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The Practical Man

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From the Soientiflc American. He s&t beside us in a street car. He looked over our shoulder at the new copy of the Scientifiv American, which, fresh from the press, was receiving our final scrutiny, and requested the loan of the paper for a moment when we had finished. He gianoed at thefirst page, skimmed over the middle, and peeped into the inside. " I suppose that paper interests a great many people," he remarked. We modestly signified our assent. "Wa'll, it don't me," ho interrupted sharply. " It doesn't take no papers nor books to learn me my business, you know. Never learned nothing from books in my life. Didn't have but a quarter'sschoolin' and then I went into the shop. Served my time with oíd Peto Reynolds, of Boston. You know him, mebbe ; dead now. Was bis foreman ; now I'm boss of my own works in the city. I'm a practical man, I ain. All yer hollergys and hosserphys may do well enough to write about, but they ain't no sort'er use in the shop. They just git inter men's heads and set 'em to thinkin' about other things than their work, and then they git inventin' and that's the last of 'em. Why, I had a likely young feller, who used to buy that paper and read on it dinner hour. Sometimes he'd stick it up on his lathe, until I stopped that, mighty sudden. Wa'll, one day I caught him scribblin' with a piece of chalk on a board ; then I knowed the invention fit had got hold of him, and that he was agoner A few weeks after he carne to the offico, and said he : ' Boss, I've got a little arrangement here that'll make the old lathe do better work,' and he out with one of them reg'lar printed paytents, and showed me a new attachment formakin' gearing and sich. ' Wa'll,' said I, to humyr him, hke, ' 8ouny,'says I, 'you can make you a masheen and set it up on the lathe, if y(;r wanter.' But the ungrateful villin began to say something about royalty and shop rights, and I told the bookkeeper to pay him rigut off and let him clear out Blow me if he didn't go right over to Smith's acrost the street and rig his affair there ; and the first thing I know'd Smith was turnin' out work at half my prices. Then I had to go find that feller and pay him his blamed royalty, and a heap it wae, too." " Now, there was a good hand just spiled by a-readin' ; if he'd let that 'ere paper of your'n alone he might ha' been a good, stiddy man, gittin' his three dollars a day comfortable and regular. Now they say he's makin' stamps by the thousands; but be's spiled. Won't be worth nuthin' ever fer work agin. Wheie'ud I have been if I'd pegged away at books and noozepapers - eh 'Í " Our practical friend did not wait for an answer ; for while we were cogitating a suitable response, he suddenly made a bolt out of the car and rushei down the street toward a dilapidated-looking edifice, which we conjectured was none other than tho " works." Our acquaintance carried oö our paper. He honestly mailed it back to us the other day. We smiled as we saw thumb ruarks on all the pages, and opposite an engraving there was a pencil note of : "I kno a bettur plan than this." Perhaps, after all, a latent idea in his brain ha been aroused, or has he taken the invention fit? Should he see this he will promptly scout the idea that our huinble offorts have awakened him, for it " doesn't take no papers to learii me my business, you know." He Looked (Juilty. A lawyer from Chester, S. C, a heavy negro county, gives maay incidents illustrating the Afriean's judicial capacity. Not loñg since a negro ofí'ender was brought before a negro Trial Justice. The prisoner's offense was, in fact, no offense at all, and it was only from malice that he was arrested. A white man - a most respectable farmer - had givon hiin some ootton seed, and he had taken it without tuthought but ffU&ftáiíí&Yáe ewiöu OeHei,fcmutiaa darky No. 1 arrested for stealing. The Trial Justice heard the testimony, and sentenced the poor negro to ten days' imprisonment and twenty dollars fine, although there was not a partido of testimony upon which he could rea. sonably base a conviction. It happened that the Circuit Court was in session, and the Judge was informed that an innocent man was in jail. He had the Justice before him in court, and inquired for the testimony, which the law declares shall be reduced to writing. " I hain't got any," said the black Justice. "I don't do no writing in my court : I keeps it all in my head." " What testimony did you have against this man ?" demanded the Judge. He could not give any. " Then why did you conviot him ?" the Judge asked. " 'Cause, sah, I noticed him close, and he looked guilty." "You convicted him, then, on his looks, and nót on the evidence." " Yes, sah, he looked guilty, and I found him guilty," The black judicial officer was thereupon given some wholesome advice as how to conduct his "court," and departed with a bow and a " Yes, sah."


Old News
Michigan Argus