“What was it about your folks getting up in the middle of the night to eat? The hired girl was over here after some soap the other morning, and she said she was going to leave your house.”
“Well, that was a picnic. Pa said he wanted breakfast earlier than we was in the habit of having it, and he said I might see to it that the house was awake early enough. The other night I awoke with the awfulest pain you ever heard of. It was that night that you give me and my chum the bottle of pickled oysters that had begun to work. Well, I could’t sleep, and I thought I would call the hired girls, and they got up and got breakfast to going, and then I rapped on Pa’s and Ma’s door and told them the breakfast was getting cold, and they got up and came down. We ate breakfast by gas light, and Pa yawned and said it made a man feel good to get up and get ready for work before daylight, the way he used to on the farm, and Ma she yawned and agreed with Pa, ’cause she has to, or have a row. After breakfast we sat around for an hour, and Pa said it was a long time getting daylight, and bimeby Pa looked at his watch. When he began to pull out his watch I lit out and hid in the storeroom, and pretty soon I heard Pa and Ma come up stairs and go to bed, and then the hired girls, they went to bed, and when it was all still, and the pain had stopped inside of my clothes, I went to bed, and I looked to see what time it was and it was two o’clock in the morning. We got dinner at eight o’clock in the morning, and Pa said he guessed he would call up the house after this, so I have lost another job, and it was all on account of that bottle of pickled oysters you gave me. My chum says he had colic too, but he didn’t call up his folks. It was all he could do to get up himself. Why don’t you give away something that is not spiled?”
The groceryman said he guessed he knew what to give away, and the boy went out and hung up a sign in front of the grocery, that he had made on wrapping paper with red chalk, which read, “Rotten eggs, good enough for custard pies, for 18 cents a dozen.”
This land of the free is good enough, if we make it good, and if we make it bad, it is just as bad as any country under the sun. It all depends on how the people act.