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Abe Wallace

Abe Wallace image
Parent Issue
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" rVbat'ti er matter wid jer?" demanded Abc Wallace, with a not unnatural petu lance under the ciroumataDcea. " What er yer lingerin' aroQod that visage er mine for? Oan't ver rasp that countenan Obviously he eouldo't. For neaily an huur be had etranned hisrazorsand mowed diligcntly, but barber though lie was ol a thousand, barber extraordinary to L iapitii; Antelope Kun, lie seenied to tnake DO headway against Abe's bristling badge of ni.mhood. r "Ef yer razors won't out, shoot 'cm off. Ve're me? Shoot 'em off," and the handsome, sunburned miner composed bitnself for tlie novel operation. "Is the barber at home?' asked a low swet-t, musical voiee, entering the door at that moment. He started. No yellow water running from hts pan had ever looked as sweet to him as tliat voice. It percolated him, and he aróse from the chair a new man. The rough lile passed away (rom him. The crust formed by his habits and hardened by his surroundings was broken. "Permitme, madame, toasiure you that tliis individual befóte you is the barber," 8aid Abe, and his new dignily sat casily upon him and seemed a part ot' him. " I am on my way from B ton to the Sandwich Islands," said the young girl, (uiotly, "and our carriage bioke down. I thought I would improvfi the opportunity and have my hair banged. Oh! no, no," bhe uxclaimed, as Abc pmllabtly drew tiirth a thousand dollar draft on New York. "Not for the world. I've six minióos of dollars not only in niy own right, but in n,y pui-ki-t. 1 wiU pay for any service." As the barber proeeeded with his task. Abe walked the shop nervously. A presage of danger oppressed him. The chestnut curls on his foiehead grew damp with anxiety. Ele knew life, in his rough way, and he knew barbers. The fair young girl would be no match for the frontier hair dresser, if the worst fchould eome. And why should it not come? Had she not millions in her pocket? He glanced at the tiny feet planted squarely and firmly on the stool before her, and recignized character. He knew nothing of Boston, but he un derstood feet. "And you live in this funny place, te he?" asked tha g!rl, smiling at Abe's refleclinn in the glass. "I do," sighed Abe. "MUfortuMs have cast my bark of life high upon thi.s barren ,.hore and left me with only the shelter the sea weeds afford." "Tehel howodd. üuch !" But Abegrasned him and laid him upou the floor. The barber had made a dive for the dainty pocket and had faikd. Leaping Antelope Run wa" aroused. Such an attack foun 1 no apnlogi-its among the wild, rough minéis. Whatevcr they mighl be inherently, ihey would tolérate nothing of the kind in the barber. "Away to the dull thud!" demanded one more intelligent than the And they echoed the cry till the luoon'.it air was shivered and the beams crept away convult-ively. They may have expeoted him to beg, but he eyed them sternly. "Oh! my ! what will they do with him?" asked the beauty with one eye. She had no need to speak. The thrilUof that eye struck a chord in Abe Wallaje. "They'l! sprain his neck, darliog," murmurcd Wallace in tender accents. Thi.s feeling was new tri him, but he understood it. "Gracious! and may I see him?" whispered she with the other eyo. Abe's answer wjs lost in the sullen roar of the crowd. ( )ut under the grand old trees that fringed the mines. Out under the whisper of the leaves. Out through the shadows. The wind swept down from the sierras, velvet winds, but pitiless. They ehciok sweet voices out of their satin garments, but not a pleading tone for that human barber, soon to be neither barber nor hu man. The rope was aiound his neck. Wilüng hands wcre ready. A cloud floated across the face of the moon, but she struggled from behind it, held by the horror cf the scène. "Hold!" commanded Abe. And then addressing the barber, he asked: "You are justice of the peace, are you not?" "lam," responded the condemned, in low, steady tones. "Then marry in," said Wallace, drawing the Boston girl's arm within his own. "You do take this woman for your wedded wife?" asked the barber, wiih a strange glitter in his eye. " 1 do," responded Abe. " You do take this man lor your wedded husband?" inquired tlie barber, witli a peculiar smile. "Te, he ! I suppqse so, te, he!" whis pered the musical voice. "Then I pronounce you man and wife. Go to tbc devil. The rope tinhtened, but as he went up the barber Qttered i wild demoniac laugh. Then with the shadow of the sierras gatheriug around him, he hung dead. Try as he might Abe could not shake off the influence of that laugh. It was a ghost in his life. "MyGod!" he screamed as he sprang Trom his seat a day or two afterward. "I understand it now. " " Understand what, love?" asked his beautilul bride, looking up from the hite of an apple. " I know why he laughcd. I know why :he barber lau;! lied with hisdyin? breath," lic moaned. " Gracious goodness! What was it for?" sho demanded with dimplÍBg imilea, " Because he died without giving us a marrtage surtiiicate." With a wild shriek the Boston girl sank dead at his feet. The barber was avenged.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News