Stephenson Tales

Mr. Yon and Sheriff Hanes

Mr. Francis Frederick Yon lived across the street from behind our guest house. He was an auctioneer. Once we went with him as he was holding an auction and told him that we needed a used refrigerator. He told us that he had two for sale and would give us a good price on the best one. I did not know how he was going to do that. The action was at a farm dwelling that had recently been vacated by death and lack of interest among the descendants. He took us around to the side of the house--which was surrounded by the household goods of a couple of generations of tenants--everything from wagon wheels and farm tools to parlor board games on tables, pots, pans, dishes, appliances, furniture, home canned vegetables and fruits, linen, clothing, books, ancient magazines, pictures, rugs, window frames, doors, innumerable toys for all ages--and standing serenely amidst the debris, two white refrigerators. People were milling around appraising in their minds how much they would be willing to pay for various things. Mr. Yon stopped in front of one of the two refrigerators, "This is the one you want." "How much should I bid?" "I'll start the bidding at twenty dollars." "O.K.," I said, "I'll bid twenty dollars." "Sold for twenty dollars," said Mr. Yon, and pulled out a sticker and slapped it on the side: "SOLD!" He was a good neighbor.

Tom MixMr. Yon had little use for Sheriff Hanes. "He ain't a good neighbor...." One day, as usual, Sheriff Hanes was strutting down the roadway. He cut through to in front of Mr. Yon's house just as Mr. Yon came out. Mr. Yon stopped and looked him over-resplendent in his glittering uniform: gold bandolier jauntily over one shoulder and under the armpit, gun in place, badge gleaming, handcuffs demurely nestled behind his back. Mr. Yon looked at him and said in his nasal drawl, "Who do ya think ya are, Tom Mix? Take off that gun and throw it in the lake. Ya look like a goddam cowboy."

Sheriff Hanes went back home.

© Jim Bob Stephenson 1992

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