“Well, I handed her the $500, which she pitched into her desk drawer without counting. I put Bill’s appointment in my pocket and me and Andy made our adieus.
“We started back for the Territory the same day. We wired Bill: ’Job landed; get the tall glasses ready,’ and we felt pretty good.
“Andy joshed me all the way about how little I knew about women.
“‘All right,’ says I. ’I’ll admit that she surprised me. But it’s the first time I ever knew one of ’em to manipulate a piece of business on time without getting it bungled up in some way,’ says I.
“Down about the edge of Arkansas I got out Bill’s appointment and looked it over, and then I handed it to Andy to read. Andy read it, but didn’t add any remarks to my silence.
“The paper was for Bill, all right, and a genuine document, but it appointed him postmaster of Dade City, Fla.
“Me and Andy got off the train at Little Rock and sent Bill’s appointment to him by mail. Then we struck northeast toward Lake Superior.
“I never saw Bill Humble after that.”
“As I have told you before,” said Jeff Peters, “I never had much confidence in the perfidiousness of woman. As partners or coeducators in the most innocent line of graft they are not trustworthy.”
“They deserve the compliment,” said I. “I think they are entitled to be called the honest sex.”
“Why shouldn’t they be?” said Jeff. “They’ve got the other sex either grafting or working overtime for ’em. They’re all right in business until they get their emotions or their hair touched up too much. Then you want to have a flat footed, heavy breathing man with sandy whiskers, five kids and a building and loan mortgage ready as an understudy to take her desk. Now there was that widow lady that me and Andy Tucker engaged to help us in that little matrimonial agency scheme we floated out in Cairo.
“When you’ve got enough advertising capital—say a roll as big as the little end of a wagon tongue—there’s money in matrimonial agencies. We had about $6,000 and we expected to double it in two months, which is about as long as a scheme like ours can be carried on without taking out a New Jersey charter.
“We fixed up an advertisement that read about like this:
“Charming widow, beautiful, home loving, 32 years, possessing $3,000 cash and owning valuable country property, would remarry. Would prefer a poor man with affectionate disposition to one with means, as she realizes that the solid virtues are oftenest to be found in the humble walks of life. No objection to elderly man or one of homely appearance if faithful and true and competent to manage property and invest money with judgment. Address, with particulars.
Care of Peters & Tucker, agents, Cairo, Ill.