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Miscellany: Swallowing Oysters Alive

Miscellany: Swallowing Oysters Alive image
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At a late hour, the other night, the door of an oyster house in our city was thrust open, and in stalked a hero from tlie Suckcr State. He was quite six feet high, spare, somewhat stooped, with a hungry, anxious countenance, and his hands pushed clear down to the bottom of his brecches pockets. His outer covering was hard to define; but after surveying it minutely, we came to the conclusión that his suit had been made in his boyhood, of a dingy, yellow linsey-woolsey, and that, having sprouted up with astonishing rapidity, he had been forced to piece it with all colors, in order to keep pace .with his body. In spite of his exertions, howeveiy he had fallen in arrears nbout a foot of the necessary length, and consequently, stuck ihat far through his inexpressibles. His erop of hair wassurmounted by the iunniest littleseal-skin cap imaginable. Áfter taking a position, he indulged in a long stare at the man opening the bivalvos, and slowly ejaculated - 'Isters?' Yes, sir,' responded the attentive operator; 4and fino ones they are, too.' 'Well, I've hearn teil of isters afore,' says he, 'but this is the fust time I've seed èïny and jjrehaps Vil know wliat thar made of afore I git out of town.' Having expressed lhis deperate intentto, he cautiously approached a píate, and scrutinized the uucased shell-fish witb n gravity and interest which would have done honor to the most illustrious searcher into the bidden mysteries of nature. - At length he began to soliloquise on the difliculty of getting thetn out, and how queerthey looked when out.. 'I never seed any thing hold on so - 'takes an a-mazin' site of sc-rewin', hoss, to get urn out, and aint they slick and slip'ry when they does come! Smooth ns an eelf I Ve a good mind to give that fellar lodgins,.' jest to realize the effects, as unció Jcss used to say abouí spekelation 'Well, sir, was the rcply, 'down wilh tlie two bits, and yon can have a doeu.''Tvvo bits!' exclaimed the 'Stikker, now come, tliat's stickin' iton ritestrong, hoss, for isters. A dozen on 'em nim nothin to a cliicken, and there's no gittin' morc'n a picayune a piece for them. l've only re-alized forty picayuneson my first ventur' to St. Louis. Pil teil you what Pil gin you two chickens for a dozen, if you'll conclude to deal.'A wng standing by and indulging m a dozen, winked to the attendant to shell out, and the ofler was accepted. 'Now, mind,' repeated the Sticker, all fair - twó chickens for a dozen - you're witness, mister,' turning at the same time to the wag; 'none of your tricks, for Pve hearn teil you city fellers are mity slip'ry coons.' The bargain being fairly understood. our Sticker squared himself for the onset - deliberately put offhisseal skin, tucked up his slee ves, and, fork in hand, awaited the appearance of No. 1. It came - he saw - and quickly it was bolted! A moment's dreadful pause ensued. The wag dropped his knife and fork with a look ofmingled amazement and horror - something akin to Shakspear's Hamlet on seeing his daddy's ghost,- while he burst into the exclamation - 'Swallowed alive, as I'm a christian!' Our Sticker hero had opened his mouth with pleasure a moment before, but now it stood open. Fear - a horrid dread of he did'nt know what, a consciousness that all wasn't right, and ignorancec of the wrong - the uncertainty of that moment was terrible. Urged to desperation he faltered - out - 'What on airth's the row?' 'Did you svvallow it aliveV enquiredthe waer.'I s wal lo wed it jisl as he gin it to me!' shouled íhe Sucker. 'You're a dead man!' exelaimed his anxious friend; 'the creature is alive and will eat right ihrough you,' added he n a most hopeless tone.'Get a pissen pump nnd pump u oui: 5creamed the Sucker,m a frenzy, his eyes Fairly starling frotn their socket3. 'Oh, ?racious!- whai'H I do?' It's got hold of tny innardsf already, and I am as dead as a chicken! - do sometían' for me, do - don't let the infarnal sea-toad eat me afore your eyes.' 'Why don't you put some of Ihison it?' inquired the wag, pointing to a bottle of strong pepper sauce. The hint was enough; the Sticker, upon the instant seized the bottle, and desperately wrenching out the cork, swallowed half the contents ht a draught.- He fairly squealed f rom its eflects, and gasped, blowcd and twisted, as if it were coursingthrough him with electric eflect, while at the same time his eyes ran a stream of tears. At lenglh, becoming a little composed, his waggish adviser npproach, al most bursting with suppressed laughter, and inquired, 'How are you now, old fellow? did you kill it?'Well, I did hoss; ugh-ugh-o-o-o my innards. If that ster critler's dying agonies didn't siir a ruction in me equa] to a small airthquake, than 'taint no use snyin' it; it .squirmed likea sarpent when ihat killing stuff touched it; w'-and here, with a countenance made up of suppressed agony and present detèrmination, he paused as if to give force to his words, and slowly and deliberately remarked- 'If you get two chickens from me for that live animal I'm d- d!' and seizing hisseal skin, he vanished. The shout of lnughter, and the contortions of the company at this finale, would have made a spectator believe that they had all been 'swallowing oysters ulive.'


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