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Best American Humorous Short Stories

"You think Matt Pike ain't tryin' to settle with your pa with a dollar? I'm goin' to make
him keep his dollar, an' I'm goin' to give him somethin' to go 'long with it."
"The good Lord have mercy upon us!" exclaimed Marann, springing up and catching
hold of her mother's skirts, as she began her advance towards the bar-room. "Oh, ma! for
the Lord's sake!--Sim, Sim, Sim, if you care anything for me in this wide world, don't let
ma go into that room!"
"Missis Fluker," said Sim, rising instantly, "wait jest two minutes till I see Mr. Pike on
some pressin' business; I won't keep you over two minutes a-waitin'."
He took her, set her down in a chair trembling, looked at her a moment as she began to
weep, then, going out and closing the door, strode rapidly to the bar-room.
"Let me help you settle your board-bill, Mr. Pike, by payin' you a little one I owe you."
Doubling his fist, he struck out with a blow that felled the deputy to the floor. Then
catching him by his heels, he dragged him out of the house into the street. Lifting his foot
above his face, he said:
"You stir till I tell you, an' I'll stomp your nose down even with the balance of your mean
face. 'Tain't exactly my business how you cheated Mr. Fluker, though, 'pon my soul, I
never knowed a trifliner, lowdowner trick. But I owed you myself for your talkin' 'bout
and your lyin' 'bout me, and now I've paid you; an' ef you only knowed it, I've saved you
from a gig-whippin'. Now you may git up."
"Here's his dollar, Sim," said Mr. Fluker, throwing it out of the window. "Nervy say
make him take it."
The vanquished, not daring to refuse, pocketed the coin, and slunk away amid the jeers of
a score of villagers who had been drawn to the scene.
In all human probability the late omission of the shaking of Sim's and Marann's hands
was compensated at their parting that afternoon. I am more confident on this point
because at the end of the year those hands were joined inseparably by the preacher. But
this was when they had all gone back to their old home; for if Mr. Fluker did not become
fully convinced that his mathematical education was not advanced quite enough for all
the exigencies of hotel-keeping, his wife declared that she had had enough of it, and that
she and Marann were going home. Mr. Fluker may be said, therefore, to have followed,
rather than led, his family on the return.
As for the deputy, finding that if he did not leave it voluntarily he would be drummed out
of the village, he departed, whither I do not remember if anybody ever knew.
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