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Dresbach, Glenn W. (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. VIII, No. 1 (October 1910)

Kemp, William B.
Daddy,   pp. 28-29


Page 28


THE WISCONSIN MAGAZINE
        Daddy
WILLIAM B. KEMP
   I saw them coming quite a while be-
fore they got to the dock, an old man and
a slender young lady with a broad straw
hat trimmed simply with blue ribbon.
She wore a dark blue suit, set off by a
blue and white checked collar-the
squares one-quarter inch-a two and one-
quarter inch band of it down the front
from collar to belt and an ornamental
left breast pocket. The belt was like the
rest of the suit. She bore herself with
an impudent air of importance which was
evidently the chief part of her boarding
seminary education. Her father was a
smart old man. He came stumping along
good naturedly, with his tuft of chin
whiskers tilting now and then. He wore
a plain, short box overcoat and an anti-
quated style of cap which these Uncle
Josh sort of men always prefer. Internal-
ly, I smiled as I saw him. He was not at
all in a hurry, although his daughter kept
running ahead as if she expected him to
follow at her heels. At times it seemed
as if she did not want to be identified
with him. As they passed he stopped be-
side a big trunk which stood beside me,
the  girl  slipped  back   nonchalantly
without looking very directly at him or
acting as if she belonged to him at all
and said quickly:
  "Com'on, daddy," and started back for
the gangway at once. "Daddy," how-
ever, found three or four acquaintances
who grabbed at him and pulled him into
their group to grasp hi's hand and say:
  X 'Goodb-e, Uncle Joe."
  Through all of this he pranced clumsi-
ly from one foot to the other with a short,
jerky motion and smiled his satisfaction.
Then the young lady got the trunk check
ai(l went on board, with "daddy" tripping
along somewhere behind and glowering at
everything from right to left with the
same smile he would bestow upon a crack-
er box audience at the country store.
  "Aha," I thought to myself, "pleasant
voyage. I'll have something to interest
me on the trip and no mistake." In a
few minutes I went on board myself and
the boat soon swung out from the dock.
I did not go to look daddy up at once,
for I knew that we had quite a while on
the lake and going around too soon might
arouse his suspicion of my interest in
him. I did not have to look for daddy.
It was about an hour and a half out of
port, as I sat on the deck up at the bows,
that he came up the rail stopping every
few feet to look shoreward. Almost in
front of me he stopped and gazed again
toward the hills. Then he turned to me
and said:
  "How fur d'ye reckon it be t' shore?"
  "What, how far to shore?" I returned.
  "Yep. Don't y' have no notion how
fur it be ?"
  "Really, I don't know."
  "Don't y' think it might be about five
mile ?"
  "Perhaps. Were you going to swim
ashore ?"
  "No, I was figurin' on the chances o'
gettin' out s' far as I couldn't keep track
o' what we're passin.' Y' see, when I
travel, usually I watch them things t'
know where t' get off. I can't never un-
derstand nothin' them fellers say when
they tells y' the names o' the stations."
  "You haven't traveled much by boat?"
  "No, I aint."
  "You will not have much trouble get-
28


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