I didn’t say anything at first, only looked pretty solemn, and then I allowed that she’d have to go into the hands of a receiver. Well, sir, the way she snuggled up to me and cried made me come pretty close to weakening, but finally I told her that I reckoned I could manage to be appointed by the court and hush up the scandal so the neighbors wouldn’t hear of it.
I took charge of her little books and paid over to myself her housekeeping money each month, buying everything myself, but explaining every move I made, until in the end I had paid her out of debt and caught up with my salary again. Then I came home on the first of the month, handed out her share of the money, and told her that the receiver had been discharged by the court.
My! but she was pleased. And then she paid me out for the scare I’d given her by making me live on side-meat and corn-bread for a month, so she’d be sure not to get the sheriff after her again. Of course, I had to tell her all about it in the end, and though she’s never forgotten what she learned about money during the receivership, she’s never quite forgiven the receiver.
Speaking of receiving, I notice the receipts of hogs are pretty light. Hold your lard prices up stiff to the market. It looks to me as if that Milwaukee crowd was getting under the February delivery.
Your affectionate father,
P.S.—You’ve got to square me with Helen.
From John Graham, at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, to his son, Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards, Chicago. The young man has written describing the magnificent wedding presents that are being received, and hinting discreetly that it would not come amiss if he knew what shape the old man’s was going to take, as he needs the money.
NEW YORK, December 12, 189-.
Dear Pierrepont: These fellows at the branch house here have been getting altogether too blamed refined to suit me in their ideas of what’s a fair day’s work, so I’m staying over a little longer than I had intended, in order to ring the rising bell for them and to get them back into good Chicago habits. The manager started in to tell me that you couldn’t do any business here before nine or ten in the morning—and I raised that boy myself!
We had a short season of something that wasn’t exactly prayer, but was just as earnest, and I think he sees the error of his ways. He seemed to feel that just because he was getting a fair share of the business I ought to be satisfied, but I don’t want any half-sports out gunning with me. It’s the fellow that settles himself in his blind before the ducks begin to fly who gets everything that’s coming to his decoys. I reckon we’ll have to bring this man back to Chicago and give him a beef house where he has to report at five before he can appreciate what a soft thing it is to get down to work at eight.