from the Devil
In the years around the turn of the century the Medford Mail occasionally ran a feature called "Street Echoes," which quoted well-known people around town on issues of the day. Sometimes the column would be filled out with the musings of the newspaper's printer's devil.
The deviltry was almost certainly the work of A. S. Bliton--the publisher of the paper.
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, November 27, 1903, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"Did you notice the latest rich find of DeHorn's? He plows gold out of the ground like you would potatoes. No danger of that man slipping through the little end of the horn."
"City Local Whirl," Medford Mail, May 5, 1893, page 3
The Mail Office Devil:--"What was I thankful for [at Thanksgiving]? Oh, I was thankful that I still lived--doubly so when I sat down and thought how many there were who were not so fortunate."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, December 7, 1893, page 3
Prophets are plentiful these times. One fellow will tell us that the year of '94 is to be one of much prosperity; another predicts pitfalls and calamities sufficient to engulf us all, another an overproduction of fruit, still another no fruit at all. In the words of the Mail office devil:
Tell me, ye winged winds
That round my pathway blow,
Do ye not know some spot
Where prophets never go?
Some lone, unfurnished cave,
Some hollow in the night,
Where wise men find a grave,
And seers are short on sight?
The loud winds dwindled to a whisper low
And waved their whiskers as they answered
Mail Office Devil:--(His letter to Secretary Morton).--"Knowing that the department over which you have the honor to preside is more than willing to encourage agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, and various other foreign and domestic brands of culture, I now sit down and take my pen in hand to ask a trivial favor of you. I have a nice patch of ground, large enough to milk a cow on, in Medford, and I am anxious to have a garden that will be useful as well as ornamental. I would like to raise Havana cigars, and I will esteem it a favor if you will send me a few boxes as seed. Please also state whether cigars should be planted at the dark of the moon, or when planet equinox is in perihelion. In addition to this, kindly tell me what perihelion is, and whether a blond horse would fatten on it. I saw the word in the almanac, and am curious to know what it refers to. Now, don't fail to send the cigars, as my garden ought to be attended to right away."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, April 27, 1894, page 2
Mail Office Devil:--"During the recent dry spell there were all sorts of plans offered by which rain might be produced. There is but one reliable method of doing that; I don't believe in rainmakers, but I do believe in snakes--no, I never had any, only a few. Kill a snake, not less than five feet long, and hang it over a fence, and in less than twenty-four hours there will be rain. If a snake is killed every morning and hung over a fence (a board fence is the best), there would be rain every day, and the water supply would be solved. This plan would give employment to a great many worthy men killing snakes, and would also encourage property owners to build board fences around their lots. In every way it would be a splendid thing for the city and country. Just as I had snake killed and my fence built ready for business the rain came pouring down, and my calculations were knocked galley-west and crooked."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, May 18, 1894, page 3
Mail Office Devil:--"I saw a young lady the other morning with that crushed strawberry feeling on her face. She had just got off her bicycle, and her bicycle had just got off the sidewalk. They were both picked up in the same basket by the street commissioner."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, June 22, 1894, page 2
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, we ain't had no spring or summer poets along right recently so thought I would give you one of my latest. I was out swiping blackberries from a farmer's garden the other morning--saw a girl--only a farmer's daughter--go into the alfalfa cow pasture with a pail on her arm. Nothing startling about that, but she inspired me and here is what the inspiration made me jot down. If you want it in type I'll set it up after hours. Here it is: Into the cow lot--bright and gay--the milkmaid hustles from day to day, and gathers the lacteal fluid white, while the morning sun is yet 'out of sight.' Hot winds may blow and the grasshopper hop, and the bugs and the buzzard may gather the drop, but as long as the stream of milk don't stop, the cow and the milkmaid will come out on top."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, July 16, 1897, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"I see by one of your exchanges that its editor says if he published some matter that other papers do there would be a 'liable' suit on his hands at once. Whether he meant that a suit would be liable, or that he would be liable in case suit was commenced, or that different opinions prevailed as to how lie-able editors were, I can't tell, but it's a rare case when a 'libel' suit is made to stick."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, August 6, 1897, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, there's a man living over in Idaho whose name is Two; his wife's name is Two, too; and they have four children, too--two for Two and two for Mrs. Two, too; and strange as it may seem the little ones are two pairs of twins, too. Too much."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, August 13, 1897, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"'What profiteth it' if a man gain all of Klondike and lose his own life? Not very good scriptures, but worth thinking over as an abstract proposition."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, August 20, 1897, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"'I see by one of your exchanges that hay fever is caused by kissing widows. Say, Zack Maxcy, of Medford, is troubled terribly--with hay fever. Say, here is another place in the same paper where this fool editor says 'editing a newspaper is nice business.' That fellow is either a fool or a knave--and it don't matter very much which. 'Nice business!' Yes, just like getting a letter from home, only the drafts must be more regular if the sport continues. Here, take this paper away before I go off some place and commit suicide. The same sheet advertises that 'For the next thirty days I will make a full set of teeth for a good milch cow with a young calf.' Why this discrimination is not apparent. Evidently cows without offsprings in that vicinity, however badly in need of new molars, must [be] content to ruminate with bare gums."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, September 3, 1897, page 2
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, the boys are telling a good one on Frank Wilson. It was like this: J. B. Wrisley has trespass signs on his place out north of Medford, but there are a few chosen people who have been given permits to delve into the labyrinth of his forest in quest of game. Frank wasn't one of these--but he tried to be. It was on the day of the contest hunt between Medford and Jacksonville that Frank with gun in hand sauntered onto the above-named forbidden grounds but was quickly accosted by a guardian of the place, with:--'Say, ain't your name Wilson, and ain't you from Medford?' 'No, sir,' says Frank, 'my name is Jones and I am from Jacksonville.' 'Pass on,' says the guard. Later, however, Mr. Wilson's duplicity was discovered and a dog, a man and one shotgun were turned loose in his direction and inside of ten minutes he was in Medford--and, said Frank, 'henceforth, and from this date on, I am Wilson, of Medford, and not Jones, of Jacksonville, by a durned sight.'"
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, November 26, 1897, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"Well, I'll be smashed! There comes a fellow on a white-enameled bicycle. Keep your eye on that corner up there and you'll see a girl with sun-kissed hair 'hove' in sight quite immediately. There she is. There's your girl with the Klondike ringlets. I see a Mrs. One Lung is keeping a restaurant down in the Willamette Valley. If she misses another lung there'll be a restaurant for sale--by the administrator--don't you think?"
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, December 3, 1897, page 6
Mail Office Devil:--"Medford has the jolliest crowd of preachers that ever congregated in any one town of its size. They are hale-fellows-well-met--and those are the kind their parishioners like to meet. They can get close enough to a hardened sinner to put a tract in his pocket, and that's more than the staid old stickers for "form" could do in a hundred years. Say, speaking of preachers calls to mind Monday I was telling about something that happened up at Juneau, Alaska, when Rev. Gittins, who was present, quickly made response--'how'd Ju-neau?' (you know) see? A pun like that from a Methodist preacher is indeed mirth-provoking."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, December 3, 1897, page 6
Mail Office Devil:--"You say you never dun your subscriber through the paper? Well, that's all right, too, but here is an 'Old Oaken Bucket' parody which I 'writ' and which fits pretty well, thank you: How dear to our heart is the old silver dollar, when some kind subscriber presents it to view; the liberty head without necktie or collar, and all the strange things which to us seem so new; the wide-spreading eagle, the arrow below it, the stars and the words with the strange things they tell; the coin of our fathers, we're glad that we know it, for sometime or other 'twill come in right well, the spread-eagle dollar, the star-spangled dollar, the old silver dollar we all love so well."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, December 10, 1897, page 6
Mail Office Devil:--"A Massachusetts man has invented a contribution box with a bell attachment. When a penny is dropped in it rings very feebly, a nickel makes a little louder noise, a dollar brings out the fire department two blocks down the street, and if a five-dollar gold piece is dropped in the hose will be turned on the congregation."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, December 17, 1897, page 6
Mail Office Devil:--"The girl who flirts with a whiskerless gosling (that's me) till he doesn't know whether he is floating in the sea of champagne to the sound of celestial music, sliding down a greased rainbow or riding on a ridgepole of the aurora borealis, then tells him she can only be a Christmas present, opera ticket, ice cream sister to him; who steals his untried affections and allows them to get frostbitten--arrives him into the empyrean of happy love only to drop him with a kerplunk that fills his callow heart with a compound fracture--well, she cannot be persecuted for larceny nor indicted for malicious mischief, but the unfortunate fellow who finally gets her will be glad to go to--any old place--where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, January 21, 1898, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, the boys and girls last week had lots of fun with their homemade sleds, didn't they? No store sleds here--snow is too seldom. Reminded me of the time when I was a lad. I had to either make my own sled or slide downhill in a sap trough. In those days there were no bicycles, no tricycles, no red express wagons, no store sleds, no air guns, none of the many things which the boy of today thinks is absolutely necessary to his happiness. But, somehow, with a sap trough sled, cart with wheels sawed from the end of a log, and my old muzzle-loading rifle with a broken lock and a buckskin string to pull the hammer back with, a rifle with which I could knock a squirrel's eye nine times out of an impossible ten, I kind o' believe I had about as good a time as do the boys of today."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, February 4, 1898, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"I have just been reading of a Pennsylvania woman who recently fainted in church on observing her husband enter--the first time he had attended church in twenty years. A husband can't be too careful how he shocks his wife. No, nothing personal intended. The preachers of Medford, Mr. Editor, tell me that you have attended church in less years than twenty."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, February 11, 1898, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"'I notice there is a whole lot of talk in the papers these times about goat culture. This fact reminds me of a farm back in old [New] York state, in Wayne County, where I, like Topsy, grew up. We had a farm which in those years long ago I never could tell just what it was intended for, but since that goat business has become widespread, it has occurred to me that 'twas goats that farm needed. It was one of those out-of-door, rise-up-and-come-along-with-me sort of farms. As an inclined plane it had few equals. It was as steep and upright as a piano on the installment plan, and as perpendicular as a greased pole at a picnic. It was impossible to improve it much. About all that it had on it was a good state of preservation, upon which even a lien could not stick, was its water shed. It was a sure-thing goat pasture. Goats could climb and cluster on the peaks and pinnacles of that ranch and then chase themselves up and down the Milky Way. I notice that you, Mr. Editor, are advocating the sowing of prunes. Let me tell you--don't do it. Prunes and you will never agree; try goats. Just get hold a piece of upright land that will farm on two or more sides and then grow goats. As head herder on a perpendicular goatery you would surely be a crowning success."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, February 18, 1898, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, I am not much given to gush and moonshine, and it pains my face to encounter very much of it, but, say, I visited one of Jackson County's district schools last week--which one, do you ask? Oh, never mind, I'm not giving you the lady's name--she is liable to change it now pretty soon. But, say, she is the pride of the district, the star of invention and a jewel of brilliancy. She drew a picture of an iceberg on the blackboard. It was so natural that the thermometer froze up solid. With rare presence of mind she seized a crayon and drew a fireplace on the opposite wall. The prompt action saved the school, but nearly all the pupils caught a severe cold from the sudden change."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, March 11, 1898, page 7
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, Medford is full of fiddlers, isn't it? There is another place--but Medford will break pretty nearly even with it. Speaking of fiddlers reminds me that Alex Bull, son of Ole, is coming west. Alex can play a fiddle, all right. He can make the old thing screech and howl like cats in our back yard. He then shakes the strings like the soft, mellow shrug of a society star at a candy pull. Alexander can slide up and down the scale like a boy on a smooth teeter board. He can bring out chords full four feet high and eight feet long. He fondles his fiddle like a doting mother, and then he trounces it like an irate father who has just caught his son using his razor to cut the clothesline with. He dances and prances like a hired man heading an out hog, and then leans gently over his fiddle like a girl teaching her fellow to waltz. He makes noises that are as weird as the wail of a hungry wolf at a sheep pen, or the scraping of a meat block by a new butcher. Then he makes music that wells up and overcomes us like the soothing lullaby of the sweet-songed mother as she nestles her tired baby upon her breast and woos it to peaceful slumber with sounds so sweet that angels come and close the heavy eyelids and waft the little sleeper to bright-hued shores of dreamland."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, April 1, 1898, page 2
Mail Office Devil:--"You folks in Southern Oregon who are having all kinds of pains in your faces every time a little wind comes up the valley can get a whole heap of solace by reading the following from a North Dakota exchange: 'Several farmers are dragging their fields this month, March, without horses. They have rigged up the drags with sail, and by proper management the wind does the work thorough and fast. It looks queer to see this new craft sailing over the fields. It is thought seeders can be run the same way. The sails and gearing are very simple and are the invention of Geo. W. McWilliams, of Cogswell."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, April 8, 1898, page 6
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, I don't want to do any more of this gathering in items. I don't like it nohow. Keep me washing press rollers, sweeping the ofice floor or kicking Mr. John Job Press, but don't compel me to go 'round asking people questions. I went out after one of them items that you print in the Street Echoes Tuesday. I kinder slid, sorter coylike, up to a fellow standing on the street corner, and asked him what he was doing? 'Ain't doin' nothing,' said he. I then ask him why he wasn't. 'Nothing doing,' he responded. I stood perfectly still for about two minues and then one of those cornice stones in the Palm-Bodge block struck the sidewalk desperately close to where I was--and I tumbled over it. Say, here's your pencil and paper; I don't want to go prodding into anyone's private affair anymore."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, July 31, 1903, page 6
Mail Office Devil:--"Seems like some people ain't got no enterprise at all. Oregon is about the slowest state I ever was in. Here they've got race wars, and lynchin's and tornadoes and 'scaped convicts, and all of them kind o' things in other states, and we ain't got nothin' at all in Oregon. We had a chance to distinguish ourselves when them cow and sheep men up in Eastern Oregon was a-threatenin' each other, but Gov. Chamberlain, he has to go and butt in and make 'em stop. There's no excitement 'round here at all. But say, I've got an item for you. You know Billie Isaacs. Well, he can fish some. He was down to the river the other day, and he was a-tryin' that newfangled cast of his, with just his left eyebrow stickin' out of the water, when a great big salmon grabbed him by the hand, and Bill hollered and thrashed around in the water and got his wadin' pants full, and fell down, and the fish he still hung on, and Bill, he had to wade to the shore and holler for the other fellers to come and pry that fish's jaw apart so he could get loose. I asked him why he didn't knock the fish on his head and pry him loose himself, and the other fellers standin' around, they laffed, and Bill, he says, 'You run along back to the shop, you little black imp, who's a-tellin' this story, anyway,' and I came away."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, August 14, 1903, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"I was standin' around rubberin' the other day while a lot of old fellers were a-talkin' 'bout the big charges the railroad company was makin' for carryin' passengers, and how it cost a feller so much to travel, and how the company had a cinch on the transportation business, when one old feller, he's a pioneer and knows what he's talkin' about, said: 'You fellers don't know anything about high travelin' rates. Why, when Ben Holladay run the stage line between Sacramento and Portland it cost you 10 cents a mile to travel on the stage. Then in the winter you would have to walk up all the hills, and down in the Willamette country about half of the time you had to carry a rail to help pry the stage out of the mud holes. You never knew when you were going to get through, and were mighty lucky if you got through at all. Now you holler if you don't get through on time, and you get to ride the whole way.' I knew the old feller was all right because I've seen passengers on those old stages wadin' through the mud a-carryin' a rail."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, November 20, 1903, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, some o' these people around this town give me a pang. Honest, they do. Some of 'em 'most die when anybody tries to do somethin' to help the town along. It like to have paralyzed them when the soliciting committee succeeded in raisin' that subsidy so easy, 'cause they said it couldn't be done. Now they are afraid the [Iowa] Lumber Company will go back on the contract and won't build the mill. 'If they do build it,' these fellows say, 'the company will go broke. There ain't nothin' here to keep a mill,' and all that sort o' stuff. If that kind of people wuz to git to heaven, they'd commence knockin' the way the place wuz run, and would grab the first chance to test their harp, to see whether it wuz solid gold or just gilded. Shucks, they make me weary."
Mail Office Devil:--"'Say, I'm goin' to be good, from this on. I was a-chasin' around over at the S.P. depot the other night, when the train came in late, and I tell you it was fierce. I turned the corner of the depot just as No. 16 pulled in, and honest, it was as dark as a stack of black cats. Yes, the lights wuz a-burnin', but, shucks, two little lamps ain't goin' to light that platform, especially when there's a whole lot o' people buttin' around on it. I got in a mixup. There wuz me an' some other fellers in a bunch, and one feller he wuz comin' down one side with the wagon, and another feller, he wuz a-rattlin' along on the other side with a truckload of drummer's trunks 'steen feet high. Besides that der wuz brakies a-flashin' der lanterns around an' fellers a-gittin' off de train, an' all in darkness. If it had been daylight it wouldn't been so bad, but a feller couldn't see which way to go. I got out [of] the wreck finally, but the first ting I did was to butt into a 250-pound drummer, who was carryin' a big grip. That grip struck me 'bout midships, and, say I wuz paralyzed for a minute. I thought that merchant what made de spiel here a week or so ago 'bout the Southern Pacific not a-lightin' its depot was a-talkin' through his millinery, but now I know he wuz dead right. This yer man's town ships more freight dan a whole lots of places what looks bigger on de map an' de census reports, and Mister Harriman could light that depot wid 'lectricity for what he pays for oil to fill lamps, that, when dey is burnin' good, a feller has to strike a match to help 'em out, so's he can see what time it is."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, December 4, 1903, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, you've seen dem pictures of the feller a fallin' down on a slippery sidewalk, haven't you? Well, de odder morning a comin' down to de office, I gave a correct imitation of a man doin' dat stunt. I wuz a little late and I struck out to make a race against time, and de first ting I knowed I wuz up in de air. When I come down I lit on me head and den skated off into de gutter where de sidewalk was about two feet high. I got up and looked around and there wasn't nobody in sight. Did I cuss? Naw, what was de use, an Arkansas senator couldn't do the job justice."
The Mail Office Devil Soliloquizes.
It is a regrettable fact that the legs of scandal never tire.
Dissipation and damnation always touch hands at the end.
It is not best to throw out a religious tract to a hungry man.
When you serve the devil you always do his work on the Lord's time.
A half dollar always looks bigger on the contribution plate than it does invested in a theater ticket.
If you do the same thing tomorrow that you regretted doing today, you are making progress in the wrong direction.
The mercy seat sometimes contains men and women who think they are conferring a favor on the Master by being there.
A saint on foot stands just as good a chance of eternal happiness as the saint in the carriage, but sometimes he don't have so large a funeral.
Medford Mail, January 22, 1904, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"'Say, will you tell me wot's the matter with them fellers, a-livin' on dose little dinky islands down in de Carribein Sea, dat dere allus a-fightin'. I've been readin' 'bout 'em considerable, and I can't git no head nor tail of it somehow. Dere don't seem to be any reason why dey should fight, less it's fer amusement, and den dey never seem to do much 'cept scare each odder and de innocent spectators most to death. Strikes me it would be a good idea for Uncle Sam to go down dere and take possession of dem islands and learn dem fellers somethin'. 'Bout de time they wanted to have another revolution, dey would git into such a hot scrap dat dey wouldn't want to revolute again for quite a spell. Look at Cuby, dere hasn't been a revolution dere since '98, and dat's longer dan they've ever went without before. The reason, I guess, is dat dey saw what de real thing was like when Teddy and dem rough riders was down dere, an' it made 'em ashamed of demselves. A lesson like dat to de rest of dem dagoes would quiet 'em down considerably, I think. I bet dere won't be a revolution in Panama more'n five minutes long for de next hundred years."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, January 29, 1904, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, I hope de Japs and Roosians won't git into de scrap while I"m a holdin' down dis job. Why? Just look at dem names on de map. Ain't dey 'nough to give a feller spasms? De boss 'ud hafter sort up de z's and y's and tings like dat, an' de printers 'ud all be candidates for Salem by de time dey got a war article set up. It wuz bad enough when we first copped off de Philippines, but when you come ter mixen' Japs and Chiny and Roosians all up tergether, its goin' to be a fright, and the paper will look like a locomotive sounds when de safety valve pops."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, February 12, 1904, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"I'm lookin for dat guy wot sent me dis Valintine, and der will be sumthin doin' when I find him. Dont it fit? Dats de trouble, it fits too well. If de boss happens to see dat Valintine he'll take ter looking at my face an hands once in a while, an when it comes Saturday night my pay envelope will be full of bills for ink I've carried off on my countenance stead of the good old simoluns dat makes de heart of my landlady glad.""Street Echoes," Medford Mail, February 19, 1904, page 1
The Mail Office Devil Soliloquizes.
If you are looking for all the comforts of home, don't expect all the conveniences of a hotel.
When men screen said the fine parties sift through and the big particles do not, but when men reach in their pockets for money as the church collection basket starts around, the big coins slip through and the little ones come to the surface. Funny, isn't it?
Medford Mail, February 19, 1904, page 3
Mail Office Devil:--"Some people think a newspaper feller kin lie some, but he ain't in it with a dentist. Why? Well, look at me. A week ago I wuz as happy as a clam at high tide; now I ain't nothin' but a shadow of my former self, all because I placed my confidence in a tooth carpenter an' went wrong. How wuz it? Just this way. One of me teeth got the jimjams and commenced wakin' me up in de night an' holdin' a little seance, while all I could do wuz to hold me breath to keep from hollerin'. I couldn't stand dat sort o' thing long, so I hit de road for a dentist shop. De Doc he prodded around in me jaw a while, incidentally startin' a few more pains dat I didn't know wuz in existence, and finally he says de tooth had to come out. He says, 'It won't hurt much,' an' kinder grins. Den he gets busy and commences to pull. Say, mister, talk about hurt. First he shoved de forceps down on dat tooth, till, honest, I thought dey was comin' out through my shoe soles; den he twisted one way an' I saw more stars dan I thought wuz in de sky. Den he twisted an odder way an' de stars doubled. Finally he got part of de tooth out. Den he took a pick an' shovel an' began to excavate--is dat de word?--for de balance of dat grinder. I tell you it wuz just awful. When he got through, I said, kinder sarcastic like, dat I thought he said it wouldn't hurt. 'Didn't hurt me any,' he said, an' by de time I got his meanin' through my head he had hollered 'Next' and had another victim in de chair.""Street Echoes," Medford Mail, March 11, 1904, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, dere's somethin' wrong about dis weather. I begin to believe dat de feller wot runs de machine has made wrong connections an' hooked up de Roosian weather hopper wid de Southern Oregon spout, an' de result is dat our climate has been mixed more'n de war reports from de Orient. But we're all right just de same. De grass is growin' on de hills an' while de farmers is doin' some growlin' about de roads, de miners is a smilin' all de time. Pretty soon de sun will git de best of de sitiwation an' den things will commence to boom in de fruit an' farmin' line. You just watch this country next year. You'll see more fruit, grain, gold everything produced in dis country dan dere ever has been. Oh, dis ain't no pipe dream. I've been a listenin' to a lot o' old-timers tellin' about things, an' if dey know anything at all, dis is goin' to be the prize year.""Street Echoes," Medford Mail, March 25, 1904, page 1
W. F. Isaacs:--"No, I haven't been fishing this year, but that don't mean that I have cut out that sport by any means. I am going out as soon as the water clears and the roads get smooth enough to give a fellow some assurance that he can reach the fishing grounds with his anatomy intact. Say, this year I want you to muzzle that Mail office devil. He gained me a reputation as a second Baron Munchausen last season by the stories he told on me, and, as I am trying to build up a character for truthfulness, I want you to have him attribute his fish stories to someone else after this."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, April 8, 1904, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"Gee, I'm all broke up. Wot's de matter? I'll tell yer all about it. Sunday me and me goil we took a walk in de afternoon, an' we butted up agin a lot of geezers a playin' ball. Say them fellers didn't know much more about playin' ball dan de Portland team does. De pitchers had glass arms, an' de fielders couldn't catch de mumps, an' de short stop couldn't stop a grandfather's clock, an' it stopped short its self. First ting I knowed I wuz mixed up in dat game. Don't matter where I played. I wuz in de game. Is dat where I got dat eye? Tain't none of your business. I've got it haven't I? I stayed wid de game until it broke up, an' dis mornin' if dere is a bone in my body dat ain't sore or a bone dat don't ache, you'll have to show me. Did I enjoy de game? Of course not. It's de after effects I'm kickin' about. What came o' de goil? Oh, some guy stole her while I wuz waltzin' around on dat ball field.""Street Echoes," Medford Mail, April 15, 1904, page 1
Mail Office Devil:--"I read one of your proof sheets this week and I saw an item telling of the arrival in our city of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Davis. That's all right, and I am glad to learn that Mr. and Mrs. Ben Davis are here, but I would like mighty well to be told when Mr. and Mrs. Yellow Newtown will arrive--and about how many there will be in the family.""Additional Local," Medford Mail, July 8, 1904, page 1
"Say," said the Mail office devil to [the] agricultural editor this morning, "do you know that there ain't any more race comin' between Teddy and Alton B. dan dere would be between a jackrabbit and a bullfrog." "Why," said the gentleman who writes the farm news, "anybody ought to know that," snorted the imp of darkness, "Parker is a swimmer and Tiddy rides a bronk. If he can't ride fast enough to beat a man swimmin' he ought to go back to Oyster Bay and fall in."
Medford Mail, July 29, 1904, page 4
Mail Office Devil:--"Gee, you orter hear de hard luck stories dem fellers is tellin' dat have been out on fishin' and huntin' expeditions. One feller wot came in de other day, he told about how many deer de fellers saw wot wuz in his gang, but none of dem guys could hit de side of de mountain. He wuz de only bloke in de outfit wot could have hit a deer if he'da seen one, and he didn't see nothin'. Den one guy he come along an' tells about how de water was so clear in de creek he was fishin' in dat de trout could see his reflection before he got in a hundred yards of de water. 'Bout time he gets through, along comes 'nother fisherman wid a story 'bout de same stream, where de water was so muddy de fish couldn't see de bait. Now wot ye're goin' to do about dat. Looks ter me like dere ain't no use goin' out an' fightin' musketeers and things fer two weeks and not ketchin' anythin' but pizen oak an' freckles. 'Bout time I commence thinkin' dat way, long comes a feller with de information as to where I can locate a piece of fresh venison. I hikes for de place an' underneath de venison I finds a couple of big trout an' I gets de whole works. Dot guy didn't go to a camp an' lay 'round expectin' to have de trout flop out of the water into der fryin' pan, or the deer to come in an' hang themselves up in front of de cabin door. No, siree, he just got out an' hunted an' fished and he got somethin'. Strikes me dat's de good deal like other things; if you want anythin' go after it, dere isn't anythin' goin' to come to ye."
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 5, 1904, page 5
Mail Office Devil:--"Say, dere's gotter be more fly cops 'round dis man's burg dan a few, an' dey're jist like all dem kind o' people, dey never succeed in draggin' nobody. Couple dem amachure tecs went out t'other day after Wilson an' Madison [escapees from the county jail], and dey was sure fixed fer emergencies. Dey had two demijohns full of chain lightnin' and a gun in de buggy, and I don't know [how] much of de first-named in dere skins. Dey come back de next day tellin' of how near dey come to captur' de bold, bad outlaws, but dere breat' smelled like de inside uv a distillery, and I think dey dreamed it."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, August 26, 1904, page 1 A "fly cop" was a detective.
Mail Office Devil:--"Naw, go 'way an' don't bodder me. You use ter have a whole lot o' fun out o' me, but I ain't goin' ter tell yer nothin'. Where wuz I Sunday? Well, I went fishin', if yer have ter know, an' I didn't ketch anythin' but poison oak, either. Oh, yer needn't back off. You can't git it only from de vine itself. But dat isn't wot makes me sore. Dere I wuz out in de river in de hot sun, up to me neck in water, wid me legs a freezin' and me face a blisterin', fishin' just like another feller wot wuz pullin' 'em out as fast as he could trow his line, an' I couldn't get anythin'. Yes, I did get sometin', too. I stepped in a hole and got a duckin' and I caught dis poison oak. Some people is born fer trouble, an' if I'd lived in Job's time, it would have been me for de boils.""Street Echoes," Medford Mail, June 16, 1905, page 1
Last revised April 27, 2019