THE QUESTION was whether Bertha Badeau really did say: "I hope the son-of-a-bitch dies." I shall not attempt to pass judgment. I only know that when Jack was lying desperately sick he sent his friend Billie Burke to tear down the fence around his garden which he had permitted Bertha to use indefinitely with the one condition that her husband should get Jack as much fuel wood as there was in the fence. Two years had passed, the husband had never gotten the wood. Jack in the irritation of illness decided to avenge himself for this injustice, and consequently he sent Billie to haul the fence to his own woodpile. Bertha Badeau came running out when she saw the fence of her borrowed garden being removed by its owner's agent, and then is when she was reported by Billie to have enunciated her dire wish. Thereafter, for nearly a week, all of Wiseman was goodnaturedly (except for the principals) discussing the two sides and eagerly spreading the first news of each fresh development.
Of fresh developments there were plenty. Jack White is going to dispossess the Badeaus from one of his cabins which they have been using. Ed Badeau and Billie Burke almost come to blows when Ed takes Billie to task for spreading lies. Billie says that if Ed lays hands on him he'll shoot him