The American Magazine Jan. 1942. As transcribed for Mr. Baines by his raconteur Clarence Budington Kelland.
[Sound advice for the age of social media from the Sage of Coldriver.]
THERE'S a heap of fellers would ruther win an argyment than keep a friendship.
If the world is round, insultin' your neighbor hain't a-goin' to make it flat. And fur practical pupposes it don't make no difference. Fur a couple of million years everybuddy thought it was flatter'n a pancake, 'n' they still got three meals a day.
If a man don't agree with ye it don't prove he's a miscreant 'n' a hoss thief. All it proves is that one of ye is mistaken.
Jim Pilkinton 'n' Beany Tombes got to arguin' over which was heftier—a pound of lead or a pound of feathers. It come to blows. Every time they met fur a generation they had to be separated. It got to be a feud. Jim was strong fur lead 'n' Beany was fervent fur feathers. They died a-hatin' one another. But a pound of either lead or feathers kep' right on bein' a pound.
Juries was invented on account of the world come to see a couple of fellers couldn't settle the facts of a lawsuit with an ax.
Ye got to take into consideration: A frog livin' in the bottom of a well is justified in thinkin' the world is different from how it looks to a bird a-settin' onto a treetop. But he hain't justified in callin' the robin mean names on account of it.
I hear tell a hoss's eyes magnifies four times, so as a man looks taller to him than the Congo Church steeple. You could lick a hoss with a gad till you was wore out and you'd still look jest as big to him. Even a boss is entitled to his p'int of view.
Argyments is healthy 'n' passes away the time, but the's a heap of difference betwixt statin' your side of the case temperate and logical, and just up 'n' callin' the other feller a skunk.
Young Jed Peters 'n' Ptolemy Brown had a fist fight over whether Nettie Mason's eyes were blue or black. They got bruised up consid'able. It turned out her eyes was brown, 'n' she married a feller by the name of George Barton that didn't care what color they was pervidin' she was a good cook.
A subjeCt that folks was a-killin' each other over about a hundred years ago hain't nothin' but a historical anecdote today. And what was a burnin' question fifty year back hain't nothin' but a heap of ashes fur college perfessors to poke around in a-tryin' to find out what set the fire.
Pazzy Tucker 'n' Pliny Pickett hain't spoke since '96, when they got into a rumpus over Free Silver. If ye was to ask 'em this afternoon what Sixteen to One meant they'd guess it was a bet on a boss race. But they still don't speak.
Friendships lasts a lifetime, but the hottest question of the day won't have no heat in it by the time your shoes is wore out.
The smartest man is the feller that would rather make a friend than to make hist'ry.
Copyright 1942 Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. for The American Magazine Jan. 1942, renewed.
Reprinted by permission the estate of Clarence Budington Kelland.
Read free complete and illustrated the first Scattergood Story: "Scattergood Baines—Invader (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Jun 30 1917 (click to read now)