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Title: Skiddoo!
Author: McHugh, Hugh
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Skiddoo!" ***

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[Frontispiece: The sweetest picture of family contentment I have ever
witnessed.]



SKIDDOO!


BY HUGH McHUGH

(George V. Hobart)



AUTHOR OF

"JOHN HENRY," "DOWN THE LINE WITH JOHN HENRY," "IT'S UP TO YOU," "BACK
TO THE WOODS," "OUT FOR THE COIN," "I NEED THE MONEY," "I'M FROM
MISSOURI," "YOU CAN SEARCH ME," "GET NEXT," ETC.



ILLUSTRATIONS BY

GORDON H. GRANT



TORONTO

THE COPP, CLARK CO., LTD.

PUBLISHERS



COPYRIGHT, 1906,

BY G. W. DILLINGHAM Co.


ISSUED MARCH, 1906.


All rights strictly reserved, and any infringement of copyright will be
dealt with according to law.



SKIDDOO!



CONTENTS


JOHN HENRY ON UPPER BERTHS

JOHN HENRY ON COOKS

JOHN HENRY ON PATRIOTISM

JOHN HENRY ON MOSQUITOES

JOHN HENRY ON STREET CAR ETIQUETTE

JOHN HENRY ON SOCIAL AFFAIRS

JOHN HENRY ON CHAFING DISHES



ILLUSTRATIONS


The sweetest picture of family contentment I have
  ever witnessed . . . . . . _Frontispiece_

I made a short prayer and concluded to fall out

Ollie was half Swede and the rest of her was deaf

With the fire-crackers cheering him on

"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" [missing from book]

"Naw, we don't take no transfers, needer!"



To the five hundred and seventy-five thousands friends who have made
this series of John Henry books a success beyond all dreaming, my
deepest gratitude.

To the Good Fellows of the Press who have looked upon John Henry with
the Eye of Understanding, and who, realizing that these books were
never intended to be more than an humble form of entertainment, have
written thereof with the Pen of Patience, I say thank you, with all my
heart.

To the Busy Little Bunch of Newspaper Knockers who have so assiduously
plied hammer and harpoon since this series began, I want to say that
575,000 John Henry books were sold up to March 1st, 1906.

There is your answer, O Beloved of the Short Arm Jab!

Ponder thereon, ye Little Brothers of the Knock-Out Drops, Five Hundred
and Seventy-five Thousand books sold (and mine is twelve per cent. of
the gross) while you are STILL drawing your little $18 per and STILL
singing second tenor in the Anvil Chorus.

Now O, sweet-scented Companions of the Crimp, and Brethren of the
Double-Cross, ask your weazened little souls what's the use?

Skiddoo for yours!

G. V. H.



SKIDDOO


CHAPTER I

JOHN HENRY ON UPPER BERTHS

I was down on the card to make a quick jump to Pittsburg a few nights
ago, and I'm a lemon if I didn't draw an upper berth in the sleeping
car thing!

Say!  I'll be one of a party of six to go before Congress and tell all
I know about an upper berth.

And I'd like to tell it right now while I'm good and hot around the
collar.

The upper berth in a sleeping car is the same relation to comfort that
a carpet tack is to a bare foot.

As a place to tie up a small bundle of sleep a boiler factory has it
beat to a whimper.

Strong men weep every time the ticket agent says, "Nothing left but an
upper," and lovely women have hysterics and begin to make faces at the
general public when the colored porter points up in the air and says,
"Madam, your eagle's nest is ready far up the mountain side."

The sleeping car I butted into a few nights ago was crowded from the
cellar to the attic and everybody present bumped into everybody else,
and when they weren't bumping into each other they were over in a
corner somewhere biting their nails.

While the porter was cooking up my attack of insomnia I went out in the
smoking-room to drown my sorrow, but I found such a bunch of sorrow
killers out there ahead of me that I had to hold the comb and brush in
my lap and sit up on the towel rack while I took a little smoke.

Did you ever notice on your travels that peculiar hog on the train who
pays two dollars for a berth and always displaces eight dollars' worth
of space in the smoking car?

If he would bite the end of a piece of rope and light up occasionally
it wouldn't be so bad, but nix on the smoke for him.

He simply sits there with a face like a fish and keeps George Nicotine
and all the real rag burners from enjoying a smoke.

If ever a statue is needed of the patriot Buttinski I would suggest a
model in the person of the smokeless smoker who always travels in the
smoking-car.

Two busy gazabes were discussing politics when I squeezed into the
smoker on this particular occasion, and I judge they both had lower
berths, otherwise their minds would have been busy with dark and
personal fears of the future.

"Well," exclaimed the gabby one from Kansas City, "what _is_ politics?
Well, what is it?"

"Politics," replied Wise Willie from Providence, "politics is where we
get it--sometimes in the bank, sometimes in the neck!"

Everybody present peeled the cover off a loud laugh and the smokeless
hog at the window stole four inches extra space so that he could shake
more when he giggled.

"Well," resumed the inquisitive person from Kansas City, "what is a
politician?  Do you know?  Eh, well, what is a politician?"

"A politician," replied the fat man from Providence, "a politician is
the reason we have so much politics."

Much applause left the hands of those present, and the smokeless hog
turned sideways so that he could make the others more uncomfortable.

"Perhaps," insinuated gabby Jim from Kansas City, "perhaps you know
what a statesman is, eh?"

"A statesman is a politician in good luck," was the come-back from our
fat friend from Providence, and in the enthusiasm which followed the
smokeless hog found out there was no buffet car on the train, so he
offered to buy the drinks.

"Don't you believe that all men are born equal?" inquired the Kansas
Cityite.

"Yes, but some of them have pull enough to get over it," responded the
Providence philosopher, whereupon the smokeless hog by the window took
out a flask and began to dampen his conscience.

Just then the towel rack fell with a crash, and after I picked up the
comb and the brush and myself I decided to retire to my bracket on the
wall and try to sleep.

When I left the smoker the smokeless hog was occupying two and a half
seats and was now busy breathing in some second-hand cigarette smoke
which nobody seemed to care for.

"How do I reach my Alpine bungalow?" I said to the porter, whereupon he
laughed teethfully and hit me on the shins with a step-ladder.

The spectacular gent who occupied the star chamber beneath my garret
was sleeping as noisily as possible, and when I started up the
step-ladder he began to render Mendelssohn's obligato for the trombone
in the key of G.

Above the roar of the train from away off in lower No. 2 faintly I
could hear an answering bugle call.

I climbed up prepared for the worst and in the twinkling of an eye the
porter removed the stepladder and there I was, sitting on the perilous
edge of my pantry shelf with nothing to comfort me save the exhaust of
a professional snorer.

After about five minutes devoted to a parade of all my sins I began to
try to extract my personality from my coat, but when I pushed my arm up
in the air to get the sleeve loose my knuckles struck the hard-wood
finish and I fell backward on the cast-iron pillow, breathing hoarsely
like a busy jack rabbit.

I waited about ten minutes while my brain was bobbing back and forth
with the excitement of running fifty miles an hour over a careless part
of the country, and then I cautiously tried to approach my shoe laces.

Say! if you're a man and you weigh in the neighborhood of 225 pounds,
most of which is in the region of the equator, you will appreciate what
it means to lie on your back in an upper berth and try to get your
shoes off.

And this goes double for the man who weighs more than 225 pounds.

Every time I reached for my feet to get my shoes off I bumped my head
off, and the more I bumped my head off the less I got my shoes off, and
the less I got my shoes off the more I seemed to bump my head off, so I
decided that in order to keep my head on I had better keep my shoes on
also.

Then I tried to divorce my suspenders from my shoulders, but just as I
got the suspenders half way over my head I struck my crazy bone on the
rafters, and there I was, suspendered between Heaven and earth, but
praying with all my heart for a bottle of arnica.

_Then_ I decided to sleep as nature made me, with all my clothes on,
including my rubbers.

So I stretched out, but just then the train struck a curve and I went
up in the air till the ceiling hit me, and then I bounced over to the
edge of the precipice and hung there, trembling on the verge.

Below me all was dark and gloomy, and only by the hoarse groans of the
snorers could I tell that the Pullman Company was still making money.

Luck was with me, however, for just then the train struck an in-shoot
curve which pushed me to the wall, and I bumped my head so completely
that I fell asleep.

When I woke up a small package of daylight was peeping into the car, so
I decided to descend from my cupboard shelf at once.

I peeped out through the aluminum curtains, but there was no sign of
the colored porter and the step-ladder was invisible to the naked eye.

The car was peaceful now with the exception of a gent in lower No. 4,
who had a strangle hold on a Beethoven sonata and was beating the
cadenza out of it.

I made a short prayer and concluded to fall out, but just then one of
my feet rested on something solid, so I put both feet on it and began
to step down.

[Illustration: I made a short prayer and concluded to fall out.]

Alas, however, the moment I put my weight on it my stepping-stone gave
way and I fell overboard with a splash.

"How dare you put your feet on my head?" yelled the man on the ground
floor of my bedroom.

"Excuse me! it felt like something wooden," I whispered, while I dashed
madly for the smoker.

From that day to this I have never been able to look a Pullman car in
the face, and whenever anybody mentions an upper berth to me I lose my
presence of mind and get peevish.

If you have ever been there yourself I know you don't blame me!

Do you?



CHAPTER II

JOHN HENRY ON COOKS

When my wife made the suggestion that we should give a Thanksgiving
dinner to our friends in the neighborhood it almost put me to the ropes.

You know I'm not much on the social gag, and to have to sit up and make
good-natured faces at a lot of strangers gives me intermittent pains in
the neck.

"Why should we give them a dinner?" I asked my wife.  "Aren't most of
them getting good wages, and why should we kill the fatted calf for a
lot of home-made prodigals?"

"John, don't be so selfish!" was my wife's get-back.  "There's a long
winter ahead of us, and when we give one dinner to seven people that
means seven people to give us seven dinners.  Don't you see how our
little plates of soup will draw compound interest if we invite the
right people?"

My wife is a friend of mine, so I refused to quarrel with her.

"All right, my dear," I said, "but you must give the dinner one week
before Thanksgiving."

"One week before Thanksgiving!" my wife re-echoed, "and why, pray?"

"Because this will give our guests a chance to recover from your
cooking before the real day of prayer comes around, and by that time
they will begin to think about you with kindness, perhaps."

My wife stung me with her cruel eyes and went out in the kitchen where
the new cook was breaking a lot of our best dishes which did not appeal
to her.

The name of this new cook was Ollie Olsen.

Ollie was half Swede and the rest of her was deaf.

[Illustration: Ollie was half Swede and the rest of her was deaf.]

When Ollie came to the house to get a job my wife asked her for her
recommendations.

Ollie said that her face was her only recommendation, but that she was
out late the night before and broke her recommendation just above the
chin.

Anyway, my wife engaged her, because what good is a hearty appetite
when the kitchen is empty.

Ollie said that she was a first-class cook, but when we dared her to
prove it she forgot my wife was a lady and threw the coal-scuttle at
her.

A day or two after Ollie arrived I decided to find out what merit there
is in a vegetarian diet.

"All right," I said to the cook, after the last plate of hash with all
its fond memories had disappeared, "this house is going on a diet for a
few days, and henceforth we are all vegetarians, including the dog.
Please govern yourself accordingly."

Ollie smiled Swedefully and whispered that vegetarianisms was where she
lived.

Ollie said she could cook vegetables so artistically that the palate
would believe them to be _filet Mignon_, with Pommery sauce, and then
she started in to fool the Beef Trust and put all the butchers out of
business.

Dinner time came and we were all expectancy.

The first course was mashed potatoes, which we just dabbled with
gingerly.

The second course was potato chips, which we nibbled slightly while we
looked eagerly at the butler's pantry.

The next course was French fried potatoes with some shoestring potatoes
on the side, and I began to get nervous.

This was followed by a dish of German fried potatoes, some hash-browned
potatoes and some potato _sauté_, whereupon my appetite got up and left
the room.

The next course was plain boiled potatoes with the jackets on, and
baked potatoes with the jackets open at the throat, and then some
roasted potatoes with a peek-a-boo waist effect, cut on the bias.

I was beginning to see the delights of being a vegetarian and at the
same time I could feel myself fixing my fingers to choke Ollie.

The next course was a large plate of potato salad, and then I fainted.

When I got back Ollie was standing near the table with a sweet smile on
each side of her face waiting for the applause of those present.

"Have you nothing else?" I inquired, hungrily.

"Oh, yes!" said Ollie.  "I have some potato pudding for desert."

When I got through swearing Ollie was under the stove, my wife was
under the table, the dog was under the bed, and I was under the
influence of liquor.

No more vegetarianism in mine.

Hereafter I am for that lamb chop thing, first, last and always.

But let's get back to that Thanksgiving dinner.

My wife invited Mr. and Mrs. William T. Hodge, Joe Coyne and his wife,
and their daughter, Cuticura; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Doane, and their son,
Communipaw; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Golden, and their niece, Casanova; and
Mr. and Mrs. Riley Hatch.

Charlie Swayne was the referee.

My wife was so worried about the cook that before dinner time arrived
she had an attack of nervous postponement.

As a matter of fact, we were both in fear and trembling that Ollie
would send a tomato salad from the kitchen and before it reached the
table it would become a chop suey.

Anyway, the guests arrived promptly, and I could see from their faces
that they would fight that dinner to a finish.

The ladies began to chat pleasantly while they sized up our furniture
out of the corners of their eyes, and the men glanced carelessly around
to see if I had a box of cigars which would require their attention
after dinner.

Pretty soon dinner was announced and they all jumped to their feet as
though they had stepped on a third rail.

I believe in being thrifty, but the way some of those people saved up
their hunger for our dinner was too penurious for mine.

I took Mrs. Hodge in and she took in my wife's dress to see if it was
made over from last year's.

Young Communipaw Doane tried hard not to reach the table first, but a
plate of Dill-pickles caught his eye and he won from old man Hodge by
an arm.

The first round was oyster cocktails and everybody drew cards.

This was Ollie's maiden attempt at making oyster cocktails and she had
original ideas about them, which consisted of salad oil instead of
tomato ketchup.

The salad oil came from Italy, so the oysters were extremely foreign to
the taste.

After eating his cocktail Riley Hatch began to turn pale and inquired
politely if we raised our own oysters.

But just then little Cutey Coyne upset a glass of water and changed the
subject, and the complexion of the tablecloth.

The next round was mock turtle soup, and it made a deep impression,
especially on Charlie Swayne, because little Casanova Golden upset her
share in his lap when he least expected it.

Charlie was very nice about it, however.

He only swore twice, then he remembered once a gentleman always a
gentleman and he did not strike the girl.

After a while we all convinced Charlie that the laugh was on the soup
and not on him, and when the fish came on he forgot his troubles by
getting a bone in his throat.

When Charlie began to talk like a trout, old man Hodge grabbed the
bread knife and begged to be allowed to carve his initials on
somebody's wishbone.

But Joe Coyne finally pacified him by a second helping of Bermuda
onions.

I opened a third bottle of Pommery just to show I wasn't stingy.

Then came the Thanksgiving turkey, and this is where that Swede cook of
ours won the blue ribbon.

My wife had told her to stuff it with chestnuts, but Ollie thought
chestnuts too much of an old joke, so she stuffed it with peanut
brittle.

Ollie had noticed some other things about the kitchen which looked
lonesome, so she decided to put them in the turkey, too.

One of these was the corkscrew.

When I went to carve the turkey I found a horseshoe which Ollie had put
in for luck.

It made my wife extremely nervous to see the can-opener, a pair of
scissors, and nine clothes-pins come out of that turkey, but Jack
Golden said that their last cook tried to stuff their last turkey with
the garden hose, so my wife felt better.

The next round was some salad which Ollie had dressed in the kitchen,
but the dress was such a bad fit that nobody could look at it without
blushing.

Then we had some home-made ice cream for desert.

The ice was very good, but Ollie forgot to add the cream, so it tasted
rather insipid.

Every time there was a lull in the conversation Charlie Swayne kept
yelling for a Bronx cocktail, and the only thing that kept him from
getting it was the fact that Riley Hatch wanted to tell the story of
his life.

Anyway, the dinner came to a finish without anybody fainting, and the
guests went home, a little hungry but unpoisoned.

The next morning my wife spoke bitterly to Ollie and she left us,
followed by the Thanksgiving prayers of all those present.

The only thing about the house that loved Ollie was a pair of earrings
belonging to my wife, and they went with her.



CHAPTER III

JOHN HENRY ON PATRIOTISM

Uncle Peter spent the Fourth of July at his old home in Ohio.  I must
show you a letter he wrote me a few days after that noisy event.


Dear John:

We had a nice quiet time on the Fourth with the exception of my ankle,
which was somewhat dislocated because my foot stepped on an infant
bombshell which same exploded for my benefit.

I like the idea of the Fourth with the exception of the noise.

I believe that if our forefathers had suspected that their
great-grandchildren would make such an infernal racket on the Fourth of
July they would have waited for a snow storm on the 16th of January
before signing their John Hancocks, because then it would be too cold
to explode firecrackers under your neighbor's eyebrows when he least
expects it.

We had a nice quiet time at home on the Fourth, John, with the
exception that little Oscar Maddy, who lives next door, presented me
with a Roman candle which joined me between the third button on my
waistcoat and the solar plexus.

I acknowledged the receipt by falling off the front step and barking my
shoulder.

You should always remember, John, that the Fourth is the day when your
patriotic voice should climb out of your thorax and make the welkin
ring, but it isn't really necessary to get up a row between a stick of
dynamite and a keg of giant powder to prove that you love the cause of
liberty.

You will find that some of our best citizens--men who love liberty with
an everlasting love--are hiding in the cellar with both hands over
their ears from July 3d to July 5th.

We had a nice quiet time at home on the Fourth, John, with the
exception that your second cousin, Randolph, tried to explode a toy
cannon and removed the apex of his thumb and about half of the
dining-room window.

It may be necessary to celebrate the birth of freedom by bursting forth
into noise, but my idea, John, is that Old Glory would like it much
better if we were more subdued and kept our children on the earth
instead of letting them go up in the air in small fragments.

We had a very quiet time at home, John, on the Fourth with the
exception of your distant relative, Uncle Joseph Carberry.  Uncle Joe
annexed about six mint juleps and then went to sleep on the front porch
with five packs of firecrackers in his coat pocket.

Full of the spirt [Transcriber's note: spirit?] of liberty, your
interesting cousin, Randolph, set fire to your Uncle's pocket, and when
last seen your Uncle Joe was rushing over hill and dale in the general
direction of Hartford, Connecticut, with the firecrackers cheering him
on.

[Illustration: With the firecrackers cheering him on.]

Liberty, John, is the only real thing in this world for a nation, but
just why the glorious cause of freedom should be slapped in the face
with an imitation of the bombardment of Port Arthur is something which
I must have misconstrued.

We had a very quiet time here at home on the Fourth, John, with the
exception that another interesting cousin of yours, my young namesake,
Peter Grant, tied a giant firecracker to the cat's tail, and the cat
went to the kitchen to have her explosion.

It took two hours and seven neighbors to get your good old Aunt Maggie
out of the refrigerator, which was the place selected for her by the
catastrophe.

The stove lost all the supper it contained; little Peter Grant lost two
eyebrows and his Buster Brown hair; the cat lost seven of its lives,
and the glorious cause of Freedom got a send-off that could be heard
nineteen miles.

We all missed you, John, but maybe it is better you were not at home on
the Fourth, because the doctor is occupying your room so that he could
be near the wounded--otherwise, we are all well.

I think, John, that when Freedom was first invented by George
Washington the idea was to make it something quiet and modest which he
could keep about the house and which he could look at once in a while
without getting nervous prostration.

But George forgot to leave full instructions, and nowadays when the
Birthday of Freedom rolls around the impulsive American public wakes up
at daylight, shoves up the window and begins to hurl torpedoes at the
house next door, because a noise in the air is worth two noises on the
quiet.

We had a very quiet Fourth at home, John, with the exception of your
second cousin, Hector, who patriotically attached himself to a hot-air
balloon, and when last seen was hovering over Erie, Pa., and making
signs to his parents not to wait supper for him.

Most of our neighbors for miles in every direction have sons and
daughters missing, but what could they expect when a child will try to
put a pound of powder in four inches of gas pipe and then light the
result with a match.

The Fourth is a great idea, but I think this is carrying it too far, as
the little boy said when he went over the top of the house on the
handle of a sky-rocket.

We had a very quiet time at home on the Fourth, John, with the
exception of our parlor which took fire when your enthusiastic cousin,
Randolph, tried to make some Japanese lanterns by setting fire to the
lace curtains.

The firemen put out the fire and most of our furniture.

Your cousin was also much put out when I spanked him.

We hope to recover from the excitement  before the next Fourth, but
your Aunt hopes that somebody will soon invent a new style of noise,
which will not be so full of concussion.

Yours with love,
  UNCLE PETER.



CHAPTER IV

JOHN HENRY ON MOSQUITOES

When Peaches and I were married we were sentenced to live in one of
those 8x9 Harlem people-coops, where they have running gas on every
floor and hot and cold landlords and self-folding doors, and janitors
with folding arms, and all that sort of thing.

Immense!

When we moved into the half-portion dwelling house last spring I said
to the janitor, "Have you any mosquitoes in the summer?"

The janitor was so insulted he didn't feel like taking a drink for ten
minutes.

"Mosquitoes!" he shouted; "such birds of prey were never known in these
apartments.  We have piano beaters and gas meters, but never such
criminals as mosquitoes."

With these kind words I was satisfied.

For weeks I bragged about my Harlem flat for which no mosquito could
carry a latch-key.

The janitor said so, and his word was law.

I looked forward to a summer without pennyroyal on the mantelpiece or
witch hazel on the shin bone, and was content.

But one night in the early summer I got all that was coming to me and I
got it good.

In the middle of the night I thought I heard voices in the room and I
sat up in bed.

"I wonder if it's second-story men," I whispered to myself, because my
wife was away at the seashore.

She had gone off to the shimmering sands and left me chained to the
post of duty, and I tell you, boys, it's an awful thing when your wife
quits you that way and you have to drag the post of duty all over town
in order to find a cool place.

Wives may rush away to the summer resorts where all is gayety, and
where every guess they make at the bill of fare means a set-back in the
bank account; but the husbands must labor on through the scorching days
and in the evenings climb the weary steps to the roof gardens.

"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" exclaimed the voices on the other side of
the bed.

"If they are after my diamonds," I moaned, "they will lose money," and
then I reached under the pillow for the revolver I never owned.

"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" went the conversation on the other side of
the bed.

"There is something doing here," I remarked to myself, while I wished
for daylight with both hands.

"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" went the conversation on the other side of
the bed.

"Who is it?" I whispered, waiting for a reply, but hoping no one would
answer me.

"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" said the same mysterious voices.

Then suddenly it struck me--the janitor was a liar.

Those voices in the night emanated from a convention of mosquitoes.

In that nerve-destroying moment I recollected my parting admonition to
my wife when she went away, "Darling, remember, money is not everything
in this world and don't write home to me for any more.  And remember,
also, that when the Jersey mosquito makes you forget the politeness due
to your host, flash your return ticket in his face and rush hither to
your happy little home in Harlem, where the mosquito never warbles and
stingeth not like a serpent, are you hep?"

And now it was all off.

Never more could we go away to the seashore for two expensive weeks and
realize that we would be more comfortable at home, like millions of
other people do every year.

"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" shrieked those relentless voices in the
darkness.

"Do you want my money or my life?" I inquired, tremblingly.

"We desire to bite our autograph on your wish-bone," one voice replied
pleasantly.

"Great Scott!" I shouted, "why do you wish to bite one who is a
stranger to you?"

"You have a wife who is spending a few weeks and a few dollars at the
Jersey seashore, is it not so?" inquired the hoarsest voice.

"Heaven help me, I have," I answered, manfully.

"She is at Cheesehurst-by-the-Sea?" that awful voice went on.

"She is," I admitted it.

"Well, yesterday evening she slapped her forehead suddenly and killed
the bread-winner of this family," the voice shrieked, "and we are here
for revenge!"

"What are your names, please?" I whispered.

"My name is Clementina Stinger, and with me is my son, little Willie
Stinger, formerly of Cheesehurst-by-the-Sea," the voice answered.

I sat there listening while my knees shook for the drinks.

"We looked up your wife's home address and came hither to board with
you, because she upset our bread-winner's apple cart," the voice went
on, threateningly.

"Willie, my son, get a light luncheon from the gentleman's medulla
oblongata, and I will eat a small steak from his solar
plexus--ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!"

"Have you no pity?" I said, pleadingly.

"Pity!" said Clementina--"pity! you ask for pity when my forefathers
were the first to land on the only Plymouth Rock in the meadows of
Hackensack!  I wish you to know that the proud blood of many victims
rushes through the veins of the Stinger Family.  We do not belong to
the pity push.  Willie, if the gentleman kicks bore a tunnel through
his cerebellum, near the medusa, and I will jump in his alimentary
canal and take a swim--ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!"

Then, just as these two ferocious members of the Stinger Family rushed
at me, I awoke with a cry for help.

There was not a mosquito in the room.

Thank Heaven, it was only a dream!

At the door, however, was a messenger with a special delivery letter
from my wife.

The letter read, "Dear John, I only want to say that
Cheesehurst-by-the-Sea would be a nice place if a person could wear
armor plate to avoid the mosquitoes.  I have rubbed my complexion with
peppermint, and I have worn smoke-sticks in my hair till I burned my
pompadour, but the mosquitoes still look upon me as their meal ticket.
I expect to insult everybody present and leave for home to-morrow.
Lovingly, thy wife."

My dream was out.

I don't want to change the subject too abruptly, but you remember Uncle
William, don't you?

Well, once upon a time, Uncle Bill was clear daffy on the subject of
mosquitoes.

He invented more kerosene tablets to poison 'em and set more traps to
catch 'em than any pest-remover in the business.

I must tell you about the time he was one of a committee of three
appointed by Budweiser College or Anheuser University, or some such
concern, to study the mosquito at close range in its native jungles.

The committee consisted of Professor Kenneth Glueface, Professor Oscar
Soupnoodle, a German gentleman with thistles in his conversation, and
my Uncle, Mr. William Gray.

The committee decided that the best way to study the New Jersey
mosquito would be to live in their gloomy haunts and forsake
civilization for the time being.

In accordance with this idea they had the Carnegie Steel Company build
for them a steel cage, which was placed in the depths of the Hackensack
jungles, and thither they went.

Dr. Soupnoodle was of the opinion that a Jersey mosquito has a
language, and the other two members of the committee agreed to help him
to settle this point.

"My idea is," said Dr. Soupnoodle, "dot der beasts haf a speech vich
dey use, uddervise how can dey find our fairst families in der blue
book und go after deir blue blood?"

"Do you hold, Doctor, that the mosquito speaks with a guttural
inflection on the vowels?" inquired Uncle William.

"More likely with a stringency on the last syllable of the diphthong,"
suggested Dr. Glueface.

"Ve vill sprinkle near der cage a little Wienerwurst und a cubble of
smoked hams," explained the Dutch doctor.  "Ve vill den retire behind
der bars of der steel cage, und mit our repitition rifles on our knees
avait der cameing of der enemies of cifilization."

This plan was carried into effect.

The minutes passed by and they sat there, three determined men, trying
to drag from reluctant New Jersey the terrible secrets of its most
popular industry.

"We must not talk," whispered Professor Glueface, "because if the
mosquito suspects the presence of a human being he will not talk."

"No," replied Uncle William, pale but calm; "the battle cry of the
mosquito is deeds, not words!"

Deep silence fell over the Jersey jungle, broken only by the far-away
shrieks of a locomotive as it snorted with fear and hurried out of the
State.

"Kluck-gurgle-kluck-gurgle-gurgle!"

The committee grasped their repeating rifles and peered into the
darkness.

"Vun of dem is cameing!" whispered Professor Soupnoodle; "remember Metz
und strike for der Fatherland!"

"Kluck-gurgle-kluck-gurgle-gurgle!"

Gee whiz! the horror of that bitter moment.

Uncle William removed a short prayer from his mind, and the Dutch
Professor started to sing "Die Wacht am Rhine."

But just then Professor Glueface smacked his lips and put the bottle
down.

"Fine!" he said; "I feel better now."

Then the rest of the committee knew that it was a false alarm
originating in the thirst of the Professor.

But just then the gloom in front of them began to take form and shape,
and they knew this was no false alarm.

"Zwei!" whispered Professor Soupnoodle.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Dr. Glueface, "my idea is right--the Jersey
mosquito has a language!  I can catch a word now and then.  It is
something like Sanscrit, only slangier!"

They listened and watched.

Approaching them through the gloom could be seen two beautiful
specimens of the Kings of the Jersey jungles.

"It is a male und a female," whispered the Dutch Professor.  "I can
tell it because he vears someding like a Pajama hat, und she holds vun
ving up like a skirt."

The committee clutched their repeating rifles closer and prepared for
the worst.

"They are engaged to be married," Professor Glueface whispered; "he has
just told her that he knows where to get good board and lodging in a
Harlem flat.  She calls him Percy.  Her name is Evaline.  Hss-s-s-sh!"

The warning was too late.

The Scourges of the Swamp had discovered the cage and drew nearer.

"He laughs at us," whispered Professor Glueface; "now he is telling her
that the cage is only made of steel and it is a cinch.  He has gone to
get his drill.  What is to be done?"

"In the interests of science," Uncle William whispered, "let us sneak
out and run for the police with all our hearts."

And this they did while Percy was getting his drill ready.

Time, for the first 100 yards, nine seconds flat; for the rest of the
distance about ten seconds on the average.

The committee has not yet reported whether or not there is malaria in a
mosquito's bite, because they didn't wait to let him bite them.

Stung!



CHAPTER V

JOHN HENRY ON STREET CAR ETIQUETTE

"Ding!"

"Naw, we don't take no transfers, needer!  Aw, chase yerself!"

[Illustration: "Naw, we don't take no transfers, needer!"]

"Ding, ding!"

For my part I haven't been able to figure it out, but Uncle Peter is
the lad who has made a profound study of that street car proposition
known as the End-Seat Hog.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

I'm going to pass you out a talk he handed me a few evenings ago on
that subject.

Pipe!

Suffering crumpets, John!  I don't know anything about this end seat
business, and the more I try to find out the more complex becomes the
problem.

I've been up and down and over and across in the surface cars, John,
and my experience is ornamented by ripped trousers and discolored
shins, but my intellect blows out a fuse every time I try to dope out
the real way not to be an End-Seat Hog.

Last Monday I jumped on an open-face car and it seemed that all the
world was filled with joy and good wishes.

I was smoking one of those Bad Boy cigars.  I call it a Bad Boy cigar
because as soon as it goes out it gets awful noisy.

It was away uptown and the car was empty with the exception of a couple
of benches.

Two blocks further on the car stopped and a stout lady looked over the
situation.

I think she must have been color blind, because she didn't see the
empty seats ahead and decided to cast her lot with me.

It was a terrific moment.

"Peter," I said to myself, "don't be a Hog--move over!"

And virtue was triumphant.

I moved over, and the stout lady settled squashfully into the end seat.

Her displacement was about fifteen cents' worth of bench.

After we had gone about ten blocks more every seat in the car in front
and behind us was crowded, but nobody could get in our section because
the fat lady held them at bay like Horatius held the bridge in the
brave days of old.

People would rush up to the car when it stopped, glance carelessly fore
and aft until their eyes rested on the vacant seats in our direction,
and then they would see the stout lady sitting there, as graceful as
the sunken ships which used to block the harbor at Port Arthur.

The people would look at the stout lady with no hope in their eyes, and
then, with a sigh, they would retire and wait for the next car.

No one was brave enough to climb the mountain which grew up between
them and the promised land.

After a while I began to get a toothache in my conscience.

"Peter," I said to myself in a hoarse whisper, "perhaps after all _you_
were the Hog because you moved over!  After the lady had climbed over
you she would have kept on to the other end of the bench where now
there is nothing but a sullen space."

I began to insult myself.

"Peter," I exclaimed inwardly, "what do _you_ know about the etiquette
of the street car?  According to the newspapers it is only a Man who
can be a Hog on the street cars, and since you are the original cause
of blockading the port when you moved over, _you_ must be the Hog!"

Then I got so mad at myself that I refused to talk to myself any
further.

The next day I was riding downtown on the end seat with my mind made up
to stay there and keep the harbor open for commerce.

"Never," I said to myself, "never will anyone become a human Merrimac
to bottle up the seating capacity of this particular bench while the
blood flows through these veins and the flag of freedom waves above me."

At the next corner a very thin little gentleman squeezed by me with a
look of reproach on his face the like of which I hope never to see
again, but I was Charles J. Glue and firm in the end seat.

Then a couple of Italy's sunny sons by the names of Microbeini and
Germicide crawled over me and kicked their initials on my knee-cap and
then sat down to enjoy a smoke of domestic rope which fell across my
nostrils and remained there in bitterness.

After I had been stepped on, sat on, clawed at and scowled at for
twenty minutes, I began to discuss myself to myself.

"Peter," I whispered, "do you really think that the general public
appreciates your efforts to keep the Harbor open?"

And then myself replied to myself with a sigh of exhaustion, "I don't
think!"

"Peter," I said to myself, "no matter what your motives may be the
other fellow will always believe you are trying to get the best of it.
If you move over and give the end seat to another gentleman he will
consider it only what is his right.  If you don't move over he will
think you are a Hog for keeping that which is as much yours as his."

I began to grow confidential with myself.

"Civilization is a fine idea, but Human Nature can give it cards and
spades and then beat it out!" I told myself.  "The Human Hog was
invented long before the open-face street car began to stop for him,
and there isn't anybody living who should stop to throw stones at him,
because selfishness is like the measles, it breaks out in unexpected
places.  All of us may not be Hogs, but there is a moment in the life
of every man when he gets near enough to it to be called a Ham
Sandwich."

Just then the Disinfecti Brothers, Microbeini and Germicide, walked
over me backward and I had a short but exciting visit to the slums.

Since that eventful day I have moved over 36 times, and out of the 36
people I gave the end seat to all but three of them belonged to the
Mucilage Family, and stayed there.

Thereafter I made myself a severe promise not to worry any more about
my Hog qualifications when movable or immovable on an open-face car.

I will do as my conscience dictates and walk downtown as much as
possible.

And speaking of street cars, John, Uncle Peter resumed after a long
pause, I was in one of those cities recently where some of the cars
stop on the near side of some of the streets and some stop on the far
side of some of the streets.

Honestly, John, they had me up in the air.

I left the hotel to attend to some business downtown and went over on
the near side of the street to wait for a car.

When the car came along I held my thumb out in the atmosphere
warningly, but the motorman kept on to the far side and stopped.

By the time I ran over to the far side he was gone again and another
car had stopped at the near side.

When I rushed back to the near side the car passed me going to the far
side, and now the near side looked so much like the far side that I
went back to the other side, which should have been the near side, but
how could it be the near side when the car was on the far side and I
could not get near the near side in time to catch the car before it was
far away on the far side?

Just as I rushed back again to the far side the near side became the
nearer side to catch the car, and when I rushed over again from the far
side to the near side the nearer I got to the near side the clearer I
could see that while the far side was far away it was nearer than the
near side, which was always on the far side when I hoped to take a car
on the near side.

Then I began to grit my teeth and made up my mind to anticipate the
action of the next car by standing half way between the near side and
the far side, so that I could run to either side the emergency called
for.

I was standing there about a minute much pleased with the idea, because
the near side was now about as far away as the far side, when just then
an automobile sneaked up behind me and one of the forward turrets
struck me on my own personal far side and hoisted me over to the near
side just as a car left for the far side.

I reached out my hand to grasp the far side of the step, but I missed
it and caught the near side, and by this time the car was on the far
side and the motorman grabbed the near side of the electric controller
and pushed it over to the far side, whereupon the car started for El
Paso, Texas, at a speed of about 3,000 miles a minute, and there I was
with the near side of four fingers holding on to the far side of the
step and the rest of my body sticking straight out in space like a pair
of trousers on a clothes-line in a gale of wind.

Then suddenly the near side of my fingers refused to hold on to the far
side of the step, and with the near side of my face I struck the far
side of the tracks, and the near side of my brain saw every individual
star on the far side of the universe.

Then I went back to the hotel and crawled into the far side of the bed
while my wife sent for a near side doctor who lived on the far side of
the block.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

That will be about all for Uncle Peter.



CHAPTER VI

JOHN HENRY ON SOCIAL AFFAIRS

Last year Bunch and Alice spent several weeks doing the society stunt
at the fashionable seaside resorts.

I must put you next to a letter Bunch wrote me from Newport:


Dear John:

With a party of our society friends we have been Newporting all this
week.

Next week I hope to Bar Harbor for a few days, and the week after that
I hope to Narragansett for a short period.

In the party with us here are Clarence Fussyface, Llewellyn Shortbrow,
Harry Pifflemind, Cecil Vanwigglevandoozen, Mrs. George Plentycash and
Miss Clorinda Fritters.

Mrs. Plentycash is accompanied by a friend of her husband's by the name
of Murgatroyd Mutt; and Mr. Harry Pifflemind has his own private
bartender, so there is nothing to mar the beauty of the visit.

During our first day at Newport we played bridge until two o'clock,
then we jumped in our automobiles to see if we could run across a few
friends.

Llewellyn Shortbrow made a mistake with his machine and ran across a
stranger, hitting him just between the wish-bone and the Casino.

The stranger's leg was broken, which put the laugh on Llewellyn.

The next evening Cecil Vanwigglevandoozen gave us one of the most
delightful experiences I have ever known.

It was a monkey dinner.

A monkey dinner consists of a happy mixture of Society and monkey--with
just a trifle more Society than monkey to give it the proper flavor.

The idea of the monkey dinner originated in a fertile spot in the
southeastern part of Vanwigglevandoozen's brain, which up to then was
supposed to be extinct.

The eruption of such a gigantic idea from a brain supposed to be
extinct came as a great but pleasant shock to Society.

Originally it was Vanwigglevandoozen's idea to have Clarence Fussyface
play the monkey, because Clarence's intelligence is built on a plan to
suggest such mimicry, but a hand-organ proprietor by the name of
Guissepi, who is summering at Newport, came to the rescue with a real
monkey by the name of Claude.

Claude has acted for many years as a second-story man for Guissepi, and
is one of the very best ice-cutters in the whole monkey business.

A full dress suit was made for Claude, and when he entered Society you
could tell at once that he was not a waiter.

Claude was placed at the head of the table, and as he sat there smiling
at his friends it made one of the sweetest pictures of family
contentment I have ever witnessed.

There were no set speeches.

Vanwigglevandoozen gave Claude a glass of champagne, which the guest of
honor politely refused by spilling it down the neck of Harry Pifflemind
in such an artless monkey way that the other guests roared with delight.

With monkey signs Claude gave the signal to rush the growler, which was
accompanied with a true spirit of goodfellowship by the butler.

The conversation during the dinner hour was altogether of a zoological
nature.

Claude displayed an acrobatic appetite and went down the line, from
soup to nuts, in a manner which was captivating in the extreme.

After completely filling the large inside pocket originally built for
him by Mother Nature, Claude began to put the knives and forks in the
pockets of his full dress suit.

This was greeted with ringing cheers from those present.

The only break that Claude made during the dinner was trying to put his
feet on the table before the ladies left the room, but Llewellyn
Shortbrow remedied this by hitting Claude on the chest with a table
spoon.

When the other young men began to smoke their cigarettes Claude grew
uneasy.

After they had consumed about seven sticks apiece Claude buried his
face in a foaming stein of beer, and there it remained until a happy
unconsciousness put him down and out.

Eight footmen, six coachmen, twenty-seven valets and the butler carried
Claude to his bed-chamber, and the monkey dinner broke up with loud
cries of "Author!  Author!  Author!"

Vanwigglevandoozen is now the hero of the day, and great things are
expected of him.

But I have my doubts.

It is too much to expect one brain to think up another idea as good as
that.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Yesterday afternoon at 2:30 a loud shriek emanated from the "Bungalooza
Villa," followed almost immediately by its publisher, Mrs.
Shinevonboodle.

Both the shriek and its author came out as far as the gate and
attracted the ears of a policeman.

"My diamonds have been stolen!" exclaimed Mrs. Shinevonboodle,
excitedly.

"For publication purposes or for pawning?" inquired the policeman.

"Must I tell you the details without first being introduced to you?"
said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, angrily.

"Not unless you don't care to meet me," answered the policeman.

"Mercy!" said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, "must I cross the social chasm to
get those presents back?"

"What kind of diamonds are missing?" inquired the policeman.  "Are they
sparklers or shines?"

"What is the difference?" asked  Mrs. Shinevonboodle, haughtily.

"The difference is about $95 a carat," whispered the policeman.

"The best that money can buy is none too good for me," said Mrs.
Shinevonboodle, with proud scorn.

"Yes, I noticed that by your hair and complexion," replied the
policeman, politely.

"Will you find the missing diamonds, or must I shriek again?" inquired
Mrs. Shinevonboodle.

"Is your photographer present?" demanded the policeman.

"Do you suspect him?" gasped Mrs. Shinevonboodle, with a shudder.

"The photographer generally takes things," answered the policeman.
"Otherwise, how could the pictures get in the newspapers?"

"Heaven forgive me for this oversight, but my photographer neglected to
take the jewels before I lost them," said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, with
bitter tears in her lamps.

The policeman turned away to conceal his emotion and to take a pull at
his two-for cigar.

"What, oh! what is to be done?" wailed the helpless woman.

"Nothing," responded the policeman, after a miserable pause.  "Without
pictures of the jewels to put in the newspapers the sensation will be
weak and will wobble at the knees."

Mrs. Shinevonboodle leaned against the fence and groaned inwardly.

"It is too bad," muttered the policeman, as he bit into the two-for
cigar and walked silently away.

Mrs. Shinevonboodle sat down in her most expensive flower bed and wept
bitterly.

Just then the policeman came running back.

"Perhaps you remember the jewels well enough to get a photograph from
memory?" he suggested.

A smile chased itself over the face of Mrs. Shinevonboodle, and she
picked herself up from the geraniums.

"I remember them perfectly," she whispered, "because when my husband
got the bill for them he had four different styles of fits in four
minutes.  Three of these fits were entirely new and original with him,
so I remember the jewels perfectly."

"Good!" said the policeman.  "I will have 18 detectives and 219
reporters up here in ten minutes.  Calm yourself, now, calm yourself,
because what is lost will soon be found in the newspapers."

The policeman rushed away to the telephone, and with a glad cry of
thanksgiving Mrs. Shinevonboodle ran in the house and began to beat
Mozart out of the piano.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

That's all the Society news I have at present, John.

Yours as per usual,
  BUNCH.



CHAPTER VII

JOHN HENRY ON CHAFING DISHES

I pulled a wheeze on Bunch Jefferson a few weeks ago that made him sit
up and scream for help.

Bunch is the Original Ace all right, all right, but it does put dust on
his dignity to have anybody josh his literary attainments.

Bunch can really sling a nasty little pen, but he isn't anybody's John
W. Milton.

Not at all.

He can take a bunch of the English language and flatten it out around
the edges till it looks quite poetic, but that doesn't make him a
George O. Khayaam.

Not at all.

The trouble with Bunch is that his home folks have swelled his chest to
such an extent by petting his adjectives that he thinks he has
Shakespeare on a hot skiddoo for the sand dunes, and when it comes to
that poetry thing he thinks he can make Hank Longfellow beat it up a
tree.

Bunch lives out in Westchester County in one of those hand-painted
suburbs where everybody knows everybody else's business and forgets his
own.

Bunch and Alice joined the local club, of course, and when Bunch read
some of his poetical outbursts at a free-and-easy one evening, Society
got up on its hind legs and with one voice declared my old pal
Jefferson to be the logical successor to Robert H. Browning, Sir Walter
K. Scott, Bert Tennyson, or any other poet that ever shook a quill.

Bunch began to fancy himself some--well, rather!

When Peaches and I went out Westchester way a few weeks ago to spend a
week-end with Bunch and Alice, all we heard was home-made poetry.

When Bunch wasn't ladling out impromptu sonnets, Alice was reading one
of his epics or throwing a fit over a "perfectly lovely"
rondeau--whatever that may be.

Even at meal times Bunch couldn't break away.

With a voice full of emotion and vegetable soup he would exclaim:

  And now the twilight shadows on
    The distant mountain flutter,
  And thou, my fair and good friend John,
    Wilt kindly pass the butter!


What are you going to do with a man who has a bug like that?

What would you do, if while sitting at breakfast with an old chum, he
suddenly yelped in accents wild:

  The palpitating Elsewhere shrinks
    Before that glamorous host,
  Eftsoon, aye, now, good friend, methinks
    That thou would'st have more toast!


It was clearly up to me to hand Bunch a good hard bump and wake him up
before that poetry germ began to bite his arm off.

Bunch told me that in response to the urgent demands of his Westchester
friends, he contemplated getting out a little book of his poems, and
this was my cue.

I figured it out that the antithesis of a book of poetry would be a
cook book, so I hustled.

In a few days I had the book framed up; a few days later it was
printed, and before very long Bunch's Westchester society friends were
grabbing for what they supposed was his feverish output of poesy.

This is what they got:


A GUIDE TO THE CHAFING DISH.

BY BUNCH JEFFERSON

(From Recipes Furnished by Famous Friends.)

In presenting these Cuckoo Recipes for the Chafing Dish to his friends
Mr. Jefferson wishes it distinctly understood that all doctors' bills
arising from a free indulgence in any of the dishes suggested herein
must be paid by the indulgee, and he wishes to state, further, that
while this book may contain many aches and pains no ptomaine is
intended.


MOCK BAKED BEANS.

(From a Recipe furnished by Morton Smith.)

Take as many buttons as the family can afford and remove the thread.
Add pure spring water and stew gently till you burst your buttons.  Add
a little flour to calm them and let them sizzle.  Serve with tomato
ketchup or molasses, according to the location you find yourself living
on the map.  A quart bottle of Pommery on the side will help some.


MOCK HAM AND EGGS.

(From a Recipe furnished by De Wolf Hopper.)

Place the white of a newspaper in the frying pan, and then cover the
centre with an Italian sunset picked fresh from a magazine picture.
This forms the basis of the egg and it tastes very realistic.  Be sure
to get a fresh newspaper and a fresh magazine, edited by a fresh
editor, otherwise the imitation egg will be dull and insipid.  Now add
a few slices of pickled linoleum and fry carelessly for twenty minutes.
Serve hot with imitation salt and pepper on the side.  This is a
daylight dish, because the sunset effect is lost if cooked after dark.


MOCK LAMB CHOPS.

(From a Recipe furnished by William T. Hodge.)

Saw away three chops from the face of the kitchen table and put them in
the broiler.  Be economical with the sawdust, which can be forced into
a cottage pudding.  When the chops begin to sizzle, add a red necktie
and a small bunch of imitation butter and stir gently.  Now let them
sizzle.  If the chops crack across the surface while cooking, it is a
sign you were cheated when you bought the kitchen table.  Let them
sizzle.  Serve hot with imitation water cresses on the side.  Nice
water cresses can be made from green window blinds cut on the bias.


HAMBURGER STEAK.

(From a Recipe furnished by Silvio Hein.)

Always be sure to get a fresh Hamburger.  There is nothing that will
reconcile a man to a vegetarian diet so quick as an over-ripe
Hamburger.  They should always be picked at the full of the moon.  To
tell the age of a Hamburger look at its teeth.  One row of teeth for
every year, and the limit is seven rows.  Now remove the wishbone and
slice carefully.  Add Worcester sauce and let it sizzle.  Add a pinch
of potato salad and stir gently.  Serve hot and talk fast while eating.


IMITATION SAUSAGES.

(From a Recipe furnished by Frank Doane.)

Coax a few feet of garden hose into the kitchen and then kidnap it.
When it is finally subdued, chop it into sections and stuff it with
odds and ends.  Nice, fresh odds and ends may be bought by the
wholesale at any first-class junk shop.  Place the result in a saucepan
without adding any water, because if you put water in with the garden
hose it will get up and go out on the lawn.  Now let it sizzle.  When
the imitation clock points to an hour and a half the sausage is done.
Serve hot with a Yarmouth bloater and some crumpets on the side.  Be
sure to have a gold safety pin in your flannel collar before eating.


IMITATION CELERY.

(From a Recipe furnished by John Park.)

Take an old whisk broom and remove the handle.  If the handle is made
of wood keep it, because it can be turned into a breakfast food the
first time you see a sawmill.  Now remove the wire from the broom and
sprinkle with baking soda.  Serve cold with a pinch of salt on the
northwestern end.


IMITATION BEEF TEA.

(From a Recipe furnished by Rupert Hughes.)

Take the white of an egg and beat it without mercy.  When it is
insensible put it in the teapot and add enough hot water to drown it.
Let it drown about twenty minutes, then lead the yolk of an egg over to
the teapot and push it in.  Season with a small pinch of paprika and
let it simper.  Serve hot, and always be sure to put a piece of lemon
in the finger-bowl.


IMITATION MOCK TURTLE SOUP.

(From a Recipe furnished by John L. Golden.)

Go out in the garden and catch a young mock.  Remove the pin feathers
and place the mock in a skillet.  Catch an onion when it isn't looking
and push it in the skillet.  Add water and let it sizzle.  Add more
water.  Be sure there are no chemicals in the water.  Add more water.
Always wash the water before adding.  Now upset the skillet into the
soup tureen and add imitation Tabasco sauce.  Imitation Tabasco sauce
can be made from pickled firecrackers.  Serve hot and keep the lips
closed firmly while eating it from the left-hand side of the spoon.


IMITATION ROAST BEEF.

(From a Recipe furnished by E. W. Kemble.)

Draw from memory the outlines of a cow and remove the forequarter.
Place the forequarter on the gridiron and let it sizzle.  Now brown the
wheats and draw one.  Add boiling water and stir gently with an
imitation spoon.  After cooking two hours try it with the can-opener.
If it breaks the can-opener it is not done.  Let it sizzle.  When the
supper bell rings serve hot with imitation pickles on the side.  Nice
pickles can be made from green trading stamps, but be careful to
squeeze out all the premiums from the green trading stamps before
using, because the premiums are full of ptomaine.


IMITATION ROAST TURKEY

(From a Recipe furnished by Dr. Percy Crandall.)

Find a copy of a Thanksgiving-Day newspaper and select therefrom the
fattest turkey on page 3.  Now, with a few kind words, coax the turkey
away from the newspaper in the direction of the kitchen.  Care should
be taken that the turkey does not escape in the butler's pantry or fly
up the dumb-waiter, because the turkey is a very nervous animal.  Once
you get the turkey in the kitchen lock the door and prepare the
stuffing.  The best stuffing for a turkey is chestnuts, which you can
obtain from any author who writes musical comedy.  Now remove the
wishbone carelessly and make a wish.  Add twenty-four, multiply by
nineteen, and sprinkle with salt.  Then rush the turkey over to the gas
stove before it has a chance to change its mind.  Let it sizzle for
four hours and serve hot with jib cocktails and Philippine napkins on
the side.


MOCK COFFEE.

(From a Recipe furnished by Daniel V. Arthur.)

Get mad at a piece of bread and soak it.  Chop it up fine and add
liquid water.  Let it sizzle.  Stir it caressingly with a wooden spoon.
When the spoon becomes a brunette the coffee is done.  Serve without
splashing it and add a little cold water, painted white, to look like
milk.  If you have any tame cheese in the pantry now is the time to
whistle for it.


MOCK GIBLETS.

(From a Recipe furnished by Edward Abeles.)

Take two rubber-neck clams and, after stuffing them with peanuts, fry
them over a slow fire.  Now remove the necks from the clams and add
baking soda.  Let them sizzle.  Take the juice of a lemon and threaten
the clams with it.  Serve hot with pink finger-bowls with your initials
on them.  Some people prefer to have their initials on the clams, but
such an idea is only for the wealthy.


MOCK BREAKFAST BACON.

(From a Recipe furnished by A. Baldwin Sloane.)

Take a hatful of pine shavings and remove the hat.  Add a little sherry
wine and sweeten to taste.  Let them sizzle.  Sprinkle with salt and
pepper and other cosmetics.  Let them sizzle.  Serve cold with shredded
onions on the side.


MOCK BEEF STEAK.

(From a Recipe furnished by Joseph Coyne.)

Carefully remove the laces from an old shoe and put them away, because
they can be used for shoe-string potatoes just as soon as the potato
trust gets started.  Beat the shoe with a hammer for ten minutes until
its tongue stops wagging and it gets black and blue in the face.  Then
put in the frying pan and stir gently.  When it begins to sizzle add
the yolk of an egg and season with parsley.  Imitation parsley can be
made from green wall paper with the scissors.  If there is no green
wall paper in the house speak to the landlord about it.  Let it sizzle.
Should you wish to smother it with onions now is your chance, because
after cooking so long it is almost helpless.  Serve hot with a hatchet
on the side.  If there are more than four people in the family use both
shoes.


IMITATION IRISH STEW.

(From a Recipe furnished by Charles Swayne.)

Remove the jacket and waistcoat from a potato and put in the saucepan.
Add three quarts of boiling water.  Get a map of Ireland and hang it on
the wall directly in front of the saucepan.  This will furnish the
local color for the stew.   Let it boil two hours.  When the potato
begins to moult it is a sign the stew is nearly done.  Walk easy so as
not to frighten it.  Add a pint of rhubarb and serve hot with lettuce
dressing.  If the lettuce isn't dressed it ought to be ashamed of
itself.


IMITATION PRUNE PIE.

(From a Recipe furnished by George W. Lederer.)

Take a dozen knot-holes and peel them carefully.  Remove the shells and
add a cup of sugar.  Stir quickly and put in a hot oven.  Bake gently
for six hours and then add a little Jamaica ginger and some pickled
rag-time.  Serve hot with tea wafers on the side.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

I haven't seen Bunch since the book came out.

But I know he will get back at me good and hard some of these fine days.



23





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