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Peck's Uncle Ike and The Red Headed Boy 1899   By: (1840-1916)

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PECK'S UNCLE IKE AND THE RED HEADED BOY

By George W. Peck

Alexander Belford & Co. 1899

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[Illustration: frontispiece]

[Illustration: titlepage]

To the Typical American Boy,

The boy who is not so awfully good, along at first, but just good enough; the boy who does not cry when he gets hurt, and goes into all the dangerous games there are going, and goes in to win; the boy who loves his girl with the same earnestness that he plays football, and who takes the hard knocks of work and play until he becomes hardened to anything that may come to him in after life; the boy who will investigate everything in the way of machinery, even if he gets his fingers pinched, and learns how to make the machine that pinched him; the boy who, by study, experience, and mixing up with the world, knows a little about everything that he will have to deal with when he grows up the all around boy, that makes the all around man, ready for anything, from praying for his country's prosperity to fighting for its honor; the boy who grows up qualified to lead anything, from the german at a dance to an army in battle; the boy who can take up a collection in church, or take up an artery on a man injured in a railroad accident, without losing his nerve; the boy who can ask a blessing if called upon to do so, or ask a girl's ugly father for the hand of his daughter in marriage, without choking up; the boy who grows up to be a man whom all men respect, all women love, and whom everybody wants to see President of the United States, this book is respectfully dedicated by

The Author.

CHAPTER I.

"Here, Uncle Ike, let me give you a nice piece of paper, twisted up beautifully, to light your pipe," said the red headed boy, as Uncle Ike, with his long clay pipe, filled with ill smelling tobacco, was feeling in his vest pocket for a match. "I should think nice white paper would be sweeter to light a pipe with than a greasy old match scratched on your pants," and the boy lighted a taper and handed it to the old man.

"No, don't try any new tricks on me," said Uncle Ike, as he brought out a match, from his vest pocket, picked off the shoddy that had collected on it in the bottom of his pocket, and hitched his leg around so he could scratch it on his trousers leg. "I have tried lighting my pipe with paper, and the odor of the paper kills the flavor of this 10 cent tobacco. Now, the brimstone on a match, added to the friction of the trousers leg, helps the flavor of the tobacco," and he drew the match across his trousers, and lighted his pipe, and as the smoke began to fill the room his good old face lighted up as though he had partaken of a rich wine. "I like to get a little accustomed to brimstone here on this earth, so, if I get on the wrong road when I die, and go where brimstone is the only fuel, I won't appear to the neighbors down there as though I was a tenderfoot. Wherever I go, I always want to appear as though it wasn't my first trip away from home. Ah, children," said the old man, as he blew smoke enough out of his mouth to call out a fire department, and laughed till the windows rattled, "there is lots of fun in this old world, if your pipe don't go out. Don't miss any fun, because when you die you don't know whether there is any fun going on or not."

"I believe, Uncle Ike, that you would have fun anywhere," said the boy, as he thought of the funny stories the old man had told him for many years, and listened to the laugh that acted as punctuation marks to all of Uncle Ike's remarks. "I would hate to trust you at a funeral. Did you ever laugh at a funeral, Uncle?"

"I came mighty near it once," said the old man, as he put his little finger in the pipe and pressed down the ashes, and let the smoke out again like the chimney of a factory.

"O, my! why don't they make you use a smoke consumer on that pipe, or cause you to use smokeless tobacco?" said the boy, as he coughed till the tears came to his eyes. "It looks in this room like burning a tar barrel when Dewey sunk the Spanish fleet... Continue reading book >>




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