The Kentuckian Fighter (no title in original)

Messrs. Editors : As our Western neighbors are so anxious for war, and as we of the East must stand the brunt of it, will you allow me to tell them a story I heard some time since :--

"A Young Kentuckian started some years ago for the West in search of fame and fortune. In a small town in the western part of Missouri he applied to a settler for work. The Missourian was an old man, who had been a great fighter in his day, but since old age had begun to feed upon his strength he had been most gloriously whipped. When the Kentuckian applied for employment he was asked if he could fight? He answered that he could, and could 'lick' anything in Missouri. The old man hired him, giving him extra wages if he would do his fighting for him, as well as what other work he might require.

"The second morning after the above arrangement was made they were walking along the road, when they met a stout man, with whom the Missourian had had a fight and been whipped. The old man walked up to his enemy, and without ceremony insulted him. Of course the man was ready for a fight. But the old man had no idea of being bruised again, and so called upon the Kentuckian to whip the fellow. This, of course, he felt bound to do ; and, in accordance with his contract, went at it. The battle was long and severe, but the Kentuckian came off conqueror, though sorely bruised.

"At night, when they sat down to their evening meal, the old man asked his friend how he liked his situation?

" 'Why,' said the Kentuckian, "a bargain is a bargain, and I am the last man to back out from my engagement. But if you would carry yourself a little more circumstantially (circumspectly,) I'd got along rather better, for in my opinion, there was no need of that almighty hard fight this morning."

From the New York Journal of Commerce.


Notes: New York Spirit of the Times 15.48 (24 January 1846): 564. University of Virginia Alderman Library.

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

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