Johnny Greer

by


"The church was densely crowded that lovely summer Sabbath," said the Sunday-school superintendent, "and all, as their eyes rested upon the small coffin, seemed impressed by the poor black boy's fate. Above the stillness the pastor's voice rose, and chained the interest of every ear as he told, with many an envied compliment, how that the brave, noble, daring little Johnny Greer, when he saw the drowned body sweeping down toward the deep part of the river whence the agonized parents never could have recovered it in this world, gallantly sprang into the stream, and, at the risk of his life, towed the corpse to shore, and held it fast till help came and secured it. Johnny Greer was sitting just in front of me. A ragged street-boy, with eager eye, turned upon him instantly, and said in a hoarse whisper

"'No; but did you, though?'

"'Yes.'

"'Towed the carkiss ashore and saved it yo'self?'

"'Yes.'

"'Cracky! What did they give you?'

"'Nothing.'

"'W-h-a-t [with intense disgust]! D'you know what I'd 'a' done? I'd 'a' anchored him out in the stream, and said, Five dollars, gents, or you carn't have yo' nigger.'"


8.3

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