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34-08-20 Coaster Wagon Gets Lighter

  • Vic arrives home, having walked up the street with Hickman Oxenhandler of University Street. (He works in The packing department at the plant.)
  • Rush has been piling stuff in his coaster-wagon to sell to the junk man.  It's stuff Sade cleaned out of the shed. He expects he'll get 25 cents for it.
  • Vic worries Sade's discarded some of his stuff.  He's relieved to learn she hasn't thrown out his newspapers, but decides he better inspect the contents of the wagon before Rush leaves.
  • Vic retrieves a cylinder shell off a railroad motor car. Rush is unhappy.  Vic explains the cylinder was off a railroad motor car belonging to A. L. Moffat of Dixon, Illinois. (He was married to Marie Crackley.)  Vic plans to equip it with a battery and a tank, creating a one-cylinder engine.  
  • Then Vic spots tractor spark plugs and an animal trap – a family heirloom found by his great-grandfather in Kentucky.  It was homemade, possibly by Daniel Boone himself. About all that's left in the wagon are tin hoops, which the junk man doesn't want.  Vic discovers three stove lids – he intends to have Sade cover them in cloth to use as doorstops at the office.  And a steel brace made for Lyman T. Jeffers of Union Grove, a former employee of Vic's who fractured his knee in a poolroom accident.
  • Vic says Rush can have all the iron bolts.  Rush says he couldn't get a penny for fifty of them.  Vic also takes back a furnace grate and a chunk off a telephone and a piece of pipe, a jack-handle, and an axle.
  • That leaves Rush with just tin hoops and iron bolts.  Sade feels sorry for him and hands him a quarter.  Then Vic slips him half a dollar. - compiled by Barbara Schwarz, edited by Jimbo Mason
The story is similar to 40-04-15 Milton's Dirt in Fruit Jars in that Rush still gets a payday in the end even though his plan goes up in smoke.

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