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70   INSURANCE. AT PINEY WOODS

pure matter of business principle, as Mr. Bumfelder says himself. Although Mr. Shanks represents the trust that has ground this county in the dust, he is personally respected and well-liked. His talents in playing the piano and singing is great, and he is looked upon as one of the best poker players that visits Spruce county. The suit is no reflection on him, only in a business way, growing out of the adjustment of the losses in the Sweetwater conflagration in August, when three stores and the patent egg factory burned up. On the second morning quite a sprinkling of adjusters arrived, and four more came at night. The midnight train brought seven, and next day the hotel was full of 'em, and boarding-houses all over town was catching the overflow. By this time they concluded among themselves that there was enough present to make a beginning, and they walked down in a body and viewed the ruins and returned back to the Alvarado Hotel bar where they took a drink, after which they

conferred whether it was an honest fire or not. By this time the claimants, all but Mr. Bumfelder, was worked up to a high degree and presenting their estimates of loss. Mr. Bumfelder, in a dignified way, sawed wood and waited for the adjusters to tree him. Late that evening he niet Mr. Shanks on the street and says to him, " When are you going to see about my loss?"

"You haven't sent anything up yet," says Mr. Shanks, careless like.

Now, here is where the trouble comes iii. Both gentlemen admit that this was all that passed between them. Then they parted. Mr. Shanks says he meant


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