The Fool-Killer came along the Pike Road one Day and stopped to look at a Strange Sight.
Inside of a Barricade were several Thousands of Men, Women and Children. They were moving restlessly among the trampled Weeds, which were clotted with Watermelon Rinds, Chicken Bones, Straw and torn Paper Bags.
It was a very hot Day. The People could not sit down. They shuffled Wearily and were pop-eyed with Lassitude and Discouragement.
A stifling Dust enveloped them. They Gasped and Sniffled. Some tried to alleviate their Sufferings by gulping down a Pink Beverage made of Drug-Store Acid, which fed the Fires of Thirst.
Thus they wove and interwove in the smoky Oven. The Whimper or the faltering Wail of Children, the quavering Sigh of overlaced Women, and the long-drawn Profanity of Men–these were what the Fool-Killer heard as he looked upon the Suffering Throng.
“Is this a new Wrinkle on Dante’s Inferno?” he asked of the Man on the Gate, who wore a green Badge marked “Marshal,” and was taking Tickets.
“No, sir; this is a County Fair,” was the reply.
“Why do the People congregate in the Weeds and allow the Sun to warp them?”
“Because Everybody does it.”
“Do they Pay to get in?”
“You know it.”
“Can they Escape?”
“They can, but they prefer to Stick.”
The Fool-Killer hefted his Club and then looked at the Crowd and shook his Head doubtfully.
“I can’t tackle that Outfit to-day,” he said. “It’s too big a Job.”
So he went on into Town, and singled out a Main Street Merchant who refused to Advertise.
MORAL: People who expect to be Luny will find it safer to travel in a Bunch.