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About The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899 | View Entire Issue (March 18, 1896)
tin, but Mike, hcM skin him if lie told. You
reckon Willie Marks ll take keer of hisself
anways, don't yon?
6," I replied, "yon don't think tneyll
do anything. vWell, 1 dnnno, Miss,s and
he shook his head in grave doubt, them's
mean chaps and 'when they git ter fignrin
ont to make a 'poor little feller feel had,
thev lias wavs. Yon rekillect the other
time. Yon see Willie Marks slapped Mike
yisterday, and Vm glad ont. Bnt if they
does a thing to Willie Marks I'll fix jm
With this favorite threat, he pulled his
old fnr cap down around his head and went
down the stairs as slowly and painfnlly as
he had come up.
We had never heard a complaint from
TTnclc Bob abont rheumatism, hard times or
'personal griefs except the death of his little
Annie, which almost broke his old heart.
Only a few things could disturb his cheery
good humor or make the twinkle in his grey
'ej'cs turn to a flash. We never forgot "how
roused he was over tfce 'first war" when
the boys drove Tommie Jordan over to
Hardwic'ks to work.
T remember "the scribbler"' had said,
calmly sticking his pen behind his ear and
glancing around at Uncle Bob:
'Why, Uncle Bob, you're unduly excited
to make a commotion over such a trifling
matter. Let them eat each other if they
desire to, we can secure plenty of yonng
bipeds to take their situations.1'
Whereat Uncle Bob snorted:
iAnd you don't care. Well tiow I do,
anil I'll fix em warm too, fur it. One lit
tie feller against a hull parcel of big lanky
boys" some of them were smaller than
Tommie, but Uncle Bob didn't think of that
You see, young feller, you aint got
much creature sympathies."
But that time all of Uncle's efforts were
useless, thougb the bays were fond of him.
Iti 'the gtore 1 l could only "plague Tomxnle
by taking Ml ., "aving liim to anewer
several calls 'at fe t3 Tece'ive the usual
scolding. He stood it only a week and
then went to work at HardwicVs.
And now- we were in for a second war it
seemed. "The scribbler" announced he
was on the winning side; whichever that
The trouble began almost imperceptibly.
Big Mike never passed Dingus" counter
without some sign of hostility Robbie, the
boy with the yellow hair, was Dingus1 only
defender among the boys, and he was too
small to fight. Dingus was sly he conld
win in a game of cunning. We noticed he
never called proudly for "casli"' again, but
beckoned to Robbie, or sent the customer
to another counter. But one morning Din
gus came in with his head bandaged, and
Uncle Bob was furious "Why the big
lanky devils," he cried. "And they wont
do that again 111 tell yon.""
But Uncle Bob was old and slow and
good tempered, and the boys were quick
and hot; so he could do little with them.
Mike was leader, and Mike hated Uncle
Bob, because once the old man had sum
marily stopped him when he was catching
Tabby's tail in the cellar door.
As the winter days went on, we noticed
that Dingus grew quieter and less active and
walked just a little lame. The clerks did
not like to ask him to bring blankets for it
seemed to hurt him.
There were snow-ball fights, trippings on
the icy street corners, we were told, but
were too busy to think much of it. Only
we paid more attention to Dingus and came
to like him thoroughly for his gentle, though
nervous, half-scared ways. We called him
up as often as we could to tie packages or
to eat his Innch with us, but the boys left in
charge of his cases spoiled his neat work
"Stoker Bros." as the -the uoribbler
called the fat, siient partner wlio came up
once a week regularly, aid once, as lie
thrust 'his chubby hands deep in his pockets:
"T tell you, Ud put a stop to such doings
in a jiffy, I'd fire Dingus and be done with
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