Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/164

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profanity. Nothing is so painful as a crooked tack in the middle of one's foot. A broken heart doesn't hold half so much anguish, and a boil is a blessing in comparison.

This man who lives so far from Maple Street had a splendid bath ; and when he had rubbed his skin into a glow with a crash-towel as rough as a pig's back, he gathered his socks, and, backing up to the only chair in the room, sat down to put them on.

Every tack in that saucer saw him coming down.

Every last tack smiled in anticipation of the dénoûment, and stood on its head, and reached for him.

Every last solitary individual and collective tack fetched him, got him, and held to him.

He dropped his socks, and rose from that chair with an abruptness that knocked his head against the ceiling. He came down, and waltzed wildly round and round the room, shrieking and yelling, gyrating madly with his arms, while his eyes stuck out so far they hung down. He howled until the neighbors besieged the house, yet he wouldn't let any of them in. At last his yells died away; but they could hear his breath hiss between his set teeth, while at short intervals would come a yell, supplemented by the remark, "There's another out!" In about three-quarters of an hour the yells ceased entirely, the window was opened, and a shower of tacks fell over the assembled and wondering multitude; while a large saucer skimmed across the street, and smashed against the side of a house opposite.

Nobody knows what ails the man, for he will not tell any one a thing about it: but he takes his meals off the mantelpiece all the same; and, when he sits, he sits down on his hip, for all the world as though he wore a "tied-back." But he doesn't. It's a tacked-back that ails him.

J. M. Bailey.


The power to discern right amid all the wrappings of interest, and all the seductions of ambition, was singularly his. To choose the lowly; for their sake to abandon all favor, all power, all comfort, all ambition, all greatness,—that was his genius and glory. He confronted the spirit of the