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Page 102


Dear Uncle Joshua:—I suppose you would like to know
something about how the election turned out down here.
Soon as the bell rung, I sot out to go to the town hall, but
before I got half way there, I met chaises, and wagons, and
another kind of chaises, that went on four wheels, and was
shut up close as a hen-coop, all driving t'other way; Jehu like.
What is the matter? says I; who's beat? But along they
went, snapping their whips without answering me a word,
and by their being in such a terrible hurry I thought sure
enough they had got beat, and the enemy was arter 'em. So
I steered round into another street to get out of the way for
fear they should get a brush at me; but there was as many
more of 'em driving like split down that street tu. Where
upon arth are they all going, says I to a feller that overtook
me upon the full run. Going? says he; why to bring 'em to
the polls, you goose; and away he went by me in a whisk.
When he said poles, I thought that cousin Ephraim must have
come in with a load, as they'd be likely to fetch a good price
about this time, and I concluded all that running and driving
was to see who should have the first grab at 'em. I called to
him to tell me where Ephraim was, but he was out of hearing.

So I marched along till I got to the town hall, and they


Page 103
were flocking in as thick as hops. When I got within two or
three rods of the house a man come along and handed me a
vote for Mr. Smith; I stept on the side-walk and another man
handed me a vote for Mr. Hunton; and I went along towards
the door and another man handed me a vote for Mr. Smith,
and then another handed me one for Mr. Hunton. And then I
went to go up stairs into the hall, and there was a row of
about twenty men, and all of 'em gave me a vote, about one-half
for Smith and one-half for Hunton. And before I got
through the hall to the place where they were firing off their
votes, they gave me about twenty more; so if I had been a
mind to vote for Smith or Hunton I could have gin 'em a
noble lift; but that wasn't what I was arter. I was looking
out for the interests of my constituents at Downingville.
And when I come to see among so many votes not one of 'em
had my name on it, I began to feel a little kind of streaked,

I went out again, and I see the chaises and wagons kept
coming and going, and I found out that bringing of 'em to
the polls meant bringing of 'em to vote. And I asked a feller
that stood there, who them are men, that they kept bringing,
voted for. Why, says he, they vote for whichever goes arter
'em, you goose-head you. Ah, says I, is that the way they
work it? And where do they bring 'em from? O, says he,
down round the wharves, and the outskirts of the town and
anywhere that they can catch 'em. Well, well, thinks I to
myself, I've got a new rinkle, I see how this business is done
now. So off I steered and hired a horse and wagon, and
went to hunting up folks to carry to town meeting. And I
guess before night I carried nearly fifty there, of one sort and
another; and I was sure to whisper to every one of 'em jest


Page 104
as they got out of the wagon, and tell 'em my name was
Jack Downing. They all looked very good-natured when I
told 'em my name, and I thought to be sure they would all
vote for me. But how was I thunderstruck when the vote was
declared, and there was 1,008 for Mr. Smith, 909 for Mr. Hunton,
4 for Mr. Ladd, and one or two for somebody else, and not
one for me. Now was'nt that too bad, uncle? Them are faithless
politicians that I carried up to the town meeting! if I
only knew who they were, they should pay for the horse and
wagon, or we'd have a breeze about it.

Write soon, for I am anxious to know how they turned out
in Downingville

Your loving neffu,