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Chapter 25 All Full of Tears and Flapdoodle

  • THE news was all over town in two minutes, and you could see the peopl_earing down on the run from every which way, some of them putting on thei_oats as they come. Pretty soon we was in the middle of a crowd, and the nois_f the tramping was like a soldier march. The windows and dooryards was full; and every minute somebody would say, over a fence:
  • "Is it THEM?"
  • And somebody trotting along with the gang would answer back and say:
  • "You bet it is."
  • When we got to the house the street in front of it was packed, and the thre_irls was standing in the door. Mary Jane WAS red-headed, but that don't mak_o difference, she was most awful beautiful, and her face and her eyes was al_it up like glory, she was so glad her uncles was come. The king he spread hi_rms, and Marsy Jane she jumped for them, and the hare-lip jumped for th_uke, and there they HAD it! Everybody most, leastways women, cried for joy t_ee them meet again at last and have such good times.
  • Then the king he hunched the duke private—I see him do it—and then he looke_round and see the coffin, over in the corner on two chairs; so then him an_he duke, with a hand across each other's shoulder, and t'other hand to thei_yes, walked slow and solemn over there, everybody dropping back to give the_oom, and all the talk and noise stopping, people saying "Sh!" and all the me_aking their hats off and drooping their heads, so you could a heard a pi_all. And when they got there they bent over and looked in the coffin, an_ook one sight, and then they bust out a-crying so you could a heard them t_rleans, most; and then they put their arms around each other's necks, an_ung their chins over each other's shoulders; and then for three minutes, o_aybe four, I never see two men leak the way they done. And, mind you, everybody was doing the same; and the place was that damp I never see anythin_ike it. Then one of them got on one side of the coffin, and t'other o_'other side, and they kneeled down and rested their foreheads on the coffin, and let on to pray all to themselves. Well, when it come to that it worked th_rowd like you never see anything like it, and everybody broke down and wen_o sobbing right out loud—the poor girls, too; and every woman, nearly, wen_p to the girls, without saying a word, and kissed them, solemn, on th_orehead, and then put their hand on their head, and looked up towards th_ky, with the tears running down, and then busted out and went off sobbing an_wabbing, and give the next woman a show. I never see anything so disgusting.
  • Well, by and by the king he gets up and comes forward a little, and work_imself up and slobbers out a speech, all full of tears and flapdoodle abou_ts being a sore trial for him and his poor brother to lose the diseased, an_o miss seeing diseased alive after the long journey of four thousand mile, but it's a trial that's sweetened and sanctified to us by this dear sympath_nd these holy tears, and so he thanks them out of his heart and out of hi_rother's heart, because out of their mouths they can't, words being too wea_nd cold, and all that kind of rot and slush, till it was just sickening; an_hen he blubbers out a pious goody-goody Amen, and turns himself loose an_oes to crying fit to bust.
  • And the minute the words were out of his mouth somebody over in the crow_truck up the doxolojer, and everybody joined in with all their might, and i_ust warmed you up and made you feel as good as church letting out. Music is _ood thing; and after all that soul-butter and hogwash I never see it freshe_p things so, and sound so honest and bully.
  • Then the king begins to work his jaw again, and says how him and his niece_ould be glad if a few of the main principal friends of the family would tak_upper here with them this evening, and help set up with the ashes of th_iseased; and says if his poor brother laying yonder could speak he knows wh_e would name, for they was names that was very dear to him, and mentione_ften in his letters; and so he will name the same, to wit, as follows, vizz.:—Rev. Mr. Hobson, and Deacon Lot Hovey, and Mr. Ben Rucker, and Abne_hackleford, and Levi Bell, and Dr. Robinson, and their wives, and the wido_artley.
  • Rev. Hobson and Dr. Robinson was down to the end of the town a-huntin_ogether—that is, I mean the doctor was shipping a sick man to t'other world, and the preacher was pinting him right. Lawyer Bell was away up to Louisvill_n business. But the rest was on hand, and so they all come and shook hand_ith the king and thanked him and talked to him; and then they shook hand_ith the duke and didn't say nothing, but just kept a-smiling and bobbin_heir heads like a passel of sapheads whilst he made all sorts of signs wit_is hands and said "Goo-goo—goo-goo-goo" all the time, like a baby that can'_alk.
  • So the king he blattered along, and managed to inquire about pretty muc_verybody and dog in town, by his name, and mentioned all sorts of littl_hings that happened one time or another in the town, or to George's family, or to Peter. And he always let on that Peter wrote him the things; but tha_as a lie: he got every blessed one of them out of that young flathead that w_anoed up to the steamboat.
  • Then Mary Jane she fetched the letter her father left behind, and the king h_ead it out loud and cried over it. It give the dwelling-house and thre_housand dollars, gold, to the girls; and it give the tanyard (which was doin_ good business), along with some other houses and land (worth about seve_housand), and three thousand dollars in gold to Harvey and William, and tol_here the six thousand cash was hid down cellar. So these two frauds sai_hey'd go and fetch it up, and have everything square and above-board; an_old me to come with a candle. We shut the cellar door behind us, and whe_hey found the bag they spilt it out on the floor, and it was a lovely sight, all them yaller-boys. My, the way the king's eyes did shine! He slaps the duk_n the shoulder and says:
  • "Oh, THIS ain't bully nor noth'n! Oh, no, I reckon not! Why, Biljy, it beat_he Nonesuch, DON'T it?"
  • The duke allowed it did. They pawed the yaller-boys, and sifted them throug_heir fingers and let them jingle down on the floor; and the king says:
  • "It ain't no use talkin'; bein' brothers to a rich dead man an_epresentatives of furrin heirs that's got left is the line for you and me, Bilge. Thish yer comes of trust'n to Providence. It's the best way, in th_ong run. I've tried 'em all, and ther' ain't no better way."
  • Most everybody would a been satisfied with the pile, and took it on trust; bu_o, they must count it. So they counts it, and it comes out four hundred an_ifteen dollars short. Says the king:
  • "Dern him, I wonder what he done with that four hundred and fifteen dollars?"
  • They worried over that awhile, and ransacked all around for it. Then the duk_ays:
  • "Well, he was a pretty sick man, and likely he made a mistake—I reckon that'_he way of it. The best way's to let it go, and keep still about it. We ca_pare it."
  • "Oh, shucks, yes, we can SPARE it. I don't k'yer noth'n 'bout that—it's th_OUNT I'm thinkin' about. We want to be awful square and open and above-boar_ere, you know. We want to lug this h-yer money up stairs and count it befor_verybody—then ther' ain't noth'n suspicious. But when the dead man say_her's six thous'n dollars, you know, we don't want to—"
  • "Hold on," says the duke. "Le's make up the deffisit," and he begun to hau_ut yaller-boys out of his pocket.
  • "It's a most amaz'n' good idea, duke—you HAVE got a rattlin' clever head o_ou," says the king. "Blest if the old Nonesuch ain't a heppin' us out agin,"
  • and HE begun to haul out yaller-jackets and stack them up.
  • It most busted them, but they made up the six thousand clean and clear.
  • "Say," says the duke, "I got another idea. Le's go up stairs and count thi_oney, and then take and GIVE IT TO THE GIRLS."
  • "Good land, duke, lemme hug you! It's the most dazzling idea 'at ever a ma_truck. You have cert'nly got the most astonishin' head I ever see. Oh, thi_s the boss dodge, ther' ain't no mistake 'bout it. Let 'em fetch along thei_uspicions now if they want to—this 'll lay 'em out."
  • When we got up-stairs everybody gethered around the table, and the king h_ounted it and stacked it up, three hundred dollars in a pile—twenty elegan_ittle piles. Everybody looked hungry at it, and licked their chops. Then the_aked it into the bag again, and I see the king begin to swell himself up fo_nother speech. He says:
  • "Friends all, my poor brother that lays yonder has done generous by the_hat's left behind in the vale of sorrers. He has done generous by these ye_oor little lambs that he loved and sheltered, and that's left fatherless an_otherless. Yes, and we that knowed him knows that he would a done MOR_enerous by 'em if he hadn't ben afeard o' woundin' his dear William and me.
  • Now, WOULDN'T he? Ther' ain't no question 'bout it in MY mind. Well, then, what kind o' brothers would it be that 'd stand in his way at sech a time? An_hat kind o' uncles would it be that 'd rob—yes, ROB—sech poor sweet lambs a_hese 'at he loved so at sech a time? If I know William—and I THINK _o—he—well, I'll jest ask him." He turns around and begins to make a lot o_igns to the duke with his hands, and the duke he looks at him stupid an_eather-headed a while; then all of a sudden he seems to catch his meaning, and jumps for the king, goo-gooing with all his might for joy, and hugs hi_bout fifteen times before he lets up. Then the king says, "I knowed it; _eckon THAT 'll convince anybody the way HE feels about it. Here, Mary Jane, Susan, Joanner, take the money—take it ALL. It's the gift of him that lay_onder, cold but joyful."
  • Mary Jane she went for him, Susan and the hare-lip went for the duke, and the_uch another hugging and kissing I never see yet. And everybody crowded u_ith the tears in their eyes, and most shook the hands off of them frauds, saying all the time:
  • "You DEAR good souls!—how LOVELY!—how COULD you!"
  • Well, then, pretty soon all hands got to talking about the diseased again, an_ow good he was, and what a loss he was, and all that; and before long a bi_ron-jawed man worked himself in there from outside, and stood a-listening an_ooking, and not saying anything; and nobody saying anything to him either, because the king was talking and they was all busy listening. The king wa_aying—in the middle of something he'd started in on—
  • "—they bein' partickler friends o' the diseased. That's why they're invite_ere this evenin'; but tomorrow we want ALL to come—everybody; for h_espected everybody, he liked everybody, and so it's fitten that his funera_rgies sh'd be public."
  • And so he went a-mooning on and on, liking to hear himself talk, and ever_ittle while he fetched in his funeral orgies again, till the duke he couldn'_tand it no more; so he writes on a little scrap of paper, "OBSEQUIES, you ol_ool," and folds it up, and goes to goo-gooing and reaching it over people'_eads to him. The king he reads it and puts it in his pocket, and says:
  • "Poor William, afflicted as he is, his HEART'S aluz right. Asks me to invit_verybody to come to the funeral—wants me to make 'em all welcome. But h_eedn't a worried—it was jest what I was at."
  • Then he weaves along again, perfectly ca'm, and goes to dropping in hi_uneral orgies again every now and then, just like he done before. And when h_one it the third time he says:
  • "I say orgies, not because it's the common term, because it ain't— obsequie_ein' the common term—but because orgies is the right term. Obsequies ain'_sed in England no more now—it's gone out. We say orgies now in England.
  • Orgies is better, because it means the thing you're after more exact. It's _ord that's made up out'n the Greek ORGO, outside, open, abroad; and th_ebrew JEESUM, to plant, cover up; hence inTER. So, you see, funeral orgies i_n open er public funeral."
  • He was the WORST I ever struck. Well, the iron-jawed man he laughed right i_is face. Everybody was shocked. Everybody says, "Why, DOCTOR!" and Abne_hackleford says:
  • "Why, Robinson, hain't you heard the news? This is Harvey Wilks."
  • The king he smiled eager, and shoved out his flapper, and says:
  • "Is it my poor brother's dear good friend and physician? I—"
  • "Keep your hands off of me!" says the doctor. "YOU talk like an Englishman, DON'T you? It's the worst imitation I ever heard. YOU Peter Wilks's brother!
  • You're a fraud, that's what you are!"
  • Well, how they all took on! They crowded around the doctor and tried to quie_im down, and tried to explain to him and tell him how Harvey 'd showed i_orty ways that he WAS Harvey, and knowed everybody by name, and the names o_he very dogs, and begged and BEGGED him not to hurt Harvey's feelings and th_oor girl's feelings, and all that. But it warn't no use; he stormed righ_long, and said any man that pretended to be an Englishman and couldn'_mitate the lingo no better than what he did was a fraud and a liar. The poo_irls was hanging to the king and crying; and all of a sudden the doctor up_nd turns on THEM. He says:
  • "I was your father's friend, and I'm your friend; and I warn you as a friend, and an honest one that wants to protect you and keep you out of harm an_rouble, to turn your backs on that scoundrel and have nothing to do with him, the ignorant tramp, with his idiotic Greek and Hebrew, as he calls it. He i_he thinnest kind of an impostor—has come here with a lot of empty names an_acts which he picked up somewheres, and you take them for PROOFS, and ar_elped to fool yourselves by these foolish friends here, who ought to kno_etter. Mary Jane Wilks, you know me for your friend, and for your unselfis_riend, too. Now listen to me; turn this pitiful rascal out—I BEG you to d_t. Will you?"
  • Mary Jane straightened herself up, and my, but she was handsome! She says:
  • "HERE is my answer." She hove up the bag of money and put it in the king'_ands, and says, "Take this six thousand dollars, and invest for me and m_isters any way you want to, and don't give us no receipt for it."
  • Then she put her arm around the king on one side, and Susan and the hare- li_one the same on the other. Everybody clapped their hands and stomped on th_loor like a perfect storm, whilst the king held up his head and smiled proud.
  • The doctor says:
  • "All right; I wash MY hands of the matter. But I warn you all that a time '_oming when you're going to feel sick whenever you think of this day." An_way he went.
  • "All right, doctor," says the king, kinder mocking him; "we'll try and get 'e_o send for you;" which made them all laugh, and they said it was a prime goo_it.