"This thing," I exclaimed, "is a contemptible falsehood- a poor hoax - the lees of the invention of some pitiable penny-a-liner - of some wretched concoctor of accidents in Cocaigne.
I cannot pretend to recount all that he told me, but I gleaned from what he said that he was the genius who presided over the contretemps of mankind, and whose business it was to bring about the odd accidents which are continually astonishing the skeptic.
Having completed them to my satisfaction, I again looked toward the time-piece and was half inclined to believe in the possibility of odd accidents when I found that, instead of my ordinary fifteen or twenty minutes, I had been dozing only three; for it still wanted seven and twenty of the appointed hour.
They will charge him four dollars and twenty cents a year on a thousand-dollar accident policy, and for the same policy they will charge a laborer fifteen dollars."
I worked seventeen years in them mills, an' I've took notice that most of the accidents happens just before whistle-blow.* I'm willin' to bet that more accidents happens in the hour before whistle-blow than in all the rest of the day.
A little later in our conversation I asked him a simple little question about the liability of workingmen to accidents, and received a statistical lecture in return.
"The figures have been gathered, and it has been proved conclusively that accidents rarely occur in the first hours of the morning work, but that they increase rapidly in the succeeding hours as the workers grow tired and slower in both their muscular and mental processes.
It's a sore thing to do between such near friends; but if I get the dirdum of this dreadful accident
, I'll have to fend for myself, man.
John Pendleton had met with an accident
," said Miss Polly, a little stiffly; "but--I do not care to be sending jelly to John Pendleton, Pollyanna."
This the white-haired man told me was to be my apartment; and the inner door, which "for fear of accidents
," he said, he would lock on the other side, was my limit inward.
She now began to bewail herself in very bitter terms, and floods of tears accompanied her lamentations; which the lady, her companion, declared she could not blame, but at the same time dissuaded her from indulging; attempting to moderate the grief of her friend by philosophical observations on the many disappointments to which human life is daily subject, which, she said, was a sufficient consideration to fortify our minds against any accidents
, how sudden or terrible soever.
How COULD they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents
, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!