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A Quarterly Magazine
31. 33 AND 35 WEST FIFTEENTH STREET
Volume VIII., No. 1
Whole Number 29
The Parson's Horse Race
AL, now, this 'ere does beat all! I wouldn't
have thought it of the deacon. Why, this hoss he's sold the Widder Simpkins 'ell never be no good to her. That 'are's a used up critter, any fool can
see that. He'll mabbe do for about a quarter of a mile on smooth roads, but come to drive him as a body wants to drive, why he blaws like my bellowsis; and the deacon knew it—must 'a know'd it.”
So spoke Sam Lawson, drooping in a discouraged, contemplative attitude in front of an equally discouraged horse, that had just been brought to him by the Widder Simpkins for medical treatment. And Sam leaned back on his cold forge and seemed to deliver himself to a train of general reflection. “Yes, hosses does seem to be sorto unregenerate critters; there's sunthin , about hosses that deceives the very elect. The best o'clks gets tripped up when it comes to deal hossës. Ministers, now, folks allus thinks it's sunthin. sort o'shậký for a minister to hav' much to do with hosses---sure to get um into trouble. There was old Parson:Williams, of North Bilbriky, got into a dreadful mess about a hass. Lord massy and he waren't to blame neither: but he got into the dreadfulest scrape you ever heard on-come nigh to unsettlin' him.'
"O Sam, tell us about it," we boys shouted, delighted with the prospect person Willian
of a “Ye see, boys, Parson Williams—he's dead now, but when I was a boy he was one of the great men around here. He writ books, and he was a smart preacher. Folks said he had invitations to settle in Boston, and there ain't no doubt he might a had a Boston parish if he'd a been a mind to take it. He was purty up and down and commanden in his ways, and things had to go
purty much as he said. He was a good deal sot by, Parson Williams was.
“And they lived purty easy and comfortable so fur as this world's goods is concerned, and he allers liked to have the best that there was a goin' and allers had an eye to good hosses.
“Now, there was Parson Adams and Parson Scranton and most of the ministers: they didn't know and didn't care what hoss they had, just jogged around with these 'ere poundin', sleepy critters that ministers mostly have. But Parson Williams he allers would have a hoss as was a hoss. He looked out fer blood. And the hoss he had at the time I'm telling about was a peeler, you bet. They called him Tamerlone from some heathen feller or other : the boys called him Tam for short. Tam was a great character. All the fellers for miles 'round knew the doctor's Tam, and used to come clear over from the other parishes to see him.
"Well, Cuff, he was the doctor's nigger man, he really made an idol of that 'er hoss—a reg'lar graven imageand bowed down and worshipped him. He didn't think nothin' was too good fer him. He washed and brushed and curried him, and rubbed him down until he shone like a woman's satin dress. You see, Tam wasn't no ladies' hoss. Miss Williams was 'fraid o' death of him. But the. Parson liked to drive Tam; and he liked to go 'round the country on his back, and a fine figure of a man he was on him, too. He didn't let nobody else back hier handle the reins but Cuff; and Cuff was so dredfel-get-up about it and swelled and bragged about thật:er: Koss: al: 'round the country. Nobody couldn't : put in a word about any other hoss, without Cuff's feathers would be all up, stiff as a tom-turkey's tail ; and that's how Cuff got the doctor into trouble.
"Ye see, there nat'lly was others that thought they'd got hosses, and didn't want to be crowed over. There was Bill Atkins out to the west parish, and Ike Sanders, that kept a stable up to Piquot Holler; they was down a-lookin' at the parson's hoss, and a-bettin' on their'n and a-darin' Cuff to run with 'em. Wal, Cuff he couldn't stand it, and when the doctor's back was turned, he'd off on the sly, and they'd have their race; and Tam he'd beat 'em all. Tam, ye see, boys, was a hoss that couldn't and wouldn't hev a hoss ahead of him—he jest