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Title: A Prevaricated Parade
Author: Tuttle, W. C. (Wilbur C.)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        A Prevaricated Parade

                           by W. C. Tuttle

      Author of “Clean Crazy,” “Monkeying with Ancestors,” etc.


“And for the support of this A declaration, with a firm reliance on
the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other
our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

Hank Padden shifted his seat on the top pole of the corral, and marks
the place with his finger.

“Now,” says he, “shall I orate the names of the men who signed it?”

“Never mind,” replies old man Whittaker. “We don’t know none of them,
personally, so we’ll let what you’ve already read be sufficient and
plenty. After listening to all you’ve read out of that book, Hank, I’m
of the impression that she’s a fitting day to be celebrated. What do
you think, Hen?”

“She’s worth a passing memorial,” says I, and “Scenery” Sims, the
fourth member of our committee, nods his head:

“She sure is, gents. I never cared for kings, except in jack-pots, and
our glorious forefathers sure did proclaim their feelings. I’m with
yuh from the hondo to the saddle-horn.”

That makes it unanimous. The night before there’s a meeting in
Paradise, and they appoints me and Scenery, Hank Padden and old man
Whittaker as a committee to investigate the reasons and so forth of
the Fourth of July, and whether, in our own minds, she’s of sufficient
import to consider a celebration.

We finds that she is. Hank Padden reads us the reasons out of a
dictionary, while we sets there on the corral top, at the Cross J.

Old man Whittaker owns the Cross J, Hank Padden the Seven A, and
Scenery Sims is the possessor of the Circle S outfit and the
squeakiest voice ever anchored in the throat of a human being. Every
time I hears Scenery start to talk I pray for cylinder oil or
chloroform. Me? I’m Henry Clay Peck. I work for old man Whittaker. I
ain’t got nothing but a conscience, a heap of respect for the truth
and the feeling that I lowers myself when I punches cows.

We has just arrived at our conclusion when “Muley” Bowles saunters
down to the corral, climbs up beside us and bends our seat all to
pieces. We four moves to the next section for safety. Muley weighs so
much that he has to bandage his bronc’s legs with splints to keep it
from being bowlegged. The world lost a cracking good poet when Muley
essayed to punch cows. He don’t look the part, not having soulful eyes
nor emaciated ribs, but when it comes to making up poetry he’s got ’em
all lashed to the snubbing-post.

“Has the committee arrived at a satisfactory conclusion?” he asks,
puffing hard on his cigaret, and shaking out a new rope.

“When the facts is made public we’ll let yuh know with the rest,”
squeaks Scenery, who dislikes Muley a heap.

“Who’s talking to you?” demands Muley. “Scenery, you takes too much
upon yourself. I been thinking of a sweet little rhyme what sounds
like this, and I gives yuh three guesses who I mean:

    “He had a squeaky little voice,
    A skinny little frame.
    He lived in God’s own country,
    But the country wa’n’t to blame.
    Comparing him with growed-up men,
    Who rode the Sawtooth Hills,
    He looked like a pewter nickel
    In a bunch of green-back bills.”

“Yah-h-h-h!” shrills Scenery. “You’re sore ’cause you wasn’t elected
to the committee. Lard!”

Scenery puts all the venom in his system into that last word, and at
the finish his voice would have split a cigaret paper. As he makes his
greasy statement his right boot snaps up to horizontal, and Muley’s
loop gets him around the ankle.

It sure was one beautiful and speedy piece of rope work, and the next
minute Scenery is on his shoulders in the corral, with his right foot
snubbed high and handsome to the top of a corral post.

Muley lights his cigaret and climbs down the other side.

“The committee will have to turn him loose,” he states. “I won’t
pollute my hands by touching him. I reckon the acid in his measly
little carcass will ruin that metal hondo before he gets loose, but
it’s worth it.”

Muley peers through the poles of the corral and grins at Scenery.

“Next time yuh opines to speak of a byproduct of your family, Scenery,
don’t look at me,” he states.

Our nerves are rasped considerable before we gets Scenery calmed down,
but we finally pacifies him, and all sets in judgment on the Fourth of
July again.

“Now that we’ve decided to celebrate—how’ll we do it?” asks Hank. “She
ought to be did befitting the solemnity of the occasion, hadn’t it,
Whittaker?”

“She deserves it,” agrees the old man. “We’ll have a salute at
sunrise, won’t we? Then what’ll we do?”

“We got to have a pe-rade,” squeaks Scenery. “Them is necessary
adjunct to celebrations. I was down to Cottonwood last Fourth, and
they sure had a humdinger of a pe-rade. Had a feller all dressed up in
a fancy hat and a sash, riding in front, and then comes a lot of
dress-up wagons, what they designates as floats. They has a beautiful
gal all dressed up to imitate Miss Columbus, and———”

“Who’s she?” asks Hank.

“Don’t you know who Columbus was?” asked Scenery, and Hank nods.

“Well, don’t ask fool questions then,” squeaks Scenery. “They has
hoss-races, foot-races and——”

“They didn’t have nothing that we can’t have,” pronounces Hank.

“We can have all that. I’ll ride at the head of the pe-rade and——”

“That ain’t unanimous,” interrupts Scenery. “Why you any more than me,
Hank? Next thing we know you’ll want to be Miss Columbus.”

“Hang on to yourselves,” advises Whittaker. “You fellers elects
yourselves to everything—seems to me. A leading man in a pe-rade ought
to dress the part, I reckon. When I lives in Great Falls I’m elected
as a ornery member of a organization. It had something to do about
woodcraft, and we dresses up like a plush hoss, when we meets. I still
got my war-bonnet and pants left. Some son of a gun stole the coat. I
still got my ax, too.”

“You still got the ax?” squeaks Scenery. “Wonderful! Go home and cut
some wood. I think your fire’s out.”

“While you old spavs are fighting for honors, what’s the matter with
considering me?” I asks. “You’re all so danged old and stove-up that
you’d have to lead it in a lumber-wagon. Look at me, and step back in
the ranks. I’m young, handsome——”

“Pause!” yelps Scenery. “Pause, Hen. It takes brains to lead a
pe-rade.”

“Then let’s not quarrel,” says I. “We ain’t eligible. Let’s settle
these little details later and in a place what ain’t so dry. It won’t
be the Fourth of July until day after tomorrow, so let’s adjourn.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

They agrees. Scenery and Hank goes home, and I goes up to the
bunk-house, where “Telescope” Tolliver and Muley are playing pitch.

“Hen, what has the committee decided to do?” askes Telescope.

I tells him what our plans are, so far, and while I’m telling in comes
“Chuck” Warner, the prize liar of Yaller Rock County. Chuck punches
cows with us for a living, and carries the greatest assortment of
prevarications on earth as a side-line. I been with him so long that
at times I shades the truth a little, too.

“They can’t all lead the pe-rade, that’s a cinch,” states Chuck. “I
seen a pe-rade down to New York one time that——”

“You never was in New York,” states Telescope.

“I was born there,” declares Chuck, wiggling his ears.

“In Pima County, Arizona,” says Telescope. “I know when, too, Chuck.”

“Dates don’t count, Telescope. I said I was born in New York, and it’s
my business if I wants to stick to my statement. Now, Telescope, if
you said you was born in a teepee on a Digger reservation I wouldn’t
argue with you for a minute. I’d take it as Gospel. A feller has a
right to a birthplace, and I takes New York.”

That argument shows Chuck Warner in his native state. He’s got a face
like a bronc, shortest legs on earth, and can wiggle his ears like a
burro. The only time he can’t look yuh square in the eye is when he’s
telling the truth.

“Yuh ought to get somebody with a little style to lead that pe-rade,
Hen,” opines Muley.

“Might get ‘Pole Cat’ Perkins or ‘Harelip’ Hansen,” laughs Telescope.
“Have Harelip ride one of his goats, and have Pole Cat walk slow
behind him, leading a skunk. Have the goat wear the old man’s striped
pants, and put Scenery’s hat on the skunk.”

“You fellers ought to be on the committee,” says I, sarcastic-like.
“Yuh might get up your own pe-rade.”

“That’s a good scheme,” agrees Chuck. “We’ll form a offensive and
defensive alliance.”

“Offensive is right,” says I, and then I goes up to see the old man.

The next morning me and the old man goes to Paradise, and goes into
executive session, with Scenery and Hank, in the rear of Dug Chaffin’s
saloon. Hank pounds on the table with his boot heel, and calls the
roll. We’re all present.

“Gents,” asks Hank, “who is going to lead the pe-rade?”

We looks at each other, and then the old man clears his throat.

“I looked up them lodge raiment, and they’re dazzlers.”

“I still got that hard hat that I wore to a Dimmicrat rally down to
Silver Bend ten year ago,” orates Scenery. “She looks a heap
dignified, and it’s too small for any of you fellers. I got a sword,
too—in a holster.”

“To lead a pe-rade a man ought to look dignified—not his clothes,”
proclaims Hank.

“This here glory thing is going to cause hard feelings,” says I. “I
moves that we does like this: we’ll all be here before the pe-rade is
ready to start, and we’ll let some uninterested party pick out the
suitable person for to lead it. Dress for the part, and if yuh don’t
get picked, be a good sport and pe-rade anyway.”

“That’ll keep the mortality down to a certain extent,” agrees Hank,
and the other two nods.

“Now,” says Hank, “how about this person to be Miss Columbus?”

“I got her picked,” states Scenery. “I nominates Miss Eulalie McFee.”

“Sheriff’s daughter, eh?” laughs Hank. “She’s so danged thin that if
she stood edge-ways yuh couldn’t see her, Scenery. I nominates Miss
Maggie Smith, niece of ‘Doughgod’ Smith. Who seconds the motion?”

“Miss Columbus ought to be a danged sight better-looking than Maggie
Smith,” states the old man. “Who ever heard of Miss Columbus with
crossed eyes and freckles? I marks X at the top of my ticket for Miss
Clarice Chaffin, daughter of Dug. Do I hear an agreeable voice?”

“Haw! Haw!” roars Hank. “Clarice Chaffin! This contest ain’t for no
animated flag-pole, Whittaker. How’s your sentiments, Hen?”

“I leans toward Mrs. Genevieve Saunders, widder of the late ‘Slim’
Saunders. She’d fill the part.”

“It would be danged small if she didn’t,” Scenery. “She weighs at
least two hundred and——”

“Scenery,” says I, “some day I’m going to hang a pebble on your neck,
throw yuh into a tin cup of water and drown yuh.”

“Let’s vote on it,” suggests Hank.

“It don’t require no vote,” replies Whittaker. “If Hen wants to drown
Scenery I’m——”

“I mean vote on the lady!” snaps Hank. We did. We each cast a vote for
our choice, and it starts a argument that’s a humdinger, and before we
leaves the council-chamber we’re mentally wallering in each other’s
gore.

Paradise is busy fixing up floats and decorations, and we’re asked a
lot of questions that we don’t dare to answer.

“Who is going to lead the pe-rade?” whispers Doughgod to me, and I
whispers back—

“I am.”

He toilers me for a distance, and whispers once more—

“Hen, who is going to be Miss Columbus?” I answers—

“The widder Saunders.”

“Hank told me that my niece, Maggie was going to be her.”

“Hank’s a liar,” says I, and Doughgod nods, and walks away.

I’m over at the rack, cinching up my saddle, when here comes Dug
Chaffin.

“Henry, I’m looking for information that I can’t seem to get from any
of your cohorts. Who is due to be Miss Columbus tomorrow?”

“The widder Saunders. That’s settled, Dug.”

“Do you know that old man Whittaker is a liar?” he asks, and I nods.
“Yes, he’s a liar,” declares Dug. “He said he’d stick for Clarice
’till hell froze over.”

“He got cold feet,” says I, and Dug goes back to his palace of sin, in
a unhappy mood.

I gets on my bronc and points toward the Cross J. I’m sick of being on
a committee, and having to hurt people’s feelings.

Paradise ain’t no safe place to cause discord in. There’s a sentiment
in that place that leans towards shooting first and asking questions
afterwards. There’s only one thing the whole place will agree on, and
that is this: yuh can’t have a royal flush if your opponent has four
kings.

“Stuttering” Stevens thought he’d establish a precedent by holding one
against kings and sevens in one hand and kings and eights in another.
The coroner said that either shot would have been fatal. Stuttering
must a been guilty, ’cause no man would steal kings to make up two
pair.

I hammers my bronc along down to where the Cross J road forks with the
one from Silver Bend, when I hears a peculiar noise. Sounds to me like
a threshing machine with St. Vitus dance. My bronc shows signs of
nervousness, so I gets off. Pretty soon it comes in sight, and I
recognizes it as being an autymobile, the same of which ain’t been in
this country since the one belonging to Scenery Sims runs over some
dynamite at Piperock and evaporates.

                  *       *       *       *       *

My bronc drags me off into the mesquite for a ways, until I can get my
rope around a bush and stop him, and then I pilgrims back to the road.
At first I don’t recognize the inhabitant of that carriage. I looks
him over, careful-like, and then he grins and betrays himself. It’s
old “Calamity” Carson. I ain’t seen him for five years, and I shakes
his hand industrious-like. After we gets through pumping elbows I
leans back and surveys his equipage.

“Some vehicle, eh, Henry?” he says, with a dusty grin. “Surprised to
see me?”

“Well, not exactly, Calamity. We been expecting yuh.”

“Expecting me?” he wonders aloud. “I suppose ‘Tellurium’ had to go and
tell everybody.”

“Uh-huh,” I agrees. “Tellurium Woods never could keep still.”

So far as I know Tellurium ain’t been in Paradise for six months, but
he’s as good as anybody to blame it on. Him and Calamity used to be
pardners.

“Well, well!” says Calamity, brushing the dust off his mustache, and
giving his cigaret a chance to burn hair freely. “Here I been figuring
on surprising the old-timers, and I been told upon by a friend. Henry
Peck, I done sold out my property over in the Little Rockies, and now
I’m rich.

“I got more money than a dog has fleas, but I ain’t enjoyed it none. I
opines to throw a surprise into Paradise, so I buys this gasoline
buckboard, has her shipped to Silver Bend, and here I am. She’s worse
than any outlaw bronc that ever flinched under a saddle, Henry, and
I’m older by years and years than I was a week ago when a man teached
me how to drive it. I don’t know what makes her run. All I got to do
is put gasoline in her, twist her tail a few times, pull the
designated levers, and point her away from the stumps. She sure makes
enough noise.”

“You figured the tune right, Calamity,” says I. “Paradise sure is
doing itself proud in your honor.”

“‘In my honor?’ What’s the idea, Henry?”

“Well, yuh see it ain’t often that a town can have a former inhabitant
come home rich and distinguished like you are. The public sure admires
a man with a chunk off the root of all evil, Calamity. We’ve decorated
in your honor, and tomorrow we parades before yuh to show our
admiration and respect. Sabe?”

“My gosh, Henry!” he snorts. “This is too much.”

“It’s considerable, Calamity, but look who you are.”

“That’s a fact, Henry—it sure is. Well, well!”

He sets there, with a far-away look in his eyes, and that cigaret
sizzling on his mustache, and sudden-like he reaches under the seat
and hauls out a jug.

“Henry Peck, I been saving this for my old friends—Tellurium,
Doughgod, ‘Half Mike’ Smith, et cettry, but you qualifies, Henry. Your
oration sure puts joy into my old heart. Go as deep as yuh like.”

I sets there in his gas go-devil, and we swears allegiance to each
other. We celebrates our new-found friendship, and regales each other
with anecdotes. I tells him all the neighborhood gossip, and we toast
each and every one. He tells me about his property in the Little
Rockies, and we drinks a toast to all the little rocks.

My bronc gets the rope loose, and passes us on his way home. We toasts
the Cross J and my pinto.

“Who did yuh say was going to lead the pe-rade in my honor?” asks
Calamity.

“I am. Being your best friend, Calamity, I’m eligible. I’ll ride that
pinto bronc at the head end of that great conglomeration. How’d yuh
like that, old-timer?”

“I got a better idea,” says he, solemn-like. “I’ll teach yuh how to
run this here contraption, and you lead her in this. How’d yuh like to
do that, Henry?”

“Sounds to me like the voice of angels. What yuh packing in them two
cans in the rear?”

“Gasoline. Twenty gallons I shipped with the car. All yuh got to do is
to twist that front crank until she starts humming. Sabe? Then yuh get
in and let this here brake loose. You get out and give her a twist,
Henry. That’s the first lesson.”

I falls out and ambles around to the front. I grasps the crank in both
hands, gives it a man-sized yank, slips with both feet, and that
juggernaut runs right across my floating ribs. She sure squashes me a
plenty, and I don’t more than start to get up when here she comes
right back to run over me again. Calamity stops her just in time.

“You forgot the e-mergency,” observes Calamity, scared-like, over the
back of the seat.

“Maybe,” says I. “I forgot my name and address, too, if that’s
anything to snort over. What are yuh supposed to do—put her against a
rock to start her?”

“It’s a simple thing, Hen.”

“Yes, so is a stick uh dynamite,” says I, rubbing the kinks out of my
hide. “Let’s not call school right now, Calamity. We’ll go up to the
Cross J, where prying eyes can see us not, and there yuh can show me
all things. Anyway yuh don’t want to show up in Paradise today.
Everybody is busy getting things ready, and if you was to go down
there now they’d drop everything. Sabe?”

“Popularity warmeth my cold heart,” says he. “Being of the committee,
Henry Peck, I bows to superior wisdom. We’ll proceed to the old Cross
J, and take a lesson.”

We stops at the Seeping Springs and has a nice drink—out of the jug.
We starts out merrily along the road, when all to once Calamity starts
to tell me a story. Calamity must have French blood in his carcass,
’cause he talks with his hands.

At least he might a picked out a flat place to do his gestures in, but
as it was we hops off the road, down a hill, and pokes the front end
of that machine into a mesquite bush. What part of it didn’t plow
through the bush jumped over.

I untangles myself from the brush and wanders over to the wagon. She
don’t seem hurt much, but her heart has quit beating.

“_Hyas cultus chuck, chick_,” states a voice, and I turns to
see old Running Wolf, a Piegan, squatting on his haunches, looking at
that machine.

He’s got a look on his face that Columbus might a had when he first
saw the shores of our fair country.

“What did he say?” asks a weak voice, and Calamity appears from the
other side of the car.

“He said, ‘It’s a mighty bad wagon,’” I interprets, and Calamity nods
his head:

“That Injun ain’t no danged idiot, Henry. Wonder if he’d like to take
a ride?”

“_Mesika klatawa kopa chick, chick?_” I asks, but the old
redskin puts his thumb up to his nose and wiggles his fingers at us.

“Nah-h-h-h-h!” he gargles, and points at his moccasins.

We manages to get that wagon back on the road. We drinks a toast to
our good luck and to honest and cautious Injuns, and plods on up to
the Cross J. I reckon our toasts covers too much territory, ’cause
when Calamity opines to have me read his book of rules, all I can do
is sing.

                  *       *       *       *       *

It’s almost dark when I wakes up. Beside me on the bunk is Calamity,
snoring like a shepherd, so I sticks my boot into his ribs.

“Thanks,” says he, after a look around. “Thanks, Henry. I was having a
autymobilemare.”

Just then in comes old man Whittaker. He looks around, sort of
mad-like, and glares at me and Calamity.

“They don’t seem to be here—gol dingle dangle it!” he yelps.

Me and Calamity looks around and shakes our heads.

“No,” says I. “They must a left.”

“They never went alone!” he howls. “That fancy, lodge war-bonnet and
them striped pants never went away alone. I reckon I got to kill
somebody!”

He slams the door, as he goes out, and Calamity looks at me.

“What’s the matter with him?” he asks. “He never recognized me, and
I’ve knowed Whittaker for years and years.”

“Crazy,” says I. “He went crazy over fancy clothes. He don’t know
anybody any more, Calamity.”

“Pshaw! I knowed he wasn’t——”

We hears a voice at the door, and I yells, “Come in!” and in ambles
Pole Cat Perkins. He’s got a bundle under his arm, and he sets down on
the bunk and grins at me and Calamity.

“Huh-Hen, I’m after your permission,” says he.

“You’ve got it, Pole Cat. What yuh going to do with it?”

He unrolls that bundle and produces a yaller stove-pipe hat, dented
and moth-eaten, and an old rusty sword. He balances that old hat on
his ball-shaped head, and runs the sword along the palm of his left
hand.

“Do I qualify, Mister Peck?” he asks.

“For certain places, Pole Cat. What’s the idea?”

“Chuck gives me these habiliments and tells me that I’ll have to get
your permission to lead the pe-rade tomorrow. I admires the chance so
much that I ain’t lost no time in coming. Do I get it?”

“Pole Cat,” says I, solemn-like, “you probably will. Let your judgment
be your guiding star.”

“Thanks, Henry. I bids yuh good afternoon.”

“Better make it farewell,” says I.

“Loco crop must be flourishing up here,” observes Calamity. “Some
smells worse than others, Henry.”

“This one is named after his associates,” says I, and just then
somebody rides up to the door and I hears Harelip Hansen’s voice. “Get
behind the bunk!” I hisses at Calamity. “If Harelip sees you up here
he never will leave.”

“Howdy, Henry,” says Harelip. “I’m glad to see yuh.”

“I’m pleased to know that the sight of me makes folks glad,” says I.
“What yuh got on your mind and under your arm?”

He unrolls enough for me to see that he’s got Whittaker’s lodge
clothes.

“Chuck told me I could wear these at the front end of that pe-rade
tomorrow, but I’d have to see you first.”

“What do yuh reckon to have me do—dress yuh?” I asks, and he grins all
over his homely face.

“It’ll be all right, will it?” he asks, and I nods and replies:

“You know best, Harelip. There’s a divinity that shapes our ends.”

“Uh-huh. I gives you thanks, Henry.”

“I’ll take ’em, Harelip,” says I. “I may never have any use for them,
but it will be something to remember yuh by, old trailer.”

I watches him climb on his flea-bitten cayuse, and jog off down the
road. Calamity is looking over my shoulder, and as Harelip drifts out
of sight he yelps:

“Where’s my autymobile, Henry? We left her right out there didn’t we?”

We goes out and looks around. There’s the tracks we made when we came
in, and there’s the tracks where it went out, and back down the road.
Calamity scratches his head, and hitches up his pants.

“Henry,” says he, “I’m sorry. What yuh going to lead that pe-rade in
now?”

I simply shakes my head, and says to myself:

“That’s going to be a well-led pe-rade. She’s already got two front
ends.”

“Henry,” says Calamity, pointing at the dust, “they just missed that
gate-post as they goes out and they didn’t get on to the road for a
hundred yards. I’d opine that they ain’t familiar with the thing.”

“Was there anything left under the seat?” I asks.

“One two-gallon jug, Henry—and what was left in ours.”

“There is much to look forward to, Calamity,” says I. “Maybe we better
take a shovel along. I hope they don’t bust up your machine.”

“Don’t let that molest your heart strings, Henry. I been thinking for
several days thay maybe she’s going to be a fatal fad. Of course it’s
going to spoil my entry into Paradise. A person of my financial
standing hadn’t ought to enter his old home town except in a fitting
equipage. Ain’t I right, Henry?”

“Well,” says I, “since the old man left with his buckskin team and
rattle wagon, and some heartless hombre has turned loose every bronc
on the place, there ain’t no mode of locomotion in sight except them
two burros up there at the cook-shack. Are yuh too proud to straddle a
jackass, Calamity?’

“It’ll soon be dark, Henry. Many a man has done things in the dark
that he wouldn’t do in the light. Let’s equip the shameful things and
be on our way.”

We puts saddles on them long-eared things and pilgrims off down the
road in the dusty dusk. When we comes opposite the Saunders place, I
pulls up.

“Whow,” says I. “I got a mission to perform. We got to have a Miss
Columbus for your pe-rade, Calamity, and I got to bear her the news.”

We goes up and knocks on her door, and informs her of the fact.

“My gosh, Henry!” says she. “I ain’t got nothing to wear!”

“Ma’am,” says Calamity, bowing low, “don’t you let that worry yuh. A
figure like yours don’t need no clothes.”

The door shuts off the conversation, and we wanders back to our trusty
steeds.

“Calamity, you been a lot of help to me this evening,” says I. “You
sure cut our cinch with the widder Saunders.”

“I’m prostrated with grief,” orates the old pelican. “Anyway I don’t
see what Columbus has to do with my homecoming, Henry.”

“I can’t explain it to yuh, Calamity. You’d have to see it for
yourself.”

We pilgrims down to Paradise, and ties our steeds on a side street.
There’s a scarcity of rolling stock in sight, and it makes me wonder a
heap. Usually yuh can see broncs tied all over town, when a
celebration is in prospect.

We pokes along up the street to Mike Pelly’s saloon and goes inside.
Mike is alone in there, setting at the end of the bar, with a shotgun
beside him.

“What’s the matter with Paradise?” I asks.

“Civilization,” says Mike.

“Are we welcome?” asks Calamity, taking in the attitude of Mike, and
sizing up the place.

“You are,” replies Mike. “This place is neutral. I’d advise you to get
out of line with that window. The town is divided against itself.”

“What causes the divisions?” I asks, taking Mike’s advice.

Mike bites off a fresh chew and settles back in his chair.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“Numerous and sundry things, Henry. Old man Whittaker is setting up
there in Henderson’s barbershop, with a Winchester, swearing he’s
going to perforate Harelip Hansen, who is across the street in Dug
Chaffin’s corral, nursing a peeled nose and a six-shooter. The old man
swears that Harelip stole his clothes.

“Pole Cat Perkins is behind my place here, trying to jam some lead
into Scenery Sims before Scenery can slip some to him. It seems that
their trouble grows out of a clothes controversy, too. Pole Cat avers
that he’s going to slit Scenery with a rusty sword.

“Doughgod Smith seems to be seeking Hank Padden’s gore over something
about Columbus’ daughter, and Dug Chaffin’s got the same thing against
old man Whittaker and orates his intentions of puncturing the old
man’s hide for prevarication. Bill McFee refuses to arrest anybody
except Scenery Sims, and his feelings seem some rasped over this same
Columbus thing. Who in —— is Miss Columbus, Henry?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t, eh?” laughs Mike. “The —— yuh don’t! You sure ought to,
Henry. Yuh sent notes to both of the Mudgett sisters, to Hulda
Peterson, cook at the Triangle, Annie Schmidt, at the Seven A, and to
Mrs. ‘Breezy’ Benson, asking ’em to fill the part. Every one of them
has been down here looking for you today. According to what I can find
out there can’t more than one be it, and that seems to cause a heap of
dissatisfaction, Henry. Abe Mudgett and Breezy was here today, and
they are wishful to see yuh.”

“Henry,” says Calamity, “you’ve overdone your duty.”

“It would look thataway to a innocent bystander,” I agrees. “Where’s
all the broncs, Mike? Did everybody walk in today?”

“That’s where the civilization part comes in. A autymobile invades our
fair city today, and she swept us clean of hossflesh. Out on them
racks is fifteen pieces of rope flopping in the breeze. Old man
Whittaker’s buckskin team was in the lead the last we seen of the
race. That’s why nobody is leaving. They’d rather be shot at than
walk.”

“Who had the autymobile?” asks Calamity.

“Nobody knows. It went too fast for us to see.”

“Hoo, hoo!” comes a voice from outside, and we all ducks. “Hoo, hoo!”
she comes again, and then we hears a female voice, “Is Mister Peck in
there?”

“Go out and see who it is,” I whispers to Mike, but he shakes his
head:

“Not me. She wants you, Henry.”

“She can take it out in wanting. I don’t take no chances. You go out,
Calamity. Nobody’s got a thing against you.”

Calamity thinks it over, and then goes out all humped like he was
suffering from kidney disease. Me and Mike lays low, and pretty soon
Calamity comes sneaking back.

“It was that female person we went up to see,” he states. “She wishes
to forgive me, and wants me to tell you that she’ll take up your
offer, Henry. She’ll be Miss Columbus.”

“Another victim,” grunts Mike. “You’re a bigger liar than Chuck
Warner.”

“He done it for me,” defends Calamity. “Henry wanted to make my
homecoming a complete success, and it ain’t all his fault if it don’t
exactly work out. When a man has a pe-rade given in his honor he can’t
kick if some of the details do get a little balled up.”

“In your honor?” wonders Mike, out loud. “Are you Fourth of July,
Mister?”

“Fourth of July?” Calamity looks at me and Mike, and then seems to dig
deep-like into his memory for buried information.

While he seems to check off some numbers on his fingers, I edges
toward the back door. He nods, sort of agreeable-like, chaws one side
of his mustache, and fingers his waistline, where his gun makes a
bulge.

“Fourth of July,” he mutters. “Uh-huh. That’s right. Henry Peck told
me——”

I opens the door, easy-like, and misses the rest of the complaint.

“Now,” says I to me, “you’re branded as a liar, Henry Peck. The best
thing you can do is to get your little jackass and go home. Your
forefathers never fought for glorious freedom, so there ain’t no use
of you celebrating the happy event. The men who were responsible for
the Pecks’ family tree was all hung for lying and stealing long before
the Declaration of Independence was signed.”

With these few cheering words ringing in my windpipe I ambles around
the corner, and down to where we left them burros. I gets there just
in time. Scenery Sims is untying one of my trusty animiles, so I
quickens my pace and shoves a gun in his ribs.

“Unhand that charger!” I roars in his ear, and Scenery wilts against
the hitch-rack. “You danged burro thief!” I hisses. “If you wants to
lead that pe-rade—go get your own rolling stock.”

“I—I—I dud-don’t want to le-lead nothing but the sus-simple life,” he
stutters. “I want to go home, Henry. Pup-Pole Cat shot the back out of
my suspenders, and stuck a bullet into the cylinder of my gun so she
won’t work. I’m through, Hen. You lead it.”

Here comes somebody down the street toward us, puffing like a bronc
with the heaves. He lopes up to us, sticks his heels into the ground
and skids around to the opposite side of the burros. It is old man
Whittaker.

“Quick!” he pants. “I’m rushed to death.”

Then he begins to fuss with a tie rope.

“Is speed essential?” I asks, and he snorts. “You know it is! I’m out
of shells—got more at the ranch. Dang the man what tied this rope!”

Just then somebody fires a shot up the street and I don’t hesitate. I
hops on to that Rocky Mountain canary, sets my spurs into his hide,
and down the street we goes, frog-hopping, high, wide and handsome. A
bullet plows under my steed, and he sails out of Paradise faster than
any burro ever did before or since.

We keep up that speed for about a mile, and then slows down to a
amble. I know where a pack-trail leaves the main road, a mile or so
above where the road does, so I opines to take the shortest route to
the Cross J. I leads my animile, while I searches for the trail in the
dark, and all to once I hears voices down the road. I hears Muley’s
bass and Chuck’s baritone, a cross between a greaseless wheel and
pneumonia, raised in song—

“‘It was at Aunt Dinah’s quilting partee-e-e-e——’”

Then Telescope’s tenor rings in—

“‘I was see-e-e-e-e-eing Nellie-e-e-e-e home.’”

“Tha’s harmonee,” I hears Chuck opine. “Le’s all shing ‘Holy City.’
‘Lash night as I lay sheeping’—shay, Teleschope, why don’t this
machine go on, eh?”

“How do I know,” replies Telescope. “Shomebody light ’nother match so
I can read the reashon in the little book.”

“Aw, who cares?” asks Muley. “Let’s have more cheer—listen:

    “I love a little lager beer,
    I love a little wine;
    A little bit a alcohol
    Makes my heart feel fine.
    But when I want a reg’lar drink,
    To make my feelings hug,
    I take a little snifter
    From the old brown jug.”

I sets there and listens to that kind of a conversation for a while.
They tries to sing another song, but she don’t finish, and after a
while I wanders down and looks ’em over.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Chuck is in the bottom of the machine, with his boots hanging over the
dashboard, while Telescope is doubled up in the seat, with his feet on
Chuck’s head. Muley is on the ground, with his head through a space in
a front wheel, where some spokes are missing, and he’s snoring by
note.

I rolls him away from the machine. I gives Telescope a gentle shove,
hangs on to his leg so he won’t hit too hard and deposits him along
with Muley. Chuck is wedged in there pretty tight, and when I opines
to loosen him a little he orates something about wanting his maw to
wake him up, ’cause he’s going to be queen of the May. I never did
like to ride alone, so I lets him stay. It pains me to see the flower
of young manhood in the gutter of alcohol thataway. I finds the jug,
and am glad to see that part of it is still there.

I drinks what would measure about three inches in a wash-tub, before I
remembers how Calamity runs that machine, but all to once she comes
back to me. I sets that brake, gives her a mighty twist, and away she
goes, _whirrup, whirrup, whirrup, zuz, zuz, zuz, zuz_.

I’ve rode a lot of broncs that didn’t sabe the meaning of a bit, but
that thing was less bridlewise than anything I ever seen. We grinds
back toward Paradise, smelling of burnt grease, gasoline and so forth.
I takes another look into that jug, and feels so elevated that I puts
my feet over the dashboard. Somehow that seems to give the critter
more freedom, and we goes faster.

I gets so expert right away that I can drive one-handed, and I
discovers a little jigger on the handle that will make her prick up
her ears at a touch. I gives her a few touches, and marvels at how
fast the mesquite goes past, when all to once I hears a yelp, and we
hits something or somebody, and when I stops I’m cross ways of the
road.

My machine is as dead as a nail. Pretty soon I hears a rustling noise
in the dark, and then old man Whittaker’s voice:

“Who run into me? Gol dingle dang yuh! Blasted mule couldn’t run
faster than I could! Hey, you feller with a autymobile! Ain’t yuh got
no sense? Gol dang your soul, I’ll show yuh how yuh can run me down!
_Bang!_”

He cut loose with that six-gun, and I drops out the other side and
sneaks behind a tree.

I hears the old man cussing some more, and pretty soon he finds the
machine and strikes a match. He has to light the second one before he
finds what he’s looking for. He holds the match above his head for a
minute and then wails:

“Gol dang yuh, Chuck! Why didn’t yuh speak? Aw ——! Chuckie, where did
I hit yuh? Can’t yuh speak to a feller? Are yuh dead? My ——!”

He’s silent for a spell, and then he starts again:

“Where’s that danged slow-footed mule? Here yuh are, yuh long-eared
snail! Got to get a doctor. Self-defense—nope, accident. Whoa! Maybe
his neck is broke, too. Aw, this ain’t no way to celebrate nohow.”

He pilgrims off up the road, complaining about everything and cussing
that mule for taking him all over the State instead of straight to the
Cross J. I’d opine that the old man was so excited that he’d taken the
wrong road out of town.

I hauls the front end of that machine around again, and winds her up.
If that front end hadn’t been against a rock my obituary would have
been written right there in the dusty road, ’cause she’s wide open,
with no brake set. She’s backing and filling when I hops aboard, and
we begins our merry ride once more.

I rubs my heel on Chuck’s ear and yells:

“Chuck, you’re dead! Old man Whittaker shot yuh.”

“Tha’s good,” he replies. “Same to you and many of ’em.”

We runs slow-like to Paradise, and I bumps the front end of the
machine into McFee’s corral to stop her. I gives Chuck an alcoholic
anesthetic, and leaves him there. I ambles over to the town, and finds
a crowd in front of Mike’s place. I moves up closer and hears the
conversation.

“It was deplorable,” I hears old man Whittaker state, with tears in
his voice. “I loved Chuck like he was my own son. It was a accident,
Bill—just accidental. You don’t think I’d kill him with malice
aforethought, do yuh, Bill?”

“We can tell better what yuh killed him with after we sees the
re-mains,” replies Bill. “I can’t help jailing yuh, Whit. It’s the
law. If you’re innocent, yuh ain’t got nothing to fear. I got Scenery
Sims down there now, so yuh won’t get lonesome.”

“What did Scenery do?” asks the old man.

“Disturbed the peace. This place is law-abiding, if yuh asks me. Just
for the looks of the thing we’ll take Doc Milliken along, while we
gets your victim’s body. Where did yuh say this here dastardly deed
was done?”

“It wasn’t dastardly!” whoops the old man. “It was accidental, I tell
yuh! It happens near where the old pack-trail leaves the main road.
You know where that is?”

“I know. Wait a minute, fellers, and I’ll be with yuh.”

He takes the old man and goes off down toward the jail, and when he
comes back they all gets in that wagon and rattles off down the road.
The old man must a been rattled, ’cause it happens a long ways this
side of the pack-trail end. That’s where I leaves Muley and Telescope.

Mike and Calamity stands there on the porch as the wagon leaves, and I
hears Mike yell at Bill:

“Hey, Bill! Be sure and get back before sunrise on account of them
salutes.”

“What salutes is them?” asks Calamity.

“Bill’s got ’em down in the jail. He’s got five ten-gallon kerosene
cans full of water down there, and in each can is six sticks of
dynamite, wrapped in canvas and covered with axle-grease. They’re all
ready to touch off. Some salute, eh? Now, if Bill’s late we won’t have
our sunrise salute.”

They goes back inside. I looks at my watch, and sees that it’s danged
near morning, and at the same time I gets a happy idea. I ambles back
to the autymobile, and finds Chuck setting on the seat, holding his
head in his hands.

“Henry,” says he, “how came I here, and why am I so dry?”

“I brought yuh here, Chuck, and I hid the jug under the wagon.”

I gives him a shock and he gets enthusiastic.

“Chuck,” says I, “would yuh like to hear a big, big noise?”

“That’s the idea, Henry—a great big noise. Can’t be too big. Where yuh
going to get it?”

I tells him about them loaded cans down at the jail, and he’s for me.
We enthuses over the jug a little more, and then goes down to the
jail. I posts Chuck about a hundred feet from the jail, and tells him
to watch for anybody coming from town.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Paradise jail ain’t much. It’s one story, mostly dobe, and stands
way out from any other shack, a grim reminder that there still is law
and order—at times. A strong man might kick the walls loose if they
wasn’t afraid the roof would fall on ’em. I takes a rock and busts the
padlock. There’s only one cell in the place, and when I lights a match
I sees the faces of Scenery Sims and the old man.

I busts the lock off the cell door, and lets ’em out.

“Vamoose!” I whispers. “Get a-going. We don’t want no lynching in
Paradise on the Fourth of July.”

“But, Henry—” squeaks Scenery.

“No time for argument!” I snaps. “You’ll find out later. Go fast and
far. Sabe?”

“I’ll make this right with you, Henry,” says the old man,
earnest-like, and I nods in the dark and says to myself—

“You’ll likely try.”

They slips out together, and in about a minute I hears Chuck come up
to the door, and he seems peevish over something.

“Hen!” he whispers. “Aw, Hen! Henry Peck!”

I don’t say nothing, and pretty soon he remarks, sad-like:

“Drunk. Saw two Henry Pecks go away from here. Must be drunk as a
boiled owl.”

He goes out of hearing, complaining to himself about the effects of
alcohol on the optic nerves.

I takes the dynamite out of them cans and puts it in one pile on the
floor. Bill must a been afraid of that stuff, ’cause he’s got about
ten minutes’ worth of extra fuse.

I runs the fuse out the door, puts the padlock back in place, and
touches her off. I goes back up to Mike’s place but don’t go in. Mike
and Calamity are playing cards, while they waits for Chuck’s body to
arrive, so I goes over and climbs up on the hitch-rack. I gets up
there, and gets right down. Comes a rumble and a shake, the town is
lit up for a second, and then it begins to rain pieces of jail all
over town. Thirty sticks of dynamite is some little dwelling-mover.

Mike and Calamity staggers out on the porch, and gazes at the world.

“What do yuh reckon it was?” gasps Calamity.

“Dynamite!” yells Mike. “There’s —— to pay and no pitch hot!”

“Bill McFee insisted on leaving that stuff in the jail until it was
time to touch it off, and he done put old man Whittaker and Scenery
Sims in there—and—they both smoke!”

“Gosh all hemlock!” wails Calamity. “There ain’t a thing we can do, is
there, Mike?”

“Nothing. When you’re near thirty sticks of dynamite, and she goes
off, there ain’t nothing that anybody can do—not even the coroner.”

They don’t much more than get inside, when I hears the rattle of
wheels, and into Paradise comes the ambulance. They swings around in
front of the place and stops. Out comes Mike and Calamity.

“Was he dead?” asks Mike, and we hears McFee snort:

“Old man Whittaker must be crazy! We couldn’t find Chuck nor the
autymobile. All we found was Muley and Telescope, setting along the
road trying to sing. They don’t know about no shooting scrape.
Whittaker is a danged old liar!”

“Don’t speak disrespectable of the dead,” advises Calamity. “No matter
how a man acted in this vale of tears yuh hadn’t ought to besmirch his
memory with recriminations.”

“He ain’t dead, I tell yuh!” yelps Bill. “Well,” says Mike, “if he
ain’t he’s made of iron. No man can stand a shock like that and ever
be the same.”

“Shock? Who do yuh mean—Chuck?”

“No,” says Mike, sad-like. “I mean Whittaker.”

“And Scenery Sims,” adds Calamity, removing his hat. “They must a
threw a match on to a fuse. The padlock came through the back door,
and is sticking in Mike’s bar.”

There’s complete silence for a while, and then McFee gasps—

“My ——!”

He yanks the team around, and away he goes, rattlety bang, down toward
the jail, while the crowd races along behind him. Muley and Telescope
sets there on the steps and finishes up their song.

“Ret-ret-retribution,” pronounces Telescope. “The old man kills Chuck,
and then gets hoist with his own petard.”

“Hoisted,” corrects Muley. “I never heard dynamite called petard but a
rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Some celebration, eh,
Telescope. I wonder if anybody has yet killed Henry Peck this fair
morning?”

“The day is yet young, so why worry?” says Telescope. “I fain wouldst
look upon the red when it is wine. Let’s tend a little bar, Muley.”

I wanders around back of Mike’s place. I feels weary, and when I
notices Mike’s little barn, I gets an inspiration. Why not sleep until
celebration time? I climbs into the loft and sprawls on the hay.

“All the comforts of home,” says I out loud.

“Hey, Henry,” comes a whisper. “Was Chuck dead?”

“Uh-huh,” says I. “Is Scenery with yuh?”

“He is,” squeaks Scenery. “What was that explosion, Henry?”

“They say that Harelip and Pole Cat blew up the jail. I don’t know how
much truth there is in it.”

“Henry,” quavers the old man, “you was a friend in need. I’ll—”

Just then a faint voice begins singing, somewhere in the hay. It’s a
voice that nobody ever heard and forgot. Cross between a greaseless
wheel and pneumonia.

“‘Rockuhvages clef’ for me-e-e, le’ me hide myself——’”

We listens for a few seconds. Old man Whittaker gathers his legs under
himself like a rabbit, and shoots out a that hay-loft like a swaller.
We hears him hit the ground and gallop out of range. Scenery don’t say
a word. He yawns, crawls over to the window, and lets himself down,
easy-like, and sneaks away.

“Henry,” says Chuck, “did I hear your voice?”

“You did.”

“Stop talking to yourself, you shepherd, and let a man sleep. I had a
awful dream, Henry. Dreamed that the world blowed up. It hit me
and—ho, hum-m-m!”

“Ho, hum-m-m-m!” says I, and goes to sleep, too.

                  *       *       *       *       *

When I woke up the birds were singing, and the sun was shining through
the cracks in the loft. Chuck is still snoring, so I climbs down
alone. I’m as dry as a drouth in Arizona, so I pilgrims into Mike’s
place regardless of consequences.

The place is fairly filled, and sadness is the prevailing color
scheme. On the bar stands Scenery’s old stove-pipe hat, with a wide
band of black cloth around it, and Mike’s mirror is hung with the
emblem of mourning.

McFee is standing there with bowed head, and sadness fairly drips from
his lips.

“It’s a most awful situation,” he orates. “If we could only find a
single piece of ’em. There ain’t nothing left—nothing!”

“There ain’t nothing left of poor Chuck either,” tolls Muley. “Poor
old Chuck. He was a gentleman and a scholar. I’d love to gaze upon his
face once more.

    “He’s went away and left us
        In the prime of his young life.
    He’s gone from this here vale of tears
        With all it’s joy and strife.
    No more we’ll see his banty legs,
        Nor hear him tell a lie.
    He’s vanished from old Paradise,
        And we never said good-by.”

“That’s a mighty pretty thing, Muley,” applauds Pole Cat. “Can’t yuh
think of something nice to say for old man Whittaker?”

“The rest of you fellers stand back from Pole Cat and Harelip, and old
man Whittaker will say something for himself,” states a voice at the
door, and there stands the old man, with a shotgun which he levels at
Pole Cat and Harelip.

The crowd obeys. Bill McFee’s legs get so weak that he sets down on
the bar-rail where he gasps like a fish out of water.

“You danged pair of dynamiters!” snaps the old man. “With the shadder
of the gallows staring me in the eye, and Chuck Warner’s ghost
haunting my dreams, I comes back to show yuh that your dastardly deed
failed. When yuh blowed up that jail yuh didn’t get me and Scenery.
Sabe? Shut up!” he snaps, as Harelip starts to say something. “Don’t
try to deny it, Harelip. I can prove it by the heero what let us out.
There he stands, gents. Henry Clay Peck. He busted the lock and
liberated——”

The crowd turns to look at me, but I don’t seem to be the point of
interest at that. They looks right past me. Old man Whittaker’s gun
slips from his hands, and clangs on the floor. I twists my neck and
looks behind me, and there stands Chuck. He yawns and leans against
the pool-table.

“Well,” says Chuck, in a dry voice, “ain’t somebody going to set ’em
up? Sleeping in timothy makes a feller dry.”

Bill McFee looks at Chuck and back at Whittaker and the tears of joy
runs out of his eyes. Whittaker leans against the door and tries to
laugh, but he can’t.

“Haw!” says Harelip, but that’s as far as he got.

Chuck ambles up to the bar, and looks ’em over.

“Holy henhawks!” he snorts. “Have yuh all gone loco?”

“Ain’t—ain’t yuh dead, Chuck?” stutters the old man.

“Almost—from thirst.”

Bill McFee has been looking, steady-like, at me for some time, and
when he gets on his feet he sort of starts edging toward me. I edges
the other way, sort of unconcerned-like, and bumps into Calamity. He’s
got a billiard cue in his hands.

“Henry,” he whispers, “you lied to me.”

I nods, kicks his feet out from under him, and goes out of that back
door like a shot. I races around to the front, and runs into
something. They’re grouped, and I’m into ’em before I has time to
think.

There’s the two Mudgett sisters, Hulda Peterson, Annie Schmidt, Mrs.
Benson, Maggie Smith, Clarice Chaffin and the widder Saunders. The
male members of the vigilance committee is Abe Mudgett and Breezy
Benson.

“We’ve been waiting for you, Henry,” states the widder, sort of
belligerent-like, and the chorus sings the last four words.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“We’re looking for a little explanation from you,” states Breezy
Benson, and Abe nods—

“We desires the same.”

“Exactly,” says I. “In the course of human e-vents——”

“Grab that dynamiter!” yells McFee, from the front door, and Breezy
tried to foller instructions. Anybody that reaches out to grasp old
man Peck’s loving son Henry, in times of stress, is in continuous
danger. Breezy got it on the jaw, and yours truly went away from there
with the enraged citizens on the trail.

Never again do I sic a pack of hounds after a coyote. What few broncs
are in town are immediate and soon rode after me, and I sure have a
plenty to attend to. I got a good start, but I know I can’t keep it
forever. I’m hopping off down a washout, when I happens to see McFee’s
corral. I gets an idea right there.

The gang is quite a ways behind me, trying to make me come out of a
old shack, so I takes a chance and races for that corral. The
autymobile is pointed the wrong way, and I ain’t got no time to turn
it around. I yanks the front wheels around, sets the brake, grabs the
crank and prays. Bingo! She took it the first turn. I yanks off the
brake, and away I goes, straight for the posse.

I yanks the little jigger down and we sure hits for Paradise in a
hurry. They scatters at my approach, swings in behind me, and up the
main street of Paradise we goes, strung out for a quarter of a mile
and stretching all the time.

That machine was a humdinger as long as I’m in danger, but when I
leaves ’em far behind she lays down and quits like a yal-ler pup. I
sets there and looks around, and out into the road wanders three
saddled broncs. I ducks, thinking they’re some of the posse, but a
second look tells me that they’re some of the broncs what left
Paradise yesterday, when the autymobile first came in.

One Cross J bronc has a long rope dragging, so I catches him and then
ropes the other two. I strings out across the hills toward home, puts
’em in the home corral, and goes to bed. I reckon it’s almost morning
when the Cross J bunch gets home. Muley, Telescope, Chuck and the old
man all comes into the bunk-house, but they don’t see me.

“Ho, hum-m-m-m!” yawns the old man. “I’m glad to be home. This has
been one strenuous holiday, fellers.”

“She sure has,” agrees Telescope. “That pe-rade was a humdinger.”

I sets up in bed and looks ’em over.

“Pe-rade?” I asks. “Did they have a pe-rade?”

“Yes, little one,” replied Muley. “We had a pe-rade that we’ll date
time from. We had eight Miss Columbuses and——”

“Who—who led it?” I asks.

“You did, you danged fool!” whooped Telescope.

                              THE END

[Transcriber’s Note: This story appeared in the July 18, 1918 issue of
Adventure magazine.]



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