Options HTML version

Thimble, Thimble
These are the directions for finding the I office of Carteret & Carteret, Mill Supplies and
Leather Belting: You follow the Broadway trail down until you pass the Crosstown Line,
the Bread Line, and the Dead Line, and come to the Big Canons of the Moneygrubber
Tribe. Then you turn to the left, to the right, dodge a push-cart and the tongue of a two-
ton, four-horse dray and hop, skip, and jump to a granite ledge on the side of a twenty-
one-story synthetic mountain of stone and iron. In the twelfth story is the office of
Carteret & Carteret. The factory where they make the mill supplies and leather belting is
in Brooklyn. Those commodities--to say nothing of Brooklyn--not being of interest to
you, let us hold the incidents within the confines of a one-act, one-scene play, thereby
lessening the toil of the reader and the expenditure of the publisher. So, if you have the
courage to face four pages of type and Carteret & Carteret's office boy, Percival, you
shall sit on a varnished chair in the inner office and peep at the little comedy of the Old
Nigger Man, the Hunting-Case Watch, and the Open-Faced Question--mostly borrowed
from the late Mr. Frank Stockton, as you will conclude.
First, biography (but pared to the quick) must intervene. I am for the inverted sugar-
coated quinine pill--the bitter on the outside.
The Carterets were, or was (Columbia College professors please rule), an old Virginia
family. Long time ago the gentlemen of the family had worn lace ruffles and carried
tinless foils and owned plantations and had slaves to burn. But the war had greatly
reduced their holdings. (Of course you can perceive at once that this flavor has been
shoplifted from Mr. F. Hopkinson Smith, in spite of the "et" after "Carter.") Well,
In digging up the Carteret history I shall not take you farther back than the year 1620.
The two original American Carterets came over in that year, but by different means of
transportation. One brother, named John, came in the Mayflower and became a Pilgrim
Father. You've seen his picture on the covers of the Thanksgiving magazines, hunting
turkeys in the deep snow with a blunderbuss. Blandford Carteret, the other brother,
crossed the pond in his own brigantine, landed on the Virginia coast, and became an
F.F.V. John became distinguished for piety and shrewdness in business; Blandford for his
pride, juleps; marksmanship, and vast slave-cultivated plantations.
Then came the Civil War. (I must condense this historical interpolation.) Stonewall
Jackson was shot; Lee surrendered; Grant
toured the world; cotton went to nine cents; Old Crow whiskey and Jim Crow cars were
invented; the Seventy-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers returned to the Ninety-seventh
Alabama Zouaves the battle flag of Lundy's Lane which they bought at a second-hand
store in Chelsea kept by a man named Skzchnzski; Georgia sent the President a sixty-
pound watermelon--and that brings us up to the time when the story begins. My! but that
was sparring for an opening! I really must brush op on my Aristotle.