And then Ben Westerveld spoke. A new Ben Westerveld—no, not a new, but the old Ben Westerveld. Ben Westerveld, the farmer, the monarch over six hundred acres of bounteous bottomland.
“That’s all right, Dike,” he said. “You’re going back. So’m I. I’ve got another twenty years of work in me. We’re going back to the farm.”
Bella turned on him, a wildcat. “We ain’t! Not me! We ain’t! I’m not agoin’ back to the farm.”
But Ben Westerveld was master again in his own house. “You’re goin’ back, Bella,” he said, quietly. “An’ things are goin’ to be different. You’re goin’ to run the house the way I say, or I’ll know why. If you can’t do it, I’ll get them in that can. An’ me and Dike, we’re goin’ back to our wheat and our apples and our hogs. Yessir! There ain’t a bigger man-size job in the world.”
When, on opening a magazine, you see a picture of a young man in uniform with a background of assorted star-shells in full flower; a young man in uniform gazing into the eyes of a young lady (in uniform); a young man in uniform crouching in a trench, dugout, or shell-hole, this happens:
You skip lightly past the story of the young man in uniform; you jump hurriedly over the picture; and you plunge into the next story, noting that it is called “The Crimson Emerald” and that, judging from the pictures, all the characters in it wear evening clothes all the time.
Chug Scaritt took his dose of war with the best of them, but this is of Chug before and after taking. If, inadvertently, there should sound a faintly martial note it shall be stifled at once with a series of those stylish dots ... indicative of what the early Victorian writers conveniently called a drawn veil.
Nothing could be fairer than that.
Chug Scaritt was (and is) the proprietor and sole owner of the Elite Garage, and he pronounced it with a long i. Automobile parties, touring Wisconsin, used to mistake him for a handy man about the place and would call to him, “Heh, boy! Come here and take a look at this engine. She ain’t hitting.” When Chug finished with her she was hitting, all right. A medium-sized young fellow in the early twenties with a serious mouth, laughing eyes, and a muscular grace pretty well concealed by the grease-grimed grotesquerie of overalls. Out of the overalls and in his tight-fitting, belted green suit and long-visored green cap and flat russet shoes he looked too young and insouciant to be the sole owner—much less the proprietor—of anything so successful and established as the Elite Garage.