Page:O Henry Prize Stories of 1924.djvu/157

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PROF. BOYNTON REREADS HISTORY

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“Yes. He was at the State University when I was, and ever since——”

“Ever serve on a jury yourself?”

"I’m exempt. As a teacher——”

“It’s ten or twelve years since you did any teaching.”

“Teaching is my profession, though, and naturally ——" He saw the application of the question and was silent.

“What does Adams do?”

“He’s a doctor.”

“That exempts him. Adamson?”

“He’s retired now. He was formerly counsel——’’

“Exempt, then.”

He read off three more names. At the end of the next three he got up and moved his chair over to his brother’s.

“It'll be quicker to run down the page and check the exceptions. Know Agnew?—Allen, A. R.?—Allen, R. N.?—Alliger?”’

“Alliger? I don’t know any Alliger——— Oh, yes, he does odd jobs. He brought me some fertilizer once.”

“And you probably objected to the price and he’s had it in for you ever since. He’ll be eligible—Alsberg?”’

They had turned one page and were halfway down the second before Boynton raised his head from above the book.

“I think we needn’t go any farther. I think I see your point.”

“Let’s see what we’ve got, then: one odd-jobs man; one truck farmer—he may get off, it’s just a chance if we get him; one garbage man’s helper; one you don’t know; one delivery-wagon driver What’d you say about him? I’ve got him checked twice.”

“I said I’d asked Breck to discharge him because of the way he got orders mixed. If he isn’t feeble-minded——”

“He won’t be too feeble-minded to remember that—you can bank on his having that much mind; nor too feeble-minded to get accepted, either, so long as he’s outside an institution. You see what it comes down to. That’s what brought me down as fast as I could travel. I didn’t know anything about this town, but I knew what towns full of retired lawyers and bankers and professors and cultured classes generally, are always like. Look at Boston! Rottenest city government—— You wouldn’t think now of what I said a