The idee was that Mary Ann would help her Ma; but,
She can’t be round a minute but some boarder’s right on hand
Ter take her out ter walk or ride—she likes it well enough,
But when you ‘re gittin’ grub for twelve, Ma finds it kinder tough.
We ain’t a-sayin’ nothin’ now, we’ll see this season through,
But folks that bought one gold brick ain’t in love with number two;
An’ if you’re passin’ down our way next summer, cast your eye
At our front fence. You’ll see a sign,
“NO BOARDERS NEED APPLY.”
* * * * *
Home from college came the stripling, calm and cool
With a weird array of raiment and a wondrous wealth of hair,
With a lazy love of languor and a healthy hate of work
And a cigarette devotion that would shame the turbaned Turk.
And he called his father “Guv’nor,” with a cheek serene and rude,
While that raging, wrathful rustic calld his son a “blasted dude.”
And in dark and direful language muttered threats of coming harm
To the “idle, shif’less critter” from his father’s good right arm.
And the trouble reached a climax on the lawn behind
“Now, I’m gon’ ter lick yer, sonny,” so the sturdy parent said,
“And I’ll knock the college nonsense from your noddle, mighty quick!”—
Then he lit upon that chappy like a wagon-load of brick.
But the youth serenely murmured, as he gripped his angry dad,
“You’re a clever rusher, Guv’nor, but you tackle very bad”;
And he rushed him through the center and he tripped him for a fall,
And he scored a goal and touchdown with his papa as the ball.
[Illustration: “That was jolly, Guv’nor. now we’ll practice every day.”]
Then a cigarette he lighted, as he slowly strolled
Saying, “That was jolly, Guv’nor, now we’ll practice every day”;
While his father from the puddle, where he wallowed in disgrace,
Smiled upon his offspring, proudly, from a bruised and battered face,
And with difficulty rising, quick he hobbled to the house.
“Henry’s all right, Ma!” he shouted to his anxious, waiting spouse,
“He jest licked me good and solid, and I tell yer, Mary Ann,
When a chap kin lick your husband he’s a mighty able man!”
* * * * *
On a log behind the pigsty of a modest little farm,
Sits a freckled youth and lanky, red of hair and long of arm;
But his mien is proud and haughty and his brow is high and stern,
And beneath their sandy lashes, fiery eyes with purpose burn.
Bow before him, gentle reader, he’s the hero we salute,
He is Hiram Adoniram Andrew Jackson Shute.
Search not Fame’s immortal marbles, never there
his name you’ll find,
For our hero, let us whisper, is a hero in his mind;
And a youth may bathe in glory, wade in slaughter time on time,
When a novel, wild and gory, may be purchased for a dime.
And through reams of lurid pages has he slain the Sioux and Ute,
Bloody Hiram Adoniram Andrew Jackson Shute.