20 . A FEW MEMORIES
ing was a frightful nightmare, in which Mr. Prentice, with his gaunt figure, thin gray locks, and Mephistophelian brows, appeared as a magician, and La Planchette as a small grinning devil under his spell.
It was my desire to be always good and obedient, but, like " Cousin Phoenix's legs," my excellent intentions generally carried me in the opposite direction. On seeing a minstrel show for the first time I was fired with a desire to reproduce it. After a week of secret plotting with Joe, I invited Dr. Griffin and my mother to a performance of the nature of which they were utterly ignorant It took place in our front parlor, the audience sitting in the back room. When the folding-doors were thrown open my baby sister and I were discovered as " end men." She was but eight months old, and tied to a chair. Our two small brothers sat between us, and we were all as black as burned cork well rubbed in by my managerial hands could make us. Blissfully ignorant of my mother's mute consternation, I gayly began the opening chorus:
" Good-bye, John ! Don't stay long ! Come back soon to your own chickabiddy."
The scene that ensued I need not describe. Af-