This story was titled "Reminiscence"
Editor, The Missourian:
In the long ago the people used to give a little "something to boot" in trade. When I was a little boy living over the hills southwest of the lovely, cultured old town of Allenville, Mo, H. H. Hinton had a store that sold everything.
Robbie Amos, a clerk, had to be able to "jump counters" and sell different articles. His selling came naturally and he was very well liked.
Mr. Hinton, however, was something special. With a twinkle in his eyes he greeted customers with a friendly hand shake, swapped yarns with them and always before a customer left gave them "something to boot". Candy, Apples, nuts placed in a poke sack. He never boasted, but these things were found by customers on the way home. Sometimes he would give a sack of flour, keg of sugar or an article of clothing to some harried father with a passel of youngins. The old time drummers would also give "something to boot" when calling on stores. Samples of dresses, coveralls, ect. These Mr. Hinton would give to some harried widow with a passel of youngins. These drummers were good at entertainment and once a Negro porter carrying a casket from the freight house was scared from his "livin lights" by a ventriloquist drummer. Groans, cries, and whimpers came from the casket. He was one of the Sides family, I believe. He was last seen that day crossing the tracks on a run towards his home.
Mr. Golliger the "Rawleigh" man would give "something to boot" in the way of a bottle of extract or anti-pain killer.
Neighbors would help when butchering time came and always went home with fresh meat as "something to boot".
American custom long since dead, but it was a wonderful custom. It answered two purposes, a friendly gesture from one to another and also a "balm" to one's conscience if there was any doubt in ones mind that the trade was fair.
What a nice story, CRH