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 Six of Twelve]


But we wont sell it for less then $1000.00 more
then it costed all to gether because somebodys
got to pay for whats come off & for them danceing
lessons & Graces dresses & that dress sute I rent it
& the shirt & shoes & all the rest of it.

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


Allison, Ill., Oct. 11.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley we had some more trouble since the last time I wrote you a letter only I dont know if its trouble or not but Grace feels pretty bad a bout it tho I says she shouldent ought to worry because the Carrys wasent no good any way.  Grace was figureing on haveing Mrs. Carry come over & stay with the childern wile we was to the big dance next wk. if Mrs. Carry wasent going to the dance her self so when the Carrys come to play cards the other night Grace ast them was they going to the dance & they says no what dance & Grace told them & ast Mrs. Carry would she come over & take care of the childern or that is she & Mr. Carry would just half to set in the house because the childern would be a sleep only of corse it wouldent be right to go off & leave them a lone & the Carrys could just set here & play cards or do any thing they had a mind to.  Well Mrs. Carry ast who was giveing the dance & Grace says the invatation was sined by Wm. Marston & he was the man that the money was to be sent to only Im going to take my money a long to the dance & give it to him at the door.  Well Mrs. Carry says why Mr. Marston is the real socitey leader & Grace says well what of it & Mrs. Carry says it must of been a miss take you geting a invatation & then I buted in & says what do you mean a miss take I guess wear as good as any body & better than some & why shouldent we get a invatation & then Mrs. Carry blowed up & says I supose you think your better than I & my husband & I says no I dont think no such thing & she says well you get a invatation to the dance & we dident so if you go that will show you think your better than us.
     I says it wont show no such a thing because you not geting no invatation was probly a miss take & she says no it wasent no miss take but geting 1 was the miss take & then Grace flew up & says your sore because wear

going to the dance and your not ast & then Carry & his wife & Grace & I all lost our temper & we had it hot & heavy & I guess you know Charley that we dident get none the worst of it. So finely I told them to go home and they says you dont half to tell us to go home & whats more you wont see no more of us & I says I lived 45 yrs. & got pretty fat before I ever seen you & thats a bout all that was said & they beat it and wear threw with them.   If Mrs. Carry had of been decent we might of fixed it up for them to get ast to the next big dance only she was so sore about us geting a head of them that she couldent keep her mouth shut.
     I guess you can see that Mrs. Carry aint going to take care of the childern wile wear to the dance & even if she would we wouldent let her because its 10 to 1 she would stick a knife in them or give them cloraform or some thing.   And Grace will half to higher a girl from here in town to come & set in the house wile wear to the dance.
     Kindest regards to your self & Mary.

Fred A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Oct. 18.

     Dear Charley.   Well Charley I guess its pretty lucky I dident murder some body last night & it may be a good thing I wasent carrying my gat with me last night on acct. of it looking funny & sticking out threw the coat in my evning dress sute.  I bet I would of shot some body sure & they would of had a detective up for murder for a change insted of for takeing money from stick up guys & dips.  I might as well tell you what come off tho they aint no part of it Im proud of accept keeping my self from murdring some body.  Grace is sick a bed over what come off & I cant talk to her a bout it & theys no use talking to the kids because they dont under stand & I got to tell it to some body so I guess your elected.
     Well Charley we was figureing on getting up to the dance a bout 8 a clock but the sute I rented was to small for me & Grace had to make the pants of it biger a round the waste & then she had trouble her self geting her new close on & her hare all fixed up & evry thing & it was pretty close to 9 a clock before we got down to the opra house where they have the dances at.  Well we went in & a servunt told us where to put our hat & then we went up stares to where the danceing is pulled off & they was a man seting at a table out side the door & he looked at us & dident say nothing so I went up to him & says who I was & he says aint you made a miss take.  I says I dont know if I have or not & he says if we want police protection a round here we will ask for it.  I says I aint here to work but Im here to dance & he says this here is a invatation dance & I says yes & I got a invatation & he says lets see it so I halled the ticket out of my pocket & showed it to him & he says it must of been some miss take & I says why & he says because I sent out the invatations my self I and a lady did & we dident send none to you.  I says well I got 1 dident I & he says yes but I dont know how you got it.   I says well I dident steal it & he says no I dont say you did but I know you wasent suposed to get no invatation because you wasent on our lists.  I says well wear here any way & he says yes but if I was you I would go a long home before any body else got here because its a miss take & we will say no more a bout it.
     Well I seen that Grace was ready to cry on acct. of disapointmunt so I made up my mind Id go threw with it so I says are you the only 1 thats got any thing to say a round here & he says no but Im 1 of them & I says well you get the rest of the officers to gather & see what they got to say a bout it & he says theys no body here yet but if you want to wait untill the rest of the comitty

comes all right I got no objection only Im just teling you for your own good that your makeing a miss take & the best thing that you can do is to go home.
     Then Grace says come lets go home & I says I wouldent untill Id talked with the rest of the comitty & there we stood & stood and the guy dident even say we should set down so finely I told Grace to set down & she wouldent set down but all she could say was lets go home.  Finely the peopl beggin comeing & they all starred at us tho I bet we dident look no worse then they did & the Hamiltons come & the Carpenters & Grace whispered to me who they was & they dident even speak to us & finely the music beggin & they all started danceing in the room in side where we couldent see them & finely I went up to the man at the table & he says are you still here & I says you bet I am & Im in a hurry to see your comitty & he says all right youll see them quick enough as soon is the 1st. dance is over & he got up & went in the room where they was danceing & pretty soon the music stoped & he come out with 2 ladies & 3 gents with him & 1 of the gents was Carpenter.
     Well the man says heres a gent that says he got a invatation to the dance & I says yes & you seen my invatation allready.  He says Yes Ill admit you had a invatation but wear going to leave it to this here comitty weather it was a miss take or not & then they wisperd to gather for a minut & then the man says its just like I told you your here threw some miss take & the best thing you can do is go home.  So then I says your a fine bunch of stiffs & I looked right at this here Carpenter.  I says your a swell gang of stews & before I get threw with you youll all be wareing the bracelits & I was going to tell them some more but just then this here Hamilton come out of the room where the danceing was at & says are we pinched & I says no but your libel to be & he says whats the excitement & Carpenter told him a bout me haveing the invatation & then it come out that Hamilton dident get no invatation & the boy that left it to our house made a miss take & we dident have none comeing & if it hadent of been for Grace bellowing & makeing a seen I would of soiled some of there collers but they was nothing for me to do but get her out of there but as I say if Id of had the old gat a long with me I bet Id of cut loose before I left there.
     Well I pretty near had to carry Grace all the way home & put her to bed & douse camfer all over her face & I finely got her to sleep & sent the girl home that was there to take care of the childern but I couldent go to sleep my self & I aint slept yet & I called up the chief this a m & told him the wife was sick & I couldent come down & here it is pretty near noon & I aint even herd nothing a bout breakfast yet tho the childerns had theres because Grace remembered to give them theres but I guess she thinks Im saveing up my appetite for the refreshmunts at the next dance.
     A fine bunch of stiffs eh Charley.

F. A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Oct. 22.

     Dear Brother Charley.   Well Charley it looks like we would move back to the s. side if we could sell the place on acct. of Grace says she cant never spend a happy minut again out here & I aint so stuck on it my self.  But we wont sell it for less then $1000.00 more then it costed all to gether because somebodys got to pay for whats come off & for them danceing lessons & Graces dresses & that dress sute I rent it & the shirt & shoes & all the rest of it.  Grace spoke a bout moveing last night & I couldent argue against her a bout nothing the way shes feeling these days.  I promussed I would see could I sell the place & of corse if I could sell it for cash I could pay off what I owe at the bank or if I couldent sell it for cash the peopl that bought it off of me could asume the morgidge.
     I will write & let you know how I come out.  This was Graces berth day & just as if she wasent feeling bad enough with out what come off she got a letter in her old man's hand writeing & she begin to smile when she seen it & says pa dont never for get my berth day & shed for got her self for a minit & thot she was going to find 1 of them $100.00 checks like he all ways sends her on her berth day but when she opened the letter insted of a check it was a reciet for $100.00 of the money we all ready borryed off of him.  Well that pretty near finnished her tho of corse you cant blame the old man tho it would of been better if he hadent wrote at all but just let it go.
     I wisht I could of gave her some thing nice to make up for it but I guess you know I aint got no money to throw a way eh Charley.
     Regards to Mary.

F. A. Gross.



Allison, Ill., Nov. 1.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley we aint going to move back to the s. side or no wheres else but wear going to stay here.  I seen the real estate man to-day that sold us the place & ast him what could we get for it house & all & he named a price that wasent even what I got sunk in the place & I says youll half to come a bout a $1000.00 higher then that & he says you aint got a chance in the world to get what you want so why dont you stay where your at. You wont find no better town no wheres.
     So I told Grace I guessed wed half to stay & she says well all right & I ast her what come over her all of a sudden & she says she had called up Mrs. Carry & told her all about the dance & Mrs. Carry talked pretty nice a bout it and the Carrys is comeing over to-night to play cinch.  & the Walters was out here to supper night before last & says they wisht they had a home like ourn in the subburbs insted of liveing in a dirty flat so you see Charley we aint so bad off after all & liveing out heres the best thing that could happen to the childern.
      So I guess they aint no danger of us moveing for a wile.
     The door bell just rung so the Carrys is here & I got to close.
     Best rgds. to Mary from both of us.

Fred A. Gross.

     P. S.  I tore this letter open again after I had it pasted up all ready.  That wasent the Carrys that rung the door bell but a man & his wife name Curtis thats in the wood & coal busness out here & as nice peopl is youd want to meet.  Theyd came to call on us & the Carrys come after words & we played rummy 6 hand it & they dident go home untill a bout 10 min. a go and its pretty near 1 a clock but we wasent playing cards all the wile but part of the time we was eating refreshmunts.  Grace cooked up a welch rabbit & we had some beer to go with it & I guess this here Curtis dont like his beer.  Wear going over to the Curtisis Mon. night & they got 1 of these here phonagrafs to dance by so I guess all that money wasent waisted eh Charley.
     Regards to Mary.


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