''Him? No, says the man. 'He's got an appetite like a chorus girl at 1 a.m.

''How'd you get this pipe? says Tapley to me. 'Eating too many pork chops last night?

'I pulls out the paper and shows him the ad.

''Fake, says he. 'Don't know anything about it. You've beheld with your own eyes the marvelous, world-wide porcine wonder of the four-footed kingdom eating with preternatural sagacity his matutinal meal, unstrayed and unstole. Good morning.

'I was beginning to see. I got in the wagon and told Uncle Ned to drive to the most adjacent orifice of the nearest alley. There I took out my pig, got the range carefully for the other opening, set his sights, and gave him such a kick that he went out the other end of the alley twenty feet ahead of his squeal.

'Then I paid Uncle Ned his fifty cents, and walked down to the newspaper office. I wanted to hear it in cold syllables. I got the advertising man to his window.

''To decide a bet, says I, 'wasn't the man who had this ad. put in last night short and fat, with long black whiskers and a club-foot?

''He was not, says the man. 'He would measure about six feet by four and a half inches, with corn-silk hair, and dressed like the pansies of the conservatory.

'At dinner time I went back to Mrs. Peevy's.

''Shall I keep some soup hot for Mr. Tatum till he comes back? she asks.

''If you do, ma'am, says I, 'you'll more than exhaust for firewood all the coal in the bosom of the earth and all the forests on the outside of it.

'So there, you see,' said Jefferson Peters, in conclusion, 'how hard it is ever to find a fair-minded and honest business-partner.'

'But,' I began, with the freedom of long acquaintance, 'the rule should work both ways. If you had offered to divide the reward you would not have lost—'

Jeff's look of dignified reproach stopped me.

'That don't involve the same principles at all,' said he. 'Mine was a legitimate and moral attempt at speculation. Buy low and sell high—don't Wall Street endorse it? Bulls and bears and pigs—what's the difference? Why not bristles as well as horns and fur?'

Вы читаете The Ethics of Pig
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