A PIRATE AT THE GAMP MEETING.
preacher begun to preach ; and begun in earnest, too ; and went weaving first to one side of the platform and then the other, and then a leaning down over the front of it, with his arms and his body going all the time, and shouting his words out with all his might ; and every now and then he would hold up his Bible and spread it open, and kind of pass it around this way and that, shouting, " It's the brazen serpent in the wilderness ! Look upon it and live ! " And people would shout out, " Glory!—A-a-men!" And so he went on, and the people groaning and crying and saying amen :
" Oh, come to the mourners' bench ! come, black with sin ! (amen I) come, sick and sore ! (amen !) come, lame and halt, and blind ! (amen !) come, pore and needy, sunk in shame ! (a-a-men!) come all that's worn, and soiled, and suffering !—come with a broken spirit! come with a contrite heart! come in your rags and sin and dirt! the waters that cleanse is free, the door of heaven stands open—oh, enter in and be at rest! " (a-a-men ! glory, glory hallelujah !)
And so on. You couldn't make out what the preacher said, any more, on account of the shouting and crying. Folks got up, everywheres in the crowd, and worked their way, just by main strength, to the mourners' bench, with the tears running down their faces ; and when all the mourners had got up there to the front benches in a crowd, they sung, and shouted, and flung themselves down on the straw, just crazy and wild.
Well, the first I knowed, the king got agoing; and you could hear him over everybody ; and next he went a-charging up on to the platform and the preacher he begged him to speak to the people, and he done it. He told them he was a pirate—been a pirate for thirty years, out in the Indian Ocean, and his crew was thinned out considerable, last spring, in a fight, and he was home now, to take out some fresh men, and thanks to goodness he'd been robbed last night, and put ashore off of a steamboat without a cent, and he was glad of it, it was the blessedest thing that ever happened to him, because he was a changed man now, and happy for the first time in his life; and poor as he was, he was going to start right off and work his way back to the Indian Ocean and put in the rest of his life trying to turn the pirates into the true path ; for he could do it better than anybody else, being acquainted with all the pirate crews