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Mrs. Brede was in my wife's arms, sobbing as if her young heart would break.
"Oh, you poor, dear, silly children !” my wife cried, as Mrs. Brede sobbed on her shoulder; “why didn't you tell us ?”
“W-w-we didn't want to be t-t-taken for a b-b-b-b-bridal couple,” sobbed Mrs. Brede; "and we d-d-didn't dream what awful lies we'd have to tell, and all the aw-aw-ful mixed-up mess of it. Oh, dear, dear, dear!”
“Pete!” commanded Mr. Jacobus, “put back them trunks. These folks stays here's long's they wants ter. Mr. Brede”—he held out a large, hard hand—“I'd orter 've known better,” he said ; and my last doubt of Mr. Brede vanished as he shook that grimy hand in manly fashion.
The two women were walking off toward “our view,” each with an arm about the other's waist-touched by a sudden sisterhood of sympathy.
“Gentlemen," said Mr. Brede, addressing Jacobus, Biggle, the Major, and me, "there is a hostelry down the street where they sell honest New Jersey beer. I recognise the obligations of the situation.”
We five men filed down the street, and the two women went toward the pleasant slope where the sunlight gilded the forehead of the great hill. On Mr. Jacobus's verandah lay a spattered circle of shining grains of rice. Two of Mr. Jacobus's pigeons flew down and picked up the shining grains, making grateful noises far down in their throats.
H. C. Bunner.
“I TAKE GREAT PLEASURE IN PRESENTING TO YOUR ATTENTION THE
E boarded the boat at a landing about a hundred miles
above Vicksburg, having two dilapidated but bulkylooking satchels as luggage. He said he was bound to
Orleans," and when the clerk told him what the fare would be he uttered a long whistle of amazement, and inquired
“Isn't that pooty steep ? ”
“Seems like a big price for just riding on a boat," continued the stranger.
“Come, I'm in a hurry," said the clerk. “That's the lowest figure, eh?” inquired the stranger. "Yes—that's the regular fare." “No discount to a regular traveller ?” “We make no discount from that figure.” “Ye wouldn't take half of it in trade ?” “I want your fare at once, or we will have to land
“Don't want a nice rat-trap, do ye, stranger ? ” inquired the passenger. “One which sets herself, works on scientific principles, allus ready, painted a nice green, wanted by every family, warranted to knock the socks off'n any other trap ever invented by mortal man?”
“No, sir; I want the money!” replied the clerk in emphatic tones.
“Oh, wall, I'll pay; of course I will,” said the rat-trap man; “but that's an awful figger for a ride to Orleans, and cash is cash these days."
He counted out the fare in ragged shin-plasters, wound a shoe-string around his wallet and replaced it, and then unlocked one of the satchels and took out a wire rat-trap. Proceeding to the cabin, he looked the ground over, and then waltzing up to a young lady who sat on a sofa reading, he began
"I take great pleasure in presenting to your attention the Eureky rat-trap, the best trap ever invented. It sets
Sir !” she exclaimed, rising to her feet. “Name's Harrington Baker," he went on, turning the trap around on his outstretched hand, “and I guarantee this trap to do more square killing among rats than—" She gave
him a look of scorn and contempt, and swept grandly away; and without being the least put out he walked over to a bald-headed man who had tilted his chair back and fallen asleep.
“Fellow-mortal, awakest and gaze upon the Eureky rat
trap," said the stranger, as he laid his hand on the shiny pate of the sleeper.
“Wh--who-what!” exclaimed the Bald-head, opening his
eyes and flinging his arms around. “I take this opportunity to call your attention to my Eureky rat-trap,” continued the new passenger; "the noblest Roman of them all. Try one, and you will use no other. It is constructed on
“Who in thunder do you take me for?” exclaimed the bald-headed man at this point. “ What in blazes do I want of your rat-trap?"
“To ketch rats !” humbly replied the stranger ; "to clear yer premises of one of the most obnoxious pests known to
I believe I am safe in saying that this 'ere” “Go away, sir-go away; or I'll knock your blamed head off !” roared the Bald-head. “When I want a rat-trap I shan't patronise travelling vagabonds! Your audacity in daring to put your hand on my head and wake me up deserves a caning !”
“Then you don't want a rat-trap ?”
“I'll knock you down, sir !” roared Bald-head, looking around for his cane.
“Oh, wall, I ain't a starvin', and it won't make much difference if I don't sell to you!” remarked the stranger, and he backed off and left the cabin for the promenade deck.
An old maid sat in the shadow of the Texas, embroidering a slipper, and the rat-trap man drew a stool up beside her and remarked
Madam, my name is Baker, and I am the inventor of the Eureky rat-trap, a sample copy of which I hold here on my left hand, and I think I can safely say that
“Sir, this is unpardonable !” she exclaimed, pushing back.
“I didn't have an introduction to ye, of course,” he replied, holding the trap up higher; “but business is business, you know. Let me sell you a Eureky trap, and make ye happy for life; I warrant this trap to
“Sir, I shall call the captain!” she interrupted, turning pale with rage.
“Does he want a trap?” eagerly inquired the man.
“Such impudence deserves the horsewhip!” screamed the old maid, backing away.
The rat-trap man went forward and found a northern invalid, who was so far gone that he could hardly speak above a whisper.
“Ailing, eh?” queried the trapper.
that my Eureky rat-trap will cure ye,” continued the man; “but this much I do say, and will swear to on a million Bibles, that it climbs the ridge-pole over any immortal vermin-booster ever yet set before
The captain came up at this juncture, and informed the inventor that he must quit annoying passengers.
“But some of 'em may want one o' my Eureky traps,” protested the man.
“Can't help it; this is no place to sell traps.”
“But this is no scrub trap-none o' your humbugs, got up to swindle the hair right off of an innocent and confiding public.”
“You hear me,put that trap up!
“I'll put it up, of course; but then I'll leave it to yerself if it isn't rather Shylocky in a steamboat to charge me the reg'lar figger to Orleans, and then stop me from passing my Eureky rat-trap out to the hankerin' public?"
C. B. Lewis (“ M. Quad.”)