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How Doth the Simple Spelling Bee   By: (1860-1938)

Book cover

First Page:

How doth the Simple Spelling Bee

BY

OWEN WISTER

AUTHOR OF "THE VIRGINIAN," "LADY BALTIMORE," ETC., ETC.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY F. R. GRUGER

New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY LONDON: THE MACMILLAN CO., LTD. 1907 All rights reserved

COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY.

COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1907.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

ILLUSTRATIONS

FACING PAGE

"Hup, hup, hup!" Frontispiece

Flung the cakes at my man Edward. 10

"Chickle is not liquid refreshment." 24

Professors Totts and Egghorn signing their respective works. 54

Masticator B. Fellows. 58

Professor Dudelsacker. 82

Jesse had mounted upon the table with the still faintly bellowing Totts. 96

[Illustration: "Hup, hup, hup!"]

HOW DOTH THE SIMPLE SPELLING BEE

How doth the Simple Spelling bee Impruv each shining ower.

Of course, I know not how it may be with you; but with me the mail brings daily a multitude of communications that I have not sought, and do not want; nor do I refer to bills alone; and so, when there came one day a printed card saying:

Why Heifer?

I tossed it into my waste paper basket, and remembered it no more. Some days had passed, during which I had worked onward at the index of my forthcoming volume, when my memory was jogged by the arrival of a new absurdity:

Why not Heffer?

Like its predecessor, this card went at once into my basket. I had nearly finished the B's in my index before the mail brought the following:

It ought to be your custom now To simplify, and spell plough plow; Therefore write quickly on your cuff From this day forth to spell tough tuff. A third must follow these first tu, So you will always spell through thru, Nor in the midst of things leave off, But joyfully now make cough coff. By this time you must clearly noa Dough can't be doe, do, dow, but doa.

Well, if they purposed to reform our spelling, which has always been a mere rag bag of lawlessness, I hoped that they would do it right; but I was too deeply immersed in completing the index of my forthcoming volume to spend thought upon this question; nor did I court interruption. My waste paper basket, therefore, received another willing contribution. And when presently the clue to these cards reached me in the following telegraphic message, just at the outset of my morning's work:

CHICKLE UNIVERSITY, Arkansopolis, October 6, 1906. English spelling rotten to the core. Help us. MASTICATOR B. FELLOWS.

I responded, not without satire:

Utterly prostrated by news. Helpless. THOMAS GREENBERRY.

And thinking that thus I was rid of him, I proceeded quietly with the index of my forthcoming volume.

But Masticator B. Fellows, president and proprietor of Chickle University, had not done with me so easily. Since his street boyhood, sixty years ago, this ardent personality ('tis thus the daily press describes him) had made his own way, and had his own way; he was his own capital, and there is no record of his ever having sunk a cent of it. Of habits strictly pure, he had never seen a card or a drop of liquor that he had touched, and he had never seen a dollar that he had not touched. He had organized every industry along his path, from paper selling, boot blacking, and so upward to his organized lobby at Washington, through which he had caused a heavy tariff to be put upon every commodity necessary to the American people. It was he who had advised his brother organizers to keep Religion on the free list, because, as he assured them, "if we tax it, they'll do without it, while if we don't, they'll trust us for a while yet... Continue reading book >>




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