:82 BRET harte's CHOICE BITS.
The One Man (solemnly): " Ef I was to appear
before my Maker to-morrow, yes! she was the
widder of Barker."
The Other Man : " Well I swow."
The One Man : " Well, this Widder Widdecombe
she put up a big funeral for the deceased. She
hed Wilkins, and thet ondertaker just laid hisself
out. Just spread hisself, Onfort'natly—perhaps
fort'natly in the ways of Providence—one ol
Widdecombe's old friends, a doctor up thar in
Chicago, comes down to the funeral. He goes up
with the friends to look at the deceased smilin' a
peaceful sort o' heavenly smile, and everybody
sayin' he's gone to meet his reward, and this yer
friend turns round, short and sudden on the widder
settin' in her pew, and kinder enjoyin', as wimen
will, all the compliments paid the corpse, and he
says, says he :—
"' What did you say your husband died of, marm ?'
"' Consumption,' she says, wiping her eyes, poor
critter, ' Consumption—gallopin' consumption,'
" ' Consumption be blest,' sez he, bein' a profane
kind of Chicago doctor, and not bein' ever under
conviction, ' Thet man died of strychnine. Look
at thet face. Look at thet contortion of them
fashal muscles, Thet's strychnine, Thet's risers
Sardofiikus' (thet's what he said; he was always