Look out for
them Lobsters by
Deacon , who resides in a pleasant village inside of an hour's
ride upon Fitchburg road, rejoices in a fondness for the long-tailed
crustacea, vulgarly known as lobsters. And, from messes therewith
fulminated, by some of our professors of gastronomics that we
have seen, we do not attach any wonder at all to the deacon's penchant
for the aforesaid shell-fish. The deacon had been disappointed several
times by assertions of the lobster merchants, who, in their
overwhelming zeal to effect a sale, had been a little too sanguine of
the precise time said lobsters were caught and boiled; hence,
after lugging home a ten pound specimen of the vasty deep, miles out
into the quiet country, the deacon was often sorely vexed to find the
lobster no better than it should be!
Why don't you get them alive, deacon? said a friend,get them
alive and kicking, deacon; boil them yourself; be sure of their
freshness, and have them cooked more carefully and properly.
Well said, quoth the deacon; so I can, for they sell them, I
observe, near the depot,right out of the boat. I'm much obliged for
The next visit of the good deacon to Boston,as he was about to
return home, he goes to the bridge and bargains for two live lobsters,
fine, active, lusty-clawed fellows, alive and kicking, and no mistake!
But what will I do with them? says the deacon to the purveyor of
the crustacea, as he gazed wistfully upon the two sprawling,
ugly, green and scratching lobsters, as they lay before him upon the
planks at his feet.
Do with 'em? responded the lobster merchant,why, bile 'em and
eat 'em! I bet you a dollar you never ate better lobsters 'n them,
The deacon looked anxiously and innocently at the speaker, as much
as to sayyou don't say so?
I mean, friend, how shall I get them home?
O, says the lobster merchant, that's easy enough; here, Saul,
says he, calling up a frizzle-headed lad in blue pantssans hat
or boots, and but one gallows to his breeches, here, you, light
upon these lobsters and carry 'em home for this old gentleman.
Goodness, bless you, says the deacon; why friend, I reside ten
miles out in the country!
O, the blazes you do! says the lobster merchant; well, I tell
you, Saul can carry 'em to the cars for you in this 'ere bag, if you're
Truly, he can, quoth the deacon; and Saul can go right along with
The lobsters were dashed into a piece of Manilla sack, thrown across
the shoulders of the juvenile Saul, and away they went at the heels of
the deacon, to the depot; here Saul dashed down the poor creturs
until their bones or shells rattled most piteously, and as the deacon
handed a three cent piece to Saul, the long and wicked claw of one of
the lobsters protruded out of the bagopened and shut with a clack, that made the deacon shudder!
Those fellows are plaguy awkward to handle, are they not, my son?
says the deacon.
Not werry, says the boy; they can't bite, cos you see
they's got pegs down herehallo! As Saul poked his hand down
towards the big claw lying partly out of the open-mouthed bag, the claw
opened, and clacked at his fingers, ferocious as a mad dog.
His peg's out, said the boyand I can't fasten it; but here's a
chunk of twine; tie the bag and they can't get out, any how, and you
kin put 'em into yer pot right out of the bag.
Yes, yes, says the deacon; I guess I will take care of them;
bring them here; there, just place the bag right in under my seat; so,
that will do.
Presently the cars began to fill up, as the minute of departure
approached, and soon every seat around the worthy deacon was occupied.
By-and-by, a middle-aged lady, in front of the deacon, began to
fussle about and twist around, as if anxious to arrange the great
amplitude of her drapery, and look after something bothering
her feet. In front of the lady, sat a slab-sided genus
dandy, fat as a match and quite as good looking; between his legs sat a
pale-face dog, with a flashing collar of brass and tinsel, quite as
gaudy as his master's neck-choker; this canine gave an awful
Ihk! ow, yow! yow-ooyow, ook! yow! yow! YOW!
Lor' a massy! cries the woman in front of the deacon, jumping up,
and making a desperate splurge to get up on to the seats, and in the
effort upsetting sundry bundles and parcels around her!
Yow-ook! Yow-ook! yelled the dog, jumping clear out
of the grasp of the juvenile Mantillini, and dashing himself on
to the head and shoulders of the next seat occupants, one of whom was a
sturdy civilized Irishman, who made no bones in grasping the
sickly-looking dog, and to the horror and alarm of the entire female
party present, he sung out:
Whur-r-r ye about, ye brute! Is the divil mad?
Eee! Ee! O dear! O! O! cries an anxious mother.
O! O! O-o-o! save us from the dog! cries another.
Whur-r-r-r! ye divil! cries the Irish gintilman, pinning
the poor dog down between the seats, with a force that extracted
another glorious yell.
Ike! Ike! Ike! oo, ow! ow! Ike! Ike! Ike!
Murder! mur-r-r-der! bawls another victim in the rear of the
deacon, leaping up in his seat, and rubbing his leg vigorously.
What on airth's loose? exclaims one.
Halloo! what's that? cries another, hastily vacating his seat and
crowding towards the door.
O dear, O! O! anxiously cries a delicate young lady.
What? who? where? screamed a dozen at once.
Good conscience! exclaims the deacon, as he dropped his
newspaper, in the midst of the dinnoise and confusion; and with a
most singular and spasmodic effort to dance a high_land fling, he
hustled out of his seat, exclaiming:
Good conscience, I really believe they're out.
Eh? Whatwhat's out? cries one.
Snakes! echoes an old gentleman, grasping a cane.
Snappin' turtles, Mister? inquire several.
Snakes! cried a dozen.
Snappers! echoes a like quantity of the dismayed.
Snake-e-e-es! O what a din!
Halloo! here, what's all this? What's the matter? says the
conductor, coming to the rescue.
That man's got snakes in the car! roar several at once.
And snappin' turtles, too, consarn him! says one, while all eyes
were directed, tongues wagging, and hands gesticulating furiously at
the astonished deacon.
Take care of them! Take care of them! I believe I'm bitten clear
through my bootcatch them, Mr. Swallow! cries the deacon.
Swallow 'em, Mr. Catcher! echoes the frightened dandy.
What? where? says the excited conductor, looking around.
Here, here, in under these seats, sir,my lobsters, sir,
says the deacon, standing aloof to let the conductor and the man with
the cane get at the reptiles, as the latter insisted.
Darn 'em, are they only lobsters!
Pooh! Lobsters! says young Mantillini, with a mock heroic shrug of
his shoulders, and looking fierce as two cents!
Come out here! says the conductor, feeling for them.
Take care! says the deacon, the plaguy things have got their pins
Why, they are alive, and crawling around; hear the old
fellow,take care, Mr. Swallerhe's cross as sin! says the man with
the canewasn't that a snap? Take care! You got him? that
indefatigable assistant continued, rattling his tongue and cane.
I've got them! cries the conductor.
Put them in the bag, here, sir, says the deacon.
Take them out of this car! cries everybody.
Plaguy things, says the deacon. I sha'n't never buy another
Order was restored, passengers took their seats, but when young
Mantillini looked for his dog, he had vamosed with the Irishman,
at the last stopping place, in his excitement, leaving a quart jug of
whiskey in lieu of the dandy's dog.