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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about A Man for the Ages.

“I have always thought that Joe would make a whale of a man,” said Harry.

“We all seem to be threatened with immediate and overwhelming happiness,” Bim exclaimed.

“The only thing in the way of mine is the national debt that I have accumulated,” Harry remarked.

“I knew he’d think of something,” said Bim ruefully.  “If I wanted to abolish the noble institution of marriage I’d make him chairman of the ways and means committee.”

“Harry, your credit is still good with me, and I’m prosperous,” Samson began.  “I want you to know that Bim’s energy and skill are mostly responsible for my success.  I guess we owe more to your sickness than you’re aware of.  If it hadn’t been for that we would be plodding along at the same old pace.  We would not have felt the need of speeding up.  It was your misfortune that brought Bim into the store.  If she wants to retire and marry you I rather think she is entitled to do it.  I don’t want any more fooling around about this matter.  Sarah and I couldn’t stand it.  She’s kept me awake nights talking about it.  The thing has worried us plenty.  We rebel and demand action before anything else happens.  We feel as if we had some rights in this case.”

“I concede them and second your demand,” Harry answered.  “Bim must name a near day.  I only need a week to get some clothes made and to go up to Milwaukee on a little matter of business.”

“I don’t know whether we’ll give him a week or not,” said Bim playfully.  “A great many things may happen to him in a week.”

CHAPTER XXIV

WHICH DESCRIBES A PLEASANT HOLIDAY AND A PRETTY STRATAGEM.

Two days later Bim suggested that they should take a day’s ride in the open and spend the night at the home of a friend of hers in a settlement known as Plain’s End, Harry having expressed a wish to get out on the prairies in the saddle after his long term of travel on a steamboat.

“Are you sure that you can stand an all day’s journey?” Bim asked.

“I!  I could kill a bear with my hands and carry him home on my back and eat him for dinner,” the young man boasted.

“I’ve got enough of the wild West in me to like a man who can eat bears if there’s nothing better,” said Bim.  “I didn’t know but you’d been spoiled in the homes of those eastern millionaires.  If you’re willing to take what comes and make the best of it, I’ll give you a day that you will remember.  You will have to put up with a very simple hospitality but I wouldn’t wonder if you’d enjoy it.”

“I can put up with anything so long as I have your help,” the young man answered.

“Then I shall send word that we are coming.  We will leave here day after to-morrow.  Our horses will be at the door at eight o’clock in the morning.  We shall take some luncheon and reach our destination late in the afternoon and return next day.  It will give us a good long visit with each other and you’ll know me better before we get back.”

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