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The Gentle Grafter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about The Gentle Grafter.

“The students all left on the night train; and the town sounded as quiet as the campus of a correspondence school at midnight.  When I went to the hotel I saw a light in Andy’s room, and I opened the door and walked in.

“There sat Andy and the faro dealer at a table dividing a two-foot high stack of currency in thousand-dollar packages.

“‘Correct,’ says Andy.  ‘Thirty-one thousand apiece.  Come in, Jeff,’ says he.  ’This is our share of the profits of the first half of the scholastic term of the World’s University, incorporated and philanthropated.  Are you convinced now,’ says Andy, ’that philanthropy when practiced in a business way is an art that blesses him who gives as well as him who receives?’

“‘Great!’ says I, feeling fine.  ’I’ll admit you are the doctor this time.’

“‘We’ll be leaving on the morning train,’ says Andy.  ’You’d better get your collars and cuffs and press clippings together.’

“‘Great!’ says I.  ‘I’ll be ready.  But, Andy,’ says I, ’I wish I could have met that Professor James Darnley McCorkle before we went.  I had a curiosity to know that man.’

“‘That’ll be easy,’ says Andy, turning around to the faro dealer.

“‘Jim,’ says Andy, ‘shake hands with Mr. Peters.’”

THE HAND THAT RILES THE WORLD

“Many of our great men,” said I (apropos of many things), “have declared that they owe their success to the aid and encouragement of some brilliant woman.”

“I know,” said Jeff Peters.  “I’ve read in history and mythology about Joan of Arc and Mme. Yale and Mrs. Caudle and Eve and other noted females of the past.  But, in my opinion, the woman of to-day is of little use in politics or business.  What’s she best in, anyway?—­men make the best cooks, milliners, nurses, housekeepers, stenographers, clerks, hairdressers and launderers.  About the only job left that a woman can beat a man in is female impersonator in vaudeville.”

“I would have thought,” said I, “that occasionally, anyhow, you would have found the wit and intuition of woman valuable to you in your lines of—­er—­business.”

“Now, wouldn’t you,” said Jeff, with an emphatic nod—­“wouldn’t you have imagined that?  But a woman is an absolutely unreliable partner in any straight swindle.  She’s liable to turn honest on you when you are depending upon her the most.  I tried ’em once.

“Bill Humble, an old friend of mine in the Territories, conceived the illusion that he wanted to be appointed United States Marshall.  At that time me and Andy was doing a square, legitimate business of selling walking canes.  If you unscrewed the head of one and turned it up to your mouth a half pint of good rye whiskey would go trickling down your throat to reward you for your act of intelligence.  The deputies was annoying me and Andy some, and when Bill spoke to me about his officious aspirations, I saw how the appointment as Marshall might help along the firm of Peters & Tucker.

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