A LAZY TOWN.
Store tobacco is flat black plug, but these fellows mostly chaws the natural
leaf twisted. When they borrow a chaw, they don't generly cut it off with a knife, but they set the plug in between their teeth, and gnaw with their teeth and tug at the plug with their hands till they get it in two—then sometimes the one that owns the tobacco looks mournful at it when it's handed back, and says, sarcastic—
" Here, gimme the chaw, and you take the plug."
All the streets and lanes was just mud, they warn't nothing else but mud— mud as black as tar, and nigh about a foot deep in some places ; and two or three inches deep in all the places. The hogs loafed and grunted around, everywheres. You'd see a muddy sow and a litter of pigs come lazying along the street and whollop herself right down in the way, where folks had to walk around her, and she'd stretch out, and shut her eyes, and wave her ears, whilst the pigs was milking her, and look as happy as if she was on salary. And pretty soon you'd hear a loafer sing out, " Hi ! so boy ! sick him, Tige !" and away the sow would go, squealing most horrible, with a dog or two swinging to each ear, and three or four dozen more a-coming; and then you would see all the loafers get up and watch the thing out of sight, and laugh at the fun and look grateful for the noise. Then they'd settle back again till there was a dog-fight. There couldn't anything wake them up all over, and make them happy all over, like a dog-fight—unless it might be putting turpentine on a stray dog and setting fire to him, or tying a tin pan to his tail and see him run himself to death.
On the river front some of the houses was sticking out over the bank, and
they was bowed and bent, and about ready to tumble in. The people had
moved out of them. The bank was caved away under one corner of some
others, and that corner was hanging over. People lived in them yet, but it
was dangersome, because sometimes a strip of land as wide as a house caves
in at a time. Sometimes a belt of land a quarter of a mile deep will start in
and cave along and cave along till it all caves into the river in one summer.
Such a town as that has to be always moving back, and back, and back, because
the river's always gnawing at it.