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 Three: The Last Laugh

[Part Eight of Twelve]


F. A. Gross asst. Chief of Detectives Chicago Police
dept. & lady will be please to entertain you Jan. 7
from 8 P. M. on. 3 tables proggresive cinch followed by
refreshmunts.  Gents prize 1 qt. whisky.
Ladys prize hansome pare of corsets.  Dress sutes.

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


Allison, Ill. Jan. 25.

     Dear Charley.   Well Charley I and Grace is going to get back at them swell head Hamiltons & Carpenters and when we get threw with them there chest wont be sticking out so far and it was Graces idear only she dident know how good it was when she sprung it and I guess when we put this over them Hamiltons & Carpenters will wisht they act it a little more frendily and hadent been so swelled on them self.
     I will tell you how it come up and what wear going to pull off Charley & I bet youll laugh when you see what wear going to pull off on them.  I layed off yest. and stayed home all day and wile we was eating our dinner Grace says some thing a bout giveing a party & I says we aint got no money to throw a way on no partys & she says well if I cant give a party I cant go to no more partys because I will be a shamed of my self going and I says Well I guess peopls been to our house as much is we been to there house & Grace says yes but they just come here uniformly & not no reglar invatation a fare and we havent gave no reglar card party with prizes and refreshmunts & I says I guess the peopl that have came here evnings have got more refreshments then we got to there house when they was giveing partys but she says Well I wont argue with you and if you wont give me no money to have a party we will just half to quit going to other peopls houses and she act it like she was going to blubber so I says Well supose you give a party who would you ast to it and she says why the Carrys and the Curtisis thats had us to there house and then a few other couple that we met at them 2 partys so I says havent you forgot the Hamiltons & Carpenters & she says forgot them of corse I aint forgot them but do you think I would ast them to a party at my house after the way they been acting so then I seen the pt. & I says theys some sense to the way your talking now and we will have a party and not ast nether the Hamiltons or Carpenters & they will feel like a dirty doose.  Well Grace couldent see it but I guess you can see it Charley and how would you & Mary feel if the peopl liveing next door to you give a swell party & you wasent ast.  You would feel like a rummy wouldent you Charley.  So I says to Grace Well I dont care what you think but I will come threw with the money for your party if youll promus to not ast nether the Hamiltons or the Carpenters & Grace says you can bet your life I wont so that part of it was fixed up.  So then Grace says we will give a cinch party & give them a dutch lunch & we will ast the Carrys and the Curtis and the Bishops & Farrells & Grimes & counting our self that will make a even doz. & 3 tables of cards & I says thats all right a bout who you ast but leave me tend to the refreshmunts a speshaly the drinks & Grace says Thats all right with me because I dont care nothing a bout the drinks.
     So we talked it all over & planed it all out & its going to be some party Charley & when the Hamiltons & Carpenters hears a bout it they will want to go hide in a hole some wheres.  Grace was going to go at it cheap but they wouldent be no good giveing no cheap party because if we dident give a good 1 them swell heads wouldent care whether they was ast or not.  So when Grace seen I was willing to spend the money she says we should ought to have some invatations printed up & I says I would tend to that & we wrote out the invatations the way we wanted it fixed up and I left the order down town to day to have a doz. of them printed up & of corse we wont use the hole doz. because they wont only be 10 peopl ast besides our self & we dont want no invatation to our own party but we couldent get 10 print it no cheaper then 12 so we will keep the extra 2 for a suveneer or may be we will male them to you & Mary because of corse you cant come but may be you will like to take a look at the invatations but in case a couple of thems spoiled so as we cant send you none heres what there going to say on them.
     F. A. Gross asst. Chief of Detectives Chicago Police dept. & lady will be please to entertain you Jan. 7 from 8 P. M. on. 3 tables proggresive cinch followed by refreshmunts.  Gents prize 1 qt. whisky.  Ladys prize hansome pare of corsets.  Dress sutes.
     You see Charley them prizes is worth playing for but bet. I & you it aint costing us nothing to give them because the whisky is part of what Gus Goetz sent out to the house for xmas and this is the 1st. time he ever give me a case but other yrs. he only give me a qt. but it dont hurt him none to loosun up onct in a while because Im in his place evry day 3 or 4 times & they dont never half to pick my pockets to get my money.  And the corsets is what Mary sent to Grace a yrs. a go last xmas & Grace tride them on just onct & they wasent comftible but youd sware they was just out of the store.  Grace made me stick in the part a bout dress sutes & I stuck it in because the peopl that comes to the party will half to past right by the Hamiltons & Carpenters house & supose they hapen to be going out that night & run in to the peopl comeing to our party they would see where the guests had on there dress sutes & that shows it aint no rummy party or no bunch of bums comeing & of corse I dont half to ware no dress sute my self because I wont half to go out because the partys right in my house.
     Well Charley wear going to have frank forters & liver worst & slaw & potato sellid & ice cream & cake & coffee & of corse beer & you can bet I will give them enough so they wont go home dry & I will mix them up some high balls to & besides that the 1 that wins the prize will may be open it up before they go home & if he does I will fernish the excelsior water to make high balls out of that to.  We will show them the time of there life Charley & I got it fixed up all ready with the man that runs the weakly paper out here to stick some thing in a bout the party so they wont be no chanct of the Hamiltons & Carpenters not finding out a bout it after words & I bet when they find out they will come over here on there hands and niece & make up for the way they treat it I & Grace.
     I pretty near forgot to tell you a bout the peopl we got liveing next door to us not the Hamiltons but the peopl on the other side & they aint been liveing there long but moved in a little wile ago and there name is Martin.  Well the night this hapened I guess they was

giveing a new yrs. eve party or some thing & they was makeing more noise then a brass band & hollering like a bunch of indians till 2 a clock in the A. M. & Grace had a headache & couldent sleep but she wasent going to say nothing but pretty soon little Ed was woken up by them hollering next door and he was balling & they couldent none of us sleep so pretty soon I couldent stand it no longer & I slipt my over cote & sox & shoes on over my night gown & went over & rapped at the door & Mr. Martin come to the door and I says you better lay off on some of the rackit & he says what will you do if we dont & then I flashed my star on him & I says cut the noise out or youll get the worst of it & then I come a way & I guess what I said done the business 

because a bout a hr. after words there guests went home & they wasent no more noise & next A. M. I and Mr. Martin went down on the same train to gather & I went up to him & says I was sorry to spoil his fun & he says Thats all right you dident spoil our fun you just add it to it.  So you see he is a good fellow & we would ast him to the party only him and his wife would make 14 & I & Grace would half to set out of the game and not play if they was any more peopl ast & the peopl we ast we couldent leave none of them out & we cant ast 16 peopl & have 4 tables because we aint only got 3 tables in the house.  I will write & let you know a bout our party & I bet you wisht you & Mary could be here for it.
     Kindest to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.

Allison, Ill. Feb. 1.

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley Im so sore I cant hardly write but I want to tell you what kind of bums we got liveing next door to us I mean the Hamiltons and the Carpenters that lives on the other side of the Hamiltons and before they get threw with me they will wisht they hadent of monkied with Fred Gross & I guess I dont half to tell you that they cant no body try there funny busness on me and get a way with it.
     Well Charley I dident know they was peopl in the world like them bums & if Id of knew what kind of peopl we was buying a place next to them I would of lived in a tree before I would of came here to live but you know the old saying he that laughs the last gets the best of it.  Im laying low & waiting for my chanct and when it comes I wont be taking no nap.
     Well Charley I guess I better tell you what come off & the papers was all full of it this A. M. & I called up the chief & says I wouldent be down to day and he says all right & I aint sick or nothing but I know theys some bums down to head quarters that would shoot there mouth off a bout what was in the papers & I would probly get sore and shoot some body full of holes.
     Well Charley last night was the night we give our party & of corse we knowed when we got the party up that the Hamiltons & Carpenters would get sore on acct. of not geting ast to the party but we dident in tend to leave them know nothing a bout the party a head of time but leave them read a bout it in the Allison paper when it comes out next Sat.  But they found out a bout it some way & of corse they was sore but insted of takeing it like a man they act it like a baby or worse then that because they couldent no baby be mean enough to do what they done.
     Well Charley the peopl all come that we ast & we set

down & played cards a wile & evry body was haveing a pretty good time but I finely got dry & dident see no use of waiting till the card games was over before I give the boys some thing to moisun there throtes so I went out & mixed up a few high balls & I made them pretty stiff & the gents was tickled to death to get a hold of some thing to drink before it was time for the refreshmunts & Curtis says it taste it like more so I mixed them up some more & 1st. thing you know Curtis was throwing the cards all over the floor & he hadent only had 2 so Carry called me over to 1 side & says it wasent right to not finnish Curtis up when he had such a good start so of corse then the game busted up and Grace dident have the refreshmunts ready yet but my part of the refreshmunts was ready so I wasent going to leave the Co. with out nothing to do so I brot in the stuff & left the gents mix up there own & after

while about 4 of them cleared the tables out of the way & begin danceing & of corse we dident have no music so Curtis pertend it like he was the orchuster & begin hollering & singing for the others to dance to & we was geting a long all O. K. but pretty noisey but no harm done till Curtis says our house wasent big enough to dance in it & 1st. thing you know him & Mrs. Carry went out on the walk & begin danceing there & him singing all the wile & hollering like a wild man & pretty soon the rest of them was all out doors & of corse I & Grace couldent stick in the house when they was all out side & we had to dance to keep warm because it couldent of been more then 10 or 11 above O & Grace kept after me all the wile to try & get Curtis to shut up his mouth but she might is well of told me to stop the europe war & he kept it up till finely he sliped & fell down on the ice & when I & Carry tride to pick him up we sliped to & fell down & I thot we wasent never going to get up it was so slipry & then Grace says we had woke the babys up & Curtis herd her & they wasent nothing to it but he must go up stares & put them back to sleep & he hit more of the stares with his jaw then he did with his ft. & him trying to get the babys back to sleep was a bout like as if I tride to do it by blowing the fire whistle in there ear & I & Grace had to go up & get him out of there room & wile we was up stares the door bell rung & I come down & every body was in the house again by this time so I opened up the door & there was a bum there that says he was the night watchman & says who owns this house & I says I own it come in & have a drink & he says nothing doing & the best thing you can do is get your hat & cote on & come a long with me.  I says what for & he says disturbing the piece & I says who says so & he says thats none of

your busness so I says you bet its my busness & you got to show me your warent & who sined it before I will go a long with you & that had him stoped & evry thing would of been O. K. only just then Curtis come down the stares & buted in bet. I and the oficer & told the oficer to beat it & the oficer told him to shut his mouth & then what does Curtis do but take a crack at the guy & the guy started to pull his club & then I horned in & took it a way from him & he says Well I dont need no warrent now but your arrested for resisting a oficer & I says whose going to arrest me & he says you will find out so then he went a way & I thot we was threw with him & we shut the door & Curtis was ready for a nap by this time so we layed him on the sofa & Grace brot in the stuff to eat & we was laughing and jokeing a bout the smart aleck constable when the door bell rung again & there was the same guy & 2 others with him & I hadent no sooner opened up the door then he pulled his gat on me.
     Well Charley to make it short I had to go a long with them & they wouldent even leave me call up down town to head quarters & get Jack & some of the boys to come out and show them whose who & they wanted Curtis to but when they seen him layed out on the sofa they past him up & I was the goat & I couldent let on how sore I was because Grace & the rest of the women was haveing histeriks & evry thing else go I says good night to Grace & smiled at her & the rest of the women & told them not to worry & then I went a way with the 3 guys & they locked me up.
     Well Charley I dident get no sleep because I was trying to figger out who put up the job but it come to me all of a sudden this A. M. that it was Hamilton & Carpenter & when I ast the oficer was it them he wouldent say nothing so you see it was them & I will make them swett for it.
     Well Charley I was tooken up before the justice the 1st thing this A.M. & the justice was a good fellow & they wasent no body there to complane agin me only the oficer & when he found out who I realy was he wouldent say nothing & says he was sorry he pulled me in but it wasent his falt.  So they left me go & I come home & Grace is pretty near sick because it was in the papers how we was giving a party & doing the foxey trot out in the middle of the st.
     They wasent nothing in the papers a bout Curtis tho if it hadent of been for him they wouldent of never been no troubble & the next time I give a party I wont ast no sucker like him that wants to immitate the banda Roma the minut he gets 2 drinks under his belt only I wont give no more partys for no body & the next time any body says the word party to me I will bust a platter over there bean.
     Of corse they aint no danger of the chief laying me off or doing
nothing because I explained the hole thing to him over the phone this A.M. But you can bet Hamilton & Carpenter would of got my job if they could & it aint there falt they dident.
     Well Ive wrote you a long letter Charley but I guess I had some news for you even if it was bad news but the next bad news will be a bout them stiffs that pulled it off.
     Kindest to Mary.

Fred A. Gross.

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