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ways wanting to be a shining light to their fellow-citizens. There's a deal of pride, a deal of arrogance and presumption in it. If a man wishes to pray, let him do so, and I do it myself; but people don't want to be reminded of those things. I tell you I have always found pride behind that sort of piety. The Yankees think we are heathens, and that they are the elect who are to enlighten us. Pshaw I I hate such humbug."
"Not so badly reasoned," observed Richards.
"However," continued Doughby, "I soon saw that, with one thing or another, I was getting out of the old gentleman's good books. He became more and more stiff and silent. That wouldn't have annoyed me much; but one morning the captain came to me and said, in a sort of apologising manner, that the ladies had desired him to beg me not to pay so many visits to their cabin, particularly of a morning, when some of them had not quite finished their toilet, but that I should always ask leave first and have myself announced, as it is set down in the regulations."
"' What!' says I, 'have myself announced when I go to see my own wife, that is to be? What do the other ladies matter to me, whether they've got on silk gowns or cotton ones? I only go to see Miss Lambton.'
"'Miss Lambton was present,' said the captain, 'when the ladies gave me the commission; and she and Mr Lambton most particularly requested me to have the regulations enforced.'
"'Miss Lambton!' said I; 'that's a lie now, captain. She never could have done that.'
"' Mister Doughby,' said he, 'it is no lie; and if another than yourself had said such a thing, I would have struck him down like a mad dog. And I must beg of you to retract your words, and ascertain to your own satisfaction that what I have said is a fact.'
"So Iran off and asked Miss Lambton and Mr Lambton, and they answered me as dry as fagots, and said the captain had spoken the truth. I was a'most raving mad when I heard this, as savage as a panther; and, to
console myself, I drank perhaps a trifle more than I should have done. But what else can one do on a voyage up the Mississippi? Much as I like him, old father Mississip, one gets awful sick of him after a time, steaming along for days and weeks together, nothing to be heard but clap-clapclap, trap-trap-trap, or to be seen but the dull mnddy waters and the never-ending forest. Day and night, wood and water, water and wood. It is wearisome work at the best.
"It was exactly two o'clock in the afternoon on the seventh day of our voyage when we got beyond Wolf's Island, which, as you know, lies above New Madrid and below the mouth of the Ohio. The poor Helen M'Gregor burst her boiler since then, as yon'll have heard, at that very place, and sent half a hundred passengers into the other world. Past Wolfs Island, we came up with the Ploughboy, the Huntress, the Louisville, and a couple more steamers, all going our way. It made quite a little fleet. I was sitting in the cabin with Miss Lambton and the old gentleman, who were cool and silent enough, when somebody called out, 'Here comes the George Washington.' A glorious steamer it is that George, more like a floating palace thau a boat, as it goes skimming along as lightly and smoothly as a swan. It's a real pleasure to see it. I kept my place by Miss Lambton; but, to tell you the truth, I was sitting upon hot coals. What can be the reason that we men feel so deucedly cowed and quailed by the pett'coats? Hang me if I know. Snddenly there was a cry upon deck, 'The Washington is passing us.' I could stand it no longer, but bolted up-stairs, and sure enough there it came in all its pride and power, trarara, trarara, rushing and dashing and spitting fire like Emperor Nap. at the head of his guards and dragoons and artillery. It was already in the midst of the other five Steamers, passing them all: The whole of our passengers were on deck looking on, and I can tell you that our hearts beat quick as we saw the George walking up to ns. The dinner-bell rang. Not a foot moved to go below. 'Captain,' cried I, 'we must not let the George pass us; you can't think of allowing such a thing?' says I; 'most show them that we are Mississippi men.'
"' Mister Doughby,' says he, 'it's the George Washington,' says he— 'hundred and twenty horse power,' says he.
"' Devil a hundred,' said I. 'You only say so because you are afraid to race him. And if he had two hundred horse power, what then? Shorten your stirrups and give your horse the spur,' say I.
"I saw that the captain's blood was getting up; his eyes were fixed on the old George as if he would have eaten it, and he became red and blue and green, all manner of colours, like a dolphin; his teeth chattered, and he bit his lips till the blood ran over his chin. On came the Washington quicker than ever, the paddles clattering, the steam hissing, the crew hurraing like mad.
"' Captain,' cried I, 'the Washington's passing you; it's all up with the honour of the Helen M'Gregor.'
"The captain stood there as if his face had been rubbed over with chalk, and the drops of sweat ran down his forehead. The five steamers that we had passed were now hurraing with delight to see that we should be humbled in our turn. 'Captain,' said I, 'will you let yourself be beaten out of the field without firing a shot? The Helen M'Gregor is a new ship— Crack on, man!'
"He could stand it no longer, but ran forward and screamed out to the Etokers. 'More wood!' cried he, 'High pressure, high pressure!'
"' Blaze away, boys!' cried I, 'Blaze away, and hurra for the Helen M'Gregor!'
"And the fellows pitched whole cartloads of wood upon the fire, and stirred and poked away till they were wet through with perspiration, and our chimney began to whistle and sing, that it was a pleasure to hear it. We were just entering the Ohio, the Washington close upon our heels, when old Lambton and Emily came running upon deck in an almighty fright.
'"Mr Doughby, for heaven's sake! MrDoughby—captain, forGod's sake! Will you destroy yourself, and tho steamer, and your fellow-citizens? Will you race with the George Washington?'
"' For God's sake, Mr Doughby!' cried the Miss.
"' Mr Doughby!' squealed the old Yankee, who had quite forgotten his stillness, 'I demand and insist that you use your influence to pVevent the captain from racing.'
"' Pshaw!' said I,' it's nothjng of the sort—ain't going to race—only want to see which ship goes quickest.'
"'That must not be. I protest against it—the safety of our fellowcitizens—our own. If the boiler bursts'
"'Nonsense!' said I—' safety of our fellow-citizens! Our fellow-citizens are in safety. We don't mean to race, Mister Lambton,' says I; 'wo areonly trying for a minute which ship can go the fastest.'
"'Mr Doughby !' cried Emily, half beside herself—throwing her arms round me, and trying to drag me towards the engine—' Mr Doughby, if you have the smallest affection—regard I would say—for me, exert your influence, stop this horrid racing!'
"And then she left me and ran to the captain, who was standing beside the engineer.
"The Washington was close behind us—we, as I said before, were running slap into the mouth of the Ohio. There's no finer piece of water in the whole world for a race. The current of the Mississippi drives back that of the Ohio as far as Trinity, so that, upon entering the river, the stream is in your favour. The two rivers are together four or five miles wide, and form a sort of circus, enclosed by the shores of Illinois, of Old Kentuck, and her daughter Missouri.* We were nearest to the Illinois side, which gave us a small advantage over our opponent, who was more on the Kentucky side, and kept comingon faster and faster, with the other five boats, who had also clapped more steam on, a short distance behind him. OurHelenM'Gregor still kept the lead; who the devil could have helped racing? No one, of a certainty, except snch a mackerelblooded Yankee as old Lambton. All was heat and steam, rattle and clatter; the engines thumping, the water splashing, the fire blazing and roaring out of the chimneys, which sent out clonds of smoke and showers of sparks. The enemy was close upon us, Father George's honest face almost in a line with our stern.
* The state of Missouri was almost entirely peopled by emigration from Kentucky .
"' Helen M'Gregor, hold your own!' cried I. 'Don't spare the wood, boys, lay it on thick, pilo it up mounto'neous; ten dollars for you when yon've beaten him!'
"'Hurra!' cried the hnndred passengers, ' hurra! The Washington loses, we are gaining ground.'
"Only the captain could not say a word; he stood there with his blue lips pressed hard together, looking more like a statue than a man. We were going our twenty knots, and keep it up we must if we did not want to fall back amongst the mob of the Huntress, the Ploughboy, and the rest of them. Every joint and hinge in the boat seemed to be cracking, the engine roared and groaned, the steam howled and hissed.
"'The Helen M'Gregor is a gallant lass!' cried I. 'A brave Scotchwoman! She has fire in her veins.'
"And so she really .h ad. She stretched out like a racehorse that feels the spur in his flank for the first time; not steaming or swimming, but flying like a bird, rushing like a wild-cat or an elk that's been shot at; the waters of the Ohio flashing from her side in a white creamy foam. The Kentucky shores on our right, with their forests and cotton-trees, were /flying away from ns; on our left, the banks of Illinois seemed to dance past us, the big trees looking like witches scampering off on their broomsticks. Behind us, the high land of Missouri was rapidly disappearing, Colonel Boon's plantation getting smaller every second, till at last it appeared no bigger than a dovecot. Every thing around us seemed in motion, swimming, flying, racing. Hurras by thousands; seven steamers groaning, creaking, hissing, and rattling; a noise and a heat that made our heads dizzy, blinded our eyes, and took
away our hearing. It was a gallopade, a race between giants.
"We were close to the wood below Trinity—the race as good as won, for Trinity was of course the winning post. Snddenly the captain cried out, 'He is passing us!' and, as he said the rtwd, he looked as wild as a tortured redskin, and bit his lips more savage than ever, and caught hold of the quarterdeck railing as if he would have torn it down.
"' Captain,' said I, 'it's impossible —he is not passing us.'
"'Look yourself, Mr Doughby,' said he.
"The man was right. The old George is an almighty fast ship, that is certain. I saw that in two minutes we should be beaten. We had not even so long to wait.
"'By my soul he is passing us!' cried I.
"' He is passing us,' repeated the captain in a low voice. He was deadly white. I couldn't say a word; and as for him, he was obliged to support himself against the railing, or he would have fallen down. There was no help for ity however; the Washington's figure-head was already in a line with our stern—in ten seconds, a third of the vessel's length was parallel with us—another ten seconds, two-thirds, and in less than a minute he dashed prondly before us with a deafening hurra from crew and passengers, which was echoed from the other five steamers, till we heard nothing on all sides but hurras and hurras. I would havo given a thousand dollars down to have reached Trinity two minutes sooner. Just then a number of voices cried out, 'The boiler's bursting! The boiler's bursting!' And there was a cracking noice, and then a lond rush. Here comes the hot bath, thought I, and wished myself a pleasant journey out of the world: But it was nothing; the cry came from a couple of negers, echoed by Miss Lambton and Mister Lambton, and the rest of the old women folk from the ladies' cabin. They had gone in a body to the engineer, and had so begged, and prayed, and bothered him, that he had given in, and opened the valve, and we only half a mile from Trinity. I am certain that if the cowardly rascal had not done that, we should have made a drawn race of it, for the Washington got in not two minutes before us.. I fell upon the engineer, and if it had not been for the captain, and one or two old acquaintances, I should have leathered him upon the spot—ay, if it were to have cost me a thousand dollars; he deserved it well, the dishonourable scamp! We were now in Trinity, we had done five miles in less than twelve minutes; but Miss Lambton was so angry, and the old gentleman so bitter cold and stiff—a pair of fire-tongs is nothing compared to him —Couldn't be helped, however. Honour before every thing."
"But you really were too foolhardy," observed Richards.
"Foolhardy!" repeated Doughby, "foolhardy, when the honour of a ship was at stake 1"
"Pshaw! The honour of a steamboat!"
"Pshaw, do you say, Richards? Well, if I didn't know you to be a thoroughbred Virginian, "hang me if I should not almost take you for one of those wishywashy Creoles. Pshaw, say you, the honour of a steam-boat! A steamer, let me tell von, is also a ship, and a big one too, and an American one, a thorough American one. It's our ship; we invented it, they'd have been long enough in the old country before finding such a thing oat—Pshaw, do you say? And if Percy bad said pshaw upon Lake Eric, or Lawrence on Champlain, or Rogers, or Porter, you might say pshaw to eTery thing—to the honour of a steamer, a ship, a country. But I tell you that the man who says pshaw when his ship is beaten in a race, will also say it when it is taken in a fight. In short, that sort of pride is emulation, and that emulation is the real thing."
"But the life of so many men?"
"I tell you, that of the hundred and twenty passengers that we had on board the Helen, there were not three besides that leathern old Yankee, Mister Lambton, and the women, who would have cared one straw if the boiler had burst, provided we had got to Trinity two minutes the sooner."
We could not help laughing at this Kentucky bull, but at the same time we were compelled to admit the truth
of what Doughby meant to say. In spite of Uncle Sam's usual phlegm and nouckalance, there are occasions when he seems to change his nature; and in the anxiety to see his ship first at the goal, to forget what he does not otherwise easily lose sight of, namely, wife and child, land and goods; as to his own life, it does not weigh a feather in the balance. He becomes a perfect madman, setting every thing upon a single cast. And the yearly loss of five hundred to athousand lives, sacrificed in these desperate races, does not appear to cure him in any degree of his mania.
"Well," continued Doughby, resnming his narrative, " it was as much as I could do to get a word from Mis? Emily during the rest of the voyage. The time went terribly slow, and my patience was clean expended when we got to Louisville. We stopped at the Lafayette Hotel, and I was in my room before dinner, when the waiter brought me a letter from Mister Lambton. The old gentleman had the honour to inform me, in accordance with his daughter's wishes, that there did not exist suflicient harmony between my character and that of Miss Emily to render a union between us desirable. And, under these circumstances, he took leave to request of me that I would consider the projected marriage as entirely broken off; and, with his and his daughter's best wishes for my happiness, he had the honour to be my very humble servant. There was a deal more of it, but that was the pith. When I had read it, I burst out of my room like mad, either to throttle old Lambton or to throw myself at his daughter's feet, I didn't rightly know which. But the Yankee had been too cunning for me. Ho had left the hotel with his daughter, and gone off by the Cincinnati steamer. I went on board the next that was going, and got to Cincinnati. three hours after him, but missed him again. He had taken a chaise and started for his estate at Dayton, near Yellow Springs. And all I have done since is no use. She won't hear of me, and I'm the most unhappy fellow alive."
And so saying, he threw his feet upon the table, crossed his arms, and remained in this position for a couplfi of minutes, staring earnestly at the ceiling. Snddenly he brought his legs down again, started up, and gazed through the cabin window.
"Hallo!" cried he, " here are your Red River bottoms. Will have a look at them—will go on deck? You may take away, steward. Come, Monshur Tonson, come with me, come, my dear little Frenchman! Nous parlous hansamble le Franseh."
And thereupon he struck up the favourite western ditty, "Let's go to Old Kentuck," seized young De Vergennes by the arm, and dragged him through the folding-doors and out upon deck.
"He's not the man to break his heart about a woman," said I to Richards.
"Hardly," replied my friend.
Tub Stao Host.
We had sat for some time talking over Doughby's mishaps, when we were interrupted by a noise upon deck. Hurras and hallos were resounding from every side and corner of the steamer. We hurried out to see what was the matter, and found the cause of the tumult to be a fallow deer, that had taken the water some two hundred yards from our steamer, and was swimming steadily across from the right to the left bank of the river. The yawl had already been lowered, and was pushing off from the side with five men in it, amongst whom Doughby of course took the lead.
"There he is again," cried Richards. "Of a certainty the man is possessed by a devil."
"Hurra, boys I Give way !" shouted Doughby, flourishing a rifle full six feet in length. The four oars clipped into the water, and the boat flew to the encounter of the deer, who was tranquilly pursuing his liquid path.
We were about entering one of those picturesque spreads, or bays of the Red River, which perhaps no other stream can boast of in such abundance, and on so magnificent a scale. The lofty trees and huge masses of foliage of the dense forest that covered the left bank, bent forward over the water, the dark green of the cypresses, and the silver white of the gigantic cotton-trees, easting a bronzetinted shadow upon the dusky red stream, which at that point is full fifteen hundred feet broad; the right bank offering a succession of the most luxuriant palmetto grounds, with here and there a bean or tulip tree, amongst
the branches of which innumerable parroquets were chattering and bickering. A pleasant breeze swept across from the palmetto fields, scarcely sufficient, however, to ruffle the water, which flowed tranquilly along, undisturbed save by the paddles of our steamer, that caused the huge black logs and tree-trunks floating upon the surface, to knock against each other, and heave up their extremities like so many porpoises. The steamer had just entered the bay when a boat shot out from under the wood on the left bank, and greatly increased the romantic character of the scene.
It was a long Indian canoe made out of the hollowed trnnk of a cotton tree; a many-tined antler was stuck in the prow, and dried legs and haunches of venison lay in the fore part of the boat; towards the stern sat a young girl, partially enveloped in a striped blanket, but naked from the waist upwards, impelling the boat in the direction of the deer by long graceful sweeps of her oar; in front of her was a sqnaw of maturer age, performing a like labour. In the centre of the canoe were two children, queer guinea-pig-looking little devils, and near these lay a man in all the lazy apathy of a redskin on his return from the hunting ground; but towards the stern stood a splendid Antinouslike young savage, leaning in an attitnde of graceful negligence on his rifle, and evidently waiting an opportunity to get a blow or a shot at the stag. As soon as these children of the forest canght sight of the steamer and of