The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 44

mother before in his life," he mused; "why the mere
thought of undressing in front of a strange man made him turn red--and
posing as The Oskaloosa Kid! Bless my soul; but he's a humorist--a
regular, natural born one."

Bridge found that his clothing had dried to some extent during the
night; so, after a brisk rub, he put on the warmed garments and though
some were still a trifle damp he felt infinitely more comfortable than
he had for many hours.

Outside the house he came upon the girl and the youth standing in the
sunshine of a bright, new day. They were talking together in a most
animated manner, and as he approached wondering what the two had found
of so great common interest he discovered that the discussion hinged
upon the relative merits of ham and bacon as a breakfast dish.

"Oh, my heart it is just achin'," quoted Bridge,

"For a little bite of bacon,

"A hunk of bread, a little mug of brew;

"I'm tired of seein' scenery,

"Just lead me to a beanery

"Where there's something more than only air to

chew."

The two looked up, smiling. "You're a funny kind of tramp, to be quoting
poetry," said The Oskaloosa Kid, "even if it is Knibbs'."

"Almost as funny," replied Bridge, "as a burglar who recognizes Knibbs
when he hears him."

The Oskaloosa Kid flushed. "He wrote for us of the open road," he
replied quickly. "I don't know of any other class of men who should
enjoy him more."

"Or any other class that is less familiar with him," retorted Bridge;
"but the burning question just now is pots, not poetry--flesh pots. I'm
hungry. I could eat a cow."

The girl pointed to an adjacent field. "Help yourself," she said.

"That happens to be a bull," said Bridge. "I was particular to mention
cow, which, in this instance, is proverbially less dangerous than the
male, and much better eating.

"'We kept a-rambling all the time. I rustled grub, he rustled rhyme--

"'Blind baggage, hoof it, ride or climb--we always put it through.'
Who's going to rustle the grub?"

The girl looked at The Oskaloosa Kid. "You don't seem like a tramp at
all, to talk to," she said; "but I suppose you are used to asking for
food. I couldn't do it--I should die if I had

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