Elbow-Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Elbow-Room.

“Then they sent me round my certificate of election, but I refused to receive it; and those fellows seized me and held me while Harry Hammer pushed the certificate into my coat-pocket, and then they all quit.  The next day a man was run over on the railroad, and they wanted me to tend to him.  But I was angry, and I wouldn’t.  So what does the sheriff do but come here with a gang of police and carry me out there by force?  And he hunted up a jury, which brought in a verdict.  Then they wanted me to take the fees, but I wouldn’t touch them.  I said I wasn’t going to give my sanction to the proceedings.  But of course it was no use.  I thought I was living in a free country, but I wasn’t.  The sheriff drew the money and got a mandamus from the court, and he came here one day while I was at dinner.  When I said I wouldn’t touch a dollar of it, he drew a pistol and said if I didn’t take the money he’d blow my brains out.  So what was a man to do?  I resigned fifteen times, but somehow those resignations were suppressed.  I never heard from them.  Well, sir, at last I yielded, and for three years I kept skirmishing around, perfectly disgusted, meditating over folks that had died suddenly.

[Illustration:  FORCED TO DO DUTY]

“And do you know that on toward the end of my term they had the face to try to nominate me again?  It’s a positive fact.  Those politicians wanted me to run again; said I was the most popular coroner the county ever had; said that everybody liked my way of handling a dead person, it was so full of feeling and sympathy, and a lot more like that.  But what did I do?  I wasn’t going to run any such risk again.  So I went up to the city, and the day before the convention met I sent word down that I was dead.  Circulated a report that I’d been killed by falling off a ferry-boat.  Then they hung the convention-hall in black and passed resolutions of respect, and then they nominated Barney Maginn.

“On the day after election I turned up, and you never saw men look so miserable, so cut to the heart, as those politicians.  They said it was an infamous shame to deceive them in that way, and they declared that they’d run me for sheriff at the next election to make up for it.  If they do, I’m going to move for good.  I’m going to sail for Colorado, or some other decent place where they’ll let a man alone.  I’ll die in my tracks before I’ll ever take another office in this county.  I will, now mind me!”



Horatio remarks to Hamlet, “The morning cock crew loud;” and I have no doubt he did; he always does, especially if he is confined during the performance of his vocal exercises to a narrow city yard surrounded by brick walls which act as sounding-boards to carry the vibrations to the ears of a sleeper who is already restless with the summer heat and with the buzzing of early and pertinacious flies.  To such a man,

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Elbow-Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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