THE CLODHOPPER AND THE BALD-HEADED MAN
Part 3 of 6
Source: The Crittenden Record. (Marion, Ky.) 1904-1907, January 19, 1906, Image 6 - 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 can not consider your offer at all,"
Imogene made reply, "be the pay great or small;
My health, as I told you, is on a decline.
And I've made up my mind, sir, at once to resign."
"You can get, as I told you, " went on Imogene.
That Samson-like, robust and hard-pounding Green;
I am forced to rest up for the sake of my health,
Which is much more to me, sir, than millions of wealth."
"Now just listen a moment to me, Imogene;
There are worse things than thumping a writing machine.
Would you give up position, your wages, your work,
For that clod-hopping, hod-toting, tow-headed Turk?"
Tho' by nature so gentle, sweet-tempered, serene,
This speech was too much for the good Imogene;
Her eyes sparkled brightly, like twin balls of fire,
And her fair, pretty cheeks were ting'd deeply with ire.
"Tow-headed or not, sir," in wrath she began,
"He's as good as a blank, brainless, bald-headed man!
Yourself, sir, and money may go in a bunch--
On the writing machine I have punch'd my last punch!"
And so up, out and off went the fair Imogene,
Left the bald-headed man and the writing machine,
While the grim old machine seemed to wink at the boss,
As he sat there in silence, computing his loss.
"I will get it all back on that scoundrelly Turk!
His rascally schemes against me will not work."
Mused the boss, while the letters stamp'd on the machine
Seem'd to form in the sentence: "Bye-bye, Imogene!"
Imogene, though so wrathful a moment before,
When out on the street was her sweet self once more,
So with leisurely foot-steps she started to go
To her home, five blocks off, down on Middleton Row.
As she pass'd down the street where the men were at work,
She smiled as the men shouted: "Give us brick, Turk!"
But she pass'd on by, and without any stop,
And with only a bow to the man at the top.
"That's a sweet, noble girl." mused the man at the top.
"I'll just bet she's been fired, and if so I'll not stop
Till I've flogg'd that big, bandy-legg'd, bald-headed man
Worse than Russia was flogg'd by the plucky Japan!"
As still on down the street went the fair Imogene,
She was met near her home by the hard-pounding Green.
She gave him a nice, friendly bow and a smile,
And the key-puncher's hat was raised up in good style.
"That's as noble a girl as I ever have seen,
And I'll bet she's been fired." mused the hard-pounding Green.
"Well, there'll be something doing when I come across
That great, gander-eyed gump of a bald-headed boss!"
A week rolled away, and Miss Imogene Moss
She was free, of course, now, from her bald-headed boss--
Had been busy assisting in household affairs,
Making pies, sweeping floors and the dusting of chairs.
Joseph, too, had been busy, still lifting up hods--
He had almost forgotten he'd ever hopp'd clods--
So still up went the brick to the man at the top,
With never a shirk and with scarcely a stop.
One ev'ning, however, when Joe had quit work--
For the man at the top had cried. "Time is up, Turk!"--
And had started for home, as was always his plan,
He was met on the way by the bald-headed man.
"Let me speak to you, Turk, just a moment," he said;
"I have heard that you've made up your mind soon to wed.
Now, of course, I can't blame you, 'tis better, I own,
As the Bible has said, than to live all alone."
"You've a good, paying job, that of lifting up hods--
I'm agreeing with you, it beats hopping the clods--
And I'd like well to see you thus settled in life,
In a nice, happy home with a sweet, loving wife."
"There are many girls, Joe, there's Miss Imogene Moss,
A good-enough girl, in her way." said the boss.
"She's in fact an expert, much more so than Green,
When it comes to the work on a writing machine."
"And yet, after all, there's a difference, Joe--
For altho' you are young, yet all this you may know--
She might run a machine without friction or strife,
And yet make a man an indifferent wife."
"And Joseph," still went on the bald-headed man,
"A man may work on, do the best that he can,
And yet, what's the good, if he marries a wife,
And is hamper'd and hemm'd in and hen-peck'd for life?"
"What a hopeless, unhappy, unfortunate fate!
What a dark and deplorable, glimmerless state!
And yet, such would be your condition, I ween,
With that green, giggling, gum-chewing gump, Imo-- --!"
That smooth-going sentence was never complete!
Like a huge rubber ball, Joe Turk bounc'd to his feet!
Enraged and indignant, he now made across
To where stood, like a stump, the big, bald-headed boss!
"You scoundrel!" cried Turk. "You contemptible cur!
To so speak, without cause, disrespectful of her--
That sweet, noble girl, the bright-eyed Imogene,
Whom I took from your death-breeding writing machine!"
(To be Continued.)