It was one of a thousand such as the city yawns at every day the shop girl's story of insufficient wages, further reduced by "fines" that go to swell the store's profits; of time lost through illness; and then of lost positions, lost hope, and the knock of the adventurer upon the green door. But to Rudolf the history sounded as big as the Iliad or the crisis in "Junie's Love Test."
Now, Long was a game sport, but that didn't make him lucky. I won his sixteen dollars and then he bet me some whiskey against the lot, and again I won. By the time I had beat him five or six times, had won a good half of the store's contents, and was proposing to play him for his share in the store itself, he cried quits. We loaded our plunder on the wagon.
But from underneath a box of faded gum-drops and the store's one carton of cigars, came some of imitation tortoise-shell, gilt ornamented, of the sort old ladies sometimes stuck into their hirsute knots for mountain "doings" of great elegance, and the best of these Madge bought.
"If the store's closed, he can slip the letter into the box, an' three cents with it, an' they'll put a stamp on in the mornin'."
And to clinch the bargain she then and there paid half a month's rent. "I'll give you the rest when my week at the store's up." "No hurry," said Mrs. Tucker who was handling the money and looking at it with glistening grateful eyes. "Us poor folks oughtn't to be hard on each other though, Lord knows, if we was, I reckon we'd not be quite so poor.
Thus he had builded unwittingly for another future of responsibilities when he had paused in the midst of the store's responsibilities to tell stories of how a desert ranch is run. But one disciple did not even want to wait on the message.
All that day the landseekers pushed their way into the shed annex which served as a dining room of the Halfway House, and filled the table which stretched from end to end. If there was no room for them, they ate lunches from the store's food supply at the counter.
Sealyham says, please choose her a scarf that will go nicely with that brown moire dress of hers. She says you will remember the dress." This popularity became even a bit perplexing, as for instance when old Mrs. Dachshund, the store's biggest Charge Account, insisted on his leaving his beat at a very busy time, to go up to the tenth floor to tell her which piano he thought had the richer tone.
Expectin' it every minute. That store's got a consider'ble sight more expectations in it than it has anything else. They're always six months ahead of the season or behind it in that store. When it's so cold that the snow birds get chilblains they'll have the shelves chuck full of fly paper. Now, when it's hotter than a kittle of pepper tea, the bulk of their stock is ice picks and mittens. Bah!
"The store's right yere, Tom," said his patrons, "an' you're right yere. Ye can write and spell off things 'thout any trouble, an' I reckon ye wouldn't mind the extry two dollars comin' in ev'ry month." "Lord! Lord!" groaned Tom, who was stretched full length on the floor of the porch when the subject was first broached. "Do you want a man to kill himself out an' out, boys?