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WHAT OUR BOYS ABE READING

greased his own platform or not. Next comes Nemesis in the shape of the boy's father. The conversation between these two, and the dénouement, may be worth quoting. In the soliloquy at the end there seems to be a reminiscence of Fisk.

"James," said he, "you are breaking my heart with your incorrigible conduct."

"Is dat a chowder-gag?" calmly inquired Jimmy.

"Slang—slang, always slang!" groaned his father. "James, will you never reform?"

"Don't wanter; I'm good enough now."

"Think of what you might be, a pattern boy, a—"

"Brass-bound angel, silver-plated cherub, little tin missionary on rollers," put in Jimmy, apparently in confidence to a fly on the ceiling.

"Actually sassing his protector," the deacon said. "Oh, James, you wicked son of Belial."

"Pop's name was Dennis, and he was a short-haired Cincinnati ham," indignantly corrected Jimmy. "I don't know anybody named Belial."

The deacon made a horrified mouth.

"Will you never hearken in quietude and meekness of spirit to words of reproval and advice?" said he.

"Darned sight ruther listen to funny stories," muttered Jimmy.

"You are hopeless," sighed the deacon, "and I shall have to chastise you."

"Dat means a week's soreness," Jimmy reflected; then he changed his tune. "Let me off this time, dad, and I'll be the best boy you ever saw after dis. Stay in nights, stop chewing tobacco, clean my teeth every morning, and welt the life out of anybody dat won't say their prayers regular and go to church every day in the week."

The deacon nodded his head the wrong way.