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Newspaper Page Text
BILLY SHAFER'S DEAL
By Alice E. Ives
(Copyright, 1917, W. G. Chapman.)
Billy Shafer breezed into town,
and put up at the best hotel. It was
easily the best because there was but
one other, and that was the tavern.
If continued to be called the tavern,
for being devoid of such frivolities
as modern improvements, it pre
ferred like an old decayed family to
maintain the dignity of old traditions.
Billy was a traveling salesman whose
territory being restricted to small
towns, and hence not productive of
large pecuniary returns, was wont
to add to his income by being also a
book agent for a remarkable volume
called, "A Treasury of Unusual
Knowledge." He did not find that
the community at large was yearn
ing for knowledge, still he sold a few
copies in each town, and he did not
get discouraged. That was one beau-
tnui iumg aoout uuiy; no aaverse
fate or series of setbacks ever gave
him a grouch or even dampened his
spirits. This was of course his great
est asset in the business of being a
drummer. It was quite impossible to
rebuff Billy; he bounded back like a
So it was that Billy's visits began
to be looked forward to with some
thing of the expectation of a travel
ing circus. The regular boarders
strolled out of the hotel dining room
and the usual outsiders drifted into
the lobby, and Billy was soon the
center of a group ranging in variety
all the way from Al Barkum, the vil
lage "cut-up," to Emory Bond, dea
con of the Baptist church.
"Still distributing that wonderful
treasury of knowledge!" scoffed one
of the group.
"Yes." answered Billy cheerfully,
"I didn't have time to get around
much before! I expect to sell about
lifty this time."
A chorus of laughter greeted his
answer, but it made no perceptible,
impression on Billy except to cause
him to smilingly join in with the
"Well, I've looked over that book
you know you got me to buy one."
remarked the deacon reproachfully,
"and I didn't find anything unusual
"There is never," said Billy orac
ularly, "anything unusual about true
"You bet there will be something
unusual about your selling any more
"Yes," Answered Billy Cheerfully.
o those books around here," added
the drug clerk rather belligerently.
"Well now," said Billy good na
turedly, "because that kind of knowl
edge don't exactly appeal to you is
no sign that there are not others
whose lives and libraries would ' be
incomplete without it."
The chaffing and laughter that
followed was broken into by Al Bar
kum calling out: "Oh, come on boys!