whole number at once took their stand with Abraham; and, when those who first went to Fitzpatrick saw the over-whelming majority for Abraham, one by one they left the former and joined the latter, until but one or two stood with Fitzpatrick.
I felt bad for Fitzpatrick, said Green; he was the most lonesome-looking fellow I ever saw.
He might have known that we shouldnt vote for him when Abe is about, remarked Herndon. He was too anxious to serve his country.
These, and kindred remarks, were bandied about after the company had indulged in vociferous cheering, that Black Hawk might have heard if he had been within a reasonable distance.
A speech from the captain, was the imperative call from the company; and Abraham promptly accommodated them to one of his best efforts, in which he thanked them for the honour conferred, maintained that their choice might have fallen upon one much better qualified for the position than himself, and promised that he would do the best he could to prove himself worthy of their confidence.
Captain Lincoln! exclaimed William Green, addressing Abraham facetiously, and tipping his hat; and, henceforth, Captain Lincoln was alone the soubriquet by which he was known.
One incident occurred before the organization of this company which should be rehearsed. It illustrates his temperance principles, at the same time that it shows his marvellous strength. Green said to a stranger who happened to be in New Salem,
Abe Lincoln is the strongest man in Illinois.
I deny it, answered the stranger, immediately naming a stronger party.
How much can he lift? asked Green.
Hell lift a barrel of flour as easily as I can a peck of potatoes.
Abe can lift two barrels if he could get hold of them.
Ha! ha! ha! laughed the man. You can tell a greater story than I can.
Great story or not, I will bet that Abe will lift a barrel of whiskey, and drink out of the bunghole.
Worse yet, replied the man. Ill bet he cant do any such thing.
What will you bet?
Ill bet a good hat; and well have him try right off, if he will.
Agreed, said Green. The truth was he had seen Abraham do this very thing, minus the drinking part, so that he knew he should win.
Without delay they sought Abraham, and proceeded to the store, where the whiskey was found.
I dont think much of the betting part, said Abraham, but I guess Ill help William out of the scrape, though he wont have much chance to wear the hat yet awhile, if he is going to war with me.
Well, if you can do what he says you can, I want to see it, said the man.
You shall have the privilege, answered Abraham.
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