Twenty Years of Hus'ling - novelonlinefull.com
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"But," said he, "the men you traded with have left town."
I asked if he knew why they had offered a reward for us.
He said it was because the Patentee had arrived on the scene the day after our trade, and had remarked that Johnston had no authority to deed away territory in his patent; for the reason that the Power of Attorney had a clause in it which read as follows: "This Power of Attorney is revocable in thirty days from the day it is given by the said Patentee."
They then concluded to try and arrest us, and if successful possibly make us pay handsomely, or prosecute us.
This bit of information was relished by me, for I at once saw that the Patentee had gotten things badly mixed. The clause he referred to, which was the one mentioned in another chapter, read as follows: "This Power of Attorney is revocable on thirty days' notice from the said Patentee."
Having satisfied myself, and several acquaintances of the men we had dealt with, that we had not violated the law, I returned to Toledo, where I met Frank, who had disposed of the carriage and harness.
He left me there; and one evening at the supper table I entered into conversation with several gentlemen, one of whom related a few incidents of his experience, when I also related my late experience in selling copal varnish.
An old gentleman across the table from me then said that he had a recipe for making a furniture and piano polish that was immense. He said it would leave a beautiful hard l.u.s.tre, was not sticky or gummy to the fingers, and would remove all white stains from furniture, and become perfectly dry in less than one minute from the time it was applied.
"Well, sir," I said, "I am looking for some thing of that kind, and----"
"Very well," he interrupted; "it will cost you twenty-five dollars."
I said: "I'll you five dollars before testing it."
"No, sir; not one dollar less than my price."
But he would make up a small bottle, and show me how it worked. He did so, and I was at once convinced.
I then d.i.c.kered a while with him, and after satisfying myself that I could buy it for no less than his price, purchased it; and have always considered it a good investment. An Incorporated Manufacturing Company of this city now use the same recipe, supplying agents in all parts of the country.
I immediately visited Elmore, where my wife and boy still remained.
After paying their board and a doctor's bill for the boy, I took a run down to Clyde, arriving there "broke."
I had a long talk with my folks, and explained "just how it all happened."
My mother said she thought I had made a splendid record for a boy with a family.
Mr. Keefer said, "It did beat the devil."
MR. KEEFER CALLED FROM HOME--MY MOTHER REFUSES ME A LOAN--PEDDLING FURNITURE POLISH ON FOOT--HAVING MY FORTUNE TOLD--MY TRIP THROUGH MICHIGAN--ARRESTED FOR SELLING WITHOUT LICENSE--"IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS"--COLLAPSED--A GOOD MORAL--MAKING A RAISE.
I remained at home but a day or two, during which time Mr. Keefer was called away on business, leaving my mother and myself to discuss the future together. I told her of my varnish experience, and about my recipe for the piano and furniture polish, and a.s.sured her that I had made a firm resolution never to sell another patent right.
She said she was glad to hear that, as it had worried her night and day during the whole time I was in that business.
I then suggested that she loan me money enough to invest in a few bottles of polish.
"Not one cent, sir."
"Well," said I, "it won't take but about--"
"No matter," she interrupted, "if it won't take but ten cents you will not get it from me. You have had the last cent from us you will ever get."
I remarked that I was sorry pa had gone away.
She said it wouldn't matter, anyhow, for she had laid down the law to him, and he would never let me have another dollar.
"Well," I asked, "won't you give me money enough to get out of town?"
"No, sir; if five cents would take you to California, you should walk it before I'd give you that amount."
I then asked if she didn't think I was getting in rather close quarters?
"Well," she exclaimed, "you have always been determined to 'hus'le,' so now keep 'hus'ling.'"
I then called on an old friend whom I had been owing for several years, and after explaining my circ.u.mstances, borrowed three dollars, with which I repaired to a drug store and procured a stock of ingredients and bottles required for my Furniture and Piano Polish.
I then returned home, and after explaining to my mother that it would take till the next day to prepare it, asked her if she would care if I staid at her house one more night.
She laughed, and said she guessed she could stand it that long.
I then said:
"By gracious, you will have to give me money enough to get to the next town, for I won't dare commence peddling polish where I am acquainted."
"Indeed I'll not give you a penny, even though you have to commence at our next-door neighbor's," she answered.
The next day, when my bottles were filled ready for a start, I discovered that I had no valise.
My mother said I could have that old carpet-bag that I took to New York when I was a boy, and which had been expressed back to me with my old clothes. I told her I thought it would be about what I needed, but if she had the slightest idea she could sell it, or would ever need it to make me a visit in the far west when I got rich, that I might possibly get along without it.
She said I could rest a.s.sured that she wasn't quite so hard up as to be obliged to sell it, and if she had to wait for me to get rich before using it, she probably would never have occasion to do so.
I then visited the garret, where my mother said I would find the old bag.
As I entered the dark, gloomy place, my vision encountered innumerable relics of my past life, in the shape of toys, books, papers, skates cart-wheels, pieces of hobby-horses, and remnants of garments made by my mother and worn by me years before.
I thought of the days gone by, and the many pleasant hours I had spent at the old farm house. While I was occupied with play and enjoyment, my mother busying herself with family cares, and endeavoring to draw from me my ideas of the business or profession I would adopt when I reached manhood.
There flitted through my mind the many kind things she had said and done for me, in trying to gratify my desires and boyish whims. I was reminded that although she had often opposed me in my ideas of "hus'ling," and was at that very time refusing to aid me, she had always been a devoted mother, with a kind and forgiving disposition, and had never ceased to show her anxiety for my welfare.
I realized that there must be a reason, best known to herself, for withholding aid from me at this time.
I then began rummaging about for the old carpet-bag, which I found hanging in a remote corner, amongst cobwebs and bunches of balm and sage. As I gazed on the companion of my first railroad trip, there flashed through my mind, with lightning-like rapidity, the three weeks of joys and sorrows we had shared together while in New York. The many ups and downs I had experienced since that time, forced themselves upon my memory, while _it_ had been silently resting and apparently awaiting my return to accompany me on another search for fortune.
Among other things I saw hanging there was a half-worn-out, dried-up bunch of blue-beech switches.