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Switzerland, the Cradle of Liberty
by [?]

“I was only going to say I am off on my vacation now.”

“Well that’s all right. No harm in that. A man works all the better for a little let-up now and then. Not that I’ve been used to having it myself; for I haven’t. I reckon this is my first. I was born in Germany, and when I was a couple of weeks old shipped to America, and I’ve been there ever since, and that’s sixty-four years by the watch. I’m an American in principle and a German at heart, and it’s the boss combination. Well, how do you get along, as a rule–pretty fair?”

“I’ve a rather large family–“

“There, that’s it–big family and trying to raise them on a salary. Now, what did you go to do that for?”

“Well, I thought–“

“Of course you did. You were young and confident and thought you could branch out and make things go with a whirl, and here you are, you see! But never mind about that. I’m not trying to discourage you. Dear me! I’ve been just where you are myself! You’ve got good grit; there’s good stuff in you, I can see that. You got a wrong start, that’s the whole trouble. But you hold your grip, and we’ll see what can be done. Your case ain’t half as bad as it might be. You are going to come out all right–I’m bail for that. Boys and girls?”

“My family? Yes, some of them are boys–“

“And the rest girls. It’s just as I expected. But that’s all right, and it’s better so, anyway. What are the boys doing– learning a trade?”

“Well, no–I thought–“

“It’s a big mistake. It’s the biggest mistake you ever made. You see that in your own case. A man ought always to have a trade to fall back on. Now, I was harness-maker at first. Did that prevent me from becoming one of the biggest brewers in America? Oh no. I always had the harness trick to fall back on in rough weather. Now, if you had learned how to make harness– However, it’s too late now; too late. But it’s no good plan to cry over spilt milk. But as to the boys, you see–what’s to become of them if anything happens to you?”

“It has been my idea to let the eldest one succeed me–“

“Oh, come! Suppose the firm don’t want him?”

“I hadn’t thought of that, but–“

“Now, look here; you want to get right down to business and stop dreaming. You are capable of immense things–man. You can make a perfect success in life. All you want is somebody to steady you and boost you along on the right road. Do you own anything in the business?”

“No–not exactly; but if I continue to give satisfaction, I suppose I can keep my–“

“Keep your place–yes. Well, don’t you depend on anything of the kind. They’ll bounce you the minute you get a little old and worked out; they’ll do it sure. Can’t you manage somehow to get into the firm? That’s the great thing, you know.”

“I think it is doubtful; very doubtful.”

“Um–that’s bad–yes, and unfair, too. Do you suppose that if I should go there and have a talk with your people–Look here–do you think you could run a brewery?”

“I have never tried, but I think I could do it after a little familiarity with the business.”

The German was silent for some time. He did a good deal of thinking, and the king waited curiously to see what the result was going to be. Finally the German said:

“My mind’s made up. You leave that crowd–you’ll never amount to anything there. In these old countries they never give a fellow a show. Yes, you come over to America–come to my place in Rochester; bring the family along. You shall have a show in the business and the foremanship, besides. George–you said your name was George?–I’ll make a man of you. I give you my word. You’ve never had a chance here, but that’s all going to change. By gracious! I’ll give you a lift that’ll make your hair curl!”