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By Harold Carter
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
"What's the matter, father? Got
a new craze?" inquired Mehitahel
Balsam, as she handed her husband
his third cup of coffee at breakfast
in the farmhouse.
"I have, Mehitabel," answered
Jasper Balsam, looking first at his
wife and then at his son and daugh
ter, Junius and Octavia.
"Well, don't bottle it up longer
than you have to, father," said Ju
nius, stirring up his egg.
"It's this," said Jasper. "Last
Sunday in church the minister was
saying that the world would be a
better place if everybody said exact
ly what he was thinking. Now why
can't we start a movement that will
revolutionize social life in this coun
try? Why can't we have done with
hypocrisy and say just what we want
"I'm willing,"" announced his wife.
"Lord, there's a whole heap of things
I've wanted to say for years and nev
er had a chance to. I want a new silk
"Don't talk foolishness, Mehita
bel," said her husband severely. "I
mean sensible things. For example,
this egg's cold. Now usually I would
not say it was cold. I'd just eat it
But if we agreed to speak our minds,
nobody could take offense."
"I'm willing," replied his wife
again. "When do ws start?"
"We start now," said Jasper Bal
sam, and there followed a few min
utes of ominous silence.
"I have been thinking, Mehitabel,"
continued Jasper, presently, "that at
your age 52, and you looking con
siderably older than that that you
ought to have learned to make a pie
by now. When a man sets down to
breakfast he expects a piece of pie
that is pie, not cinders and dough."
"True, Jasper," replied his wife. "I
shall try. to do better. But what a
discouragement it is to set down fac
ing a man with scrubby black whis
kers and to know that I'll have to go
on seeing that face until I die. Not
that I want you to shave you under
stand, Jasper, my dear, because your
face is worse thanthe whiskers."
"Well, say!" began the farmer,
and then he checked himself. "I don't
know that I haven't had as much to
suffer seeing your face -so long, my
rLI " Wt.
"Your Face Is Worse Than the
dear," he said. "You wasn't a beauty
when I married you, but I didn't
reckon your complexion would get
so like a tortoise shell tabby cat's."
"I was thinking, Octavia," put in
the son, "that since you haven't any
chance of getting married, with that
fiend's temper which you inherit
from pa, you might as well go out
and work for your living."
"That's odd, Juny," answered his
sister. "I was wondering why you
don't hustle around a bit more, in-