Land Grant

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Many years ago, out on the frontier of the American west, many settlers contended with settlement problems. One fellow in particular was perplexed by a document and the obligations it described, and which he was required to sign in order to become a homesteader.

Consulting a town lawyer, the fellow made his inquiry.

"Malachi," said he, "you know all about this law. Tell me what I ought to do."

"Well," the other reflected, "I don't remember the exact wording of the law, but I can give you the meanin' of it:

"The government is willing to bet you one hundred and sixty acres of parched, dusty ground against fourteen dollars that you can't live on it five years without starving to death ..."