Elbow-Room eBook

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

“Turn over a couple of leaves.  That’s General Jackson.  My father shook hands with him once.  He was a fighter, I know.  He fit down in New Orleans.  Broke up the rebel legislature, and then, when the Ku-Kluxes got after him, he fought ’em behind cotton breastworks and licked ’em till they couldn’t stand.  They say he was terrific when he got real mad.  Hit straight from the shoulder, and fetched his man every time.  Andrew his first name was; and look how his hair stands up!  And then here’s John Adams and Daniel Boone and two or three pirates, and a whole lot more pictures, so you see it’s cheap as dirt.  Lemme have your name, won’t you?”

“I believe not to-day.”

“What! won’t go in on William Penn and Washington and Smith, and the other heroes?”

“No.”

“Well, well!  Hang me if I’d a-wasted so much information on you if I’d a knowed you wouldn’t subscribe.  If every man was like you, it’d break up the business.”

Then he wiped his nose and left.  I hope he is doing better with the work than he did with me.

CHAPTER VII.

HOW MR. BUTTERWICK PURSUED HORTICULTURE.

Soon after he moved out from the city to live in the village Mr. Butterwick determined to secure the services of a good gardener who could be depended upon to produce from the acre surrounding the house the largest possible crop of fruit, vegetables and flowers.  A man named Brown was recommended as an expert, and Mr. Butterwick engaged him.  As Mr. Butterwick has no acquaintance with the horticultural art, he instructed Brown to use his own judgment in fixing up the place, and Brown said he would.

On the morning of the first day, while Mr. Butterwick was sitting on the front porch, he saw Brown going out of the gate with a gun upon his shoulder, and Mr. Butterwick conceived the idea that the horticultural expert intended to begin his career in his new place by taking a holiday.

In about an hour, however, Brown came sauntering up the street dragging a deceased dog by the tail.  Mr. Butterwick asked him if he had accidentally shot his dog while aiming at a rabbit.  But Brown simply smiled significantly and passed silently in through the gate.

Then he buried the dog beneath the grape-arbor; and when the funeral was over, Brown loaded up his gun, rubbed his muddy boots upon the grass, brought his weapon to “right shoulder shift” and sallied out again.

Mr. Butterwick asked him if he was going down to the woods after squirrels; but he put his thumb knowingly to his nose, winked at Mr. Butterwick and went mutely down the road.  After a while he loomed up again upon the horizon, and this time Mr. Butterwick noticed that he was hauling after him a setter pup and a yellow dog, both dead, and yoked together with one of Brown’s suspenders.

Mr. Butterwick failed to comprehend the situation exactly, but he ventured the remark that Brown must be a very poor shot to hit his own dogs every time instead of the game.  Brown, however, was not open to criticism.  He walked calmly down the yard, and after entombing the dogs by the grape-arbor, he put four fingers of buckshot in his gun, rearranged his suspenders, shouldered arms and struck out for the front gate with a countenance as impassive as that of a graven image.

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Project Gutenberg
Elbow-Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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