Mr. Scraggs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about Mr. Scraggs.


“Made any other human countenance I ever see look like a nigger-minstrel show”

“He was disappointed in love—­he had to be”

“Scraggsy looked like a forlorn hope lost in a fog”

“‘Dearly beloved Brethren,’ says I”

“Put up a high-grade article of cat-fight”

“You will talk to my ol’ man like that, will you?”

“So we rode in, right cheerful”

“I was all over that Injun”




I had met Mr. Scraggs, shaken him by the hand, and, in the shallow sense of the word, knew him.  But a man is more than clothes and a bald head.  It is also something of a trick to find out more about him—­particularly in the cow country.  One needs an interpreter.  Red furnished the translation.  After that, I nurtured Mr. Scraggs’s friendship, for the benefit of humanity and philosophy.  Saunders and I lay under a bit of Bad Lands, soaking in the spring sun, and enjoying the first cigarette since breakfast.  In regard to things in general, he said: 

“Now, there was the time I worked for the Ellis ranch.  A ranch is like a man:  it has something that belongs to it, that don’t belong to no other ranch, same as I have just the same number of eyes and noses and so forth that you drew on your ticket, yet you ain’t me no more’n I’m you.  This was a kind of sober-minded concern; it was a thoughtful sort of a ranch, where everybody went about his work quiet.  I guess it was because the boys was mostly old-timers, given to arguing about why was this and how come that.  Argue!  Caesar!  It was a regular debating society.  Wind-river Smith picked up a book in the old man’s room that told about the Injuns bein’ Jews ’way back before the big high-water, and how one gang of ’em took to the prairie and the other gang to the bad clothes business.  Well, he and Chawley Tawmson—­’member Chawley and his tooth?  And you’d have time to tail-down and burn a steer before Chawley got the next word out—­well, they got arguin’ about whether this was so, or whether it weren’t so.  Smithy was for the book, havin’ read it, and Chawley scorned it.  The argument lasted a month, and as neither one of ’em knew anything about an Injun, except what you can gather from looking at him over a rifle sight, and as the only Jew either one of ’em ever said two words to was the one that sold Windriver a hat that melted in the first rain-storm, and then him and Chawley went to town and made the Hebrew eat what was left of the hat, after refunding the price, you can imagine what a contribution to history I listened to.  That’s the kind of place the Ellis ranch was, and a nice old farm she was, too.

“I’d been working there about three months, when along come a man that looked like old man Trouble’s only son.  Of all the sorrowful faces you ever see, his was the longest and thinnest.  It made any other human countenance I ever see look like a nigger-minstrel show.

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Mr. Scraggs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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