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The Spelling Bee At Angels
by [?]

And then the Chair grew very white, and the Chair said he’d adjourn,
But Poker Dick remarked that HE would wait and get his turn;
Then with a tremblin’ voice and hand, and with a wanderin’ eye,
The Chair next offered “eider-duck,” and Dick began with “I”,
And Bilson smiled–then Bilson shrieked! Just how the fight begun
I never knowed, for Bilson dropped, and Dick, he moved up one.

Then certain gents arose and said “they’d business down in camp,”
And “ez the road was rather dark, and ez the night was damp,
They’d”–here got up Three-fingered Jack and locked the door and
“No, not one mother’s son goes out till that thar word is spelled!”
But while the words were on his lips, he groaned and sank in pain,
And sank with Webster on his chest and Worcester on his brain.

Below the bar dodged Poker Dick, and tried to look ez he
Was huntin’ up authorities thet no one else could see;
And Brown got down behind the stove, allowin’ he “was cold,”
Till it upsot and down his legs the cinders freely rolled,
And several gents called “Order!” till in his simple way
Poor Smith began with “O-r”–“Or”–and he was dragged away.

O little kids, my pretty kids, down on your knees and pray!
You’ve got your eddication in a peaceful sort of way;
And bear in mind thar may be sharps ez slings their spellin’ square,
But likewise slings their bowie-knives without a thought or care.
You wants to know the rest, my dears? Thet’s all! In me you see
The only gent that lived to tell about the Spellin’ Bee!


He ceased and passed, that truthful man; the children went their way
With downcast heads and downcast hearts–but not to sport or play.
For when at eve the lamps were lit, and supperless to bed
Each child was sent, with tasks undone and lessons all unsaid,
No man might know the awful woe that thrilled their youthful frames,
As they dreamed of Angels Spelling Bee and thought of Truthful James.

* Qy. Genii.