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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 60 pages of information about Cape Cod and All the Pilgrim Land, June 1922, Volume 6, Number 4.

“I mumbled an apology, waited a few minutes and tried again.  It is unpleasant to have the bell ring in your ear, so out of courtesy to the other subscribers I gently lifted off the receiver, put it to my ear and heard, ‘That cottage by the shore will suit—­’

“Fifteen minutes later I tried again and please remember my tooth was paining all the time.  I listened, the line was quiet, I called central and asked ‘One nine ring two four please.’

“‘That line is busy.’

“Well, I thanked my lucky stars that I have a good supply of patience.  After five minutes I tried again.  I listened to see if the line was busy and heard, ‘Killed by an automobile, all mangled to pieces.’  Too horror stricken to realize I was listening to conversation not intended for my ears I listened on.  The details fairly made my blood run cold and the unknown speaker had the most tragic voice I ever heard.  She continued, ’It was terrible, I almost fainted, it was one of my best roosters, too!’

“Just then a neighbor brought in my mail and I spent a few minutes reading letters and looking over the morning Post but the persistent tooth reminded me and I tried again.  Wonder of wonders I got the dentist’s office and asked if the dentist was there.  ’No, he is not here just now but he will be back in a few minutes, shall I tell him to call you?’

“‘If you will, please, this is—­’

“‘I knew your voice instantly, Bessie, and I’ll tell him.’

“I waited and waited, then waited some more, then I tried again.  ’Get off the line, somebody else wants a chance to use it.  You there, Jim?’

“I was almost in despair.  When I was sure my snappy friend had had time enough to transact all the affairs of the Nation I made another attempt but I listened once more, rather than butt in again, listened and heard, ‘Just the sweetest shade of green, you know—­’ Trials of Job, I was getting out of patience, to put it mildly.  I gave the crank a vicious turn but the same party was still talking, she said sweetly, ‘I guess someone wants the line.’  I assured her I did, it was a case of life and death.  ’Someone dead, oh dear, is it any one I know?’

“Thoroughly exasperated I called central and demanded, ’one nine ring two four.’

“‘Line busy.’

“I made up my mind never to use a ’phone again, or try to when my own number rang.  I grabbed the receiver off the hook and thought my trial was over, for of course I knew it was the dentist at last.  ’Is this you, Bessie?  Did you know Jennie Knowles has broken her ankle?’

“’No, I didn’t, and I don’t care if she has broken her neck, I want the line.’

“Of course my rudeness lost me a friend for a while, until I saw her and made ample apologies, but I made my last attempt and was connected with the dentist.  I told him about the toothache; it took some time as I had to explain three times that I was using the line but I did it.  ’Does it ache very badly?  Can’t you stand it until to-morrow?  Then the treatment will desensitize it sufficiently and I can work on it without hurting you at all.’

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