**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Champion Of The Weather
by [?]

“Well, one day when I was particular hankering for to be gregarious with something more loquacious than a lamp post, a fellow in a caffy says to me, says he:

“‘Nice day!’

“He was a kind of a manager of the place, and I reckon he’d seen me in there a good many times. He had a face like a fish and an eye like Judas, but I got up and put one arm around his neck.

“‘Pardner,’ I says, ‘sure it’s a nice day. You’re the first gentleman in all New York to observe that the intricacies of human speech might not be altogether wasted on William Kingsbury. But don’t you think,’ says I, ‘that ’twas a little cool early in the morning; and ain’t there a feeling of rain in the air to-night? But along about noon it sure was gallupsious weather. How’s all up to the house? You doing right well with the caffy, now?’

“Well, sir, that galoot just turns his back and walks off stiff, without a word, after all my trying to be agreeable! I didn’t know what to make of it. That night I finds a note from Summers, who’d been away from town, giving the address of his camp. I goes up to his house and has a good, old-time talk with his folks. And I tells Summers about the actions of this coyote in the caffy, and desires interpretation.

“‘Oh,’ says Summers, ‘he wasn’t intending to strike up a conversation with you. That’s just the New York style. He’d seen you was a regular customer and he spoke a word or two just to show you he appreciated your custom. You oughtn’t to have followed it up. That’s about as far as we care to go with a stranger. A word or so about the weather may be ventured, but we don’t generally make it the basis of an acquaintance. ‘

“‘Billy,’ says I, ‘the weather and its ramifications is a solemn subject with me. Meteorology is one of my sore points. No man can open up the question of temperature or humidity or the glad sunshine with me, and then turn tail on it without its leading to a falling barometer. I’m going down to see that man again and give him a lesson in the art of continuous conversation. You say New York etiquette allows him two words and no answer. Well, he’s going to turn himself into a weather bureau and finish what he begun with me, besides indulging in neighbourly remarks on other subjects.’

“Summers talked agin it, but I was irritated some and I went on the street car back to that caffy.

“The same fellow was there yet, walking round in a sort of back corral where there was tables and chairs. A few people was sitting around having drinks and sneering at one another.

“I called that man to one side and herded him into a corner. I unbuttoned enough to show him a thirty-eight I carried stuck under my vest.

“‘Pardner,’ I says, ‘a brief space ago I was in here and you seized the opportunity to say it was a nice day. When I attempted to corroborate your weather signal, you turned your back and walked off. Now,’ says I, ‘you frog-hearted, language-shy, stiff-necked cross between a Spitzbergen sea cook and a muzzled oyster, you resume where you left off in your discourse on the weather.’

“The fellow looks at me and tries to grin, but he sees I don’t and he comes around serious.

“‘Well,’ says he, eyeing the handle of my gun, ‘it was rather a nice day; some warmish, though.’

“‘Particulars, you mealy-mouthed snoozer,’ I says — ‘let’s have the specifications — expatiate — fill in the outlines. When you start anything with me in short-hand it’s bound to turn out a storm signal.’