previous next


There flashed into my mind, with more enjoyment in the retrospect than I had experienced at the time, an adventure on a lecturing tour in other years, when I had spent an hour in trying to scramble into a country tavern, after bed-time, on the coldest night of winter. On that occasion I ultimately found myself stuck midway in the window, with my head in a temperature of 80°, and my heels in a temperature of--10°, with a heavy window-sash pinioning the small of my back. However, I had got safe out of that dilemma, and it was time to put an end to this one.

“Call the corporal of the guard,” said I, at last, with dignity, unwilling either to make a night of it or to yield my incognito.

“Corporal ob de guard!” he shouted, lustily,--“Post number two!” while I could hear another sentinel chuckling with laughter. This last was a special guard, placed over a tent, with a prisoner in charge. Presently he broke silence.

“Who am dat?” he asked, in a stage whisper. “Am he a buckra [white man]?”

“Dunno whether he been a buckra or not,” responded, doggedly, my Cerberus in uniform; “but I's bound to keep him here till de corporal ob de guard come.”

Yet, when that dignitary arrived, and I revealed myself, poor Number Two appeared utterly transfixed with terror, and seemed to look for nothing less than immediate execution. Of course I praised his fidelity, and the next day complimented him before the guard, and mentioned him to his captain; and the whole affair was very good for them all. Hereafter, if Satan himself should approach them in darkness and storm, they will take him for “de Cunnel,” and treat him with special severity.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Cerberus (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: