A Gallant Fireman

Hannibal Western Union/January 16, 1851

At the fire, on Thursday morning, we were apprehensive of our own safety (being only one door from the building on fire) and commenced arranging our material in order to remove them in case of necessity. Our gallant devil, seeing us somewhat excited, concluded he would perform a noble deed, and immediately gathered the broom, an old mallet, the washpan and a dirty towel, and in a fit of patriotic excitement, rushed out of the office and deposited his precious burden some ten squares off, out of danger. Being of a snailish disposition, even in his quickest moments, the fire had been extinguished during his absence. He returned in the course of an hour, nearly out of breath, and thinking he had immortalized himself, threw his giant frame in a tragic attitude, and explained, with an eloquent expression: “If that thar fire hadn’t bin put out, that’d a’ bin the greatest confirmation of the age!”

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