Another Trip to New Orleans
Denton Offutt's PropositionWho is Abe?His Step-brotherThe Plan and PayStart for SpringfieldBoat not ReadyAbe proposes to Build OneRepair to Spring CreekMerry TimesDiscussionsThe JugglerDescription of Abe againBoat Finished, and CargoStuck on Rutledge's DamAbe's IngenuityThe SpectatorsSuccess and CheersOffutt's OpinionAbraham's Invention afterwardsThe Patent OfficeLoading Wild HogsSewing up their EyesThe Voyage Down the RiverHorrified by SlaveryProvidence leadingReturnOffut hires Abe to keep StoreWalks from St. LouisThe Famous WrestlerAbe's Magnanimity
Denton offutt was a trader, residing at New Salem. Meeting John Hanks one day, he said:
John! I want you to take a boat for me to New Orleans on a trading trip; you understand the business. John had some reputation as a waterman.
I cant do it; dont fancy the business.
Fudge! you can do it if you only think so. Ill pay you extra for it. You are the only man who can do it to suit me.
I know of a man who can do it for you, said John. Abe Lincoln understands it, and perhaps hell do it.
Whos Abe Lincoln?
Hes a relative of mine; came to Illinois from Indiany about one year ago, and settled a few miles from me.
Well, I dont know anything about him, continued Offutt, and I do know about you. Say youll go.
Maybe Ill go if Abe and John Johnston will go.
And whos John Johnston?
He is Abe Lincolns step-brother, and lives with him. He came with him from Indiany.
And you think they are good men for the business?
I know they are; Abe, especially, cant be beat on a boat. Hes the tallest and strongest chap in Illinois.
Well, now, John, Ill do most any way to get you to undertake the trip, continued Offutt; and if youll see your two friends, and get them to go, Ill see that theyll make a good thing of it.
How much pay will you give?
Ill give youall three of youfifty cents a day; and, at the end of the trip, I will divide sixty dollars, in addition, equally between you.
Thats good pay, and no mistake, replied John, who was rather surprised at the generosity of the offer: I think well be able to arrange it.
Offutt was a man of considerable property for that region, and he was generous, toosome said too generous for his own good.
John Hanks lost no time in laying the subject before Abraham and Johnston.
I should like the job, Abraham replied at once. That is larger pay than I ever had, and I rather like the business.
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