Sheepskins And Politics

You know Uncle Tim; he was small, very small--not in stature, for he

was a six-footer, but small in mind and small in heart; his soul was no

bigger than a flea's. "Zeb, my boy," says he to me one day, "always be

neuter in elections. You can't get nothing by them but ill-will. Dear,

dear! I wish I had never voted. I never did but oncest, and, dear,

dear! I wish I had let that alone. There was an army doctor oncest,

lived right opposite to me to Digby: dear, dear! he was a good

friend to me. He was very fond of wether mutton; and, when he killed a

sheep, he used to say to me, 'Friend Tim, I will give you the skin if

you will accept it.' Dear, dear! what a lot of them he gave me, first

and last! Well, oncest the doctor's son, Lawyer Williams, offered for

the town, and so did my brother-in-law, Phin Tucker; and, dear, dear! I

was in a proper fix. Well, the doctor axed me to vote for his son, and

I just up and told him I would, only my relation was candidating also;

but ginn him my hand and promise I would be neuter. Well, I told

brother-in-law the same, that I'd vote for him with pleasure, only my

old friend, the doctor's son, was offering too; and, therefore, gave

him my word also, I'd be neuter. And, oh, dear, dear! neuter I would

have remained too, if it hadn't a-been for them two electioneering

generals--devils, I might say--Lory Scott and Terry Todd. Dear, dear!

somehow or 'nother, they got hold of the story of the sheepskins, and

they gave me no peace day or night. 'What,' says they, 'are you going

to sell your country for a sheepskin?' The day of the election they

seized on me, one by one arm, and the other by the other, and lugged me

off to the poll, whether I would or no.

"'Who do you vote for?' said the sheriff.

"'Would you sell your country for a sheepskin?' shouted Terry, in one


"'Would you sell your country for a sheepskin?' bellowed Lory, in the

other ear.

"I was so frightened, I hardly knew what I did; but they tell me I

voted for brother Phin! Dear, dear! the doctor never gave me a

sheepskin while he lived after that. Dear, dear!--that was an ugly vote

for me!"