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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about Elbow-Room.

There was no more trouble up at the cemetery after that until they buried old Joe Middles, who used to have the fish-house over the river at Deacon’s.  They entombed the old man on Thursday night.  On Friday morning one of the Keysers was walking down on the river-bank, and he saw a man who looked very much like Mr. Middles sitting up in a canoe out in the stream fishing.  He watched the man as he caught two or three fish, and was just about to conclude that it was some unknown brother of Mr. Middles, when the fisherman looked up and said,

“Hello, Harry.”

[Illustration:  JOE MIDDLES]

“Who are you?” asked Keyser.

“Who am I?  Why, Joe Middles, of course.  Who’d you think I was?” remarked the fisherman.

“You ain’t Joe Middles, for he’s dead.  I went to his funeral yesterday.”

“Funeral!” exclaimed the fisherman as he stepped ashore.  “Well, now, by George! maybe that explains the thing.  I’ve been bothering myself the worst kind to understand something.  You know that I remember being at home in bed, and then I went to sleep somehow; and when I woke up, it was dark as pitch.  I gave a kick to stretch myself, and knocked the lid off of this thing here—­a canoe I thought it was; and then I set up and found myself out here in the river.  I took the lid to split into paddles, and I saw on it a plate with the words ’Joseph Middles, aged sixty-four;’ and I couldn’t imagine how in thunder that ever got on that lid.  Howsomdever, I pulled over to the shanty and got some lines and bait and floated out again, thinking while I was here I might as well get a mess of fish before I got home.  And so it’s a coffin, after all, and they buried me yesterday.  Well, that beats the very old Harry, now, don’t it?  I’m going to row right over to the house.  How it’ll skeer the old woman to see me coming in safe and sound!”

Then the resurrected Mr. Middles paddled off.  The cemetery company failed the following month, from inability to sell the lots.

CHAPTER XXII.

JUSTICE, AND A LITTLE INJUSTICE.

The administration of justice in this county is chiefly in the hands of Judge Twiddler; and while his methods generally are excellent, he sometimes makes unpleasant mistakes.  Mr. Mix was the victim of one such blunder upon a recent occasion.  Mr. Mix is bald; and in order to induce his hair to grow again, he is using a very excellent article of “hair vigor” upon his scalp.  Some time ago he was summoned as a juryman upon a case in the court, and upon the day of the trial, just before the hour at which the court met, he remembered that he had not applied the vigor to his head that morning.  He had only a few minutes to spare, but he flew up stairs and into the dark closet where he kept the bottle; and pouring some fluid upon a sponge, he rubbed his head energetically.  By some mishap Mr. Mix got hold of the wrong bottle,

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