Chapter One
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Two
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Three
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Chapter Four
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Own Your Own Home
Chapter Two: Welcome to Our City


[Part Four of Twelve]


I called up the plummer & he come up & seen it
& says the drane pipes would carry it off & I had to
give him $.50 cents for telling me that & it wasent true
at that because they aint carryed none of it off
as far is I can see & if a plummer gets $.50 a peace
for evry time he lise to you I wonder what does he charge
when he tells a man the truth only I guess
that dont never hapen.

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Sport & Play
Symptoms of Being 35
Own Your Own Home
In the Wake of the News
Short Stories


Allison, Ill., July 8.

     Brother Charley.  Well Charley evry things going a long smoth & last wk. I payed the 1st. int. on my lone down to the bank and now I dont half to worry a bout that again untill Jan.  Graces old man come acrost with the money so as I could pay the int. & dident make no holler a bout it but I bet he wishes I & Grace had of stuck in our flat over on the s. side insted of building because we was not never so hard up when we was liveing in the flat that we had to ask him to pay our rent.
     I dont like to be no drag on the old man but you can see how it is Charley or that is you could see if you had build a house.  It looks like you dont run up agin the real expences until youve got it all build.  I allways thot it was real old houses that half to be repared & fixed up all the wile but Im finding out now that the new ones is twict as bad as the old ones.
     But dont think we aint satisfide Charley because wear perfectly satisfide so dont get the idear we aint satisfide & you couldent higher Grace & I to go back in town & live in a flat because they aint nothing to that kind of liveing & this has got it beat all hollo.  The babys is a hole lot better than they was in the city.  That

is they would be if the house wasent damp & if it wasent for the smell of the paint that I guess we aint never going to get rid of it.   But they aint all cooped up like they was in Chi & now they can get out & run a round with out no danger of falling under a st. car & geting there leg cut off.   By a st. car.
     Of corse we miss the Walters & the Arnolds & others that we made frends of them in the city a speshally Grace but as I say if they cared any thing a bout us they could get out here & see us because they know Grace cant get a way on acct. the babys & besides this towns got plenty of fine peopl liveing in this town & as soon is we get acquainted we can for get all a bout the peopl we knowed in Chi & not never think a bout them.
     I guess the last time I wrote to you we wasent no wheres near setteled but wear pretty well setteled now & things a round the house is beginning to look O. K. & you can open most of the windows if you start them with a crow bar & then give a quick jerk.

Kindest to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.


Allison Ill., July 24.

     Dear Charley.  I supose you been geting a hole lot of rain to because I see in the paper where its been raining all over the u s & if it rains any more I will half to buy 1 of these here divvers sutes to go down in the basemunt with it & fix the heater that we heat the hot water with. A bout the 2d. day it beggin to rain the water beggin runing in the basemunt & now its pretty near as deep like it was in the brandywine crick where I & you lerned to swim do you remember Charley.  I called up the plummer & he come up & seen it & says the drane pipes would carry it off & I had to give him $.50 cents for telling me that & it wasent true at that because they aint carryed none of it off as far is I can see & if a plummer gets $.50 a peace for evry time he lise to you I wonder what does he charge when he tells a man the truth only I guess that dont never hapen. Well any way you could dive off the top step of the stares in to the basemunt & not bump your head on the floor & Grace says I should ought to dig some angel worms out in the yard & set on the basemunt stares & fish but I guess all

the fish in the house is liveing up stares. I mean wear the fish for building a house. Suckers see Charley.
An other good thing all the wood that was left over from building the house is down in the basemunt & Grace has been useing it up pretty fast building fires in the fire place all tho its been so hot outdoors & in the house to that you cant hardly stand it but she says the fire looks so pretty that she would like to keep it burning all the wile & why not when we got all that wood. Well I says that wood will burn just as good in the winter time when you need a fire in the fire place & it will look just as pretty burning when its cold & the sooner you burn up all that extra wood the sooner we will half to buy some reglar wood to burn.  I says if your going to throw a way money just to make things look pretty why dont you buy a car lode of dimonds & scatter them a round the front yard.  They would look swell as long as they last.
     Well she says the fire keeps me from geting lonesom.  I says if your lonesom why dont you dress the babys up & go out and see some body & she says I aint got no close to ware thats good enough for this place so my little talk is going to cost me $20.00 dollars because shes going to buy some clothes & have a couple dresses made up.  But as I say we can save on fire wood as long as the basemunts full of water because you cant get to where the wood is at with out buying a sale boat or some thing & even if you got the wood it wouldent burn on acct. it being soked.
     Regards to Mary & we wisht you could get out & see us.

F. A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Aug. 13.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley it looks now like we was going to bust in to socitey & Grace wont be lonesom no more.  She got her close made & all finnished up 2 days a go all ready & I thot shed go calling right a way but she says no it wouldent be right to take the childern a long the 1st. time she interduced her self to the peopl out here on acct. they might cut up & rase the devvil & may be brake some thing in some strangers house so she says it was up to me to stay home with the childern wile she went a round & made a few calls & Im going to stay home with the babys next Sun. after noon because thats the 1st. day I can get off on acct. theys 2 other fellows in tile dept. laying off now & the rest of us is kept pretty busy.  But of corse me not being able to go a long with her & make the calls Ive got to get some cards printed so she can stick them on the piano or some wheres in the house where shes calling at so it looks like I wanted to come but couldent.
     Grace says she dident hardly know where to make the calls because we dont know where no body lives that is we dont know if the famly 2 doors a way from us is pres. of the gas co. or runs a hawk shop.  But I told her the best way to do was start right in on this side of the st. we live on & go from house to house & if she seen after she got in that the peopl wasent no good she could say she made a miss take.  The name of the peopl that lives next door is Hamilton because thats what the real estate man told us when we got the lot so you see we know his name & when Grace gos up to the door & says is Mr. Hamilton in they will be tickeld to deth on acct. of us knowing there name & wile she is calling on Mr. Hamilton she can feel a round until she knows what is the name of the peopl that lives on the other side of them & so on.
     She wont stay more than 1 hour or so in 1 place the 1st. time & she wont be able to cover more than the 1st. 3 houses the 1st. day, but probly she will find 1 or 2 of the ladies thats good sports & will be willing to come over & stay with the childern a day or 2 next wk. so as Grace can go & call on the other peopl a long the st. with out waiting for the next P. M. I can lay off.
     The Hamiltons has got a swell big house build out of stones or concrete blocks & they probly got a bbl. of money but you know the old saying Charley all men was crated free and wear just as good is them even if we got all my pay for the next 30 yrs. spent all ready.

Best to Mary.

F. A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Aug. 16.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley Grace wont be lonesom no more because now she called on 4 famlys a long the st. to-day insted of 3 like she intend it & of corse the more you call on the more of them has got to call on you back. The reason she made it 4 insted of 3 was on acct. of her only staying to the Hamiltons of a hr. because they says they was going out some wheres & would half to leave her.
     We had a early dinner & she got over to the Hamiltons a bout 1 in the P. M. & she was toged up in her new close & looked like a million $.
     She told me all a bout it when she come home.  A womman come to the door & Grace says how do you do Mrs. Hamilton I was afrade youd be out & the womman says who did you want to see & Grace says you or Mr. Hamilton or the both of them & the womman says I will see are they in.  So the womman says what name & Grace says Grace Gross & the womman says have you got a card a long with you & Grace dident have none but the cards I had printed so she give her one of them.   They set me back $.50 for 100 of them Charley but I thot I might as well make it a good 1 wile I was doing it & besides if Grace dont loose none of them 100 should ought to last her untill shes called on the hole town.  The cards says on them F. A. Gross asst. Chief of Detectives Chicago Police dept. & then down on the bottom 20 years in the service in red tipe.
     The higher girl left Grace standing in the vestry bull & pretty soon a man come out & he was Mr. Hamilton & he ast Grace to come in the parler & set down so Grace went in & Mr. Hamilton says what can I do for you & Grace was kind of im barrist & couldent say nothing & Mr. Hamilton says aint you made a miss take or may be you think I can give you some informashun a bout some thing & Grace seen that was a good chance to find out what was the name of the peopl that lived in the next house next to the Hamiltons so she ast him & he says there name is Carpenter & she says what busness was they in & Mr. Hamilton says if you want to find out any thing more a bout them you will half to ask them your self.  So 

Grace says it dident make no diffrunts weather she knowed any thing more a bout them or not & then she says hows your wife & Mr. Hamilton says what are you trying to get at.  He says Im sure you must of made some miss take because nether I or Mrs. Hamilton have did any thing against the law or the Carpenters nether & Grace says what do you mean & Mr. Hamilton says what do you mean yourself comeing a round trying to pry in to some bodys affares.  We aint use to receiving calls from female detectives.  & then all of a sudden Grace caught on to what was he getting at.
     You see Charley Mr. Hamilton thot she was a detective on acct. the card shed give the higher girl & he thot it was her card & not my card & when Grace seen what had come off she pretty near died laughing & all the wile Mr. Hamilton just stood there & looked at her & finely when she could say some thing she says thats a grate joke & Mr. Hamilton says may be it is but its over my head & then Grace explaned it to him the hole thing & told him we was his new neighbors & she was just paying him a frendily call so pretty soon be beggin laughing to & says he would call his wife because the joke was too good to keep.  His wife come in & Grace ast her if Mr. Hamilton had told her a bout his miss take & she says no so Grace had to explane it all over again only Mrs. Hamilton must of ett to much dinner.   She dident laugh at all but just set there like she was in pane & pretty soon she says she was sorry Grace couldent stay any longer but her & Mr. Hamilton was going out & would Grace excuse them & Grace says sure & got up to go but then Mr. Hamilton come in & told Grace to be sure and hand 1 of them cards to who ever come to the door over to Carpenters so Grace promussed she would & then she says good-by to Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton & told them to be sure & come over & see us & Mr. Hamilton says he certunly would weather Mrs. Hamilton did or dident & he was just kidding a little but Mrs Hamilton must of got jellus a bout him & Grace jolling each other because she slamed the front door when Grace come out.  Or else as I say she ett to much dinner probly.
     So then Grace went to the Carpenters & rung the door bell & Mr. Carpenter him self come to the door & she give him 1 of the cards & he says well whats the charge & she seen he was makeing the same miss take Mr. Hamilton made so she went a long with it & says she would like to talk to he & his wife a few minuts & he says you can talk to me but I cant bother my wife because she aint finnished her dinner & then Grace told him to go a head and finnish his dinner to but he says he wouldent untill she told him what she wanted so she explained the joke & told him what come off over to Hamiltons & then he laughed & says he would finnish his dinner & bring his wife in so Grace set there in the parler a wile & finely Mr. & Mrs. Carpenter come in & she set there talking to them pretty near a hr.  
     & they had a grate time talking & laughing & wile she was there some body come to the front door & Mr. Carpenter went to the door & Grace says it sounded like Mr. Hamiltons voice out side the door & he ast Mr. Carpenter was he arested & Mr. Carpenter went out on the porch & Grace couldent hear what was they saying but of corse they was come pareing nots a bout the joke because she herd them laughing out on the porch.  Well finely Mr. Carpenter come in again & finely Mrs. Carpenter ast Grace dident she have some more calls to make so Grace says she did & she left the Carpenters & forgot to find out from them what was the name of the peopl that live in the 3d. house a way from us but it dident make no diffruns because the woman that come to the door at the next house told her the name & the name is Carry & Mr. Carrys the man that keeps the grosery store or 1 of them & Grace & Mrs. Carry had a nice long talk & Grace told her a bout what come off at Hamiltons & Carpenters & Mrs. Carry says she would bet Grace that they wouldent nether the Hamiltons or the Carpenters call on us & Grace says why not & Mrs Carry says because they aint nether 1 of them called on me yet & I have been here over 1 yr. & Grace says well did you call on them & Mrs. Carry says of corse not so they must be some bad blood some wheres that we dont know nothing a bout.
     Well Grace went to Moreheads from Carrys & seen the Moreheads & then come home & you can bet I was glad when she finely got home because little Ed & the baby both of them gets pretty mad a bout 5 P. M. in the afternoon & they was giveing me all I could do.
     & Mrs. Carry says next time Grace wants to go out she can bring the babys over to her house & the higher girl will watch them.

Rgds. to Mary.

F. A. Gross.



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