THE CLODHOPPER AND THE BALD-HEADED MAN

Part 1 of 6

Source:  The Crittenden Record. (Marion, Ky.) 1904-1907, January 5, 1906, Image 1 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.

 

[A story of love and business told in verse, and written expressly for
THE RECORD by Robert C. Haynes, author of "Dark Days and Bright."]

 

I.

A man once there was who, of hopping the clods
Grew tired and tho't he would carry the hods.
Joe Turk was his name, and there scarcely could be
Found a man anywhere that was better than he.

"I'm tired of the farm and of farming," said Turk;
"I prefer a good job where there's not so much work.
Almost any profession, I think, at all odds,
Would suit me much better than hopping the clods."

"I'm tired of the shovel, the rake and the hoe;
Of the ax and the pitchfork, the spade and the froe;
Of sowing and reaping; of steering the plow;
Of driving the mules and of milking the cow."

II.

So Joe left the farm, for the city he hied,
And, joining a union, for work he applied.
"Could we give you a job? Well, I think, Turk, we can,
For, to carry up hods we are needing a man."

"That suits me exactly, and to it I'll stick!
To carry up ladder the mortar and brick,
When compar'd to clod-hopping, is playing." said Turk;
"For the man at the top, after all, does the work."

So the bargain was finish'd, and Joe went to work;
While the man at the top shouted: "Give us brick, Turk!"
"Ah, this is much better than turning the sod,"
Murmur'd Joe, greatly pleas'd, as he shoulder'd his hod.

III.

Now Joe loved a maid--sweet, bright-eyed Imogene--
And an expert was she on the writing machine;
And so day after day--as such was her plan--
She was dictated to by a bald-headed man.

When the day's work was over, however, and she
From the bald-headed man and dictation was free,
She tho't it so nice--and perhaps it was so!--
To sit with and talk to and listen to Joe.

And Joe, when the man at the top ceas'd to work,
And cried: "Time is up! Not another brick, Turk."
Tho't it was just splendid--and so 'twas, I ween!--
To sit and converse with his sweet Imogene.

IV.

And so the time pass'd, and Miss Imogene Moss--
Still dictated to by her bald-headed boss--
At eight and at five, and the hours between,
Was pounding away on the writing machine.

And Joe, far advanc'd from the hopping of clods,
Continued his job--that of lifting up hods--
From morning till ev'ning, with scarcely a stop,
He carried the brick to the man at the top.

And the bald-headed man--pretty Imogene's boss--
Mused, figuring over his profit or loss,
"What scoundrelly fellow will dare come between
My bright-eyed expert and her writing machine?"

V.

The "candles were lit in the parlor," when Joe,
One ev'ning, walked out toward Middleton Row.
He had laid down his hod, for not once did he shirk,
Till the man at the top shouted: "Lay it down, Turk!"

Imogene in the parlor sat waiting for Joe--
Impatiently waiting--why was he so slow?
While across in the store of her boss could be seen
The silent and grim-visag'd writing machine.

Down the street walked Joe proudly and briskly, his mind
At peace with himself and the world of mankind,
When a voice came in greeting: "Say, Joe," it began,
"To what point are you steering?" 'Twas the bald-headed man!

VI.

"I'm late, must get on, sir, as fast as I can;
I've no time to converse with a bald-headed man."
Answered Joe, while the distance was less'ning between
Himself and the home of his dear Imogene.

"The impudent, clod-hopping scamp." mused the boss.
"If the rascal succeeds it will be to my loss;
I must, therefore, break up this affair, if I can--
And will do it, else I'm not a bald-headed man!"

"There's something a brewing--a confab between
My boss and my Joe!" laughed the fair Imogene;
"A social confab--will it be to my loss?
'Twixt the clod-hopping Joe and the debt-hopping boss."

(To be Continued.)


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