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Old 06-13-2016, 06:39 AM   #1
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Paine, Albert Bigelow: Elsie and the Arkansaw Bear (illus). v1. 13 Jun 2016

Elsie and the Arkansaw Bear by Albert Bigelow Paine (1861–1935)
Illustrations by Frank Ver Beck (1858–1933)
First published in 1909. This book is in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.
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Text and illustrations from hathitrust.org. Some illustrations are tinted with water-color wash. Embedded font for titling.

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Albert Bigelow Paine was an American author and biographer best known for his work with Mark Twain. He wrote in several genres, including fiction, humor, and verse, for children and adults. His most notable work was a three-volume biography of Mark Twain.

This sequel to The Arkansaw Bear brings more humorous tales about Horatio, the fiddle-playing bear. Orphan Elsie, a young girl running away from her abusive Uncle Henneger, meets Horatio, and sets out with him to return to the Bear Colony in the Big Swamp Wood.

Perhaps because these stories were targeted to girls, the adventures are of a gentler nature than those endured by Bosephus in the first book. The song “The Arkansaw Traveller” dominates, but is not the only melody sung by Orphan Elsie.

Recommended for age ten and up.

EXCERPT:
Spoiler:
Elsie didn’t dance Johnnie Bear up and down after that verse, or set him on Horatio’s shoulder, or on his head, or his arm. She was about to do all of these things, and then, suddenly, she dropped him — dropped her dear Johnnie Bear on the ground in the dirt — for there, standing right in front of her, his face so full of vinegar that it would have turned milk sour just to look at it — if milk could look at it — stood Uncle Hennegar himself!

Then Elsie gave a scream, and fell back against Horatio, who fell back against the Watson boys, who fell back against the crowd behind them, who fell back against some horses, who were hitched to a rack along the street; and the horses snorted and kicked, and some of them broke loose, and one team ran off and upset a wagon loaded with barrels, and the barrels went rolling all over the street in every direction and scared a lot of chickens and geese that were pecking in the common, and these ran hissing and cackling, and one barrel frightened another horse that was hitched to a tin-peddler’s wagon, and the horse backed suddenly and upset all the tinware with a terrible racket, and by that time everybody was talking back to some body else, till nobody could tell what had happened or who was to blame. Uncle Hennegar had never raised such a commotion before in all his life.
He didn’t seem to mind it much, though, or to be proud of it. He just walked straight up to Elsie and took her by the arm.

“So this is what you’re a-doin’, is it?” he said; “travelin’ around and givin’ shows an’ makin’ money fer other people. Well, we’ll jest stop that. I’m yer only kin, and you an’ yer b’ar can jest come along an’ give shows an’ make money fer yer Uncle Hennegar. D’ye hear?”

Elsie struggled to get away.

“I won’t!” she said. “I won’t go with you again. You’re not my uncle. You’re just a wicked man that married my aunt, and abused her until she died. And you have abused me. I hate you!”

Elsie knew that it was very impolite to say that she hated anyone, but she was excited, and besides, it was the truth. By this time the crowd had gathered and the Watson boys had come up close.

“Look yere,” said Pod Watson to Uncle Hennegar, “you take yer hands off that little girl! She says you ain’t her uncle, an’ she ran away because you was mean to her. An’ you ain’t got no claim on the b’ar, neither. We tuck thet b’ar out of the woods, runnin’ wild!”


Well, to find out how that scene resolves, you will have to download the book.
This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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