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Kilo : being the love story of Eliph' Hewlitt, book agent   By: (1869-1937)

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Being the Love Story of Eliph' Hewlitt Book Agent

By Ellis Parker Butler


I. Eliph' Hewlitt II. Susan III. "How to Win the Affections" IV. Kilo V. Sammy Mills VI. The Castaway VII. The Colonel VIII. The Medium sized Box IX. The Witness X. The Boss Grafter XI. The False Gods of Doc Weaver XII. Getting Acquainted XIII. "Second: a Small Present" XIV. Something Turns Up XV. Difficulties XVI. Two Lovers, and a Third XVII. According to Jarby's XVIII. Another Trial XIX. Pap Briggs' Hen Food


CHAPTER I. Eliph' Hewlitt

Eliph' Hewlitt, book agent, seated in his weather beaten top buggy, drove his horse, Irontail, carefully along the rough Iowa hill road that leads from Jefferson to Clarence. The Horse, a rusty gray, tottered in a loose jointed manner from side to side of the road, half asleep in the sun, and was indolent in every muscle of his body, except his tail, which thrashed violently at the flies. Eliph' Hewlitt drove with his hands held high, almost on a level with his sandy whiskers, for he was well acquainted with Irontail.

The road seemed to pass through a region of large farms, offering few opportunities for selling books, the houses being so far apart, but Eliph' knew the small settlement of Clarence was a few miles farther on, and he was carrying enlightenment to the benighted. He glowed with missionary zeal. In his eagerness he thoughtlessly slapped the reins on the back of Irontail.

Instantly the plump, gray tail of the horse flashed over the rein and clamped it fast. Eliph' Hewlitt leaned over the dashboard of his buggy and grasped the hair of the tail firmly. He pulled it upward with all his strength, but the tail did not yield. Instead, Irontail kicked vigorously. Eliph' Hewlitt, knowing his horse as well as he knew human nature, climbed out of the buggy, and taking the rein close by the bit led Irontail to the side of the road. Then he took from beneath the buggy seat a bulky, oil cloth wrapped parcel and seated himself near the horse's head. There was no safety for a timid driver when Irontail had thus assumed command of the rein. There was no way to get a rein from beneath that tail but to ignore it. In an hour or so Irontail would grow forgetful, carelessly begin flapping flies, and release the rein himself.

Eliph' Hewlitt unwrapped the oilcloth from the object in enfolded. It was a book. It was Jarby's 'Encyclopedia of Knowledge and Compendium of Literature, Science, Art, Comprising Useful Information on One Thousand and One Subjects, Including A History of the World, the Lives of all Famous Men, Quotations From the World's Great Authors, One Thousand and One Recipes, Et Cetera'. One Volume, five dollars bound in cloth; seven fifty in morocco. Eliph' Hewlitt passed his hand affectionately over the gilt stamped cover, and then opened it at random and read.

For years he had been reading Jarby's Encyclopedia, and among its ten thousand and one subjects he always found something new. It opened now at "Courtship How to Make Love How to Win the Affections How to Hold Them When Won," and although he had read the pages often before, he found in all parts of the book, whenever he read it, a new meaning. It occurred to him that even a book agent might have reason to use the helpful words set for in clear type in the chapter on "Courtship How to Make Love," and he realized that sometime he must reach the age when he would need a home of his own. For years he had thought of woman only as a possible customer for Jarby's Encyclopedia. Every woman, not already married, he now saw, might be a possible Mrs. Eliph' Hewlitt.

Suddenly he raised his head. On the breeze there was borne to him the sound of voices many voices. He closed the book with a bang. His small body became tense; his eyes glittered. He scented prey. He wrapped the book in its oilcloth, laid it upon the buggy seat, and taking Irontail by the bridle, started in the direction of the voices... Continue reading book >>

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