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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Fulkerson smiled in approval of the joke


"I

see," said March. "But I don't know how you're going to work that idea into an advertisement, exactly."

"Oh, pahaw, now, March! You don't think I've got that on the brain all the time?"

"You were gradually leading up to 'Every Other Week', somehow."

"No, sir; I wasn't. I was just thinking what a different creature a Massachusetts man is from a Virginian, And yet I suppose they're both as pure English stock as you'll get anywhere in America. Marsh, I think Colonel Woodburn's paper is going to make a hit."

"You've got there! When it knocks down the sale about one-half, I shall know it's made a hit."

"I'm not afraid," said Fulkerson. "That thing is going to attract attention. It's well written--you can take the pomposity out of it, here and there and it's novel. Our people like a bold strike, and it's going to shake them up tremendously to have serfdom advocated on high moral grounds as the only solution of the labor problem. You see, in the first place, he goes for their sympathies by the way he portrays the actual relations of capital and labor; he shows how things have got to go from bad to worse, and then he trots out his little old hobby, and proves that if slavery had not been interfered with, it would have perfected itself in the interest of humanity. He makes a pretty strong plea for it."

justify;">March threw back his head and laughed. "He's converted you! I swear, Fulkerson, if we had accepted and paid for an article advocating cannibalism as the only resource for getting rid of the superfluous poor, you'd begin to believe in it."

Fulkerson smiled in approval of the joke, and only said: "I wish you could meet the colonel in the privacy of the domestic circle, March. You'd like him. He's a splendid old fellow; regular type. Talk about spring!

"You ought to see the widow's little back yard these days. You know that glass gallery just beyond the dining-room? Those girls have got the pot-plants out of that, and a lot more, and they've turned the edges of that back yard, along the fence, into a regular bower; they've got sweet peas planted, and nasturtiums, and we shall be in a blaze of glory about the beginning of June. Fun to see 'em work in the garden, and the bird bossing the job in his cage under the cherry-tree. Have to keep the middle of the yard for the clothesline, but six days in the week it's a lawn, and I go over it with a mower myself. March, there ain't anything like a home, is there? Dear little cot of your own, heigh? I tell you, March, when I get to pushing that mower round, and the colonel is smoking his cigar in the gallery, and those girls are pottering over the flowers, one of these soft evenings after dinner, I feel like a human being. Yes, I do. I struck it rich when I concluded to take my meals at the widow's. For eight dollars a week I get good board, refined society, and all the advantages of a Christian home. By-the-way, you've never had much talk with Miss Woodburn, have you, March?"

"Not so much as with Miss Woodburn's father."


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