Look Out For Them Lobsters

Deacon ----, who resides in a pleasant village inside of an hour's ride

upon Fitchburg road, rejoices in a fondness for the long-tailed

crustacea, vulgarly known as lobsters. And, from messes therewith

fulminated, by some of our professors of gastronomics that we have

seen, we do not attach any wonder at all to the deacon's penchant for

the aforesaid shell-fish. The deacon had been disappointed several times

by asserti
ns of the lobster merchants, who, in their overwhelming zeal

to effect a sale, had been a little too sanguine of the precise time

said lobsters were caught and boiled; hence, after lugging home a ten

pound specimen of the vasty deep, miles out into the quiet country, the

deacon was often sorely vexed to find the lobster no better than it

should be!

"Why don't you get them alive, deacon?" said a friend,--"get them alive

and kicking, deacon; boil them yourself; be sure of their freshness, and

have them cooked more carefully and properly."

"Well said," quoth the deacon; "so I can, for they sell them, I observe,

near the depot,--right out of the boat. I'm much obliged for the


The next visit of the good deacon to Boston,--as he was about to return

home, he goes to the bridge and bargains for two live lobsters, fine,

active, lusty-clawed fellows, alive and kicking, and no mistake!

"But what will I do with them?" says the deacon to the purveyor of the

crustacea, as he gazed wistfully upon the two sprawling, ugly, green

and scratching lobsters, as they lay before him upon the planks at his


"Do with 'em?" responded the lobster merchant,--"why, bile 'em and eat

'em! I bet you a dollar you never ate better lobsters 'n them, nohow,


The deacon looked anxiously and innocently at the speaker, as much as to

say--"you don't say so?"

"I mean, friend, how shall I get them home?"

"O," says the lobster merchant, "that's easy enough; here, Saul," says

he, calling up a frizzle-headed lad in blue pants--sans hat or boots,

and but one gallows to his breeches, "here, you, light upon these

lobsters and carry 'em home for this old gentleman."

"Goodness, bless you," says the deacon; "why friend, I reside ten miles

out in the country!"

"O, the blazes you do!" says the lobster merchant; "well, I tell you,

Saul can carry 'em to the cars for you in this 'ere bag, if you're goin'


"Truly, he can," quoth the deacon; "and Saul can go right along with


The lobsters were dashed into a piece of Manilla sack, thrown across the

shoulders of the juvenile Saul, and away they went at the heels of the

deacon, to the depot; here Saul dashed down the "poor creturs" until

their bones or shells rattled most piteously, and as the deacon handed a

"three cent piece" to Saul, the long and wicked claw of one of the

lobsters protruded out of the bag--opened and shut with a clack, that

made the deacon shudder!

"Those fellows are plaguy awkward to handle, are they not, my son?" says

the deacon.

"Not werry," says the boy; "they can't bite, cos you see they's got

pegs down here--hallo!" As Saul poked his hand down towards the big

claw lying partly out of the open-mouthed bag, the claw opened, and

clacked at his fingers, ferocious as a mad dog.

"His peg's out," said the boy--"and I can't fasten it; but here's a

chunk of twine; tie the bag and they can't get out, any how, and you

kin put 'em into yer pot right out of the bag."

"Yes, yes," says the deacon; "I guess I will take care of them; bring

them here; there, just place the bag right in under my seat; so, that

will do."

Presently the cars began to fill up, as the minute of departure

approached, and soon every seat around the worthy deacon was occupied.

By-and-by, "a middle-aged lady," in front of the deacon, began to

fussle about and twist around, as if anxious to arrange the great

amplitude of her drapery, and look after something "bothering" her

feet. In front of the lady, sat a slab-sided genus dandy, fat as a

match and quite as good looking; between his legs sat a pale-face dog,

with a flashing collar of brass and tinsel, quite as gaudy as his

master's neck-choker; this canine gave an awful--

"Ihk! ow, yow! yow-oo--yow, ook! yow! yow! YOW!"

"Lor' a massy!" cries the woman in front of the deacon, jumping up, and

making a desperate splurge to get up on to the seats, and in the effort

upsetting sundry bundles and parcels around her!

"Yow-ook! Yow-ook!" yelled the dog, jumping clear out of the grasp

of the juvenile Mantillini, and dashing himself on to the head and

shoulders of the next seat occupants, one of whom was a sturdy civilized

Irishman, who made "no bones" in grasping the sickly-looking dog, and to

the horror and alarm of the entire female party present, he sung out:

"Whur-r-r ye about, ye brute! Is the divil mad?"

"Eee! Ee! O dear! O! O!" cries an anxious mother.

"O! O! O-o-o! save us from the dog!" cries another.

"Whur-r-r-r! ye divil!" cries the Irish gintilman, pinning the poor

dog down between the seats, with a force that extracted another glorious


"Ike! Ike! Ike! oo, ow! ow! Ike! Ike! Ike!"

"Murder! mur-r-r-der!" bawls another victim in the rear of the deacon,

leaping up in his seat, and rubbing his leg vigorously.

"What on airth's loose?" exclaims one.

"Halloo! what's that?" cries another, hastily vacating his seat and

crowding towards the door.

"O dear, O! O!" anxiously cries a delicate young lady.

"What? who? where?" screamed a dozen at once.

"Good conscience!" exclaims the deacon, as he dropped his newspaper,

in the midst of the din--noise and confusion; and with a most singular

and spasmodic effort to dance a "highland fling," he hustled out of

his seat, exclaiming:

"Good conscience, I really believe they're out."

"Eh? What--what's out?" cries one.

"Snakes!" echoes an old gentleman, grasping a cane.

"Snappin' turtles, Mister?" inquire several.

"Snakes!" cried a dozen.

"Snappers!" echoes a like quantity of the dismayed.


"Snake-e-e-es!" O what a din!

"Halloo! here, what's all this? What's the matter?" says the conductor,

coming to the rescue.

"That man's got snakes in the car!" roar several at once.

"And snappin' turtles, too, consarn him!" says one, while all eyes were

directed, tongues wagging, and hands gesticulating furiously at the

astonished deacon.

"Take care of them! Take care of them! I believe I'm bitten clear

through my boot--catch them, Mr. Swallow!" cries the deacon.

"Swallow 'em, Mr. Catcher!" echoes the frightened dandy.

"What? where?" says the excited conductor, looking around.

"Here, here, in under these seats, sir,--my lobsters, sir," says the

deacon, standing aloof to let the conductor and the man with the cane

get at the reptiles, as the latter insisted.

"Darn 'em, are they only lobsters!"

"Pooh! Lobsters!" says young Mantillini, with a mock heroic shrug of his

shoulders, and looking fierce as two cents!

"Come out here!" says the conductor, feeling for them.

"Take care!" says the deacon, "the plaguy things have got their pins


"Why, they are alive, and crawling around; hear the old fellow,--take

care, Mr. Swaller--he's cross as sin!" says the man with the

cane--"wasn't that a snap? Take care! You got him?" that indefatigable

assistant continued, rattling his tongue and cane.

"I've got them!" cries the conductor.

"Put them in the bag, here, sir," says the deacon.

"Take them out of this car!" cries everybody.

"Plaguy things," says the deacon. "I sha'n't never buy another live


Order was restored, passengers took their seats, but when young

Mantillini looked for his dog, he had vamosed with the Irishman, at

"the last stopping place," in his excitement, leaving a quart jug of

whiskey in lieu of the dandy's dog.