During the first excitement in one of the great Northern cities, after the taking of Fort Sumter
, the vigilance committees were eagerly searching for Secessionists.
One of these committees, consisting of a band of four braves, came to the office of a certain Dr. B., asking him why he had not a flag hanging out, and demanding of him to show his colors.
, an easy man of the world, told them, "Gentlemen, if you come to me on business, or even to pay me a friendly visit, you are welcome at any of my leisure hours; but don't talk to me on political subjects, else I shall regret having to receive you impolitely, and shall eventually very politely show you the door." Whereupon the four braves left him, threatening to return and make the "d — d Sesesher" show his colors.
The next day, at the Doctor
's regular office hours, a band of eight came demanding of him to immediately place the Stars and Stripes over his office, or something else would be shown to him. The Doctor
, sitting in his own easy chair, smoking his cigar, very coolly replied:
"My good men, let me state to you all, once more, what I said to some of you yesterday, that I will not permit any one to meddle with my doings; and more that when you persist in troubling me I shall rid myself of you. Here I am, a man who has seen battles and faced death more than once.
I do not fear death.
I have neither wife nor child; nor father, mother, or sister; but am an exile from my home and want to be a free man, and before I will be overpowered by a mob I would rather throw this burning cigar in that keg of power you see there under my desk; and by the almighty!
I will do it now."
--The words were scarcely out of the Doctor
's mouth before the whole band was seen making their way down stairs as quick as their pedestrians and the narrow staircase would permit, and never exhibited their faces there again.
A short while after, Dr.
B. related to a visiting friend the whole affair; and the question being asked, "Doctor
, how if the band had taken your word for blowing them up, what would have become of you?" "Go and examine the keg," he said.
His friend did so, and found an empty keg turned upside down, and on the bottom about a quarter of a pound of powder, which, as the Doctor
said, would have answered more than twice to disperse all the mobs of the city.