"Success With Small Fruits"

"Success With Small Fruits"  (1893) 
by William James Roe


LAST spring, because my wife was all run down and the children needed out-of-door life, we hired a little place in the country. Among other inconveniences there was a hen-house on the place, which inspired my wife with the notion to keep poultry. She bought a lot of Shanghais and Brahmas, and one day, as I was going to the city, asked me to get her a book about raising chickens.

“Because," said she, “it will be so nice to have our own broilers in September.”

That evening, on my way to the ferry, I stopped at a bookstore and inquired for “The Snare of the Fowler," which was then being advertised. The man looked about on his shelves for a while, and then came back empty-handed.

“I'm sorry," said he, “but we're all out, just at present, of ‘The Snare.’ Here’s another book, though, as good, if not better.”

I looked at the little volume. It was full of pictures, and plans, and receipts, and calculations of profits, but it was the title that took my fancy—“How to Make Money with a Few Hens," by James Pennypacker.

It appears hardly worth while going into the details of our summer's experience. I bought the book, but we didn't have broilers in September. Any amateur chicken fancier can put you in the way of getting further infor- mation if you think it worth while to pursue the subject. It is coming on warm weather now, and some of you— as a change, perhaps, from Newport or Narragansett Pier —may be so far misled as to take a furnished farm. To all such I recommend further inquiry, unless, indeed, this little essay suffices.

Along in the fall, after we had returned to the city, dropped in at the bookstore. The man knew me directly. He was very civil, and asked what I would have.

“Nothing,” I said; “I came in merely to tell you how I liked that book you sold me last spring."

Quite naturally he mistook my meaning.

“Oh! I'm glad you liked it," said he, smiling complacently,” because I wrote it myself—my name's Pennypacker.”

This was even better luck than I had anticipated. “Mr. Pennypacker," said I, “that book proved very instructive to us; now wouldn't you like some sort of a testimonial?"

The man colored, because, I suppose, he had never had a spontaneous offer of that kind before from any victim. He thanked me, and said how grateful he would be.

I went away, promising to send the testimonial by mail, which I did that same day, as follows:

“This is to certify that I purchased in the spring a copy of ‘How to Make Money with a Few Hens,’ by James Pennypacker, and I desire to give my testimony—wholly unsolicited—that the title is not in the least misleading, for the fewer hens you have the more money you will make."

Hudor Genone

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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