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The Hard Work

From the Evening Star, November 19, 1913. By Walt Mason.

Sometimes I get sore and ranty o’er the work I have to do, and I rip around the shanty till the atmosphere is blue. “Why,” I ask the cat, “in thunder should a fellow toil and slave? All this skirmishing for plunder merely brings him to the grave. You are wise, old cat, in dreaming, dreaming of your feline joys, while the human chumps are screaming for some prize not worth the noise; you are wise, you derned old tabby, dreaming as the minutes scoot, while men wear their tempers shabby chasing after Dead Sea fruit.” Then I walk three blocks or seven, just to soothe my nerves a few, and encounter ten or ‘leven men who have no work to do. Men as good as I or better, who are nathless down and out, shackled by misfortune’s fetter, all their hopes gone up the spout. Men whose poverty is shrieking, men of evil luck the sport; men who spend the long days seeking work, just work, of any sort. Then I go back to my shanty in a chastened frame of mind, having seen worse hell than Dante, and resume the pleasant grind.

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