"Not a drop more, Major, unless it's sweeten'd."
In a small village, inthe Southern section of our State, resides a certain Major, who keeps a small cosey comfortable little Inn, famous for its sweeten'd drinks, as well as jovial landlord ; and few of the surrounding farmers visit the neighborhood, without giving the Major a friendly call to taste his mixtur'. The gay host, with jolly phiz, round person, bright eye and military air, deals out the rations spiced with jokes, which, if they are not funny, are at least laughed at, for the Major enjoys them so vastly himself, that his auditors are forced to laugh out of pure sympathy.
A good old couple, who resided about six miles from the Major's, for a long period had been in the habit of visiting him once a month, and as regularly went home dreadfully sweeten'd with the favorite mixtur', but of late, we learn, the amicable relations existing between the Major and his old visitors have been broken off by green-eyed jealousy. On the last night visit, good cause was given for an end being put to any more "sweet drinking."
"Uncle Merril, how are you any how," was the Major's greeting, "and I declare if the Missus aint with you, too"--just as if he expected she wouldn't come. "What'll you take Missus ? shall I sweeten you a little of about the best Cincinnati rectified that ever was toted into these 'ere parts?--it jest looks as bright as your eyes!" and here the Major winked and looked so sweet there was no resisting, and she did take a little sweeten'd, and more, after a very brief period she commenced repeating.
The hours flew merril-y by, and evening found the old couple so overloaded with sweets, that it was with great difficulty they could be seated on the old grey mare, to return home ; but, after many a kind shake from the host, and just another drop of his sweetn'd, off they jogged, see-sawing from side to side on the critter, the old lady muttering her happiness, adn the old man too full to find words to express himself.
"Sich another man as that Major," says she, "ain't nowhere--and sich a mixtur' as he does make, is temptin' to temperance lecturers. He is an amazin' nice man, and, if any thing, he sweetens the last drop better than the first. Good gracious ! what a pleasin' creatur' he is!"
Ever and anon these encomiums on the Major and his mixture broke from the old lady, until of a sudden, on passing a small rivulet, a jolt of the mare's silenced them, and the old man rode on a short distance in perfect quietness. At length he broke out with--
"Old woman, you and that 'ere major's conduct, to-day, was rayther unbecomin'--his formalities was too sweet to be mistook, and you ain't goin' thar agin in a hurry."
"Silence," was the only answer.
"Oh, you're huffy, are you?" continued the old man. "Well, I guess you can
stay so, till you give in"--and on he jogged, in a silently jealous mood. On
arriving at the farm, he called to a negro to lift the old woman off, but Sam,
the nigger, stood gazing at him in silent astonishment.
"Lift her off, you Sam, do you hear?--and do it carefully, or some of her wrath'll bile out. In spite of the Major's sweetenin' she's mad as thunder."
"Why, de lor', massa, de ole 'oman aint dar," replied Sam, his eyes standing out of his countenance. "Jest turn round, massa, and satisfy you'self dat de ole 'oman clar gone an missin--de lor! "
And sure enough, on a minute examination by the old man, she was "found missing." The Major was charged at once with abduction, instant measures were taken for pursuit, and a party despatched to scour the roads. On proceeding about two miles on the road to the Major's, the party were suddenly halted at the small rivulet, by finding the Missus with her head lying partly in the little stream, its waters laving her lips, and softly murmuring--"Not a drop more, Major, unless it's sweeten'd ! "
Source: St. Louis Weekly Reveille 1.15 (21 October 1844): 114. Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.
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