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I. A Lover of Music Henry van Dyke

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Table Of Contents: The Ruling Passion

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There was a multitude of counsellors, but it was Hose Ransom who settled the case. He was a well-known fighting-man, and a respected philosopher. He swung his broad frame in front of the fiddler.

"Tell ye what we'll do. Jess nothin'! Ain't Bull Corey the blowin'est and the mos' trouble-us cuss 'round these hull woods? And would n't it be a fust-rate thing ef some o' the wind was let out 'n him?"

General assent greeted this pointed inquiry.

"And wa'n't Fiddlin' Jack peacerble 'nough 's long 's he was let alone? What's the matter with lettin' him alone now?"

The argument seemed to carry weight. Hose saw his advantage, and clinched it.

"Ain't he given us a lot o' fun here this winter in a innercent kind o' way, with his old fiddle? I guess there ain't nothin' on airth he loves better 'n that holler piece o' wood, and the toons that's inside o' it. It's jess like a wife or a child to him. Where's that fiddle, anyhow?"

Some one had picked it deftly out of Corey's hand during the scuffle, and now passed it up to Hose.

"Here, Frenchy, take yer long-necked, pot-bellied music-gourd. And I want you boys to understand, ef any one teches that fiddle ag'in, I'll knock hell out 'n him."

So the recording angel dropped another tear upon the record of Hosea Ransom, and the books were closed for the night.

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The Ruling Passion
Henry van Dyke

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