Tuesday, January 5, 2021

'When Jim Come Home From College' updated with undated, typed verion:





When Jim come home frum college, wall, I allus hate tur say

So very much consarnin’ thet air mortifyin’ day,

But somehow in the evenin’ when a neighbor straggles in,

I ruther like tur rezzerrect thet sarcumstance ag’in.

He hadn’ b’en home fur three hull years, becuz, his letters said,

He’d ruther save the money fur his college work instead.

An’ Til an’ I wuz proud uv him, an’ worked an’ scrimped each day

Tur eddicate our Jimmy in the mos’ prerficient way.


When Jim come home frum college ‘twuz a day uv ginral joy,

Fur Gungawamp hed allus loved thet harum-scarum boy,

An’ off an’ on the “Hawkeye,” an’ the “Gungawamp Gazette”

Hed proffersied thet James Bellew would be a scholar yet.

An’ frien’s dropped in, in meetin’ clothes, an’ made excuse tur stay

When Jim come home frum college on thet long remembered day.

Wall, I druv tew the station fur the local mornin’ train,

An’ waited fur her whistle with a sort uv happy pain

A-swellin’ in my bosom, ‘cuz like a durn’d ol’ fool,

I wuz proud uv my investmunt which I’d made off thire tur school.


An’ I joked the station marster, an’ I cut a wing or tew,

When I heerd the local whistle an’ she swung roun’ into view.

Wall, a cussed dood alighted, but I didn’t stop fur him,

I jogged erlong down further lookin’ everywhere fur Jim;

An’ when the train departed I wuz feelin’ purty blue

When thet idjut with the glasses said, “Bah jove, ol’ boy, how do!

It’s me, Guv’nor, Joimes, doncher know, aw yaas, aw yaas, aw yaas,”

An’ ef I hedn’t hollered he’d be’n “awin’” yet, I guess.

I looked him over, head tur foot, an’ eyed him threw an’ threw,

An’' when I’d foun’ my voice I says, “By thunder, is this yew?”

“Aw yaas,” said Jim, but I, says I, “Git in the waggin there,

I’ll drive down threw the ‘Willers,’ not down the street, I swear!”


An’ so we rode in silunce ‘cept when Jim said “Bah Jove,”

Ez Mandy Mullenjay scorched by, awheel fur “Cedar Grove;”

But I warn’t much affected tho, till Til thire at the gate

Wuz waitin’, like an’ angel, fur thet doodish reprerbate.

An’ when I saw her countenance go down like snow in May

I felt like thrashin’ Jim Bellew an’ turnin’ him away.

But mother, wall she ain’t like me, she kissed him with a sigh,

An’ thought thet she could civilize him mebbie by an’ by.

The neighbors they wuz sorry, an’ they kind uv slunk away,

An’ the gran’ reception fizzled on thet long remembered day.



                         (It either ends there or the second page is missing)

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Dude (Prize Poem)


                                   THE DUDE.


                                         (Prize Poem.)


’Twas springtime in the quaint old town, tho’ somewhat raw and bleak,

And stormy winds still beat the panes with dismal howl and shriek;

And from the Northward mountain peaks the snow came melting down,

Swelling the river to a race, which madly passed the town.

A youth warm-clad in fashion’s garb alighted from the stage; –

An invalid he looked to be, of wealthy parentage,

Who sought to find a boarding place within the town remote,

Where to restore his broken health in forest, field and boat.

The village folk were good of heart and kindly as a rule,

But looked on fashion as a thing to scoff and ridicule;

So when the natty college youth at front doors did appear,

He met the same forbidding words, “No dudes are wanted here.”


    *               *               *               *               *            *

The day grew faint, the rain still beat, and high above the town

A dam gave way, and in the swirl huge wreckage floated down;

And through the dusk someone discerned a cabin drifting by,

On which a child lay helplessly with hands stretched toward the sky.

An eager crowd rushed to the bank, no boat was near at hand,

When lo, a stranger from the rear with lightning movements shed

His outer clothes and plunged the stream with naught of fear or dread.

With rapid strokes he reached the babe the while the people cheered;

A score of hands were reaching down when he the dark shore neared.

And when they drew him up the bank, beneath the lantern rude,

A cry of great surprise went up – it was the college dude!

Strong, loving hands bore him away, and by his side for weeks

Kind hearts held watch, till come again the health-glow lit his cheeks.

And when he greets the fair old town, where he sojourns each year,

They wring his hand and nobly say, “Such dudes are wanted here.”



'The Platitudes' added to 'Short Pieces' page

Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Page added - 'Commentary - 'The Selfishness of the People'

New Story added to pages: 'The Brand'

New Story added: 'Chewitt Knew a Good Dog'


Joe Cone




                                               C H E W I T T   K N E W   A  G O O D   D O G .

                                                           By Joe Cone, Author of “The Waybackers.”     


“I say we are not going to have a strange dog in our kitchen. Just look at the dirt he has tracked in! When will you ever have any common sense about animals?” and Mrs. Chewitt gathered up her skirts and made for the back door for the purpose of opening it. The dog, by natural instinct, shrank closer to his defender.

“But he’s all right,” protested Mr. Chewitt; “he’s a good dog. He followed me all the way from the car track; stuck to me like a brother, as it were, and I’m not going to send him away hungry. Good doggie, good doggie, ain’t you, old fellow?” and Chewitt stroked the head of his new-found friend sympathetically.

“He’s a great, nasty, ugly-looking brute, and I don’t want him in the house, and what’s more I’m not going to have him. I have the cleaning up to do,” persisted Mrs. Chewitt, decidedly.

“Just a moment, dear, and I’ll let him out; poor old fellow, he’s hungry and I shall give him a bite to eat, won’t I, old chap? Course I will, good doggie,” and Chewitt started for the pantry, the dog following closely.

“Don’t let him in there!” shrieked Mrs. Chewitt, and the dog, frightened by her shrill voice, darted ahead of Chewitt through the door.

“Well,” said Mrs. Chewitt, sweeping majestically into the dining room, “when you have done with feeding stray curs and have gotten the kitchen hoed out I will proceed to put your dinner on the table.”

“But he’s not a cur, Julia,” protested Chewitt, turning in the door and calling after her. “If you knew anything about dogs you could easily see that. He’s blooded stock; simon pure Irish setter, handsome and intelligent. O, I know dogs from A. to Z. I tell you he’s all right.”

Chewitt was about to say something additional when a crash came from behind him, and as he turned to see what the matter was the blooded stock shot past him with a pound of porterhouse steak grasped firmly between his jars. Seeing no other outlet from the kitchen the dog headed for the dining room. Mrs. Chewitt caught a glimpse of dangling, red meat, backed by two fierce looking eyes, and letting out a shriek she fled to her bedroom and slammed the door.

The dog circled the dining room several times, then met Chewitt who was coming with an uplifted broom, face to face at the threshold.

“Charge! Charge!” he commanded.

The blooded stock failed to obey orders, but sailed between his benefactor’s legs into the kitchen.

“Charge I tell you!” roared Chewitt, striking at the dog and hitting the gas range between the eyes.

Towser again took to the dining room, upsetting Mrs. Chewitt’s pet fern. A loud crash resounded throughout the flat, followed by shrieks from the bedroom, growls from the bloodied stock and curses from the one who had taken him in.

“Let him out! Let him out!” screamed Mrs. Chewitt from behind her locked door.

“Not until he gives up that piece of meat, dod gast him!” shouted her husband, now armed with a rolling pin in one hand and a stove poker in the other.

Stealthily he entered the dining room. Towser was crouched under the table. Chewitt tiptoed around behind him with uplifted pin. It was close quarters in which to make a bulls-eye. The pan descended, but not on the blooded stock. It simply took a chunk out of the gingerbread work that decorated the middle leg of the table. With a growl and a mad scramble the dog once more sought to kitchen.

“Let him out, I say!” Again commanded Mrs. Chewitt. “Let him have the meat! He’s a good dog, and you wanted to feed him!” this sarcastically.

It seemed the only wise course to pursue and after a moment’s debate with himself Chewitt sidled through the kitchen and opened the back door. He didn’t have to tell Towser that the door was ajar. He was an intelligent dog and knew what to do when the opportunity offered. A streak of blooded stock shot into the night, followed by a half-filled coal scuttle.

A moment later Mrs. Chewitt appeared. After coldly surveying the wreckage she surveyed her husband.

“He was a stranger and I took him in,” said Chewitt, meekly.

“Yes, and he took your dinner; that’s the only satisfactory thing to me about it,” snapped his wife. “Now you can eat vegetables and pie for dinner. It serves you just right.”

“I didn’t care for meat tonight, anyway,” returned Chewitt, sulkily.

“O, no, of course not; but if I had had none something would have dropped. I suppose you would have given it to Fido, anyway, wouldn’t you?”

Chewitt didn’t deem a reply necessary and went out after the coal scuttle.




Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Added to 'The Sputta Comedies' page



                                                          THE SPUTTA COMEDIES

                                                                       By Joe Cone.


                                                 Sputta Shows His Skill As A Dry-Land Fisherman.


“What in the world are you rummaging in that closet for, Stephen Sputta?” queried his wife, espying a pair of prostrate legs protruding from the storage room door.

“Huntin’ for my fishin’ tackle? he replied, sneezing, and vainly trying to dodge an avalanche of falling boxes and bundles.

Alas! As an artful dodger he was a failure. Two or three of the pieces clipped him on his bald pate, and he was nearly buried in the boxslide. He backed out, red and furious.

“It’s a wonder you wouldn’t pile stuff up as high as a mountain!” he roared, rubbing his cranium. “I s’pose you would only the ceiling interfered. Perhaps, now the damage is done, you can tell me where my fishpole is?”

“Why, it isn’t in there at all,” she said, chuckling behind her handerchief, “it’s behind your roll-top desk. No,” she continued, interrupting one of his shots, “you put it there yourself.”

“I wasn’t after that alone,” he blurted, “I wanted the box of tackle also.”

“That is in the lower drawer of your desk. You are not going trouting, are you, Stephen?” she asked, sweetly. “You know it is closed season on trout, besides the puddle in the back yard is frozen over.”

“Trout fishin’, no! Drat it all, don’t you s’pose I know when it’s time to go fishin’? You don’t need to tell me. I just want to get the stuff out and put it in order, that’s all. Kinder want to get my hand in, so to speak. What’s the point of having stuff if you don’t look it over once in a while and enjoy it?” and Sputta’s enthusiasm outbalancing his injuries, he rushed about and soon had his rod, tackle and various sundries, so to speak, all over the place.

“There, said he,” switching his $2.98 rod, ain’t that a peach of a whip? That’ll bend up double, Maria, and won’t break. Just listen to this reel! Zing-g! Ain’t that music to the ear? Gee, many a time I’ve heard that sing in woodlands deep! Ah, Maria, little you know about the joys and blessings of nature! And, say, I can cast some, too. Believe me, I can land a fly 50 feet away, inside of a six inch circle. That’s going some for a fellow who don’t get out but once a year.”

All the while Sputta was delivering his gay monologue he was putting his gear together. He placed the reel in the butt, strung in his line and attached thereto a large white fly.

“Get onto this!” he exclaimed, and giving his wrist a dexterous turn, he landed the fly on top of a sofa pillow.

“You’d better be careful, Stephen Sputta, this isn’t any woodland deep,” warned his wife, moving her chair as far away as the wall would allow.

“Just see pussy there, curled up on the sofa,” chuckled Sputta, with boyish glee, “We’ll suppose he’s a black stump, with a trout just underneath. I can land this fly just an inch this side of him.”

“Don’t you hook that cat!” cried Mrs. Sputta, in alarm.

“Who’s goin’ to hook him? Don’t I know my bus’ness?” demanded Sputta, making the case. The fly sailed across the room and landed lightly on pussy’s back.

“There,” laughed Sputta, “within an inch of the mark the first time. Ain’t that some castin’?”

Pussy felt a trembling on his fur and looked up.

“Take it away, Stephen, take it away!” exclaimed Mrs. Sputta, “He’ll think it’s a miller and try to eat it!”

“Huh, you can’t fool a cat like that,” answered Sputta, giving the rod a twitch.

But the hook didn’t return to the angler as he had anticipated; instead it turned slightly and prodded the wondering cat in the region of the spine. Evidently pussy thought another cat had given him a dig, and with a hiss he went into the air. When he descended to the floor two or three sofa pillows followed him, and there was a general mix-up. For an instant cat, sofa pillows and fishline were in a tangle, with poor Sputta not knowing whether to reel in or pay out. Finally the cat freed himself and bolted for the kitchen. The skilled angler, thinking the hook might still be imbedded in the cat’s back, hurried forward, and jamming the end of his rod against the door casing, broke about six inches off the tip.

“Drab the cat, anyway!” he exclaimed, looking at the broken rod sorrowfully.

“Now I hope you’re satisfied!” snapped Mrs. Sputta, tiptoeing to the kitchen in search of pussy.

“Satisfied?” echoed Sputta, “I hope the ding-dang cat’s satisfied, making such a fuss over a little pin prick! Now it will cost me a dollar to get my rod fixed again.”

“Well, that’s getting out of your trip pretty cheap, isn’t it?” asked Mrs. Sputta, returning with pussy in her arms.

“Cheap, trip, what do you mean?”

“Why, the last time you went fishing it cost you $6, and you didn’t get anything, either,” she replied, sweetly.






New Story added - Cap'ns Three


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

New Page added: 'Booklet: Christmas on the Farm' & "Christmas Time in Gungywamp'

Added to the page 'Short Pieces'.

                 THE PRETTY LADY


                    By Joe Cone


The pretty lady came to board at the next house. She seemed a long distance away, however, from the fact that we weren’t on speaking terms with our next door neighbors. I never could understand why we didn’t speak to the Olivers, or why they didn’t speak to us. I had never dared question my parents because they frowned so when the name Oliver was mentioned. But I was only 12 years old and wasn’t supposed to know things.

Uncle Jack created consternation in our household by one of his blunt remarks. It was about the pretty lady. He was sitting on the porch. After the pretty lady passed he turned to my mother and said: “Thank heaven, at least there is a handsome woman in town!” To say the least this was not very complimentary to my mother and my two aunts, for they were considered extremely good looking. I had often thought that if I had been a young man when my mother was a girl I should certainly have worshipped at her feet. And next to her came her two sisters, my aunts. They were still in their twenties, and were beautiful to look upon. So, with them, I felt that Uncle Jack’s remark about the pretty lady was unjust and cruel.

Uncle Jack was a bachelor, and was down from the city. He hardly seemed to know what to do with himself until the pretty lady came. After that he appeared to take new interest in country life.




Thursday, December 17, 2020

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Added to the 'Short Pieces' page:




Several years ago when I left the stress and confinement of the big city I purchased a run down country place – perhaps a small farm. I think I purchased this particular place for two reasons – because it was run down, and I might have the pleasure of building it up again, and because it was possessed by a scraggly old orchard. At once I could imagine bluebirds flitting through the old trees. We took the place in May. Instead of doing what I should have done at first, perhaps, fixing up the trellises and the like for the gentle madam, I built 12 cages for the bluebirds and hung them from the orchard branches. They came, 12 pairs of them, and we had a most delightful blue and green summer. Those bright flashes of blue we will never forget.

Early fall came and the bluebirds with their young disappeared. Then came the pirates, the idlers, the noisy good for nothing, the English sparrows. They took possession and looked forward to a prosperous and snug winter. “Never mind,” we argued, “when our friends the bluebirds appear next spring they will put the usurpers to rout.” Spring came and so came the bluebirds, but the foreigners refused to be routed. We tried the “Shooing” process, and in fact about everything except actual murder, in our efforts to assist the bluebirds to regain their rightful property. It was a hopeless task. Possession appears to be about 10 points of the law with the English sparrow. We tried blocking the doorways of the cages for a time, but while that hindered the sparrow, it didn’t help the bluebird. And the sparrow was always the closest by to make a dash when the barrier should be removed.

During a heavy blow one of the cages came down. I removed the bottom, emptied it of its contents, repainted it on the outside, and putting on a stronger wire, hung it up again. In this instance a pair of bluebirds got there first! They went in, looked around and appeared to be satisfied. The same rule of possession appears to be true of the bluebird. They stayed. The battle lasted for days, but the sparrows finally withdrew. This gave me the key to the situation. Now, every fall, I take the cages down, house them for the winter, clean them and freshen them with a coat of paint and put them out at the first sign of bluebirds in the spring. Not in every case do the bluebirds get there first, but a large percentage of them do and we still have the joy of seeing them dash across the lawn and hear their refreshing melodies in the morning.

If anyone tells you that birds are loth to enter a painted cage you must not believe them entirely. I was brought up in that belief. We have scores of cages of various kinds on our place and every one of them is painted. Usually they have green sides with red roofs; some have white sides with green roofs. None of our cage living birds appear to be hesitant to enter a painted house.



Added to 'Short Pieces' page:




Jim belonged to a detachment which had been brought from the city to guard a certain bridge somewhere in ---------. And Jim was some sentry. In less than two days he was in the guard house for leaving his post and becoming engaged in a fist battle with a fellow private. Inasmuch as Jim had emerged victorious it was quite natural that the sergeant should inflict upon him the heavier punishment. For a long time the prisoner asserted that he was simply carrying out his general orders. The officer found out that a pretty girl was at the bottom of the affair and was puzzled to know what she had to do with Jim’s general orders. Under a threat of severer punishment Jim was induced to speak.

“General order number one, sir,” said Jim.

The sergeant nodded.

“It tells me to guard all government property in view, sir, does it not?”

The officer was forced to acknowledge the truth of the statement.

“Well, sir, this guy here was bothering Miss ----- against her will. She had a date with me when my time was up.”

“Well, how does that clear you?” snapped the sergeant.

“General order number one, sir; she’s the post-master’s daughter!”