“He said the idea didn’t strike him. So then I suggested that he might turn it into Columbus discovering America. Let George stand for Columbus, and the tree be turned into a native, and the hatchet made to answer for a flag, while the mountain in the background would answer for the rolling billows of the ocean. He said he’d be hanged if it should. So I mentioned that it might perhaps pass for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Put George in black for the headsman, bend over the tree and put a frock on it for Mary, let the hatchet stand, and work in the guinea-pig and the factory chimney as mourners. Just as I had got the words out of my mouth, Barker knocked me clean through the picture. My head tore out Washington’s near leg, and my right foot carried away about four miles of the river. We had it over and over on the floor for a while, and finally Barker whipped. I am going to take the law of him in the interests of justice and high art.”
So Barker was bound over, and Mr. Potts went down to the office of the Spy to write up his criticism.
THE WOODEN LEG.
BY MAX ADELER.
“Mr. Brown, you don’t want to buy a first-rate wooden leg, do you? I’ve got one that I’ve been wearing for two or three years, and I want to sell it. I’m hard up for money; and although I’m attached to that leg, I’m willing to part with it, so’s I kin get the necessaries of life. Legs are all well enough; they are handy to have around the house, and all that; but a man must attend to his stomach, if he has to walk about on the small of his back. Now, I’m going to make you an offer. That leg is Fairchild’s patent; steel-springs, india-rubber joints, elastic toes and everything, and it’s in better order now than it was when I bought it. It’d be a comfort to any man. It’s the most luxurious leg I ever came across. If bliss ever kin be reached by a man this side of the tomb, it belongs to the person that gets that leg on and feels the consciousness creeping over his soul that it is his. Consequently, I say that when I offer it to you I’m doing a personal favour; and I think I see you jump at the chance, and want to clinch the bargain before I mention—you’ll hardly believe it, I know—that I’ll actually knock that leg down to you at four hundred dollars. Four hundred, did I say? I meant six hundred; but let it stand. I never back out when I make an offer; but it’s just throwing that leg away—it is, indeed.”
“But I don’t want an artificial leg,” said Brown.
“The beautiful thing about the limb,” said the stranger, pulling up his trousers and displaying the article, “is that it is reliable. You kin depend on it. It’s always there. Some legs that I have seen were treacherous—most always some of the springs bursting out, or the joints working backwards, or the toes turning down and ketching in things. Regular frauds. But it’s almost pathetic the way this leg goes on year in and