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Hong, Edna Hatlestad, 1913- / Muskego boy
(1943)

Chapter 6: Milwaukee to Muskego,   pp. [39]-46


Page 43

"Mikkel, what are you thinking about?" Per demanded at last after
an 
other long silence. 
"I'm a chump," groaned Mikkel. "Per, did you see those people
who m( 
us at the pier-and those men and women on the street? They look worse'. 
we do after three months of traveling! Their boots aren't polished, and thei
shirts and trousers are all mended. Did you see that man with a big patch
c 
gunny-sack on his knees? Did you see that fellow with suspenders made ot
of rope? And those big grown-up boys going barefoot?" 
"Well, what of it?" asked Per. 
"What of it?" roared Mikkel. "It just means I told Karen a
pack of sill 
lies-silver buttons and red velvet dresses and carriages with golden wheels
I wish we had stayed home, I do!" 
"Shh!" whispered Per, "here comes someone." 
Two grubby boys with bare feet that looked as if they had never bee 
washed had sneaked up behind Mikkel and Per. 
"Hey, you newcomers! Who said you could come here?" they growled
Mikkel and Per got to their feet and bowed politely, for they had no ide
what the American boys said. 
"Ha! Ha! Ha ! Look at 'em bow to us ! Let's make them rub their nos(
in the dirt!" 
Although Mikkel and Per did not know what the boys were laughing a 
they thought it was only polite to laugh with them-and so they did. 
"What's your name?" demanded the larger of the two. 
Mikkel and Per looked at each other. They knew iust one America 
word, and they decided now was the time to use it. 
"Yes," they answered together. 
The American boys danced up and down and shouted with laughter. 


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