Majors’ Vow

“I was a ‘captain,’ even if it was over a scurvy crew of four. It did to accompany the other fiction that our employers would hire no one who swore or drank. To be sure, the men were clear of drinking — when they could get none. It pleased me to hear how particular our bosses were, and I so wrote; but I never told my parents that my comrades, with few exceptions, swore like pirates and stole what little there was to steal. At first they stole the best oxen from the weaker drivers, when they found their merits and before each one well knew his cattle; then they would steal pipes and tobacco, tinware and bow-keys, as well as the wood, got with so much labor in readiness for cooking breakfast. They were a nice set, take them all around; but there were three or four, I hope the reader will believe, who did not train with the crowd.”