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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/26

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rude coffin on a knoll near by, with no prayer or service over the grave. Months later the little boy learned to write, and his first letter, addressed to a wandering preacher, brought the latter to preach a funeral sermon over the lonely, snow-covered grave.

Before the next winter was over, the father went back to Kentucky and so successfully courted a widow, Sarah Bush Johnston, that they were married the morning after he called upon her. This second marriage was the beginning of a better life for the two little Lincoln children. The new mother had so much property that a four-horse team was needed to bring it all to Little Pigeon Creek; and for the first time in his life Abraham Lincoln slept on a feather bed, with a pillow and blankets and even a quilt. From her, too, he received his first woolen shirt, which took the place of the deerskin one that he had always worn before. The shiftless father was forced to make a door, lay a floor, and cut out a window, which was covered with greased paper instead of glass.

Sarah Bush Lincoln was an honest, energetic Christian woman, who learned to love Abraham quite as dearly as her own children. He owed much to her love and care. It was she who persuaded the father to let him go to school. The boy would walk nine miles a day