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The Hays free press. [volume] (Hays, Kan.) 1908-1924, September 22, 1917, Magazine Section, Image 13

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Walker Mill has so far Dro-1
Raymond Custer, 1st Battery, 1st city than Hays, but the latter city I
This Store will close at 6 o'clock
as t-JjagawmokuninflL-aiiti P. L. PL. Fort-Shexidan. 111,
I has rhp T-t nufarinn nf crt finer whn if I I
to laugh at my Seffy except chust
me account I'm his daddy. It's a
fight-word the next time you do it.
Mr. Busby straightened his coun
tenance. "He don't eeem to notice nor keer
'bout gals do he?"
No one spoke.
"No, durn him, he ain't no good.
Say what'll you give for him, hah?
Yere he goes to the highest bidder for
richer, for poorer, for better, for worser,
up and down, in and out, swing your
partners what's bid? He ken plow
as crooked as a mule's hind leg, sleep
hard as a 'possum in wintertime, eat
like a snake, git left efery time but
he ken ketch fish. They wait on him.
What's bid?"
No one would hazard a bid.
"Yit a minute," shouted the old
fellow, pulling out hia bull's-eye watch
again, "what's bid? Going going
all done going "
"A dollar!"
The bid came from behind him, and
the voice was beautiful to hear. A
gleam came into the old man's eyes
as he heard it. He deliberately put
the "watch back in it3 pocket, put on
his spectacles, and turned, a3 if she
were & str&ncr
"Gone!" he announced then. ""Who's
the purchaser? Come forwards and
take away you' property. What's the
name, please?" Then he pretended to
recognize her. "Oach! Sally! Welt,
thatslucky! He goes in good hands.
He's sound and kind but needs the
whip." He held out his hand foT the
It was the girl of whom he had spoken
accurately as a prize. Her sleeves
were turned up as far as they would go,
revealing some soft lace-trimmed white
ness, and there teas flour on her arms.
Some patches of it on her face gave a
petal-like effect to her otherwise ag
gressive " color. The pretty dress was
nned far enough back to reveal the
prettier petticoat plus a pair of trimly-'
clad ankles.
Perhaps these were neither the gar
ments nor the airs in which every
farmer-maiden did her baking. But
then,' Sally was - no ordinary farmer
maiden. She was all this, it is true,
but she was, besides, grace and color
and charm itself. And if she chose to
bake in such attire or, even, if she
chose to pretend to do so, where was
the churl to say her nay, even" though
the flour was part of a deliberate
"make up" ? Certainly he was not
at the store that summer morn
ing. And Seffy was there. Her hair
escaped redness by only a little. But
that little was just the difference be
tween ugliness and beauty. For,
whether Sally were beautiful or not
about which we might contend a bit
her hai was, and perhaps that is the
reason why it was nearly always un
covered or, possibly, again, because
it was so much uncovered was the
reason it was beautiful. It seemed to
catch some of the glory of the sun.
Her face had a few freckles and her
mouth . was a trifle too large. But,
in it were splendid teeth.
In short, by the magic of brilliant
color and natural grace she narrowly
escaped being extremely handsome
in the way of a sunburned peach, or a
maiden's-blush apple. And even if
you should think she were not hand
some, you would admit that .there was
an indescribable rustic charm about
her. She was like the aroma of the
hay-fields, or the woods, or a field of
daisies, or dandelions.
The girl, laughing, surrendered the
money, and the old man, taking an
arm of each, marched them peremp
torily; away.
"Come to the house and git his
slothes. Eferything goes in 6tofepipe
hat, butterfly necktie, diamond pm,
tooth-brush, hair-oil, razor and soap."
They had got far enough around
the corner to be out of sight of the
rtore, during this gaiety, and the old
man now shoved Seffy and the girl out
in front of him, linked their arms, and
retreated to the rear.
"What Sephenijah P. Baumgartner,
Senior, hath j'ined together, let nobody
put athunder, begoshens!" he an
nounced. The proceeding appeared to be pain
ful to Seffy, but not to Sally. She
frankly accepted the situation and
promptly put into action its oppor
tunities for coquetry. She begged him,
first, with consummate aplomb, to
aid her in adjusting her parcels more
securely, insisting upon carrying them
herself, and it would be impossible to
describe adequately her allures. The
electrical touches, half-caress, half
defiance; the confidential whisperings,
so that the wily old man in the rear
might not hear the surges up against
him; the recoveries only to surge
again these would require a mechanical
contrivance which reports not only
speech but action and even this might
easily fail, so subtle was it all!
"Sef Seffy, I thought it was his
old watch he was auctioning off. I
wanted it for for a nest-egg! aha-ha-ha!
You must excuse me."
"You wouldn't 'a' bid at all if you'd
knowed it was me, I reckon," said
" Yes, I would," declared the coquette.
"I'd rather have you than any nest
egg in the whole world any two of
'em!" and when he did not take his
chance "if they were made of geld!"
But then she spoiled it.
"It's worse fellows than you, Seffy."
The touch of coquetry was but too
"And better," said Seffy, with a
lump in his throat. "I know I ain't
no good with girls and I don't care!"
"Yes!" she assented wickedly.
"There are better ones."
"Sam Pritz "
Sally looked away, smiled, and was
"Sulky Seffy!" she finally said.
"If he does stink of salt mackerel,
and 'most always drunk!" Seffy went
on bitterly. "He's nothing but a
Sally began to drift further away and
to sing. Calling Pritz names was of
no consequence except that it kept
Seffy from making love to her while he
was doing it which seemed foolish to
Sally. The old man came up and
brought them together again.
"Oach! go 'long and make lofe some
more. I like to see it. I expect I am
an old fooL but I like to see it it's
like ol' times yas, and if you don't
look out there, Seffy, I'll take a hand
myself yassir! go 'long!"
He drew them very close together,
each looking the other way. Indeed he
held them there for a moment, roughly.
Seffy stole a glance at Sally. lie
wanted to see how she was taking his
father's odiously intimate suggestion.
But it happened that Sally wanted to
see how he was taking it. She laughed
with the frankest of joy as their eyes
"Seffy I do like you," said the
coquette. "And you ought to know
it. You impl"
Now this was immensely stimulating
to the bashful Seffy.
"I like you," he said "ever since
we was babies."
"Sef I don't believe you. Or you
wouldn't waste your time so about
Sam Pritz!"
"Er Sally where you going to
tonight?" Seffy meant to prove him
self. And Sally answered, with, a little
fright at the sudden aggressiveness she
had procured.
"Nowhere that I know of."
"Well may I set up with you?"
The pea-green sunbonnet could not
conceal the amazement and then the
radiance which Ehot into Sally's face.
" Set upwith me! "
"Yes!" said Seffy, almost savagely.
"That's what I said."
"Oh, I I gues3 so! Yes! of course!"
she answered variously, and rushed off
"You know I own you," she laughed
back, as if she had not been sufficiently
explicit. "I paid for you! Your pap
pys got the money! I'll expect my
property tonight."
" Yas!" -shouted the happy old man,
"and begoshens! it's a regler bargain!
Ain't it, Seffy? You her property
real estate, hereditaments and tene
ments." And even Seffy was drawn
into the joyous laughing conceit of it!
Had he not just done the bravest thing
of his small life?
"Yes!" he cried after the fascinating
Sally. "For sure and certain, to
night!" "It's a bargain!" cried she.
"For better or worseT, richer or
poorer, up an' down, in an' out, chasex
right and left! Aha-ha-ha! Aha-ha-ha!
But, Seffy," and the happy fath
er turned to the. happy son and hugged
him, "don't you efer forgit that she's
a feather-head and got a bright red
temper like her daddy! And they both
work mighty bad together sometimes.
When you get her at the right place
onct well, nail her down hand and
feet so's she can't git away. When
she gits mad her little brain evaporates,
and if she had a nife she'd go round
stabbing her best friends that's the
only sing that safes her yas, and us!
no knife. If she had a knife it would be
funerals following her all the time."
They advanced together now, Seffy's
father .whistling some tune that was
never heard before on earth, and, with
his arm in that of his son, they watched
Sally bounding away. Once more, as
she leaped a fence, she looked laughingly
back. The old man whistled wildly
out of tune. Seffy waved a hand!
"Now you shouting, Seffy! Shout
too late! Go on!'
"Yes!" declared Seffy again.
"Bring forth the stovepipe,
The stovepipe, the stovepipe "
chanted Seffy's frivolous father in the
way of the Anvil Chorus.
"And my butterfly necktie with "
"Wiss the di'mond on?" whispered
his father.
They laughed in confidence of their
secret. Seffy, the successful wooer,
was thawing out again. The diamond
was not a diamond at all the Hebrew
who sold it to Seffy had confessed as
much. But he also swore that if it
were kept in perfect polish no one but
a diamond merchant could tell the
difference. Therefore, there being no
diamond merchant anywhere near, and
the jewel being always immaculate,
Seffy presented it as a diamond and
had risen perceptibly in the opinion of
the vicinage.
"And and and Sef Seffy,
what you goin' to do?"
Seffy had been absorbed in what he
was going to wear.
"Y&3 yas that's the most impor
tant," He encircled Seffy's waist and
gently squeezed it. "Oh, of course!
Hah? But what yilf"
I regret to say that Seffy did not
"Seffv," he said impressively, "you
haT tof1 me what you gain' to wear.
It ain't much. The weather's yit
pooty col' nights. But,I ken stand it
if you ken God know3 about Sallyl
Now, what you goin to do that's the
conuntrum I ast you!"
Still it wa3 not clear to Seffy.
"Why what I'm a-going to do,
hah? Why whatever occurs."
"Gosh-a'miKhty! And nefer say a
Now Seffy understood and laughed word or do a sing or help the occurrences
"I didn't say a
"Well-it ain't
with his father.
"Nice gaL Sef Seffy!"
"Yes!" admitted Seffy with reserve.
Seffy agreed to this, also.
"No doctor-bills!" bis father ampli
fied. Seffy said nothing.
"Entire orphen."
"She's got a granny!"
"Yas," chuckled the old man at
the way his son was drifting into the
situation thinking about granny!
but Sally owns the farm!
'Uhu!' said Seffy, whatever
might mean.
"And Sally's the boss!"
Silence. . '
"And granny won't object to
one Sally marries, anyhow she
sent! Shed git licked!
"Who said anything about marry
ing?" Seffy was speechlessly savage now
as any successful wooer might be.
" Nobody but me, sank you!" said
the old man with equally specious meek
ness. "Look how she ken jump a six
rail fence. Like a three-year filly!
She's a nice gal, Seffy and the farms
jine together her pasture-field and
our corn-field. And she's kissing her
hand backwards! At me or you,
Seffy said he didn't know. And he
did" not return the kiss though he
yearned to.
"Well, I bet a dollar that the first
intial of his last name is Sephanijah P.
Baumgartner, J unior."
"Well!" eaid Seffy with a great
flourish, "I'm going to set up with her
"Oach git out, Sell" though he
knew it. -"You'll
"No, I won't," eaid his father. "I
wouldn't be so durn mean. Nossir!"
Seffy grinned at thi3 subtle foolery,
and his courage continued to grow.
"I'm going to wear my high hat!"
he announced, with his nose quite in
the air.
"No, Sef!" said the -old man with a
wonderful inflectioiij facing him about
that he might look into hi3 determined
face. For it must be explained that
the stovepipe hat, in that day and that
country, was dedicated only to the
most momentous social occasions and
that, consequently, gentlemen wore it
to go courting.
Wliat a setting-up!
rhat you set up
along? Goshens!
Why say Seffy.
Seffy did not exactly know. He had
never hoped to practise the thing in
that sublimely militant phase.
"What do you think?'
"WelL Sef plow straight to her
heart. I wisht I had your chance
I'd show you a other-guess kind of a
setting-up yassir! Make your mouth
warter and your head swim, begoshens!
Why, that Sally's just like a young
stubble-field; got to be worked con
stant, and plowed deep, and manured
heafy, -and mebby drained wiss blind
ditches, an crops changed constant,
and kep' a-going thataway constant
constant so's the weeds can't git in
her. Then you ken put her in wheat
after a while and git your money back."
This drastic metaphor had its effect.
Seffy began to understand. He said
"Now look here, Seffy," his father .
went on more softly, "when you git to
this and ' this and this," he went
.through his pantomime again, and
it included a progressive caressing to
the kissing point "well, chust when
you bose comfortable hah? rrffebby 011
one cheer, what I know it's 60 long
sence I done it myself when you bose
comfortable, ast her chust ast her
ah am! what shell take for the pasture
field! She owns you bose and she
can't use bose you and the pasture.
A bird in the hand is worth seferal in
another feller's not so?"
But Seffy only stopped and stared
at hb father. Thi3, again, he did not
"You know well enough I got no
money to buy no pasture-field," said
"Gosh-a'mighty!" said the old man
joyfully, making as if he would strike
Seffy with his huge fist a thing he
often did. "And ain't got nossing to
" Nothing except the mare! said the
boy. ,
"Say ain't you got no feelings, you
Oh " said Seffy. And then: " But
what's feelings got to do with cow
pasture? "
"Oach! No wonder he wants to
be an anchel, and wiss the anchela
stand holding sing3 in hia hands on
his head! He's too good for this wile
world. He'd linger shiffering on the
(Contirrued en page 7)

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