<p><SPAN name="link2H_4_0008" id="link2H_4_0008"></SPAN></p>
<h2> Uncle Josh and the Fire Department </h2>
<p>ONE day in New York, I thot I'd rite a letter home. Wall after I'd got it
all writ, I sed to the landlord of the tavern—now, whar abouts in
New York do you keep the post offis? And he sed, "what do you want with
the post offis?" So I told him I'd jist writ a letter home to mother and
Samantha Ann, and I'd like to go to the post offis and mail it. And he
told me "you don't have to go to the post offis, do you see that little
box on the post thar on the corner?" I alowed as how I did. Wall he says,
"You jist go out thar and put your letter in that box, and it will go
right to the post offis." I sed—wall now, gee whiz, ain't that
handy. Wall I went out thar, and I had a good deal of trouble in gittin'
the box open, and when I did git it open, thar wan't any place to put my
letter, thar wuz a lot of notes and hooks and hinges, and a lot of
readin,' it sed—"pull on the hook twice and turn the knob," or
somethin, like that, I couldn't jist rightly make it out. Wall I yanked on
that hook 'till I tho't I'd pull it out by the roots, but I couldn't git
the durned thing open, then I turned on the knob two or three times, and
that didn't do any good, so I pulled on the hook and turned on the knob at
the same time, and jist then I think all the fire bells in New York
commenced to ringin' all to onct. Wall I looked round to see whar the fire
wuz, and a lot of fire ingines and hook and ladder wagons cum a gallopin'
up to whar I stood, and they had a big sody water bottle on wheels, and it
busted and squirted sody water all over me. Wall one of them fire fellers,
lookin' jist like I'd seen them in picters in Ezra Hoskin's insurance
papers, he cum up to me madder'n a hornet, and he sed "what are you tryin'
to do with that box?" So I told him I'd jist writ a letter home, and I wuz
a tryin' to mail it. He sed "why you durned old green horn, you've called
out the hull fire department of New York City." Wall I guess you could
have knocked me down with a feather. I sed—wall you'r a purty
healthy lookin' lot of fellers, it won't hurt ye any to go back, will it?
Wall he sed, "thars your letter box over on thother corner, now you let
this box alone." Wall they all drove away, and I went over to the other
box, but I didn't know whether to touch it or not, I didn't know but maybe
I'd call out the state legislater if I opened it. Wall while I wuz a
standin' thar a feller cum along and looked all round, and when he thot
thar wan't any body watchin' him, he opened that box and commenced takin'
the letters out. Wall I'd heered a whole lot 'bout them post offis
robbers, when I wuz post master down home at Punkin Center, so jist
arrested him right thar, I took him by the nap of the neck and flopped him
right down on the side walk, and sot on him, I hollered—MURDER!
PERLEES! and every other thing I could think of, and a lot of constables
and town marshalls cum a runnin' up, and one of them sed "what are you
holdin' this man fer?" and I told him I'd caught him right in the act of
robbin' the United States Post Offis, and by gosh I arrested him. Wall
they all commenced a laffin', and I found out I'd arrested one of the post
masters of New York City.</p>
<p>I lost mother's letter and she never did git it.</p>
<div style="break-after:column;"></div><br />