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of the week before, he had been unable to discover who the thief was. That upon going to the coop, on said Thursday morning, he had discovered the loss of a particularly fine bird, of high breeding which he greatly prized; he had at once started a search for the thief. During the night, a rain had fallen, and foot-prints were discovered in the mud, and that said footmarks had been followed through the woods to the cabin of old Eph, who was then a prisoner at the bar. This ended the testimony of Squire Thompson.
The judge ordered old Eph to stand up, remarking that he saw no reason why sentence should not, at once, be passed upon him, but, before it was passed, he would give him a chance to speak, should he desire to do so.
The man who faced the court was black, with a blackness not often seen even among the negroes of the south; in age, he was perhaps sixty-five; his form was bent, not alone with age, but bent and drawn with rheumatism. His attire, such as there was of it, showed that he not only belonged to the poorer class, but that he was one of the poorest among them. As he looked around the court room, no kindly face appeared, and he knew that among those men, who had either been slave-holders themselves, or their fathers had, there was no friends for him,- the "nigger" who was charged with theft. As he spoke, his voice trembled, not alone with age, but with a tinge of fear, for he knew to whom he spoke, and how their hearts beat for a "worthless nigger.”
“Yo'r honor, I thank you for gibing dis poor old darkey a chance to speak, I jest want to say a few words, 'bout myself and dat chicken dat Squire Thompson has done lost; I don expect as how it'll clear me judge, 'case I knows yo'r going to send me to de penitentiary, only I'll feel better after I's said it.
“After de war was ober, me an' Tobe, dats my old 'oman, we done got married, we wan't rich like de white folks, so we done rent a little patch ob land, wid a little cabin on it. We didn't had much, judge, but den we lubed one anoder, an sometimes I use to tink dat we were just as happy as de white folks was. After a while, babies come along, an den we were happier dan eber. first one was Eph, named after me, and a likely boy he was to; den come Eliza, an den der was Joe an' Sam an' den, after a long time, Manda, our baby, she done come, an I thought dat der was
to be nothing but happiness for dis old darkey all de rest ob his days. But de good Lord didn't hab it dat way for me. Eph, he ran away from home, an' dey put him where yo'r going to send his poor old fadder. 'Liza, she done got married, an' de man was mean to her, an ’Liza died wid a broken heart; Joe he done took sick an' died; an Sam he done got drownded ober dar in de riber, an' der poor old mudder's heart was just about broke. An'den der poor old fadder, he done get the rheumatics, couldn't work. An' den we bof look at one anoder an bof look at Manda, our baby, an' we tinks de Lord was good 'cause he lets us keep our baby; an’ den we gibs her all ob our lub, 'cause we hadn't any more for to lub. An last week she done took sick, an her mudder watched her an I watched her, but she just kept getting worse. And den de doctor comes an sais as how she was going to die. Last Wednesday night, just after de doctor went away, our baby went to sleep an when she woke up, 'bout an hour after, she done told me dat she'd had a dream, an dat she dreamed dat she was in heben, an dat up dar dey gib her a big bowl ob chicken soup, an' dat she done got better an' come back to lib wid her poor old mammie
An I just thought dat de good Lord had gib her dat dream, an' I says to her, 'If chicken soup is going to keep you here wid dose who lubs you, you's going to hab chicken soup child.'
"An Tobe, she says to me, done you go steal, old man, 'cause it ain't right.' I knew dat it wasn't, but I didn't hab no money, judge, an' I, I, couldn't let our baby die, 'cause we bof lubed her.
“An so I jus' went out an ober to Squire Thompson's; it took me a long time 'cause my rheumatism hurt me powerful bad; I knew dat de squire had lots ob chickens, an' I didn't tink dat he'd care for one; I didn't know dat de squire lubed dat one dat I took so much, or I wouldn't had took dat one. But I done took it, judge, it's de only ting dat I eber took in my life, an' I took it back home, an I made our baby some brof an' de next morning she was a heap better, an' de good Lord is going to let our baby lib.
“An’den de sheriff come, an' took me down here. Poor old Tobe's heart is done breaking 'cause she'll neber see dis poor old darkey again; but she'll look at our baby an' know why I ain't dar. Yes, judge, I done took dat chicken, an’I knows as how yo'r going to
send me to prison, but maby de good Lord won't say dat I stole, when I meet's him up dar. Dat's all dat I want's to say, judge, I did take dat chicken."
The old man sank into his chair. A death-like silence pervaded the room; it was broken, after a minute, by Squire Thompson who arose and said, "Your honor, I wish to withdraw my charge.” The judge arose, cleared his throat, and said, “This court finds the prisoner at the bar not guilty.”
The love of a father for his child had softened every heart.
AN INCIDENT OF THE CAMP.
BY SARA WHALEN.
Everything was quiet in the little sleepy city of Watertown, and were it not for the fact that a United States arsenal and army post were located there, life would have been dull indeed. As it was, there seemed to be nothing particular for the soldiers to do after the morning and evening gun had been fired over blue Ontario and they had fished and bathed to their heart's content and gone through the tiresome round of drill. England was at peace with the United States and not even the faintest shadow of a war cloud could be seen in the sky.
It then occurred to Colonel Rand to break the monotony of camp life, especially in the officers' quarters, by having each one at mess tell a story or submit to being fined for not complying.
Now there happened to be among the officers, Lieutenant Cass, a young man who had the greatest difficulty in relating an incident or event of any nature whatsoever. It was more to his taste to get leave of absence for two or three days to visit friends in the ports along the lake. But as army discipline had to be observed, and it had been agreed that each man should tell a story or be fined, Lieutenant Cass submitted without a murmur.
After he had paid his forfeits several times, it occurred to him that paying fines was rather expensive and he would attempt
to relate a story. Accordingly when next his turn came, the officers listened to the following:
“Once upon a time there was a boy named Tommy, who lived in a New England village, surrounded by all the dignity for which New England villages are famous. Tommy being permitted to sit at table one day while his mother was entertaining company, was asked by her if he wished beans. "No! said Tommy in a rude manner and with loud voice. “No, what? said his mother. "No, beans! replied Tommy with louder voice than before."
Lieutenant Cass had finished and although the officers thought the story did not amount to much, still they could not fine him; so "the joke was applauded, and the laugh went round.”
But one can imagine the surprise and consternation around the table when next it came the lieutenant's turn to tell a story to have him repeat the one which he had told before, and subsequently to have him regale them again and again with it. They had to accept it; they could not fine him, since no provision had been made in the agreement against repeating a story.
However, after several repetitions, the officers hit upon a plan to surprise the narrator. When he reached the point where Tommy's mother asks, "No, what?” and before he could reply for Tommy, the officers with one accord shouted, “No beans!"
That part of the story the officers practiced zealously until they could repeat it each time it was told, as one man. It afforded so much amusement for them that it became the chief story of the camp, and whenever distinguished guests came to visit them from Albany or New York, they were sure to be entertained by Lieutenant Cass telling the story of Tommy and the officers shouting the chorus of, “No beans!"
LIFE AND LABORS OF SIDNEY RIGDON.
BY JOHN JAQUES, ASSISTANT CHURCH HISTORIAN.
With the new year Joseph Smith, in Liberty jail, wrote: "Tuesday, January 1, 1839, dawned upon us as prisoners of hope, but not as sons of liberty. O Columbia, Columbia! how thou art fallen! 'The land of the free, the home of the brave! 'The asylum of the oppressed'-oppressing thy noblest sons, in a loathsome dungeon, without any provocation, only that they have claimed to worship the God of their fathers according to his own word, and the dictates of their own consciences. Elder P. P. Pratt and his companions in tribulation were still held in bondage in their doleful prison in Richmond."
On the 23rd of February, Joseph and his fellow prisoners demanded a writ of habeas corpus of Judge Turnham, one of the county judges, which was reluctantly granted. The consequent investigation resulted in the release of Sidney Rigdon. The rest of the prisoners were recommitted to jail, Sidney returned there for a favorable opportunity of leaving, as threats were abundant that the prisoners should never get out of the country alive. Sidney was let out of the jail secretly at night, through the friendship of the sheriff and the jailor,"after having declared in prison that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were a fool to his," from which it appears that Sidney's sufferings, of the body and mind together, were almost more than he could bear. According to Lyman Wight's testimony, when the brethren were taken before the militia mob and treacherously surrendered by Colonel Hinkle, "Sidney Rigdon, who was of