Best American Humorous Short Stories HTML version

everything into cash, and set about making money in right-down earnest. No sooner said
than done; and our quondam storekeeper a few days afterward attended an extensive sale
of real estate, at the Merchants' Exchange.
There was the auctioneer, with his beautiful and inviting lithographic maps--all the lots as
smooth and square and enticingly laid out as possible--and there were the speculators--
and there, in the midst of them, stood Monsieur Poopoo.
"Here they are, gentlemen," said he of the hammer, "the most valuable lots ever offered
for sale. Give me a bid for them!"
"One hundred each," said a bystander.
"One hundred!" said the auctioneer, "scarcely enough to pay for the maps. One hundred--
going--and fifty--gone! Mr. H., they are yours. A noble purchase. You'll sell those same
lots in less than a fortnight for fifty thousand dollars profit!"
Monsieur Poopoo pricked up his ears at this, and was lost in astonishment. This was a
much easier way certainly of accumulating riches than selling toys in Chatham Street,
and he determined to buy and mend his fortune without delay.
The auctioneer proceeded in his sale. Other parcels were offered and disposed of, and all
the purchasers were promised immense advantages for their enterprise. At last came a
more valuable parcel than all the rest. The company pressed around the stand, and
Monsieur Poopoo did the same.
"I now offer you, gentlemen, these magnificent lots, delightfully situated on Long Island,
with valuable water privileges. Property in fee--title indisputable--terms of sale, cash--
deeds ready for delivery immediately after the sale. How much for them? Give them a
start at something. How much?" The auctioneer looked around; there were no bidders. At
last he caught the eye of Monsieur Poopoo. "Did you say one hundred, sir? Beautiful lots-
-valuable water privileges--shall I say one hundred for you?"
"Oui, monsieur; I will give you von hundred dollar apiece, for de lot vid de valuarble
vatare privalege; c'est ça."
"Only one hundred apiece for these sixty valuable lots--only one hundred--going--going--
Monsieur Poopoo was the fortunate possessor. The auctioneer congratulated him--the
sale closed--and the company dispersed.
"Pardonnez-moi, monsieur," said Poopoo, as the auctioneer descended his pedestal, "you
shall excusez-moi, if I shall go to votre bureau, your counting-house, ver quick to make
every ting sure wid respec to de lot vid de valuarble vatare privalege. Von leetle bird in
de hand he vorth two in de tree, c'est vrai--eh?"