His First ShotTalking over Loss on OhioThe Flock of TurkeysA Large One killedAbe Lincoln surprisedDependent on Hunting for FoodSkill of Pioneer HuntersTheir StandardSnuffing a CandleArrival of Thomas and Betsey SparrowA Happy DayGod-send to Abraham
It was in the spring of 1817, when Thomas Lincoln was preparing to put his first seed into the soil of Indiana, that Abraham made his first shot at game. His parents were discussing the old subjecttheir loss on the Ohio River, when Mrs. Lincoln remarked,
Im thoroughly convinced that our loss was all for the best. I think I can see it.
Glad if you can, replied Mr. Lincoln; youre pretty good for seein what nobody else can; and he uttered this sentence rather thoughtlessly, as his mind was really absorbed in another subject.
I dont know about that; but what in the world would you have done with all the whiskey, if we had not lost any of it in the river? Never could sell it all here,and what a job it would have been to get it here from the Ferry!
Well, if I didnt sell it, we should be about as well off as we are now.
Except the cost of getting the barrels here.
That wouldnt be much.
Then theres the danger of the evil it might do. Its dangerous stuff any way, as the case of many men shows.
I know that; but I dont fear for myself.
Neither do I fear for you; but I was thinking of Abe. You know how it is with boys in these times, and how much misery whiskey makes in a great many families. And I cant help thinkin that it is all for the best that most of it is in the river.
I cant say but what it is; I hope it is. It makes mischief enough, if thats all; and if I dreamed it would make any in my family, I should wish that all of it was at the bottom of the river.
You may as well be glad now; for we have less to fear; and perhaps the Lord thought it was best to put so much of it where it couldnt injure no one.
So be it, then; but I must go to my work. This weather is too fine to be lost in doin nothin. The stuff is all sold now, so that there is no fear on that score. He sold a barrel to Posey, the teamster, who hauled his goods from the Ferry, and the remainder he disposed of in the course of the winter.
Mr. Lincoln arose and went out to his work, and within ten minutes afterwards Abraham came rushing into the cabin in a state of great excitement.
Mother, he exclaimed, theres a flock of turkeys right out here that I can shoot. See there, and he directed her to look through a crack in the cabin where the clay had fallen off. Let me shoot, mother.
Sure enough, Abe, there is a flock, responded his mother, as she caught sight of the turkeys; a fine shot it is, and she hastened for the rifle that was always kept loaded.
Be quick, mother, Ill fire right through the hole, continued Abe, under increasing excitement.
His mother was not long in bringing the rifle, and adjusting it through the loop-hole between the logs, when, with a few quick words of caution, she allowed him to fire.
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