Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Quackenbush – part 3

My Quackenbush part 1
My Quackenbush part 2

by Tom Gaylord

I accepted the coin and the Quackenbush became his. With it went several boxes of cat slugs and more boxes of lead bullets. In all, he was outfitted to shoot for many years without a worry.

That was the last time I saw Scrappy Jack alive. He left our community and passed into legend, or so I thought.

With my newfound wealth, I went up to San Francisco and inquired by telegram of the Quackenbush factory how much a replacement gun would cost. Shipped from Herkimer to the west coast, it was $13.65, with 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Since I was flush, I bought two—one to use and the other to sell if another Scrappy Jack came my way. Two months later, my rifles arrived at the Union Pacific depot, and, before the week was out, they were both sold at a good profit.

The next time, I put all my money together, plus some my father had, and ordered ten guns from Quackenbush. They arrived in less than a month, together with a letter from the company asking if I would like to be a dealer. I had some time to think about it, as the new lot took more than a month to sell. It seemed to me I might improve my lot in life by selling them, so I applied to become a dealer. I also purchased guns from Daisy who advertised in one of the trade journals.

Within the year, I was selling so many guns that I was starting to have problems keeping up my end of the orchard. My father understood and bought out my share and I went into the gun and sporting-goods business full time. By the middle nineties, I was also stocking firearms from Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, Remington and Marlin. The BB gun trade died off around the turn of the century and I converted to strictly a firearms store with full-time gunsmith on the premises. Sales were brisk, as California was a sportsman's paradise, as well as a frontier territory.

One day, a man came in to buy a Colt pistol and asked if we took in guns as trades. I said we did and asked to see what he had. To my great surprise, he pulled my old Quackenbush out of a canvas bag. It was the worse for wear after all those years, but there was no doubt in my mind that this was indeed my old gun. I accepted it gladly and even gave a little more than the fellow expected, just to get my gun back again, for in a way, it was responsible for the business I was now in.



Post a Comment

<< Home