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Sixes and Sevens   By: (1862-1910)

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E text prepared by Glynn Burleson and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.

SIXES AND SEVENS

by

O. HENRY

CONTENTS

I. THE LAST OF THE TROUBADOURS II. THE SLEUTHS III. WITCHES' LOAVES IV. THE PRIDE OF THE CITIES V. HOLDING UP A TRAIN VI. ULYSSES AND THE DOGMAN VII. THE CHAMPION OF THE WEATHER VIII. MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD KIN IX. AT ARMS WITH MORPHEUS X. A GHOST OF A CHANCE XI. JIMMY HAYES AND MURIEL XII. THE DOOR OF UNREST XIII. THE DUPLICITY OF HARGRAVES XIV. LET ME FEEL YOUR PULSE XV. OCTOBER AND JUNE XVI. THE CHURCH WITH AN OVERSHOT WHEEL XVII. NEW YORK BY CAMP FIRE LIGHT XVIII. THE ADVENTURES OF SHAMROCK JOLNES XIX. THE LADY HIGHER UP XX. THE GREATER CONEY XXI. LAW AND ORDER XXII. TRANSFORMATION OF MARTIN BURNEY XXIII. THE CALIPH AND THE CAD XXIV. THE DIAMOND OF KALI XXV. THE DAY WE CELEBRATE

I

THE LAST OF THE TROUBADOURS

Inexorably Sam Galloway saddled his pony. He was going away from the Rancho Altito at the end of a three months' visit. It is not to be expected that a guest should put up with wheat coffee and biscuits yellow streaked with saleratus for longer than that. Nick Napoleon, the big Negro man cook, had never been able to make good biscuits. Once before, when Nick was cooking at the Willow Ranch, Sam had been forced to fly from his cuisine , after only a six weeks' sojourn.

On Sam's face was an expression of sorrow, deepened with regret and slightly tempered by the patient forgiveness of a connoisseur who cannot be understood. But very firmly and inexorably he buckled his saddle cinches, looped his stake rope and hung it to his saddle horn, tied his slicker and coat on the cantle, and looped his quirt on his right wrist. The Merrydews (householders of the Rancho Altito), men, women, children, and servants, vassals, visitors, employés, dogs, and casual callers were grouped in the "gallery" of the ranch house, all with faces set to the tune of melancholy and grief. For, as the coming of Sam Galloway to any ranch, camp, or cabin between the rivers Frio or Bravo del Norte aroused joy, so his departure caused mourning and distress.

And then, during absolute silence, except for the bumping of a hind elbow of a hound dog as he pursued a wicked flea, Sam tenderly and carefully tied his guitar across his saddle on top of his slicker and coat. The guitar was in a green duck bag; and if you catch the significance of it, it explains Sam.

Sam Galloway was the Last of the Troubadours. Of course you know about the troubadours. The encyclopædia says they flourished between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries. What they flourished doesn't seem clear you may be pretty sure it wasn't a sword: maybe it was a fiddlebow, or a forkful of spaghetti, or a lady's scarf. Anyhow, Sam Galloway was one of 'em.

Sam put on a martyred expression as he mounted his pony. But the expression on his face was hilarious compared with the one on his pony's. You see, a pony gets to know his rider mighty well, and it is not unlikely that cow ponies in pastures and at hitching racks had often guyed Sam's pony for being ridden by a guitar player instead of by a rollicking, cussing, all wool cowboy. No man is a hero to his saddle horse. And even an escalator in a department store might be excused for tripping up a troubadour.

Oh, I know I'm one; and so are you. You remember the stories you memorize and the card tricks you study and that little piece on the piano how does it go? ti tum te tum ti tum those little Arabian Ten Minute Entertainments that you furnish when you go up to call on your rich Aunt Jane. You should know that omnæ personæ in tres partes divisæ sunt . Namely: Barons, Troubadours, and Workers. Barons have no inclination to read such folderol as this; and Workers have no time: so I know you must be a Troubadour, and that you will understand Sam Galloway... Continue reading book >>




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