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The Widow’s Bandbox
by [?]

“The fellers they was putty chopfallen, to be sure, and the one in women’s clothes ‘specially: ’cause when he was found out, he felt foolish enough in his petticuts; but they was both took to Boston, and given over as prisoners.

“Ye see, come to look into matters, they found these two young fellows, British officers, had formed a regular plot to take Cap’n Tucker’s vessel, and run it into Halifax; and ye see, Cap’n Tucker he was so sort o’ spry, and knew all the Maine coast so well, and was so ‘cute at dodgin’ in and out all them little bays and creeks and places all ‘long shore, that he made the British considerable trouble, ’cause wherever they didn’t want him, that’s where he was sure to be.

“So they’d hatched up this ‘ere plan. There was one or two British sailors had been and shipped aboard ‘The Brilliant’ a week or two aforehand, and ’twas suspected they was to have helped in the plot if thngs had gone as they laid out; but I tell you, when the fellows see which way the cat jumped, they took pretty good care to say that they hadn’t nothin’ to do with it. Oh, no, by no manner o’ means! Wal, o’ course, ye know, it couldn’t be proved on ’em, and so we let it go.

“But I tell you, Cap’n Tucker he felt pretty cheap about his widder. The worst on’t was, they do say Ma’am Tucker got hold of it; and you might know if a woman got hold of a thing like that she’d use it as handy as a cat would her claws. The women they can’t no more help hittin’ a fellow a clip and a rap when they’ve fairly got him, than a cat when she’s ketched a mouse; and so I shouldn’t wonder if the Commodore heard something about his widder every time he went home from his v’y-ages the longest day he had to live. I don’t know nothin’ ’bout it, ye know: I only kind o’ jedge by what looks, as human natur’ goes.

“But, Lordy massy! boys, ‘t wa’n’t nothin’ to be ‘shamed of in the cap’n. Folks ‘ll have to answer for wus things at the last day than tryin’ to do a kindness to a poor widder, now, I tell you. It’s better to be took in doin’ a good thing, than never try to do good; and it’s my settled opinion,” said Sam, taking up his mug of cider and caressing it tenderly, “it’s my humble opinion, that the best sort o’ folks is the easiest took in, ‘specially by the women. I reely don’t think I should a done a bit better myself.”