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Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance
written by "Cavanah, Frances, 1889-1982"
...egan to happen in the Lincoln cabin. Tom went out to the wagon to unhitch the horses. Dennis brought in more firewood. Abe and Mathilda started for the spring, swinging the water pail between them. Betsy mixed a fresh batch of cornbread in the iron skillet, and Sally set it on the hearth to bake. Tom came back from the wagon, carrying a comb of honey and a slab of bacon, and soon the magic smell of frying bacon filled the air. There were no dishes, but Sally kept large pieces of bark in the cupboard. Eight people sat down at the one little table, but no one seemed to mind that it was crowded. The Lincoln children had almost forgotten how good bacon could taste. Abe ate in silence, his eyes on his plate. Sally seemed to feel much better. Sitting between her stepsisters, she was soon chattering with them as though they were old friends. Once she called the new Mrs. Lincoln "Mamma," just as her own daughters did.[Pg 29] Dennis sat on the other side of Betsy. He seemed to be enjoying himself most of all. He sopped up his last drop of golden honey on his last piece of cornbread. "I declare," he said, grinning, "we ain't had a meal like this since Nancy died." Abe jumped up at the mention of his mother's name. He was afraid that he was going to cry. He had started for the door, when he felt his father's rough hand on his shoulder. "Abe Lincoln, you set right down there and finish your cornbread." Abe looked up at Tom out of frightened gray eyes. But he shook his head. "I can't, Pa." "A nice way to treat your new ma!" Tom Lincoln sounded both angry and embarrassed. "You clean up your plate or I'll give you a good hiding." The young Johnstons gasped. Abe could hear Sally's whisper: "Please, Abe! Do as Pa says." Then he heard another voice. "Let the boy be, Tom." It was Sarah Lincoln speaking. There was something about the way she said it that made Abe decide to come back and sit down. He managed somehow to eat the rest of ...

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