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 Four: Uncivil War

[Part Eleven of Twelve]

. . . and I wisht you could of herd him Charley
when he found out what had came off and he
swore right in front of his wife and a lady that was
with them and says it must be some of the kids in the
neighbors hood that done it because they wouldent
no groan up man pull some thing like that and
thats where Mr. Hamilton got fooled hey Charley
because if I aint groan up yet I guess I will be a
gient when I get my groth hey Charley

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


Allison, Ill. March 1.

     Bro. Charley.   Well Charley I wisht you could of been a long with us last night you and Mary the both of you but I dont know if Mary would of liked to went a long or not because we was over to the Martins and when your in the same house with a lady that dresses like Mrs. Martin a womman must feel pretty slopy a long the side of them close Mrs. Martin wares and of corse I aint sane that Mary cant look good when she wants to but this here Mrs. Martin has got them all beat when it comes to close but at that shes all ways talking a bout she wisht she could get a hold of some close like Grace wares and only last night she was after Grace to leave her borry 1 of her dresses and ware it to a mask raid.
     Well Charley Martin give us some cock tales that he made them up him self and if a man drunk 3 of them you would start down the dranege cannel in a finger bold but he give us 2 of them and a few bottles of beer and beffore the evening was over Mrs. Martin was lerning Grace the ballad dance and you ought to see Mrs. Martin dance Charley and its better than any thing I ever seen down to the columbia but if Grace had to make a liveing ballad danceing she would starv her self to deth for lack of nothing to eat and they wasent nothing in Martins house that she dident run in to it and I bet if the chairs and tables could talk they would of hollered murder.
     Well we dident play no cards but we fooled a round and done this in that and they turned on the phonegraf and I and Mrs. Martin danced to gather and I thot I had a arm full of flowers and then we set down and talked and Martin ast me hadent I did nothing to Hamilton for sending me that valentine and I says no I hadent because I and Grace talked it over to gather and Id told her all a bout it and I and her had made it up in our mind to not do nothing more a bout it but just leave the Hamiltons a lone and act like they wasent no such peopl and then Mr. and Mrs. Martin both says they thot we was suckers to leave Hamilton get off so easy when hed inselted I and Grace so I says well I cant think of nothing to do only go over there and bust him in the jaw and Martin says well may be he could think up

some thing him self and if he could think up a good 1 he would tell me because he was my frend and dont like to see a man get the worst of it and thats the kind of a friend to have hey Charley.  Martins entirely diffrent from a big stiff which is to cheap to light up the lights in his house when hes giveing a party.
     Well Charley I wisht you and Mary could see the Martins and I bet they aint no body liveing near you thats as good Co. as them and I and Grace is pretty lucky to have them liveing the next door to us only we dont no more then brake even on neighbors with the Hamiltons on the other side.
     Best rgds. to Mary.

     Your Bro.

Fred A. Gross.

Allison, Ill. March 9.

     Dear Charley.   Well Charley I put 1 over on Hamilton and of corse he wont never know who done it but still in all it made him good and sore and this time I seen him when he found out a bout it and I was laughing at him only he couldent see me because I was where he couldent see me.
     Well Charley I will tell you what I done and it was Martins idear and I will give him creddit for it.  Hamiltons got a automobile and they been running it all winter because they got 1 of these here tops on it thats just like a room you might say air tight and glass insted of just curtins so they can run it in the winter with out geting cold and then in the summer they take the top part off of it and have a reglar automobile.  Well theys lots of evenings when Hamilton leaves the automobile out side there house on the st. in front of the house wile there in side the house enjoin them self in the evening so Martin says why dident I go after Hamiltons automobile and I ast him what did he mean and he says take a knife over there some night when the automobile was standing out the side by the curb and cut the tires and if I cut the tires the air would all come out of them and Hamilton would half to put on some new tires so I says no I wouldent do that because that would be destroying a mans property and I wouldent mix up in nothing like that and take a chanct of geting in bad down town so then Martin says Well if you dont want to cut the tires theys still an other way yet that you can let the air out of them and thats unscrew the valves thats on the tires and the wind would come out but they wouldent be no property destroyed because the air be longs to me just as much is Hamilton only it would make him awfull sore if he was in a hurry to go some wheres.
     So the night beffore last I pulled it off Charley and I had quiet a time doing it because theys some fancy kind of valve on the tires thats hard to get off and leave the air come out but I finely done it while Hamilton and his wife and who ever was there vissiting them was in the house and I was scarred all the wile some body would see me on acct. of the automobile bean lit up but no body seen me and when Id pulled it off I snuck back over to my house and watched out the window for Hamilton and his friends to come out and finely they come and I wisht you could of herd him Charley when he found out what had came off and he swore right in front of his wife and a lady that was with them and says it must be some of the kids in the neighbors hood that done it because they wouldent no groan up man pull some thing like that and thats where Mr. Hamilton got fooled hey Charley because if I aint groan up yet I guess I will be a gient when I get my groth hey Charley.
     Well it took them over a hour to get there tires

blowed up again and they sent the wommen folks in the house wile they done the work and its a good thing the wommen wasent where they could hear Hamilton talking all the wile or theyd of thot he was trying to see how many wds. could he make up and I will half to slip it to him Charley he can cuss as good is the chief when the news papers gets after the dept.
     I guess that will hold Mr. Hamilton a wile Charley and I bet he would of cust some more if he could of saw me seting behind the window lissining to him and I had the window part of the way open and pretty near froze to deth but it was worth freezeing to deth to lissen to the cheap stiff rave.  Well Charley him and Mrs. Hamilton and there friends may be high socitey and so 4th but that dont stop the air from runing out of there tires onct in a wile hey Charley.
     Well I guess I aint told you a bout I and Grace is 

going to give a party and I thot we was all threw with partys for a wile but Grace says that Mrs. Martin told her we ought to give a hole lot of partys on acct. of us bean new peopl in town and if we wanted to stand in good we should ought to enter tane a good eel so wear going to give a party next Fri. night only it wont be none of these here stew partys or no ruff stuff but evry thing the best and up to the date and Mrs. Martin has gave Grace a lot of tips a bout how should a party be ran and I guess the peopl will think wear as good is the Hamiltons or any of them swell heads before wear threw but of corse we aint going to ast the Hamiltons because I wouldent have them in the house.
     This here partys going to cost us some money but its like Mrs. Martin told Grace if you want to live right you got to pay for it and they cant no cheap skates get by with the right peopl in a place like this here.  Grace is going to serve them with sand witchs and ice cream and coffee and cake only not no cheap home made ice cream but get it from the drug store and they will be 16 of us all to gather the Martins and the Curtis and Carrys and some other nice peopl we met a round here and you might say its the cream of Allison socitey and of corse we got to play auction bridge whist on acct. of that bean the swell game a round here tho it aint near the game like cinch is.
     Well Charley I wisht you and Mary could be here for the party even if it would leave 1 couple out of the card game because with you here they would be 18 of us includeing I and Grace but any way take care of your self and regards to Mary.
     Your Brother,

F. A. Gross.

Allison, Ill. March 14

     Brother Charley.   Well Charley I guess I would be better off if I was a cheap skate like some peopl and if I was a cheap skate they wouldent of never nothing came off like last night.   Well Charley I been so sore sense it come off that I was a bout to pull my gun on some body with out naming no names but a man can be drove so far Charley and not no father and if it wasent for what would happen to Grace I would shoot this here Hamilton full of led and take my medison only I dont believe theys a jury in the world that would convict me when I told them what he pulled off.
     Well Charley theys a big diffrunts between a joke and not a joke and if Hamilton thinks that what he done was funny I feel sorry for him but he dident do it because he thot it was funny Charley but because he dont know how to do nothing but play mean rotten tricks like sending me that valentine.
     Grace wont never give no more partys Charley and I dont never want to here the word party so dont never tell me a bout no party Charley.
     Well Charley we was seting in the parlor I and Grace and waiting for Mr. and Mrs. Martin and the rest of our guests to come and it was geting kind a late and Grace kept sane a bout how late it was geting and all of a sudden the telephone rung and I went and ansered the bell and ast who was it and it was Mrs. Martin and she saps to excuse her for calling up but she couldent wait no longer to find out weather she couldent do some thing for us and find out who was it and I ast her what she ment who was it and she says she ment who was it the krape was hanging on the front door for and I says they wasent no krape on the front door and she says Id better go and look and I went out there and sure enough they was krape on the door like they was some body dead.  Charley come to find out the Curtis and the Carrys and 2 or 3 other peopl was comeing to the party to gather and just beffore they start it to ring the door bell they noticed this here krape on the door and a couple of the wommen pretty near fainted a way and finely Curtis says lets ring the bell and find out whats happened but Carry says no he dident feel like comeing in to a house where they was krape on the door when he was all drest up gay for a party so finely they decide it to go over and ast the Martins if they knowed any thing a bout it on acct. of them liveing next door.
     Mrs. Martin screamed when they told her a bout it and when her and Martin and the rest of them come back and seen the krape again and Mrs. Martin was pretty near haveing histericks so Martin took her home and Martin says to the other peopl that it looked like some thing awfull had happened and says evry body had better go home and after a wile when Mrs. Martin got back her nerve she would ring us up and find out what could of happened and then she would call the rest of them up and tell them a bout it.  Well it wasent till pretty near 10 a clock that she got her nerve up and called up on the phone and then of corse we explained that it was 1 of Hamiltons dirty tricks and Grace wanted Mrs. Martin to come over and have the party and Grace would call up the rest of the peopl and tell them a bout it and we could have the party any way and better have  

it late then never but Mrs. Martin says her party close was all off and hung up and it would be 2 hrs. beffore she could get drest again so she was sorry that it had happened but they wasent nothing she could do accept tell me that if she was me and any body had put some thing like that over on her she would of shot them full of holes so Grace called up the Curtis and the Carrys and told them about the miss take but some of them was like Mrs. Martin with there party close off of them and hung up all ready and they all says they was so worried a bout seen the krape that they couldent come now even if they was drest and they says theyd been seting up to hear from Mrs. Martin a bout what had happened and they wouldent of never been able to sleep if some thing had of relay happened but now they was so releived that they thot they would try and go to sleep and forget it and so 4th.
     Well Charley that was all right and nice of them to feel so sorry for us but what a bout the refreshmunts and the 3 qts. of ice cream from the drug store and it was there best stuff 40 cts. a qt. and how a bout the 2 new decks of cards we had boughten for the party and how a bout I and Grace going to all that trubble and dressing up swell and so 4th.  Well Charley Mrs. Martin says we should ought to posepone the party and have it some other night but Grace says she was threw with partys and I says the next 1 that says some thing to me a bout a party would get a crack in the jaw.
     Thats what a man gets for not bean no cheap skate Charley and if I had of been a cheap skate and left the light off on the front porch like Hamilton done the cheap stiff the 1st. peopl that got there wouldent of saw the krape and would of rang the door bell and then ether I or Grace would of went to the door and they wouldent of been no trubble.
     Well Charley Im trying my best to hold on to my temper so as I wont go over to Hamiltons house and shoot him up but as Grace says it probly wasent Mrs. Hamiltons falt but just Hamilton him self and I wouldent have no right to make a widow out of her just because her husband aint no good and a speshuly when I dont know weather hes going to leave his wife enough to live on.
     But I guess you know me well enough to know that he aint going to get by with out no come back and I will pull off some thing on him that will make him wisht he had treated I and Grace with respect and I feel like going right over to there house and hanging the krape on there own door and see how they like it only Grace says whats the use of giveing them back there krape because I and her cant live for ever and it dont do no harm keeping some a round the house.
     Well Charley wait till I get back at him and regards to Mary.

Your Bro. F. A. Gross.


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