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 Twelve of Twelve]


I told her I and Hamilton is the best kind of frends
and I was just playing a little joke on him
but it aint no joke with me Charley


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


Allison, Ill. March 18.

     Dear Brother Charley.   Well Charley I got Hamilton on the run now and beffore Im threw with him he will be hollering for help.  Martin give me the idear and its the best yet and its a grate thing to have Martin on my side and helping me a long and it looks like now Hamilton would come over pretty soon and ast me to let up on him because I been pulling this for over 2 days and he aint going to stand for it much longer with out hollering for help.
    Well Charley Martin told me a bout the idear and heres what I been doing I been calling up Hamiltons house on the phone all hrs. of the day and night and when I get him on the phone I change my voice like and talk in a diffrunt voice and ast him who is he and when he says who he is I ast him some question like why dont you come and hall a way the garbidge or why dont you come and do this in that like he was the garbidge man or the plummer or some body.  I had to fix it up with the girl down to the tellephone office and I told her to not let Hamilton know who was calling him up and tell him she for got who was it and she says at 1st she wouldent do it but finely she says she would do it for a couple of days because I told her I and Hamilton is the best kind of frends and I was just playing a little joke on him but it aint no joke with me Charley and if I and him is friends so is 2 bull dogs only he aint no bull dog but a hound that cant do nothing but wine.  I can see out of the window when he sets down to breakfast and then I call him up and as soon is Ive said what I got to say I start for the train so he sees me coming down the st. and dont never suspect that its me calling him up and then when I get home again I call him up at supper time and 2 or 3 times in the evening and onct after I think hes went to bed at night.  Well Charley I bet Ive got him crazy by this time and hes a bout ready to quit because the last 2 times I called him up he wouldent come to the phone but his higher girl says he wasent in and she says if who ever it was kept on calling him he was going to have them arrested.  Fine chance hey Charley.  But it aint no good idear only for a little wile because now he wont come to the phone and the tellephone girl says its went on long enough and she scarred she will get fired so it looks like Id half to cut it out but I guess hes reddy to holler enough and call evry thing quits but hes got it comeing to him Charley.  Give the devvil his do as they say and best regards to Mary.

Your Brother, Fred. A. Gross.

Allison, Ill., March 20.

    Dear Brother Charley.   Well Charley this will be a supprise to you after what I been telling you right a long and it was a supprise to me onily I kind a suspect it all the wile that this here Martin was wrong.  He dident never act right some way so finding out a bout him dident supprise me like it would of if I hadent of suspect it him all the wile.
     Well Charley it wasent Hamilton that was pulling all the dirty work like sending me that valentine and hanging krape on my door and so 4th. but it was Martin all the time and I and Hamilton is good friends now and he says he dident never mean no harm to me and says both him and Mrs. Hamilton and there higher girl thot the cat was geting enough to eat.  And he says he wouldent never think of mixxing up in no brall with his neighbors so I and him feels the same way to gather a bout it and they wont be no more trubble between us.
     Well Charley you wont hardily beleive that a man could live as mean and nasty is this here Martin trying to make trubble between neighbors and I will tell you the reason why he done it Charley and you will see what kind of a bum he is and no wonder I never relay liked him.  In the 1st. place he was sore at Hamiltons because Mrs. Hamilton hadent payed no call on Mrs. Martin and Hamilton says that him and his wife seen right a way that Martin wasent no good and thats why Mrs. Hamilton dident call on Mrs. Martin because she dident want to get mixxed up with them and the Hamiltons is high socitey here so Martin got sore because him and his wife couldent horn in to the 4 hundred club.  So he used me for a Tool you might say and kept edgeing me on by sane it was Hamilton that was doing all them things to me and all the wile he was doing them him self so I would think it was Hamilton and keep pestering him like I done.  Grace says at 1st. that may be Martin was onily doing it for a joke but Hamiltons higher girl and Martins higher girl is pals and Martins higher girl told Hamiltons higher girl that Martin was sore at Hamiltons and thats why he done it.      Well Charley between I and you they was an other reason that Grace or Hamilton dont know nothing about it and I will tell you a bout it onily dont say nothing even to Mary.   This here Martin was sore at me Charley on acct. of the way his wife looked at me and thot may be I was trying to steal his wife and you know Charley that I aint in that kind of busness but I cant help it if a womman looks at me onct in a wile and I noticed Mrs. Martin myself so of corse her husband could see it to and they couldent no body help from not noticeing it unlest they was blind.  But what could I do a bout it nothing.
     Well Charley it all come out last night and we had some big time and I dont never want an other time like it only Im glad that I and Hamilton under stands each other and Hamilton says he will see that the town pays for what ever dammige was did a round my house.  Martin was to yellow to stay home wile he was pulling off his little trick and neither him or his wifes been home sence yest. beffore supper and the house is shut up but he needent be scarred Im going to do nothing to him not now any way because Hamilton says for me to lay lowe and pertend like I dident know the truth and if Martin tries some thing more Hamilton will go in with me and we will run him out of town and an other reason is acct. of Im sorry for Mrs. Martin and to bad shes got to be tide up to a man like he and you couldent hardily blame her for looking at an other man onct in a wile.
     Well Charley I aint got much time so I will hurry up and tell you what come off.  I and Grace went to bed early last night and we wasent hardily no more then in bed when we heard the fire whistle blown and of a sudden we herd the fire enjine and hose cart out in front of the house and then the front door bell rung like they was trying to wake up the town and I thot may be the house was on fire so I run down in my night gown and opened up the door and pretty near got drownded.  Well Charley the hose was turned right on me and me with out nothing on only my night gown and they give it to me full forse all over.  Well I tride to holler at them to quit but a man cant holler very good with the hose turned in to your mouth and I guess it would of been all off with me only for Hamilton comeing.
     He grabed the a guys that was holding the nozzle and busted 1 of them and told them if they dident shut off the water insolently he would have them all in jail and they seen who he was and shut it off.  Well Charley the hole lore flr. of the house was under water pretty near and I was a reck.  But I had sence enough left to send Grace up stares beffore I done any thing else.  When she was out of the way Hamilton come in and brung the fire men a long with him and then he ast them what did it mean and at 1st. they says it must of been a falts allarm but he says dont try any monky busness with me and the best thing you can do is tell the truth and then he told them right out what he suspect it and they owned up to it and told us how Martin had got them to do it and they thot it was just a joke between frends or they wouldent of had nothing to do with it.
     Well Charley what do you think of that.  Martin give them a peace of money and got a few drinks under there belt and then told them to pull this off and says it was just a joke and that I and him was frends. A fine frend hey Charley.
     Well Hamilton give them a awfull balling and then

told them to beet it and if they ever done any thing like that again he would get them and hes 1 of the bord that runs the town so you can bet they payed a tension to what he says.
     Then Hamilton come in and told me to go up stares and get some dry close on because he wanted to talk to me so I went up and finnished my bath with a towl and put on a pare of pants and a shirt and come down and I and Hamilton had a good long talk.
     Well Hamilton says that him and his wife had knew a bout what Martin was puting over on me for sevrul days but they thot it wasent there busness to but in unlest they was some real dammige done and when Hamilton seen the fire dept. out in the front of my house he thot it was a bout time to enter fear and I thanked him and we talked it all over and had a drink

to gather and shook hands and he went home onily he told me beffore he went to not try and do nothing untill I could get Martin good and to wait for Martin to make the next move.
     Well Charley it looks like I and Grace would be in right with the Hamiltons and the rest of the 4 hundred club and may be Martin will know enough to not try nothing more but if he does I and Hamilton will have him drove out of town onily a man cant help from feeling sorry for Mrs. Martin and I wont do nothing to injur her because a womman cant be blamed for looking at an other man onct in a wile.
     Well Charley when Martin comes back I guess he will be supprised to find I and Grace hobbling a round with the Hamiltons and the other high monky monks hey Charley.
     Your Bro.

Fred A. Gross.

the end





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