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The Repairing of Sam Brown


Chapter I - part 1

SAM BROWN (Auto Repairs: Spare Parts and Accessories: The Premier Garage of Enterprise) came home to supper one Friday evening with a disgruntled look on his face and an out-of-sorts shrug of his shoulders.
          “You know, Sarah,” he said to his wife, after he had blunted the edge of an appetite always hearty, “that new repair man,  Richards, that I hired last Monday morning, that crackerjack of a workman I’ve been praising up all week? Why, I never had such a man, —greedy for work and knows the business from A to Z. Well, I was afraid it was too good to last. He’s gone and spoiled it all; threw three flies right into the ointment.”
          “Why, Sam, what’s he done?” ejaculated Sarah.
          “He came to me just before quitting time tonight and asked if he could have tomorrow off, and every other Saturday, because he said his knowledge of the Bible and the promptings of his conscience led him to keep Saturday as the Sabbath. Said he would work Sunday if I wanted him to, glad to do it; for he needed the money for his family, and the commandment says to work six days in the week, as well as to rest the seventh. Saturday’s our biggest day, Sarah. Of all the fanaticism in religion, that goes beyond the limit!”
          His partner in life, never got as excited over anything as Sam did. She ruminated a while. “If he is so conscientious, why didn’t he tell you all this before you hired him? Is that honest, to deceive that way?” she observed.
          “That’s just what I came back at him with,” answered Sam, “and what do you think he said?— That men he asked for work always thought he was lazy and no good, and was only trying to get two days off a week instead of one, when he told them beforehand, and they wouldn’t give him a chance to prove up. So he decided not to say anything about it till he had to. I don’t know that that was acting a lie, Sarah. He certainly earned his wages this week, and I don’t have to keep him if I don’t want to. I’m glad he stayed this long. Say, but we were cluttered up with work last Monday; and now we are just about caught up for the extra rush tomorrow. And the worst is, I owe most of it to him. He’s a clipper,” and auto-repair Sam looked off into space thoughtfully.
          “But, Sam,” his wife interrupted his meditations, “you’re a deacon in our church; didn’t you show him that Saturday is the wrong day to keep?”
          “Didn’t I? Well, I should say I did,—or tried to,” he added ruefully, as he recollected the experience. “I said something about Sunday being my Sabbath; and he said maybe it was, but Saturday is  God’s  Sabbath,  and  quoted  the  verse,  ‘The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God (Exodus 20:10), that he wasn’t keeping Saturday for Sunday as I said he was, but was keeping Saturday for the Sabbath. He said that the Bible teaches that the Sabbath begins at sundown and ends at sunset, and I didn’t know that. Why, Sarah, that man acts as if he knows the Bible like a preacher, from the very first verse of Genesis to the very last verse of—let’s see, what is the last book in the Bible?—anyway, he said,—”
          “Yes, yes, ‘he said, he said,’ but what I want to know, Sam Brown, is what you said.”
          “Well, I didn’t have any Bible with me, and we didn’t have much time; but I told him the Bible has plenty of proof that Sunday is the right day to keep; that it is preposterous to think that all the Christian world has been wrong about the day all these years, and a lot of facts like that. He told me he would be glad to read the Sunday texts; and I told him I would sure have them ready for him Monday morning.”
          “Why, Sam, you’re not going to keep him on, are you?” objected Sarah.
          “Am I? I should say I am! He’s worth more to me in five days than the other men are in six. And I’ll need him Monday morning to help take care of the Sunday wrecks,” and Sam tipped his chair back complacently.