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From the Omaha Daily Bee, December 26, 1914. By Grip Alexander.

The ashman worked away with vim.
    His terms are far from small.
Before a man can talk to him
    He’s got to hire a haul.

Said I, “Well, here’s a great to-do!
    I’ve ashes fine to sell,
And I must give them all to you
    And give you cash as well!”

He showed me all his teeth and laughed
    A laugh to raise the roof,
And flashed an answer free from craft,
    “Dat sholy am de truf!”

“At fifteen cents a barrel flat,
    Ten barrels to the load,
Each night ’tis mighty riches that
    You tote to your abode.”

Said he, “Well, sah, it’s dish yere way!
    All business am a risk,
Ah mos’ly makes one load a day—
    Excusin’ when trade’s brisk.

“Ah pays a quartah at de dump,
    An’ dat don’ make me holler;
But when dem prices takes a jump
    It done cost half a dollar.

“An’ dat ol’ ornery hoss o’ mine
    Is needin’ oats an’ hay.
Ah guess his livin’ ain’ too fine
    At sixty cents a day.”

“Dump charges, stabling, feed,” I said,
    “Will eat up cash like sin.
And wear and tear! Say, uncle Ned,
    Just where do you come in?”

The look he flashed was bright and quick,
    His voice was soft, caressin’,
“Ah’s right smart at arithmetic,
    But dat sho has me guessin’!”

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