Jack Daulton’s New Mailbox

Notice in the Morrisville Post Office from the Police Department:

On August 13th and 18th the Morrisville Police received numerous complaints of mailbox vandalism. These random vandalisms took place on Washington Highway, Elmore Mountain Road, Maple Street, and on the Flats Road in Hyde Park. The vandalisms are occurring in the early morning and late evening hours. If you have any further information on these incidents, please contact Officer Boright at the Morrisville Police Department.

I. Saturday morning on Flats Road

”Here’s one that works.”

“I just bought this shovel.”

”Looks like a mail-order job.”

“Yes, why?”

“Graves don’t sell that kind.”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“There’s two kinds’a shovels. One has the boot lip curved back. Ya can’t dig a hole with that kind, ’cause the lip keeps catchin’ in the hardpan and hangin’ up. Then there’s this kind where the back of the shovel is smooth ’cause the boot lip curves to the front and don’t hang the whole thing up. Use issun. It’ll be a whole lot easier. Lean it on the tractor when ya’s done.”

“Thanks, my name’s Daulton. I don’t believe we’ve met. You live in the…er… cellar hole?”

“Ya mean the ranch-to-be.”

“Yes.”

“We bought this house in August. I moved up to teach at Johnson. My wife Martha is a food writer.”

“What she write ’bout?”

“Oh, you know, cheese and bread-making, gardening and the like. What’s your name?”

“Duke.”

“Duke?”

“Duke. Jean and I live’s up ’ere in the new house, still unner ’struction. Sometimes I works on the roads crew and sells wood.”

“Well, my name’s Jack Daulton and my wife is…well, you know, Martha.”

“Please ta meet cha. Jes leave the shovel by the tractor. New mailbox?”

“Yes, we got a note from Elda Batty at the Post Office telling us to get a larger box because my wife gets a lot of packages and bulk mail so I got this one here. The old post was rotted out so I bought the whole set.”

“Good luck. They loikes the shiny ones.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Ya will.”

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