Borrowing, and what came of it

Talk about Washington—Weems' Life of Washington—Borrowing the Book—Consequences of Borrowing Books—Pleasant Hours—A Rain ruins the Book—Sorrowing over it—Proposition to Crawford, the Owner—His Extortion—A Hard Man—Cuts Three Acres of Fodder to Pay for Book—Afterwards worked for Crawford, with his Sister—“The Kentucky Preceptor”—Appearance of Josiah Crawford—His Nose in Abe's Verse and “Chronicles”—What Mrs. Crawford says about his being President—Abraham kicked seriously by a Horse—“Cluck”

“The greatest man that ever lived!” said Abraham, as he sat upon a log in the woods, conversing with David Turnham. “This country has a right to be proud of Washington.”

“That is your opinion; but I guess the British won’t say so,” answered David.

“And that is just because they were whipped by him; and they don’t want to own up.”

“How do you know so much about Washington, Abe?”

“Because I have read about him, and I always heard that he made the red-coats run for life.”

“What do you mean by the red-coats?”

“Why, the British, to be sure. They were called ‘red-coats’ because they wore coats of that colour. I expect that they looked splendidly, though they didn’t feel very splendidly, I guess, after they got whipped.”

“Have you read the ‘Life of Washington’?”

“Of course I have, a good while ago. I read Ramsay’s ‘Life of Washington,’ and that shows that he was the greatest man who ever lived.”

“Is that like the one Josiah Crawford has?”

“I didn’t know that Mr. Crawford had a ‘Life of Washington.”’

“Well, he has; for I heard him talking with father about it.”

“How long ago?”

“Not more than two or three weeks ago.”

“You don’t know the name of the author? There are lives of Washington written by different men.”

“I don’t remember who wrote this. I didn’t mind much about what they were saying.”

“I can find out,” added Abraham; and he did find out. He embraced the first opportunity to inquire of a neighbour, and learned that it was Weems’s “Life of Washington” that Mr. Crawford owned.

“Can I borrow it?” he inquired of his parents, for he was very anxious to read it.

“Perhaps he won’t like to lend it,” answered his mother.

“I shall find that out when I ask him,” said Abraham.

“And you should tell him that you will not take it unless he is perfectly willing to let you have it.”

“Then I may ask him, may I?”

“If you are very desirous to read it.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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