The grocery man pulled in about half a block of twine, after the dog had run against a fence and broke it, and told the boy he knew perfectly well how the brass padlock came to be in the sausage, but thinking it was safer to have the good will of the boy than the ill will, he offered him a handful of prunes.
“No,” said the boy, “I have swore off on mouldy prunes. I am no kinder-garden any more. For years I have eaten rotten peaches around this store, and everything you couldn’t sell, but I have turned over a new leaf now, and after this nothing is too good for me. Since Pa has got to be an inventor, we are going to live high.”
“What’s your Pa invented? I saw a hearse and three hacks go up on your street the other day and I thought may be you had killed your Pa.”
“Not much. There will be more than three hacks when I kill Pa, and don’t you forget it. Well, sir, Pa has struck a fortune, if he can make the thing work. He has got an idea about coal stoves that will bring him several million dollars, if he gets a royalty of five dollars on every cook stove in the world. His idea is to have a coal stove on castors with the pipe made to telescope out and in, and rubber hose for one joint, so you can pull the stove all around the room and warm any particular place. Well, sir, to hear Pa tell about it, you would think it would revolutionize the country, and maybe it will when he gets it perfected, but he came near burning the house up, and scared us half to death this morning, and burned his shirt off, and he is all covered with cotton with sweet oil on, and he smells like salad dressing.
“You see Pa had a pipe made and some castors put on our coal stove, and he tied a rope to the hearth of the stove, and had me put in some kindling wood and coal last night, so he could draw the stove up to the bed and light the fire without getting up. Ma told him he would put his foot in it, and he told her to dry up, and let him run the stove business. He said it took a man with brain to run a patent right, and Ma she pulled the clothes over her head and let Pa do the fire act. She has been building the fires for twenty years, and thought she would let Pa see how good it was. Well, Pa pulled the stove to the bed, and touched off the kindling wood. I guess maybe I got a bundle of kindling wood that the hired girl had put kerosene on, cause it blazed up awful and smoked, and the blaze bursted out the doors and windows of the stove, and Pa yelled fire, and I jumped out of bed and rushed in and he was the scartest man you ever see, and you’d a dide to see how he kicked when I threw a pail of water on his legs and put his shirt out. Ma did not get burned, but she was pretty wet, and she told Pa she would pay five dollars royalty on that stove and take the castors off and let it remain stationary. Pa says he will make it work if he burns the house down. I think it was real mean in Pa to get mad at me because I threw cold water on him instead of