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Title: Ade's Fables
Author: Ade, George, 1866-1944
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Ade's Fables" ***

produced from scanned images of public domain material





_The College Widow, In Pastures New, Knocking the Neighbors, Fables
in Slang_

_Illustrated by John T. McCutcheon_


_Copyright, 1912, 1913, by_

_Copyright, 1914, by_

_All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign
languages, including the Scandinavian_



The New Fable of the Private Agitator and What He Cooked Up         3

The New Fable of the Speedy Sprite                                 23

The New Fable of the Intermittent Fusser                           43

The New Fable of the Search for Climate                            62

The New Fable of the Father Who Jumped In                          83

The New Fable of the Uplifter and His Dandy Little Opus           100

The New Fable of the Wandering Boy and the Wayward Parent         119

The New Fable of What Transpires After the Wind-up                137

The Dream That Came Out with Much to Boot                         155

The New Fable of the Toilsome Ascent and the Shining Table-Land   171

The New Fable of the Aerial Performer, the Buzzing Blondine,
  and the Daughter of Mr. Jackson                                 193

The New Fable of Susan and the Daughter and the Granddaughter,
  and then Something Really Grand                                 212

The New Fable of the Scoffer Who Fell Hard and the Woman
  Sitting By                                                      237

The New Fable of the Lonesome Camp on the Frozen Heights          257

The New Fable of the Marathon in the Mud and the Laurel Wreath    281


"You are entitled to One Hundred Thousand Dollars," murmurs
  the stealthy Promoter.                              _Frontispiece_

                                                          FACING PAGE

Every time he sauntered carelessly across the porch, he gave a
  correct Imitation of a troop of Cavalry going over a Wooden
  Bridge                                                           43

Father came in and took one look and said: "Not for Mine! I
  won't stand for any Puss Willow being grafted on to our
  Family Tree"                                                     83

He was dazed and horrified to find himself suddenly
  subjected to the demoralizing Influences of the Small Town      119

Nearly every evening the Tradesman would back up to the Student
  Lamp and put in a delirious half-hour with the Views            155

He liked to tow something that would cause the Oyster Forks
  to pause in midair and the Catty Ones to reach for their
  Hardware                                                        193

He tore up the Medal Score, gave all the Clubs to the
  Caddy ... lifted a grimy Paw and uttered the Vow of
  Renunciation                                                    237

He talked Numbers to himself as he sped along and mumbled
  over the important Letters he was about to dictate              281



Ambition came, with Sterling Silver Breast-Plate and Flaming Sword,
and sat beside a Tad aged 5. The wee Hopeful lived in a Frame House
with Box Pillars in front and Hollyhocks leading down toward the Pike.

"Whither shall I guide you?" asked Ambition. "Are you far enough from
the Shell to have any definite Hankering?"

"I have spent many Hours brooding over the possibilities of the
Future," replied the Larva. "I want to grow up to be a Joey in a
Circus. I fairly ache to sit in a Red Wagon just behind the Band and
drive a Trick Mule with little pieces of Looking Glass in the Harness.
I want to pull Mugs at all the scared Country Girls peeking out of the
Wagon Beds. The Town Boys will leave the Elephant and trail behind my
comical Chariot. In my Hour of Triumph the Air will be impregnated
with Calliope Music and the Smell of Pop-Corn, modified by Wild

Ambition went out to make the proper Bookings with Destiny. When he
came back the Boy was ten years old.

"We started wrong," whispered Ambition, curling up in the cool grass
near the Day-Dreamer. "The Trick Mule and the Red Cart are all very
well for little Fraidy-Cats and Softies, but a brave Youth of High
Spirit should tread the Deck of his own Ship with a Cutlass under his
Red Sash. Aye, that is Blood gauming up the Scuppers, but is the
Captain chicken-hearted? Up with the Black Flag! Let it be give and
take, with Pieces of Eight for the Victor!"

So it was settled that the Lad was to hurry through the Graded Schools
and then get at his Buccaneering.

But Ambition came back with a revised Program. "You are now Fifteen
Years of Age," said the Wonderful Guide with the glittering Suit. "It
is High Time that you planned a Noble Career, following a Straight
Course from which there shall be no Deviation. The Pirate is a mere
swaggering Bravo and almost Unscrupulous at times. Why not be a great
Military Commander? The Procedure is Simple. Your Father gives the
Finger to the Congressman and then you step off the Boat at West
Point. Next thing you know, you are wearing a Nobby Uniform right out
on the Parade Ground, while bevies of Débutantes from New York City
and other Points admire you for the stern Profile and Military Set-Up.
After that you will subdue many Savage Tribes, and then you will march
up Pennsylvania Avenue at the head of the whole Regular Army, and the
President of the United States will be waiting on the Front Porch of
the White House to present you with a jewelled Sword on behalf of a
Grateful Nation."

"You are right," said the Stripling. His eyes were like Saucers, and
his Nostrils quivered. "I will be Commander-in-Chief, and after I am
laid away, with the Cannon booming, the Folks in this very Town will
put up a Statue of Me at the corner of Sixth and Main, so the
Street-Cars will have to circle to get around it."

Consequently, when he was in his 21st Year, he was sitting at a high
Desk in an Office watching the Birds on a Telegraph Wire. The
Knowledge he had acquired at the two Prep Schools before being pushed
into the Fresh Air ahead of Time had not made him round-shouldered. He
was a likely Chap, but he wore no Plumes.

He became dimly conscious that Ambition was squatted on the Stool next
to him.

"Up to this time we have been Dead Wrong," said the Periodical
Visitor. "There is only one Prize worth winning and that is the Love
of the Niftiest Nectarine that ever came down a Crystal Stairway from
the Celestial Regions to grace this dreary World with her Holy
Presence. Yes, I mean the One you passed this morning--the One with
her hair in a Net and the Cameo Brooch. Why not annex her by Legal
Routine and settle down in a neat Cottage purchased from the Building
and Loan Association? You could raise your own Vegetables. Go to it."

Four years elapse. Our Hero now has everything. The jerry-built home
of the Early Bungalow Period stands up bravely under the Mortgage.
Little Dorothy is suspended in a Jump Chair on the Veranda facing
Myrtle Avenue, along which the Green Cars run direct to City Hall
Square. The Goddess is in the kitchen trying to make preserves out of
Watermelon Rinds, with the White House Cook Book propped open in front
of her. Friend Husband is weeding the Azaleas and grieving over the
failure of the Egg-Plant.

He finds himself gently prodded, and there is Ambition once more at
his Elbow.

"You are entitled to One Hundred Thousand Dollars," murmurs the
stealthy Promoter. "Why should some other Citizen have his Coal-Bin
right in the House while you carry it from a Shed? Your Wife should
sit at her own Dinner Table and make signs at the Maid. And as you
ride to your Work with the other dead-eyed Cattle and see all those
Strong-Arm Johnnies coming out of their Brick Mansions to hop into
their own Broughams and Coupés, have you not asked yourself why you
are in the Horse-Cars with the Plebes when you might be in a Private
Rig with the Patricians?"

For, wot ye, Gentle Reader, all this unwound from the Reel before the
first Trolley Car climbed a Hill or the first Horseless Carriage came
chugging sternly up the Boulevard.

So Ambition received special Instructions to make Our Hero worth

Those were the days of tall Hustling: If he saw an Opening six inches
wide, he held it with his Foot until he could insert his Elbow, and
then he braced his Shoulder, and the first thing you knew he was on
the Inside demanding a fair cut of the Swag.

The Golden Rule received many a Jolt, but he adhered strictly to the
old and favorite Admonition: If you want Yours, take a short piece of
Lead Pipe and go out and Collect.

On a certain January First he made a careful Invoice. All the
Hard-Earned Kale dropped into the Mining Companies or loaned to
Relatives of Wife he marked off and put under the Head of Gone but not
Forgotten. He was a True Business Guy. Even after subtracting all Cats
and Dogs he could still total the magnificent Sum of One Hundred
Thousand Dollars.

When he looked at this Mound of Currency, he felt like a Vag and a
Pauper. For he had climbed to the table-lands of High Finance and
taken a peek at the Steam-Roller methods of the Real Tabascos.

"Make it a Million," said Ambition, leaning across the Table and
tapping nervously. "Are you going to be satisfied with a Station Wagon
and a Colored Boy when you might have a long-waisted Vehicle with two
pale Simpsons in Livery on the Box? When you go into your Club and see
the Menials kow-towing to a cold-looking Party with rippling Chins who
seems to favor his Feet, you know that he gets the Waving Palms and
the Frankincense because he is a Millionaire. You and the other
financial Gnats are admitted simply to make a Stage Setting for the
Big Squash."

"I always said that when I got a Hundred Thousand I'd take a long
Vacation in Europe and learn how to order a Meal," suggested Our Hero,
holding out weakly.

"When you came back you would find your hated Rival on the Hill with
the Batteries turned against you. Camp on the Job and work straight
toward the High Mark. And remember that anybody with less than a
Million is a Two-Spot in a soiled Deck."

From that day the Piking ceased. No more of the dinky trafficking of
the Retailer. He went out and bought Public Service Utilities on
Nerve, treated them with Aqua Pura by the Hogshead, and created Wealth
by purely lithographic Methods. And, if he wanted to reason out a Deal
with a contrary-minded Gazook, he began the Negotiations by soaking
the Adversary behind the Ear and frisking him before he came to.

A Fairy Wand had been waved above the snide Bungalow, and it was now a
Queen Anne Château dripping with Dew-dads of Scroll Work and congested
with Black Walnut. The Goddess took her Mocha in the Feathers, and a
Music Teacher came twice each week to bridge the awful chasm between
Dorothy and Chopin. Dinner had been moved up to Milking Time.
Sweetbreads and Artichokes came into the Lives of the Trio thus
favored by Fortune.

One day the busy Thimble-Rigger took his Helpmate into the lonesome
Library and broke the glad Tidings to her.

"I have unloaded all of my Cripples," he said. "They have been wished
on to a Group of Philanthropists in New England. Sound the glad
Tocsin. I have a Million in my Kick."

So she began packing the huge Saratogas and reading the Folders on
Egypt and the Riviera. He sat in his Den pulling at a long black
Excepcionale. Through the bluish clouds of Smoke came that old
familiar Voice.

"Let the Missus and the Heiress do the European Thing," said Ambition.
"You stick around. Wait for Black Friday. Then get busy at the Bargain
Counter. By and by the new Crop will begin to move, and Money will
creep out of the Yarn Stockings and a few Wise Gazabes will cop all
the Plush. In every Palm Room there are more Millionaires than Palms.
But the Big Round Table over by the Fountain is always reserved by
Oscar for the Lad who can show Ten Millions."

The Ocean Greyhound moved out past Sandy Hook with the Family and all
the Maids on board, but Papa remained behind to sharpen his Tools and
get ready for another Killing.

Every time he was given a Crimp in the Rue de la Paix he caught even
by leading a new Angora up the Chute and into the Shambles.

When the fully matured Goddess and the radiant Heroine of the latest
International Alliance came home with the French Language and two tons
of Glad Raiment, they found themselves reuning with the Magnate at the
big Table over by the Fountain.

Our Hero was now sleeping in a Bed almost twelve feet wide, with a
silk Tent over it. One Morning he found the Companion of many Years
sitting on the edge of the Mattress.

"Again?" asked the Multi-Millionaire. "What next?"

"The Exercises up to this Time have been Preliminary," said Ambition.
"What is the good of a Bank Roll if you cannot garnish it with the
delectable Parsley of Social Eminence? Get a Wiggle on you. Send for
the Boys with the Frock Coats and the Soft Hats and let them dig in to
their Elbows. Tell the Press Agent to organize a typewriting Phalanx.
Assume a few Mortgages on fluttering Newspapers. Lay a Corner-Stone
ever and anon. Be Interviewed."

"What are you leading up to?" asked the Financial Giant, a sickly Fear
creeping into the Region formerly occupied by his Heart.

"The Logical Finish," replied Ambition, with a reassuring Pat on the
Shoulder. "You must go to the Senate. The White Palace, suitable for
entertaining purposes, now awaits you in Washington. The Bulb Lights
glow dimly above the Porte Cochère. A red Carpet invites you to climb
the Marble Stairway and spread yourself all over the Throne. On a
Receiving Night, when the perfumed Aliens in their Masquerade Suits
rally around the Punch Bowl, your Place will resemble the Last Act of
something by Klaw & Erlanger. You will play Stud with the Makers of
History and be seen leaving the Executive Mansion."

This Line of Talk landed him. He Fell for it. That year the Christmas
Tree drooped with valuable Gifts for the Boys who stood after they
were hitched.

He went up to Washington with an eviscerated Check-Book in his Pocket
and a faint Odor of Scandal in his Wake, but he was a certified
Servant of the People. His Cut Flowers were the Talk in Official
Circles. The most Exclusive consented to flirt with his Wine Cellar.

To a mere Outsider it looked as if Ambition had certainly boosted his
Nobs to the final Himalayan Peak of Human Happiness. He had a House as
big as a Hospital. The Hallways were cluttered with whispering
Servants of the most immaculate and grovelling Description. His Wife
and the Daughter and the Cigarette-Holder she had picked up in Europe
figured in the Gay Life of the Nation's Capital every Night and went
to see a Nerve Specialist every Day. The whole Bunch rode gaily on the
Top Wave of the Social Swim, with a Terrapin as an Escort and a squad
of Canvas-Back Ducks as Body-Guard.

Notwithstanding all which, Father was the sorest Hard-Shell that
motored along Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Dime Denouncers printed his Picture, saying that he was owned by
the Interests and hated the sight of a Poor Working Girl. When the
High Class continuous Show in the Senate Chamber showed signs of
flopping and the Press Gallery became impatient, some Alkali Statesman
of the New School would arise in his Place and give our Hero a
Turning-Over, concluding with a faithful Pen-Picture of the Dishonored
Grave marked by a single Headstone, chiseled as follows: "Here lies a

When he went traveling, he had his Food smuggled into the
Drawing-Room. He knew if he went drilling through the Pullmans, some
of the Passengers who had seen the Cartoons might recognize him as the
notorious Malefactor.

One day, while he was cowering in a dark corner of his Club to get
away from the pesky Reporters, he was joined by the Trouble-Maker.

"I gave you the wrong Steer," said Ambition, now much subdued. "You
are in Dutch. Beat it! All the Rough-Necks down by the Round-House
and the fretful Simps along every R.F.D. Route are getting ready to
interfere in the Affairs of Government. The Storm Clouds of Anarchy
are lowering. In other words, the new Primary Law has begun to do
business. Every downtrodden Mokus owing $800 on a $500 House is honing
for a Chance to Hand it to somebody wearing a Seal-Skin Overcoat. From
now on, seek Contentment, Rural Quietude, and a cinch Rate of 5 Per
Cent. on all your Holdings."

So Ambition, after leading him hither and yon, finally conducted him
to the swell Country House surrounded by Oaks and winding Drives and
Sunken Gardens.

Far from the Hurly-Burly he settled down among his Boston Terriers and
Orchids and Talking-Machines and allowed Old Age to ripen and mellow
him into a Patriarch of the benevolent Pattern.

At the suggestion of an expensive Specialist, he went in for Golf.

After he had learned to Follow Through and keep within 100 yards of
the Fair Green, he happened to get mixed up in a Twosome one day with
a walking Rameses who had graduated from the Stock Exchange soon after
the Crime of '73. This doddering Shell of Humanity looked as if a High
Wind would blow him into the Crick. When he swung at the Pill, you
expected to hear something Snap.

Our Hero had about 10 Years on the Ancient, and it looked like a
Compote. But the Antique managed to totter around the Course, playing
short but safe, always getting Direction and keeping away from the
Profanity Pits.

He never caught up with Colonel Bogey, but he had enough Class to trim
our Hero and collect 6 Balls.

Ambition rode home with the unhappy Loser in the $12,000 Limousine.

"Buck up, Old Top," said the faithful Prompter. "Fasten your Eye on
the Ball and don't try to Force. He is sure to blow up sooner or
later. Take another Lesson to-morrow morning and then publish your
Defi in the afternoon."

He never had been strong enough to stand off Ambition. So next Day he
took on Old Sure-Thing again and got it in the same Place.

No wonder. The Octogenarian was of Scotch Descent. He was the Color of
an Army Saddle. He never smiled except when the Kilties came on tour.
His Nippie consisted of a tall Glass about half full and then a little
Well Water.

A plain American Business Man with a York State Ancestry had a fat
Chance against this Caledonian frame-up.

But that same persistent Ambition kept sending him back to the Ring to
take another Trouncing.

One day he failed to show up at the Club House. The Trained Nurse, who
fanned him during the final Hours, never suspected. But the
Caddy-Master knew that he had died of a Broken Heart.

MORAL: Those who travel the hardest are not always the first to


One Monday Morning a rangy and well-conditioned Elfin of the Young
Unmarried Set, yclept Loretta, emerged into the Sunlight and hit the
Concrete Path with a ringing Heel.

This uncrowned Empress of the 18th Ward was a she-Progressive assaying
98 per cent. pure Ginger.

Instead of trailing the ever onward Parade, she juggled the Baton at
the head of the Push.

In the crisp introductory hours of the Wash-Day already woven into the
Plot, Loretta trolleyed herself down into the Noise Belt.

She went to the office of the exclusive Kennel Club and entered the
Chow Ki-Yi for the next Bench Show. At the Clearing House for K. M.'s
she filed a loud call for a Cook who could cook. Then she cashed a
check, ordered a pound of Salted Nuts (to be delivered by Special
Wagon at once), enveloped a ball of Ice Cream gooed with Chocolate,
and soon, greatly refreshed, swept down on a Department Store.

A Chenille Massacre was in full swing on the 3d floor, just between
the Porch Furniture and Special Clothing for Airmen. Loretta took a
run and jump into the heaving mass of the gentler Division. She came
out at 10.53 with her Sky Piece badly listed to Port and her toes
flattened out, but she was 17 cents to the Good. Three hearty Cheers!

So she went over to an exhibition of Paintings, breathing through her
Nose for at least an Hour as she studied the new Masterpieces of the
Swedo-Scandinavian School. Each looked as if executed with a Squirt
Gun by a Nervous Geek on his way to a Three Days Cure. Just the same,
every Visitor with a clinging Skirt and a Mushroom Hat gurgled like a
Mountain Stream.

In company with four other Seraphines, plucked from the Society Col.,
she toyed with a Fruit Salad and Cocoa at a Tea Room instituted by a
Lady in Reduced Circumstances for the accommodation of those who are
never overtaken by Hunger.

The usual Battle as to which should pick up the Check and the same old
Compromise. A Dutch Treat with Waitress trying to spread it four ways
and the Auditing Committee watching her like a Hawk. Then a 10-cent
Tip, bestowed as if endowing Princeton, and the Quartet representing
the Flower of America's Young Womanhood was once more out in the
Ozone, marching abreast with shining Faces and pushing white-haired
Business Men off into the Sweepings.

Loretta went to a place with a glass Cover on it and had herself
photoed in many a striking Posture. With the Chin tilted to show the
full crop of Cervical Vertebræ and her Search Lights aimed yearningly
at the top of the Singer Building, she had herself kidded into
believing that she was a certified Replica of Elsie Ferguson.

As a member of the Board of Visitation she hurried out to the Colored
Orphan Asylum to check up the Picks and watch them making Card-Board

After that she had nothing to do except fly home and complete a Paper
on the Social Unrest in Spain, after which she backed into the
Spangles, because Father was bringing an old Stable Companion to

In the evening she took Mother to a Travel Lecture. The colored Slides
were mingled with St. Vitus Glimpses of swarming Streets and galloping
Gee-Gees. They came home google-eyed and had to feel their way into
the Domicile.

Tuesday A.M. dawned overcast with shifting winds from the N.E.

Loretta pried herself away from the third Waffle in order to hike to
the corner and jack up Mr. Grocer about the Kindling Wood that he had
sent them for Celery.

She had the Druggist 'phone the Florist, and then rewarded him by
purchasing three Stamps.

At 9.30 the Committee to arrange for the Summer Camp of the In-Wrong
Married Women whirled through the untidy Suburbs in a next year's
Motor Car, and Loretta was nowhere except right up on the front Seat
picking out the Road.

Once a year the Ladies of the Lumty-Tum went out with their
embroidered Sand-Bags and swung on their Gentlemen Friends for enough
Dough to pay the Vacation Expenses of Neglected Wives and Kiddies.

In every community there is an undiscovered Triton thoroughly posted
on the Renaissance of the Reactionaries and the recrudescence of the
Big Six Baby with the up-twist that has Whiskers on it. This Boy is so
busy regulating both Parties and both Leagues that when it comes time
for his Brood to take an Outing, some ignorant Outsider has to step in
and unbelt.

After letting contracts for Milk and Vegetables, Loretta and the other
specimens of our Best People zipped over to the Country Club, breaking
into silvery Laughter every time the Speedometer made a Face at the
Sign-Board which said that the Speed Limit was 12 Miles an Hour.

They showed a few milk-fed Springers how to take a Joke, and then
played an 18-hole Foursome which was more or less of a Grewsome.

Then a little Tea on the Terrace with Herbert lolling by in his
Flannels, just as you read about it in Mrs. Humphry Ward.

A buzzing sound dying off into the distance, a trail of Blue Smoke in
the fading Twilight, and little Bright Eyes is back in her own Boudoir
packing herself into a new set of Glads.

That evening she had four throbbing Roscoes curled up among her Sofa

She had to bat up short and easy ones for this Bunch, as they came
from the Wholesale District.

When they began to distribute political Bromides, the artful Minx sat
clear out on the edge of the Chair and let on to be simply pop-eyed
with Ardor.

Shortly after 12 she turned the last night-blooming Cyril out into the
Darkness and did a graceful Pirouet to the Husks.

On Wednesday morning, between the Ham and Eggs, she glanced at her
double-entry Date Book and began to gyrate.

On the way down-town she stopped in and had herself measured for a new
mop of Hair.

Thence to the Beauty Works to have the peerless Frontispiece ironed
out and the Nails ivoried.

When she appeared at the Sorority Tiffin at 1 P.M. she was dolled for

The Response in behalf of the Alumnae of Yamma Gamma was a neat

After swiping the Table Decorations, she and two Companions hurried to
a Mat. It was a Performance given under the auspices of the
Overhanging Domes, and the Drama was one that no Commercial Manager
had the Nerve to unload on the Public. The Plot consisted of two
victims of Neurasthenia sitting at a Table and discussing Impaired

That evening she helped administer the Anesthetic to a Seminary Snipe
who was getting into the Life Boat with a hard-wood Bachelor grabbed
off at the 11th Hour.

Loretta wept softly while straightening out the Veil, in accordance
with Tradition. Later on she did an Eddie Collins and landed the
Bride's Bouquet. At 11.30 she had the Best Man backed into a Corner,
slipping him that Old One about his Hair matching his Eyes.

It is now Thursday morning and who is this in the Gym whanging the
Medicine Ball at the Lady Instructor with the Face?

It is Loretta.

Behold her at 10.30, after an icy Splash and a keen rub with a raspy

She has climbed back into the dark-cloth Effect and is headed for the
Studio of Madam to grapple with the French Lesson.

After that she will do nothing before Lunch Time except try on White
Shoes and fondle some Hats that are being sacrificed at $80 per throw.

The Suffrage Sisters rounded up Thursday afternoon. A longitudinal
Brigadieress in the army of Intellectuality did the main Spiel, with
Loretta as principal Rooter.

The Speaker was there with the Pep and with the Vocabulary. Otherwise
she was a Naughty-Naughty. The costume was a plain Burial Shroud, the
only Ornament being a 4-carat Wen just above the Neckband.

At 4 P.M., after the Male Sex had been ground to a Hamburger, our
little Playmate escaped to a Picture Show, but not until she had duly
fortified herself with the nourishing Marshmallow.

There was nothing on the Cards that night except a Subscription Dance,
which got under way at 10 P.M. and never subsided until the cold
Daylight began to spill in at the Windows.

Loretta did 27 out of a possible 29. Percentage .931--six better than
Bogey and 400 points ahead of Ty Cobb.

Nevertheless and notwithstanding, don't imagine that she failed to
come up for Air on Friday Morning.

Life is real, Life is earnest, and she had a Gown to be shortened up
and re-surveyed around the Horse Shoe Curve, just as soon as she could
leave the Gloves to be cleaned.

Happening into Automobile Row, she permitted a blond salesman with a
Norfolk Jacket to demonstrate the new type of Electric Runabout.

One of the most inexpensive pursuits of the well-dressed Minority is
to glide over the Asphalt in a Demonstration car and pretend to be

She permitted the man to set her down at a Book Shop, where she
furtively skinned eight Magazines while waiting for a Chum to pop
through the Whirligig Door.

The two went Window-Hopping for an hour. After making Mind Purchases
of about $8000 worth of washable Finery edged with Lace, a spirit of
Deviltry seized them.

They ordered their Lettuce Sandwiches and diluted Ceylon in a
Restaurant where roguish Men-about-Town sat facing the Main Entrance
to pipe the pulchritudinous Pippins.

Was it seven or eight Party Calls that she checked from her social
Ledger before 4 o'clock? Answer: eight.

Then a swinging Gallop for home. Whilst she had been socializing
around, Robert W. Chambers had taken a lead of two Novels on her.

Retiring to a quiet Alcove with four Volumes that were being dissected
at the drawing-room Clinics, she took a hack at the first and last
Chapter of each. Just enough to protect her against a Fumble if she
found herself next to a Book Sharp.

That evening a famous Hungarian Fiddler, accompanied by a warbling
Guinea Hen and backed up by sixty Symphonic Heineys wearing
Spectacles, was giving a Recital for the True Lovers in a Mammoth Cave
devoted to Art.

Loretta had a sneaking preference for the May Irwin School of
Expression, but she had to go through with the Saint-Saëns Stuff now
and then to maintain a Club Standing.

Accordingly she and Mother and poor old dying Father, with no Heart in
the Enterprise, were planted well down in Section B, where they could
watch Mrs. Leroy Geblotz, who once entertained Nordica, and say
"Bravo" at the Psychological Moment.

On Saturday Morning, after she had penned 14 Epistles, using the tall
cuneiform Hieroglyphics, she didn't have a blessed thing to do before
her 1 o'clock Engagement except drop in at a Flower Show and a Cat
Show and have her Palm read by a perfectly fascinating Serpent with a
Goatee who had been telling all the Gells the most wonderful things
about themselves.

A merry little Group went slumming Saturday afternoon. They attended a
Ball Game. Loretta had her Chin over the Railing and evinced a keen
Interest, her only Difficulty being that she never knew which Side was
at bat.

At dusk she began hanging on the Family Jewels. It was a formal Dinner
Party with a list made up by Dun and Bradstreet.

Loretta found herself between an extinct Volcano of Political World
and a sappy Fledgling whose Grandfather laid the cornerstone of

The Dinner was one of those corpseless Funerals, stage-managed by a
respectable Lady with a granite Front who had Mayflower Corpuscles
moving majestically through her Arterial System.

Loretta was marooned so far from the Live Ones that she couldn't
wig-wag for Help. Her C.Q.D. brought no Relief.

She threw about three throes of Anguish before they escaped to the
private Gambling Hell.

Here she tucked back her Valenciennes and proceeded to cop a little
Pin-Money at the soul-destroying game known as Bridge.

At 11.30 she led a highly connected volunteer Wine Pusher out into the
Conservatory and told him she did not think it advisable to marry him
until she had learned his First Name.

Shortly after Midnight she blew, arriving at headquarters just in time
to participate in a Chafing-Dish Jubilee promoted by only Brother,
just back from the Varsity.

She approached the Porcelain in a chastened mood that Sabbath morning.
She was thinking of the Night Before and of playing cards for Money.

She remembered the glare of Light from overhead and the tense, eager
Faces peering above the Paste-Boards.

Then she recalled, with a sharp catch of the Breath and a little tug
of Pain at the Heart, that she had balled herself up at the one Stage
and got dummied out of a Grand Slam.

"It would have meant a long pair of the Silk Kind," thought she, as
she sighed deeply and turned the cold Faucet.

After Breakfast she took a long Walk up the Avenue as a Bracer.

After which to the Kirk, for she taught a class of Little Girls in the
Sunday School, and she had to fake up an Explanation of how Joshua
made the Sun stand still, thereby putting herself in the Scratch
Division of Explainers, believe us.

She listened to a dainty Boston Sermon, trimmed with Ruching, singing
lustily before and after.

Then back home with the solemn Parade to sit among the condemned
waiting for that superlative Gorge known as the Sunday Dinner.

While she was waiting, a male Friend dropped in. His costume was a
compromise between an English Actor and a hired Mourner.

On Week Days he sat at a Desk dictating Letters and saying that the
Matter had been referred to the proper Department.

He looked at Loretta, so calm and cool and collected in her pious
Raiment, and the Smile that he summoned was benevolent and almost

"I was wondering," said he. "I was wondering if a Girl like you ever
gets tired of sitting around and doing nothing."

Loretta did not cackle. She had read in a Book by a Yale Professor
that Woman is not supposed to possess the Sense of Humor.

MORAL: The Settlement Campaign is not getting to the real Workers.


Once a grammar-school Rabbit, struggling from long Trousers toward his
first brier-wood Pipe, had Growing Pains which he diagnosed as the
pangs of True Love.

The Target was a dry-seasoned Fannie old enough to be his Godmother.

She was a Post-Graduate who was keeping herself on Earth by running to
the Drug-Store every few minutes.

The Eye-Brows were neatly blocked out by some Process unknown to the
writer, and she had a Shape that could be revised ad lib.

An Expert would have Made her at a glance, but the Cub fell for the
Scenery and Mechanical Effects.

He had sketched a little synopsis of the Future. After waiting 8
years, until she had unpetaled into the perfect bloom of Womanhood and
he was wearing a Full Beard, he would take her by the Long Glove and
lead her off into Dreamland.

Just to show how one of those pinfeather Passions may be shunted onto
a Siding and left among the Dog-Fennel, when the Subject of this
Sketch was _ætat_ 22, he was picking them out of the Air in the Left
Garden at the State University. Fannie (she of the purchased Pallor)
was thoroughly married to a Veterinary with the Drug Habit.

Soon after recovering from the Pip, known in Medical Parlance as the
Spooney Infantum, he began to glory in the friendship of an incipient
Amazon who wore a Blazer and walked like a Policeman.

She did not hamper her fibrous Physique with any excess Harness that
might pinch when she essayed a full St. Andrew's Swipe with a wooden
Club. And she had one lower octave of Pipes, like a Brakeman on the

There comes a brief Period in the Veal Epoch of every Sentimental
Tommy when the only real Cutie is one who can propel a Canoe and throw

So Walter, such being the baptismal Handicap, often thought it would
be Sweet Billiards to keep house with the she-Acrobat for 30 or 40
years, because when they were tired of sitting in the House they could
go into the Front Yard and play Ketch.

He was just at the rickety Age when the Gams refuse to coördinate.
Every time he sauntered carelessly across the porch at a Summer Hotel,
he gave a correct Imitation of a troop of Cavalry going over a Wooden
Bridge at full Gallop.

[Illustration: Every time he sauntered carelessly across the porch, he
gave a correct Imitation of a troop of Cavalry going over a Wooden

He had a way of backing into Potted Plants.

Each Morning was clouded by the task of picking out a Cravat that
would be of the same Radio-Activity as the Socks. And all through the
waking hours he carried with him a faint and sickly Realization that
his Parents did not understand him.

One day he stood before a kind-faced Registrar and matriculated.
Branded as a regular Freshman, he went back to his little Den and put
a news-stand Photo of Lillian Russell between two Pennants.

The whalebone Divinity in the Home Town passed out of his Life. He
told himself that he would be true to Miss Russell and all the other
Members of her sprightly Profession.

The emotional side of his unfolding Nature began to nourish itself on
Song Hits, and he slept each night with his Banjo folded tightly to
his Bosom.

He became acquainted with a Sophomore who once sat near Trixie
Friganza in a Parlor Car. One night Alice Nielsen looked directly at
the Box in which he was seated with the other Fraters of the Ippy Ki
Yi. In fact, his Life became crowded with tingling Experiences.

The collection of Cigarette Pictures made him acquainted with many
Celebrities. His intimacy with them grew apace as he developed a
bookish appetite for Sunday Newspapers.

He danced with the local Chickadees, but all the time his Heart was
far away, in the Dramatic Column.

Suddenly he found that he was an Upper Classman, to whom each Neophyte
touched the Leaf of Lettuce balanced on top of the Head, ostensibly as
a Cap.

He became endowed with the divine Right to hit himself on the Leg with
a Walking Stick and sit on a hallowed Fence.

Simultaneous-like, he became conscious of the fact that the Footlight
Favorites were no longer worthy of him. He began to hold long and
serious Conversaziones with the Sister of a Prof.

She was an aerial Performer who wore powerful Spectacles, in which any
one standing before her could see an Image of himself, greatly

She looked as if she had been sitting up all night, writing a History
of Civilization.

Walter found himself uplifted every time they were left together in
the Library. Sometimes she took him up so high that he became dizzy.

He now began to prog as follows: He and the Lady Emerson would be
legally welded just after Commencement and spend the Honeymoon at some
lively Chautauqua.

The grinding Wheels and raucous buying and selling of the Marts of
Trade seemed faint and far away when he roamed through the Cloisters
with Elfreda. He was in the moulting Stage, and it seemed to him that
Success in Life would consist of going about reeking of Culture.

A Degree looked bigger than a Dividend.

He never had heard tell of such a thing as a Coal-Bill or a Special
Assessment for a Sewer.

The vision of Elfreda floated out through a Transom three days after
he drew a Desk in the extensive Works owned by the Governor.

He was too busy keeping his Head above the Churning Waves to bother
with Speculative Philosophy or write Letters studded with Latin
Phrases, like Currants in an English Cake.

All the cringing Peons in the big Stockade hated him because he had a
Drag. It was up to him to deliver the Merchandise and demonstrate that
he was a Human Being rather than a College Graduate.

In the meantime, the Spectators were hoping that he would Skid and go
into the Fence.

He began to wear his Frat pin on his undershirt, and he had no time to
frivol away on the fluffy Gender, because he expected to be sitting in
the Directors' Room in a couple of years, talking it over with Henry
C. Frick.

So he waved aside the Square Envelopes and allowed himself to be
billed all over the Macaroon Circuit as a Woman-Hater.

Of course he girled in a conservative way, but he merely trailed. He
did not buzz, or throw himself at the fallen Handkerchief, or run to
get the Wraps, or do any of the Stuff that marks the true and bounden

When he found himself in the cushioned Lair of a Feline, he would lean
back in perfect Security, knowing that even if she exercised her
entire répertoire of Wiles, she could not warm the Dead Heart nor stir
into life the fallen Rose Leaves of Romance.

All the time she was spilling her familiar line of Chatter, he would
look at her with an arid and patronizing Smile, such as the Harvard
Man produces when he finds himself in immediate juxtaposition to some
human Caterpillar from west of Pittsburgh.

Very often, when the registered Dolly Grays got together for a Bon-Bon
Orgy, some one would say, "Oh, Crickey, ain't he the regular Cynic?"

Another might suggest that he was hiding a great Sorrow, his whole
Existence having been embittered by the faithlessness of some

Then they would take a Vote and decide that he was a plain Mutt.

The Chauncey who refuses to reciprocate will excite more Conversation
than a regular Union Lover, but it is Lucky for him that he does not
hear all the Conversation.

Walter at the age of twenty-five thought he was too old and sedate to
be a Diner-Out and a Dancing Devil.

When he was 28, however, he had become Hep to the large and luminous
Truth that the man who sits in his Lodgings reading Dumas may overlook
many a Bet.

He noted on every Hand the nice-looking Boys who turned in about 10.40
and avoided the Pitfalls of Society, and most of them were pulling
down as much as $14 a week.

He recalled what this humble Chronicler had said away back in 1899:
"Early to Bed and Early to Rise and you will meet very few of our Best

He looked over the Lay-Out and decided that it was just as easy to
mingle with the Face Cards as to sleep in the Discards.

He saw many a Light Weight with a gilt sign exposed on Main Street and
no Assets except a Suit with a Velvet Collar, a pair of indestructible
dancing Legs, and just enough intellectual Acumen to stir Tea without
spilling it.

So he decided to have a try at the Gay Life and worm his way into the
Safety Deposit Vaults via the Parlor Route.

A worthy Resolve and one often taken.

If a Friend of the People can capitalize his Vocal Cords, why should
not the little Brother of the Rich put his undying Nerve into the
Market and get what he can on it?

The Captain of Finance is usually owned, Body and Soul, by the other
Half of the Sketch. She may be a head bell-ringer in the D. A. R. or
the blue-pencil Queen of the Golden Pheasants, but in a vast majority
of cases she has not the Looks to back up the Title.

Even the Buckingham Palace manner and the Arctic Front cannot buffalo
the idle Spectator into overlooking the fact that she belongs to the
genus Quince.

She may not be a Beaut, but it is She who stands at the main entrance
to the Big Tent and tears off seat coupons.

Walter knew that if he wished to be mentioned all over town as a
Sure-Enough, his passport to the Inner Circle of Hot Potatoes would
have to be viséd by Patroness No. 1.

He began to work in the Secret Service of the Chosen Few and was First
Aid to the Chaperons.

A Hard Life, say you? Not a tall--not a tall.

He was entirely surrounded by Fairy Lamps and sweet-smelling Flowers.

Life became a kaleidoscopic Aurora Borealis.

When the first Crash of Music came through the hothouse Palms, Walter
would be out on the Waxen Floor with his hair in a Braid.

Through the long watches of the night he played Blonde against Brunette
and then went home with his Time-Card bearing the official O.K.

He swam among the floating Hooks and side-stepped the Maternal Traps,
until the compilers of Marital Statistics had his name in the list
marked "Nothing Doing."

The Dope on him seemed to be that he was Immune and Jinx-Proof.

After he led one of them back to a Divan and fed her an Ice, it was a
case of "Good Night, Miss Mitchell."

Truly, a Bachelor flown with Insolence and Pride is the favorite Mark
for the Bow-and-Arrow Kid.

For every weather-beaten Beau and Ballroom Veteran there is waiting
somewhere in Ambuscade a keen little Diana with the right kind of

One night he went to a Small Dance in his regular Henry Miller suit
and wearing a tired look around the Eyes. He counted these minor
Functions a dreadful Bore.

Over in a corner sat a half-portion Damosel who had come to town on a
Visit. Her name was Violet, and she looked the Part.

She didn't know who was running for President or what Miss Pankhurst
said about Suffrage, but she had large belladonna Orbs, with Danger
lurking in their limpid depths.

She was just at the Age when any girl who is not actually Deformed
looks fair to middling, while the real Dinger, with the Tresses and
the Complexion and the gleaming white Shoulders and the Parisian
figure, is right there with a full equipment for breaking up Families.

Old Dare-Devil Dick, the Hero of 1000 Flirtations, was sitting out one
of the Dances recently condemned by Press and Pulpit.

He became aware of the presence of something Feminine at his immediate
right. He took a cautious Look and beheld a timid Débutante, sparkling
with the Dew and waiting to be plucked.

She gave him a frightened Smile and lamped him very slowly.

Suddenly he felt himself wafted away on a cloud of Purple Perfumery.

She had put the Sign on him without lifting a Finger.

As she circled away, clutched by a rude Collegian, he lay back
helpless, tied in a True Lovers' Knot.

Later in the evening he met her. He sat alongside of her in an agony
of confused Bliss, with a Temperature of 104 and the Vocal Chords
entirely paralyzed. And yet, as a rule, he was just as reliable as a

All the way home that night he was Bleeding freely.

At 8 the next Morning he began sending Flowers.

It was a terrible Case. The old ones seem to suffer more.

He followed her like a trained Spaniel.

When she seemed cold and distant, he would hurry to his Room and pull
a private Brain-Storm. For many Hours thereafter the Map of the World
would have a Black Border around it.

Next day she would relent, and accept his Jack Roses, and he would run
around and around in a Circle, gurgling and clapping his Hands.

He was on the waiting list for the Nut Club. Our Old Friend was flooey
in the Filbert. The Love Bacilli swarmed in every part of his Being.

When she found that she had him sure enough Lariated, she eased up on
her part of the Work and began a public demonstration of Woman's Power
and Dominion over the Brute Creation. He was meeker than a Federal

Any time she snapped her Fingers, he sat up and Begged.

Then she used to carry on with certain Men against whom he had warned
her. It amused her to know that he was walking up and down outside,
chewing the White Gloves.

His friends tried to save him. They demonstrated, with a Pencil and a
Piece of Paper, that she was just an ordinary, everyday Baby Doll with
a Second Reader intelligence and the Spiritual Caliber of a Humming
Bird. They proved that exactly the same kind were scattered through
every Department Store, working for $6 a week.

When they got through knocking, he hurried over and told her
everything and promised her that if she would marry him, not one of
these Snakes would ever be permitted to enter the House.

He writhed on the Rug and said that if she didn't whisper that One
Little Word, it would be a case of Satin Lining and Silver Handles for
little Wallie.

She looked out the Window and yawned slightly and then said, "Oh, very

He rode home standing up in a Taxicab, while she was showing the Maids
a lozenge-shaped Ring that set him back 450 Bucks.

MORAL: The higher they fly the harder they fall.


Once there was a Gentleman of the deepest dye who was all out of
Kelter. He felt like a list of Symptoms on the outside of a Dollar
Bottle. He looked like the Picture you see in the Almanac entitled,
"Before Taking."

When his Liver was at Perihelion, he had a Complexion suggesting an
Alligator Pear, and his Eye-Balls should have been taken out and

He could see little dirigible Balloons drifting about in all parts of
the deep-blue Ether. His Tummy told him that some one had moved in and
was giving a Chafing-Dish Party. Furthermore, a red-hot Awl had been
inserted under each Shoulder Blade.

When every Tree was a Weeping Willow and the Sun went slinking behind
a Cloud, his only definite Yearn was to crawl into a dark Cellar with
Fungus on the Walls and do the Shuffle, after making a sarcastic Will
that disinherited all Relatives and Friends.

This poor, stricken Gloomer had time-tabled himself all over the
Universe, trying to close in on a Climate that would put him on his
Feet and keep him Fit as a Fiddle.

He had de-luxed himself to remote Spots that were supplied with Steam
Heat and French Cooking, together with Wines, Liquors, and Cigars, but
no matter what the Altitude or the Relative Humidity, he felt
discouraged every Morning when he awoke and remembered that presently
he would have to rally his Vital Forces and walk all the way to the

It was too bad that a Clubman, so eminent Socially, should be thus
shot to Rags and Fragments. Could aught be more Piteous than to
Witness a proud and haughty Income tottering along the Street,
searching in vain for a Workingman's Appetite? When one with a
spending possibility of $2 a Minute is told by a Specialist to drink
plenty of Hot Water, the Words seem almost Ironic.

His Operating Expenses kept running up, and yet it looked like sheer
Waste to lavish so much Collateral on the upkeep of a Physical Swab.

To show you how he worked at recouping his Health, once he spent a
whole Summer in Merrie England. He had been told by a Globe-Trotter
that One lodging within a mile of Trafalgar Square could hoist
unlimited Scotch and yet sidestep the Day After.

The Explanation offered by members of the Royal Alcoholic Society is
that the Moisture in the Atmosphere counterbalances or nullifies, so
to speak, the interior Wetness.

Also, the normal state of Melancholy is such that even a case of
Katzenjammer merely blends in with the surrounding Drabness.

He experimented sincerely with the Caledonian Cure, acquiring a rich
sunset Glow, much affected by half-pay Majors and the elderly Toffs
who ride in the Row. He began to wear his Arteries on the outside,
just like a true son of Albion. This cherry-ripe Facial Tint proves
that the Britisher is the most rugged Chap in the World--except when
he is in Stockholm.

In fact, if the New York Duds worn by the Yank had been less of a Fit,
and he could have schooled himself to look at a Herring without
shuddering, he might have rung in as a Resident of the tight little
Isle, for he was often Tight.

He learned to like the Smoky Taste and could even take it warm, but
still he felt Rocky, and up to 3 P.M. was only about 30 per cent.

One evening in a polite Pub he heard about the wonderful Vin Ordinaire
of Sunny France. He was told that the Peasants who irrigated
themselves with a brunette Fluid resembling diluted Ink were husky as
Beeves and simply staggering with Health.

So he went motoring in the Grape and Château District and played
Claret both ways from the Middle. Every time the Petrol chariot pulled
up in front of a Brasserie, he would call for a Flagon of some rare
old Vintage squeezed out the day before.

Then he would go riding at the rate of 82 Kilos an Hour, scooping up
the Climate as he scooted along.

Notwithstanding all these brave Efforts to overtake Health, he would
feel like a frost-nipped Rutabaga when the matutinal Chanticleer told
him that another blue Dawn was sneaking over the Hills.

He began to figure himself a Candidate for a plain white Cot in the
Nerve Garage, when he heard of the wonderful Air and Dietary
Advantages of Germany. It seemed that the Fatherland was becoming
Commercially Supreme and of the greatest Military Importance because
every Fritz kept himself saturated with the Essence of Munich.

He could see on the Post-Cards that each loyal subject of Wilhelm was
plump and rosy, with Apple Cheeks and a well-defined Awning just below
the Floating Ribs, and a Krug of dark Suds clutched in the right Mitt.

All the way from Düsseldorf to Wohlgebaum he played the Circuit of
Gardens with nice clean Gravel on the Ground and Dill Pickles
festooned among the Caraway Trees. Every time the Military Band began
to breathe a new Waltz he would have Otto bring a Tub of the Dark Brew
and a Frankfurter about the size of a Sash Weight.

Between pulls he would suspire deeply, so as to get the full
assistance of the Climate.

Sometimes he would feel that he was being benefited.

Often at 9 P.M., before taking his final Schnitzel and passing gently
into a state of Coma, he would get ready to renounce allegiance to all
three of the Political Parties in the U.S.A. and grow one of those
U-Shaped Mustaches.

Next Morning, like as not, he would emerge from beneath the Feather
Tick and lean against the Porcelain Stove, wondering vaguely if he
could live through the Day.

The very Treatment which developed large and coarse-grained Soldiers
all through Schleswig-Holstein seemed to make this Son of Connecticut
just about as gimpy as a wet Towel.

Undismayed by repeated Failures, he took some Advice, given in a
Rathskeller, and went to a Mountain Resort famous for a certain brand
of White Vinegar with a colored Landscape on the Label.

It was said that anyone becoming thoroughly acidulated with this noble
Beverage would put a Feather into his Granulated Lid and begin to

He sat among the snowy Peaks, entirely surrounded by the rarefied
Atmosphere so highly boosted in the Hotel Circulars, sampling a tall
bottle of every kind ending with "heimer," and yet he didn't seem to
get the Results.

At last he headed for the barbaric Region which an unkindly Fate had
designated as Home, almost convinced that there was no Climate on the
Map which would really adapt itself to all the intricate Peculiarities
of his complicated Case.

Often he would be found in the Reception Room just next to the
shake-down Parlor.

After reading a few pages in a popular Magazine dated two Years back,
he would be admitted to the little inside Room, faintly perfumed with
something other than New Mown Hay. Here he would cower before the
dollar-a-minute Specialist, who would apply a Dictagraph to the Heart
Region and then say, "You are all Run Down."

Next day the Sufferer would collect his folding Trunks and Head-Ache
Tablets and Hot-Water Bags and start for Florida or California or the
Piney Woods.

Sometimes he would seem to perk up for a Day or two. Enlivened by Hope
and a few Dry Martinis, he would move up to a little Table in the
shade of the sheltering Candelabrum and tackle the Carte du Jour from
Caviar to Café Noir.

The Climate would seem to be helping his Appetite.

Within 24 Hours, however, he would be craving only some cold Carbonic
and a few Kind Words.

Florida seemed to enervate him. California was too unsettled. Even in
the Mountains, his Heart always bothered him after a Hearty Meal. And
the Piney Woods only made him Pine more than ever.

Time and again he would curl up in the palatial Drawing-Room at one
end of the Sleeper and dream that six Life-Long Friends in deep Black
were whispering among the Floral Tributes and putting on Cotton

While searching for the Fountain of Youth he would bump into
Sympathetic Souls of the kind who infest Observation Cars and hold
down Rocking-Chairs in front of Wooden Hotels. These Fellow Voyagers
in the realm of Hypochondria would give him various Capsules and
Tablets, supposed to be good for whatever Ailed one at the Time.

So eager was he to regain his full vigor and be able to eat and drink
everything forbidden by the Doctors, he would fall for every kind of
Dope made from Coal Tar.

Even if he had worn Blinders he could not have walked past an
Apothecary Shop.

As he moved about he produced a muffled Castanet Effect, for he had a
little box of Medicated Bullets in every Pocket.

Yet he was not in Condition.

His Complexion was a Bird's-Eye Maple, and he looked like the
Superintendent of a prosperous Morgue.

One Summer Day, when he was only about three jumps ahead of a
Cataleptic Convulsion, he had to get on the Cars and take a long ride
to inspect some Copper Mines which helped to fatten his impotent
Income. The train was bowling through a placid Dairy Region in the
Commonwealth regulated by Mr. La Follette.

The Chronic Invalid was in the Buffet, trying to work up a Desire for
Luncheon, when suddenly the Car turned a complete Somersault, because
a heavy Freight Train had met Number Six head on.

When the Subject of this Treatise came to, he was propped up on the
front porch of a Farm House with one Leg in Splints and a kind-faced
Lady pressing Cold Applications to the fevered Brow.

He was O.K. except that he would have to lie still for a few Weeks
while the Bones did their Knitting.

The good Country Folk would not permit him to be moved. He was dead
willing to sink back among the White Pillows and figure the Accident

Through the Honeysuckles and Morning-Glories he could see the long
slope of Clover Pasture, with here and there a deliberate Cow, and the
Steeple of the Reformed Church showing above a distant clump of Soft

About two hours after emerging from the Trance, he made his customary
Diagnosis and discovered that he was nervously shattered and in urgent
need of a most heroic Bracer. He beckoned to the president of the
local W.C.T.U. and said if they were all out of Scotch, he could do
with a full-sized Hooker of any standard Bourbon that had matured in
Wood and was not blended.

Nurse readjusted his Pillow and told him that as soon as he came out
of the Delirium he could dally with a mug of Buttermilk.

By and by, as he gathered Strength, she would slip him some Weak Tea.

He had heard that in some of these outlying Regions, the Family
Sideboard stood for nothing stronger than Mustard, but this was the
first time he had met Human Beings who were not on visiting Terms with
the Demon Rum.

At the Cocktail Hour he ventured a second Request for any one of the
standard Necessities of Life, but Mrs. Peabody read him a Passage from
the Family Medicine Book to the effect that Liquor was never to be
used except for Snake Bites.

When he ordered the Hired Hand to bring him a large Snake, they gave
him a Sleeping Powder and told inquiring Neighbors that he was still
out of his Head.

Next day he found himself alive, thanks to a wonderful Constitution.

The Samaritans came and stood around his Couch and jollied him and
offered him everything except what he needed.

When he offered to compromise on Drug-Store Sherry, the Daughter of
the Household, Luella by name, brought out a colored Chart showing the
Interior of a Moderate Drinker's Stomach. After that he was afraid to

Even the Cigarette was Taboo among these Good People, although Father
could Fletcherize about 10 cents' worth of Licorice Plug each working

Far removed from the Lad with the White Apron, and with nothing to
inhale except Ozone, the unhappy Bon Vivant was compelled to put up
with these most unnatural Conditions.

When he was tired of dozing he could take his choice of any kind of
Milk and read a few more pages of Robinson Crusoe.

Then ensued the Miracle.

His Nerves began to unspiral themselves and lie down. He began to sit
up and listen for the Toot of the Dinner Horn.

As soon as he could hobble on Crutches they put him on the Hay Scales,
and he thought the Thing was out of Whack, for he had taken on 4

The Fresh Garden Truck seemed superior to any that he had been able to
obtain in the Best Restaurants.

What was more amazing, he now evinced a critical Interest in
Clydesdale Colts and Leghorn Roosters, although nothing of the sort
had ever come into his Life while he had an Apartment in Forty-seventh

When he took his game Leg back to the Metropolis, he hurried to the
Club and made a startling Report to all the broken-down Sports
assembled in the Card-Room.

He said he had discovered the only Climate in the World. It had
Switzerland skinned and was not enervating, like Florida, for he had
been sleeping like a Baby and felt like a 2-year-old every G.M., in
spite of the fact that he could not get his regular Rations.

He wanted to organize a Company and build a Million Dollar Hotel at

With a New York Steward to supply the Table and a well-stocked Cellar,
the Resort ought to get all the classy Trade, for he hoped to die if
the Air out there hadn't done more for him in One Month than Europe
had done in the whole Year.

MORAL: Nature will sometimes help the Unfortunate who finds it
impossible to reach out and help Himself.


Once there was a leading Citizen with only one Daughter, but she was
Some Offspring.

Bernice was chief Expense Account and Crown Jewel of a Real Estate
Juggler who had done so well that all the Strap-Hangers regarded him
as an Enemy to Society.

Papa was foolish, even as a Weasel.

He was what you might call Honest, which signified that all of his Low
Work had been done by Agents.

A Person of rare judgment, withal. He never copped a piece of bulky
Swag unless he had a Wheelbarrow with him at the time.

He had been going East with the Green Goods ever since the Party in
Power precipitated the first Panic.

He had Stacks of the Needful, and his Rating was AA Plus 1, to say
nothing of a Reserve cached in the little Tin Box.

Daughter alone could induce him to unbuckle, and melt, and jar loose,
and come across, and kick in, and sting the Check-Book.

One day Bernice was a Little Girl, and the next she was head Flossie
among the Débutantes, with a pack of Society Hounds pursuing in Full
Cry, each willing to help count the Bank Roll.

Father was scared pink when he sized up the Field.

He still wore box-toed Boots and carried Foliage on the Sub-Maxillary
so that those who came ringing the Front Bell didn't look very lucky
to him.

Sometimes he would dream that he had been pushed into a Mausoleum and
that a slender Cyril with a Lady's Watch strapped on his wrist was
spending all of that Money for Signed Etchings.

Whereupon he would awake in a Cold Sweat and try to think of a safe
Recipe for poisoning Boulevard Blighters.

One day Bernice went out into the Sunshine and found something and
brought it home with her and put it on a Rug in the Elizabethan Room.

Father came in and took one look and said: "Not for Mine! I won't
stand for any Puss Willow being grafted on to our Family Tree."

[Illustration: Father came in and took one look and said: "Not for
Mine! I won't stand for any Puss Willow being grafted on to our Family

His name was Kenneth, and he reduced his Percentage on the first day
by having the hem-stitched Mouchoir tucked inside of the Cuff.

Also, it was rumored that he put oil on his Eye-Brows and rubbed
Perfumery on the backs of his Hands.

Father walked around the He-Canary twice, looking at him over the
Specs, and then he rushed to the Library and kicked the Upholstery out
of an $80 chair.

He could see the love-light glinting in the Eyes of Bernice. She had
fallen for the Flukus.

Kenneth was installed as Steady.

When Bernice saw him turn the Corner and approach the House, he looked
to her like Rupert, the long lost Heir--while Father discerned only an
insect too large to be treated with Powder.

Kenneth was the kind of Sop that you see wearing Evening Clothes on a
Colored Post-Card.

If his private Estate had been converted into Pig Iron, he could have
carried it in his Watch Pocket.

He was re-fined and had lovely Teeth, but those who knew him well
believed the Story that when he was a Babe in Arms, the Nurse had let
him fall and strike on the Head.

He wore his Hair straight back and used Patent Leather dressing.

He was full of Swank and put on much Side and wore lily-colored Spats
and was an awful Thing all around, from Pa's point of view.

In a crowd of Bank Directors he would have been a cheap Swivel, but
among the Women Folks he was a regular Bright Eyes.

When you passed through the Archway of his Intellectual Domain you
found yourself in the Next Block.

But--he could go into a Parlor and sprinkle Soothing Syrup all over
the Rugs.

He had a Vaudeville Education and a small Tenor Voice, with the result
that many a fluttering Birdie regarded him as the bona-fide Ketchup.

Bernice thought she was lucky to have snared him away from the others,
and she had slipped him the whispered Promise, come Weal, come Woe.

She had no Mother to guide her, and it looked as if the Family was
about to have a Bermuda wished on to it.

No wonder Father was stepping sideways.

He would come home in the evening and find the Mush perched on a
Throne in the Spot Light, shooting an azure-blue Line of desiccated
Drool, with Bernice sitting out in front and Encoring.

Then he would retire to the back part of the House to bark at the
Butler and act as if he had been eating Red Meat.

He knew that if he elbowed in and tried to break up the Clinch, it
would mean a Rope Ladder, a piece in the Papers, and a final
Reconciliation, with Parent playing the usual rôle of Goat.

He was resolved not to put in the remainder of his Days being
panhandled by a Soufflé who wore Dancing Pumps in the Daytime. The
problem was to get shut of the Rodent without resorting to any Rough

Father never had heard tell of the Perils of Propinquity, and he
thought Psychology had something to do with Fish.

Just the same, he remembered about a Quail a day for 30 days, and he
knew that the most agreeable Perfumery would not smell right if
applied with a Garden Hose.

Likewise, he suspected that many a Quarter-House would blow, if put
into a two-mile Handicap.

So he blocked out a Program which proved that Solomon had nothing on

Instead of grilling young Kenneth and holding him up to Contumely and
forbidding him the use of Cozy Corner, he started in to boost the Love

Kenneth all but moved in his Trunk.

Father had a chance to weigh him, down to the last Ounce, and study
the simple Mechanism of his transparent Personality.

Father classified the would-be Child-in-Law as a Gobbie, which means a
Home-Wrecker who is still learning his Trade.

The Candidate became a regular Boarder.

Kenneth would sit right up close to old Cash-in-Hand, who would egg
him on to tell Dialect Stories and, after that, show how to make a

The Stories were some that Marshall Wilder stopped using in 1882 and
since then have been outlawed on the Kerosene Circuit.

After Bernice had heard these Almanac Wheezes 26 or 28 times, she
would sit still and look at the Center-Piece while Lover was

The Gags didn't sound as killing as they had at first, and sometimes
she wished the Dear Boy would chop on them.

No chance. Father had him kidded into believing that all the old
ham-fat Riddles were simply Immense.

As for that Salad Specialty, the poor Gink who calls loudly for
English Mustard and thinks he is a Genius because he can rub a Bowl
with a sprig of Garlic, may have his brief Hour of Triumph, but no man
ever really got anywhere by doping Salad, when you stop to add it all

Father would put the two young people together in the back of the
Touring Car and ride them around for Hours at a time.

Anybody who has cut in on one of those animated Automobile
Conversations, while the salaried Maniac from France is hitting up 42
miles an Hour, will tell you that the hind end of a Motor Vehicle is
no good Trysting Place for an Engaged Couple.

Bernice would get home after one of these wild swoops into the realm
of the Death Angel, and totter to her room and lie down, and murmur:
"I wonder what ailed Kenneth to-day. He seemed Preoccupied."

That Same Evening, just when she needed Smelling Salts and Absolute
Quiet, her enthusiastic Father would have Fiancé up to Dinner to pull
the same stale Répertoire and splash around in the Oil and Vinegar.

If any Guests were present, then Father would play Introducer and tell
them beforehand how good Kenneth was.

When given his Cue, the Lad would swell up and spring a hot One about
the Swede and the Irishman, while Bernice would fuss with the Salt and
wonder dimly if the Future had aught in store for her except Dialect

Father had read on a Blotter somewhere that Absence makes the Heart
grow fonder, so he played his System with the Reverse English.

He arranged a nice long trip by Land and Water and took the male
Sweetheart along, so that the Doting Pair could be together at

His cunning had now become diabolical. He was getting ready to apply
the Supreme Test.

Every Morning, when Bernice looked over her Baked Apple she saw
nothing in this wide World except Kenneth, still reeking of Witch
Hazel and spotted with Talcum Powder, and not very long on Sparkling

When he was propped up in the cold Dawn, with his eyes partially open,
he did not resemble a Royal Personage nearly as much as he had in some
of his earlier Photographs.

Father would order soft-boiled Eggs to be Eaten from the Shell. When
Kenneth got around to these, he would cease to be a Romantic Figure
for at least a few Minutes. Bernice would turn away in dread and look
out at the swaying Trees and long to see some of her Girl Friends back

After Kenneth had been served to her, three meals a day, for two Weeks
and they had ridden together for Ages and Ages, in Pullman
Compartments, she made certain horrible Discoveries.

One of his Ears was larger than the other.

He made a funny noise with his Adam's Apple when drinking Hot Coffee.

When he was annoyed, he bit his nails.

When suffering from a Cold, he was Sniffy.

The first time she became aware of the slight discrepancy in Ears, she
suffered only a slight Annoyance. It handed her a tiny Pang to find a
Flaw in a Piece of Work that she had regarded as Perfect.

After she had seen nothing else but those Ears for many, many Days, it
became evident to her that if Kenneth truly loved her, he would go and
have them fixed.

Likewise, every time her Heart's Delight lifted the Cup to his Ruby
Lips, she would grip the Table Cloth with both Hands, and whisper to
herself, "Now we get the Funny Noise."

Kenneth, in the mean while, had found out that her Hair did not always
look the same, but one who is striving to get a Meal Ticket for Life
cannot be over-fastidious.

He was Game and stood ready to obey all Orders in order to pull down
the Capital Prize.

He had been such a Hit in the Maple-Sundae Set that he could not
conceive the possibility of any Female becoming satiated with his

The poor Loon never stopped to figure out that the only way to keep a
Girl sitting up and interested is to stay away once in a while and
give her a Vacation.

Father was right on the Job to see that Bernice had no Vacation. He
framed it up to give her a Foretaste of Matrimony every Day in the

If the Future Husband wandered more than thirty feet from her side,
Father would nail him and Sic him on to her again.

She would look up and say: "Oh, Fury! Look who's here again!"

This was no way for a true-hearted Maiden to speak of her Soul Mate.

Father put the Cap Sheaf on his big Experiment by accepting an
invitation to go Yachting.

He put them side by side on Deck and told them to comfort each other,
in case anything happened.

They never could have been quite the same to each other after that

Bernice wanted to get back on Shore and hunt her Room and peel down to
a Kimono and refuse any Callers for a Month.

Even the accepted Swain was beginning to slow up. He could remember
the time when he used to sit around with members of his own Sex.

Father had no Mercy. He took the two Invalids back to Land and rounded
them up for Breakfast next morning.

When Kenneth appeared, he was slightly greenish in Color.

One Ear was three times as large as the other. He had caught a Sniffy

In partaking of his Coffee he made Sounds similar to those coming
through the Partition when the People in the adjoining Flat have
trouble with the Plumbing.

He saw Bernice glaring at him and bit his Nails in Embarrassment.

Father felt the Crisis impending and laid on the last Straw.

"I was trying to recall that Story," said he--"the One about the
German and the Dog."

Bernice gave one Shriek and then dashed from the Room, making
hysterical Outcries along the Corridor.

Father told Kenneth to check all the Trunks for Home and then catch an
early Train.

Bernice was squirming about on the Hotel Sofa when Father entered the

She threw herself into his Arms and passionately demanded, "Why, oh,
why are you trying to force me into marrying that Creature?"

MORAL: Don't get acquainted too soon.


Once there was a Litry Guy who would don his Undertaker's Regalia and
the White Satin Puff Tie and go out of an Afternoon to read a Paper to
the Wimmen.

At every Tea Battle and Cookie Carnival he was hailed as the Big Hero.

A good many pulsating Dulcineas who didn't know what "Iconoclast"
meant, regarded him as an awful Iconoclast.

And cynical? Mercy!

When he stood up in a Front Room and Unfolded his MS., and swallowed
the Peppermint Wafer and began to Bleat, no one in the World of
Letters was safe.

He would wallop Dickens and jounce Kipling and even take a side-swipe
at Luella Prentiss Budd, who was the Poetess Laureate for the Ward in
which he lived.

Ever since his Stuff had been shot back by a Boston Editor with a
Complimentary Note, he had billed himself as an Author and had been
pointed out as such at more than one Chautauqua.

Consequently his Views on Recent Fiction carried much weight with the

He loved to pile the Fagots around a Best Seller and burn it to a
Cinder, while the Girls past 30 years of Age sat in front of him and

As for the Drama, he could spread a New York Success on the marble-top
Table and dissect it until nothing was left but the Motif, and then he
would heave that into the Waste Basket, thereby leaving the Stage in
America flat on its back.

And if you mentioned Georgie Cohan to him, the Foam would begin to
fleck his Lips and he would go plumb Locoed.

After he had been sitting on the Fence for many years, booing those
who tried to saw Wood, his Satellites began coaxing him to write
something that would show up Charley Klein and Gus Thomas and all the
other Four-Flushers who were raking in Royalties under False

They knew he was a Genius, because nothing pleased him.

He decided to start with something easy and dash off an Operetta.

Having sat through some of the Current Offerings, he noted that the
Dialogue was unrelated to Real Literature and the Verses lacked
Metrical Symmetry.

It would be a Pipe for a sure-enough Bard to sit down on a Rainy
Afternoon and grind out something that might serve as a Model for
Harry B. Smith.

So he had a Vase of Fresh Flowers put on his Desk every Day, and he
would sit there, waiting for the Muse to keep her Date.

At the end of a Month he had it all planned to lay the First Scene in
front of a Palace with a Forest on the Back Drop so as to get a lot of

There was to be a Princess in the Thing, and a Picture of the
long-lost Mother in the Locket and other New Stuff.

He put in Hours and Hours hand-embroidering the Verses.

When he made "Society" rhyme with "Propriety," he thought he was
getting to be Gilbertian.

While these Lyrics were still quivering, he would take them out and
read them to his wife and the Hired Girl and the man who attended to
the Furnace, and get their Impartial Judgment.

They agreed that it was Hot Gravy and too good for the Stage.

Encouraged by these heart-felt Encomiums, he would hike back to the
Study, shoot himself in the Arm with a hypothetical Needle, and once
more begin picking Grapes in Arcady.

When People came up to the House, not knowing that he had been taken
down with anything, he would own up that he was working on a Mere
Trifle, and then, after being sufficiently urged, he would give a

These Readings could have been headed off only by an Order of Court or
calling out the State Guard.

Inasmuch as the large-size Carnegie Medal for Heroism is waiting for
the Caller who has the immortal Rind to tell a poetical Pest that his
output is Punk, the Author found himself smeared with Compliments
after each of these parlor Try-Outs.

They kidded him into thinking that he had incubated a Whale.

When he had chewed up a Gross of Pencils and taken enough Tea to float
the Imperator, the great Work was complete and ready to be launched
with a loud Splash.

He began to inquire the Name of some prominent Theatre Blokie who was
a keen Student of the Classics and a Person of super-refined Taste.

The man he sought had moved into the Poor House, so he compromised by
expressing his typewritten Masterpiece to a Ringmaster whose name he
had seen on the Three Sheets. It was marked, "Valuable Package."

In a few months the hirelings of the Company and the Driver of the
Wagon became well acquainted with the Large Envelope containing the
only Hope of the present decadent Period.

Every time the Work came back to him with a brief printed Suggestion
that any Male Adult not physically disabled could make $1.75 a day
with a Shovel, the Author would appear at the Afternoon Club with
another scathing arraignment of certain Commercial Aspects of the
Modern Stage.

He saw that it was over their Heads.

It was too darned Dainty for a Flat-Head who spelt Art with a
lower-case "a."

Yet it was so drenched and saturated and surcharged with Merit that he
resolved to have it done by Local Amateurs rather than see it lost to
the World.

The Music was written by Genius No. 2, working in a Piano Store. He
had been writing Great Music for years.

Whenever he heard anything catchy, he went home and wrote it.

He was very Temperamental. That is, he got soused on about three, and,
while snooted, would deride Victor Herbert, thus proving that he was
Brilliant, though Erratic.

He had a trunkful of Tunes that were too scholarly for the Ikeys who
publish Popular Trash.

He fitted them on to the Libretto written by the Litry Guy.

When the two got together to run over the Book and Score, they were
sure enthusiastic.

The Author said the Lines were the best he had ever heard, and the
Composer said the Numbers were all Gems.

When the Home Talent bunch pulled the whole Affair before a mob of
Personal Friends and a subsidized City Editor, it was a Night of
Triumph for all concerned.

The trained and trusty Liars who, in every Community, wear Evening
Clothes and stand around at Receptions, all crowded up to the Author
and gave him the Cordial Mitt and boosted something scandalous.

He didn't know that all of them Knocked after they got around the
Dutch Lunch.

He went home, sobbing with Joy. That night he nominated himself for
the Hall of Fame and put it to a Vote, and there was not one
Dissenting Voice.

Every deluded Boob who can bat up Fungoes in his own Back Yard thinks
he is qualified to break into a Major League and line out Two-Baggers.

There was no holding the inspired Librettist and the talented young

They knew that the eager Public in 48 States was waiting for the Best
Thing since "Robin Hood."

The Author went up to the City and found a Manager who had a Desk and
a lot of Courage and a varied experience in risking other people's

After the two Geniuses had mortgaged their Homes, the Impresario was
enabled to get some Scenery built and rally a large Drove of
Artists--most of them carrying Hand Bags.

During Rehearsals the brutal Stage Manager wanted to cut the Gizzard
out of the Book and omit most of the sentimental Arias, but Mr. Words
and Mr. Music emitted such shrieks of protest against the threatened
Sacrilege that he allowed all the select home-made Guff to remain in
the Script.

He thought it would serve them right.

When they gave the first Real Performance in a Dog Town on a drizzly
evening in November, there was no Social Éclat to fill the sails.

The House was mostly Paper and therefore very Missouri.

Also a full delegation from the Coffin-Trimmers' Union with Cracked
Ice in their Laps.

They did not owe any Money to the Author or have any Kinfolk in the
Cast, so they sat back with their Hands under them and allowed the
pretty little Opera to die like an Outcast.

The only Laugh in the Piece was when the Drop Curtain refused to work.

After the Show the Manager met them at an Oyster House and told them
they had eased a Persimmon to him.

He said the whole Trick was a Bloomer. It was just as funny as a
Wooden Leg. It needed much Pep and about two tons of Bokum.

Both Words and Music refused to countenance any radical Changes.

They said it would be another "Cavalleria" as soon as they could do it
before an intelligent Audience of True-Lovers.

The Ex-Minstrel Man said there wasn't no such Animal as an intelligent

The Simp that pushed his Metal into the Box Office wanted Something
Doing every minute and many Gals, otherwise it was back to the
Store-House and a Card in the Clipper.

The Call on the Board read "Everybody at Ten," but the brainy Writer
and the versatile Composer were not included.

When they appeared at the Stage Door they were met by Props, who told
them to get to a certain Place out of there.

Standing in the Alley, they could hear Wails of Anguish, and they knew
that their Child was having the Vital Organs removed.

The celebrated Author of the Graveyard Rag had been summoned in haste.
He was in charge of the Clinic--taking out the Grammar and putting in

The Duos and Ensembles were being dropped through the Trap Door to
make way for recent Song Hits from the alcoholic Cabarets.

The Ax fell right on the powdered Neck of the beautiful Prima Donna,
who had studied for Grand Opera, but never had been able to find an
Orchestra that would fit her Voice.

Her Part was changed from a Princess to a Shop-Lifter and was assigned
to Cissy St. Vitus, late of a Burlesque Bunch known as the Lady Bugs.

The Tenor was given the Hook, and his sentimental Rôle was entrusted
to a Head-Spinner who had acquired his Dramatic Schooling with the
Ringling Circus.

All of which comes under the head of whipping a Performance into

When the two Geniuses sat out in front they recognized nothing except
the Scenery and Costumes.

Their idyllic Creation had been mangled into a roughhouse Riot, in
which Disorderly Conduct alternated with the shameless Gyrations
taught in San Francisco.

The last Act had been omitted altogether without affecting the
coherency of the Story.

The Plot died just four minutes after the Ring-Up.

Although the Report showed 27 Encores and the Gate began to jump $80 a
Night, both the intellectual Troubadour and the Student of
Counter-Harmonies went to the Manager and cried on his Shoulder and
said that their Beautiful Work had been ruined.

He called attention to the Chunk of Money tied up in Silk Tights and
fireproof Borders.

When it came to a show-down between Dough and Art he didn't propose to
tear up his Meal Ticket.

If they would beat it and stay hid and leave the Artists fatten up
their Scenes, probably the Bloomer could be converted into a

While they were in the Sanitarium, the former Minstrel King and young
Abie Fixit from the Music Foundry cut out the last vestiges of the
Original Stuff and put in two Turns that had landed strong over the
whole Orpheum Circuit.

The romantic Operetta now became known as Another One of Those Things.

It was eagerly discussed by Club Women and College Students.

Good seats down in the Observation Rows were not to be had except at
the Hotel News Stand.

The Litry Guy and the Music-Maker came out of the Rest Cure to learn
that they had registered a Hit and could get their names in "Who's

With the Royalty Checks coming in from the eastern Centers of Culture
they were enabled to buy four-cylinder Cars with which to go riding in
lonesome Country Lanes, far from the sight of a Bill-Board.

When the Number Two Company came along presenting the Metropolitan
Success in the One-Nighters, the reincarnated Gilbert and Sullivan
packed up their Families and escaped to French Lick.

It was a Sell-Out, because all the Members of the Research Club wanted
to see that new Dido called the Chicken Flop.

There was no knocking at the Dutch Lunches that night.

Every one said the Show was a Bird, but they thought it was up to the
Author to resign from the Baptist Church.

MORAL: In elevating the Drama be sure to get it High enough, even if
you have to make it a trifle Gamey.


Once there was a story-book Stripling who uncoupled himself from a
Yahoo Settlement and moseyed up to the Congested Crossings and the
Electric Signs. In due time he returned, wearing Gloves and with his
Teeth full of Gold.

Ever since that historic Example it has been the daily desire of the
Yokel, staked down in a County Seat, to walk in on Judge Gary and form
a Partnership.

It befell that after a High School Alumnus had gone to a Varsity and
scaled the fearsome heights of Integral and Differential Calculus, he
came home to get some more of Father's Shirts and Handkerchiefs and
take a new Slant at Life's doubtful Vista, while getting his Board for

The Town of his Nativity did not occupy many Pages in the statistical
Census Reports. In fact, all the travelling Troupers who had worked
for K. and E. referred to it as a Lime, which is the same as a Lemon,
only smaller.

The ambitious Bachelor of Arts had a lot of Geological Data and
College Fraternity Lore stowed away under his Mortar-Board. His hopes
were set on something more noble than a Chair and a Table and a
Blotter in a dusty Office up the Stairway leading to Odd Fellows'

So he resolved to hit the long Trail leading to a Modern Babylon where
the Evening papers were on the Streets before Noon.

He figured that a Gazimbat with a John C. Calhoun Forehead and a lot
of inside Dope on Hindoo Anthology could break into almost any
Reservoir of Culture and bring home the Bacon.

Parents were dead willing to have him migrate and take his Tailor
Bills with him, but they shivered with Dread when it came time to ship
him to Gomorrah.

They knew all about the unbridled Deviltry of the City, having seen
the large colored Illustrations in the Sunday Papers.

They had it on good Authority that the whole sub-stratum of Urban
Existence was honeycombed with Rathskellers, while a Prominent Actress
waited on almost every Corner, soliciting Travel on the Taxicab Route
to the everlasting Coke Ovens.

While Elmer's fragile Steamer Trunk was being hoisted into the Dray,
all the Relations who had assisted in bringing him up by Hand
clustered around the Melodeon and sang, "Oh, where is my Boy

After the Day Coach had pulled away from the Depot, he opened the
Shoe-Box to extract a Crull and found a Book written by T. DeWitt
Talmage, in which many Passages were marked.

He arrived at Union Station with his Fingers crossed. He told himself
that he would break into a Dog Trot every time Vice beckoned to him.

After he had hung up his Diploma and Razor Strop in the third-story
Recess of a very naughty Beanery, he hunted up some of the dear old
Pals with whom he had bunked in the Dorm.

They told him they would put him next to a lot of nice clean People.

He began to tremble, fearing that some one was about to offer him
Champagne, but the Orgy to which they conducted him was merely a
meeting of the Civic Purifiers in a basement underneath a Church.

He had not expected to find any Churches in the great wicked City. He
thought each side of the Street would be built up solidly with
Syndicate Theatres, Bacchanalian Bazaars, and Manicure Pitfalls.

Instead of finding Vice triumphant, he learned that it was being
chased up an Alley by the entire Police Force and the Federation of
Women's Clubs.

He had the gift of Gab and a natural thirst for Tea, and the first
thing he knew he had been drawn into so many Campaigns for Social
Betterment that he had no time to hunt up conventional Temptations,
such as the Welsh Rabbit or the Musical Comedy.

He found himself sitting next a new type of Lassie. She had no Heels
on her Shoes, pronounced each Syllable distinctly, and believed that
her Mission in Life was to carry Maeterlinck to the Masses.

In nearly every Instance she had a Father who acted as frozen
Figurehead for some Trust Company.

Consequently, Elmer began to perk up and serve on Committees which met
in Exclusive Homes and were entirely surrounded by Mahogany.

Whenever an Intellectual Queen pushed the Button, Elmer was right
there with a Pitcher of Ice Water.

His Researches had proved to him that one of the Keenest Enjoyments of
City Life is to remain away from the glaring Lobster Palace,
especially when one can get one's Mallard Duck free of charge in a
Flat renting for $6000 a Year.

Elmer became identified with the Cleaning Brigade of the Reform
Element simply by riding on the Current of Events.

Adapting himself unconsciously to his antisepticized Environment, he
acquired the Art of putting over the saccharine Extemporaneous
Address, and he could smile, with his Teeth exposed, for an Hour at a

In fact, he was a great Success.

At first he took in the Symphony Orchestra because he was dragged
thither. After about two years the Virus had permeated his System, and
he was a regular Brahmsite. If he didn't get a full dose of Peer Gynt
every few days, he was as nervous as a Cat.

The tall and straight-grained Heiress who finally landed him was only
too glad to slip him the Bank-Book and tell him to go and sit in with
the other Directors.

And now, having become a shiny Pillar in the Presbyterian Temple and
one of the most respected Umbrella-Carriers on the Avenue, he felt a
longing to beat it back to the home Burg and exhibit his Virtues to
the members of the I-Knew-Him-When Club.

He wanted to patronize the Friends of his Youth and note the
Expressions of Discomfiture on the so-called Faces of Aunt Lib and
Uncle Jethro, both of whom had told around that he was a Gnat (Net)
and never would amount to a Hill of Beans.

Elmer expected to find the same spotted Dog asleep in front of the
Commercial Hotel and the same Stick Candy exhibited in the Show

But, while he had been witnessing the downfall of Evil in the busy
Metropolis, the Home Town had been putting on a little Side-Show of
its own.

Along at the gateway of the 20th Century, every undersized Hamlet
shown in the Atlas became seized with a Desire to throw on City Lugs.

The same Father who had marked the Talmage Book for Elmer became
Chairman of the House Committee in a Club which undertook to serve
anything usually found on either side of a Cash Register.

Being in the heart of the Residence District, this select Organization
could not obtain a regular License.

However, having the moral support of the Best People, it maintained a
Blind Pig.

The combination of Blind Pig, two playful Kitties up-stairs, and a lot
of gay Dogs spread out on the upholstered Chairs, certainly proved to
be some Menagerie.

It was a matter of Pride with the Members that the Colored Boy could
shake up anything known to the Regular Trade at the Knickerbocker or
the Plaza.

One of their main Delights, also, was to welcome the Stranger, who
thought he was sojourning among the Rubes, and lead him into the
Roodle Department, the purpose being to get him out on a Limb and then
saw off the Limb.

Poker was written in a Small Town. The Hay-Mow Graduate with a limited
Income, who counts up every Night and sets aside so much for Wheat
Cakes, can hold them closer to his Bosom and play them tighter than
any Shark that ever floated down the Mississippi.

The newcomer who tried to be Liberal usually went home in his Stocking

Day by Day the Progressive Element in the Community widened its
Horizon, and the Country Club became a Necessity.

The 9-hole Course was laid out by a Scotch Professional, and every
Locker contained something besides Clubs.

When the Church Bells were ding-donging at 10 A.M. on Sunday, the
former Teacher of the Bible Class and the backsliding Basso of the
Choir would be zig-zagging around the Links, the Stake being a Ball a

Elmer's Father became a Demon with the Irons and had his Name engraved
on a Consolation Cup.

Simultaneous with the Golf Epidemic, a good many Families that could
not afford Kitchen Cabinets began to glide around in red Touring-Cars.

Any one smelling the Blue Smoke along Main Street and then looking
both ways before dashing across to the Drug Store was compelled to
admit that the Jays had awakened from their Long Sleep.

Refined Vawdyville was on tap daily, and the Children of those who
were only moderately well-to-do knew all the latest improper Songs.

While the men were changing from Jumpers to Tuxedos, the Sisters had
not remained stationary.

The Lap Supper was formally abolished soon after Puff Sleeves went

Girls who had been brought up on Parchesi and Muggins would sit around
the Bridge Table all afternoon, trying to cop out some Lace for the
new Party Dress.

An imported Professor taught the Buds how to Tango and Trot.

Within a week after a new one had horrified Newport, the Younger Set
would have it down pat and be mopping up the floor with one another.

Of course they were denounced by the local Ministers, but the Guilty
Parties never heard the Denunciations, as they were out Motoring at
the time.

Whenever there was a Big Session, all Bridles were removed and the
Speed Limit abolished.

Riding home in the Livery Hacks about 4 A.M., the Merry-Makers would
be all in, but much gratified to know that Vienna and Paree had
nothing on them as regards Rough House.

All the Élite would get together and open a Keg of Spikes at the
slightest Provocation.

It was remarkable how much Dull Care they could banish in one Evening,
especially if they got an Early Start.

The Town Pump did a punk Business, but the Side-Boards blossomed with
Fusel Oil and Fizzerine.

Intense Excitement prevailed when word came that Elmer was En Route.
Little Knots of People could be seen standing on the Corners, framing
a Schedule of Entertainment which involved nearly everything except

They said to themselves: "It is up to us to show this proud Pill from
the City that we can be a bit Goey when the Going is right. If he
thinks he can pull any new Wrinkles on the Provincials, he is entitled
to another Think. We must get into our Evening Glads early this
Afternoon and clear the Decks for a Hard Night."

While they were making these grim Preparations, Elmer was doubled up
in Section 8, reading a sterilized Magazine from Boston. Subconsciously
he counted the peaceful Days that would ensue.

He figured on going back to the dear old Room under the Eaves, with a
patch-work Quilt on the Four-Poster and a Steel Engraving of U. S.
Grant on the Wall.

Having devoted many Days to the Annual Report of the Purity Brigade,
he was due to turn in at 9 o'clock each evening, while recuperating in
the Country.

The sanctified Product of the new and regenerative Influences at work
in every City was plunked down in the Hot-bed of Gaiety at about 4 P.M.

The Comrades of his Boyhood were massed on the Platform. As he
alighted, they sang, "Hail! Hail! the gang's All Here!" and so on and
so on.

They had acquired a Running Start. It was their belief that Elmer
would be gratified to know that all the Elect had become slightly
spiffed in his Honor.

They sent his Stuff up to the House, crowded Two-Weeks' Cards into his
Pockets, and bore him away in a Town Car to the Club, where Relays
were waiting to extend Hospitality to the returned Exile until he was

They seemed to think he had devoted the years of his Absence to
building up a Thirst.

Their Dismay was genuine when he timidly informed the Irrigation
Committee that he desired Vichy.

They told him he was a Celluloid Sport and that his refusal to Libate
was little short of an Affront.

Escaping from the Comanches, he hurried to the Old Homestead to sit by
the Grate Fire and tease the Cat.

He found Pa and Ma dolled up like a couple of aristocratic Equines,
much Awning over the Front Stoop, and strange Waiters hot-footing
through the Hallways.

In order to make it seem as much like the City as possible, they had
ribbed up a swell combination Gorge and Deluge, to be followed by an
Indoor Circus, a Carnival of Terpsichorean Eccentricities, and a
correct Reproduction of Monte Carlo at the height of the Season.

Therefore, when their Only Child suggested that he would fain hie to
the Husks at a Reasonable Hour, they told him that Slumber was made
for Slaves and to take his Feet out of his Lap and move around.

Having led a sheltered Life among the devotees of Jane Addams and
Jacob Riis, he was dazed and horrified to find himself suddenly
subjected to the demoralizing Influences of the Small Town.

[Illustration: He was dazed and horrified to find himself suddenly
subjected to the demoralizing Influences of the Small Town]

They scoffed at him when he said that his regular twilight Repast was
a saucer of granose Flakes, a mere sliver of White Meat, and some
diluted Milk.

His home was near the White Light District, and they just knew that he
was accustomed to bathe in the Bubbles.

He sat back benumbed for many hours watching the wicked Rustics

He had read about such things in the reports of the Commission, but
this was the first time that he had ever really been Slumming.

When he weakened on the Bumper Proposition and disavowed any
familiarity with the Texas Tommy spasm or the fine points of Auction,
the sophisticated ones exchanged significant Glances.

They tumbled to the Fact that Elmer was not such a much, even if he
did reside at Headquarters. It was evident that he had not been
travelling with the Real Razmataz Rompers.

He was panned to a Whisper next day. The Verdict was in. Elmer was
branded as a Dead One.

He is now in the crowded City, trying to arrange to have his rowdy
Parents come on and take the Cure.

MORAL: Those having the most Time to devote to a Line of Endeavor
usually become the most Proficient.


Once upon a time Ferdinand breathed right into Adele's translucent
Listener those three Words which hold all Records as monosyllabic

They have a harmless look on the Printed Page, but when pulled at the
Psychological turn of the Road, they become the Funeral Knell of
Bachelor Freedom and a Prelude to cutting the String on whatever has
been put by.

The Serpent, operating in the guise of a Lover in a Serge Suit, had
lured, cajoled, wheedled, and finessed until the poor trembling Child,
only twenty-four years of Age, was alone with him in what the
Landscaper had worked off on her Papa as a Formal Garden.

They stood clinched there in the dull Sunset Glow, with a Pergola for
a Background. It was all very Belasco and in strict compliance with
the League Rules laid down by W. Somerset Maugham.

According to the $2 Drama and every bright red Volume selling for
$1.18 at a Department Store, this was--


The Curtain began to descend very slowly, with Ferdinand and Adele
holding the Picture.

It seems, however, that they had not come to the real, sure-enough
Finis. The Terminus was some distance down the Line.

The Curtain refused to fall.

"What is the idea?" asked Adele, somewhat perturbed. "We have hit the
logical Climax of our Romance. As I understand it, we are now supposed
to ascend in a Cloud and float through Ethereal Bliss for an
indefinite Period.

"Right-o!" said Fiancé. "According to all the approved Dope, we are
booked to live happily ever after."

Just then Her Best Friend came rapidly down the Gravel Walk with
Anxiety stenciled on her Features.

The accepted Swain seemed to hear a low rumbling Wagnerian Effect from
out the Clear Sky. In Music-Drama it is known as the Hammer Theme.

It is included in the Curriculum at every Fem Sem.

Ferdinand had a Hunch that somebody was getting ready to drop Cyanide
of Potassium into his Cup of Joy.

"Oh, Adele!" said the Friend, just like that. "Oh, Adele, may I speak
to you for a Mo-munt?"

Ferdinand made his Exit, much peeved, and the Friend expressed a Hope
that she had arrived in time to throw the Switch and avert the
Wrecking of a Life.

Far be it from her to Snitch, but it was her Duty to put Adele wise to
what every one was whispering Under Cover.

She had no absolute Proof that he had carried on with a Front Row
Floss in New Haven, but it was Common Talk that one of his Uncles had
been a Regular at a Retreat where the Doctor shoots a Precious Metal
into the Arm.

It would be terrible to marry someone and then find out that he Drank,
the same as all the other Married Men.

Leaving Adele in a Deep Swoon, the true Friend hurried to the nearest
Public 'Phone to spread the dismal Tidings.

In the meantime the elated Lover had loped all the way to the
University Club to spring it on the Navajos and receive their

His Rapture had rendered him fairly incoherent, and he was gurgling
like an after-dinner Percolator; but he finally made it evident that
he had been Hooked.

A deep Silence ensued, most of those present looking out the Window at
the passing Traffic.

Finally a Shell-Back, who had been leading a Life of Single Torment
ever since Sumter was fired upon, asked in a sepulchral Tone and
without looking up from his Hand, "Has the Date been set?"

Ferdinand tried to tell them that he was going to the Altar and not to
the Electric Chair, but he couldn't get a single Slap on the Back.

The only one evincing Interest was a He-Hen named Herbert, who took
him into the Cloak-Room to plant a few Canadian Thistles in the Garden
of Love.

Herb said he had always liked the Girl, even if she had given a couple
of his Best Pals the Whillykathrow.

His Advice was to up and marry her before she had time to pull one of
her temperamental Stunts and hand out the Rinkaboo.

Possibly if she could be weaned away from her eccentric Relations and
governed with a Firm Hand she would turn out O.K.

Still, it was a tall Gamble. Under the Circumstances, he didn't see
that there was anything for Ferdinand to do except mop up a few Drinks
and hope for the Best.

When Ferdy looked at himself in the Mirror at Midnight, he didn't know
whether he was Engaged or merely operating under a Suspended Sentence.

Next morning he had to bare his Soul to the Head of the Firm. This
revered Fluff should have been known as Mr. Yes-But.

He was strong for the Married State, but it was highly advisable to
have the Girl analyzed by a Chemist and passed upon by a Board of
Experts before a Bid was submitted.

The Sunflower Paths of Dalliance were leading mostly to Reno, Nevada,
and the Article commonly known as Love was merely a disinclination to
continue eating Breakfast alone.

He said a Good Woman was a Jewel, but if one of them got a fair Run
and Jump at a Check-Book she could put the National City Bank on the

Probably it was all right to go ahead, and take the High Hurdle, but
the Percentage was against the Candidate, and the Cost of Living was
never so altitudinous.

Ferdinand retired from the Royal Presence feeling that he had been
duly authorized to walk a Tight Rope over Niagara Falls.

As soon as the Bride-Elect had taken enough Headache Powders to
prepare her for the Ordeal, she sent for the Suspect to come up to the
House and outline his Defense.

They put in a humid Evening. When the falling Tears had made the
Drawing-Room too soppy for further use, they moved into the Hallway
and he continued to think up Alibis.

At 11 P.M. he had explained Everything, repudiated many lifelong
Friendships, deodorized his College Career, flouted the Demon Rum, and
resigned from all Clubs.

The Birds were singing up and down the Main Stairway and Grandfather's
Clock played nothing but Mendelssohn.

She lay damply pillowed on his Bosom. He was intensely relieved and
yet vaguely conscious of the Fact that she had beat him to it. There
had been a General Settlement, and he had figured merely as Supreme

In his anxiety to get the Kinks out of his own Record he had failed to
hold her up for anything except a Pardon.

Before terminating the Peace Conference, it was suggested that
inasmuch as every one else in the World had been notified, probably it
would be just as well to let her Male Parent in on the Secret. Not
that Father is regarded as a Principal in the up-to-date Household.
Still, he is useful as a Super.

The old Gentleman was so soft that he nearly tipped his Hand. He gave
Ferdinand a regular Cigar and then stalled for about 30 Seconds before
indicating a Willingness to sign any form of Contract.

He pulled the Old One to the effect that the House would not seem the
same after Addie had gone away, meaning that Breakfast would be served
in the Morning and the Night Shift abolished.

When Ferdinand got back to his Room and counted up, he had to admit
that Father was the only Outsider who seemed to be plugging for the

But all petty Suspicions and unworthy Doubts flickered and disappeared
when Nightfall came and Queenie was once more cuddled within the
strong right Fin, naming over some of the Men that he mustn't speak to
any more.

The course of True Love ran smooth for a couple of Days, and then came
a letter from his People, expressing the hope that he had picked out a
devout Unitarian. Otherwise the Progeny would start off under a
terrible Handicap.

He knew that Adele favored the Suffrage Thing and that she had read a
Book on how to recover from a Dance by lying down and giving a
Recitation, but he never had suspected her of any real Religious

Before he could tell her how the Little Ones had been predestined, she
notified him that her kinsmen had been peering into the Future and
that all the problematical Offspring had been put on the Waiting List
at the First Baptist Church.

Here was a grand Opening for Ferdinand. He resolved to make a Stand
and issue a ringing Ultimatum. He might as well tip it off to her and
the whole Tribe that he was to be Cæsar in his own Shack.

So he went up to her House ready to die in the last Ditch rather than
yield to the advocates of Immersion. After viewing the Problem in all
its Aspects, he and Honey compromised by deciding that the Bairns were
to be orthodox Baptists.

Having sponged every Blot from the Escutcheon and laid out the Labels
for all Generations yet unborn, the incipient Benedick thought there
would be nothing more to it except Holding Hands and watching the

Just then a Dress-Maker swooped down and stole away the Light of his

Every time he went up to scratch on the Door and beg for a Kiss, a
Strange Lady with Pins in her Mouth would come out and shoo him away,
explaining that the Pearl of Womanhood was laid out in the Operating
Room, being measured for something additional.

Occasionally he saw her, at one of the many Dinners decreed by Custom.
They had to sit Miles apart, with Mountains of unseemly Victuals
stacked between them, while some moss-grown Offshoot of the Family
Tree rose and conquered his Asthma long enough to propose a Toast to
the Bride.

What they really craved was a Dim Corner and a box of Candied

The only Speeches they wished to hear could have been constructed out
of the 40 words of standard Baby Talk, comprising what is known as the
Mush Vocabulary.

Yet they had to muster the same old property Smile every time that
Charley Bromide or old Mr. Platitude lifted a shell of sparkling
Vinegar and fervently exclaimed, "Thuh Bride!"

Even after the Menu had been wrecked and the satiated Revelers had
laboriously pried themselves away from the decorated Board, there was
no escape.

The Women Folks led Adele away to some remote Apartment to sound a Few
Warnings, while the Men sat around in the Blue Smoke and joshed
Ferdinand to a fare-ye-well.

Each morning he found in his Mail a few Sealed Orders from
Headquarters and about as many Stage Directions as would be required
for putting on the Annual Show at the Hippodrome.

When he was not begging some one to come and Ush for him, he was
either checking over the Glove List with a terrified Best Man or
getting measured for a full layout of dark Livery that made him look
like a refined Floor-Walker.

It seemed that Adele had a Step-Mother who had been crouched for Years
waiting for a chance to bust into the Papers. Nothing would do her but
a regular Madison Square Phantasmagoria, with two Rings and an
elevated Platform.

She wanted Ribbons down the Aisle and little Girls sprinkling Posies,
a Concert Orchestra buried under the Palms, and a few extra Ministers
of the Gospel just to dress the Pulpit.

Every superfluous Accessory devised by the Nerve Specialist and
approved by the Court of Bankruptcy was woven into the Nuptial Circus
when Ferdinand and Adele were made one and Unhookable.

The Rehearsals somewhat resembled the Moving Pictures of the Durbar at

As a final Preparation for the Stupendous Pageant, the Groom sat up
all night in the Dipsomania Club, watching the Head-Liners of the Blue
Book demolish Glassware.

According to the dictates of Fashion, one who is about to assume the
solemn Responsibilities of Matrimony should abstain from Slumber for a
week, devoting the time thus saved to a full consideration of Food and

The Ambulance bore his Remains to the Church. A few faithful
Hang-Overs lifted him through the Portals, with his Toes dragging
somewhat in the Rear.

They propped him against a Pilaster and told him his Name and begged
him not to weaken, no matter what the Preacher might put up to him.

Soon after he saw a Haggard Creature all fluffed about with White
advancing unsteadily toward him. With the Make-Up, she did not look a
Day over 47.

He did not hear any of the Service, but those who were more fortunate
told him afterward that it was a very Pretty Wedding, and that the
Presents they got were Simply Great.

MORAL: Too many Trained Nurses discommode Cupid.


Once there was a provincial Tradesman who gave his Yokemate a
Christmas Present. It was a kind of Dingus formerly exhibited on the
What-Not in almost every polite Home.

By peering through at the twin Photographs and working it like a Slide
Trombone, one could get ravishing glimpses of Trafalgar Square, Lake
Como, and the Birthplace of Bobby Burns.

Nearly every evening the Tradesman would back up to the Student Lamp
and put in a delirious half-hour with the Views.

[Illustration: Nearly every evening the Tradesman would back up to the
Student Lamp and put in a delirious half-hour with the Views]

While gazing up the Rue de Rivoli or across the rice paddies at the
snowy cap of Fuji, his Blood would become het by the old boyhood
Desire to sail across the Blue to Foreign Parts.

Those who saw him mowing the Lawn little suspected that he was being
inwardly eaten by the Wanderlust.

The Tradesman, Edwin by name, and his Managing Director, Selena,
formed the magic-lantern Habit away back in the days of Stoddard. They
never missed a chance to take in Burton Holmes. Sitting in the
darkness, they would hold hands and simply eat those Colored Slides.

Selena belonged to a Club that was trying to get a side-hold on the
Art and Architecture of the Old World. She had a smouldering Ambition
to ride a Camel in the Orient and then come home and put it all over a
certain proud Hen who had spent six weeks in Europe.

One visit to Niagara Falls and a glorious week of Saengerfest at
Cincinnati had simply whetted her desire to take Edwin by the hand and
beat it all the way around the Globe, via Singapore. To prepare
herself for the Grand Tour, she took 12 lessons in French and read up
on the Taj Mahal.

She had to wait patiently until Edwin was threatened with a Nervous
Break-Down. At last the Happy Day arrived when the Specialist told him
he must make his choice between a long Sea Voyage and a slow ride to
the Family Lot.

Selena used Hydraulic Pressure in packing her Wardrobe Trunks. She
took all her circus Duds and a slew of Hats so that she could make the
proper Front, while being entertained Abroad.

Edwin had secured a Passport which identified him as a male white
Person, entitled to all the Courtesies and Privileges usually extended
to an American Citizen holding a Passport.

They were on the verge of the Jumps when they boarded the Train, but
they hoped to Relax and get a lot of Sleep on the Ocean Greyhound.

A few days later they were curled up in a Cabin de Luxe about the size
of a Telephone Booth, waiting for the Ocean Greyhound to recover from
an attack of Hydrophobia.

When they tottered down the Gang-Plank, after six days on the playful
North Atlantic, their only Comfort was derived from the knowledge
that, as soon as they had rested up, they could write home and quote
the Second Officer as saying it was the roughest Passage he had ever

After spending a few days in London, trying to get warm, they moved on
to Paris, which they remembered long afterward on account of
Napoleon's Tomb and the price of Strawberries.

Selena pulled her tall-grass French on a Hackman, but there was
nothing doing. He had taken it from a different Teacher.

So they employed a Guide who knew all the Shops. If Selena happened to
admire a Trinket or some outré Confection with Lace slathered on it, a
perfumed Apache in a Frock Coat would take Edwin into a side room,
give him the sleeve across the Wind-Pipe, and bite a piece out of his
Letter of Credit.

Edwin did a little quick work with the Pencil and said they could
either hurry on or else hie back to the Home Town and begin Life all
over again.

Three weeks after saying good-bye to Griddle Cakes they were in
Naples, which they had seen pictured on so many Calendars.

Looking back across the Centuries they recalled the Clerks standing in
the Doorways and the friends of the Progressive Euchre Club. It was
sweet to remember that the world was not made up entirely of cadging
Head Waiters.

Once in a while they would venture from the Hotel to run footraces
with the yelping Lazzaroni or try to look at Vesuve without paying
seven or eight members of the Camorra for the Privilege.

After being chased back into the Hotel, they would sit down and
address Post-Cards by the Hour, telling how much they were enjoying
the stay in Napoli, home of Song and Laughter.

Their only chance of catching even on the Imperial Suite at $9 a Day
was to make the Folks back at the Whistling Post think they were
playing Guitars and dancing the Tarantella, whatever that is.

Next we see them in Egypt, still addressing Post-Cards, and offering
anything within Reason for a good Cup of Coffee.

Somehow, sitting in the dusky Tombs didn't seem to help their

Not that they would own up to being Home-Sick. No, indeed! They kept
writing back that they enjoyed every Minute spent among the Cemeteries
and Ruins, or sailing up the Nile, and Edwin was holding up
wonderfully, for an Invalid.

Only, when either of them spoke of the Children, or Corned-Beef Hash,
or the Canary, a long Silence would ensue, and then the Nervous Wreck
would cheer her by computing that they would be in God's Country
within four months, if they escaped Shipwreck, Sunstroke, and Bubonic

While parboiling themselves down the Red Sea it began to soak in on
them that, east of Suez, the Yank has about as much standing as the
Ten Commandments.

They could have endured sleeping in a Trough and bathing with a damp
Towel and eating Food kept over from the year before, if their Fellow
Voyagers had made a slight fuss over them or evinced some interest in
the wonders of North America.

The Congressman at home had assured them, on numerous occasions, that
Columbia was the Jim of the Ocean and the most upholstered portion of
the entire Foot-Stool.

Consequently, it was somewhat disconcerting to meet British Subjects
who never had heard of Quincy, Illinois, and who moved their Deck
Chairs every time they were given a chance to hear about it.

Back in the Middle West, Edwin and Selena had been Mountains arising
from the Plain. At all points beyond Greenwich, they were simply two
unconsidered fragments of Foreign Substance.

The Passport did not seem to get them anything. While being walked
upon by the haughty Tea-Drinkers they could not claim the protection
of the American Flag, because they didn't see the Starry Banner after
leaving New York, except in front of a Fake Auction Sale, arranged
especially for Tourists.

By the time they found themselves in that vast bake-oven known as
India they were benumbed and submissive and had settled into a

They would arrive in a New Town, fly to the Hotel, unpack, go out and
buy their colored Post-Cards, come back to the Dump (usually called
the Grand Hotel Victoria), address Cards to all the Names on the list,
then pack up, pay the Overcharges, and ride to the Railway Station,
accompanied by a small regiment of Bashi-Bazouks who were looking for

The sight of a Temple threw Edwin into a Relapse, but he would have
given $8,000 for one look at the galvanized Cornice of the Court

Selena was still buying Souvenirs, but doing it mechanically, as if in
a Trance.

They had been stung with so many Oriental Phoneys and stuck up so
often that they had gone Yellow and lost their Nerve.

When they saw an outstretched Palm, they came across without a

Cousin Ella, back among the Corn Fields, pictured them as riding a
caparisoned Elephant up to the marble Palace of the Gaekwar of Baroda,
where Edwin would flash his Passport and then the distinguished Guests
would be salaamed to the Peacock Throne.

Nothing like it. They were led up to highly odorous Bazaars conducted
by lineal Descendants of the 40 Thieves.

Often, while riding in the dusty Cattle Cars and looking out at the
parched Plains, they would think of the shaded Front Porch, only 5
minutes from Barclay's Drug Store, where they sold the Ice Cream Soda.
Moaning feebly, they would return to the italicized Guide Book.

The Chow consisted largely of Curry and Rice, the medicinal flavor of
which was further accentuated by Butter brought in Tins all the way
from Sweden.

Although the Heat was intense, they found occasional Relief in sitting
next the Britons and getting a few Zephyrs direct from the Ice-Box.

Each day they would purchase a Newspaper about the size of a
Bed-Spread and search eagerly for American News. Once in a while they
would learn that Congress had met or another Colored Person had been
burned at the Stake. It cheered them immensely to know that the Land
of the Free was still squirming.

At Rangoon they met a weary Countryman headed in the opposite
direction. He was a hard-faced Customer who was fighting the Climate
with Gin and Bitters, but they fell upon him and wanted to Kiss him
when they learned that he had once met Selena's Uncle at Colorado

They told him how to save time in getting across India, and he gave
them a list of Places in China and Japan that might be dodged to

Year after year in the months of March and April they continued on
their tedious Way through the burning Tropics.

Sometimes they came to a discouraged belief that the World was one
bluey expanse, disturbed by Flying Fish.

Then they would spend weary Ages along the avenues of white
Lime-Kilns, looking at Countless millions of hungry Brunettes in
fluttering Nighties.

Their principal Occupation, when not setting down Expressions of
Delight on the Post-Cards, was to study Time-Tables and cable ahead
for Reservations.

The Invalid's one desire was to get home and take a regular Bath
before being laid out.

Hong Kong pleased them exceedingly because they learned, by consulting
Mr. Mercator's Projection, that they were on the Home Stretch and,
with Luck in their favor, might live to see another Piece of
Huckleberry Pie.

Japan they liked the best of all. At Yokohama they received a bundle
of Dailies only six weeks old, giving full Particulars of a Wedding
and telling who was about to run for Mayor.

As soon as they were on the Pacific and headed for a refined
Vaudeville Show, they began to recover the brave Spirit of Travel and
blow about what they had seen.

The Towns and Temples and Tombs and Treasures of Art were all jumbled
together, but, by daily reference to Baedeker and Murray, they were
enabled to find out where they had been and what they had seen with
their own Eyes and how it impressed them at the time.

Before touching at Honolulu they were real enthusiastic about India.
They advised the awe-stricken Listener who had not been all the Way
around to be sure and take in Penang and Johore and, if necessary,
they would give him Letters of Introduction.

They said it had been a Wonderful Experience. Yes, indeed. And
broadening. Very. Then Edwin would wander to the front end of the Ship
and want to climb out on the Bowsprit so as to be in Frisco ahead of
anybody else.

He convalesced rapidly as they approached the Golden Gate, for he knew
that in a few days he would unpack for good and gallop down to the
office and not have to worry about Travelling.

The only Dark Cloud on the Shore hung above the Custom House. They
looked at all the Junk wished upon them by the simple Children of the
Far East and didn't know whether to declare it for what it cost or
what it was really worth.

Being conscientious Members of the Church, they modified their Perjury
and smuggled only the usual amount of Carvings and hand-embroidered

Two hours after landing, Edwin saw a Porter-House Steak and burst into

They sped eastward by the first Train, still busy with the little Red
Books, for they knew they would have to answer a lot of Questions.

"Shall we own up and tell them the Awful Truth?" asked Selena.

"Not on your Esoteric Buddhism," replied Edwin. "We never will be
rewarded for our Sufferings unless we convince the Neighbors that we
had a run for our Money. It was a troubled Nightmare, in Spots, but
when I lecture in the Church Parlor I am going to burn Joss Sticks and
pull every variety of Bunk made famous by Sir Edwin Arnold and
Lafcadio Hearn."

On the following Tuesday, Selena appeared at the Club with her
Mandarin Coat and the long Hindoo Ear-Rings. She had them frozen in
their Chairs.

MORAL: Be it ever so Hard to Take, there is no Place like away from


Once upon a time, out in the Rubber Boot Reservation, the Stork came
staggering up to a Frame Dwelling with a hefty Infant. The arrival was
under the Zodiacal Sign of Taurus, the Bull. Every Omen was

When the Gallery was admitted, on the third day, the gaping Spectators
observed that the Youngun had an open Countenance, somewhat like a
Channel Cat, a full head of Hair bushing at the nape of the neck, and
a hypnotic Eye; so they knew he was destined for the Service of the

Even while he was in the custody of the Old Women of the Township, he
began reaching for everything he saw and testing his Voice. He claimed
his Rations frequently and with insistence.

While he was demonstrating an elastic Capacity, the head Prophetess
called attention to his aggressive Style and predicted a political

It was a cinch Horoscope, for the Begetters were a successful
Auctioneer and a Poetess of local repute.

The Child was christened Sylvester, in anticipation of his Future

Several years later, when he rebelled against going to the Barber Shop
and began to speak Pieces on the slightest provocation, the Parents
rejoiced over these budding symptons of Statesmanship and bought him a

At school he was a Dummy in Mathematics and a Lummux when it came to
Spelling Down, but every Friday afternoon he was out in the lead,
wearing Bells.

Before he acquired a Vocabulary or accumulated Data, he got by on his
Nerve. In later years he never forgot that Facts are non-essential if
the Vocal Cords are in tune.

When the Pupils tackled the old standby, "Resolved, that Education is
better than Riches," he could tremolo on the Affirmative one week and
then reverberate for the Negative one week later, never doubting his
own Sincerity at any stage of the Game.

The grinding classmates who had secured the mark of A in Geometry and
Rhetoric were not in the running on Commencement Day.

Our Hero got his Diploma on a Fluke, but when he appeared on the
Rostrum between an Oleander and the Members of the Board, with
Goose-Goose on the Aureole, the new Store Suit garnished with a leaf
of Geranium and a yellow Rose-Bud, and the Gates Ajar Collar lashed
fast with his future Trade-Mark: viz., a White Bow Tie--he had all the
Book Worms crushed under his Heel.

He pulled out the stop marked "Vox Humana" and begged his Hearers to
lift the sword of Justice and with it smite the Deluge of Organized
Wealth which was crouched and ready to spring upon the Common People.

In pleading the cause of Labor, he spoke as an Expert, for once he had
strung a Clothes-Line for his Mother.

He got the biggest Hand of any one at the Exercises. After denouncing
the predaceous Interests he relapsed into an attitude of Meditation,
with the Chin on the starched Front, very much like a Steel Engraving
of Daniel Webster.

The enthralled Townsmen, seeing him thus, with the Right Hand buried
in the Sack Suit and the raven Mop projecting in the rear, allowed
that there was nothing to it. He was a Genius and billed through for
the Legislature.

Some Boys have to go to College to get a Shellac Finish, but Sylvester
already had the Dark Clothes and the Corrugated Brow and a voice like
a Tuba, so, to complete his Equipment, he merely had to sit tilted
back in a Law Office for a few months and then borrow Money to get a
Hat such as John A. Logan used to wear.

All who saw him move from Group to Group along the Hitch Rack on
Saturday afternoon, shaking hands with the Rustics and applying the
Ointment, remarked that Ves was a young man of Rare Promise and could
not be held back from the Pay-Roll for any considerable length of

He was one of the original 787 Boy Orators of the Timothy Hay Section
of the Imperial Middle West.

At every hotel Banquet, whether by the Alumni of the Shorthand College
or under the auspices of the Piano Movers' Pleasure Club, he was right
up at the Head Table with his Hair rumpled, ready to exchange a
Monologue for a few warm Oysters and a cut of withered Chicken.

On Memorial Day it was Sylvester who choked up while laying his
Benediction on the Cumrads of the G. A. R.

On Labor Day he unbuttoned his Vest all the way down, held a trembling
Fist clear above the leonine Mat, and demanded a living Wage for every

Consequently he acquired repute as a staunch Friend of the
Agriculturist, the Steam Fitter, the Old Soldier, the Department Store
Employee, and others accustomed to voting in Shoals. In order to
mature himself and be seasoned for onerous Responsibilities, he waited
until he was 22 years of age before attempting to gain a frontage at
the Trough.

It was highly important that he should serve the Suvrin People in some
Capacity involving Compensation. It was fairly important to him and it
was vitally important to a certain Woman of gambling Disposition, who
operated a Boarding-House.

Sylvester was the type of Lawyer intensely admired but seldom
employed, save by Criminals entirely bereft of Means.

In addition to his Board, the young Barrister actually required a
pouch of Fine Cut and a clean White Tie every week, so he was impelled
by stern Necessity to endeavor to hook up with a Salary.

Because Sylvester had administered personal Massage to every Voter
within five Miles of his office, he thought he could leap into the
Arena and claim an immediate Laurel Wreath by the mere charm and vigor
of his Personality.

He ignored the Whispering Ikes who met in the dim Back Room, with
Cotton plugged in the Key Hole.

The Convention met, and when it came time to nominate a Candidate for
State's Attorney, all of Sylvester's tried and true Friends among the
Masses were at home working in the Garden or spread out in the

The Traction Engine pulled the Juggernaut over the Popular Idol.

They lit on him spraddled out. They gave him the Doo-Doo.

When the Battle had ended, he was a mile from the cheerful Bivouac,
lying stark in the Moonlight.

He was supposed to be eliminated. The only further recognition
accorded him would be at the Autopsy.

Next day he was back in his usual Haunts, with an immaculate Bow Tie
and a prop Smile, shaking hands with all who had so recently harpooned
him. As a Come-Back he was certainly the resilient Kid.

Those who had marveled at his sole-leather Organ of Speech, now had to
admire his sheet metal Sensibilities, nor could they deny that he
possessed all the attributes of a sound and durable Candidate.

He had learned his Primer lesson in Politics. As soon as he saw that
he could not throw the Combination, he joined it.

He came into the Corral and lay down in the Dust and allowed them to
brand him as a Regular.

Sylvester became the White Slave of the Central Committee, knowing
that eventually true Patriotism would have to be recognized and

When he came to bat the second time he had the Permanent Chairman and
the Tellers and all the Rough-Necks plugging for him, consequently it
was a Pipe.

But it was a case of Reverse English on Election Day, for the venal
Opposition rode into power on a Tidal Wave.

After the Tide had receded, Sylvester was found asleep among the Clams
and Sea-Weed, apparently so far gone that a Pulmotor would be no help.

Three days later, however, he was on hand, with chaste Neckwear and a
jaunty Front, to make a Presentation Speech to the Chief of the Fire

Talk about your Rubber Cores! The harder they trun him down the higher
he bounced back.

Those who had been marked by Fate to be his Constits began to see that
Sylvester was something inevitable and not to be denied.

What though his Detractors called him a Four-Flush and a False Alarm,
alleging that a true analysis of his Mentality would be just about as
profitable as dissecting a Bass Drum?

The more they knocked, the more oleo-margarine became his beaming
Countenance, for he knew that Calumny avails naught against a White
Tie in the Hot-Bed of cut-and-dried Orthodoxy.

He played the social String from the W.C.T.U. to the Elks and was a
blood-brother of the Tin Horn and the acidulated Elder with the scant

In order to keep the High-Binders and the Epworth Leaguers both on his
Staff at one and the same time, he had to be some Equilibrist, so he
never hoisted a Slug except in his own Office, where he kept it behind
the Supreme Court Reports.

When he went out the third time for the same Job, the Voters saw it
was no use trying to block him off, so he landed.

In the full crimson of Triumph, with new Patent Leather Shoes and as
much as $40 in his Kick at one time, he never forgot for a moment that
he was a servant of the Pe-hee-pul and might want to run for something
else in the near future.

He tempered Justice with Mercy and quashed many an Indictment if the
Defendant looked like a grateful Geezer who might be useful in his own

No one dared to attack him because of the fact that he had delivered
a Lecture to the eager young souls at the Y.M.C.A., in which he had
exhibited a Road Map and proved that adherence to the Cardinal Virtues
leads unerringly to Success.

At the age of thirty-two he broke into the Legislature and began to
wear a White Vest, of the kind affected by the more exclusive Bar
Tenders. Also a variety of Shroud known as the Prince Albert.

He was fearless in discussing any proposed Measure that did not worry
the Farmer Vote in his own District.

As for Wall Street and the Plunderbund, when he got after them, he was
a raving Bosco. A regular Woof-Woofer and bite their heads off.

About the time he came up for re-election, a lot of
Character-Assassins tried to shell-road him and hand him the Gaff and
crowd him into the 9-hole.

They said he had been flirting with the Corporations and sitting in on
Jack-Pots and smearing himself at the Pie Counter.

Did they secure his Goat by such crude Methods?

Not while the 5-octave Voice and the enveloping Prince Albert and the
snow-white Necktie were in working Trim.

He went over the whole District in an Auto (one of the fruits of his
Frugality), and everywhere that Sylvester went the American Eagle was
sure to go, riding on the Wind-Shield, and a Starry Banner draped over
the Hood.

He waved aside all Charges made against him. To give them serious Heed
would be an Insult to the high Intelligence of the Hired Hands
gathered within Sound of his Voice. He believed in discussing the
Paramount Issues.

So he would discuss them in such a way that the Railway Trains passing
by were no interruption whatsoever.

In course of time his Hair outgrew the Legislature. He was on
whispering terms with a clean majority of all the Partisans in three
connecting Counties, so he bought one Gross of the White String Kind
and a pair of Gum Sneakers and began to run amuck as a Candidate for

Even his trusty Henchmen were frightened to know that he had become
obsessed of such a vaulting Ambition.

They did not have him sized, that was all. The farther from home he
traveled, the more resounding was the Hit he registered.

The Days of Spring were lengthening and the Campaign was not far
distant when Sylvester, after looking at the Signs in the Sky and
putting his Ear to the Ground, discovered that he was thoroughly
impregnated with the new Progressive Doctrines.

The change came overnight, but he was in the Band Wagon ahead of the

As nearly as he could formulate his private Platform, he was still
true to his Party but likewise very keen for any Reform Measure that
55 per cent. of the Voters might favor, either at the present time or
previous to any future Election.

After the heated Radicals in every School District had listened to
Sylvester and learned that all his Views coincided to a T with their
own revised Schedule, they lined up and landslided.

One November morning Our Hero, no longer a penniless Law Student, but
owing, at a conservative Estimate, between $6000 and $8000, sat
tranquilly in front of the T-Bone Steak, the Eggs, the Batter Cakes,
the Cinnamon Rolls, and the Reservoir of Coffee, comprising the
Breakfast of one who always remained near to the Rank and File.

His Hair was roached in a new way, for the Bulletins at Midnight had
told him that he was a Congressman.

Those who had known him in the old Free-Lunch Days, when a Tie lasted
him for a Week, now felt honored to receive his stately Salutation as
he moved slowly from the Post Office up to the Drug Store, to buy his
Bronchial Lozenges.

Many of the Lower Classes, as well as the more Prominent People
belonging to the Silver Cornet Band, were gathered at the Station when
he started for Washington to fight in the impending Battle between the
Corn-Shuckers and the Allies of Standard Oil.

Men and Women standing right there in the Crowd could remember when he
had borrowed his first Dollar.

And now he was going to stand beneath the dome of the Capitol to weave
a new Fabric of Government and see that it didn't crock or unravel.

Sylvester and his glossy Trunk arrived at the Mecca, where they were
pleasantly received by the Agent of the Transfer Company in full
Uniform, and a Senegambian with a Red Cap, who hunted up the Taxi.

After waiting many weary Years, Sylvester once more had a School Desk
of his own. It was in the far corner of a crowded Pit surrounded by
elevated Seats.

The Hon. Sylvester found himself entirely surrounded by victims of
involuntary Dumbness.

By referring to a printed List he ascertained that he was a member of
the Committee on Manual Training for the Alaska Indians.

In his Boarding House he became acquainted with Department Clerks who
were well advanced in the technology of Base Ball.

After a few weeks, he was on chatting Terms with a Young Lady in
charge of a Cigar and News Counter.

As soon as the Paper was delivered every morning he could find out
what had happened in Congress the day before.

If confused by the Cares of State, he sought diversion by taking a
Visitor from Home to see the Washington Monument.

After three months, he met a National Committeeman with a Pull who
promised to secure him an introduction to the Speaker so that he could
maneuver around and get something into the Record before his time was

In the meantime, he is heard to advantage on every Roll Call, and the
Traducers back in the District have not been able to lay a finger on
anything Crooked.

MORAL: There is always Room and Board at the Top.


Once upon a time a Lad with Cinnamon Hair and wide blue Eyes lived in
a half-portion Town.

He had received more than 2000 Tickets for answering "Here" at the
M. E. Sunday School.

His kinfolk hoped that some day he would be President of the Town

Shortly after he learned to roll a safe game of Pool, his Governor

Robert, such being the full front name of the sole Heir, found that he
could not spread his Pinions in the narrow Streets of the
lichen-covered Hamlet.

So he blew. He went to find an Avenue that would accommodate seven
Zeppelin Air-Ships moving abreast at one time.

He closed out the Dry Goods Emporium with the Shirt-Waists and the
shameless Hosiery in the Windows.

An Apartment Building, with Packages delivered at the rear, soon began
to flaunt itself on the site of the old Manse.

With all the currency corraled by the late Store-Keeper padded into
his Norfolk Jacket, the gallus Offspring hurried to the Metrop to pick
the Primroses.

In a short time he was out at the Track every day, barking at the
Goats as they hove into the Stretch.

The pencil-borrowing Touts and the Wine Pushers began to call him Bob,
which proved that he was a Man about Town.

When the final Kiflukus was put on the Ponies, he assembled the
residue of his Bundle and began to work steady as a Guesser in a
Broker's Office.

His job was to show at 10 G.M. with a big Reina Victoria at one
extreme corner of his Face and pretend to know what was coming off
when the Boy put the funny marks on the Blackboard.

Ever and anon he would buy 1000 Shares of something, as if Negotiating
for a Bread-Ticket.

As a rule, the tall-grass Plunger with a wad of new Kale has about the
same percentage in his favor as that enjoyed by a Shoat out at the
well-known Establishment of Armour & Co.

The Cleaners go forth to meet him, bearing as Gifts a Dream-Book and a
new kind of Cocktail with a Kick like a Coast-Defense Gun.

A few weeks later they are casting lots for his Union Suit.

Bob came from Simpville, but he had acquired a couple of Wrinkles
associating with the Wing Shots in the Paddock.

He could shift to either Foot and he kept his Maxillary covered.

Sometimes he picked up the wrong Walnut. It would begin to look like a
quick change from Caviar to Crackers.

More than once his Heels were beating a tattoo on the grassy brink of
a Precipice.

Then he would smell around until he discovered Something Doing. A
couple of lucky shots and he would be on Velvet again and whanging
away like a Demon.

At last, with a Bull Market and a system of Pyramids, he began to
sweep it in with his Fore-Arm.

Head Waiters paid him the most groveling Attentions and bright eyes
grew brighter yet when he suggested pulling a little Supper, with a
$400 Souvenir at each Plate.

He was admitted to full membership in the Tango Tribe of the
Tenderloin Night-Riders.

This select Coterie was organized for the purpose of closing all
Cabarets by 6 A.M.

An early hour was named because many of them were not made up for the
cold Daylight.

About the time he began to discover Vintages he discovered Elphye

She was an Actress who was too busy to perform on the Stage.

Elphye had a good Social Position back at her Home but, for some
reason, she never sent for it.

Her Parents had arranged for her to be a Brunette, but when Bob met
her, between the Guinea Hen and the Café Parfait, she was a Lemon

Elphye wore Clothes that made a noise like a Piccolo.

She was there with the jeweled Heels and the hand-painted Ankles.

In trying to make her Gowns anywhere from six to nine months ahead of
Paris, she sprung several Effects that caused the Chandeliers to
tremble and the Ice to melt in the Buckets.

She had abolished her Shape entirely and abandoned the Perpendicular,
preferring a Droop which indicated that possibly she had been
fashioned over a Barrel.

She tried to model herself on the lines of a string Bean, slightly
warped by the Sun.

The Ascending Star of the Financial World was stunned by the

No one had tipped it off to him that the Queen of Sheba was to be

He found Elphye ever and ever so accomplished.

She knew all the Songs that now blister the Varnish off the Pianos in
so many well-ordered Homes.

She was enough of a Contortionist to get away with several Dances
named for the innocent Poultry.

Being a close student of the Bill-Boards she was in touch with Current

Her Eye-Work was perfect, but she found it hard pumping to Blush at
the right time.

When she tackled Polite Conversation she put a few Tooth-Marks in it.
Still she made a very creditable Stab for a Girl brought up in
Michigan and never east of Sheepshead Bay.

She looked very creamy to Bob, if the Music was loud enough.

He liked to tow something that would cause the Oyster Forks to pause
in midair and the Catty Ones to reach for their Hardware.

[Illustration: He liked to tow something that would cause the Oyster
Forks to pause in midair and the Catty Ones to reach for their

When Elphye did a little Barnum and Bailey down the main Chute of a
Terrapin Bazaar, rest assured that every Eye in the Resort was aimed
at her gleaming Vertebrae.

Bob showed her his monthly Statements and she confessed to being very
fond of him. So it was planned that they would Marry some afternoon,
if she could get away from the Masseuse early enough.

The Troth was pledged in a few high-priced Trinkets which she had
decided upon before he spoke to her.

Just when it seemed a mortal Pipe that the Bull Tactics would enable
him to cop a Million, so that he could live at a Hotel and finance the
Little Queen, the Unseen Superintendent in the Tower began to throw
the Switches of Destiny.

If Bob had not speeded so far into the Country in the Smell-Wagon,
there would have been no Flat Tire.

If there had been no Flat Tire, he would have been back in time for
the usual round-up of the Irrigation Committee and never would have
been a Great Financier.

Marooned among the Hay-Fields, he stopped at a Farm House and took a
long chance on some Well-Water, dipped in a Gourd from the
Moss-Covered Bucket.

Scotch Whiskey is never contaminated by Surface Drains, but each
sparkling Drop of the Fluid that Bob quaffed, there beneath the
Willows, contained more than 2,000,000 of the Germs made notorious by
Dr. Woods Hutchinson.

A few days later a swarm of Bees settled in each ear. Every
Sky-Scraper gave an imitation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

He knew he was out of Kelter, but he had to watch the Board, for he
had put every Bean in the World on an acrobatic Industrial known as
Tin Bucket Preferred.

Already the Paper Profits were enormous. Bob figured confidently on
another Whoop of 50 points and a double string of Pearls for Elphye.

But when the poor Loon had a Temperature of 5 above Par and had to
cling to the Brass Rail to keep from taking the Count, he lost his
Nerve entirely.

He couldn't see anything on the Horizon except Tariff Revision, Hard
Times, Weeping Women, Starving Kiddies, Closed Factories, Soup
Kitchens, and Bread Lines.

While in this dotty State and quite irresponsible, he directed the
Manager to close out the whole Smear and sell short.

Furthermore, he was so daffy and curdled in the Filbert that he sold
three times as much as he had.

Then he did a couple of Spins and a Flop, and the White Ambulance bore
him away to the big Hospital.

If Mr. Hornung Jackson of Round Grove, Maryland, had not entered upon
his Second Childhood at the age of 55, his Family would have remained
on Easy Street.

Mr. Jackson thought he could sit in his Front Room and read the
burglarious Meditations of the High-Binders in Wall Street.

Consequently, when the Tin Box was searched, the Day after the Masons
had marched out to the Cemetery, it contained a little of everything
except Assets.

Annie was the name of the Daughter.

On the Clean-up she received enough to put her through the School.

When Bob arrived at the Hospital, in a State of Conflagration, Annie
was waiting in the starched Uniform to tackle her first real Case.

For days and nights he rambled through the ghostly labyrinths of
Delirium, Annie holding him by the Hand and lifting the cool Draughts
to his parched Lips.

He mumbled and raved about the decisions of the Umpire in the game
between the Academy and the Knitting Works.

He gave Annie his entire performance of Ralph Rackstraw in "Pinafore"
for the benefit of the Library Fund, including Cues.

He scolded his Aunt Mary for doing her own Housework and told the
Colored Men how to lay the Cement Walk down through the Grape Arbor.

He promised his Father not to play Poker any more and vowed to his
Mother that she was a better Chef than the one up at Del's.

But his sub-conscious Self was so considerate of Elphye that he never
brought in her Name at all, at all.

Sometimes he would get back to the Ticker, but he was ready to leave
it any time to go fishing in the Crick with the Lads from the other
side of the Tracks.

Through the final Crisis he played tag with the Grim Reaper and just
escaped being It.

The Sun was slanting into the little white Room when he crawled feebly
back to Earth and tried to get his Bearings.

Annie was looking right at him, relieved and smiling and happy. She
had won her first game in the Big League.

He noticed that she was not slashed up the side or down the back, had
no metallic Insteps, carried her own Hair, and was in no way concealed
behind the usual pallid Veneering.

He remembered dimly that she had been with him on the Underground.

Then he recalled a previous Existence in which the Dripped Absinthe
was a Breakfast and the Cigarette a Luncheon and Elphye was trotting
in her Glads and he had a Swell Bet down on Tin Bucket Preferred. The
whole Lay-Out seemed unreal and remote and entirely disconnected with
Friend Nurse.

He inquired the Day of the Week, and when he learned it was Next Month
he started to get right up and put on his Things.

Annie quietly spread him back on the Pillow and laid down the Law
regarding Rest and Quiet.

Then he begged her to ring up McCusick & Co. and get the latest Bucket

He said he had plastered his last Samoleon and, not being there to
watch the Board and concentrate his wonderful Trading Instinct on
every jiggle of the Dial, there was no telling what the Bone-Heads had
done to him.

You see, he had no recollection whatever of going Short, for he had
been in a Walking Delirium at the time and crazy as a Cubist.

Annie said it was wrong to Gamble and he was not to read the Papers or
fuss with Visitors until Doc gave the word.

Suddenly he remembered that he was engaged to Elphye and he wondered
if she had forgotten.

So many things can happen in a Great City within two weeks.

He told Nurse about Elphye. Annie did not seem madly interested, but
she wrote a Note to the Sazerack Apartment Building and notified the
Seraphine that her prospective Producer was still extant and would be
willing to renew acquaintance if she could spare an hour or two from
her Dancing.

Elphye came out two days later made up as a Princess in the Christmas
Pantomime and diffusing pleasant Odors in all directions.

She sat down alongside of Annie and immediately she was shown up and
went back to the Minors.

Her Second-Reader Conversation, complicated with the phoney Boston
sound of "A" as in "Squash," did not improve her General Average.

Bob suddenly realized that in getting rid of the Bronxes and the
Nicotine and various other Toxins, he also had lost his appetite for

But he was Game and willing to go through on his own Proposition.

He sent Nurse for a glass of Water and then begged his Fiancée to
smuggle in a Newspaper so he could find out the name of his
getting-off Station.

Next day she brought the Market Page in her wonderful jewel-crusted

Bob took one Look and crawled under the Covers.

The Market had gone Blooey.

Bucket Preferred was down in the Subway, bleeding from a dozen Wounds.

The Whole List was on the Blinkety Fritz.

"Courage, Dearie," said Bob, taking Elphye by the Rings. "Your little
Playmate is erased from the map."

Elphye upset two Rolling Chairs and one Interne getting from the
Convalescent Department to the open Air.

Annie found the poor Bankrupt much improved as to Pulse and

He told her the whole Story of how his Lady Fair had canned him
because he was no longer a Live One.

She held his hand and pushed back his Locks and told him that any Girl
with a Heart would stick closer than ever to her Selection when he was
under the Rollers.

Just then a Messenger from McCusick came in and showed Bob that by
going Short and standing pat he was $1,800,000 to the Desirable.

After that, Bob was known up and down the Street as The Wizard.

Annabelle, remembering how they had got to her Father, made him cut
out the Margins and put the whole Chunk into listed Securities and
Real Estate.

He wanted to stick around and parlee up to a Billion, but she raised a
most emphatic Nixey.

He was so used to taking orders from her as a Trained Nurse that he
cut out speculating and played Safe.

The whole game was punk for months after, so every one said he had
been a Wise Mug for backing away.

The Missus allows him a light one (mostly Vermouth) before Dinner each
evening and has taught him a private Signal which means that she is
ready to duck and go Home.

At present they are in Paris, where she is working to get the same
hilarious _Tout Ensemble_ formerly exhibited by Elphye, the Ex-Empress
of the White Light Reservation.

The latter went to see a Lawyer when she learned that she had been
tricked out of her Happiness.

Unfortunately for her, she had nothing on Robert, thanks to his native
shrewdness and Mr. Bell, who invented the Telephone.

She is now playing Utility Parts in a Stock Company in Pennsylvania.
The Jewels pelted at her by Bob are much admired by the Gallery.

MORAL: The City holds no Peril for those who cherish Lucky Ideals.


Once there was a full-blown Wild Peach, registered in the Family Bible
as Susan Mahaly.

Her Pap divided his time between collecting at a Toll-Gate and
defending the Military Reputation of Andy Jackson.

The family dwelt in what was then regarded by Cambridge, Mass., as the
Twilight Zone of Semi-Culture, viz., Swigget County, Pennsylvania.

Susan wore Linsey-Woolsey from Monday to Saturday. She never had
tampered with her Venus de Milo Topography and she did not even
suspect that Women had Nerves.

When she was seventeen she had a Fore-Arm like a Member of the

She knew how to Card and Weave and Dye. Also she could make Loose Soap
in a kettle out in the Open Air.

Susan never fell down on her Salt-Rising Bread. Her Apple Butter was
always A1.

It was commonly agreed that she would make some Man a good
Housekeeper, for she was never sickly and could stay on her Feet
sixteen hours at a Stretch.

Already she was beginning to look down the Pike for a regular Fellow.

In the year 1840, the Lass of seventeen who failed to get her Hooks on
some roaming specimen of the Opposite Gender was in danger of being
whispered about as an Old Maid. Celibacy was listed with Arson and

Rufus was destined to be an Early Victorian Rummy, but he could lift a
Saw-Log, and he would stand without being hitched, so Susan nailed him
the third time he came snooping around the Toll-Gate.

Rufus did not have a Window to hoist or a Fence to lean on. But there
is no Poverty in any Pocket of the Universe until Wealth arrives and
begins to get Luggy.

Susan thought she was playing in rare Luck to snare a Six-Footer who
owned a good Squirrel Rifle and could out-wrastle all Comers.

The Hills of Pennsylvania were becoming congested, with Neighbors not
more than two or three miles apart, so Rufus and his Bride decided to
hit a New Trail into the Dark Timber and grow up with the Boundless

Relatives of the Young Couple staked them to a team of Pelters, a
Muley Cow, a Bird Dog of dubious Ancestry, an Axe and a Skillet, and
started them over the Divide toward the perilous Frontier, away out
yender in Illinoy.

It was a Hard Life. As they trundled slowly over the rotten Roads,
toward the Land of Promise, they had to subsist largely on Venison,
Prairie Chicken, Quail, Black Bass, Berries, and Wild Honey. They
carried their own Coffee.

Arrived at the Jumping-Off Place, they settled down among the Mink and
Musk-Rats. Rufus hewed out and jammed together a little two by twice
Cabin with the Flue running up the outside. It looked ornery enough to
be the Birthplace of almost any successful American.

The Malaria Mosquito was waiting for the Pioneers. In those good old
Chills-and-Fever days, no one ever blamed it on the Female of the
Species. Those who had the Shakes allowed that they were being jarred
by the Hand of Providence.

When the family ran low on Quinine, all he had to do was hook up and
drive fifty miles to the nearest Town, where he would trade the Furs
for Necessities such as Apple-Jack and Navy Twist, and possibly a few
Luxuries such as Tea and Salt.

On one of these memorable Trips to the Store, a Mood which combined
Sentiment with reckless Prodigality seized upon him.

He thought of the brave Woman who was back there in the lonesome
Shack, shooing the Prairie Wolves away from the Cradle, and he
resolved to reward her.

With only three Gills of Stone Fence under his Wammus, he spread his
Wild-Cat Currency on the Counter and purchased a $6 Clock, with
jig-saw ornaments, a shiny coat of Varnish, and a Bouquet of Pink
Roses on the door.

Susan burst into Tears when she saw it on the Wall, alongside of the
Turkey Wing, and vowed that she had married the Best Man in the World.

Twenty years later, Jennie, the first begotten Chick at the Log House
in the Clearing, had matured and married, and was living at the
County-Seat with Hiram, Money-Changer and Merchant.

Railroad Trains, Side-Bar Buggies, Coal-Oil Lamps, and the Civil War
had come along with a Rush and disarranged primitive Conditions. The
Frontier had retreated away over into Kansas.

In the very Township where, of late, the Beaver had toiled without
Hindrance and the Red Fox dug his hole unscared, people were now
eating Cove Oysters, and going to see "East Lynne."

Hiram was in rugged Health, having defended the flag by Proxy during
the recent outcropping of Acrimony between the devotees of Cold Bread
and the slaves of Hot Biscuit. The Substitute had been perforated
beyond repair at the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, proving that Hiram
made no mistake in remaining behind to tend Store.

When Jennie moved in where she could hear the Trains whistle and began
to sport a Cameo Brooch, she could barely remember wearing a Slip and
having Stone Bruises.

Hiram was Near, but he would Loosen up a trifle for his own Fireside.
The fact that Jennie was his wife gave her quite a Standing with him.
He admired her for having made such a Success of her Life.

They dwelt in a two-story Frame with countless Dewdads and Thingumbobs
tacked along the Eaves and Scalloped around the Bay Windows.

The Country People who came in to see the Eighth Wonder of the World
used to stand in silent Awe, breathing through their Noses.

Out on the lawn, surrounded by Geraniums, was a Cast-Iron Deer which
seemed to be looking at the Court House in a startled Manner. It was
that kind of a Court House.

In her Front Room, the daughter of Rufus and Susan had Wonderful Wax
Flowers, sprinkled with Diamond Dust; a What-Not bearing Mineral
Specimens, Conch-Shells, and a Star-Fish, also some Hair-Cloth
Furniture, very slippery and upholstered with Sand.

After Hiram gave her the Black Silk and paid for the Crayon
Enlargements of her Parents, Jennie did not have the Face to bone him
for anything more, but she longed in secret and Hiram suspected.

Jennie was a soprano. Not a regular Soprano, but a Country-Town
Soprano, of the kind often used for augmenting the Grief at a Funeral.
Her voice came from a point about two inches above the Right Eye.

She had assisted a Quartette to do things to "Juanita," and sometimes
tossed out little Hints about wishing she could practice at Home.
Jennie was a Nice Woman but she _did_ need Practice.

Although Hiram was tighter than the Bark on a Sycamore, he liked to
have other Women envy the Mother of His Children.

When he spread himself from a Shin-Plaster, he expected a Fanfare of

It took him a long time to unwind the String from the Wallet, but he
would Dig if he thought he was boosting his own Game.

By stealthy short-weighting of the Country Trade and holding out on
the Assessor, he succeeded in salting away numerous Kopecks in one
corner of the Safe.

While in Chicago to buy his Winter Stock, he bargained for two days
and finally bought a Cottage Melodeon, with the Stool thrown in.

Jennie would sit up and pump for Hours at a time, happy in the
knowledge that she had drawn the Capital Prize in the Lottery of

In the year 1886 there was some Church Wedding at the County-Seat.

Frances, daughter of Hiram and Jennie, had knocked the Town a Twister
when she came home from the Female College wearing Bangs and toting a
Tennis Racquet.

All the local Gallants, with Cocoa-Oil in their hair and Rings on
their Cravats, backed into the Shubbery.

Hiram had bought her about $1800 worth of Hauteur at the select
Institution of Learning. All she had to do was look at a Villager
through her Nose-Specs and he would curl up like an Autumn Leaf.

A Cuss from Chicago came to see her every two weeks.

His Trousers seemed to be choking him. The Pompadour was protected by
a Derby of the Fried-Egg species. It was the kind that Joe Weber
helped to keep in Public Remembrance. But in 1886 it was de Rigeur, au
Fait, and à la mode.

Frances would load the hateful City Chap into the high Cart and
exhibit him up and down all the Residence Thoroughfares.

On nearly every Front Porch some Girl whose Father was not interested
in the First National Bank would peer out through the Morning Glories
at the Show-off and then writhe like an Angle-Worm.

The Wedding was the biggest thing that had struck the town since
Forepaugh stopped over on his way from Peoria to Decatur.

Frances was not a popular Girl, on account of being so Uppish, so
those who could not fight their way into the Church climbed up and
looked through the Windows.

The Groom wore a Swallow-Tail.

Most of those present had seen Pictures of the Dress Suit. In the
_Fireside Companion_, the Gentleman wearing one always had Curls, and
the Wood-Engraving caught him in the act of striking a Lady in the
Face and saying "Curse you!"

The Feeling at the County-Seat was that Frances had taken a Desperate

The caterer with Colored Help in White Gloves, the ruby Punch
suspected of containing Liquor, the Japanese Lanterns attached to the
Maples, the real Lace in the Veil, the glittering Array of
Pickle-Jars, and a well-defined Rumor that most of the imported Ushers
had been Stewed, gave the agitated Hamlet something to blat about for
many and many a day.

The Bachelor of Arts grabbed off by the daughter of Jennie and the
Grand-daughter of Susan was the owner of Real Estate in the congested
Business District of a Town which came into Public Attention later on
through the efforts of Frank Chance.

His front name was Willoughby, but Frances always called him "Dear,"
no matter what she happened to be thinking at the time.

Part of State Street had been wished on to Willoughby. He was afraid
to sell, not knowing how to reinvest.

So he sat back and played safe. With growing Delight he watched the
Unearned Increment piling up on every Corner. He began to see that he
would be fairly busy all his life, jacking up Rents.

The Red-Brick Fortress to which he conducted Frances had Stone Steps
in front and a secret Entrance for lowly Trades-people at the rear.

Willoughby and his wife had the high courage of Youth and the
Financial Support of all the Money Spenders along State Street, so
they started in on Period Decoration. Each Room in the House was
supposed to stand for a Period. Some of them stood for a good deal.

A few of the Periods looked like Exclamation Points.

The young couple disregarded the Toll-Gate Period and the Log-Cabin
Period, but they worked in every one of the Louies until the Gilt
Furniture gave out.

The delighted Caller at the House beside the Lake would pass from an
East Indian Corridor through an Early Colonial Ante-Room into a
Japanese Boudoir and, after resting his Hat, would be escorted into
the Italian Renaissance Drawing-Room to meet the Hostess. From this
exquisite Apartment, which ate up one year's Rent of a popular Buffet
near Van Buren Street, there could be obtained a ravishing glimpse of
the Turkish Cozy Corner beyond, including the Battle-Axes and the Red

Frances soon began to hob-nob with the most delicatessen Circles,
including Families that dated back to the Fire of 1871.

She was not at all Dizzy, even when she looked down from the Mountain
Peak at her happy Birthplace, 15,000 feet below.

Willoughby turned out to be a satisfactory Housemate. His Voltage was
not high, but he always ate Peas with a Fork and never pulled at the
Leash when taken to a Musicale.

In front of each Ear he carried a neat Area of Human Ivy, so that he
could speak up at a Meeting of Directors. Until the year 1895, the
restricted Side-Whisker was an accepted Trade-Mark of Commercial

This facial Landscaping, the Frock Coat, and a steadfast devotion to
Toilet Soap made him suitable for Exhibition Purposes.

Frances became almost fond of him, after the Honeymoon evaporated and
their Romance ripened into Acquaintanceship.

It was a gladsome day for both when she traced the Dope back through
Swigget County, Pennsylvania, and discovered that she was an
honest-to-goodness Daughter of the American Revolution.

Willoughby could not ask a representative of good old Colonial Stock
to ride around in a stingy Coupé with a Coon planted out on the

He changed the Terms in several Leases and was enabled to slip her a
hot Surprise on the Birthday.

When she came down the Steps for the usual bowl along the Avenue, so
as to get some Fresh Smoke, she beheld a rubber-tired Victoria, drawn
by two expensive Bang-Tails in jingly Harness and surmounted by
important Turks in overwhelming Livery.

She was so trancified with Delight that she went right over to
Willoughby and gave him a Sweet Kiss, after looking about rather
carefully for the exposed portion of the Frontispiece.

Frances did a lot of Calling within the next two weeks, and to all
those who remarked upon the Smartness of the Equipage, she declared
that the Man she had to put up with carried a Throbbing Heart even if
he was an Intellectual Midget.

In the year 1913, a slender Young Thing, all of whose Habiliments
seemed melting and dripping downward, came wearily from Stateroom B as
the Train pulled into Reno, Nevada.

She seemed quite alone, except for a couple of Maids.

After she had given Directions concerning the nine Wardrobe Trunks and
the Live Stock, she was motored to a specially reserved Cottage at the
corner of Liberty Street and Hope Avenue.

Next day she sat at the other side of a Table from a Lawyer, removing
the poisoned Javelins from her fragile Person and holding them up
before the shuddering Shyster.

She had a Tale of Woe calculated to pulp a Heart of Stone. In blocking
out the Affidavit, her sympathetic Attorney made Pencil Notes as

Her name was Ethel Louise, favorite Daughter of Willoughby and
Frances, the well-known Blue-Bloods of the Western Metropolis.

She had finished off at Miss Sniffie's exclusive School, which
overlooks the Hudson and the Common School Branches.

After she learned to enter a Ball-Room and while on her way to attack
Europe for the third time, the Viper crossed her Pathway.

She accepted him because his name was Hubert, he looked like an
Englishman, and one of his Ancestors turned the water into Chesapeake

While some of the Wedding Guests were still in the Hospital, he began
to practice the most diabolical Cruelties.

He induced her to get on his Yacht and go cruising through the
Mediterranean when she wanted to take an Apartment in Paris.

At Monte Carlo he scolded her for borrowing 3000 Francs from a Russian
Grand Duke after she went broke at bucking the Wheel. She had met the
Duke at a Luncheon the day before and his Manners were perfect.

The Lawyer said that Hubert was a Pup, beyond all Cavil.

Cairo, Egypt, yielded up another Dark Chapter of History.

It came out in the sobbing Recital that Hubert had presented her with
a $900 prize-winning Pomeranian, directly related to the famous Fifi,
owned by the Countess Skidoogan of Bilcarty.

Later on, he seemed to feel that the Pomeranian had come between him
and Ethel. The Situation became more and more tense, and finally, one
day in Egypt, within plain sight of the majestic Pyramids, he kicked
Precious ever so hard and raised quite a Swelling.

The Legal Adviser said Death was too good for such a Fiend.

In Vienna, though, that was where he went so far that Separation
became inevitable.

Ethel had decided to take an $80,000 Pearl Necklace she had seen in a
Window. It was easily worth that much, and she felt sure she could get
it in without paying Duty. She had been very successful at bringing
things Home.

She could hardly believe her Ears when Hubert told her to forget it
and back up and come out of the Spirit World and alight on the Planet

He had been Heartless on previous Occasions, but this was the first
time he had been Mean enough to renig on a mere side-issue such as
coming across with the Loose Change.

Ethel was simply de-termined to have that Necklace, but the unfeeling
Whelp tried to kid her out of the Notion.

Then he started in to Pike. He suggested a $20,000 Tarara of Rubies
and Diamonds as a Compromise. Ethel became wise to the fact that she
had joined out with a Wad.

While she was pulling a daily Sick Headache in the hope of bringing
him to Taw, the Maharajah of Umslopagus came along and bought the

That was when Ethel had to be taken to a Rest Cure in the Austrian
Tyrol, and she never had been the Same Woman since.

To all who had come pleading for Reconciliation, Ethel had simply hung
out the Card, "Nothing Doing."

After a Brute has jumped up and down on the Aching Heart of a Girl of
proud Lineage he can't square himself in 1,000,000 years.

So said Ethel, between the flowing Tears.

Furthermore, there had been hopeless Incompatibility. In all the time
they were together, they never had been able to agree on a Turkish

The professional Home-Blaster said she had enough on Hubert to get her
four Divorces. The Decree would be a Pipe.

Ethel said she hoped so and to please push it along, as she had quite
a Waiting-List.

MORAL: Rufus had no business buying the Clock.


One day in the pink dawn of the present Century, a man with his Hair
neatly set back around the Ears and the usual Blood Pressure was
whizzing through a suburban Lonesomeness on a teetering Trolley. The
name of the man was Mr. Pallzey. He had a desk with a Concern that did
merchandizing in a large way.

Mr. Pallzey feared Socialism and carried his Wife's Picture in his
Watch and wore Plasters. In other words, he was Normal, believing
nearly everything that appeared in the Papers.

While the Dog-Fennel was softly brushing the Foot-Board and the Motor
was purring consistently beneath, Mr. Pallzey looked over into a
close-cropped Pasture and became the alert Eye-Witness of some very
weird Doings.

He saw a pop-eyed Person in soiled Négligé, who made threatening
movements toward something concealed in the White Clover, with a
Weapon resembling the iron Dingus used in gouging the Clinkers from a

"What is the plot of the Piece?" he inquired of a Grand Army man,
sitting next.

"I think," replied the Veteran, "I think he is killing a Garter

"Oh, no," spoke up the conversational Conductor, "He is playing
Golluf," giving the word the Terre Haute pronunciation.

Mr. Pallzey looked with pity on the poor Nut who was out in the Hot
Sun, getting himself all lathered up with One-Man Shinny.

He said to G. A. R. that it took all kinds of People to make a World.
The grizzled Warrior rose to an equal Altitude by remarking that if
the dag-goned Loon had to do it for a Living, he'd think it was Work.

Mr. Pallzey had heard of the new Diversion for the Idle Rich, just as
people out in the Country hear of Milk-Sickness or falling Meteors,
both well authenticated but never encountered.

While rummaging through the Sporting Page, he would come across a
cryptic Reference to MacFearson of Drumtochtie being 3 up and 2 to
play on Hargis of Sunset Ho, whereupon he would experience a sense of
annoyance and do a quick Hurdle.

He had seen in various Shop-Windows the spindly Utensils and snowy
Pellets which, he had reason to believe, were affiliated in some way
with the sickening Fad. He would look at them with extreme Contempt
and rather resent their contaminating contiguity to the Mask, the
Shin-Guard, and the upholstered Grabber.

Mr. Pallzey believed that Golf was played by the kind of White Rabbits
who March in Suffrage Parades, wearing Gloves.

The dreaded Thing lay outside of his Orbit and beyond his Ken, the
same as Tatting or Biology. His conception of a keen and sporty game
was Pin Pool or Jacks Only with the Deuce running wild.

One Sunday he was invited out to a Food Saturnalia at a Country Place.
The Dinner was postponed until late in the Day because they all
dreaded it so much.

Friend Host said he had a twosome on at the Club and was trying out an
imported Cleek, so he invited Mr. Pallzey to be a Spectator.

If he had said that he was going up in a Balloon to hemstitch a couple
of Clouds, it would have sounded just as plausible to Mr. Pallzey of
the Wholesale District.

The latter went along, just out of Politeness, but he was a good deal
disappointed in his Friend. It certainly did seem trifling for a
Huskie weighing one hundred and eighty to pick on something about the
size of a Robin's Egg.

Mr. Pallzey played Gallery all around the Course. He would stand
behind them at the Tee and smile in a most calm and superior Manner
while they sand-shuffled and shifted and jiggled and joggled and went
through the whole calisthenic Ritual of St. Vitus.

He was surprised to note how far the Ball would speed when properly
spanked, but he thought there was no valid excuse for overrunning on
the Approaches.

Mr. Pallzey found himself criticizing the Form of the Players. That
should have been his Cue to climb the Fence.

All of the Mashiemaniacs start on the downward Path by making
Mind-Plays and getting under Bogey.

Back on the sloping Sward between No. 18 and the Life-Saving Station,
the two Contestants were holding the usual Post-Mortem.

"Let me see that Dewflicker a minute," said Mr. Pallzey, as he
carelessly extracted a Mid-iron.

He sauntered up to the silly Globule and look an unpremeditated Swipe.
The Stroke rang sweet and vibrant. The ball rose in parabolic Splendor
above the highest branches of a venerable Elm.

Just as the Face of the Club started on the Follow Through, the
Bacillus ran up and bit Mr. Pallzey on the Leg.

He saw the blinking White Spot far out on the emerald Plain. He heard
the murmur of Admiration behind him. He was sorry his Wife had not
been there to take it in.

"Leave me have another Ball," requested Mr. Pallzey.

The Virus was working.

He backed up so as to get a Running Start.

"This time," quoth Mr. Pallzey, "I will push it to Milwaukee."

Missing the Object of Attack by a scant six inches, he did a Genée
toe-spin and fell heavily with his Face among the Dandelions.

The Host brushed him off and said: "Your Stance was wrong; your Tee
was too high; you raised the Left Shoulder; you were too rapid on the
Come-Back; the Grip was all in the Left Hand; you looked up; you moved
your Head at the top of the Stroke; you allowed the Left Knee to turn,
and you stood ahead of the Ball. Otherwise, it was a Loo-Loo."

"If I come out next Sunday could you borrow me a Kit of Tools?" asked
Mr. Pallzey. He was twitching violently and looking at the Ball as if
it had called him a Name. "I got that first one all right, and I

So it was arranged that the poor doomed Creature was to appear on the
following Sabbath and be equipped with a set of Cast-Offs and learn
all about the Mystery of the Ages between 11 A.M. and 2 P.M.

Mr. Pallzey went away not knowing that he was a Marked Man.

On Monday he told the Stenographer how he stung the Ball the first
time up. He said he was naturally quick at picking up any kind of a
Game. He thought it would be a Lark to get the hang of the Whole
Business and then get after some of those Berties in the White Pants.
He figured that Golf would be soft for any one who had played Baseball
when young.

Truly all the raving is not done within the Padded Cells.

He came home in the Sabbath Twilight, walking on his Ankles and
babbling about a Dandy Drive for the Long Hole.

Regarding the other 378 Strokes he was discreetly silent.

He told his Wife there was more in it than one would suppose. The
Easier the Swat, the greater the Carry. And he had made one Hole in

Then he took a Parasol out of the Jar, and illustrated the famous Long
Drive with Moving Pictures, Tableaux, Delsarte, and some newly
acquired technical Drivel, which he mouthed with childish Delight.

Now we see him buying Clubs, although he refers to them as
Sticks--proving that he is still a groping Neophyte.

He thinks that a shorter Shaft and more of a Lay-Back will enable him
to drive a Mile. The Gooseneck Putter will save him two on every Hole.
Also, will the Man please show him an Iron guaranteed to reach all the
way down to the Dimple and plunk it right in the Eye.

Then all of the new Implements laid out at Home and Wife sitting back,
listening to a Lecture as to what will be pulled off on the succeeding
Day of Rest.

She had promised at the Altar to Love, Honor, and Listen. Still, it
was trying to see the once-loved Adult cavorting on the verge of
Dementia and know that she was helpless.

He sallied forth with those going to Early Mass, and returned at the
Vesper Hour caked with Dust and 98 per cent. gone in the Turret.

It seems that at the sixth hole on the Last Round where you cross the
Crick twice, he fell down and broke both Arms and both Legs. So he
tore up the Medal Score, gave all the Clubs to the Caddy, and standing
on the grassy Summit of the tall Ridge guarding the Bunker, he had
lifted a grimy Paw and uttered the Vow of Renunciation.

[Illustration: He tore up the Medal Score, gave all the Clubs to the
Caddy ... lifted a grimy Paw and uttered the Vow of Renunciation]

In other words, he was Through.

The senile Wrecks and the prattling Juveniles, for whom the Game was
invented, could have his Part of it for all time.

Never again would he walk on the Grass or cook his Arms or dribble
Sand all over the dark and trampled Ground where countless Good Men
had suffered.

No, Indeed!

So next day he bought all the Paraphernalia known to the Trade, and
his name was put up at a Club.

It was one of those regular and sure-enough Clubs. High East Winds
prevailed in the Locker-Room. Every member was a Chick Evans when he
got back to the nineteenth hole.

Mr. Pallzey now began to regard the Ancient and Honorable Pastime as a
compendium of Sacraments, Ordeals, Incantations, and Ceremonial

He resigned himself into the Custody of a professional Laddie with
large staring Knuckles and a Dialect that dimmed all the memories of

In a short time the Form was classy, but the Score had to be taken out
and buried after every Round.

Mr. Pallzey saw that this Mundane Existence was not all Pleasure. He
had found his Life-Work. The Lode-Star of his declining Years would be
an even one hundred for the eighteen Flags.

Wife would see him out in the Street, feeling his way along, totally
unmindful of his Whereabouts. She would lead him into the Shade, snap
her Fingers, call his Name, and gradually pull him out of the Trance.

He would look at her with a filmy Gaze and smile faintly, as if partly
remembering and then say: "Don't forget to follow through. Keep the
head down--tight with the left--no hunching--pivot on the hips. For a
Cuppy Lie, take the Nib. If running up with the Jigger, drop her dead.
The full St. Andrews should not be thrown into a Putt. Never up, never
in. Lift the flag. Take a pickout from Casual Water but play the
Roadways. To overcome Slicing or Pulling, advance the right or left
Foot. Schlaffing and Socketing may be avoided by adding a hook with a
top-spin or _vice versa_. The Man says there are twenty-six Things to
be remembered in Driving from the Tee. One is Stance. I forget the
other twenty-five."

Then the Partner of his Joys and Sorrows, with the accent on the Debit
Side, would shoot twenty Grains of Asperin into him and plant him in
the Flax.

Next morning at Breakfast he would break it to her that the Brassie
had developed too much of a Whip and he had decided to try a
forty-inch Shaft.

They had Seasoned Hickory for Breakfast, Bunkers for Luncheon, and the
Fair Green for Dinner.

As a matter of course they had to give up their comfortable Home among
the Friends who had got used to them and move out to a strawboard
Bungalow so as to be near the Execution Grounds.

Mrs. Pallzey wanted to do the White Mountains, but Mr. Pallzey needed
her. He wanted her to be waiting on the Veranda at Dusk, so that he
could tell her all about it, from the preliminary Address to the final

Sometimes he would come home enveloped in a foglike Silence which
would last beyond early Candle Lighting, when he would express the
Opinion that the Administration at Washington had proved a Failure.

Perhaps the very next Evening he would lope all the way up the Gravel
and breeze into her presence, smelling like a warm gust of Air from

He would ask her to throw an Amber Light on the Big Hero. He would
call her "Kid" and say that Vardon had nothing on him. Her man was the
Gink to show that Pill how to take a Joke.

Then she would know that he had won a Box of Balls from Mrs. Talbot's
poor old crippled Father-in-Law.

She could read him like a Barometer. If he and Mr. Hilgus, the Real
Estate Man, came home together fifteen feet apart, she would know it
had been a Jolly Day on the Links.

By the second summer, Mr. Pallzey had worked up until he was allowed
to use a Shower Bath once hallowed by the presence of Jerome Travers.

He was not exactly a Duffer. He was what might be called a sub-Duffer,
or Varnish, which means that the Committee was ashamed to mark up the

He still had a good many superfluous Hands and Feet and was bleeding
freely on every Green.

Sometimes he would last as far as the Water-Hazard and then sink with
a Bubbling Cry.

Notwithstanding which, he kept on trying to look like the Photographs
of Ouimet.

If he spun into the High Spinach off at the Right it was Tough Luck.
If he whanged away with a Niblick down in a bottomless Pit, caromed on
a couple of Oaks, and finally angled off toward the Cup, he would go
around for Days talking about Some Shot.

As his Ambition increased, his Mental Arithmetic became more and more
defective and his Moral Nature was wholly atrophied.

As an Exponent of the more advanced Play he was a Fliv, but as a
Matchmaker he was a Hum-Dinger.

He knew he was plain pastry for the Sharks, so he would hang around
the first Tee waiting to cop out a Pudding.

One day he took on Mrs. Olmstead's Infant Son, just home from Military

The tender Cadet nursed him along to an even-up at the Punch-Bowl and
then proceeded to smear His vital Organs all over the Bad Lands.

That evening Mr. Pallzey told her she would have to cut down on
Household Expenses.

Six years after he gave up the Business Career and consecrated himself
to something more Important, Mr. Pallzey had so well mastered the
baffling Intricacies that he was allowed to trail in a Foursome with
the President of the Club. This happened once.

It is well known that any Person who mooches around a Country Club for
a sufficient Period will have some kind of a Cup wished on to him.

Fourteen years after Mr. Pallzey threw himself into it, Heart and
Soul, and when the Expenses approximated $30,000, he earned his Halo.

One evening he came back to his haggard Companion, chortling
infant-wise, and displayed something which looked like an Eye-Cup with
Handles on it.

He said it was a Trophy. It was a Consolation Offering for Maidens
with an allowance of more than eighteen.

After that their daily Life revolved around the $2 bargain in
Britannia. Mrs. Pallzey had to use Metal Polish on it to keep it from
turning black.

When the Visitors lined up in front of the Mantel and gazed at the
tiny Shaving Mug, the Cellar Champion of the World would regale them
with the story of hair-breadth 'Scapes and moving Adventures by Gravel
Gulleys and rushing Streams on the Memorable Day when he (Pallzey) had
put the Blocks to Old Man McLaughlin, since deceased.

Then he would ask all present to feel of his Forearm, after which he
would pull the Favorite One about Golf adding ten years to his life.

Mrs. Pallzey would be sitting back, pouring Tea, but she never chimed
in with any Estimate as to what had been the effect on her Table of

MORAL: Remain under the Awning.


Elam was the main Whizzer in a huddle of Queen Annes, bounded on the
North by a gleaming Cemetery, on the East by a limping subdivision, on
the South by a deserted Creamery, and on the West by an expanse of

Claudine was the other two-thirds of the Specialty.

She was a snappy little Trick and it was a dull hour of the Day or
Night when she couldn't frame up a new General Order for the

The Marriage came off during the third summer of her twenty-seventh

She accepted Elam about a week before he proposed to her, thus
simplifying the Ordeal.

While the Wafer on the License was still warm, she put on her spangled
Suit, moved to the centre of the Ring, and cracked the Whip.

After that Elam continued to be a Hellion around the Office, but in
his private Quarters he was merely Otto, the Trained Seal.

Claudine could make him Bark, play the Cymbals, or go back to the Blue

There is one Elam in every Settlement.

All the wise Paper-hangers and the fly Guitar Players had him marked
up as a Noodle, but somehow, every time the winning Numbers were hung
out, he would be found in Line, waiting to Cash.

He was not Bright enough to do anything except garner the Gold

Elam had no Ear for Music, and, coming out of the Opera House, never
could remember the name of the Play or which one of the Burglars was
the real Hero.

His Reading was confined to the Headlines of a conservative Paper
which was still printing War News.

Baseball had not come into his Life whatsoever.

A cultured Steno, who knew about George Meredith and Arnold Bennett,
had to do his Spelling for him at 14 Bucks per.

The Cerebellum of Elam was probably about the dimensions of a Malaga

Sizing him by his Looks, one would have opined that Nature meant him
for a Ticket-taker in a suburban Cinema Palace.

Elam was a mental Gnat and a spiritual Microbe, but the Geezer knew
how to annex the Kale.

When Providence is directing the Hand-outs, she very often slips some
Squarehead the canny Gift of corraling the Cush, but holds out all of
the desirable Attributes supposed to distinguish Man from what you see
in the Cages at the Zoo.

After the Pater had earned his Shaft in the Cemetery, Elam became the
Loud Noise around a dinky Manufacturing Plant down by the Yards.

The Cracker Barrel Coterie and all the Old Ladies who had become
muscle-bound from wielding the Sledge predicted that Elam would put
the Organization into the Ditch, wrong side up.

The Well-wishers, the Brotherly Lovers, and the total membership of
the Helping Hand Society sat back waiting for Elam to be dug out of
the Débris, so they could collect Witness Fees at the Autopsy.

The Junior earned their abiding Dislike by putting one across.

He made the Fossils sit up in their padded Rocking Chairs and pay some
attention to the Idiot Child.

He never could hold down any Position until tried out for a Captain of
Industry and then he began to Bat 450 and Field 998.

After the dusty Workmen had manufactured the Product, and the Salesmen
had unloaded it, and the Collectors had brought in the Dinero, then
Elam had to sit at a Mahogany Desk with a Picture of Claudine in front
of him, and figure how much of the hard-earned Mazuma would be doled
out to his greedy Employees.

Sometimes he would be compelled to fork over nearly half of the Gross,
whereupon his Heart would ache and he would become Morose.

In a few Years he had a lot of new Buildings, with Skylights and
improved Machinery and all sorts of humane Appliances to enable the
Working Force to increase the Output.

As the Bank Account expanded and the Happy Couple found themselves
going up, Claudine began to scan the Horizon and act restless-like.

She said the Home Town was Impossible. It certainly did seem Contrary
to Reason.

Any Woman with a salaried Husband could bust into Society if she sang
in a Choir or owned an Ice-cream Freezer.

Claudine was for migrating to some high-toned Community beyond the
Rising Sun, where she could sit in Marble Halls and compare Jewelry
with proud Duennas of her own Station.

Seeing Claudine at the corner of 8th and Central, waiting for the Open
Car, one would not have suspected that she harbored Intentions on the
Court Circles of Europe.

One would merely have guessed that she was on her way to the Drug
Store to purchase much Camphor.

But she had taken a peek at the Palm Rooms and the powdered Lackeys
and the Tea Riot at the Plaza, and she was panting inwardly.

She wanted to hang a silver Bell around her neck and go galloping with
the white-faced Thoroughbreds.

It was no good trying to work up Speed on a half-mile track in the
Prairie Loam.

Once in a while Claudine made a bold Sashay to start something
devilish, but the Fillies trained on the Farm did not seem gaited for
the Grand Circuit.

As for the Servant Problem, it was something ferocious. City Help
could not be lured to the Tall Grass, and all the Locals had been
schooled at the Railway Eating-House.

Elam and Claudine had a Cook named Gusta, born somewhere near the
Arctic Circle in Europe.

Her fried Chicken drowned in thick Gravy came under the head of
Regular Food.

She could turn out Waffles as long as there was a Customer in sight.
The Biscuit on which she specialized were light as Down.

The Things she fixed to Eat were Fine and Dandy but she never had
heard of a Cuisine.

When you took her away from regular Chow and made her tackle something
Casserole or En Tasse, she blew.

Also there was a Maid who should have belonged to the Stevedores'

She could pack Victuals in from the Buttery and slam them down on the
Table, à la Commercial Hotel, but when it came to building up an
intricate Design with an ingrowing Napkin, three spoons, four Knives,
five forks, and all the long-stemmed Glasses, to say nothing of an
artful pyramiding of Cut Flowers around the Candelabra, then she was
simply a female Blacksmith.

Claudine would throw a Dinner once in a while, just to subdue the Wife
and Daughter of the National Bank, but the Crew would nearly always
crab the Entertainment.

With the Support accorded by the solid ivory Staff, she had a fat
Chance to give a correct Imitation of Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish.

All during the nine Courses she had to yelp more Orders than the
Foreman of a Street Gang. A Megaphone would have helped some.

The Hostess who wishes to look and carry on like a Duchess, certainly
finds it vexing when pop-eyed Lizzie leans against all of the
principal Guests in turn and then endeavors to shoot the Episcopalian
Rector in the Neck with a gush of real Champagne.

After one of these sad Affairs, at which the Rummies had balled up the
whole Menu, Claudine came to the front with an Ultimatum. She said she
was going to can the awful Birthplace and spend the remainder of her
Natural among the real Rowdy-Dows.

"Right-o, Babe!" spoke up Elam. "To-day I have put the Works into a
new Combine which makes me a Janitor so far as the Plant is concerned,
but boosts me into the Charley Schwab division when it comes to
Collateral. I have three million Iron Boys and most of it is Turkey. I
am foot-loose and free as a Robin. Let us beat it to the Big Show. It
is about time that the vast Territory lying toward the East should be
aroused from its Lethargy. Go as far as you like."

The two were foxy. For monetary and real-estate Reasons they did not
give it out cold that they were making a final Getaway. They planned
to have Gusta remain at the dear old Dump as a Caretaker, but it was
merely a Bluff.

When the Town Hack followed a Wagon-Load of Trunks to the Depot,
Claudine leaned out and said: "Fare thee well, O you Indian Village!
This is the Parting of the Ways for little Sunshine."

Next we see them in the gaudy Diner, eating Sweetbreads.

Next day thousands of warm-hearted New Yorkers were packed along the
Water Front all the Way from the Battery to Grant's Tomb, giving royal
Welcome to the Corn-fed Pilgrims. At any rate, they were Packed.

When Elam and Claudine entered the Hotel, the discerning Bell-hops had
them stand back until the others had registered.

They were Important but they did not carry any Signs.

Elam should have worn the Letter of Credit on the outside.

After they had taken the Imperial Suite and invited all the Servants
on the Twelfth Floor to a Silver Shower, they found that the
Call-Bells worked fine. If Elam moved in the general direction of a
Button, a handsome West Pointer would flit in with a pitcher of Iced
Water and then hover around for his Bit.

Both realized that the first requisite was a lot of new Scenery.

Even when they rapped sharply with a Spoon and ordered Garçon to hurry
up the Little Birds with a Flagon of St. Regis Bubbles to come along
as a Drench, they realized that they did not look the Parts.

Elam still combed his Hair in the style approved by the "Barbers'
Guide and Manual" for 1887.

Claudine was fully clothed as far up as her Neck and didn't have the
Nerve to hoist the Lorgnette.

Elam went out and had himself draped by a swagger Tailor who was said
to do a lot of Work for the Vanderbilt Boys.

In his Afternoon Wear he resembled the Manager of a Black-Goods

After donning the complete Soup and Fish, known in swozzey circles as
Thirteen and the Odd, he didn't look as much like a Waiter as one
might have supposed. He looked more like the 'Bus who takes away the

Claudine yielded herself up to a Modiste. The Good Woman from out of
Town was a trifle Long in the Tooth at this stage of our Narrative,
but Mme. Bunk convinced her that she was about half way between the
Trundle Bed and her First Party.

She ordered all the Chic Novelties recommended for Flappers, so that
Elam began to walk about ten feet behind her, wondering vaguely if his
Family was still respectable.

The new Harness and a careless habit of counting Money in Public soon
gave them an enviable Reputation in the principal Cafés, although they
could not observe that they were moving any nearer to the Newport

The shift from Pig's Knuckles to Ambrosia and Nectar had been a little
sudden for Elam, and sometimes, when they were darting hither and
thither, from Road-House to Play-House and thence to the Louis XIV
Sitting-Room by way of the Tango-Joint, he would moan a little and act
like a Quitter.

Whereupon Claudine would jack him up and tell him to pull out his
Cuffs and push back the Forelock and try to be Human.

No use. He was strictly Ritz-Carlton from the Pumps to the Topper, but
the word "Boob" was plainly stenciled on the glossy Front.

When they had conquered all the Eating-Places in the Tenderloin they
moved on to Europe, where they were just as welcome as Influenza.

It was great to sit in the Savoy at the Supper Hour, surrounded by the
best known people mentioned in the Court Circulars.

It was indeed a privilege for Elam and Claudine to be among the
British Cousins, even if the British Cousins did not seem to place
Elam and Claudine.

Looking in any direction they could see naught but frosty and
forbidding Shoulder Blades.

After partaking of their Sole and Grouse and winning a pleasant
"Good-Night" from the Chevalier in the Check-Room, they would escape
to their Apartments and talk to the Dog.

In Paris they did better.

They learned that by going out on the Boulevard and whistling, they
could summon a whole Regiment of high-born and patrician

Most of the Titles were slightly worm-eaten and spotted with Scale,
but nevertheless Genuine.

It was Nuts for Claudine to assemble all of the Noblemen to be picked
up around the Lobby and give them a free run and jump at the Carte du

Her Dinners soon became the talk of the Chambermaids employed at the

Any one willing to cut loose on Caviar and stuff raised under Glass
will never have to dine alone in gay Paree.

Whenever Elam made a noise like 1000 Frongs he found a lot of
well-bred Connoisseurs at his Elbow, all ready to have something
unusual brought up from the Cellar.

The securing of an Invitation to one of Claudine's formal Dinners was
almost as difficult as getting into Luna Park.

However, the list of guests sounded Real when sent back to America and
printed for the entertainment of persons living in Boarding-Houses.

Claudine became slightly puffed. When she found herself between a
couple of perfumed Lads wearing Medals she would give Friend Husband
the Office to move to one side and curl up in the Grass and not ruin
the Ensemble by butting in.

Elam was usually at the foot of the Table behind a mass of Orchids.
Once in a while he would try to crowd into the Conversation just to
let them know that old Ready Money was still present, but every time
he came up Dearie would do her blamedest to Bean him and put him out
of the Game.

Claudine could make a stab at the new Pictures in the Salon and even
run nimbly around the edge of the Futurist vogue.

Elam was ready to discuss Steamship Lines or Railway Accommodations,
but when he was put against the Tall Brows he began to burn low and
smell of the Wick.

Often, when surfeited with Truffles, he would wonder what had become
of the Green Corn, the K. and K., the regular Chicken with Giblets,
the Hot Cherry Pie, the smoking Oyster Stew, and the Smearcase with
Chives, such as Gusta used to send in.

These reminders of a lowly Past were very distasteful to Claudine.

Once he talked in his Sleep about Codfish Balls, and next morning she
lit on him something ramfugious.

After the Parisian triumphs it seemed a safe bet to return home and
make a new effort to mingle with the Face-Cards.

This time they took a House in New York and went after Grand Opera as
if they knew what it was about.

The Son of an Earl consented to Buttle for them. He refused them
Butter with their Meals and kept them trembling most of the time, but
they determined to do things Right, even if both died of Nervous

When they began making real Headway and were recognized in the Park by
some of the Headliners, Claudine would chide Elam for his early Doubts
and Fears.

"This has got the Middle West skinned forty ways from the Jack," she
would exclaim, gayly, as they motored up the Avenue. "Me for the White
Lights! It's a good thing you had a Pacemaker or you would now be
wearing detachable Cuffs and putting Sugar on your Lettuce."

Two years had elapsed since the escape from being Buried Alive.

They were, to all outward appearances, City-broke.

One day Claudine allowed that she was tired of Bridge and the gay
Routine. She announced that she was slipping away to Virginia Hot
Springs to cool off and rest.

Elam said that while she was lying up, he would inspect certain Mining
Properties in Canada.

He drove Honey to the train, then he tore back to the palatial Home,
chucked a few Props into a Suit Case and headed for the Grand Central.

He never stopped going until he ducked in the Back Way, through the
Grape Arbor, past the Woodshed, into the Kitchen of the old Homestead
in which he first saw the Light of Day.

Gusta nearly keeled when she lamped the long-lost Boss.

"Get busy," he said. "One fried Steak, the size of a Lap-Robe,
smothered with Onions, two dozen Biscuits without any Armor Plate, one
bushel of home-made Pork and Beans, much Butter, and a Gallon of
Coffee in a Tureen."

"You will have to wait a while," said the faithful Gusta. "There is a
double order of Ham and Turnips ahead of you. While you are waiting
you might go up and call on the Missus. She has put on her old Blue
Wrapper and the Yarn Slippers and is now lying on a Feather Tick in
the Spare Room."

MORAL: The only City People are those born so.


A stub-nosed Primary Pupil, richly endowed with old-gold Freckles,
lived in a one-cylinder Town, far from the corroding influences of the
Stock Exchange.

He arrived during the age of Board Sidewalks, Congress Gaiters, and
Pie for Breakfast.

The Paper Collar, unmindful of the approaching Celluloid, was still
affected by the more tony Dressers. Prison-made Bow Ties, with the
handy elastic Fastener, were then considered right Natty.

Limousines, Eugenics, Appendicitis, and the regulation of Combines
were beyond the rise of the Hill, so the talk was mostly about the
Weather and Married Women.

The baptismal Cognomen of the mottled Offspring was Alexander Campbell
Purvis, but on account of his sunny Disposition he was known to the
Countryside as Aleck.

One morning the Lad did his crawl from under the Quilt at an hour when
our Best People of the new Century are sending away the empty Siphons.

He was acting on a Hunch.

The far-famed Yankee Robinson show, with the Trick Mule and the
smiling Tumblers, had exhibited the day before on the vacant Lot
between the Grist-Mill and the Parsonage.

Aleck was familiar with the juvenile Tradition that Treasure could be
discovered at or near the trampled Spot on which the Ticket-Wagon had
been anchored.

It was known that the agitated Yahoos from up in the Catfish Country
were likely to fumble and spill their saved-up Currency, thereby
avoiding the trouble of handing it over to the Grafters later on.

Aleck was the first Prospector to show. He got busy and uncovered a
Silver Buck.

It looked about the size of a Ferris Wheel.

While beating it for the parental Roof he began laying out in his Mind
all the Pleasures of the Flesh that he could command with the Mass of

The miscue he made was to flash his Fortune in the Family Circle.

After breakfast he found himself being steered to the Farmers &
Merchants' Bank.

He was pried away from the Cart-Wheel and given a teeny little Book
which showed that he was a Depositor.

"Now, Alexander C.," said his Ma, "if you will shin up the ladder and
pick Cherries every day this week at two cents per Quart, by nightfall
of Saturday you will have another Case-Note to put into Cold Storage."

"But, if I continue dropping the proceeds of my Labor into the
Reservoir, what is there in it for me?" asked the inquisitive Chick.

His mother replied, "Why, you will have the Gratification of moving up
to the Window at the Bank and earning a Smile of Approbation from old
Mr. Fishberry with the Throat Whiskers."

So the aspiring Manikin clung to the perilous Tree-Tops day after day,
dropping the ruby Cherries into the suspended Bucket, while all of the
Relatives stood on the ground and applauded.

One day there was a Conference and it was discovered that little Aleck
was solvent to the extent of $2.80.

"Would it not be Rayzorius?" queried the Sire of Alexander; "would it
not be Ipskalene if Aleck kept on and on until he had assembled five
whole Dollars?"

Thus spurred to Endeavor by a large and rooting Gallery, the Urchin
went prowling for Old Iron, which he trundled off to the Junkman.

Also for empty Bottles, which he laboriously scoured and delivered at
the Drug Store for a mere dribble of Chicken Feed.

The sheet of Copper brought a tidy Sum, while old Mrs. Arbuckle
wondered what had become of her Wash-Boiler.

With a V to his Credit, Aleck put a Padlock on every Pocket in his
Store Suit and went Money-Mad.

He acquired a Runt and swilled it with solicitude until the Butcher
made him an offer.

It was a proud Moment when he eased in the $7.60 to T. W. Fishberry,
who told him to keep on scrouging and some day he would own a share in
the Building & Loan.

Our Hero fooled away his time in School until he was all of eleven
years old, when he became associated with one Blodgett in the Grocery
Business, at a weekly Insult of Two Bones.

All the time Aleck was cleaning the Coal-Oil Lamps or watching the New
Orleans Syrup trickle into the Jug, he was figuring how much of the
Stipend he could segregate and isolate and set aside for the venerable
Mr. Fishberry, the Taker-In up at the Bank with the Chinchilla on the

For ten long years the White Slave tested Eggs and scooped the C

When Aleck became of Age, Mr. Blodgett was compelling him to take $30
the first of every month.

He lived on Snowballs in the Winter and Dandelions in the Summer, but
he had paid $800 on a two-story Brick facing Railroad Street.

His name was a Byword and Hissing among the Pool-Players.
Nevertheless, he stood Ace High with the old Two-per-cent-a Month up
at the Abattoir known as the Farmers & Merchants' Bank.

The Boys who dropped in every thirty Days came to know him as a Wise
Fish and a Close Buyer. They boosted at Headquarters, so the first
thing you know Aleck was a Drummer, with two Grips bigger than
Dog-Houses and a chance to swing on the Expense Account.

A lowly and unsung Wanamaker would be sitting in his Prunery, wearing
Yarn Wristlets to keep warm and meditating another Attack on the
Bottle of Stomach Bitters in the Safe, when Aleck would breeze in and
light on him and sell him several Gross of something he didn't need.

The Traveling Salesman dug up many a Cross-Roads overlooked by the

He knew how to pin a Rube against the Wall and make him say "Yes."

He rode in Cabooses, fought the Roller-Towels, endured the Taunts of
Ess, Bess, and Tess who shot the Sody Biscuit, and reclined in the
Chamber of Horrors, entirely surrounded by Wall-Paper, but what cared

He was salting the Spon.

He was closing in on the Needful.

For a term of years he lived on Time-Tables and slept sitting up.

Day after day he dog-trotted through a feverish Routine of unpacking
and packing, and then climbing back to the superheated Day Coach among
the curdled Smells.

Every January 1st he did a Gaspard Chuckle when he checked up the
total Get, for now he owned two Brick Buildings and had tasted a
little Blood in the way of Chattel Mortgages.

One of the partners in the Jobbing Concern happened to die. Before
Rigor Mortis could set in or the Undertaker had time to flash a Tape
Measure, Aleck was up at the grief-stricken Home to cop out an Option
on the Interest.

Now he could give the Cackle to all the Knights of the Road who had
blown their Substance along the gay White Ways of Crawfordsville,
Bucyrus, and Sedalia.

He was the real Gazook with a Glass Cage, a sliding Desk and a whole
Battery of Rubber Stamps.

In order to learn every Kink of the Game, freeze out the other Holders
of Stock and gradually possess himself of all the Money in the World,
Aleck now found it necessary to organize himself into both a Day and a
Night Shift and have his Lunches brought in.

The various Smoothenheimers who were out on the Road had a proud
chance to get by with the padded Expense Account. Aleck could smell a
Phoney before he opened the Envelope, because that is how he got His.

With a three-ton Burden on his aching Shoulders, he staggered up the
flinty Incline.

Away back yonder, while sleeping above the Store, a vision had come to
him. He saw himself sitting as a Director at a Bank Meeting--an
enlarged and glorified Fishberry.

Now he was playing Fox and pulling for the Dream to work out.

The cold-eyed Custodians up at the main Fortress of Credit began to
take notice of the Rustler.

He was a Glutton for Punishment, a Discounter from away back, and a
Demon for applying the Acid Test to every Account.

He was a Sure-Thinger, air-tight and playing naught but Cinches. No
wonder they all took a slant at him and spotted him as a Comer.

The Business Associates of Alexander liked to see Europe from the
inside every summer and investigate the Cocktail Crop of Florida every
winter, so they allowed him to be the Works.

He began building the Skids which finally carried them to the Fresh
Air and left only one name on the Gold Sign.

Up to his Chin in Debt and with a Panic looming on the Horizon, it
behooved Alexander to be on the job at 7:30 A.M. and hang around to
scan the Pay-Roll until 9:30 P.M.

Ofttimes while galloping from his Apartment to the Galleys or chasing
homeward to grab off a few wasteful hours of Slumber, he would see
People of the Lower Classes going out to the Parks with Picnic
Baskets, or lined up at the Vaudeville Palaces, or watching a
hard-faced Soubrette demonstrate something in a Show Window.

It got him to think Dubs could frivol around and waste the golden
Moments when they might be hopping on to a Ten-Cent Piece.

His usual Gait was that of a man going for the Doctor, and he talked
Numbers to himself as he sped along and mumbled over the important
Letters he was about to dictate.

[Illustration: He talked Numbers to himself as he sped along and
mumbled over the important Letters he was about to dictate]

Those who were pushed out of his way would overhear a scrap or two of
the Raving and think he was Balmy.

The answer is that every hard-working Business Guy acts as if he had
Screech-Owls in the Tower.

Aleck had his whole Staff so buffaloed that the Hirelings tried to
keep up with him, so that Life in the Beehive was just one thing after
another, with no Intermission.

The Whip cracked every five minutes, and the Help would dig in their
toes and take a fresh lean-up against the Collars, for the Main
Squeeze was trying to be a Bank Director, and Rockefeller had stolen a
long start on him.

With a thousand important Details claiming his attention, Aleck had no
time to monkey with side issues such as the general State of his
Health or the multifarious plans for uplifting the Flat-Heads that he
could see from his Window.

Those who recommended Golf to him seemed to forget that no one ever
laid by anything while on the Links.

As for the Plain People, his only Conviction when he surveyed them in
the Mass was that every Man-Jack was holding back Money that
rightfully belonged to him (Alexander).

Needless to say, the battling Financier was made welcome at the
Directors' Table and handed a piece of a Trust Company and became an
honored Guest when any Melon was to be sliced.

All that he dreamt while sleeping in the cold room over the Store had
eventuated for fair.

The more Irons in the Fire, the more flip-flops he turned.

He never paused, except to weep over the fact that some of the rival
Procurers were getting more than he could show. It was an unjust

Brushing away the salty Tears, he would leap seven feet into the Air
and spear a passing Dollar.

By the time he had the Million necessary for the support of a suitable
and well-recommended Lady, he was too busy to go chasing and too foxy
to split his Pile with a rank Outsider.

His Motor-Car squawked at the Sparrow Cops when they waved their Arms.

The engineer who pulled the Private Car always had his Orders to hit
it up.

Sometimes the Private Secretary would drop out from Exhaustion, but
the Human Dynamo never slowed up. He would shout his General Orders
into the Cylinder of a Talking Machine.

He reposed at Night with a Ticker on his Bosom and a Receiver at his

When he finally flew the Track and blew out the Carburetor, they had
to use a Net to get him under Control so that he could be carted away
to the Hospital.

Then the Trained Nurse had to practise all the Trick Holds known to
Frank Gotch to keep him from arising to resume the grim Battle against
his Enemies on the Board.

He fluttered long before calming down, but finally they got him all
spread out and as nice a Patient as one could wish to see.

When he was too weak to start anything, Doc sat down and cheered him
along by telling what Precautions should have been taken, along about

"And now, I have some News for you," said the Practitioner, holding in
his Grief so well that no one could notice it. "You are going away
from here. Owing to the total absence of many Organs commonly regarded
as essential, it will be impossible for you to go back to the Desk and
duplicate any of your notable Stunts. No doubt we shall be able to
engage Six Men of Presentable Appearance to act as Pall-Bearers. It is
our purpose to proceed to the Cemetery by Automobile so as not to
impede Traffic on any of the Surface Lines in which you are so heavily
interested. I congratulate you on getting so far along before being
tripped up, and I am wondering if you have a Final Request to make."

"Just one," replied the Great Man. "I'd like to have you or somebody
else tell me what it's all been about."

The only remaining Fact to be chronicled is that the original Dollar,
picked up on the Circus Lot, was found among the Effects.

A Nephew, whom Alexander Campbell Purvis never had seen, took the
Dollar and with it purchased two Packs of Egyptian Cigaroots, Regal
size, with Gold Tips.

MORAL: A pinch of Change, carefully put by, always comes in handy.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Ade's Fables" ***

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