On the way to the baptism, the baby somehow loosened the stopper of his bottle, with the result that the milk made a frightful mess over the christening robe. The mother was greatly shamed, but she was compelled to hand over the child in its mussed garments to the clergyman at the font.
“What name?” the clergyman whispered.
The agitated mother failed to understand, and thought that he complained of the baby’s condition. So she offered explanation in the words:
“Nozzle come off—nozzle come off!”
The clergyman, puzzled, repeated his whisper:
“Nozzle come off—nozzle come off!” The woman insisted, almost in tears.
The clergyman gave it up, and continued the rite:
“Nozzlecomeoff Smithers, I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
* * *
The aged negro clergyman announced solemnly from the pulpit:
“Next Sabbath, dar will be a baptism in dis chu’ch, at half-pas’ ten in de mawnin’. Dis baptism will be of two adults an’ six adulteresses.”