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"We had an accidint,' says Buck. "What bloodied up yer nose?' say's he to Whallen.
"T is part of the accidint,' says Whallen.
"Sure,' says the sergint, lookin' around at the broken wheel and the place where ketchup fell, this is no fight. "T is an accidint. What fool called us out on account of this?' And with that they all turned around and filed into the wagon again.
"Buck had been thinkin' over the thing from all sides, and he decided the best way was to go and get help. And the best place to get it was from another van that was movin' a family down at Thirtieth Street. So he touched the sergint on the elbow and asked him if he would mind givin' him a ride down that far. 'I want to get help as soon as possible,' says he.
"Climb in,' says the sergint.
"So Buck got in with the officers, and away they went clangin' down the street again.
"When they were gettin' down near Forty-third Street they could see another big crowd ahead of them coverin' the sidewalk and out into the street. The sergint stood up and looked. There was a mob of men and boys all packed together watchin' the excitement; and there was an open space in the middle like when there is a fight goin' on. And Buck he stood up and looked.'
"Hit up the horses,' says the sergint to the driver. "T is there the trouble is We have missed it entirely.'
"So the driver hit up the horses and gave his gong a clang, and they went tearin' along again, with the drivers all turnin' their teams and clearin' out of the way.
"Draw up on the opposite side of the street,' says the sergint to the driver. 'Be ready with your clubs, men. Out and into them.'
"So the wagon stopped at the opposite curb, and the officers piled out with drawn clubs and charged acrost the street and into the crowd.
"And what d' ye think 't was all about? Well, I will tell ye. There was a whole gang of them Chicago sparrows all pickin' on to one canary. Ye know how they are. They will all get together and bother the life out of any bird that is not as mean and dirty as themselves.
"T is Mrs. Evans's canary,' says Buck, pushin' in past the officers. 'Stand back and let me at him.'
"Buck stood with his hat in his hand watchin' his chance; then he gave one leap and landed about ten feet away on his stomach, and his straw hat came smack down over the canary.
""Touch-down!' yelled some one. And then the crowd laughed and cheered to see the way 't was done. F'r 't was a regular foot-ball trick, and ye could see he was
"Buck felt around careful' under the hat and got hold of the canary, and then he took it away across the street with him. And the officers followed after. And then they all gathered around to see the bird with its yellow head stickin' out between Buck's two hands. Its little sides were pantin' with excitement and its little bill was gawpin' open to catch its breath after the fight.
"And am I to understand,' says the sergint to Buck, 'that that little bird has got anything to do with you?'
"Certainly,' says Buck. "'T was the excitement of losin' him that made the driver get caught on the fire-plug.'
"Well,' says the sergint, 'take him away. Take him away and put him behind the bars. T is where he belongs.'
"And with that they all filed up the step into the wagon and went clangin' away to the station again.
"Shortly after the bottom fell out of the cage, the bottom fell out of Buck's job, f'r the boss let him go; and ever since then women have been comin' in here lookin' f'r him to move them. And they won't let the subject drop. So let me give ye warnin' not to mention it when ye go into the office nor say that we told ye. F'r if ye do, ye won't be sellin' axle-grease."
THE CAREY PRINTING CO INC.
NEW Y RK