A sample of the text. This is the first beginning of the book, all of chapter 1 which focuses on why they have the Fair and comparisons of Chicago and St. Louis.
"Tell ye, Si," said Hiram Birdseed, as they gathered round the cuspidor at Deacon Punkin's grocery store in rass Hollow.
"Jest got back from St. Louey, an' I tell ye I never had Such a gol darn time in all my born days. But talk erbout high livin', why, Si, in eight days I spent nearly three dollars an' eighty-five cents. Yes, sir, three-eighty-five in jest havin' a time an' bein' a sport. But, by hen f when it comes to havin' a good time I ain't stoppin' at no exense. Now, I'm goin' to tell ye all how Icame to go to he show.
"Ye see, Si, Shecargo an' St. Louey has allus had a sort o' a rival feelin' fer each other. Everythin' that Shecargo did, St. Louey ups an' tries to copy.
"Erbout thirty years ago Shecargo had a big fire, an' a couple of years ago the news reached St. Louey, an' what does St. Louey do, but declare themselves for a celebration to offset Shecargo's fire. St. Louey weren't a goin' to allow Shecargo to get any of the best of it. Then
St. Louey heard that Shecargo had a new Hearst paper, that wuz sort o' stirrin' up things, so as soon as St. Louey heard that, in order to uphold its reputation an' get even with Shecargo, St. Louey ups an' has a earthquake. An' that earthquake certainly did shake St. Louey, an' I don't see how anybody can blame an earthquake that shook St. Louey. I wuz dern glad to shake St. Louey myself. Then St. Louey heard about the reputation Shecargo had fer wind, so St. Louey, not to be outdid, ups an' has a democrat convention.
"St. Louey heard that Shecargo elevated all its railroads, so St. Louey elevated its prices on everythin'.
"St. Louey heard that it took ten years to build the new Shecargo postoffice, so to get revenge an' to keep up its reputation, St. Louey started to build a new courthouse which never will be finished.
"St. Louey heard about Shecargo an' its hold-ups, so what does St. Louey do but put a lot of extra straps in all the street cars to hold up the people. Wal, they needn't a went to all that trouble fer the hotels did that all right.
"Then Shecargo had a whole lot of mud, that it wanted to give to St. Louey, so the people of Shecargo, led by Carter Harrison, the feller what invented Carter's Little Liver Pills, built the Drainage Canal, that drained down all the Shecargo mud to St. Louey. So St. Louey goes to work an' has the Louisiana Exposition that drains all the money from Shecargo.
"Ye, see, Si, I wuz readin' in the Squashville Pump, as how Congress, that is the Seneatearium an' the House of Misrepresentatives, got together in a joint meetin', in some joint, an' they passed a New Year's resolution, with a whole lot of whereasses (an' it seems to yawn Uncle Hiram that there's a whole lot of dern asses in Congress) an' they decided to give somethin' like fifteen million dollars to run the Louisiana Exposition. An' I thought on that that they wuz a goin' to give everythin' away down there. I know somebody pocketed the most of that fifteen million dollars, an' I thought they would give the most of that away as to who got it. But before I went down there I thought that everythin' in the exposition would be free. An' I thought if I could go down there, an' I get fifteen million dollars' worth of exposition fer nothin' that it wuz a heap better than stayin' around to hum an' talkin' politics.
"So I told Aunt Maria to pack up my carpet sack, an' git me ready fer a trip down there.
"But I found out different when I got down there. They didn't give nothin' away, except each other.
"Jest think of Congress bein' such dern fools as to give fifteen million dollars fer an exposition to celebrate the purchase of Louisiana; when fer fifteen million dollars congress could have bought another state as big as Louisiana. The hull trouble wuz caused by a feller by the name of De Soretoe. Ye see, St. Louey is situated between the Mrs. Sippe an' Misery Rivers. An' there's more misery down there than Mrs. Sippe.
"But fer the life of me I can't make out why they call that the Mrs. Sippe river. Becuz histery tells us that the Indians who named the river called it `The Father of Waters.' Wal, if it's the Father of Waters, why do they call it Mrs? It appears to yer Uncle Hiram as if they ought to call it Mr. Sippe river. An if they wanted to ring in Mr. Sippe's wife they could call the Misery river the Mrs. Sippe river an' in that way they could have 'em both-Mr. and Mrs. Sippe rivers.
"I guess the reason they call one the Misery river is on account of St. Louey bein' so near its mouth, an' that's enough to make anything miserable.
"The feller whose statue they showed on the fair ground, wuz a dago by the name of Del Sarteo, or De Soretoe, that's it, De Soretoe. He got a soretoe because he walked all the way from Canada to the Mrs. Sippe.
"Wal, this feller De Soretoe is the feller they're praisin' so much becuz he discovered the Mrs. Sippe river. "They say he's a great man, but I don't see where he's so great. Wasn't that river waitin' there thousands of years to be discovered? I could have discovered the dern thing myself if I'd a known it wuz there.
"An' the river would have been there whether he discovered it or not. He couldn't help but discover it. "There he wuz walkin' along the road, an' all of a sudden the river gurgles to attract his attention an' Mr. Soretoe he goes up to the river an' sez : `River, you are discovered.'
"Is that anythin' so great?
"Suppose that river had a been angry that day an' had refused to be discovered, what could Soretoe have done? Not a blamed thing.
"He would have had to go further an' discover something else. That's why I can't see why they're pluggin' that dago so all fired strong. In fact, I never could see why folks go crazy over explorers anyhow.
"Look at them fellers who go up an' try to discover the North Pole. None of the poles is good enough fer them fellers in this country. If their wives asked them to go out in the back yard an' put up a clothes pole they'd holler like Sam Hill. No, they want the North Pole.
"One of them North Pole explorers will go up to Congresswhen Congress is drunk an' they say to Congress `Give me four million dollars.' An' Congress sez : `What fer?' An' the explorer sez: `I want to discover the North Pole.'
"Then those fellers in Congress who do their best to keep the treasury empty say: `All right, give this man four million.' An' they take a shovel an' a bucket an' they go over to the mint an' dig up four million dollars of yours an' my money. They build him a fancy ship, he takes it, goes up as far as Greenland, gets off whey he gets to Greenland an' holds a big jubilee; becuz he wuz smart enough to `land the greene
"Then the explorer spends our four million dollars, comes back busted an' tells us in a magizine article how dern cold it is up near the pole. Wal, don't we know it's cold up there? We don't need to spend four million dollars to find that out.
"We can buy nineteen cent thermomerters fer to find that out. But that's all we get out of them explorer fellers : `It's cold at the pole.'
"If one of them would only go up there, grab ahold on it an' get a splinter in his finger, it wouldn't be so bad. He could bring back the finger with the splinter in it an' we could put them under a glass case at Washington, an' put a sign on the glass case, `This is what we paid four million dollars fer. Take a good look.'
"Thet might prove a benefit for science, but dern if we git even that much.
"I tell ye, boys, instead of sendin' our children to schools an' colleges an' such like constitutions, an' teachin' 'em how to be lawyers an' doctors, we ought to let them take Pain's Celery Compound until they got nerve enough to go an' ask Congress fer four million dollars to be explorers. Yes, siree.
"The way this thing looks to yer Uncle Hiram is this way. To give ye all a better idea, I'll have to recite ve a little histery.
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