“‘Wa’al,’ I says, ’when he comes back you c’n use your own judgment about havin’ a little interview with him. Mebbe somethin’ ’s made him think the’s two sides to this thing. But anyway,’ I says, ’I guess he won’t do no more hollerin’.’
“‘How’s that?’ says Tenaker.
“‘Wa’al,’ I says, ’I guess I’ll have to tell ye a little story. Mebbe you’ve heard it before, but it seems to be to the point. Once on a time,’ I says, ‘the’ was a big church meetin’ that had lasted three days, an’ the last evenin’ the’ was consid’able excitement. The prayin’ an’ singin’ had warmed most on ’em up putty well, an’ one o’ the most movin’ of the speakers was tellin’ ’em what was what. The’ was a big crowd, an’ while most on ’em come to be edified, the’ was quite a lot in the back part of the place that was ready fer anythin’. Wa’al, it happened that standin’ mixed up in that lot was a feller named—we’ll call him Smith, to be sure of him—an’ Smith was jest runnin’ over with power, an’ ev’ry little while when somethin’ the speaker said touched him on the funny bone he’d out with an “A—men! Yes, Lord!” in a voice like a fact’ry whistle. Wa’al, after a little the’ was some snickerin’ an’ gigglin’ an’ scroughin’ an’ hustlin’ in the back part, an’ even some of the serioustest up in front would kind o’ smile, an’ the moderator leaned over an’ says to one of the bretherin on the platform, “Brother Jones,” he says, “can’t you git down to the back of the hall an’ say somethin’ to quiet Brother Smith? Smith’s a good man, an’ a pious man,” the moderator says, “but he’s very excitable, an’ I’m ’fraid he’ll git the boys to goin’ back there an’ disturb the meetin’.” So Jones he worked his way back to where Smith was, an’ the moderator watched him go up to Smith and jest speak to him ‘bout ten seconds; an’ after that Smith never peeped once. After the meetin’ was over, the moderator says to Jones, “Brother Jones,” he says, “what did you say to Brother Smith to-night that shut him up so quick?” “I ast him fer a dollar for For’n Missions,” says Brother Jones, ‘an’, wa’al,’ I says to Tenaker, ’that’s what I done to Staples.’”
“Did Mr. Tenaker see the point?” asked John, laughing.
“He laughed a little,” said David, “but didn’t quite ketch on till I told him about the subscription paper, an’ then he like to split.”
“Suppose Staples had taken you up,” suggested John.
“Wa’al,” said David, “I didn’t think I was takin’ many chances. If, in the fust place, I hadn’t knowed Staples as well ’s I did, the Smith fam’ly, so fur ’s my experience goes, has got more members ’n any other fam’ly on top of the earth.” At this point a boy brought in a telegram. David opened it, gave a side glance at his companion, and, taking out his pocketbook, put the dispatch therein.
The next morning David called John into the rear room. “Busy?” he asked.