HIS PA GETS MAD!
“I was down to the drug store this morning and saw your Ma buying a lot of court-plaster, enough to make a shirt I should think. What’s she doing with so much court-plaster?” asked the grocery man of the bad boy, as he came in and pulled off his boots by the stove and emptied out a lot of snow that had collected as he walked through a drift, which melted and made a bad smell.
“O, I guess she was going to patch Pa up so he will hold water. Pa’s temper got him into the worst muss you ever see, last night. If that museum was here now they would hire Pa and exhibit him as the tattooed man. I tell you, I have got too old to be mauled as though I was a kid, and any man who attacks me from this out, wants to have his peace made with the insurance companies, and know that his calling and election is sure, because I am a bad man and don’t you forget it.” And the boy pulled on his boots and looked so cross and desperate that the grocer-man asked him if he wouldn’t try a little new cider.
“Good heavens!” said the grocery man, as the boy swallowed the cider, and his face resumed its natural look, and the piratical frown disappeared with the cider. “You have not stabbed your father have you? I have feared that one thing would bring on another, with you, and that you would yet be hung.”
“Naw, I haven’t stabbed him. It was another cat that stabbed him. You see, Pa wants me to do all the work around the house. The other day he bought a load of kindling wood, and told me to carry it into the basement. I had not been educated up to kindling wood, and I didn’t do it. When supper time came, and Pa found that I had not carried in the kindling wood, he had a hot box, and told me if that wood was not in when he came back from the lodge, that he would warm my jacket. Well, I tried to hire some one to carry it in, and got a man to promise to come in the morning and carry it in and take his pay in groceries, and I was going to buy the groceries here and have them charged to Pa. But that wouldn’t help me out that night. I knew when Pa came home he would search for me. So I slept in the back hall on a cot. But I didn’t want Pa to have all his trouble for nothing, so I borrowed an old torn cat that my chum’s old maid aunt owns, and put the cat in my bed. I thought if Pa came into my room after me, and found that by his unkindness I had changed to a torn cat, he would be sorry. That is the biggest cat you ever see, and the worst fighter in our ward. It isn’t afraid of anything, and can whip a New Foundland dog quicker than you could put sand in a barrel of sugar. Well, about eleven o’clock I heard Pa tumbing over the kindling wood, and I knew by the remark he made as the wood slid around under him, that there was going to be a cat fight real quick. He came up to Ma’s room, and sounded Ma as to whether Hennery had retired