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Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 04

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<SPAN name="Page_686" id="Page_686">[Pg 686]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="DESOLATION1" id="DESOLATION1"></SPAN>DESOLATION<SPAN name="FNanchor_1_1" id="FNanchor_1_1"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_1_1" class="fnanchor">[1]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY TOM MASSON</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Somewhat back from the village street<br /></span> <span class="i0">Stands the old-fashioned country seat.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Across its antique portico<br /></span> <span class="i0">Tall poplar trees their shadows throw.<br /></span> <span class="i0">And there throughout the livelong day,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Jemima plays the pi-a-na.<br /></span> <span class="i12">Do, re, mi,<br /></span> <span class="i12">Mi, re, do.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">In the front parlor, there it stands,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And there Jemima plies her hands,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While her papa beneath his cloak,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Mutters and groans: "This is no joke!"<br /></span> <span class="i0">And swears to himself and sighs, alas!<br /></span> <span class="i0">With sorrowful voice to all who pass.<br /></span> <span class="i12">Do, re, mi,<br /></span> <span class="i12">Mi, re, do.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Through days of death and days of birth<br /></span> <span class="i0">She plays as if she owned the earth.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Through every swift vicissitude<br /></span> <span class="i0">She drums as if it did her good,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And still she sits from morn till night<br /></span> <span class="i0">And plunks away with main and might,<br /></span> <span class="i12">Do, re, mi,<br /></span> <span class="i12">Mi, re, do.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_687" id="Page_687">[Pg 687]</SPAN></span><span class="i0">In that mansion used to be<br /></span> <span class="i0">Free-hearted hospitality;<br /></span> <span class="i0">But that was many years before<br /></span> <span class="i0">Jemima monkeyed with the score.<br /></span> <span class="i0">When she began her daily plunk,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Into their graves the neighbors sunk.<br /></span> <span class="i12">Do, re, mi,<br /></span> <span class="i12">Mi, re, do.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">To other worlds they've long since fled,<br /></span> <span class="i0">All thankful that they're safely dead.<br /></span> <span class="i0">They stood the racket while alive<br /></span> <span class="i0">Until Jemima rose at five.<br /></span> <span class="i0">And then they laid their burdens down,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And one and all they skipped the town.<br /></span> <span class="i12">Do, re, mi,<br /></span> <span class="i12">Mi, re, do.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_688" id="Page_688">[Pg 688]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="CRANKIDOXOLOGY2" id="CRANKIDOXOLOGY2"></SPAN>CRANKIDOXOLOGY<SPAN name="FNanchor_2_2" id="FNanchor_2_2"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_2_2" class="fnanchor">[2]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY WALLACE IRWIN</h3> <h3>(<i>Being a Mental Attitude from Bernard Pshaw</i>)</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">It's wrong to be thoroughly human,<br /></span> <span class="i2">It's stupid alone to be good,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And why should the "virtuous" woman<br /></span> <span class="i2">Continue to do as she should?<br /></span> <span class="i2">(It's stupid to do as you should!)<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For I'd rather be famous than pleasant,<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'd rather be rude than polite;<br /></span> <span class="i4">It's easy to sneer<br /></span> <span class="i4">When you're witty and queer,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I'd rather be Clever than Right.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I'm bored by mere Shakespeare and Milton,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Though Hubbard compels me to rave;<br /></span> <span class="i0">If <i>I</i> should lay laurels to wilt on<br /></span> <span class="i2">That foggy Shakespearean grave,<br /></span> <span class="i2">How William would squirm in his grave!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For I'd rather be Pshaw than be Shakespeare,<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'd rather be Candid than Wise;<br /></span> <span class="i4">And the way I amuse<br /></span> <span class="i4">Is to roundly abuse<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Public I feign to despise.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_689" id="Page_689">[Pg 689]</SPAN></span></div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I'm a Socialist, loving my brother<br /></span> <span class="i2">In quite an original way,<br /></span> <span class="i0">With my maxim, "Detest One Another"&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Though, faith, I don't mean what I say.<br /></span> <span class="i2">(It's beastly to mean what you say!)<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For I'm fonder of talk than of Husbands,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And I'm fonder of fads than of Wives,<br /></span> <span class="i4">So I say unto you,<br /></span> <span class="i4">If you don't as you do<br /></span> <span class="i0">You will do as you don't all your lives.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">My "Candida's" ruddy as coral,<br /></span> <span class="i2">With thoughts quite too awfully plain&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">If folks would just call me Immoral<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'd feel that I'd not lived in vain.<br /></span> <span class="i2">(It's nasty, this living in vain!)<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For I'd rather be Martyred than Married,<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'd rather be tempted than tamed,<br /></span> <span class="i4">And if <i>I</i> had my way<br /></span> <span class="i4">(At least, so I say)<br /></span> <span class="i0">All Babes would be labeled, "Unclaimed."<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I'm an epigrammatical Moses,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Whose humorous tablets of stone<br /></span> <span class="i0">Condemn affectations and poses&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Excepting a few of my own.<br /></span> <span class="i2">(I dote on a few of my own.)<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For my method of booming the market<br /></span> <span class="i2">When Managers ask for a play<br /></span> <span class="i4">Is to say on a bluff,<br /></span> <span class="i4">"I'm so fond of my stuff<br /></span> <span class="i0">That I don't want it acted&mdash;go 'way!"<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_690" id="Page_690">[Pg 690]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I'm the club-ladies' Topic of Topics,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Where solemn discussions are spent<br /></span> <span class="i0">In struggles as hot as the tropics,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Attempting to find what I meant.<br /></span> <span class="i1">(<i>I</i> never can tell what I meant!)<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For it's fun to make bosh of the Gospel,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And it's sport to make gospel of Bosh,<br /></span> <span class="i4">While divorc&eacute;es hurrah<br /></span> <span class="i4">For the Sayings of Pshaw<br /></span> <span class="i0">And his sub-psychological Josh.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_691" id="Page_691">[Pg 691]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="MY_HONEY_MY_LOVE" id="MY_HONEY_MY_LOVE"></SPAN>MY HONEY, MY LOVE</h2> <h3>BY JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Hit's a mighty fur ways up de Far'well Lane,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">You may ax Mister Crow, you may ax Mr. Crane,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Dey'll make you a bow, en dey'll tell you de same,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Hit's a mighty fur ways fer ter go in de night,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0"><i>My honey, my love, my heart's delight</i>&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i14"><i>My honey, my love!</i><br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Mister Mink, he creeps twel he wake up de snipe,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Mister Bull-Frog holler, Come alight my pipe!<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">En de Pa'tridge ax, Ain't yo' peas ripe?<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Better not walk erlong dar much atter night,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0"><i>My honey, my love, my heart's delight</i>&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i14"><i>My honey, my love!</i><br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">De Bully-Bat fly mighty close ter de groun',<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Mister Fox, he coax 'er, Do come down!<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_692" id="Page_692">[Pg 692]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Mister Coon, he rack all 'roun' en 'roun',<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">In de darkes' night, oh, de nigger, he's a sight!<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0"><i>My honey, my love, my heart's delight</i>&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i14"><i>My honey, my love!</i><br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Oh, flee, Miss Nancy, flee ter my knee,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">'Lev'n big, fat coons liv' in one tree,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Oh, ladies all, won't you marry me?<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Tu'n lef, tu'n right, we'll dance all night,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0"><i>My honey, my love, my heart's delight</i>&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i14"><i>My honey, my love!</i><br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">De big Owl holler en cry fer his mate,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Oh, don't stay long! Oh, don't stay late!<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Hit ain't so mighty fur ter de Good-by Gate,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Whar we all got ter go w'en we sing out de night,<br /></span> <span class="i14">My honey, my love!<br /></span> <span class="i0"><i>My honey, my love, my heart's delight</i>&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i14"><i>My honey, my love!</i><br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_693" id="Page_693">[Pg 693]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_GRAND_OPERA" id="THE_GRAND_OPERA"></SPAN>THE GRAND OPERA</h2> <h3>BY BILLY BAXTER</h3> <p>Well, I decided to get into my class, so I started for the smoking-room. I hadn't gone three feet till some woman held me up and began telling me how she adored Grand Opera. I didn't even reply. I fled madly, and remained hidden in the tall grasses of the smoking-room until it was time to go home. Jim, should any one ever tell you that Grand Opera is all right, he is either trying to even up or he is not a true friend. I was over in New York with the family last winter, and they made me go with them to <i>Die Walkure</i> at the Metropolitan Opera House. When I got the tickets I asked the man's advice as to the best location. He said that all true lovers of music occupied the dress-circle and balconies, and that he had some good center dress-circle seats at three bones per. Here's a tip, Jim. If the box man ever hands you that true-lover game, just reach in through the little hole and soak him in the solar for me. It's coming to him. I'll give you my word of honor we were a quarter of a mile from the stage. We went up in an elevator, were shown to our seats, and who was right behind us but my old pal, Bud Hathaway, from Chicago. Bud had his two sisters with him, and he gave me one sad look, which said plainer than words, "So you're up against it, too, eh!" We introduced all hands around, and about nine o'clock the curtain went up. After we had waited fully ten minutes, out came a big, fat, greasy looking Dago<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_694" id="Page_694">[Pg 694]</SPAN></span> with nothing on but a bear robe. He went over to the side of the stage and sat down on a bum rock. It was plainly to be seen, even from my true lovers' seat, that his bearlets was sorer than a dog about something. Presently in came a woman, and none of the true lovers seemed to know who she was. Some said it was Melba, others Nordica. Bud and I decided that it was May Irwin. We were mistaken, though, as Irwin has this woman lashed to the mast at any time or place. As soon as Mike the Dago espied the dame it was all off. He rushed and drove a straight-arm jab, which had it reached would have given him the purse. But shifty Sadie wasn't there. She ducked, side-stepped, and landed a clever half-arm hook, which seemed to stun the big fellow. They clinched, and swayed back and forth, growling continually, while the orchestra played this trembly Eliza-crossing-the-ice music. Jim, I'm not swelling this a bit. On the level, it happened just as I write it. All of a sudden some one seemed to win. They broke away, and ran wildly to the front of the stage with their arms outstretched, yelling to beat three of a kind. The band cut loose something fierce. The leader tore out about $9.00 worth of hair, and acted generally as though he had bats in his belfry. I thought sure the place would be pinched. It reminded me of Thirsty Thornton's dance-hall out in Merrill, Wisconsin, when the Silent Swede used to start a general survival of the fittest every time Mamie the Mink danced twice in succession with the young fellow from Albany, whose father owned the big mill up Rough River. Of course, this audience was perfectly orderly, and showed no intention whatever of cutting in, and there were no chairs or glasses in the air, but I am forced to admit that the opera had Thornton's faded for noise. I asked Bud what the trouble was, and he answered that I could search<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_695" id="Page_695">[Pg 695]</SPAN></span> him. The audience apparently went wild. Everybody said "Simply sublime!" "Isn't it grand?" "Perfectly superb!" "Bravo!" etc.; not because they really enjoyed it, but merely because they thought it was the proper thing to do. After that for three solid hours Rough House Mike and Shifty Sadie seemed to be apologizing to the audience for their disgraceful street brawl, which was honestly the only good thing in the show. Along about twelve o'clock I thought I would talk over old times with Bud, but when I turned his way I found my tired and trusty comrade "Asleep at the Switch."</p> <p>At the finish, the woman next to me, who seemed to be on, said that the main lady was dying. After it was too late, Mike seemed kind of sorry. He must have give her the knife or the drops, because there wasn't a minute that he could look in on her according to the rules. He laid her out on the bum rock, they set off a lot of red fire for some unknown reason, and the curtain dropped at 12:25. Never again for my money. Far be it from me knocking, but any time I want noise I'll take to a boiler-shop or a Union Station, where I can understand what's coming off. I'm for a good-mother show. Do you remember <i>The White Slave</i>, Jim? Well, that's me. Wasn't it immense where the main lady spurned the leering villain's gold and exclaimed with flashing eye, "Rags are royal raiment when worn for virtue's sake." Great! <i>The White Slave</i> had <i>Die Walkure</i> beaten to a pulp, and they don't get to you for three cases gate-money, either.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_696" id="Page_696">[Pg 696]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="IN_A_STATE_OF_SIN3" id="IN_A_STATE_OF_SIN3"></SPAN>IN A STATE OF SIN<SPAN name="FNanchor_3_3" id="FNanchor_3_3"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_3_3" class="fnanchor">[3]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY OWEN WISTER</h3> <p>Judge and Mrs. Henry, Molly Wood, and two strangers, a lady and a gentleman, were the party which had been driving in the large three-seated wagon. They had seemed a merry party. But as I came within hearing of their talk, it was a fragment of the minister's sonority which reached me first:</p> <p>"... more opportunity for them to have the benefit of hearing frequent sermons," was the sentence I heard him bring to completion.</p> <p>"Yes, to be sure, sir." Judge Henry gave me (it almost seemed) additional warmth of welcome for arriving to break up the present discourse. "Let me introduce you to the Rev. Dr. Alexander MacBride. Doctor, another guest we have been hoping for about this time," was my host's cordial explanation to him of me. There remained the gentleman with his wife from New York, and to these I made my final bows. But I had not broken up the discourse.</p> <p>"We may be said to have met already." Dr. MacBride had fixed upon me his full, mastering eye; and it occurred to me that if they had policemen in heaven, he would be at least a centurion in the force. But he did not mean to be unpleasant; it was only that in a mind full of matters less worldly, pleasure was left out. "I observed your friend was a skilful horseman," he continued. "I was saying to Judge Henry that I could wish such skilful<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_697" id="Page_697">[Pg 697]</SPAN></span> horsemen might ride to a church upon the Sabbath. A church, that is, of right doctrine, where they would have opportunity to hear frequent sermons."</p> <p>"Yes," said Judge Henry, "yes. It would be a good thing."</p> <p>Mrs. Henry, with some murmur about the kitchen, here went into the house.</p> <p>"I was informed," Dr. MacBride held the rest of us, "before undertaking my journey that I should find a desolate and mainly godless country. But nobody gave me to understand that from Medicine Bow I was to drive three hundred miles and pass no church of any faith."</p> <p>The Judge explained that there had been a few a long way to the right and left of him. "Still," he conceded, "you are quite right. But don't forget that this is the newest part of a new world."</p> <p>"Judge," said his wife, coming to the door, "how can you keep them standing in the dust with your talking?"</p> <p>This most efficiently did break up the discourse. As our little party, with the smiles and the polite holdings back of new acquaintanceship, moved into the house, the Judge detained me behind all of them long enough to whisper dolorously, "He's going to stay a whole week."</p> <p>I had hopes that he would not stay a whole week when I presently learned of the crowded arrangements which our hosts, with many hospitable apologies, disclosed to us. They were delighted to have us, but they hadn't foreseen that we should all be simultaneous. The foreman's house had been prepared for two of us, and did we mind? The two of us were Dr. MacBride and myself; and I expected him to mind. But I wronged him grossly. It would be much better, he assured Mrs. Henry, than straw in a stable, which he had tried several times, and was quite ready for. So I saw that though he kept his vigorous<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_698" id="Page_698">[Pg 698]</SPAN></span> body clean when he could, he cared nothing for it in the face of his mission. How the foreman and his wife relished being turned out during a week for a missionary and myself was not my concern, although while he and I made ready for supper over there, it struck me as hard on them. The room with its two cots and furniture was as nice as possible; and we closed the door upon the adjoining room, which, however, seemed also untenanted.</p> <p>Mrs. Henry gave us a meal so good that I have remembered it, and her husband, the Judge, strove his best that we should eat it in merriment. He poured out his anecdotes like wine, and we should have quickly warmed to them; but Dr. MacBride sat among us, giving occasional heavy ha-ha's, which produced, as Miss Molly Wood whispered to me, a "dreadfully cavernous effect." Was it his sermon, we wondered, that he was thinking over? I told her of the copious sheaf of them I had seen him pull from his wallet over at the foreman's. "Goodness!" said she. "Then are we to hear one every evening?" This I doubted; he had probably been picking one out suitable for the occasion. "Putting his best foot foremost," was her comment; "I suppose they have best feet, like the rest of us." Then she grew delightfully sharp. "Do you know, when I first heard him I thought his voice was hearty. But if you listen, you'll find it's merely militant. He never really meets you with it. He's off on his hill watching the battle-field the whole time."</p> <p>"He will find a hardened pagan here."</p> <p>"Judge Henry?"</p> <p>"Oh, no! The wild man you're taming. He's brought you <i>Kenilworth</i> safe back."</p> <p>She was smooth. "Oh, as for taming him! But don't you find him intelligent?"</p> <p>Suddenly I somehow knew that she didn't want to tame<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_699" id="Page_699">[Pg 699]</SPAN></span> him. But what did she want to do? The thought of her had made him blush this afternoon. No thought of him made her blush this evening.</p> <p>A great laugh from the rest of the company made me aware that the Judge had consummated his tale of the "Sole Survivor."</p> <p>"And so," he finished, "they all went off as mad as hops because it hadn't been a massacre." Mr. and Mrs. Ogden&mdash;they were the New Yorkers&mdash;gave this story much applause, and Dr. MacBride half a minute later laid his "ha-ha," like a heavy stone, upon the gaiety.</p> <p>"I'll never be able to stand seven sermons," said Miss Wood to me.</p> <hr style='width: 45%;' /> <p>"Do you often have these visitations?" Ogden inquired of Judge Henry. Our host was giving us whisky in his office, and Dr. MacBride, while we smoked apart from the ladies, had repaired to his quarters in the foreman's house previous to the service which he was shortly to hold.</p> <p>The Judge laughed. "They come now and then through the year. I like the bishop to come. And the men always like it. But I fear our friend will scarcely please them so well."</p> <p>"You don't mean they'll&mdash;"</p> <p>"Oh, no. They'll keep quiet. The fact is, they have a good deal better manners than he has, if he only knew it. They'll be able to bear him. But as for any good he'll do&mdash;"</p> <p>"I doubt if he knows a word of science," said I, musing about the Doctor.</p> <p>"Science! He doesn't know what Christianity is yet. I've entertained many guests, but none&mdash;The whole secret," broke off Judge Henry, "lies in the way you treat<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_700" id="Page_700">[Pg 700]</SPAN></span> people. As soon as you treat men as your brothers, they are ready to acknowledge you&mdash;if you deserve it&mdash;as their superior. That's the whole bottom of Christianity, and that's what our missionary will never know."</p> <hr style='width: 45%;' /> <p>Thunder sat imminent upon the missionary's brow. Many were to be at his mercy soon. But for us he had sunshine still. "I am truly sorry to be turning you upside down," he said importantly. "But it seems the best place for my service." He spoke of the table pushed back and the chairs gathered in the hall, where the storm would presently break upon the congregation. "Eight-thirty?" he inquired.</p> <p>This was the hour appointed, and it was only twenty minutes off. We threw the unsmoked fractions of our cigars away, and returned to offer our services to the ladies. This amused the ladies. They had done without us. All was ready in the hall.</p> <p>"We got the cook to help us," Mrs. Ogden told me, "so as not to disturb your cigars. In spite of the cow-boys, I still recognize my own country."</p> <p>"In the cook?" I rather densely asked.</p> <p>"Oh, no! I don't have a Chinaman. It's in the length of after-dinner cigars."</p> <p>"Had you been smoking," I returned, "you would have found them short this evening."</p> <p>"You make it worse," said the lady; "we have had nothing but Dr. MacBride."</p> <p>"We'll share him with you now," I exclaimed.</p> <p>"Has he announced his text? I've got one for him," said Molly Wood, joining us. She stood on tiptoe and spoke it comically in our ears. "'I said in my haste, All men are liars.'" This made us merry as we stood among the chairs in the congested hall.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_701" id="Page_701">[Pg 701]</SPAN></span></p> <p>I left the ladies, and sought the bunk house. I had heard the cheers, but I was curious also to see the men, and how they were taking it. There was but little for the eye. There was much noise in the room. They were getting ready to come to church,&mdash;brushing their hair, shaving, and making themselves clean, amid talk occasionally profane and continuously diverting.</p> <p>"Well, I'm a Christian, anyway," one declared.</p> <p>"I'm a Mormon, I guess," said another.</p> <p>"I belong to the Knights of Pythias," said a third.</p> <p>"I'm a Mohammedist," said a fourth; "I hope I ain't goin' to hear nothin' to shock me."</p> <p>What with my feelings at Scipio's discretion, and my human curiosity, I was not in that mood which best profits from a sermon. Yet even though my expectations had been cruelly left quivering in mid air, I was not sure how much I really wanted to "keep around." You will therefore understand how Dr. MacBride was able to make a prayer and to read Scripture without my being conscious of a word that he had uttered. It was when I saw him opening the manuscript of his sermon that I suddenly remembered I was sitting, so to speak, in church, and began once more to think of the preacher and his congregation. Our chairs were in the front line, of course; but, being next the wall, I could easily see the cow-boys behind me. They were perfectly decorous. If Mrs. Ogden had looked for pistols, dare-devil attitudes, and so forth, she must have been greatly disappointed. Except for their weather-beaten cheeks and eyes, they were simply American young men with mustaches and without, and might have been sitting, say, in Danbury, Connecticut. Even Trampas merged quietly with the general placidity. The Virginian did not, to be sure, look like Danbury, and his frame and his features showed out<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_702" id="Page_702">[Pg 702]</SPAN></span> of the mass; but his eyes were upon Dr. MacBride with a creamlike propriety.</p> <p>Our missionary did not choose Miss Wood's text. He made his selection from another of the Psalms; and when it came, I did not dare to look at anybody; I was much nearer unseemly conduct than the cow-boys. Dr. MacBride gave us his text sonorously, "'They are altogether become filthy; There is none of them that doeth good, no, not one.'" His eye showed us plainly that present company was not excepted from this. He repeated the text once more, then, launching upon his discourse, gave none of us a ray of hope.</p> <p>I had heard it all often before; but preached to cow-boys it took on a new glare of untimeliness, of grotesque obsoleteness&mdash;as if some one should say, "Let me persuade you to admire woman," and forthwith hold out her bleached bones to you. The cow-boys were told that not only they could do no good, but that if they did contrive to, it would not help them. Nay, more: not only honest deeds availed them nothing, but even if they accepted this especial creed which was being explained to them as necessary for salvation, still it might not save them. Their sin was indeed the cause of their damnation, yet, keeping from sin, they might nevertheless be lost. It had all been settled for them not only before they were born, but before Adam was shaped. Having told them this, he invited them to glorify the Creator of the scheme. Even if damned, they must praise the person who had made them expressly for damnation. That is what I heard him prove by logic to these cow-boys. Stone upon stone he built the black cellar of his theology, leaving out its beautiful park and the sunshine of its garden. He did not tell them the splendor of its past, the noble fortress for good that it had been, how its tonic had strengthened genera<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_703" id="Page_703">[Pg 703]</SPAN></span>tions of their fathers. No; wrath he spoke of, and never once of love. It was the bishop's way, I knew well, to hold cow-boys by homely talk of their special hardships and temptations. And when they fell he spoke to them of forgiveness and brought them encouragement. But Dr. MacBride never thought once of the lives of these waifs. Like himself, like all mankind, they were invisible dots in creation; like him, they were to feel as nothing, to be swept up in the potent heat of his faith. So he thrust out to them none of the sweet but all the bitter of his creed, naked and stern as iron. Dogma was his all in all, and poor humanity was nothing but flesh for its canons.</p> <p>Thus to kill what chance he had for being of use seemed to me more deplorable than it did evidently to them. Their attention merely wandered. Three hundred years ago they would have been frightened; but not in this electric day. I saw Scipio stifling a smile when it came to the doctrine of original sin. "We know of its truth," said Dr. MacBride, "from the severe troubles and distresses to which infants are liable, and from death passing upon them before they are capable of sinning." Yet I knew he was a good man; and I also knew that if a missionary is to be tactless, he might almost as well be bad.</p> <p>I said their attention wandered, but I forgot the Virginian. At first his attitude might have been mere propriety. One can look respectfully at a preacher and be internally breaking all the commandments. But even with the text I saw real attention light in the Virginian's eye. And keeping track of the concentration that grew on him with each minute made the sermon short for me. He missed nothing. Before the end his gaze at the preacher had become swerveless. Was he convert or critic? Convert was incredible. Thus was an hour passed before I had thought of time.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_704" id="Page_704">[Pg 704]</SPAN></span></p> <p>When it was over we took it variously. The preacher was genial and spoke of having now broken ground for the lessons that he hoped to instil. He discoursed for a while about trout-fishing and about the rumored uneasiness of the Indians northward where he was going. It was plain that his personal safety never gave him a thought. He soon bade us good night. The Ogdens shrugged their shoulders and were amused. That was their way of taking it. Dr. MacBride sat too heavily on the Judge's shoulders for him to shrug them. As a leading citizen in the Territory he kept open house for all comers. Policy and good nature made him bid welcome a wide variety of travelers. The cow-boy out of employment found bed and a meal for himself and his horse, and missionaries had before now been well received at Sunk Creek Ranch.</p> <p>"I suppose I'll have to take him fishing," said the Judge ruefully.</p> <p>"Yes, my dear," said his wife, "you will. And I shall have to make his tea for six days."</p> <p>"Otherwise," Ogden suggested, "it might be reported that you were enemies of religion."</p> <p>"That's about it," said the Judge. "I can get on with most people. But elephants depress me."</p> <p>So we named the Doctor "Jumbo," and I departed to my quarters.</p> <p>At the bunk house, the comments were similar but more highly salted. The men were going to bed. In spite of their outward decorum at the service, they had not liked to be told that they were "altogether become filthy." It was easy to call names; they could do that themselves. And they appealed to me, several speaking at once, like a concerted piece at the opera: "Say, do you believe babies go to hell?"&mdash;"Ah, of course he don't."&mdash;"There<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_705" id="Page_705">[Pg 705]</SPAN></span> ain't no hereafter, anyway."&mdash;"Ain't there?"&mdash;"Who told y'u?"&mdash;"Same man as told the preacher we were all a sifted set of sons-of-guns."&mdash;"Well, I'm going to stay a Mormon."&mdash;"Well, I'm going to quit fleeing from temptation."&mdash;"That's so! Better get it in the neck after a good time than a poor one." And so forth. Their wit was not extreme, yet I should like Dr. MacBride to have heard it. One fellow put his natural soul pretty well into words, "If I happened to learn what they had predestinated me to do, I'd do the other thing, just to show 'em!"</p> <p>And Trampas? And the Virginian? They were out of it. The Virginian had gone straight to his new abode. Trampas lay in his bed, not asleep, and sullen as ever.</p> <p>"He ain't got religion this trip," said Scipio to me.</p> <p>"Did his new foreman get it?" I asked.</p> <p>"Huh! It would spoil him. You keep around, that's all. Keep around."</p> <p>Scipio was not to be probed; and I went, still baffled, to my repose.</p> <p>No light burned in the cabin as I approached its door.</p> <p>The Virginian's room was quiet and dark; and that Dr. MacBride slumbered was plainly audible to me, even before I entered. Go fishing with him! I thought, as I undressed. And I selfishly decided that the Judge might have this privilege entirely to himself. Sleep came to me fairly soon, in spite of the Doctor. I was wakened from it by my bed's being jolted&mdash;not a pleasant thing that night. I must have started. And it was the quiet voice of the Virginian that told me he was sorry to have accidentally disturbed me. This disturbed me a good deal more. But his steps did not go to the bunk house, as my sensational mind had suggested. He was not wearing much, and in the dimness he seemed taller than common.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_706" id="Page_706">[Pg 706]</SPAN></span> I next made out that he was bending over Dr. MacBride. The divine at last sprang upright.</p> <p>"I am armed," he said. "Take care. Who are you?"</p> <p>"You can lay down your gun, seh. I feel like my spirit was going to bear witness. I feel like I might get an enlightening."</p> <p>He was using some of the missionary's own language. The baffling I had been treated to by Scipio melted to nothing in this. Did living men petrify, I should have changed to mineral between the sheets. The Doctor got out of bed, lighted his lamp, and found a book; and the two retired into the Virginian's room, where I could hear the exhortations as I lay amazed. In time the Doctor returned, blew out his lamp, and settled himself. I had been very much awake, but was nearly gone to sleep again, when the door creaked and the Virginian stood by the Doctor's side.</p> <p>"Are you awake, seh?"</p> <p>"What? What's that? What is it?"</p> <p>"Excuse me, seh. The enemy is winning on me. I'm feeling less inward opposition to sin."</p> <p>The lamp was lighted, and I listened to some further exhortations. They must have taken half an hour. When the Doctor was in bed again, I thought that I heard him sigh. This upset my composure in the dark; but I lay face downward in the pillow, and the Doctor was soon again snoring. I envied him for a while his faculty of easy sleep. But I must have dropped off myself; for it was the lamp in my eyes that now waked me as he came back for the third time from the Virginian's room. Before blowing the light out he looked at his watch, and thereupon I inquired the hour of him.</p> <p>"Three," said he.</p> <p>I could not sleep any more now, and I lay watching the darkness.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_707" id="Page_707">[Pg 707]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"I'm afeard to be alone!" said the Virginian's voice presently in the next room. "I'm afeard." There was a short pause, and then he shouted very loud, "I'm losin' my desire afteh the sincere milk of the Word!"</p> <p>"What? What's that? What?" The Doctor's cot gave a great crack as he started up listening, and I put my face deep in the pillow.</p> <p>"I'm afeard! I'm afeard! Sin has quit being bitter in my belly."</p> <p>"Courage, my good man." The Doctor was out of bed with his lamp again, and the door shut behind him. Between them they made it long this time. I saw the window become gray; then the corners of the furniture grow visible; and outside, the dry chorus of the blackbirds began to fill the dawn. To these the sounds of chickens and impatient hoofs in the stable were added, and some cow wandered by loudly calling for her calf. Next, some one whistling passed near and grew distant. But although the cold hue that I lay staring at through the window warmed and changed, the Doctor continued working hard over his patient in the next room. Only a word here and there was distinct; but it was plain from the Virginian's fewer remarks that the sin in his belly was alarming him less. Yes, they made this time long. But it proved, indeed, the last one. And though some sort of catastrophe was bound to fall upon us, it was myself who precipitated the thing that did happen.</p> <p>Day was wholly come. I looked at my own watch, and it was six. I had been about seven hours in my bed, and the Doctor had been about seven hours out of his. The door opened, and he came in with his book and lamp. He seemed to be shivering a little, and I saw him cast a longing eye at his couch. But the Virginian followed him even as he blew out the now quite superfluous light. They<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_708" id="Page_708">[Pg 708]</SPAN></span> made a noticeable couple in their underclothes; the Virginian with his lean racehorse shanks running to a point at his ankle, and the Doctor with his stomach and his fat sedentary calves.</p> <p>"You'll be going to breakfast and the ladies, seh, pretty soon," said the Virginian, with a chastened voice. "But I'll worry through the day somehow without y'u. And to-night you can turn your wolf loose on me again."</p> <p>Once more it was no use. My face was deep in the pillow, but I made sounds as of a hen who has laid an egg. It broke on the Doctor with a total instantaneous smash, quite like an egg.</p> <p>He tried to speak calmly. "This is a disgrace. An infamous disgrace. Never in my life have I&mdash;" Words forsook him, and his face grew redder. "Never in my life&mdash;" He stopped again, because, at the sight of him being dignified in his red drawers, I was making the noise of a dozen hens. It was suddenly too much for the Virginian. He hastened into his room, and there sank on the floor with his head in his hands. The Doctor immediately slammed the door upon him, and this rendered me easily fit for a lunatic asylum. I cried into my pillow, and wondered if the Doctor would come and kill me. But he took no notice of me whatever. I could hear the Virginian's convulsions through the door, and also the Doctor furiously making his toilet within three feet of my head; and I lay quite still with my face the other way, for I was really afraid to look at him. When I heard him walk to the door in his boots, I ventured to peep; and there he was, going out with his bag in his hand. As I still continued to lie, weak and sore, and with a mind that had ceased all operation, the Virginian's door opened. He was clean and dressed and decent, but the devil still sported in his eye. I have never seen a creature more irresistibly handsome.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_709" id="Page_709">[Pg 709]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Then my mind worked again. "You've gone and done it," said I. "He's packed his valise. He'll not sleep here."</p> <p>The Virginian looked quickly out of the door. "Why, he's leavin' us!" he exclaimed. "Drivin' away right now in his little old buggy!" He turned to me, and our eyes met solemnly over this large fact. I thought that I perceived the faintest tincture of dismay in the features of Judge Henry's new, responsible, trusty foreman. This was the first act of his administration. Once again he looked out at the departing missionary. "Well," he vindictively stated, "I cert'nly ain't goin' to run afteh him." And he looked at me again.</p> <p>"Do you suppose the Judge knows?" I inquired.</p> <p>He shook his head. "The windo' shades is all down still oveh yondeh." He paused. "I don't care," he stated, quite as if he had been ten years old. Then he grinned guiltily. "I was mighty respectful to him all night."</p> <p>"Oh, yes, respectful! Especially when you invited him to turn his wolf loose."</p> <p>The Virginian gave a joyous gulp. He now came and sat down on the edge of my bed. "I spoke awful good English to him most of the time," said he. "I can, y'u know, when I cinch my attention tight on to it. Yes, I cert'nly spoke a lot o' good English. I didn't understand some of it myself!"</p> <p>He was now growing frankly pleased with his exploit. He had builded so much better than he knew. He got up and looked out across the crystal world of light. "The Doctor is at one-mile crossing," he said. "He'll get breakfast at the N-lazy-Y." Then he returned and sat again on my bed, and began to give me his real heart. "I never set up for being better than others. Not even to myself. My thoughts ain't apt to travel around making comparisons. And I shouldn't wonder if my memory took as much no<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_710" id="Page_710">[Pg 710]</SPAN></span>tice of the meannesses I have done as of&mdash;as of the other actions. But to have to sit like a dumb lamb and let a stranger tell y'u for an hour that yu're a hawg and a swine, just after you have acted in a way which them that know the facts would call pretty near white&mdash;"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_711" id="Page_711">[Pg 711]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="AN_APRIL_ARIA" id="AN_APRIL_ARIA"></SPAN>AN APRIL ARIA</h2> <h3>BY R.K. MUNKITTRICK</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now, in the shimmer and sheen that dance on the leaf of the lily,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Causing the bud to explode, and gilding the poodle's chinchilla,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Gladys cavorts with the rake, and hitches the string to the lattice,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While with the trowel she digs, and gladdens the heart of the shanghai.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now, while the vine twists about the ribs of the cast-iron Pallas,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And, on the zephyr afloat, the halcyon soul of the borax<br /></span> <span class="i0">Blends with the scent of the soap, the brush of the white-washer's flying<br /></span> <span class="i0">E'en as the chicken-hawk flies when ready to light on its quarry.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Out in the leaf-dappled wood the dainty hepatica's blowing,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While the fiend hammers the rug from Ispahan, Lynn, or Woonsocket,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And the grim furnace is out, and over the ash heap and bottles<br /></span> <span class="i0">Capers the "Billy" in glee, becanning his innermost Billy.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_712" id="Page_712">[Pg 712]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now the blue pill is on tap, and likewise the sarsaparilla,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And on the fence and the barn, quite worthy of S. Botticelli,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Frisk the lithe leopard and gnu, in malachite, purple, and crimson,<br /></span> <span class="i0">That we may know at a glance the circus is out on the rampage.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Put then the flannels away and trot out the old linen duster,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Pack the bob-sled in the barn, and bring forth the baseball and racket,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For the spry Spring is on deck, performing her roseate breakdown<br /></span> <span class="i0">Unto the tune of the van that rattles and bangs on the cobbles.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_713" id="Page_713">[Pg 713]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="MEDITATIONS_OF_A_MARINER4" id="MEDITATIONS_OF_A_MARINER4"></SPAN>MEDITATIONS OF A MARINER<SPAN name="FNanchor_4_4" id="FNanchor_4_4"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_4_4" class="fnanchor">[4]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY WALLACE IRWIN</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">A-watchin' how the sea behaves<br /></span> <span class="i2">For hours and hours I sit;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I know the sea is full o' waves&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I've often noticed it.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">For on the deck each starry night<br /></span> <span class="i2">The wild waves and the tame<br /></span> <span class="i0">I counts and knows 'em all by sight<br /></span> <span class="i2">And some of 'em by name.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">And then I thinks a cove like me<br /></span> <span class="i2">Ain't got no right to roam;<br /></span> <span class="i0">For I'm homesick when I puts to sea<br /></span> <span class="i2">And seasick when I'm home.<br /></span> </div></div> <p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_714" id="Page_714">[Pg 714]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="VICTORY5" id="VICTORY5"></SPAN>VICTORY<SPAN name="FNanchor_5_5" id="FNanchor_5_5"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_5_5" class="fnanchor">[5]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY TOM MASSON</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I turned to the dictionary<br /></span> <span class="i2">For a word I couldn't spell,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And closed the book when I found it<br /></span> <span class="i2">And dipped my pen in the well.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Then I thought to myself, "How was it?"<br /></span> <span class="i2">With a sense of inward pain,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And still 'twas a little doubtful,<br /></span> <span class="i2">So I turned to the book again.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">This time I remarked, "How easy!"<br /></span> <span class="i2">As I muttered each letter o'er,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But when I got to the inkwell<br /></span> <span class="i2">'Twas gone, as it went before.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Then I grabbed that dictionary<br /></span> <span class="i2">And I sped its pages through,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And under my nose I put it<br /></span> <span class="i2">With that doubtful word in view.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I held it down with my body<br /></span> <span class="i2">While I gripped that pen quite fast,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I howled, as I traced each letter:<br /></span> <span class="i2">"I've got you now, <i>at last</i>!"<br /></span> </div></div> <p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_715" id="Page_715">[Pg 715]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_FAMILY_HORSE" id="THE_FAMILY_HORSE"></SPAN>THE FAMILY HORSE</h2> <h3>BY FREDERICK S. COZZENS</h3> <p>I have bought me a horse. As I had obtained some skill in the <i>man&egrave;ge</i> during my younger days, it was a matter of consideration to have a saddle-horse. It surprised me to find good saddle-horses very abundant soon after my consultation with the stage proprietor upon this topic. There were strange saddle-horses to sell almost every day. One man was very candid about his horse: he told me, if his horse had a blemish, he wouldn't wait to be asked about it; he would tell it right out; and, if a man didn't want him then, he needn't take him. He also proposed to put him on trial for sixty days, giving his note for the amount paid him for the horse, to be taken up in case the animal were returned. I asked him what were the principal defects of the horse. He said he'd been fired once, because they thought he was spavined; but there was no more spavin to him than there was to a fresh-laid egg&mdash;he was as sound as a dollar. I asked him if he would just state what were the defects of the horse. He answered, that he once had the pink-eye, and added, "now that's honest." I thought so, but proceeded to question him closely. I asked him if he had the bots. He said, not a bot. I asked him if he would go. He said he would go till he dropped down dead; just touch him with a whip, and he'll jump out of his hide. I inquired how old he was. He answered, just eight years, exactly&mdash;some<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_716" id="Page_716">[Pg 716]</SPAN></span> men, he said, wanted to make their horses younger than they be; he was willing to speak right out, and own up he was eight years. I asked him if there were any other objections. He said no, except that he was inclined to be a little gay; "but," he added, "he is so kind, a child can drive him with a thread." I asked him if he was a good family horse. He replied that no lady that ever drew rein over him would be willing to part with him. Then I asked him his price. He answered that no man could have bought him for one hundred dollars a month ago, but now he was willing to sell him for seventy-five, on account of having a note to pay. This seemed such a very low price, I was about saying I would take him, when Mrs. Sparrowgrass whispered that I had better <i>see the horse first</i>. I confess I was a little afraid of losing my bargain by it, but, out of deference to Mrs. S., I did ask to see the horse before I bought him. He said he would fetch him down. "No man," he added, "ought to buy a horse unless he's saw him." When the horse came down, it struck me that, whatever his qualities might be, his personal appearance was against him. One of his fore legs was shaped like the handle of our punch-ladle, and the remaining three legs, about the fetlock, were slightly bunchy. Besides, he had no tail to brag of; and his back had a very hollow sweep from his high haunches to his low shoulder-blades. I was much pleased, however, with the fondness and pride manifested by his owner, as he held up, by both sides of the bridle, the rather longish head of his horse, surmounting a neck shaped like a pea-pod, and said, in a sort of triumphant voice, "three-quarters blood!" Mrs. Sparrowgrass flushed up a little when she asked me if I intended to purchase <i>that</i> horse, and added, that, if I did, she would never want to ride. So I told the man he would not suit<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_717" id="Page_717">[Pg 717]</SPAN></span> me. He answered by suddenly throwing himself upon his stomach across the backbone of his horse, and then, by turning round as on a pivot, got up a-straddle of him; then he gave his horse a kick in the ribs that caused him to jump out with all his legs, like a frog, and then off went the spoon-legged animal with a gait that was not a trot, nor yet precisely pacing. He rode around our grass plot twice, and then pulled his horse's head up like the cock of a musket. "That," said he, "is <i>time</i>." I replied that he did seem to go pretty fast. "Pretty fast!" said his owner. "Well, do you know Mr. &mdash;&mdash;?" mentioning one of the richest men in our village. I replied that I was acquainted with him. "Well," said he, "you know his horse?" I replied that I had no personal acquaintance with him. "Well," said he, "he's the fastest horse in the county&mdash;jist so&mdash;I'm willin' to admit it. But do you know I offered to put my horse agin' his to trot? I had no money to put up, or rayther, to spare; but I offered to trot him, horse agin' horse, and the winner to take both horses, and I tell you&mdash;<i>he wouldn't do it!</i>"</p> <p>Mrs. Sparrowgrass got a little nervous, and twitched me by the skirt of the coat "Dear," said she, "let him go." I assured her that I would not buy the horse, and told the man firmly I would not buy him. He said, very well&mdash;if he didn't suit 'twas no use to keep a-talkin': but he added, he'd be down agin' with another horse, next morning, that belonged to his brother; and if he didn't suit me, then I didn't want a horse. With this remark he rode off....</p> <p>"It rains very hard," said Mrs. Sparrowgrass, looking out of the window next morning. Sure enough, the rain was sweeping broadcast over the country, and the four Sparrowgrassii were flattening a quartet of noses against the window-panes, believing most faithfully the man<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_718" id="Page_718">[Pg 718]</SPAN></span> would bring the horse that belonged to his brother, in spite of the elements. It was hoping against hope; no man having a horse to sell will trot him out in a rainstorm, unless he intend to sell him at a bargain&mdash;but childhood is so credulous! The succeeding morning was bright, however, and down came the horse. He had been very cleverly groomed, and looked pleasant under the saddle. The man led him back and forth before the door. "There, 'squire, 's as good a hos as ever stood on iron." Mrs. Sparrowgrass asked me what he meant by that. I replied, it was a figurative way of expressing, in horse-talk, that he was as good a horse as ever stood in shoe-leather. "He's a handsome hos, 'squire," said the man. I replied that he did seem to be a good-looking animal; but, said I, "he does not quite come up to the description of a horse I have read." "Whose hos was it?" said he. I replied it was the horse of Adonis. He said he didn't know him; but, he added, "there is so many hosses stolen, that the descriptions are stuck up now pretty common." To put him at his ease (for he seemed to think I suspected him of having stolen the horse), I told him the description I meant had been written some hundreds of years ago by Shakespeare, and repeated it:</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Round-hooft, short-joynted, fetlocks shag and long,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Broad breast, full eyes, small head, and nostrils wide,<br /></span> <span class="i0">High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide."<br /></span> </div></div> <p>"'Squire," said he, "that will do for a song, but it ain't no p'ints of a good hos. Trotters nowadays go in all shapes, big heads and little heads, big eyes and little eyes, short ears or long ears, thick tail and no tail; so as they have sound legs, good l'in, good barrel, and good stifle, and wind, 'squire, and speed well, they'll fetch a price.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_719" id="Page_719">[Pg 719]</SPAN></span> Now, this animal is what I call a hos, 'squire; he's got the p'ints, he's stylish, he's close-ribbed, a free goer, kind in harness&mdash;single or double&mdash;a good feeder." I asked him if being a good feeder was a desirable quality. He replied it was; "of course," said he, "if your hos is off his feed, he ain't good for nothin'. But what's the use," he added, "of me tellin' you the p'ints of a good hos? You're a hos man, 'squire: you know&mdash;" "It seems to me," said I, "there is something the matter with that left eye." "No, <i>sir</i>" said he, and with that he pulled down the horse's head, and, rapidly crooking his forefinger at the suspected organ, said, "see thar&mdash;don't wink a bit." "But he should wink," I replied. "Not onless his eye are weak," he said. To satisfy myself, I asked the man to let me take the bridle. He did so, and as soon as I took hold of it, the horse started off in a remarkable retrograde movement, dragging me with him into my best bed of hybrid roses. Finding we were trampling down all the best plants, that had cost at auction from three-and-sixpence to seven shillings apiece, and that the more I pulled, the more he backed, I finally let him have his own way, and jammed him stern-foremost into our largest climbing rose that had been all summer prickling itself, in order to look as much like a vegetable porcupine as possible. This unexpected bit of satire in his rear changed his retrograde movement to a sidelong bound, by which he flirted off half the pots on the balusters, upsetting my gladioluses and tuberoses in the pod, and leaving great splashes of mould, geraniums, and red pottery in the gravel walk. By this time his owner had managed to give him two pretty severe cuts with the whip, which made him unmanageable, so I let him go. We had a pleasant time catching him again, when he got among the Lima-bean poles; but his owner led him back with<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_720" id="Page_720">[Pg 720]</SPAN></span> a very self-satisfied expression. "Playful, ain't he, 'squire?" I replied that I thought he was, and asked him if it was usual for his horse to play such pranks. He said it was not "You see, 'squire, he feels his oats, and hain't been out of the stable for a month. Use him, and he's as kind as a kitten." With that he put his foot in the stirrup, and mounted. The animal really looked very well as he moved around the grass-plot, and, as Mrs. Sparrowgrass seemed to fancy him, I took a written guarantee that he was sound, and bought him. What I gave for him is a secret; I have not even told Mrs. Sparrowgrass....</p> <p>We had passed Chicken Island, and the famous house with the stone gable and the one stone chimney, in which General Washington slept, as he made it a point to sleep in every old stone house in Westchester County, and had gone pretty far on the road, past the cemetery, when Mrs. Sparrowgrass said suddenly, "Dear, what is the matter with your horse?" As I had been telling the children all the stories about the river on the way, I managed to get my head pretty well inside of the carriage, and, at the time she spoke, was keeping a lookout in front with my back. The remark of Mrs. Sparrowgrass induced me to turn about, and I found the new horse behaving in a most unaccountable manner. He was going down hill with his nose almost to the ground, running the wagon first on this side and then on the other. I thought of the remark made by the man, and turning again to Mrs. Sparrowgrass, said, "Playful, isn't he?" The next moment I heard something breaking away in front, and then the rockaway gave a lurch and stood still. Upon examination I found the new horse had tumbled down, broken one shaft, gotten the other through the check-rein so as to bring his head up with a round turn, and besides<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_721" id="Page_721">[Pg 721]</SPAN></span> had managed to put one of the traces in a single hitch around his off hind leg. So soon as I had taken all the young ones and Mrs. Sparrowgrass out of the rockaway, I set to work to liberate the horse, who was choking very fast with the check-rein. It is unpleasant to get your fishing-line in a tangle when you are in a hurry for bites, but I never saw fishing-line in such a tangle as that harness. However, I set to work with a pen-knife, and cut him out in such a way as to make getting home by our conveyance impossible. When he got up, he was the sleepiest-looking horse I ever saw. "Mrs. Sparrowgrass," said I, "won't you stay here with the children until I go to the nearest farm-house?" Mrs. Sparrowgrass replied that she would. Then I took the horse with me to get him out of the way of the children, and went in search of assistance. The first thing the new horse did when he got about a quarter of a mile from the scene of the accident was to tumble down a bank. Fortunately the bank was not over four feet high, but as I went with him, my trousers were rent in a grievous place. While I was getting the new horse on his feet again, I saw a colored person approaching, who came to my assistance. The first thing he did was to pull out a large jack-knife, and the next thing he did was to open the new horse's mouth and run the blade two or three times inside the new horse's gums. Then the new horse commenced bleeding. "Dah, sah," said the man, shutting up his jack-knife, "ef 't hadn't been for dat yer, your hos would a' bin a goner." "What was the matter with him?" said I. "Oh, he's only jis got de blind-staggers, das all. Say," said he, before I was half indignant enough at the man who had sold me such an animal, "say, ain't your name Sparrowgrass?" I replied that my name was Sparrowgrass. "Oh," said he, "I knows<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_722" id="Page_722">[Pg 722]</SPAN></span> you, I brung some fowls once down to you place. I heerd about you and your hos. Dats de hos dats got de heaves so bad, heh! heh! You better sell dat hoss." I determined to take his advice, and employed him to lead my purchase to the nearest place where he would be cared for. Then I went back to the rockaway, but met Mrs. Sparrowgrass and the children on the road coming to meet me. She had left a man in charge of the rockaway. When we got to the rockaway we found the man missing, also the whip and one cushion. We got another person to take charge of the rockaway, and had a pleasant walk home by moonlight. I think a moonlight night delicious, upon the Hudson.</p> <p>Does any person want a horse at a low price? A good stylish-looking animal, close-ribbed, good loin, and good stifle, sound legs, with only the heaves and blind-staggers, and a slight defect in one of his eyes? If at any time he slips his bridle and gets away, you can always approach him by getting on his left side. I will also engage to give a written guarantee that he is sound and kind, signed by the brother of his former owner.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_723" id="Page_723">[Pg 723]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="SONNET_OF_THE_LOVABLE_LASS_AND_THE_PLETHORIC_DAD6" id="SONNET_OF_THE_LOVABLE_LASS_AND_THE_PLETHORIC_DAD6"></SPAN>SONNET OF THE LOVABLE LASS AND THE PLETHORIC DAD<SPAN name="FNanchor_6_6" id="FNanchor_6_6"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_6_6" class="fnanchor">[6]</SPAN></h2> <h3>BY J.W. FOLEY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Shee sez shee neavur neavur luvd befoar<br /></span> <span class="i0">shee saw me passen bi hur paws frunt dore<br /></span> <span class="i0">wenn shee wuz hangen on the gait ann i<br /></span> <span class="i0">Lookt foolish att hur wenn ime goen bi.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Uv korse sheed hadd sum boze butt nun thatt sturd<br /></span> <span class="i0">hur hart down too itts deppths until shee hurd<br /></span> <span class="i0">me wissel ann shee saw mi fais. Ann wenn<br /></span> <span class="i0">shee furst saw mee sheed neavur luv agen<br /></span> <span class="i0">shee sedd shee noo. ann iff i shunnd hur eye<br /></span> <span class="i0">sheed be a nunn ann bidd thee wurld good bi.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">How swete itt is wenn munnys on thee throan<br /></span> <span class="i0">uv life to bee luvd fore ureself aloan<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ann no thatt u have gott thee powr to stur<br /></span> <span class="i0">a woomans hart wenn u jusst look att hur.<br /></span> <span class="i0">ann o itts sweeter still iff u kan no<br /></span> <span class="i0">hur paw has gott jusst oshuns uv thee doe<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ann u jusst hav to furnish luv ann hee<br /></span> <span class="i0">wil furnish munny fore boath u ann shee.<br /></span> <span class="i0">i wood nott kair iff shee wuz poor butt o<br /></span> <span class="i0">itts dubley swete too no sheez gott thee doe:<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_724" id="Page_724">[Pg 724]</SPAN></span></div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">i wood nott hezzetait iff shee wuz poor<br /></span> <span class="i0">Too marrie hur. togeathur weed endoor<br /></span> <span class="i0">wottever forchun sennt with rite good will<br /></span> <span class="i0">butt sins sheeze rich itts awl thee bettur stil.<br /></span> <span class="i0">ide luv hur in a cottidge jusst thee saim<br /></span> <span class="i0">fore luv is such a holey sakerud flaim<br /></span> <span class="i0">thatt burns like tindur wenn u strike a lite<br /></span> <span class="i0">butt still itt burns moar gloarious ann brite<br /></span> <span class="i0">wenn shee has lotts uv munny ann hur paw<br /></span> <span class="i0">with menny thowsunds is ure fawthernlaw.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_725" id="Page_725">[Pg 725]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_LOVE_SONNETS_OF_A_HUSBAND" id="THE_LOVE_SONNETS_OF_A_HUSBAND"></SPAN>THE LOVE SONNETS OF A HUSBAND</h2> <h3>BY MAURICE SMILEY</h3> <h3><br />I LOVE YOU STILL</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You ask me if I love you still, tho' you<br /></span> <span class="i2">And I were wed scarce one short happy year<br /></span> <span class="i2">Agone. How well do I remember, dear,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The day you put your hand in mine, and through<br /></span> <span class="i0">Life's good and ill, tho' skies were gray or blue,<br /></span> <span class="i2">We plighted faith that should not know a fear.<br /></span> <span class="i2">That was the day I kissed away the tear<br /></span> <span class="i0">That trembled on your cheek like morning dew.<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of course I love you&mdash;still. You're at your best,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Your perihelion, when you're silentest.<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'd love you as I did, dear heart, of yore,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And still a little more, nor ever tire:<br /></span> <span class="i2">Why, I would love you like a house afire<br /></span> <span class="i0">If you were only still a little more.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>SOUL TO SOUL</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I think I loved you first when in your eyes<br /></span> <span class="i2">I saw the glad, rapt answer to the spell<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of Paderewski, when we heard him tell<br /></span> <span class="i0">Life's gentler meaning, Love's sweet sacrifice.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The master caught the rhythm of your sighs<br /></span> <span class="i2">And then, inspired, the story rose and fell<br /></span> <span class="i2">And sang of moonlight in a leafy dell,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of souls' Arcadias and dreaming skies,<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_726" id="Page_726">[Pg 726]</SPAN></span> <span class="i2">Of hearts and hopes and purposes that blend.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Your bosom heaved beneath the witcheries<br /></span> <span class="i2">That seemed to set a halo on his brow,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And then the message sobbed on to its end.<br /></span> <span class="i2">"That's fine," you murmured, chewing faster; "please<br /></span> <span class="i2">Ask him if he won't play 'Bedelia' now."<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>YOU SAID THAT YOU WOULD DIE FOR ME</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You said that you would die for me, if e'er<br /></span> <span class="i2">That price would buy me happiness. I dreamed<br /></span> <span class="i2">Not of devotion like to that, that seemed<br /></span> <span class="i0">To joy in sacrifice; that, tenderer<br /></span> <span class="i0">Than selfish Life's small immolations were,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Made Love an altar whereupon it deemed<br /></span> <span class="i2">It naught to offer all; a shrine that gleamed<br /></span> <span class="i0">With utter loyalty's red drops. I ne'er<br /></span> <span class="i2">Believed that you were just quite in your head<br /></span> <span class="i0">In saying death would prove Fidelity.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But when I saw the packages of white and red<br /></span> <span class="i0">Your druggist showed me&mdash;he's my chum, you see&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I knew you meant, dear heart, just what you said,<br /></span> <span class="i0">When you declared that you would dye for me.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>I CAN NOT BEAR YOUR SIGHS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Your smiles, dear one, have all the glad surprise<br /></span> <span class="i2">The sunshine hath for roses; what the day<br /></span> <span class="i2">Brings to the waiting lark. When you are gay<br /></span> <span class="i0">My spirit sings in tune, and sorrow flies<br /></span> <span class="i0">Away. But, dear, I can not bear your sighs<br /></span> <span class="i2">When on my knees you nestle and you lay<br /></span> <span class="i2">Your tear-wet face upon my shoulder. Nay,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I can not help the pain that fills mine eyes.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_727" id="Page_727">[Pg 727]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">So, love, whatever cup of Life you drain<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'll stand for. Send the cashier's check to me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Smile" all you want to; smile and smile again.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But as you weigh two hundred pounds, you see<br /></span> <span class="i2">Why, when you cuddle down upon my knee,<br /></span> <span class="i0">It is your size, dear heart, that gives me pain.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>A HAND I HELD</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The heartless years have many hopes dispelled.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But they have left me one dear night in June.<br /></span> <span class="i2">They've left the still white splendor of the moon.<br /></span> <span class="i0">They've left the mem'ry of a hand I held,<br /></span> <span class="i0">While up thro' all my soul the rapture welled<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of victory. I hear again the croon<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of twilight time, the lullaby that soon<br /></span> <span class="i0">To all the day's glad music shall have swelled.<br /></span> <span class="i2">I hold a hand I never held before,<br /></span> <span class="i2">A hand like which I'll never hold some more.<br /></span> <span class="i0">It was the first time I had ever "called."<br /></span> <span class="i2">'Twas at the club, as we began to leave.<br /></span> <span class="i0">I held five aces, but the dealer balled<br /></span> <span class="i2">The ones that he had planted up his sleeve.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>YOUR CHEEK</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">To feel your hands stray shyly to my head<br /></span> <span class="i2">And flutter down like birds that find their nest,<br /></span> <span class="i2">To see the gentle rise and fall of your dear breast,<br /></span> <span class="i0">To hear again some tender word you said,<br /></span> <span class="i0">To watch the little feet whose dainty tread<br /></span> <span class="i2">Fell light as flowers upon the way they pressed,<br /></span> <span class="i2">To touch again the lips I have caressed&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">All these are precious. But your cheek of red<br /></span> <span class="i2">Outlives the mem'ry of all other things.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_728" id="Page_728">[Pg 728]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">I'd known you scarce a month, or maybe two;<br /></span> <span class="i2">I had not yet made up my mind to speak,<br /></span> <span class="i2">You trots out Tifny's catalogue of rings;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Says No. 6 (200 yen) will do.<br /></span> <span class="i2">So I remember best of all your cheek.<br /></span> </div></div> <h3>WITH ALL YOUR FAULTS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You would not stop this side the farthest line<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of Truth, you said, nor hide one little falsity<br /></span> <span class="i2">From my sweet faith that was too kind to see.<br /></span> <span class="i0">You said a keener vision would divine<br /></span> <span class="i0">All failings later, bare each hid design,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Each poor disguise of loving's treachery<br /></span> <span class="i2">That screened its weaknesses from even me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">How oft you said those cherry lips were mine<br /></span> <span class="i2">Alone. The cherries came in little jars,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I learned. Those auburn locks, I found with pain,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Cost forty plunks, according to the bill<br /></span> <span class="i0">I saw. Those pearly teeth were porcelain.<br /></span> <span class="i2">But I forgive you for each fault that mars.<br /></span> <span class="i2">With all your faults, dear heart, I love you still.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_729" id="Page_729">[Pg 729]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="HOW_WE_BOUGHT_A_SEWIN_MACHINE_AND_ORGAN" id="HOW_WE_BOUGHT_A_SEWIN_MACHINE_AND_ORGAN"></SPAN>HOW WE BOUGHT A SEWIN' MACHINE AND ORGAN</h2> <h3>BY JOSIAH ALLEN'S WIFE</h3> <p>We done dretful well last year. The crops come in first-rate, and Josiah had five or six heads of cattle to turn off at a big price. He felt well, and he proposed to me that I should have a sewin' machine. That man,&mdash;though he don't coo at me so frequent as he probable would if he had more encouragement in it, is attached to me with a devotedness that is firm and almost cast-iron, and says he, almost tenderly: "Samantha, I will get you a sewin' machine."</p> <p>Says I, "Josiah, I have got a couple of sewin' machines by me that have run pretty well for upwards of&mdash;well it haint necessary to go into particulars, but they have run for considerable of a spell anyway"&mdash;says I, "I can git along without another one, though no doubt it would be handy to have round."</p> <p>But Josiah hung onto that machine. And then he up and said he was goin' to buy a organ. Thomas Jefferson wanted one too. They both seemed sot onto that organ. Tirzah Ann took hern with her of course when she was married, and Josiah said it seemed so awful lonesome without any Tirzah Ann or any music, that it seemed almost as if two girls had married out of the family instead of one. He said money couldn't buy us another Tirzah Ann, but it would buy us a new organ, and he was determined to have one. He said it would be so handy for<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_730" id="Page_730">[Pg 730]</SPAN></span> her to play on when she came home, and for other company. And then Thomas J. can play quite well; he can play any tune, almost, with one hand, and he sings first-rate, too. He and Tirzah Ann used to sing together a sight; he sings bearatone, and she sulfireno&mdash;that is what they call it. They git up so many new-fangled names nowadays, that I think it is most a wonder that I don't make a slip once in a while and git things wrong. I should, if I hadn't got a mind like a ox for strength.</p> <p>But as I said, Josiah was fairly sot on that machine and organ, and I thought I'd let him have his way. So it got out that we was goin' to buy a sewin' machine, and a organ. Well, we made up our minds on Friday, pretty late in the afternoon, and on Monday forenoon I was a washin', when I heard a knock at the front door, and I wrung my hands out of the water and went and opened it. A slick lookin' feller stood there, and I invited him in and sot him a chair.</p> <p>"I hear you are talkin' about buyin' a musical instrument," says he.</p> <p>"No," says I, "we are goin' to buy a organ."</p> <p>"Well," says he, "I want to advise you, not that I have any interest in it at all, only I don't want to see you so imposed upon. It fairly makes me mad to see a Methodist imposed upon; I lean towards that perswasion myself. Organs are liable to fall to pieces any minute. There haint no dependence on 'em at all, the insides of 'em are liable to break out at any time. If you have any regard for your own welfare and safety, you will buy a piano. Not that I have any interest in advising you, only my devotion to the cause of Right; pianos never wear out."</p> <p>"Where should we git one?" says I, for I didn't want Josiah to throw away his property.</p> <p>"Well," says he, "as it happens, I guess I have got one<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_731" id="Page_731">[Pg 731]</SPAN></span> out here in the wagon. I believe I threw one into the bottom of the wagon this mornin', as I was a comin' down by here on business. I am glad now I did, for it always makes me feel ugly to see a Methodist imposed upon."</p> <p>Josiah came into the house in a few minutes, and I told him about it, and says I:</p> <p>"How lucky it is Josiah, that we found out about organs before it was too late."</p> <p>But Josiah asked the price, and said he wasn't goin' to pay out no three hundred dollars, for he wasn't able. But the man asked if we was willin' to have it brought into the house for a spell&mdash;we could do as we was a mind to about buyin' it; and of course we couldn't refuse, so Josiah most broke his back a liftin' it in, and they set it up in the parlor, and after dinner the man went away.</p> <p>Josiah bathed his back with linement, for he had strained it bad a liftin' that piano, and I had jest got back to my washin' again (I had had to put it away to git dinner) when I heerd a knockin' again to the front door, and I pulled down my dress sleeves and went and opened it, and there stood a tall, slim feller; and the kitchen bein' all cluttered up I opened the parlor door and asked him in there, and the minute he catched sight of that piano, he jest lifted up both hands, and says he:</p> <p>"You haint got one of them here!"</p> <p>He looked so horrified that it skairt me, and says I in almost tremblin' tones:</p> <p>"What is the matter with 'em?" And I added in a cheerful tone, "we haint bought it."</p> <p>He looked more cheerful too as I said it, and says he "You may be thankful enough that you haint. There haint no music in 'em at all; hear that," says he, goin' up and strikin' the very top note. It did sound flat enough.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_732" id="Page_732">[Pg 732]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Says I, "There must be more music in it than that, though I haint no judge at all."</p> <p>"Well, hear that, then," and he went and struck the very bottom note. "You see just what it is, from top to bottom. But it haint its total lack of music that makes me despise pianos so, it is because they are so dangerous."</p> <p>"Dangerous?" says I.</p> <p>"Yes, in thunder storms, you see;" says he, liftin' up the cover, "here it is all wire, enough for fifty lightnin' rods&mdash;draw the lightnin' right into the room. Awful dangerous! No money would tempt me to have one in my house with my wife and daughter. I shouldn't sleep a wink thinkin' I had exposed 'em to such danger."</p> <p>"Good land!" says I, "I never thought on it before."</p> <p>"Well, now you <i>have</i> thought of it, you see plainly that a organ is jest what you need. They are full of music, safe, healthy and don't cost half so much."</p> <p>Says I, "A organ was what we had sot our minds on at first."</p> <p>"Well, I have got one out here, and I will bring it in."</p> <p>"What is the price?" says I.</p> <p>"One hundred and ninety dollars," says he.</p> <p>"There won't be no need of bringin' it in at that price," says I, "for I have heerd Josiah say, that he wouldn't give a cent over a hundred dollars."</p> <p>"Well," says the feller, "I'll tell you what I'll do. Your countenance looks so kinder natural to me, and I like the looks of the country round here so well, that if your mind is made up on the price you want to pay, I won't let a trifle of ninety dollars part us. You can have it for one hundred."</p> <p>Well, the end on't was, he brung it in and sot it up the other end of the parlor, and drove off. And when Josiah come in from his work, and Thomas J. come home from Jonesville, they liked it first rate.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_733" id="Page_733">[Pg 733]</SPAN></span></p> <p>But the very next day, a new agent come, and he looked awful skairt when he katched sight of that organ, and real mad and indignant too.</p> <p>"That villain haint been a tryin' to get one of them organs off onto you, has he?" says he.</p> <p>"What is the trouble with 'em?" says I, in a awestruck tone, for he looked bad.</p> <p>"Why," says he, "there is a heavy mortgage on every one of his organs. If you bought one of him, and paid for it, it would be liable to be took away from you any minute when you was right in the middle of a tune, leavin' you a settin' on the stool; and you would lose every cent of your money."</p> <p>"Good gracious!" says I, for it skairt me to think what a narrow chance we had run. Well, finally, he brung in one of hisen, and sot it up in the kitchen, the parlor bein' full on 'em.</p> <p>And the fellers kep' a comin' and a goin' at all hours. For a spell, at first, Josiah would come in and talk with 'em, but after a while he got tired out, and when he would see one a comin' he would start on a run for the barn, and hide, and I would have to stand the brunt of it alone. One feller see Josiah a runnin' for the barn, and he follered him in, and Josiah dove under the barn, as I found out afterwards. I happened to see him a crawlin' out after the feller drove off. Josiah come in a shakin' himself&mdash;for he was all covered with straw and feathers&mdash;and says he:</p> <p>"Samantha there has got to be a change."</p> <p>"How is there goin' to be a change?" says I.</p> <p>"I'll tell you," says he, in a whisper&mdash;for fear some on 'em was prowlin' round the house yet&mdash;"we will git up before light to-morrow mornin', and go to Jonesville and buy a organ right out."<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_734" id="Page_734">[Pg 734]</SPAN></span></p> <p>I fell in with the idee, and we started for Jonesville the next mornin'. We got there jest after the break of day, and bought it of the man to the breakfast table. Says Josiah to me afterwards, as we was goin' down into the village:</p> <p>"Let's keep dark about buyin' one, and see how many of the creeters will be a besettin' on us to-day."</p> <p>So we kep' still, and there was half a dozen fellers follerin' us round all the time a most, into stores and groceries and the manty makers, and they would stop us on the sidewalk and argue with us about their organs and pianos. One feller, a tall slim chap, never let Josiah out of his sight a minute; and he follered him when he went after his horse, and walked by the side of the wagon clear down to the store where I was, a arguin' all the way about his piano. Josiah had bought a number of things and left 'em to the store, and when we got there, there stood the organ man by the side of the things, jest like a watch dog. He knew Josiah would come and git 'em, and he could git the last word with him.</p> <p>Amongst other things, Josiah had bought a barrel of salt, and the piano feller that had stuck to Josiah so tight that day, offered to help him on with it. And the organ man&mdash;not goin' to be outdone by the other&mdash;he offered too. Josiah kinder winked to me, and then he held the old mare, and let 'em lift. They wasn't used to such kind of work, and it fell back on 'em once or twice, and most squashed 'em; but they nipped to, and lifted again, and finally got it on; but they was completely tuckered out.</p> <p>And then Josiah got in, and thanked 'em for the liftin'; and the organ man, a wipin' the sweat offen his face&mdash;that had started out in his hard labor&mdash;said he should be down to-morrow mornin'; and the piano man, a pantin' for breath, told Josiah not to make up his mind till <i>he</i><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_735" id="Page_735">[Pg 735]</SPAN></span> came; he should be down that night if he got rested enough.</p> <p>And then Josiah told 'em that he should be glad to see 'em down a visitin' any time, but he had jest bought a organ.</p> <p>I don't know but what they would have laid holt of Josiah, if they hadn't been so tuckered out; but as it was, they was too beat out to look anything but sneakin'; and so we drove off.</p> <p>The manty maker had told me that day, that there was two or three new agents with new kinds of sewin' machines jest come to Jonesville, and I was tellin' Josiah on it, when we met a middle-aged man, and he looked at us pretty close, and finally he asked us as he passed by, if we could tell him where Josiah Allen lived.</p> <p>Says Josiah, "I'm livin' at present in a Democrat."</p> <p>Says I, "In this one-horse wagon, you know."</p> <p>Says he, "You are thinkin' of buyin' a sewin' machine, haint you?"</p> <p>Says Josiah, "I am a turnin' my mind that way."</p> <p>At that, the man turned his horse round, and follered us, and I see he had a sewin' machine in front of his wagon. We had the old mare and the colt, and seein' a strange horse come up so close behind us, the colt started off full run towards Jonesville, and then run down a cross-road and into a lot.</p> <p>Says the man behind us, "I am a little younger than you be, Mr. Allen; if you will hold my horse I will go after the colt with pleasure."</p> <p>Josiah was glad enough, and so he got into the feller's wagon; but before he started off, the man, says he:</p> <p>"You can look at that machine in front of you while I am gone. I tell you frankly, that there haint another machine equal to it in America; it requires no strength at<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_736" id="Page_736">[Pg 736]</SPAN></span> all; infants can run it for days at a time; or idiots; if anybody knows enough to set and whistle, they can run this machine; and it's especially adapted to the blind&mdash;blind people can run it jest as well as them that can see. A blind woman last year, in one day, made 43 dollars a makin' leather aprons; stitched them all round the age two rows. She made two dozen of 'em, and then she made four dozen gauze veils the same day, without changin' the needle. That is one of the beauties of the machine, its goin' from leather to lace, and back again, without changin' the needle. It is so tryin' for wimmen, every time they want to go from leather to gauze and book muslin, to have to change the needle; but you can see for yourself that it haint got its equal in North America."</p> <p>He heerd the colt whinner, and Josiah stood up in the wagon, and looked after it. So he started off down the cross road.</p> <p>And we sot there, feelin' considerable like a procession; Josiah holdin' the stranger's horse, and I the old mare; and as we sot there, up driv another slick lookin' chap, and I bein' ahead, he spoke to me, and says he:</p> <p>"Can you direct me, mom, to Josiah Allen's house?"</p> <p>"It is about a mile from here," and I added in a friendly tone, "Josiah is my husband."</p> <p>"Is he?" says he, in a genteel tone.</p> <p>"Yes," says I, "we have been to Jonesville, and our colt run down that cross road, and&mdash;"</p> <p>"I see," says he interruptin' of me, "I see how it is." And then he went on in a lower tone, "If you think of buyin' a sewin' machine, don't git one of that feller in the wagon behind you&mdash;I know him well; he is one of the most worthless shacks in the country, as you can plainly see by the looks of his countenance. If I ever see a face in which knave and villain is wrote down, it is on hisen.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_737" id="Page_737">[Pg 737]</SPAN></span> Any one with half an eye can see that he would cheat his grandmother out of her snuff handkerchief, if he got a chance."</p> <p>He talked so fast that I couldn't git a chance to put in a word age ways for Josiah.</p> <p>"His sewin' machines are utterly worthless; he haint never sold one yet; he cant. His character has got out&mdash;folks know him. There was a lady tellin' me the other day that her machine she bought of him, all fell to pieces in less than twenty-four hours after she bought it; fell onto her infant, a sweet little babe, and crippled it for life. I see your husband is havin' a hard time of it with that colt. I will jest hitch my horse here to the fence, and go down and help him; I want to have a little talk with him before he comes back here." So he started off on the run.</p> <p>I told Josiah what he said about him, for it madded me, but Josiah took it cool. He seemed to love to set there and see them two men run. I never <i>did</i> see a colt act as that one did; they didn't have time to pass a word with each other, to find out their mistake, it kep' 'em so on a keen run. They would git it headed towards us, and then it would kick up its heels, and run into some lot, and canter round in a circle with its head up in the air, and then bring up short ag'inst the fence; and then they would leap over the fence. The first one had white pantaloons on, but he didn't mind 'em; over he would go, right into sikuta or elderbushes, and they would wave their hats at it, and holler, and whistle, and bark like dogs, and the colt would whinner and start off again right the wrong way, and them two men would go a pantin' after it. They had been a runnin' nigh onto half an hour, when a good lookin' young feller come along, and seein' me a settin' still and holdin' the old mare, he up and says:<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_738" id="Page_738">[Pg 738]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"Are you in any trouble that I can assist you?"</p> <p>Says I, "We are goin' home from Jonesville, Josiah and me, and our colt got away and&mdash;"</p> <p>But Josiah interrupted me, and says he, "And them two fools a caperin' after it, are sewin' machine agents."</p> <p>The good lookin' chap see all through it in a minute, and he broke out into a laugh it would have done your soul good to hear, it was so clear and hearty, and honest. But he didn't say a word; he drove out to go by us, and we see then that he had a sewin' machine in the buggy.</p> <p>"Are you a agent?" says Josiah.</p> <p>"Yes," says he.</p> <p>"What sort of a machine is this here?" says Josiah, liftin' up the cloth from the machine in front of him.</p> <p>"A pretty good one," says the feller, lookin' at the name on it.</p> <p>"Is yours as good?" says Josiah.</p> <p>"I think it is better," says he. And then he started up his horse.</p> <p>"Hello! stop!" says Josiah.</p> <p>The feller stopped.</p> <p>"Why don't you run down other fellers' machines, and beset us to buy yourn?"</p> <p>"Because I don't make a practice of stoppin' people on the street."</p> <p>"Do you haunt folks day and night; foller 'em up ladders, through trap-doors, down sullers, and under barns?"</p> <p>"No," says the young chap, "I show people how my machine works; if they want it, I sell it; and if they don't, I leave."</p> <p>"How much is your machine?" says Josiah.</p> <p>"75 dollars."</p> <p>"Can't you," says Josiah, "because I look so much like your old father, or because I am a Methodist, or because<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_739" id="Page_739">[Pg 739]</SPAN></span> my wife's mother used to live neighbor to your grandmother&mdash;let me have it for 25 dollars?"</p> <p>The feller got up on his wagon, and turned his machine round so we could see it plain&mdash;it was a beauty&mdash;and says he:</p> <p>"You see this machine, sir; I think it is the best one made, although there is no great difference between this and the one over there; but I think what difference there is, is in this one's favor. You can have it for 75 dollars if you want it; if not, I will drive on."</p> <p>"How do you like the looks on it, Samantha?"</p> <p>Says I, "It is the kind I wanted to git."</p> <p>Josiah took out his wallet, and counted out 75 dollars, and says he:</p> <p>"Put that machine into that wagon where Samantha is."</p> <p>The good lookin' feller was jest liftin' of it in, and countin' over his money, when the two fellers come up with the colt. It seemed that they had had a explanation as they was comin' back; I see they had as quick as I catched sight on 'em, for they was a walkin' one on one side of the road, and the other on the other, most tight up to the fence. They was most dead the colt had run 'em so, and it did seem as if their faces couldn't look no redder nor more madder than they did as we catched sight on 'em and Josiah thanked 'em for drivin' back the colt; but when they see that the other feller had sold us a machine, their faces <i>did</i> look redder and madder.</p> <p>But I didn't care a mite; we drove off tickled enough that we had got through with our sufferin's with agents. And the colt had got so beat out a runnin' and racin', that he drove home first-rate, walkin' along by the old mare as stiddy as a deacon.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_740" id="Page_740">[Pg 740]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="CHEER_FOR_THE_CONSUMER" id="CHEER_FOR_THE_CONSUMER"></SPAN>CHEER FOR THE CONSUMER</h2> <h3>BY NIXON WATERMAN</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and it really doesn't matter<br /></span> <span class="i0">If you crowd me in the street cars till I couldn't well be flatter;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and the strikers may go striking,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For it's mine to end my living if it isn't to my liking.<br /></span> <span class="i0">I am a sort of parasite without a special mission<br /></span> <span class="i0">Except to pay the damages&mdash;mine is a queer position:<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Fates unite to squeeze me till I couldn't well be flatter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For I'm only a consumer, and it really doesn't matter.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The baker tilts the price of bread upon the vaguest rumor<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of damage to the wheat crop, but I'm only a consumer,<br /></span> <span class="i0">So it really doesn't matter, for there's no law that compells me<br /></span> <span class="i0">To pay the added charges on the loaf of bread he sells me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The iceman leaves a smaller piece when days are growing hotter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'm only a consumer, and I do not need iced water:<br /></span> <span class="i0">My business is to pay the bills and keep in a good humor,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And it really doesn't matter, for I'm only a consumer.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The milkman waters milk for me; there's garlic in my butter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'm only a consumer, and it does no good to mutter;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I know that coal is going up and beef is getting higher,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'm only a consumer, and I have no need of fire;<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_741" id="Page_741">[Pg 741]</SPAN></span> <span class="i0">While beefsteak is a luxury that wealth alone is needing,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and what need have I for feeding?<br /></span> <span class="i0">My business is to pay the bills and keep in a good humor,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And it really doesn't matter, since I'm only a consumer.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The grocer sells me addled eggs; the tailor sells me shoddy,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and I am not anybody.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The cobbler pegs me paper soles, the dairyman short-weights me,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and most everybody hates me.<br /></span> <span class="i0">There's turnip in my pumpkin pie and ashes in my pepper,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The world's my lazaretto, and I'm nothing but a leper;<br /></span> <span class="i0">So lay me in my lonely grave and tread the turf down flatter,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm only a consumer, and it really doesn't matter.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'>
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