"I want to go through your books," says Paulhamus,
" and check 'en' with this formula."
" I be dam if you do," says Bro. Logsden raising up
from his chair. " If you was to go marking check marks like that on my books, I'd never get 'em straight
again as long as I lived."
Then there was some explanations and finally Bro.
Logsden opened up his books and showed his system and how simple it was. The pohcyholding members
was all set down in a list with columns ruled up and down across two wide pages for the assessments. When
an assessment was paid he marked a straight tally mark against the member paying; when it wasn't paid he
marked a goose egg, and when a member asked for
time till his cotton was sold he set down a cross mark. It was plain to see that the actuary was interested and and he said promptly that he never saw such a system before, and asked Bro. Logsden questions about it as fast as a shingle mill cuts shingles.
"I see here," he says, "that sometimes there's goose eggs marked up for several columns and then the pay tallies commence again. Don't you lapse any members for non-payment ?
"We do," says Bro. Logsden, "when they quit paying for good; but if they take a notion to pay again we let 'em in while the lamp holds out to burn."
"But it seems to me," says old Paulhanus, "that such is unfair to the persisting members."
"Well," says Bro. Logsden, " every little counts to the widow and orphan, and when a backslider wants to ante up we turn it over to the heirs of the late lamented. We go on averages, and we estimate that the goose eggs