get something for nothing, they take everything that you have
earned that you have not already eaten.
You have heard the old three-shell slicker at the county fair
and have seen his little table in front of him. When he sees the cops coming, he
folds up the table and puts it in his inside pocket, and when they have gone he
opens it up again.
Then as you walk around, you run across the Tout of the Three-Shell
Trickster. Slippery, slick fellow, with a
stiff hat stuck on the apex of his ossified skull.
He says to you,
know where you can get some money for nothing. Come with me and I’ll
show you. All you need is good eyesight.”
You follow the Tout to the old swindler himself—a pee-wee
financier who stands in front of his disappearing table telling the dupes that
he’s got more money than he knows what to do with and wants somebody to win it
This old slicker eyes you up and says,
“This is no place for
the blind, I’ll bet you couldn’t see a rhinoceros with a telescope.
You get mad and tell him you can see better than he can and
will prove it.
“Well,” he says,
is no use of you being here anyway, because you haven’t any money.”
“You lie,” says you,
“Look at that,” and you pull two hands
full of the filthy lucre out of your pockets.
“Well,” says the old slicker,
“I don’t believe you can see
this little ball that I put under these shells,” then he pushes it around, and
you see it everywhere it goes.
So he says,
citizens, I will give anybody a dollar who can pick that ball from under
the shell. Where is it?”
The Tout says,
“Right there,” and he picks the ball from
under the right shell. You saw the ball put there yourself. The slicker gives
him a dollar. You then say to yourself,
the easiest way to get money I ever saw.”
So the slicker says to you,
“I bet you can’t see where that ball
And of course you see it,—
only you don’t see it. You think you
see it. He pushes it around in such a way that there it is right in front of your nose
and you think that you cannot be mistaken.
“I bet you a dollar you can’t pick the ball.” You
say, “I’ll bet five dollars I can.” You want to make money faster than he wants
you to lose it. You put up the five and you pick up the shell, and there is no
ball under it. So you lose your five dollars.
“My eyesight is perfect.” And you go at it again,
and you lose your whole wad. You get dizzy for a moment and then look around for
the tout who brought you there and he’s gone; then you look around for the
slicker who took your money, and he’s gone. You look in your pockets and your
money is gone.
Then you realize that you have been bunked. You’ve given away
all of your money and got nothing for it. You won’t acknowledge that it was your
own fault, because you thought you could get something for nothing. You cannot.
There is nothing in life worth while that can be gotten for
nothing. God made you so that in order to develop yourself properly you must
give honest effort for everything worth while. So when you try to get something
for nothing you get BUNK.
Now, the Mastodon financier has a game a million times bigger
than that of the Pee Wee Slicker. He has a game that’s a real lullapaloosa. And
everywhere you go there is a FINANCIER’S TOUT right at your elbow and he
buzzes in your ear,
and get something for nothing—if you have some money to pay for it.”
They never tell you that you can get something for nothing
unless you have something valuable to give them. If you have money or
property, then they will tell how you can get something for nothing by
playing their game. You listen to them once, twice, a thousand times
again and again and you always lose. You GIVE something for nothing—not
something for nothing.