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Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick

Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick(1952)


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At the turn of the century, Josie Berry agrees to put up two stranded entertainers on her Midwestern farm and thrills at the prospect of meeting sophisticated city folk. Unlike her devoted but meek suitor, neighbor Aaron Slick, Josie dreams of selling her farm and seeing the world. Consequently, when one of her guests, William Merridew, expresses pleasure at being in the country, Josie tries to interest him in buying her farm. Unknown to Josie and Aaron, Merridew and his partner Gladys, whom he calls "cousin," are confidence artists and are laying low after swindling $20,000 in a land sale scheme in Chicago. Josie insists on showing Merridew and Gladys around the farm, and the "slickers" are chased into a tree by a bull. Later, Josie and Aaron head for town for their weekly night out, and Aaron leaves Josie alone in order to play his tuba in the local band. After being chastised by friends for abandoning Josie and not acting like a man, Aaron drinks some medicine show elixir to boost his nerve. He then finds Josie and, while driving her home in his buggy, kisses her. Josie is ecstatic about Aaron's romancing and starts dreaming about their wedding. Merridew and Gladys, meanwhile, have discovered oil slicks on Josie's land and, seeing their opportunity, offer to buy the farm for a modest sum. Josie is now conflicted about selling and insists on talking to Aaron and her neighbors about it. As hoped, Merridew impresses the town by singing at church, and Josie decides to sell without discussing the matter with Aaron. When Aaron learns of her plan, he becomes upset, especially after she says that she is going to use some of the sale money to finance a honeymoon in Chicago. Sure that she will not want to return to Punkin Crick once she gets a taste of Chicago, Aaron accuses Josie of plotting ways to force him to move. Outraged, Josie throws Aaron out of her house and ends their relationship. Josie's friend Mrs. Peabody chases after Aaron, and while they are walking across Josie's field, Aaron notices the oil patches and deduces Merridew's scheme. Aaron informs Mrs. Peabody that the oil came from a barrel he dropped, not the ground, and decides to help Josie by demanding more money from Merridew. Aaron bursts into Josie's house as she is about to sign a bill of sale for $2,500, and after tussling with Josie and Merridew, gets the sales price up to $20,000. That night, with Merridew's cash in hand, Josie and Mrs. Peabody leave for Chicago and check in to an expensive hotel, intending to live it up. Later, in Punkin Crick, Aaron stops by Josie's farm and glibly tells Merridew and Gladys, who have invested in an oil drill, the truth about the oil. Merridew acts nonchalant with Aaron but hops the next train to Chicago. There, Merridew meets Josie and invites her to a cabaret, hoping to retrieve some of the $20,000. Claiming to be concerned about her financial future, Merridew tries to talk Josie into investing her money with him, but she is too distracted by thoughts of Aaron to agree. Gladys then shows up at the hotel and tells Merridew that Aaron is headed for Chicago and is wise to his plans. Aaron, meanwhile, wanders into a Chicago police station and, while describing Josie to the desk sergeant, mentions Merridew. After the sergeant informs Aaron that Merridew and Gladys are wanted for fraud, Aaron goes from hotel to hotel searching for Josie and ends up in the restaurant of Josie's hotel. There, a seductive confidence woman dances with Aaron and asks him to hold her purse, then loudly accuses him of stealing $408 from her. When the hotel management discovers exactly $408 on Aaron, they threaten to call police unless he "returns" the money. Aaron does so, but immediately steals the woman's purse back and takes off. Josie, meanwhile, is confronted in her room by Merridew and Gladys, who accuse her of tricking them into buying her worthless land. Just as Josie is about to hand over the remaining $16,000, Aaron, who is being chased by hotel detectives, stumbles into the room. Aaron exposes Merridew and Gladys as crooks, but offers to let them go free if Merridew switches coats with him. Unsuspecting, Merridew agrees and after Aaron shoves the thief's empty purse into his hand, he and Gladys step into the hall, where Merridew is mistaken for Aaron and pursued. Later, Josie and Mrs. Peabody return to Punkin Crick, but Aaron does not feel comfortable around the "fancy" Josie. Desperate to convince him she has not changed, Josie imbibes a bottle of elixir from Merridew and Gladys' new medicine show and gives the startled Aaron a big kiss.