Yankee in a
Conscience sakes! but hain't they got a lot of pork here? said a
looker-on in Quincy Market, t'other day.
Pork! echoes a decidedly Green Mountain biped, at the elbow
of the first speaker.
Yes, I vow it's quite as-tonishing how much pork is sold
here and et up by somebody, continued the old gent.
Et up? says the other, whose physical structure somewhat resembled
a fat lath, and whose general contour made it self-evident that
he was not given much to frivolity, jauntily-fitting coats and
breeches, or perfumed and fixed up barberality extravagance.
Et up! he thoughtfully and earnestly repeated, as his hands rested
in the cavity of his trousers pockets, and his eyes rested upon the
You wern't never in Cincinnatty, I guess?
No, I never was, says the old gent.
Never was? Well, I cal'lated not. Never been in a
Never, unless you may call this a Pork-house?
The-is? Pork-haouse? says Yankee. Well, I reckon notdon't
begin'tain't nothin' likenot a speck in a puddle to a
Pork-haousea Cincinnatty Pork-haouse!
I've hearn that they carry on the Pork business pooty stiff, out
there, says the old gentleman.
Pooty stiff? Good gravy, but don't they? 'Pears to me, I knew yeou
somewhere? says our Yankee.
You might, cautiously answers the old gent.
'Tain't 'Squire Smith, of Maoun-Peelier?
N'no, my name's Johnson, sir.
Johnson? Oh, in the tin business?
Oh, no, I'm not in business, at all, sir, was the reply.
Not? Oh,thoughtfully echoes Yankee. Wall, no matter, I thought
p'raps yeou were from up aour wayI'm from near Maoun-PeelierState
Fine country, I'm told? says the old gent.
Ye-a-a-s, 'tis;was the abstracted response of Yankee, who seemed
to be revolving something in his own mind.
Raise a great deal of woolfine sheep country?
'Tis great on sheep. But sheep ain't nothin' to the everlasting hog
Think not, eh? said the old gent.
I swow teu pucker, if I hain't seen more hogs killed, afore
breakfast, in Cincinnatty, than would burst this buildin' clean open!
You don't tell me so?
By gravy, I deu, though. You hain't never been in Cincinnatty?
I said not.
Never in a Pork-haouse?
Wall, yeou've hearn tellof Ohio, I reckon?
Oh, yes! got a daughter living out there, was the answer.
Yeou don't say so?
I have, in Urbana, or near it, said the old gent.
Urbanny! Great kingdom! why I know teu men living aout there; one's
trading, t'other's keepin' school; may be yeou know 'emSampson
Wheeler's one, Jethro Jones's t'other. Jethro's a cousin of mine; his
fa'ther, no, his mother married'tain't no matter; my name's
Small,Appogee Small, and I was talkin'
About the hog crop, Cincinnatty Pork-houses.
Ye-a-a-s; wall, I went eout West last fall, stopped at
Cincinnattyteu weeks. Dreadful nice place; by gravy, they do deu
business there; beats Salvation haow they go it on steamboatsbust ten
a day and build six!
Is it possible? says the old gent; but the hogs
Deu beat all. I went up to the Pork-haouses;fus thing you meet is
a string'bout a mile long, of big and little critters, greasy and
sassy as sin; buckets and bags full of scraps, tails, ears, snaouts and
ribs of hogs. Foller up this line and yeou come to the Pork-haouses,
and yeou go in, if they let yeou, and they did me, so in I went, teu an
almighty large haousebig as all aout doors, and a feller steps up to
me and says he:
'Yeou're a stranger, I s'pose?'
'Yeou deu?' says I.
'Ye-a-a-s,' says he, 'I s'pose so,' and I up and said I was.
'Wall,' says he, 'ef you want to go over the haouse, we'll send a
feller with you!'
So I went with the feller, and he took me way back, daown
stairsaout in a lot; a-a-a-nd everlastin' sin! yeou should jist seen
the hogscouldn't caount 'em in three weeks!
Good gracious! exclaims the old gent.
Fact, by gravy! Sech squealin', kickin' and goin' on; sech cussin'
and hollerin', by the fellers pokin' 'em in at one eend of the lot and
punchin' on 'em aout at t'other! Sech a smell of hogs and fat,
brissels and hot water, I swan teu pucker, I never did
cal'late on, afore!
Wall, as fast as they driv' 'em in by droves, the fellers kept a
craowdin' 'em daown towards the Pork-haouse; there two fellers kept a
shootin' on 'em daown, and a hull gang of the all-firedest dirty,
greasy-looking fellers aoutstuck 'em, hauled 'em daown, and
afore yeou could say Sam Patch! them hogs were yanked aout of the
lotkilledscalded and scraped.
Mighty quick work, I guess, says the old gent.
Quick work? Yeou ought to see 'em. Haow many hogs deu yeou cal'late
them fellers killed and scraped a day?
Couldn't possibly sayhundreds, I expect.
Hundreds! Grea-a-at King! Why, I see 'em kill thirteen hundred in
teu hours;did, by golly!
Yeou don't say so?
Yes, sir. And a feller with grease enough abaout him to make
a barrel of saft soap, said that when they hurried 'em up some they
killed, scalded and scraped ten thousand hogs in a day; and when they
put on the steam, twenty thousand porkers were killed off and cut up in
a single day!
I want to know!
Yes, sir. Wall, we went into the haouse, where they scalded the
critters fast as they brought 'em in. By gravy, it was amazin' how the
brissels flew! Afore a hog knew what it was all abaout, he was bare
as a punkina hook and tackle in his snaout, and up they snaked
him on to the next floor. I vow they kept a slidin' and snakin' 'em in
and up through the scuttlesjest in one stream!
'Let's go up and see 'em cut the hogs,' says the feller.
Up we goes. Abaout a hundred greasy fellers were a hacken on 'em
up. By golly, it was deth to particular people the way the fat and
grease flew! Two whacksfore and aft, as Uncle Jeems
used to saysplit the hog; one whack, by a greasy feller with an
everlasting chunk of sharpened iron, and the hog was quarteredgrabbed
and carried off to another block, and then a set of savagerous-lookin'
chaps layed to and cut and skirted around;hams and shoulders were
going one way, sides and middlins another way; wall, I'm screwed if the
hull room didn't 'pear to be full of flying porkin hams, sides,
scraps and greasy fellersrippin' and a tearin'! Daown in another
place they were saltin' and packin' away, like sin! Daown in the other
place they were frying aout the lardfillin' barrels, from a regular
river of fat, coming aout of the everlastin' biggest bilers yeou ever
did see, I vow! Now, I asked the feller if sich hurryin' a hog through
a course of spraouts helped the pork any, and he said it didn't make
any difference, he s'pected. He said they were not hurryin' then, but
if I would come in, some day, when 'steam was up,' he'd show me quick
work in the pork businessknock daown, drag aout, scrape, cut up, and
have the hog in the barrel before he got through squealin'!
Hello! Say!'Squire, gone?
The old gent wasgone; the last brick hit him!