speech as that, my soul would have been satisfied; for it was up to that time the best speech I had ever heard.”
No feature of his backwoods life pleased Abe so well as going to mill.
It released him from a day's work in the woods, besides affording him a much desired opportunity to watch the movement of the mill's primitive and cumbersome machinery.
It was on many of these trips that David Turnham
accompanied him. In later years Mr. Lincoln
related the following reminiscence of his experience as a miller in Indiana
: One day, taking a bag of corn, he mounted the old flea-bitten gray mare
and rode leisurely to Gordon's mill.
Arriving somewhat late, his turn did not come till almost sundown.
In obedience to the custom requiring each man to furnish his own power he hitched the old mare to the arm, and as the animal moved round, the machinery responded with equal speed.
Abe was mounted on the arm, and at frequent intervals made use of his whip to urge the animal on to better speed.
With a careless “Get up, you old hussy,” he applied the lash at each revolution of the arm. In the midst of the exclamation, or just as half of it had escaped through his teeth, the old jade, resenting the continued use of the goad, elevated her shoeless hoof and striking the young engineer in the forehead, sent him sprawling to the earth.
hurried in, picked up the bleeding, senseless boy, whom he took for dead, and at once sent for his father.
Old Thomas Lincoln
camecame as soon as embodied listlessness could moveloaded