanan here, and Douglas there,
      Are belching forth their thunder,
    While cunning rogues are sly at work
      In pocketing the plunder.

    "Our ship is badly out of trim;
      'Tis time to calk and grave her;
    She's foul with stench of human gore;
      They've turned her to a slaver.
    She's cruised about from coast to coast,
      The flying bondman hunting,
    Until she's strained from stem to stern,
      And lost her sails and bunting.

        "Old Abram is the man!
        Old Abram is the man!
          And he'll trim her sails,
          As he split the rails.
        Old Abram is the man!

    "We'll give her what repairs she needs--
      A thorough overhauling;
    Her sordid crew shall be dismissed,
      To seek some honest calling.
    Brave Lincoln soon shall take the helm,
      On truth and right relying;
    In calm or storm, in peace or war,
      He'll keep her colors flying.

        "Old Abram is the man!
        Old Abram is the man!
          With a sturdy mate
          From the Pine-Tree State,
        Old Abram is the man!"

These words seem commonplace to-day, but they were trumpet-notes then.
"Our Lincoln is the man!" trembled on every tongue, and a tumultuous
applause arose that shook the air. The enthusiasm grew; the minstrel had
voiced the people, and they would not let him stop singing. They finally
mounted him on their shoulders and carried him about in triumph, like a
victor bard of old. Ever rang the chorus from the lips of the people,
"Our Lincoln is the man!" "Old Abram is the man!"

Lincoln heard the song. He loved songs. One of his favorite songs was
"Twenty Years ago." But this was the first time, probably, that he had
heard himself sung. He was living at that time in the plain house in
Springfield that has been made familiar by pictures. The song delighted
him, but he, of all the thousands, was forbidden by his position to
express his pleasure in the song. He would have liked to join with the
multitudes in singing "Our Lincoln is the man!" had not the situation
sealed his lips. But after the scene was over, and the great mass of
people began to melt away, he sought the minstrel, and said:

"Come to my room, and sing to me the song privately. _I_ want to hear
you sing it."

So he listened to it in private, while it was being borne over the
prairies on tens of thousands of lips. Did he then dream that the
nations would one day sing the song of his achievements, that his death
would be tolled by the bells of all lands, and his dirge fill the
churches of Christendom with tears? It may have been that his destiny in
dim outline rose before him, for the events of his life were hurrying.

Aunt Indiana was there, and she found the Tunker.

"The land o' sakes and daisies!" she said. "That we should both be here!
Well, elder, I give it up! I was agin Lincoln until I heard all the
people a-singin' that song; then it came over me that I was doin' just
what I hadn't ought to, and I began to sing 'Old Lincoln is the man!'
just as though it had been a Methody hymn written by Wesley himself."

"I am glad that you have changed your mind, and that I have lived to see
my prophecy, that Lincoln would become the heart of the people,
fulfilled."

"Elder, I tell you what let's we do."

"What, my good woman?"

"Let's we each get a rail, and go down before Abe's winder, and I'll
sing as loud as anybody:

    "'Old Abram is the man!
    Old Abram is the man!
      And he'll trim her sails
      As he split the rails.
    Old Abram is the man!'

I'll do it, if you will. I've been all wrong from the first. Why, even
the Grigsbys are goin' to vote for him, and I'm goin' to do the right
thing myself. Abe always had a human heart, and it is that which is the
most human that leads off in this world."

Aunt Indiana found a rail. The streets of Springfield were full of rails
that the people had brought in honor of Lincoln's hard work on his
father's barn in early Illinois. She also found a flag. Flags were as
many as rails on this remarkable occasion. She set the flag into the top
of the rail, and started for the street that led past Lincoln's door.

"Come on, elder; we'll be a procession all by ourselves."

The two arrived at the house where Lincoln lived, the Tunker in his
buttonless gown, and Aunt Indiana with her corn-bonnet, printed shawl,
rail, and flag. The procession of two came to a halt before the open
window, and presently, framed in the open window, like a picture, the
face of Abraham Lincoln appeared. That face lighted up as it fell upon
Aunt Indiana.

She made a low courtesy, and lifted the rail and the flag, and broke
forth in a tone that would have led a camp-meeting:

    "'Our Abram is the man!
    Our Abram is the man!
      With a sturdy mate
      From the Pine-Tree State,
    Our Abram is the man!'

"Elder, you sing, and we'll go over it again."

Aunt Indiana waved the flag and sang the refrain again, and said:

"Abe Lincoln, I'm goin' to vote for ye, though I never thought I should.
But you shall have my vote with all the rest.--Lawdy sakes and daisies,
elder--I forgot; I can't vote, can I? I'm just a woman. I've got all
mixed up and carried away, but

    "'Our Abram is the man!'"

[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

_From a photograph by Alexander Hesler, Chicago, 1858._]

Six years have passed. The gardens of Washington are bursting into
bloom. The sky is purple under a clear sun. It is Wednesday morning, the
19th of April, 1865.

All the bells are tolling, and the whole city is robed in black. At
eleven o'clock some sixty clergymen enter the White House, followed by
the governors of the States. At noon comes the long procession of
Government officers, followed by the diplomatic corps.

In the sable rooms rises a dark catafalque, and in it lies a waxen face.

Toll!--the bells of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria! Minute-guns
boom. Around that dead face the representatives of the nation, and of
all nations, pass, and tears fall like rain.

A funeral car of flowers moves through the streets. Abraham Lincoln has
done his work. He is on his journey back to the scenes of his childhood!
The boy who defended the turtles, the man who stretched out his arm over
the defenseless Indian in the Black Hawk War, and who freed the slave;
the man of whom no one ever asked pity in vain--he is going back to the
prairies, to sleep his eternal sleep among the violets.

Toll! The bells of all the cities and towns of the loyal nation are
tolling. In every principal church in all the land people have met to
weep and to pray. Half-mast flags everywhere meet the breeze.

They laid the body beneath the rotunda of the Capitol, amid the April
flowers and broken magnolias.

Then homeward--through Baltimore, robed in black; through Philadelphia,
through New York, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Chicago. The car rolls
on, over flowers and under black flags, amid the tolling of the bells of
cities and the bells of the simple country church-towers. All labor
ceases. The whole people stop to wonder and to weep.

The dirges cease. The muffled drums are still. The broken earth of the
prairies is wrapped around the dead commoner, the fallen apostle of
humanity, the universal brother of all who toil and struggle.

The courts of Europe join in the lamentation. Never yet was a man wept
like this man.

His monument ennobles the world. He stands in eternal bronze in a
hundred cities. And why? Because he had a heart to feel; because to him
all men had been brothers of equal blood and birthright; and because he
had had faith that "RIGHT MAKES MIGHT."



CHAPTER XXV.

AT THE LAST.


From the magnolias to the Northern orchards, from the apple-blooms to
the prairie violets! The casket was laid in the tomb. Twilight came; the
multitudes had gone. It was ended now, and night was falling.

Two forms stood beside the closed door of the tomb; one was an old,
gray-haired woman, the other was a patriarchal-looking man.

The woman's gray hairs blew about her white face like silver threads,
and she pushed it back with her withered hand.

"Sister Olive," said the old man, "_he_ loved others better than
himself; and it is not this tomb, but the great heart of the world, that
has taken him in. I felt that he was called. I felt it years ago."

"Heaven forgive a poor old woman, elder! I misjudged that man. See
here."

She held up a bunch of half-withered prairie violets that she had
carried about with her all the day, and then went and laid them on the
tomb.

"For Lincoln's sake! for Lincoln's sake!" she said, crying like a child.

The two went away in the shadows, talking of all the past, and each has
long slept under the violets of the prairies.


THE END.



D. APPLETON AND COMPANY'S PUBLICATIONS.


BOOKS BY WILLIAM O. STODDARD.

UNIFORM EDITION. EACH, 12MO, CLOTH, $1.50.


_THE RED PATRIOT._ A Story of the American Revolution. Illustrated by B.
West Clinedinst.

     In this vivid account of a boy's part in great historical
     events there is a leading actor, "the last of the
     Susquehannocks," whose share in the hero's adventures has given
     the title to the book.

_THE WINDFALL_; _or, After the Flood_. Illustrated by B. West
Clinedinst.

     "Full of adventure and incident so well conceived and described
     as to keep the reader in a continued state of absorbed
     attention. It is the kind of book one wants to sit up nights to
     finish."--_Springfield Union_.

_CHRIS, THE MODEL-MAKER._ A Story of New York. With 6 full-page
Illustrations by B. West Clinedinst.

     "The girls as well as the boys will be certain to relish every
     line of it. It is full of lively and likely adventure, is
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_ON THE OLD FRONTIER._ With 10 full-page Illustrations.

     "A capital story of life in the middle of the last century....
     The characters introduced really live and talk, and the story
     recommends itself not only to boys and girls, but to their
     parents."--_New York Times_.

_THE BATTLE OF NEW YORK._ With 11 full-page Illustrations and colored
Frontispiece.

     "Young people who are interested in the ever-thrilling story of
     the great rebellion will find in this romance a wonderfully
     graphic picture of New York in war time."--_Boston Traveler_.

_LITTLE SMOKE._ A Story of the Sioux Indians. With 12 full-page
Illustrations by F. S. Dellenbaugh, portraits of Sitting Bull, Red
Cloud, and other chiefs, and 72 head and tail pieces representing the
various implements and surroundings of Indian life.

     "It is not only a story of adventure, but the volume abounds in
     information concerning this most powerful of remaining Indian
     tribes. The work of the author has been well supplemented by
     the artist."--_Boston Traveler_.
_ CROWDED OUT O' CROFIELD._ The story of a country boy who fought
his way to success in the great metropolis. With 23 Illustrations by
C. T. Hill.

     "This excellent story teaches boys to be men, not prigs or
     Indian hunters. If our boys would read more such books, and
     less of the blood-and-thunder order, it would be rare good
     fortune."--_Detroit Free Press_.


GOOD BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS.

_THE EXPLOITS OF MYLES STANDISH._ By HENRY JOHNSON (Muirhead Robertson),
author of "From Scrooby to Plymouth Rock," etc. Illustrated. 12mo.
Cloth, $1.50.

     This story of the exploits of Myles Standish throws a clearer
     light upon a heroic figure in our earliest history, and it has
     an epic quality which will appeal to old and young. While the
     facts of history are presented, the author has adroitly
     reconstructed the little-known earlier years of Standish's
     life, basing his imaginative work upon the probabilities of
     history. The result is for the most part history told in the
     form of a thrilling and absorbing story, a tale which includes
     war and adventures, and also illustrates the sterling and
     heroic qualities which contributed so powerfully to the
     preservation of the Plymouth colony. The book is one to be read
     by every young American.

_CHRISTINE'S CAREER._ A Story for Girls. By PAULINE KING. Illustrated.
12mo. Cloth, specially bound, $1.50.

     The story is fresh and modern, relieved by incidents and
     constant humor, and the lessons which are suggested are most
     beneficial.

_JOHN BOYD'S ADVENTURES._ By THOMAS W. KNOX, author of "The Boy
Travelers," etc. With 12 full-page Illustrations. 12mo. Cloth, $1.50.

_ALONG THE FLORIDA REEF._ By CHARLES F. HOLDER, joint author of
"Elements of Zoölogy." With numerous Illustrations. 12mo. Cloth, $1.50.

_ENGLISHMAN'S HAVEN._ By W. J. GORDON, author of "The Captain-General,"
etc. With 8 full-page Illustrations. 12mo. Cloth, $1.50.

_WE ALL._ A Story of Outdoor Life and Adventure in Arkansas. By OCTAVE
THANET. With 12 full-page Illustrations by E. J. Austen and Others.
12mo. Cloth, $1.50.

_KING TOM AND THE RUNAWAYS._ By LOUIS PENDLETON. The experiences of two
boys in the forests of Georgia. With 6 Illustrations by E. W. Kemble.
12mo. Cloth, $1.50.

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, NEW YORK.


Books by Hezekiah Butterworth.

UNIFORM EDITION. Each, 12mo, cloth, $1.50.

True to his Home. _A Tale of the Boyhood of Franklin._

Illustrated by H. WINTHROP PEIRCE.

    "Mr. Butterworth's charming and suggestive story presents the
    most interesting and picturesque episodes in the home life of
    Franklin, as well as a narrative of the salient phases of his
    public life. The author has succeeded most happily in carrying
    out his plan of "story-telling education" based on Froebel's
    principle that "life must be taught from life.""

The Wampum; or, The Fairest Page of History. _A Tale of William Penn's
Treaty with the Indians._ Illustrated by H. WINTHROP PEIRCE.

    "Historic truth is the foundation of all the incidents in this
    finely written, instructive, and wholly charming book. The
    personality and character of William Penn are most admirably
    treated, and his figure looms up to its noble proportions in the
    historic perspective."--_Philadelphia Press._

The Knight of Liberty. _A Tale of the Fortunes of Lafayette._ With 6
full-page Illustrations.

    "No better reading for the young man can be imagined than this
    fascinating narrative of a noble figure on the canvas of
    time."--_Boston Traveler._

The Patriot Schoolmaster; _or, The Adventures of the Two Boston Cannon,
the "Adams" and the "Hancock_." A Tale of the Minutemen and the Sons of
Liberty. With Illustrations by H. WINTHROP PEIRCE.

    The true spirit of the leaders in our War for Independence is
    pictured in this dramatic story. It includes the Boston Tea
    Party and Bunker Hill; and Adams, Hancock, Revere, and the boys
    who bearded General Gage, are living characters in this romance
    of American patriotism.

The Boys of Greenway Court. _A story of the Early Years of Washington._
With 10 full-page Illustrations by H. WINTHROP PEIRCE.

    "Skillfully combining fact and fiction, he has given us a story
    historically instructive and at the same time
    entertaining."--_Boston Transcript._

In the Boyhood of Lincoln. _A Story of the Black Hawk War and the Tunker
Schoolmaster._ With 12 full-page Illustrations and colored Frontispiece.

    "The author presents facts in a most attractive framework of
    fiction, and imbues the whole with his peculiar humor. The
    illustrations are numerous and of more than usual
    excellence."--_New Haven Palladium._

The Log School-House on the Columbia. With 13 full-page Illustrations by
J. CARTER BEARD, E. J. AUSTEN, and Others.

    "This book will charm all who turn its pages. There are few
    books of popular information concerning the pioneers of the
    great Northwest, and this one is worthy of sincere
    praise."--_Seattle Post-Intelligencer._

New York: D. APPLETON & COMPANY, 72 Fifth Avenue.





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