To the toiling minister who prays without ceasing, and eats codfish and buys clothes at a second hand store, it looks pretty rough to see Bob Ingersoll steered onto a million dollar silver mine. But it may be all right, and we presume it is. Maybe God has got the hook in Bob’s mouth, and is letting him play around the way a fisherman does a black bass, and when he thinks he is running the whole business, and flops around and scares the other fish, it is possible Bob may be reeled in, and he will find himself on the bottom of the boat with a finger and thumb in his gills, and a big boot on his paunch, and he will be compelled to disgorge the hook and the bait and all, and he will lay there and try to flop out of the boat, and wonder what kind of a game that is being played on him.
Everything turns out right some time, and from what we have heard of God, off and on, we don’t believe he is going to let no ordinary man, bald-headed and appoplectic, carry off all the persimmons, and put his fingers to his nose and dare the ruler of the universe to tread on the tail of his coat.
Bob Ingersoll has got the bulge on all the Christians now, and draws more water than anybody, but He who knows the sparrow’s fall has no doubt got an eye on the fat rascal, and some day will close two or three fingers around Bob’s throat, when his eyes will stick out so you can hang your hat on them, and he will blat like a calf and get down on his knees and say:
“Please, Mr. God, don’t choke so, and I will take it all back and go around and tell the boys that I am the almightiest liar that ever charged a dollar a head to listen to the escaping wind from a biown-up bladder. O, good God, don’t hurt me so. My neck is all chafed.”
And then he will die, and God will continue business at the old stand.
Every noted place of resort has an Indian legend, and the first thing I did after getting my dinner was to look up the legendist. I wanted to hear how it was that the Indian had ceased to frequent this spot. So in looking for the boss legendist I struck Judge Lamoreaux, of Dodge county, who had been herewith a party of friends, Mr. Hayes, and Mr. Van Brunt, with all their wives. They had been searching for ferns and legends and they had a car load. The Judge had heard of the legend, and he took me one side, and with tears in his eyes related to me the horrible story just as he had received it from an Indian named O’Flanegan, who sells relics in the shape of rye. If I can control my emotion long enough to write it, it will be a big thing for history.
[Illustration: HIAWASAMANTHA, THE DUSKY DAUGHTER OF THE GOLDEN WEST.]