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Two Men Resolve To Go Picnicking

From: Doctor Jones' Picnic

One afternoon, the Doctor being at leisure, he and Denison talked long
and earnestly of their never-failing theme, the aluminum globe. Denison
finally said:

"You know, Doctor, that I never go into anything without due
consideration. I have studied this matter over carefully, and am willing
to chance it with you. We have been acquainted a great many years, and I
never knew you to make any bad breaks. I have nothing else to do at
present, and have a few thousands that I am willing to risk in this
business. If I lose it I shall let it go for experience and blame no one
but myself."

"Denison, you know very well that I would not lead you into anything
that would do you an injury, financially or otherwise, for anything in
the world. I had not thought, indeed, of asking you to take any part or
stock in this scheme. I believe in it with all my soul, but had not
allowed myself to seriously think of promoting or investing in it. You
had better think of it for a while longer."

"As I told you," returned Denison, "I have given it very serious thought
for several weeks. I have every confidence in the world in you, and my
mind is thoroughly made up now that I wish to go with you into this
enterprise. You know that since my wife died I have done little or
nothing. I have no family to occupy my mind, and this is the first time
since her death that I have felt any interest in anything. It took
something extraordinary, like your scheme, to wake me up. So here I am,
Doctor, yours for the North Pole!"

"Well, old friend, you are a man of the right spirit," said Dr. Jones,
taking him by the hand, "and I am willing to do with you what we can to
get the Government interested in this matter. What shall be our first

"How can you leave your business or get any time to do anything in this
undertaking?" asked Denison.

"I will tell you: I have been right here, at the old stand, for
twenty-odd years. In all that time I have never taken a vacation of any
sort. I have for years been intending to do so, but something always
prevented. Now I have an opportunity to put a good man into my place,
and I feel the necessity of taking a rest of a year or so. This looks
like just the chance for me. So you may consider that question settled.
Now, what shall be our first move?"

"Since we are each determined to take hold of this venture, Doctor, I
suppose that the first thing will be to get an architect to figure on
the thing, and give us necessary figures and data. And I have just the
man--Will Marsh, office on Main Street. He is an extraordinary fellow, a
real genius, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. Let's see him
right away. I'm catching your spirit of enthusiasm, Doctor, and what
does a man amount to without enthusiasm in this age of the world?"

"Well, of course, the enthusiast is numbered with the cranks," replied
Dr. Jones. "But, Denison, the cranks are the only men who accomplish
anything of note in this world. I have really great respect for cranks,
if they only are honest and not too abusive. So we may as well
anticipate the dear public, and enroll ourselves among the cranks."

"All right," returned Denison, "'Sail on!' as Joaquin Miller has
Columbus say to the faint-hearted sailing master. 'The North Pole or
bust!' is my motto now."

"That's right, that's right," grinned the Doctor, amused to see the
enthusiasm he had aroused in his friend. "And now let's to business. I
am ready to go with you and see the architect."

So together they walked to the office of that gentleman. They found him
in and at leisure, and they immediately opened their business to him.
The Doctor took the lead, Denison occasionally offering a suggestion.
Mr. Marsh proved to be a good listener, jotting down the items as they
were given him, and they made excellent progress. Evidently Dr. Jones
had studied the subject very thoroughly, for he gave measurements and
specifications with a readiness and accuracy that were surprising.

"And now, Mr. Marsh, there are doubtless some important points that have
not occurred to me, and which you will discover. What we want at
present is an approximate estimate of the cost, carrying and floating
capacity of our globe. I think you have the idea as nearly as we can
give it, and please let us know all about it as soon as possible," said
Dr. Jones as they were about to depart.

"I will do so, sir," replied the architect, "but you understand that
your project is so extraordinary--if I may be allowed to say so--that it
will require several days before I can give you any definite
information. I must go to the city and ascertain the prices of material,

"We understand that, Mr. Marsh; only please do not neglect to attend to
it immediately."

With this parting injunction they bade him good-day and departed, each
to his home.

Next: Mrs Jones Offers Some Objections

Previous: Figures Don't Lie

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