Mary E. Marcy

William, the Faithful

(March 1907)

The International Socialist Review, Vol. 7 No. 9, March 1907, pp. 557–558.
Transcribed by Matthew Siegfried.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Mrs. Pitzer was a widow with seven children, who lived in Lucasville, Ohio. She had Heart Trouble, so it was up to her eldest sons, William and Wallace, to hump for the Family Flock.

William was steady and industrious. He kept the books and handled the cash for the Wind Mill Factory at ten dollars a week. Whenever the rent man or the grocer came around, William always was there with the goods.

He spent his evenings steering the little Pitzers through the shoals of Long Division and the intricacies of the Multiplication Table, and whenever he got a half day off he put on his overalls and cut the grass or split kindling for the kitchen stove.

No matter when the call came, he was never asleep at the switch.

Wallace was different. He liked to loaf around the stores and chew tobacco and crack coarse jokes. He stood to win with all the Rough Necks in the county, and Sat Down cheerfully on William like a Wet Sponge.

The neighbors said he was too lazy to take off his clothes when he went to bed and the members of the First Church felt so sorry for Mrs. Pitzer that they thought of Wallace during Protracted Meeting and gave him a special Interest in their Prayers.

One spring Wallace soured on Lucasville, so he pryed open William’s bank of mortgage money and went West.

He squatted in Missouri and sent home such Cutting letters that his mother flew into hysterics every time she came across an old piece of Battle Ax.

She said if William had treated Wallace with a little more consideration, he never would have left home.

But Wallace’s feet got colder every day. A nice little stream ran through his claim and there were plenty of rocks, but the breezes didn’t stir up any gold dust nor did he strike oil. And he found that settlers out West hated a loafer almost as much as they did back in Ohio.

He wrote for money to go home on, but it takes a long time to save $35.50 out of a busy salary of ten dollars a week, and he couldn’t find anybody green enough to trade a return ticket for a piece of worthless farm land. So Wallace stuck.

But this is not the end of the story. In a few years a city grew up on the banks of the Kaw and Wallace’s land increased in value. He sold part of his claim and put up a store and was known as a “Prominent Citizen.” The next year he let go of another square, erected a business block and became a Benefactor.

And when the Street Railway began operations and the Gas Company was organized, the people elected him mayor and he began to write magazine articles for young men on “How to Succeed.”

Last year Wallace was made President of the Commercial Club and the papers still rave over his “Financial Acumen” and his “Wonderful Business Foresight.”

Occasionally Lucasville is honored by a visit from its distinguished townsman, when Mrs. Pitzer is moved to chide William for his lack of enterprise. And Wallace hands out advice freely on every side.

All these years William has been doing the Faithful Fido act twelve hours a day at ten dollars a week, for the Wind Mill people. A younger man is Handling the Cash at a bigger salary. But every Christmas the manager comes around and slaps William on the back and says the House needs Faithful Men.

All of which goes to show that Virtue is still its own reward.

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Last updated on 31 May 2022