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Sold to Riley

   There was something about a country auction that my father    was unable to resist and he went to as many of them as he could.    I often went along with him and got an early taste of the excite- ment — bidding for articles rather than purchasing them at a     fixed price. My father sometimes bought a piece of furniture or     an implement for the farm, but most of all he preferred to buy   boxes of miscellaneous oddments that could be classified as junk and which, when he got home, he could examine carefully,     hoping to find something useful hidden away in them. Time and again you would hear the auctioneer knock down a box of    trashy-looking hardware with the words, "Sold to Riley for ten cents." At auctions he always used the pseudonym Riley. I am uncertain as to the origin of the name, but his friend, Mr. John  Paine (later my father-in-law) always called him Riley and I   assume that this may have had something to do with it.
   His bidding was usually very modest. Most of his purchases   cost less than a dollar, but he would pay several dollars for items