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[445]

“ Yes, massa, I do dat,” he replied; “I allers settle 'um in de coffee-pot.”

Here he let go the envelope to gesticulate, by a downward thrust of his forefinger, the direction that would be given to the coffee-grounds for the future.

“Never mind how you do it,” gravely exclaimed the corporal; “but hold on to the Bible.”

Lordy, massa, I forgot,” said the negro, as he darted forward and grasped the envelope with a firmer clutch, when the corporal continued:

And you do solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of all loyal States, and not dirty the plates when cleaning them, or wipe them with your shirt sleeves?

Here a frown lowered upon the brow of the negro, his eyes expanded to their largest dimensions, while his lips protruded,with a rounded form, as he exclaimed:

Lordy, massa--I nebber do dat. I allers washes 'um nice. Ole missus mighty 'tickler 'bout dat.

“Never mind ole missus!” said the corporal, as he resumed: “And you do solemnly swear that you will put milk into the coffee every morning, and see that the ham and eggs are not cooked too much or too little?”

“ Yes — I do dat. I'se a good cook.”

“And lastly,” continued the corporal, “you do solemnly swear that when this war is over, you'll make tracks for Africa mighty fast?”

“Yes, massa, I do dat. I allers wanted to go to Cheecargoo.”

Here the regimental drum beat up for dress parade, when Tom Benton — that being his name — was declared

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