The Oakdale Affair

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 48

"I'm ever so much obliged," he said, "and you needn't
mind about any change. I thank you so much." With which he took the
several packages and pails and turned toward the road.

"Yew gotta return them pails!" shouted Mrs. Case after him.

"Oh, of course," replied The Kid.

"Gosh!" exclaimed Mr. Case, feelingly. "I wisht I'd asked six bits
more--I mought jest as well o' got it as not. Gosh, eh?"

"Gosh!" murmured Willie Case, fervently.

Back down the sticky road plodded The Oskaloosa Kid, his arms heavy and
his heart light, for, was he not 'bringing home the bacon,' literally as
well as figuratively. As he entered the Squibbs' gateway he saw the
girl and Bridge standing upon the verandah waiting his coming, and as
he approached them and they caught a nearer view of his great burden of
provisions they hailed him with loud acclaim.

"Some artist!" cried the man. "And to think that I doubted your ability
to make a successful touch! Forgive me! You are the ne plus ultra, non
est cumquidibus, in hoc signo vinces, only and original kind of hand-out
compellers."

"How in the world did you do it?" asked the girl, rapturously.

"Oh, it's easy when you know how," replied The Oskaloosa Kid carelessly,
as, with the help of the others, he carried the fruits of his expedition
into the kitchen. Here Bridge busied himself about the stove, adding
more wood to the fire and scrubbing a portion of the top plate as clean
as he could get it with such crude means as he could discover about the
place.

The youth he sent to the nearby brook for water after selecting the
least dirty of the several empty tin cans lying about the floor of the
summer kitchen. He warned against the use of the water from the old
well and while the boy was away cut a generous portion of the bacon into
long, thin strips.

Shortly after, the water coming to the boil, Bridge lowered three eggs
into it, glanced at his watch, greased one of the new cleaned stove lids
with a piece of bacon rind and laid out as many strips of bacon as the
lid would accommodate. Instantly the room was filled with the delicious
odor of frying bacon.

"M-m-m-m!" gloated The Oskaloosa Kid. "I wish I had bo--asked for more.
My! but I never smelled anything so good as that in all my life. Are you
going to boil only three eggs? I could eat a dozen."

"The can'll only hold three at a time," explained Bridge. "We'll have
some more boiling while we

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