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A Flyer In Dirt
by [?]

“Alas!” he said, brushing away a tear with the corner of a gray shawl which he wore, and wiping his bright, piercing nose on the top rail of my fence, “so that they would not go to hell, Mr. Nye!”

“And do you think that the heathen who knows nothing of God will go to hell, or has been going to hell for, say, ten thousand years, without having seen a daily paper or a Testament?”

“I do. Millions of ignorant people in yet undiscovered lands are going to hell daily without the knowledge of God.” With that he turned away, and concealed his emotion in his shawl, while his whole frame shook.

“But, even if he should escape by reason of his ignorance, we can not escape the responsibility of shedding the light of the gospel upon his opaque soul,” said he.

So I gave him $2 to assist the poor heathen to a place where he may share the welcome of a cordial and eternal damnation along with the more educated and refined classes. Whether the heathen will ever appreciate it or not, I can not tell at this moment. Lately I have had a little ray of fear that he might not, and with that fear, like a beam of sunshine, comes the blessed hope that possibly something may have happened to the $2, and that mayhap it did not get there.

I went up to see the property with which my wife had been endowed by the generous foresight of Mr. Pansley, the heathen’s friend. I had seen the place before, but not in the autumn.

Oh, no, I had not saw it in the hectic of the dying year! I had not saw it when the squirrel, the comic lecturer, and the Italian go forth to gather their winter hoard of chestnuts. I had not saw it as the god of day paints the royal mantle of the year’s croaking monarch and the crow sinks softly onto the swelling bosom of the dead horse. I had only saw it in the wild, wet spring. I had only saw it when the frost and the bullfrog were heaving out of the ground.

I strolled out there. I rode on the railroad for a couple of hours first, I think. Then I got off at a tank, where I got a nice, cool, refreshing drink of as good, pure water as I ever flung a lip over. Then rolling my trousers up a yard or two, I struck off into the scrub pine, carrying with me a large board on which I had painted in clear, beautiful characters:


The owner finding it necessary to go to Europe for eight or nine years, in order to brush up on the languages of the continent and return a few royal visits there, will sell all this suburban property. Terms reasonable. No restrictions except that street-cars shall not run past these lots at a higher rate of speed than sixty miles per hour without permission of the owner.

I think that the property looks better in the autumn even than it does in spring. The autumn leaves are falling. Also the price on this piece of property. It would be a good time to buy it now. Also a good time to sell. I shall add nothing because it has been associated with me. That will cut no figure, for it has not been associated with me so very long, or so very intimately.

The place, with advertising and the free use of capital, could be made a beautiful rural resort, or it could be fenced off tastefully into a cheap commodious place in which to store bears for market.

But it has grown. It is wider, it seems to me, and there is less to obstruct the view. As soon as commutation or dining trains are put on between Minneapolis and Sitka, a good many pupils will live on my property and go to school at Sitka.