The Last Laugh: Find a Lost Friend

Humor: In the dead of winter, the notable personages of Plumcreek Country venture into the wilderness to find a lost friend.

| January/February 1979

"Carlyle said a lie cannot live. Which shows that he did not know how to tell them." — Mark Twain   

Well sir, Old Man Winter's sure enough left his footprints on Plumtree Crossin', and he weren't wearin' his lightweight city shoes, neither. In point of fact, it's been so dadblamed intemperate here of late that Ott Bartlett has plumb give up spittin' terbaccy juice in the out-of-doors; seems he jist can't tolerate the way it freezes up in midstream and shatters as soon as the air gets to it.

But folks here don't spend too much time strugglin' with the inclement weather, anyhow. Leastwise, most of us have the God-given sense to put our backsides near somethin' warm and wait till a feller can step outside without dressin' up like a three-year stack of feed sacks.

Which is why—nigh onto two weeks ago—a goodly number of the local notables was gathered in the back room of the Plumtree Crossin' General Store. Actually, "gathered" don't exactly describe it right. We was huddled so close around the potbellied stove that Lem Tucker swore he was lookin' at the world through Doc Thromberg's glasses. It were one of those days where, if called on to help find a lost friend, it jist might cross your mind to stay in and let a grown man fend for hisself.

Anyway, about the time we was gettin' all warmed and ready fer some upliftin' conversation, Lafe Higgins and Skeeter Ridges come bustin' through the front door like January 1929.

"We got to form a rescue party," Lafe said, after he'd thawed enough to sneak the words between the clatterin' of his teeth. "Fletcher Roebuck's boy, Clovis, has gone and got hisself lost down along Wishful Crick."

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