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Twenty Years of Hus'ling Part 28

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How many times had they tickled my young hide for a breach of home discipline!

I took them in my hand, and as I gazed upon those silent reminders of the past, I said triumphantly:

"You clung to me like a brother. Your reign is over. Your day is past, while mine is just dawning. Farewell; I cherish you not. No fond memories cling around my recollections of you. The lessons you endeavored to convey were no doubt good, but, alas! they fell on barren soil. Farewell, farewell."

And heaving a heavy sigh, I hung them on the nail, picked up my carpet-bag, and descended from the garret.

After packing the old carpet-bag with bottles, I announced my readiness for the grand start. My mother commenced crying, and asked if I didn't think I'd better take a lunch along, in case of necessity. I said I guessed not, as she might be robbing herself to give me so much all at one time.

I bade her good bye, and I when I had gotten to the front gate she called me back, and said if I would hitch one of the horses to the carriage she would take me to Green Creek bridge, five miles out, where I could begin operations among strangers.

This me pleased me immensely, and I lost no time in carrying out her suggestion.

She drove west on the pike to the bridge, when I announced my readiness and anxiety to commence business, as it was then four o'clock and I must make a raise of a few shillings for expenses for the night.

I shall never forget the expression of solicitude and determination shown in her face as she bade me good bye, and turned to leave me; and I have since congratulated her for the firm, decisive stand she took. I have often related this incident as one of the best things that ever happened to me.

As soon as she started homeward I took the other direction.

I was mad; and the more I thought of her treatment of me the madder I got, and the more I 'hus'led.'

At the first house I called, the old lady said she hadn't any money, but would tell my fortune for a bottle of polish.

"Well, great Heavens!" I yelled, "go ahead, you never can tell my fortune at a better time."

She shuffled the cards, and said I'd never do manual labor, and I was going to be rich. I would have two wives, and no telling how many children. I had had a great many ups and downs, and would have some more; but would eventually settle down. I asked if I would ever be hung.

She said, "No, sir."

During the interview she learned from me of my father's dying before I was born. That, she said, was always a sure sign of good fortune, and a bright future was always in store for a child born under such circ.u.mstances.

I finally asked her if she could tell where I was going to stay that night. She said she couldn't, but would wager that I wouldn't sleep in a freight car, nor go without my supper.

I gave her a bottle of polish, and made another start, calling at the next house just as the family were about to take supper.

I rushed in, set my carpet-bag down, and laying off my hat, said in a jocular manner:

"By gracious, I'm just in time, for once."

[Ill.u.s.tration: "BY GRACIOUS, I'M JUST IN TIME, FOR ONCE."]

"Yes, you are," said the gentleman, as he was about to take his seat at the table. "Take that seat right over there," pointing to the opposite side of the table.

I thanked him and accepted his kind invitation. After supper I showed them my preparation, which pleased them much.

His wife asked the price. I told her fifty cents, and said:

"I want to allow you half that amount for my supper, therefore you will owe me but twenty-five cents."

She paid me, and I started on, much elated with my success, and convinced that the old fortune-teller knew her business, as the supper part had already come true.

I called at every house until too dark to operate, making a sale at nearly every one.

I walked on to Fremont, reaching there in time for the seven-thirty train bound west.

After buying a ticket for Lindsay, I had three dollars and fifty cents in cash, and plenty of stock on hand.

I remained there over night, and am almost certain there wasn't a housekeeper in that burgh who didn't get a bottle of my polish the next day.

After finishing the town, I learned that the westbound train was not due for an hour. As life was short, business brisk and time valuable, I started out on foot, walking to the next town, (meeting with fair success), where I took the train for Adrian, Michigan, arriving there the next day. A very impressive fact, to me, connected with this particular trip, was my traveling over five miles of road, peddling furniture polish at twenty-five and fifty cents per bottle, that a few weeks before I had driven over with the horse and buggy, and several hundred dollars in my pocket, during our patent-right experience.

Before leaving the subject of Patent Rights, I want to say a few words for the benefit of those who may be inclined to speculate in them.

Although the selling of territory or State and County rights may be considered legitimate, it is by no means a suitable business for a reputable person to follow. The deeding of territory in a Patent Right is about equivalent to giving a deed to so much blue sky. At least, the purchaser usually realizes as much from the former as he would from the latter.

Those who invest in Patent Rights invariably do so at a time when their imagination is aroused to a point where all is sunshine and brightness.

But as soon as their ardor cools off their energies become dormant, and by the time they are ready to commence business they are as unfit to do so as they were visionary in making the purchase.

An invention of merit will never be sold by County or State rights.

There are any number of capitalists ready and willing to invest in the manufacture of an invention of practical use. In such cases any territory would be considered too valuable to dispose of.

Hence it should be borne in mind that, as a rule, to invest in specified territory is to purchase an absolutely worthless invention.

The man who consummates the sale will seldom have the satisfaction of realizing that he has given value received.

And without giving value received, under all circ.u.mstances, (whether in Patent Rights or any other business), no man need look for or expect success.

As experience is a dear teacher, let the inexperienced take heed from one _who knows_, and give all business of this character a wide berth.

Upon reaching Adrian, I discarded the carpet-bag and bought a small valise, with which I at once began business; and that night prepared more stock for the next day.

I commenced by taking the most aristocratic portion of the city, canva.s.sing every street and number systematically, with good success.

One day, after I had succeeded in making enough money to buy a baby carriage, which I forwarded to my wife, and had a few dollars left, I was arrested for selling from house to house without a license. I explained to the officer that I hadn't the slightest idea that I was obliged to have one. He said I must go before the city magistrate, and demanded that I should accompany him, which I did.

The _old wolf_ lectured me as if I had been a regular boodler, and then imposed a fine which exceeded the amount in my possession by about three dollars.

I asked what the penalty would be if I didn't pay.

He said I would have to go to jail.

"Well," said I, "I haven't money enough to pay my fine, and guess you might as well lock me up for the whole thing as a part of it."

In answer to the query "how much cash I had," I laid it all on his desk; and as he counted and raked it in, he said:

"Very well, I will suspend your sentence."

I then asked if I could have the privilege of selling the balance of the day, so as to take in money enough to get out of town with.

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Twenty Years of Hus'ling Part 28 summary

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