Playing at hanging
A number of wild young fellows were one day out walking
when they saw a young lady approach, riding on a pony. One
of them said to the others, "I'll back myself to make that
girl laugh," and a supper was at once staked by both sides
on the result. Our hero then ran out in front of the pony, and kept on
shouting "I'm going to die! I'm going to die!" at the same time
pulling out from over the top of a wall a stalk of millet, to which
he attached his own waistband, and, tying the latter round his
neck, made a pretence of hanging himself.
The young lady did laugh as she passed by, to the great
amusement of the assembled company. When she was some
distance off, their friend did not move and the others
laughed louder than ever. However, on going up to him they
saw that his tongue protruded, and that his eyes were glazed; he was, in fact, quite dead.
Was it not strange that a man should be able to hang himself
on a millet stalk ? It is a good warning against practical joking.