Ten Minutes Later The Steamer Is Under Way Again, With No Flag On
The Jack-Staff And No Black Smoke Issuing From The Chimneys.
more minutes the town is dead again, and the town drunkard asleep by the
skids once more.
My father was a justice of the peace, and I supposed he possessed the
power of life and death over all men and could hang anybody that
offended him. This was distinction enough for me as a general thing;
but the desire to be a steamboatman kept intruding, nevertheless. I
first wanted to be a cabin-boy, so that I could come out with a white
apron on and shake a tablecloth over the side, where all my old comrades
could see me; later I thought I would rather be the deckhand who stood
on the end of the stage-plank with the coil of rope in his hand, because
he was particularly conspicuous. But these were only day-dreams, - they
were too heavenly to be contemplated as real possibilities. By and by
one of our boys went away. He was not heard of for a long time. At last
he turned up as apprentice engineer or 'striker' on a steamboat. This
thing shook the bottom out of all my Sunday-school teachings. That boy
had been notoriously worldly, and I just the reverse; yet he was exalted
to this eminence, and I left in obscurity and misery. There was nothing
generous about this fellow in his greatness.
Enter page number
Page 40 of 539
Words from 11164 to 11414