The raw Irishman was told by the farmer for whom he worked that the pumpkins in the corn patch were mule’s eggs, which only needed someone to sit on them to hatch. Pat was ambitious to own a mule, and, selecting a large pumpkin, he sat on it industriously every moment he could steal from his work. Came a day when he grew impatient, and determined to hasten the hatching. He stamped on the pumpkin. As it broke open, a startled rabbit broke from its cover in an adjacent corn shock and scurried across the field. Pat chased it, shouting:
“Hi, thar! Stop! don’t yez know your own father?”
* * *
The meek-looking gentleman arose hastily and offered his seat in the car to the self-assertive woman who had entered and glared at him. She gave him no thanks as she seated herself, but she spoke in a heavy voice that filled the whole car:
“What are you standing up there for? Come here, and sit on my lap.”
The modest man turned scarlet as he huskily faltered:
“I fear, madam, that I am not worthy of such an honor.”
“How dare you!” the woman boomed. “You know perfectly well I was speaking to my niece behind you.”
* * *
The little man was perfectly harmless, but the lady sitting next to him in the car was a spinster, and suspicious of all males. So, since they were somewhat crowded on the seat, she pushed the umbrella between her knee and his and held it firmly as a barrier. A shower came up, and the woman when she left the car, put up the umbrella. As she did so, she perceived that the little man had followed her. She had guessed that he was a masher, now she knew it. She walked quickly down the side street, and the man pursued through the driving rain. She ran up the steps of her home, and rang the bell. When she heard the servant coming to the door, feeling herself safe at last, she faced about and addressed her pursuer angrily:
“How dare you follow me! How dare you! What do you want, anyhow?”
The drenched little man at the foot of the steps spoke pleadingly:
“If you please, ma’am, I want my umbrella.”
* * *
The traveling salesman instructed the porter that he must leave the train at Cleveland, where he was due at three o’clock in the morning. He explained that violence might be necessary because he did not wake easily. He emphasized his instructions with a generous tip.
The drummer awoke at six in the morning, with Cleveland far behind. In a rage, he sought the porter. The colored man was in a highly disheveled state and his face was bruised badly. His eyes popped at sight of the furious traveling man, who allowed no opportunity for explanations or excuses. He did all the talking, and did it forcibly. When at last the outraged salesman went away, the porter shook his head dismally, and muttered:
“Now, Ah shohly wonder who-all Ah done put off at Cleveland.”
* * *
The assistant minister announced to the congregation that a special baptismal service would be held the following Sunday at three o’clock in the afternoon, and that any infants to receive the rite should be brought to the church at that time.
The old clergyman, who was deaf, thought that his assistant was speaking of the new hymnals, and he added a bit of information:
“Anyone not already provided can obtain them in the vestry for a dollar, or with red backs and speckled edges for one dollar and a half.”
* * *
The child went with her mother on a visit in New Jersey. At bedtime, the little girl was nervous over the strangeness of her surroundings, but the mother comforted her, saying:
“Remember, dear, God’s angels are all about you.”
A little later, a cry from the child called the mother back into the room.
“The angels are buzzing all around just dreadful, mama, and they bite!”
* * *
The new clergyman was coming to call, and the mother gave Emma some instructions:
“If he asks your name, say Emma Jane; if he asks how old you are, say you are eight years old; if he asks who made you, say God made me.”
It is a fact that the clergyman did ask just those three questions in that order, to the first two of which Emma replied correctly. But it is also a fact that when the minister propounded the third query, as to her origin, the child hesitated, and then said:
“Mama did tell me the man’s name, but I’ve gone and forgotten it.”
* * *
The editor of a country newspaper betook himself to a party at the house of a neighbor, where, only a few weeks earlier, a baby had been added to the family. On the editor’s arrival at the house, he was met at the door by his hostess, a woman who suffered to some extent from deafness. After the usual exchange of greetings, the editor inquired concerning the health of the baby. The hostess had a severe cold, and she now misunderstood the visitor’s inquiry concerning the baby, thinking that he was solicitous on her account. So she explained to the aghast editor who had asked about the baby that, although she usually had one every winter, this was the very worst one she had ever had, it kept her awake at night a great deal, and at first confined her to her bed. Having explained thus far, the good lady noticed the flabbergasted air of her guest. She continued sympathetically; saying that she could tell by his looks and the way he acted that he was going to have one just like hers. Then she insisted that, as a precautionary measure for the sake of his condition, he should come in out of the draft and sit down and stay quiet.