Twenty Years of Hus'ling - lightnovelgate.com
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"Johnston, I want to ask a little favor of you."
"Very well, landlord; I'll be glad to grant it, if I can. What is it?"
"Well, I want to ask you to loan me twenty-five dollars for just two days, and I will----"
"Well, landlord," I interrupted, "I'd let you have it, but----"
"Well, now, look here, Johnston, don't think I am dunning you,--don't think I am afraid of you," he hurriedly explained.
"Oh, no," said I. "I understand that, landlord, but I'll tell you how it is; you see----"
"Don't think I am dunning you, Johnston, don't think that, for I'll hand it right back to you in a day or two," he again assured me.
"That's all right," I said, "that's all right. I was going to say, I'd let you have it in a minute, if I had it; but I haven't got it."
"Well! how much have you?" He asked in a much-surprised manner.
"I'll tell you all about it," I answered. "When we arrived here, nearly six weeks ago, we had about two dollars left, after buying each of us a shirt; and I don't think we have over twenty cents between us, just at present."
He gazed at me in silence for a moment, and then said:
"What on earth am I going to do?"
"Well, indeed, I don't know; but perhaps you can borrow it from some friend of yours; at any rate, it won't do any harm to try."
"No, but, I mean what am I going to do about your board bill?"
"Oh, I see. Oh, well, landlord, you needn't worry about that. We are well pleased with your accommodations, and haven't the slightest thought of quitting you."
"Yes; but the longer you stay the worse I am off," said he.
"Well, I can't see how you make that out. The longer we stay the more we will owe you."
"Exactly so, and that's where the trouble lies."
"Well, the more we owe you the more you will have coming," I suggested; "and I'll just say this: That we have been traveling over a large scope of country, and yours is one of the best hotels we have ever stopped at; and I'll give you my word as a gentleman that we'll never leave till our bill is settled."
"But, ---- it!" He ejaculated. "I tell you the longer you stay the worse I am off, and the harder it will be to settle."
"But," said I, "you don't understand the nature of our business. If you did you would know that it would be as easy for us to pay a large bill as a small one." I then added:
"Rest assured, landlord, that until this bill is paid in full--one hundred cents on the dollar--you can always count on two Star boarders."
We then stared at each other for about two minutes, when he began to laugh, and said:
"Well, you're a dandy! Come and take a drink."
"No, thank you; I never drink."
"Take a cigar, then."
"I never smoke, landlord."
"Well, what on earth do you do? I'd like to show my appreciation of the style of man you are, by treating or doing something to please you."
"Then I'll tell you what you can do, landlord; while you are out borrowing the twenty-five dollars, suppose you make it about forty, and let us have the fifteen to settle up our wash bill, and pay a little bill we owe across the road."
And to show him the necessity of helping us out, I plainly told him the facts about how we had been getting our laundry, and our experience of the previous day.
He laughed till he fell on the floor; and then took me to his wife's apartments and asked me to relate the circumstances to her two lady friends.
He borrowed the fifteen dollars for us, and said we should make ourselves comfortable, which we were glad to do. We then relieved ourselves of the two extra shirts each, and again settled down to business.
Our papers at last arrived from Washington, and we began closing up a few trades we had been working up. They were mostly small ones, however, and usually for collaterals which we were obliged to convert into money at a sacrifice.
Finally we dealt for a horse and carriage, which was turned over to the landlord as settlement for board, and which he was just then in need of.
After paying back the fifteen dollars he had loaned us, we took our departure.
OUR VISIT TO LA GRANGE, IND.--TRADED FOR A HORSE--FOLLOWED BY AN OFFICER, WITH A WRIT OF REPLEVIN--PUTTING HIM ON THE WRONG SCENT--HIS RETURN TO THE HOTEL--THE HORSE CAPTURED--BROKE AGAIN--HOW I MADE A RAISE.
Our next trade was made near La Grange, Ind., with a man by the name of Dodge. I remember the name on account of having read an article in a Sturgis, Mich., paper, wherein it stated that two patent-right men had recently dodged into La Grange, and after dodging around Mr. Dodge had dodged him out of a valuable horse, with which they dodged over to Michigan. This statement was perhaps correct enough, with the exception of its reference to our dodging over into Michigan, as though we did it to evade the Indiana laws. This was by no means the case, for we were authorized agents for the patentee, and always did a strictly legitimate business, even if we were, at times, "a little short financially."
We took the horse over to Sturgis to try and sell him, stopping at the Elliott House. Mr. Elliott, Proprietor, has since become one of my most intimate friends, and is now running a hotel at Ludington, Michigan.
As we were sitting out in front of the Hotel, talking, one morning, I noticed a stranger coming towards us, carrying a pitch-fork and band-cutter in one hand, and in the other a large paper.
Mr. Elliott remarked:
"There comes Mr. Dodge's son, now. Guess he is going out peddling your patent."
I "supposed so."
This was not the case, however, for as he stepped up to Mr. Elliott he inquired for Johnston, and when I was pointed out to him he made a tender of the deed and model, and demanded the horse in turn.
I of course refused, whereupon he threatened to replevy, and at once returned to his lawyer's office.
At that moment a lawyer came up where we were, and Mr. Elliott helped me to lay the case before him as quickly and plainly as possible, when he advised that the best way for me, was to get the horse out of the county, where their papers would be of no avail. I immediately saddled the animal and started towards Branch County, taking a rather circuitous route for Burr Oak. I took dinner at Fawn River, with a Mr. Buck, an old acquaintance of my "mother-in-law."
Of course "mother-in-law" acquaintances were just as good as any, at this stage of the game. I rode into Burr Oak just at dark, supposing it to be in Branch County. After registering at the hotel and putting my horse out, I took supper; and then began looking about for a buyer. I very soon discovered that I was being shadowed, by a gentleman wearing a wooden leg.