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Because Benjamin Was "Sot"
ONE time when I was spending my vacation in that <-dd part of Northern Pennsylvania known as the Hemlock Belt. 1 was driving through portion of it described a> the Kettle Creek District, .-.:•.<! . >::.<• to a neat-looking backwoods clearing, where a house was on one side of the road and a corn-field . <1 a big turnip patch stretched away on the other -Me. As I was passing the house I heard some one hailing. .he call came from down in the turnip patch. Looking i ■ that direction, I saw a woman standing near the : ■.-. or end <■;" the field, waving her hands above her . .id. Hello!" she shouted. "I guess you better come ■ vvn here right away an* give me a lift with Ben imin!"* Then I saw a man in a half-sitting posture among • turnips. He e.idently was disabled, and I got - of my buckboard. hurriedly tied my horse, and ened toward the spot to give the hailing woman desired "lift." When I arrived there I saw that l!k man was pah-. He m '.king about him in a • 1 way. One arm hung limp at his side. His cheek was discolored and swollen. Near him : > a double-barreled shot-gun. What is the matter, my good woman?" I ufced ■■ the apparently troubled, yet cool and collected • -aan who had called to me. "Tartly bar," she replied; "but mostly 'cause B njamin is so sot in his ways. Vender is the bar. This here is Benjamin." She waved her hand toward a stone wall <■:! i.j her !' v as she spoke. I glanced in that direction. I: an angle of the wall, not more thai lifty feet away. lay a huge l«nar. dead. Before I could ask .:• y further in the way of ex planation. Benjamin had come around - we. and made an effort to get r.v m his feet — and with the aid of I . - wife and myself he succeeded. He was tottery, though, and it was j.'.an; that his injured arm fgimi him. and his cheek was swelling visibly and getting blacker and I 'lacker. "Mother." said he. after a help less look at his wife, "you was right. Nine would 'a' been enough." "Benjamin is sot in his ways." .i.l his wife to me: "but when it's ; 'nuked inter him that he's wrong be owns up like a man." We heliied Benjamin back to the h mar His wife took a big tin I <m that hung on a peg in the i.iT. hen, and blew a blast on it out . A the back door. Then she went to km. lading up Benjamin. In the come of ten minutes or so a big. !'!.iuny w. xxlsman, who had been v.orking somewhere about the clear ing, tame running to the house in n -jx-nse to the ltlast <«i the horn. 'I'ete, 1 ' said Mrs. Benjamin. " Benjamin has tumbled his bar; lut he's kind o' disliggered hisself :.->!• .in' of it. So meblje you better : uftle over to the Forks and tell 'cm to send the doctor." I\te hurried away, and Benja min, having been made compara thely easy by the ministrations of bio wife, looked at me and said: " You see it all come from — " "Benjamin," interrupted ilu wife, mildly but firmly, "it all co"^ from y«ur bein' so sot in your ways." "Mother." said Benjamin, "ad niittin* of it, an' acknowle<l^in' that you're right, an' that nine would V been a-plenty, yit s'posin' I hadn't heenl that (juail whistle SUNDAY MAGAZINE, for OCTOBER 30. 1904 By ED MOTT down there on the fur edge of the turnip patch?" "An* s'posm' you hadn't been so sot in your ways as to be bound to go and hunt that quail?" responded his wife. "That's so, mother." assented Benjamin. Then addressing himself to mo, he continued: "This here is how it started, anyhow. I was standin' on t'other side o' the road vender yistiddy, lookin' over the turnip-patch fence, when I heerd a quail whistlin' down on the fur side o' the patch, nigh the edge o' the woods. I says to myself that I didn't know whether it had been predestinated fer me to have quail fer supper or not; but anyhow, I says, I'm goin ter give the good old doctrine a show fer itself. "So I come to the house and told mother about the quail, an' how I had an' idee that I'd take th ■ gun and go down in the turnip patch and mebbe git a quail for supper. Mother she allowed that I'd be foolish to waste time on quail. "It'll more than likely be three miles away from the turnip patch before you kin git down there with the gun,' she says. "But I argued that I thought I knowed quail an" what 'in. ul was in the habit o' doin', an' I took the shot-gun and went out." "Powerful sot! Powerful sot!" interrupted Mrs. Benjamin, with an eloquent shake of her head. "I went down sly as a fox to Yds where I had heerd the quail," Beniamin resumed; "but I couldn't find it nowheres, an' I didn't hear it whistlin' no more. (iucs> mother's pooty nigh right,' I says; an' I "There W»« That Bar Loo Kin" Me Squar' in the Face" sot down on top o' the stun' wall, ponderin' like. I hadn't sot there long when I heerd a noise off in the brush, an" lookin' round I most tumbled off the wall, fer I seen a sousin' big bar come slommixin' along, as if he didn't hey' no idee where he had come from, nor where he was bound fer. "'Socks!' says I, soon as I could git ray breath. 'I must git that bar! What's quail longside o' bar? I says. "So lup an' blazed away with both bar 'ls o' the gun at him; but he didn't drop. He jest stopped an' looked around, as if he mowt be astin' me what ever could a' sot me up to do setch a thing. Then he started ahead agin, keerless as ever. I watched him till he got out o' sight, an' then I happened to think that quail shot want calculated to tear many holes in a bar, an' I come back home feelin' streaky." Here the good wife broke in again. "Benjamin," said she, "is as good a farmer as ever follered a plow in the Hemlock Belt ; but his 'arly eddication as a hunter was neglected most amazin'." "When I come in," continued Benjamin, "I says to mother. 'Mother,' I says, 'if I had gone out loaded fer bar, I wouldn't 'a' been able to see my way, the quail would 'a' been flyin' so thick; hut I was recon noit'rin" fer quail, 1 I says, 'an' all I flushed was a bar most as big as a yearlin' colt. But my dander is up now,' I says, 'an' if that bar comes sloshin' 'round to-morrow he'll run agin a snag.' I says. 'I'll hev 1 somethin' along with me to-morrow down in that old turnip patch that'll tickle his hide, I'll bet you!' I says. "'Better let it be.' says mother. "'Mother,' says 1, 'my dander is up, an' bar blood has got to flow!' "So this mornin', my dander bein' riz as bad as ever, I says to mother: 'Mother,' I says, "I guess I'll load the gun fer bar now. Thirty-nine buck-shot in each bar'l will be about the fit heft fer him.' I says. "'" ' You mean nine, Benjamin,' says mother. ""Mother, 1 says I, 'thirty-nine!' ""Nine buck-shot, Benjamin,' says mother, "is a big load fer a gun. Less than that.' says she, "has killed elephants an' tigers.' ""'Nine buck-shot, mother,' s;ays I, 'wouldn't more than stir up the hail on a coon,' I says. 'I'm prowlin' fer bar, mother.' says I, 'an thirty-nine buck-shot in each bar'l is what my perscription calls fer.' I says. "An' 1 poured 'em in an' rammed 'em down good an' strong, and went down in the turnip patch. I guess I hadn't been there more than an hour pullin' turnips, when I made a turn in the patch, an' there was that b'arlookin' me squar 1 in the face! I remember goin' back'ards till 1 c» MM to where my gun was layin 1 , and I remember gittin' it an' p'intin' it at the bar an' firm. What was the perceedin's follerin' o' them, mother? Things kind o' shet down on me after the gun belched." "Well. Benjamin." said the farm er's wife, "when I heerd the gun go off I says to myself: 'There's setch a thing as that bar not bein' hit if he was in front o' that gun, 'cause Benjamin ain't no Davy Crockett as to shoot in'; but that gun,' I says, 'hain't missed nothin 1 that mowt 'a' been behind it, the way it was loaded, an' so I'll go an' see which is doubled up the worst, Benjamin or the bar. So I went an' found 13