The stranger laid the five one-hundreds across the counter of Laurium General
and I promptly re-stacked the Ben Franklins in one pile and handed them back..
"I'm not tempted in the least, friend."
"I am not attempting to tempt you, sir, I am just trying to buy the teddy bear in the
middle of your window display which used to belong to me in the first place."
"Yes, I know: you recognized the splinted broken arm. And someone else recalls
the black button eyes. And I myself remember the signature of the Notre Dame
great George Gipp on Teddy's bottom."
"What's the point?" the irate customer wanted to know.
"The point is, Teddy is everybody's Puff the Magic Dragon of his youth, the
Rosebud sled in Citizen Kane. No, to stake claim to Teddy, you'd have to settle
down right here in Laurium where Teddy and his family have been for sometime
and wish to remain,"
"Are you crazy? In this little-- little pothole of a town?"
"I did when I purchased Teddy and his brood from an elderly couple of, I believe,
Cherokee extraction. My wife Bibianna made the same commitment herself."
I nodded proudly as Bibianna chose just that moment to enter from the back
She was among the five most beautiful women the stranger or Ben Franklin had