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Hot Air

From the Evening Star, May 27, 1913.
By Walt Mason.

The man who deals in rainbows has come to town by stealth, to catch the village vain beaux with tales of sudden wealth. I hear his gorgeous ravings, his winter dreams and sich: “Bring me,” he says, “your savings, and I will make you rich; I’ve coal mines in Nebraska (where coal does not exist), and peach groves in Alaska (no peaches there, I wist); the nectarine and prune shine on trees I have for sale, and I can sell you moonshine, so hand me out your kale.” The easy marks are digging their kopecks from the jar, for hot air, never twigging what easy marks they are. They hope to rake in riches and never pay the price; a sucker always itches to be a sacrifice. I sidestep such disasters as these men have in view; to my hard-earned piasters I stick like patent glue. I cannot be enchanted by any hot air crank; my coin is safely planted down in the village bank. I buy no dazzling ophirs a million miles away, no Belgian hares or gophers in Persia or Cathay. No fish in the Nyanzas, no ice plants up in Nome; no ginseng farms in Kansas, no silk works far from home. I save my clammy rubles till there’s a seemly pile, and sidestep lots of troubles, and dance and sing and smile.

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