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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 5, 1896)
A Story of a Nebraska Farm.
On Saturdays ttie regular Bloomfield
loafers were re enforced by the big boys
and "hands" from the farms. At train
time they usually gathered down around
the station, pitching quoits or "raeelin1."
Even on this late June day,- so still
that the leaves did not stir, yet as you
looked down the track you thought the
air was in a very frenzy of sizzling, out
in the broad sunlight, Bill Crowins and
Hank Turner were "raeslin,"' each in
the regulation dirty drab shirt and
trousers, with suspenders and shoes
thrown off for the contest? The rest of
the boys, sitting limply along the edge
of the platform, cheered or jeered oc
casionally, as one of them made a good
hit or failed in the attempt.
"Come off, fellows, it's too hot," Pete
Haskins called oat at last. And soon
they all slouched over to the north side
of the platform, to "plank down, pow
wow like,' Pete said.
"Say," said Gordon's hired man, "any
of you fellows want a nice fat job?'
"You bet!"- came from half a dozen
"Here's your chaoct then. Old man
Wahl wants a new band. Better git a
hustle on and go up to see him. Rum
why don't you?"
A rough laugh greeted this, and cries
of "No you don't! and "We ain't blasted
"Well, you s?e," Bob continued, mop
ping his face with his sleeve, "Weill's
got long of sixty acres of corn to lay by
yet, and be aint had no help since plant
in time when Sam got sorter tired
workin' days and nights and Sundajs
too, and no extry paj ,jBt got plum tired
out you see, and wont over to County
A grunt of understanding went around
the circle. They knew pretty well that
Sam was still in jail for assault and
"And now Wahl's .wimmen folks
k givin' out on him; the old
wosaan'a sick abed and Wabl's jest
"Mebbybed better git some more
wimmen,'' siid Pete Haskins, as he
shook out bis 6opping red and white
-.sweat-rag" and spread it on his knees
to dry, "I wouldn't work for him if he'd
give me the state of STebrasky. And
that aint his rate of wages neither," he
"Huh!" the crowd commented.
"He's as mean to his hosses as ha is to
his wimmen folks, too," one of the boys
"By gosh!" exclaimed Bill Crowins,
slapping his knee, "I'd jest like to git
my bands onto him when he's cow-hiding
them ponies. And he'e a fool, too.
A hoes is money."
This utterance of good Bloomfield
doctrine seemed to end the discussion,
and soon they got up one by one, and
lounged out to the front of the station
to see the train come in.
The big world's daily contingent to
Bloomfield was never very large. To
day the full force of that "abominable
country Jake stare'' wbb concentrated
on a single stranger. He was a big blue
"Let's send bin down to Wahl's."
some one suggested in a low voice, as if
afraid the fellow would understand.
"By gosh! that's the ticket!" Bill
CrowinB ejaculated, also under his
"All the came I don't think I'd eend a
yaller dog down to stay at Wahl's,' Pete
He did, howover, enter into tho
scheme, with the rest of the boys, and
Martin told the big fellow there was a
good place open for him. They followed
when Martin took him over to the saloon
to find Wahl. And he, after looking
the candidate over rather eagerly, mere
y said, directing a large cquirt of to
bacco juice at the hitching post, "Come
along, there.'.' And very soon he was
driving his lean ponies at their usual
mad pace out of town, with Big liana
by his6ide, Lis white hat with -its blue
band set down tight on his head and his
little black satchel on his knees.
"I want one of them there coffins."
The clerk at work in the back part of
tho little furniture store looked up
quickly and laii down his varnishing
"Why, Mr. Wahl, is 6ome ono dead at
"Yes," was tho gruff reply. "Maggie
got the scarlet fever from the Meyer's
young'uns and she's dead early this
morning. What's the cost of a coffin
anywajB? That one there's about her
"That is worth fifteen dollars," the
clerk answered . "We h ivo some better
ones in stock though
"Hell! I won't pay no fifteen dollar
for a box to bury a dead jounjj'un in.
That old one over there won't cost a
farm, will it?"
The clerk said he could let him have
that for eight dollars "I'll fix it up a
little and repkee that broken glass."'
"I won't pay for no Sxin'. It's good
enough jest that way, and I'll tote it out
to the wagon, if you kin come down to
five dollars, and not a blamed cent
The clerk felt it would do no good to
object to the terms, though ho hated to
see the coffin go looking that way. He
could only follow Wahl from tho 6tore,
picking up some gunny sacks to cover
the coffin from the du6t of tho road.
"I wouldn't bury a pet dog in that
coffin," he said to Pete Haskins, who
came up as Wahl drove off.
D"One of the children dead at Wahl's?''
"Yes, Maggie," was the clerk's answer.
"Maggie! Why she's the one Big
Hans had in town the day of the par
ade, First time 6ho ever came to town,
This wasttue, if it was only Dorcas
society gossip. Everyone had noticed
her that day, a wee little girl for her
nine years, so ehy that she trembled
with fright if any one spoke to her, as
she walked along the street clinging
tight to the rough hand of Big Hans.
The Wahl children were all accounted
"strange." Some of the older ones,
there were six older than Maggie had
gone to school a little, in winter when
there was nothing eUe to do. But tho
younger children were almost as afraid
of other human beings aB wild deer.
They ran into the cornfields to hide
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Rough Cloths and Fancy Mixed Cloths. The
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fered such values in Ladies' Cloaks. Gome
and see for yourself.
Miller & JPaine.
Tlie Iansiiig: Theatre,
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12
Matinee Saturday, at 2:30
A chance of a lifetime. The ever popular
. BEACH AND BOWERS -
A paroxysm of pleasure. A regular dollar Bhow for
10 - 20 - AND - 30 - CENTS.
Popular prices for the people.
See great parade at 1 1 :30.
Sale of seats for the Monarchs of Modern Minstrelsy will open
Wednesday morning at 10 a. m. for the whole engagement.
TRUE TO LIFE.
eyed fellow with a look hich said plain- from paBS;Dg learnBf and few who went
ly, "I speak no English. He carried to Wahl's on businsEs saw them at all
only a small, cheap black satche; B;R HaD8 faad been thcre gevf ra,
"Blamed tow-headed bwede mut- before the chidren ceased lo be afraid
turedPeteGivohimalitt. Mart, hia of him One night when it was raining
beads woolly insido too. , andlhe family were therefore "Eettin'
-He's a lost boy," he continued, while roui(rjn lho kitcbeDf M8ggie t
the rest of the crowd stared and Martin ximUy up to HaDB fo ghow Hn faer one
tried to talu witn tne uig icuow. xuis
proved to be true. He waB looking for
ono Peter Swanson, he showed the
name on a piece of paper, who had
promised blm work. But he had some
how got oa the wrong train and was now
cherished picture card. He trailed and
held out bis hand to her aB she shied
back into the corner behind the boy's
coate. After awhile, though, she came
back and tried to teach him to eay "cat,
dog, tree." The bojs laughed and
.v .. onl vantwl In find a nlace . - . . . . . -,"
uui w Btuucj, a - - mimtcxea mm dui Maggie waB ae grave
somewhere. There wbb much more M a 00,0, tore an awkwardf
which he jabbered off to Martin, for he b:uAiDgad. "Cat-c-a-t. t ay cat." she
seemed glad to find some one who could raid over and over until ho tried.
Baden tand him. After that Hans was Maggie's friend,
n . . .. ..,-.. ,.
P iiWjl W&r
' & :
Haubs Haven't you got his complexion a little leather ?
Daubs Yes, I did itoa purpose. He's a tanner.
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