DEAD CHICKENS WON’T CROW.
Messrs. Editors : In the year 18--, the Ohio being but a “ Spring Branch,” and only navigable for the smallest class of “ Floating Palaces,” an Irish Count ! or rather no ac-count, except for the rapidity and ease with which he could hide any quality of feed, embarked on the “ fast running” Grecian, with some sixty other free and enlightened citizens, bound for New Orleans—the only drawback to his happiness being an indefinite dread that the “spread” would not be ample enough to satisfy his insatiate maw,--and a strong muscled one he had to hold the quantity of “ fish, flesh, and fowl,” consigned to it. At breakfast he “washed things smartly,” but “sassengers,” fried potatoes, and “ sich like,” “ damped down” with coffee strong enough to eat holes in his shirt, were to him but “ the substance of things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen.” Dinner was the event that was to consummate his every wish, and with a half uttered hope that it would be “good”—“ dinner”—“ good”—he watched the “ skilletheads” preparing for it, until he heard the dusky “ Campanologian” ring his bell, with eyes protruded and galvanic jumps, he placed himself opposite the only dish of chickens that graced that “ festive board.” Fashion and Peytona are fast—so is lightning—but if you think they or it could beat the “ highly concentrated” “ double action” lick that “moved ‘em—them chickens—don’t make any bets.”  The chickenless sovereigns on that “ floating palace” gazed with awe ; but as self preservation was important to them, an arrangement was made with the boss cook, to kill the chickens intended for the succeeding day, and throw them back into the coop, with the live ones. This done, a small sized “ indignation meeting” was got up near our “fat friend,” who soon heard a Cassius-looking citizen remark, that it was “ a d--n shame that only such chickens as died in the coops were cooked for dinner.” “ It is so,” says another—“ but I understand it’s the Captain’s orders.” With a noise between a grunt and a growl, that sounded like d--n, the well-fed count “put” for the coops, which he curiously examined. Soon his musical voice was heard at the cook house. “ See here, you d-----d Ethiopian, do you cook the chickens that die ?” “ Why, ole massa, dey are mity sickly, and de Cap’en says we must cook de dead ones—or dey won’t last !”
“ Hallo ! Steward, where are you ‘ toting’ that medicine chest ?” “ State Room E, sar—dat fat man nigh kill himself eating. He has dat.”
“ I’m going to liquor—are YOU IN ?”
Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15.14 (31 May 1845): 153. University of Virginia Alderman Library.
Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.
 Original text omits end quotation mark.
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