Twenty Years of Hus'ling - novelonlinefull.com
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For there is one for your wife and one for yourself; I'll give you another to lay on the shelf.
Here's one for your sister and one for your brother, For fear they'll need three I'll throw in another.
Here is one for your uncle and one for your aunt.
I would give them another, but I know that I can't, For there's just two left for grandfather and grandmother.
If you'll take them along and make me no bother, You may have the whole lot for a quarter of a dollar.
"And who'll have the entire lot for the money?
"And sold right here. This gentleman takes them. I should think he would take 'em. Any man that wouldn't take 'em, wouldn't take sugar at a cent a pound. He'd want to taste off the top, taste from the bottom and eat out the middle and then he'd _swear_ it wasn't sugar. And who'll have the next, last, and only remaining lot for the money? And sold again. Luck is a fortune gentlemen. The man that is here to-night is bound to be a winner. And who'll have the next lot for the money?"
The foregoing will give the reader a slight idea of the variety of talk that it was necessary for me to keep conjuring up and manufacturing in order to entertain my buyers, and to continually spring something new on them.
MY EMPLOYER CALLED HOME--I CONTINUE TO HUS'LE--AN AUCTIONEERING CO-PARTNERSHIP--STILL IN A DOUBLE ROLE--A NEAT, TIDY, QUIET BOARDING HOUSE--WE MOVE TO A HOTEL--A PRACTICAL JOKE--AUCTIONEERING FOR MERCHANTS--MAKING A POLITICAL SPEECH--GETTING MIXED.
I remained with my late employer several weeks, having almost uninterrupted success, when he was notified of his wife's serious illness and was obliged to leave his horses and wagon with a liveryman and return at once to his home in Ohio.
I continued selling furniture polish as though nothing had happened, but never ceased making auctioneering a continual study.
Shortly after this I received a letter from an old acquaintance who had recently married a widow about forty years older than himself, expressing a desire to go into the auction business with me.
He said he was well fixed now (or at least his wife was) and if I would do the auctioneering he would furnish the capital and we would travel together and divide the profits.
I telegraphed him to have his money ready, as I was coming.
On my arrival Johnny showed me a large roll of bills and said "there was plenty more where that come from."
We ordered a nice stock of goods and started at once taking in the Western and Southwestern States.
Johnny was exceedingly gay and chipper from the start and seemed possessed with the idea that he had found a gold mine.
He led about the same life I did the winter I was selling government goods--only a little more so, and I frequently reminded him of the results of my experience and tried hard to convince him that his would result the same, but without success.
He was a jolly, good natured fellow, a true friend, kind and generous to a fault, which with his expensive habits made serious inroads on his capital and it diminished rapidly.
I saw how things were shaping, and lost no time in making a new contract with him, which gave me a certain commission, and required him to defray all hotel bills.
I kept up the sale of polish as usual, during the time when we were not selling at auction, and by so doing was steadily gaining ground.
I suggested to Johnny when we first started out that he also sell polish.
He laughed at the idea and said he "didn't have to."
After we had been out a few weeks I asked him one day if he didn't think we had better invoice. He thought we had, and we did so. He seemed less gay after this and showed frequent signs of having the blues.
We could show good sales, but he couldn't show where the money had gone, although he had had the exclusive handling of it himself.
He began to show an inclination to make improvements, but still clung to a few expensive notions, so much so that his expenses far exceeded his profits.
In a few weeks I suggested another inventory, to which he submitted, and was fairly paralyzed at the result.
We then decided to go to Kansas City, Missouri. On our way there Johnny asked me what I thought of going to some nice, quiet boarding-house instead of paying the usual high rates at hotels.
I agreed, and again suggested that he go to selling polish, which he was almost tempted to do, but finally said he guessed he wouldn't yet a while.
When we got to Kansas City I said:
"Now Johnny, I will stay at the depot while you 'hustle' up town and find a boarding-house."
He started on the hunt immediately.
In about two hours he came rushing back with a broad grin on his countenance, and informed me that he had found one of the nicest places in town, where every thing was neat and clean, and nice and tidy, the old lady was a good conversationalist, she had a nice family of well-bred children, and it was so home-like, and at a cost of only two dollars and a half each.
[Ill.u.s.tration: OUR NEAT, NICE, TIDY BOARDING HOUSE AT KANSAS CITY, MO.--PAGE 416.]
"But Johnny, two dollars and a half a day apiece at a boarding-house is too much."
"Good ---- Johnston, I don't mean by the day. I mean by the week."
At this he grabbed a piece of baggage and bounded away, I following closely.
On our arrival at the boarding-house we found the landlady to be a widow with seven children. The house was furnished with the very commonest of furniture, no carpets on any of the floors, no paper on the walls, and the plastering off in many places.
We were both very hearty eaters, and were in the habit of taking our heartiest meal at six o'clock in the evening.
When supper was called we went in to the dining-room, took seats and waited to be served.
In about two minutes the children began flocking in. The majority of them took their position along one side of the room and stared at us with half-starved looks, while the others were climbing over the backs of our chairs, and turning summersaults under the table and in the middle of the floor.
Directly the old lady came in with a cup of tea for each of us, and then brought in a mola.s.ses cake, with a couple of slices of bread and a small piece of b.u.t.ter.
Johnny glanced at me as if expecting a grand "kick;" but, although I had no fondness for mola.s.ses cake, I took hold and ate with as much relish as if it had been roast turkey. I kept up a pleasant conversation with the old lady, and never failed to laugh heartily whenever one of the older boys happened to kick a cat up the chimney or break a lamp or two.
When bed-time came, the old lady showed us to the spare-room, which contained nothing but a small stand and an old-fashioned bedstead with a straw tick resting on ropes instead of slats. The straw was nearly all on one side, which discovery I happened to make before retiring, and forthwith took advantage of it by hurrying to bed first, and occupying that side.
Although I had always before insisted on sleeping alone, I didn't in this instance raise any objection, but on the contrary, appeared as happy as could be.
As soon as Johnny struck the bed he began to roll and tumble, and in a very short time succeeded in breaking the rope on his side, making it very uncomfortable for both of us. We kept sinking gradually, till at last our bodies were resting on the floor, with our feet and heads considerably elevated.
I felt the consciousness of getting the best of it, as the straw still remained on my side; and made up my mind to find no fault, but wait and see what Johnny would have to say.