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Title: Peck's Bad Boy Abroad - Being a Humorous Description of the Bad Boy and His Dad - in Their Journeys Through Foreign Lands - 1904
Author: Peck, George W. (George Wilbur)
Language: English
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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.

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PECK’S BAD BOY ABROAD

By Hon. Geo. W. Peck

Being a Humorous Description of the Bad Boy and His Dad in Their
Journeys Through Foreign Lands, Their Visits to Crowned Heads, the
Manners and Customs of the People, and the Bad Boy’s Never Ending
Efforts to Provide Fun No Matter Where He Is.

Profusely Illustrated by D. S. Groesbeck And R. W. Taylor

THOMPSON & THOMAS - 1904



CONTENTS


CHAPTER I.

The Bad Boy and His Chum Call on the Old Groceryman After Being Away at
School--The Bad Boy’s Dad in a Bad Way


CHAPTER II.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Ready for Their Travels--The Bad Boy Labels the
Old Man’s Suit Case--How the Cowboys Made Him Dance Once


CHAPTER III.

The Bad Boy Writes About the Fun They Had Going to Washington--He
and His Dad Call on President Roosevelt--The Bad Boy Meets One of the
Children and They Disagree


CHAPTER IV.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Visit Mount Vernon--Dad Weeps at the Grave of
the Father of Our Country


CHAPTER V.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Have Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria--The Bad Boy
Orders Dinner--The Old Man Gets Stuck--Tries to Rescue a Countess in
Distress


CHAPTER VI.

The Bad Boy Writes the Old Groceryman About Ocean Voyages--His Dad Has
an Argument Over a Steamer Chair.


CHAPTER VII.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Eat Fog--Call on Astor--A Dynamite Outrage


CHAPTER VIII.

The Bad Boy Writes About the Craze for Gin in the White-chapel
District--He Gives His Dad a Scare in the Tower of London


CHAPTER IX.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Call on King Edward and Almost Settle the Irish
Question


CHAPTER X.

The Bad Boy Writes of Ancient and Modern Highwaymen--¦ They Get a Taste
of High Life in London and Dad Tells the Story of the Picklemaker’s
Daughter


CHAPTER XI.

The Bad Boy Writes About Paris--Tells About the Trip Across the English
Channel--Dad Feeds a Dog and Gets Arrested


CHAPTER XII.

The Bad Boy’s Second Letter from Paris--Dad Poses as a Mormon Bishop
and Has to Be Rescued--They Climb the Eiffel Tower and the Old Man Gets
Converted


CHAPTER XIII.

The Bad Boy’s Dad and a Man from Dakota Frame Up a Scheme to Break the
Bank, But They Go Broke--The Party in Trouble


CHAPTER XIV.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Have an Automobile Ride--They Run Over a
Peasant--Climb “Glaziers”--Dad Falls Over a Precipice, But Is Rescued by
the Guides After a Hard Time of It


CHAPTER XV.

Dad Plays He Is an Anarchist--They Give Alms to the Beggars and the Bad
Boy Ducks a Gondolier and His Dad in the Grand Canal


CHAPTER XVI.

The Bad Boy Writes from Naples--Dad Sees Vesuvius and Calls the Servants
to Put Out the Fire--They Have Trouble with a “Dago” in Pompeii


CHAPTER XVII.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Climb Vesuvius--A Chicago Lady Joins the Party
and Causes Trouble


CHAPTER XVIII.

The Bad Boy Makes Friends with Some Italian Children--Dad is Chased by
Lions from the Coliseum--” Not Any More Rome for Papa,” says Dad


CHAPTER XIX.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Visit the Pope--They Bow to, the King of Italy
and His Nine Spots--Dad Finds That “The Catacombs” Is Not a Comic Opera


CHAPTER XX.

The Bad Boy Tells About the Land of the Czar and the Trouble They Had to
Get There--Dad Does a Stunt and Mixes It Up with the People and Soldiers


CHAPTER XXI.

Dad Sees a Russian Revolution and Faints--‘The Bad Boy Arranges a Wolf
Hunt--Dad Threatens to Throw the Boy to the Wolves


CHAPTER XXII.

Dad Wears His Masonic Fez in Constantinople--They Find the Turks
Sensitive on the Dog Question--A College Yell for the Sultan Sends Him
Into a Fit


CHAPTER XXIII.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Meet the Cream of the Harem--“Little Egypt” Does
a Dancing Stunt--The Sultan Wants to Send Fifty Wives to the President


CHAPTER XXIV.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Arrive in Cairo--At the Hotel They Meet Some
Egyptian Princesses--Dad Rides a Camel to the Pyramids and Meets with
Difficulties


CHAPTER XXV.

The Bad Boy and His Dad Climb the Pyramids--The Bad Boy Lights a Cannon
Cracker in Rameses’ Tomb--They Flee from Egypt in Disguise


CHAPTER XXVI.

The Bad Boy Writes About Gibraltar--The Irish-English Army--How He Would
Take the Fortress--Dad Wants to Buy the “Rock”


CHAPTER XXVII.

The Bad Boy Writes of Spain--They call On the King and the Bad Boy Is At
It Once More--They See a Bull Fight and Dad Does a Turn


CHAPTER XXVIII.

The Bad Boy and His Dad at Berlin--They Call On Emperor William and His
Family and the Bad Boy Plays a Joke on Them All


CHAPTER XXIX.

The Bad Boy Writes from Brussels--He and Dad See the Field of Waterloo
and Call on King Leopold, and Dad and the King Go in for a Swim--The Bad
Boy, a Dog and Some Goats Do the Rest


CHAPTER XXX.

The Bad Boy’s Delayed Letter About Holland and Cuba--Dad and the Boy Go
for a Drive in a Dog-Cart--They Have a Great Time--Land in Cuba and See
the Island We Fought For



PECK’S BAD BOY ABROAD.



CHAPTER I.

     The Bad Boy and His Chum Call on the Old Grocery-man After
     Being Away at School--The Bad Boy’s Dad in a Bad Way.

The bad boy had been away to school, but the illness of his father had
called him home, and for some weeks he had been looking about the old
town. He had found few of his old friends. His father had recovered
somewhat from his illness, and one day he met his old chum, a boy of his
own age. The bad boy and the chum got busy at once, talking over the
old times that tried the souls of the neighbors and finally the bad boy
asked about the old groceryman, and found that the old man still held
out at the old stand, with the same old stock of groceries, and they
decided to call upon him, and surprise him. So after it began to be
dark they entered the store, and found the old groceryman sitting on a
cracker box by the stove, stroking the back of an old maltese cat that
had a yellow streak on the back, where it had been singed by crawling
under the red-hot stove. As the boys entered the store the cat raised
its back, its tail became as large as a rolling pin, and the cat began
to spit, while the old groceryman held up both hands and said:

[Illustration: Don’t shoot, Please 019]

“Don’t shoot, please, but one of you go behind the counter and take
what there is in the cash drawer, while the other one can reach into my
pistol pocket and release my pocketbook. This is the fifth time I have
been held up this year, and I have got so if I am not held up about so
often I can’t sleep nights.”

“O, put down your hands and straighten out that cat’s back,” said the
bad boy, as he slapped the old groceryman on the back so hard his spine
cracked like a frozen sidewalk. “Don’t you know us, you old geezer? We
are the only and original Peck’s Bad Boy and his Chum, come to life, and
ready for business,” and the two boys danced a jig on the floor, covered
an inch thick with the spilled sugar of years ago, the molasses that had
strayed from barrel, and the general refuse of the dirty place, which
had become as hard as asphalt.

“O, dear, it is worse than I thought,” said the old groceryman as he
laughed a hysterical laugh through the long whiskers, and he hugged the
boys as though he had a liking for them, notwithstanding the suffering
they had caused him. “By gosh, I thought you were nothing but common
robbers, who just wanted my money. You are old friends, and can have the
whole place,” and he poured some milk into a basin for the cat, but the
animal only looked at the two boys as though she knew them, and watched
them to see what was coming next.

The bad boy looked around the old grocery, which had not changed a
particle during the time he had been away, the same old box of petrified
prunes, the dried apples that could not be cut with a hatchet, the
canned stuff on the shelves had become so old that the labels had curled
up and fallen off, so it must have been a guess with the old groceryman
whether he was selling a can of peas or tomatoes, and the old fellow
standing there as though the world had gone off and left him, as his
customers had.

“Well, wouldn’t this skin you,” said the bad boy, as he took up a
dried prune and tried to crack it with a hatchet on a two-pound weight,
turning to his chum who was stroking the singed hair of the old cat the
wrong way. “Say, old man, you ought to get a hustle on you. Why don’t
you clean out this shebang, and put in a new stock, of goods, and have
clerks with white aprons on, and a girl bookkeeper, and goods that
people will buy and eat and not get sick? There is a grocery down street
that is as clean as a whistle, and I notice all your old customers go
there. Why don’t you keep up with the times?”

“O, I ain’t running a dude place,” said the old man, as he took a piece
of soft coal and put it in the old round stove, and wiped the black off
his hands on his trousers. “I am trying to get rid of my customers. I
have got money enough to live on, and I just stay here waiting for the
old cat to die. I have only got six customers left, and one of them has
got pneumonia, and is going to die, then there will be only five. When
they are all gone I shall sit here by the stove until the end comes.
There is nothing doing now to keep me awake, since you boys quit getting
me mad. Say, boys, do you know, I haven’t been real mad since you quit
coming here. The only fun I have had is swearing at my customers when
they stick up their noses at my groceries. It’s the funniest thing, when
I tell an old customer that if they don’t like my goods they can go plum
to thunder, they get mad and go somewhere else to trade. Times must be
changing. Years ago, the more I abused customers the more they liked it,
and I just charged the goods to them with a pencil on a piece of brown
wrapping paper. I had four cracker boxes full of brown wrapping paper
with things charged on the paper against customers, but when anybody
wanted to pay their account it made my head ache to find it, and so one
day I balanced my books by using the brown wrapping paper to kindle the
fire. If you ever want to get even with the world, easy, just pour a
little kerosene on your accounts, and put them in the stove. I have
never been so free from worry as I have since I balanced my books
in the stove. Well, I suppose you have come home on account of your
dad’s sickness,” said the old groceryman, turning to the bad boy,
who had written a sign, ‘The Morgue,’ and pinned it on the window. “I
understand your dad had an operation performed on him in a hospital.
What did the doctors take out of him?”

“Dad had an operation all right,” said the bad boy, “but he is not as
much interested in what they took out of him, as what he thinks they
left in. They said they removed his appendix, and I guess they did, for
dad showed me the bill the doctors rendered. The bill was big enough so
they might have taken out a whole lot more. If I had been home I would
never have let him be cut into, but ma insisted that he must have an
operation. She said all the men on our street, and all that moved in our
set, had had operations, and she was ashamed to go out in society and
be forced to admit that dad never had an operation, She told dad that
he could afford it better than half the people that had operations, and
that a scar criss-cross on the stomach was a badge of honor. He never
got a scar in the army, and she simply would not be able to look people
in the face unless dad was operated on. Dad always was subject to
stomach ache, but until appendicitis became fashionable he had always
taken a mess of pills, and come out all right, but ma diagnosed the case
the last time he was doubled up like a jack-knife, and dad was hustled
off to the hospital, and they didn’t do a thing to him.

“He told me about it since I came home, and now he lays the whole thing
to ma, and I have to stand between them. He is going to get even with
ma, though. The first time she complains of anything going on inside
of her works, he is going to send her right to a hospital and have the
doctors do their worst. Dad said to me, says he:

“‘Hennery, if you ever feel anything like a caucus being held inside
you, don’t you ever go to a hospital, but just swallow a stick of
dynamite and light the fuse, then there won’t be anything left inside to
bother you afterwards. When I got to the hospital they stripped me for
a prize fight, put me on a table made of glass, and rolled me into the
operating room, gave me chloroform and when they thought I was all in,
they took an axe and chopped me. I could feel every blow, and it is a
wonder they left enough of your old dad for you to hug when you came
home.’

“Say, it is kind of pitiful to hear dad talk about the things they left
in him.”

“What things does he think they left in him,” asked the old groceryman,
as he looked frightened, and felt of his stomach, as though he
mistrusted there might be something wrong with him, too.

“O, dad has been reading in the papers about doctors that perform
operations leaving sponges, forceps, and things inside of patients, when
they close up the place, and since dad has got pretty fussy since his
operation he thinks they left something in him. Some days he thinks they
left a roll of cotton batting, or a pillow, or a bale of hay, but when
there is a sharp pain inside he thinks they left a carving knife, but
for a week he has settled down to the belief that the doctors left a
monkey wrench in him, and he is just daffy on that subject. Says he can
feel it turning around, as though it was miscrewing machinery, and
he wants to consult a new doctor every day as to what he can take to
dissolve a monkey wrench, so it will pass off through the blood and
pores of the skin. He has taken it into his head that nothing will save
his life except to travel all over the country, and the world. I am to
go with him to look after him.”

[Illustration: Doctors left a monkey wrench in him 025]

“By ginger, it’s great! Just think of it. Traveling all over the world
and nothing to do but nurse my old dad who thinks he is filled with
hardware and carpenter’s tools. Gee! but I wish you could go,” said
the bad boy, as he put him arm around his chum. “Maybe we wouldn’t
make these foreigners sit up and take an interest in something besides
Royalty and Riots.”

“Well,” said the groceryman, “they will have my sympathy with you alone
over there.”

“But before you start on the road with your monkey-wrench show, you come
in here and let me put up a package of those prunes to take along. They
will keep in any climate, and there is nothing better for iron in the
blood, such as your dad has, than prunes. Call again, bub, and we will
arrange for you to write to your chum from all the places you go with
your dad, and he can come in here and read the letters to me and the
cat.”

“All right, old Father Time,” said the bad boy, as he drew a mug of
cider out of the vinegar barrel, and took a swallow. “But what you want
to do is to get a road scraper and drive a team through this grocery,
and clean the floor,” and the boys went out just ahead of the old man’s
arctic overshoes, as he kicked at them, and then he went back and sat
down by the stove and stroked the cat, which had got its back down
level again, after its old enemies had gone down the street, throwing
snowballs at the driver of a hearse.

[Illustration: Went out just ahead of the old man’s arctic overshoes
027]

“It is a solemn occupation to drive a hearse,” said the bad boy.

“Not so solemn as riding inside,” said the chum.



CHAPTER II.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Ready for Their Travels--The Bad Boy
     Labels the Old Man’s Suit Case--How the Cowboys Made Him
     Dance Once.

The old groceryman was in front of the grocery, bent oyer a box of
rutabagas, turning the decayed sides down to make the possible customer
think all was not as bad as it might be, when a shrill whistle down the
street attracted his attention. He looked in the direction from which it
came, and saw the bad boy coming with a suit case in one hand and a sole
leather hat box in the other, and the old man went in the store to say
a silent prayer, and to lay a hatchet and an ax handle where he could
reach them if the worst came.

“Well, you want to get a good look at me now,” said the bad boy, as he
dropped the valise on the floor, and put the hat box on the counter,
“for it will be months and maybe years, before you see me again.”

“Oh, joy!” said the old groceryman, as he heaved a sigh, and tried to
look sorry. “What is it, reform school, or have the police ordered you
out of town? I have felt it coming for a long time. This is the only
town you could have plied your vocation so long in and not been pulled.
Where are you going with the dude suit case and the hat box?”

“Oh, dad has got a whole mess more diseases, and the doctors had a
conversation over him Sunday, and they say he has got to go away again,
right now, and that a sea voyage will brace him up and empty him out so
medicine over in Europe can get in its work and strengthen him so he can
start back after a while and probably die on the way home, and be buried
at sea. Dad says he will go, for he had rather die at sea than on land,
‘cause they don’t have to have any trouble about a funeral, ‘cause all
they do is to sew a man up in a piece of cloth, tie a sack of coal to
his feet, slide him off a board, and he goes kerplunk down into the salt
water about a mile, and stands there on his feet and makes the whales
and sharks think he is a new kind of fish.”

“Gee! but that is a programme that appeals to me as sort of uncanny,”
 said the old man. “Is your dad despondent over the outlook? What new
disease has he got?”

[Illustration: Pasted a tomato can label on the suitcase 31]

“All of ‘em,” said the boy, as he took a label off a tomato can and
pasted it on the end of the suit case. “You take an almanac and read
about all the diseases that the medicine advertised in the almanac
cures, and dad has got the whole lot of them, nervous prostration,
rheumatism, liver trouble, stomach busted, lungs congested, diaphragm
turned over, heart disease, bronchitis, corns, bunions, every darn thing
a man can catch without costing him anything. But he is not despondent.
He just thinks it is an evidence of genius, and a certificate of
standing in society and wealth. He argues that the poor people who have
only one disease are not in it with statesmen and scholars. Oh, he is
all right. He thinks if he goes to Europe all knocked out, he will class
with emperors and dukes. Oh, since he had that operation and had his
appendix chopped out, he thinks there is a bond of sympathy between him
and King Edward that will cause him to be invited to be the guest of
royalty. He is just daffy,” and the bad boy took a sapolio label out of
a box and pasted it on the other end of the valise.

“What in thunder and lightning are you pasting those labels on your
valise for?” said the old man, as the boy reached for a Quaker oats
label and a soap advertisement and pasted them on.

“Oh, dad said he wished he had some foreign labels of hotels and things
on his valise, to make fellow travelers believe he had been abroad
before, and I told him I could fix it all right. You see, if I paste
things all over the valise he will think it is all right, ‘cause he
is near sighted,” and the boy pasted on a label for 37 varieties of
pickles, and then put on an advertisement for hair restorer on the hat
box.

“Say, here’s a fine one, this malted milk label, with a New Jersey cow
on the corner,” said the old man, as he began to take interest in the
boy’s talent as an artist. “And here, try one of these green pea can
labels, and the pork and beans legend, and the only soap. Say, if you
and your dad don’t create a sensation from the minute you take the train
till you get back, you can take it out of my wages. When are you going?”

“To-morrow night,” said the boy, as he put more labels on the hat box,
and stood off and looked at them with the eye of an artist. “We go to
New York first to stay a few days and see things, and then we take a
steamer and sail away, and the sicker dad is the more time I will have
to fill up on useful nollig.”

“Hennery,” said the old groceryman, as his chin trembled, and a tear
came to his eye. “I want to ask you a favor. At times, when you have
been unusually mean, I have thought I hated you, but when I have said
something ugly to you, and have laid awake all night regretting it, it
has occurred to me that you were about the best friend I had. I think it
makes an old man forget his years, to be chummy with a live boy, full of
ginger, and I do like you, condemn you, and I can’t help it. Now I want
you to write me every little while, on your trip, and I will read your
letters to the customers here in the store, who will be lonely until
they can hear that you are dead. The neighbors will come in to read your
letters, and it will bring me custom. Will you write to me, boy, and
pour out your heart to me, and tell me of the different troubles you get
your dad into, for surely you cannot help finding trouble over there if
you go hunting for it. Promise me, boy.”

“You bet your life I will, old pard,” said the bad boy. “I shall have to
have some escape valve to keep from busting. I was going to write to
my chum, but he is in love with a telephone girl, and he don’t take any
time for pleasure. I will write you about every dutch and duchess we
meet, every prince and pauper, and everything. You watch my smoke, and
you will think there is a train afire. I hope dad will try and restrain
himself from wanting to fight everybody that belongs to any country but
America. He has bought one one these little silk American flags to wear
in his button hole, and he swears if anybody looks cross-eyed at that
flag he will simply cut his liver out, and toast it on a fork, and eat
it. He makes me tired, and I know there is going to be trouble.”

“Don’t you think your dad’s mind sort of wanders?” said the old
groceryman, in a whisper, “It wouldn’t be strange, after all he has gone
through, in raising you up to your present size, if he was a little off
his base.”

“Well, ma thinks he is bug-house, and the hired girl is willing to go
into court and swear to it, and that experience we had coming home from
the Yellowstone park some time ago, made me think if he was not crazy he
would be before long, You see, we had a hot box on the engine, and had
to stay at a station in the bad lands for an hour, and there were a mess
of cow boys on the platform, and I told dad we might as well have some
amusement while we were there, and that a brake-man told me the cow boys
were great dancers, but you couldn’t hire them to dance, but if some man
with a strong personality would demand that they dance, and put his hand
on his pistol pocket they would all jump in and dance for an hour. That
was enough for dad, for he has a microbe that he is a man of strong
personality, and that when he demands that anybody do something they
simply got to do it, so he walked up and down the platform a couple of
times to get his draw poker face on, and I went up to one of the cow
boys and told him that the old duffer used to be a ballet dancer, and he
thought everybody ought to dance when they were told to, and that if the
spell should come on him, and he should order them to dance, it would be
a great favor to me if they would just give him a double shuffle or two,
just to ease his mind.

“Well, pretty soon he came along to where the cowboys were leaning
against the railing, and, looking at them in a haughty manner, he said:
‘Dance, you kiotes, dance,’ and he put his hand to his pistol pocket.
Well, sir, I never saw so much fun in my life. Four of the cow boys
pulled revolvers and began to shoot regular bullets into the platform
within an inch of dad’s feet, and they yelled to him: ‘Dance your own
self, you ancient maverick; whoop ‘er up!’ and by gosh! dad was so
frightened that he began to dance all around the platform, and it was
like a battle, the bullets splintering the boards, and the smoke filling
the air, and the passengers looking out of the windows and laughing,
and the engineer and fireman looking on and yelling, and dad nearly
exhausted from the exertion. I guess if the conductor had not got the
hot box put out and yelled all aboard, dad would have had apoplexy.”

[Illustration: He began to dance all around the platform 037]

“When he let up, the cow boys quit shooting, and he! ‘ol aboard the train
and started. I stayed in the smoking car with the train butcher for more
than an hour, ‘cause I was afraid if I went in the car where dad was he
would make some remark that would offend my pride, and when I did
go back to the car he just said: ‘Somebody fooled you. Those fellows
couldn’t dance, and I knew it all the time.’ Yes, I guess there is no
doubt dad is crazy sometimes, but let me chaperone him through a few
foreign countries and he will stand without hitching all right. Well,
goodby, now, old man, and try and bear up under it, till you get a
letter from me,” and the bad boy took his labeled valise and hat box and
started.



CHAPTER III.

     The Bad Boy Writes About the Fun They Had Going to
     Washington--He and His Dad Call on President Roosevelt--
     The Bad Boy Meets One of the Children and They Disagree.

Washington, D. C--My Dear Old Skate: I didn’t tell you in my last about
the fun we had getting here. We were on the ocean wave two days, because
the whole country was flooded from the rains, and dad walked the quarter
deck of the Pullman car, and hitched up his pants, and looked across the
sea on each side of the train with a field glass, looking for whales and
porpoises. He seems to be impressed with the idea that this trip abroad
is one of great significance to the country, and that he is to be a sort
of minister plenipotentiary, whatever that is, and that our country is
going to be judged by the rest of the world by the position he takes on
world affairs. The first day out of Chicago dad corraled the porter in a
section and talked to him until the porter was black in the face. I told
dad the only way to get respectful consideration from a negro was to
advocate lynching and burning at the stake, for the slightest things, so
when our porter was unusually attentive to a young woman on the car dad
hauled him over the coals, and scared him so by talking of hanging, and
burning in kerosene oil, that the negro got whiter than your shirt, and
when he got away from dad he came to me and asked if that old man with
the red nose and the gold-headed cane was as dangerous as he talked.
I told him he was my dad, and that he was a walking delegate of the
Amalgamated Association of Negro Lynchers, and when a negro did anything
that he ought to be punished for they sent for dad, and he took charge
of the proceedings and saw that the negro was hanged, and shot, and
burned up plenty. But I told him that dad was crazy on the subject
of giving tips to servants, and he must not fall dead when we got to
Washington if dad gave him a $50 bill, and he must not give back any
change, but just act as though he always got $50 from passengers. Well,
you’d a dide to see that negro brush dad 50 times a day, and bring a
towel every few minutes to wipe off his shoes, but he kept one eye,’
about as big as an onion, on dad all the time, to watch that he didn’t
get stabbed. The next morning I took dad’s pants from under his pillow,
and hid them in a linen closet, and dad laid in his berth all the
forenoon, and had it out with the porter, whom he accused of stealing
them. The doctors told me I must keep dad interested and excited, so he
would not dwell on his sickness, and I did, sure as you are a foot high.
Dad stood it till almost noon, when he came out of his berth with his
pajamas on, these kind with great blue stripes like a fellow in the
penitentiary, and when he went to the wash room I found his pants
and then he dressed up and swore some at everybody but me. We got to
Washington all right, and I thought I would bust when dad fished out a
nickel and gave it to the porter, and we got out of the car before the
porter came to, and the first day we stayed in the hotel for fear the
negro would see us, as I told dad that porter would round up a gang of
negroes with razors and they would waylay us and cut dad all up into
sausage meat.

[Illustration: Fished out a nickel and gave it to the porter 042]

Dad is the bravest man I ever saw when there is no danger, but when
there is a chance for a row he is weak as a cat. I spect it is on
account of his heart being weak. A man’s internal organs are a great
study. I spose a brave man, a hero, has to have all his inside things
working together, to be real up and up brave, but if his heart is
strong, and his liver is white, he goes to pieces in an emergency, and
if his liver is all right, and he tries to fight just on his liver, when
the supreme moment arrives, and his heart jumps up into his throat, and
wabbles and beats too quick, he just flunks. I would like to dissect a
real brave man, and see what condition the things inside him are in, but
it would be a waste of time to dissect dad, ‘cause I know all his inner
works need to go to a watchmaker and be cleaned, and a new main spring
put in.

Well, this morning dad shaved himself, and got on his frock coat, and
his silk hat, and said we would go over to the white house and have
a talk with Teddy, but first he wanted to go and see where Jefferson
hitched his horse to the fence when he came to Washington to be
innogerated, and where Jackson smoked his corn cob pipe, and swore and
stormed around when he was mad, and to walk on the same paths where
Zachariah Taylor Zacked, Buchanan catched it, and Lincoln put down
the rebellion, and so we walked over toward the white house, and I was
scandalized. I stopped to pick up a stone to throw at a dog inside the
fence, and when I walked along behind dad, and got a rear view of his
silk hat, it seemed as though I would sink through the asphalt pavement,
for he had on an old silk hat that he wore before the war, the darnedest
looking hat I ever saw, the brim curled like a minstrel show hat, the
fur rubbed off in some places, and he looked like one of these actors
that you see pictures of walking on the railroad track, when the show
busts up at the last town. I think a man ought to dress so his young
son won’t have a fit. I tried to get dad to go and buy a new hat, but he
said he was going to wait till he got to London, and buy one just like
King Edward wears, but he will never get to London with that hat, ‘cause
to-night I will throw it out of the hotel window and put a piece of
stove pipe in his hat box.

Well, sir, you wouldn’t believe it, but we got into the white house
without being pulled, but it was a close shave, ‘cause everybody looked
at dad, and put their forefingers to their foreheads, for they thought
he was either a crank, or an ambassador from some furrin country. The
detectives got around dad when we got into the anteroom, and began to
feel of his pockets to see if he had a gun, and one of them asked me
what the old fellow wanted, and I told them he was the greatest bob cat
shooter in the west, and was on his way to Europe to invite the emperors
and things to come over to this country and shoot cats on his preserve.
Well, say, you ought to have seen how they stepped one side and waltzed
around, and one of them went in the next room and told the president dad
was there, and before we knew it we were in the president’s room, and
the president began to curl up his lip, and show his teeth like some one
had said “rats.”

[Illustration: President began to curl up his lip 045]

He got hold of dad’s hand, and dad backed off as though he was afraid of
being bitten, and then they sat down and talked about mountain lion and
cat shooting, and dad said he had a 22 rifle that he could pick a cat
off the back fence with every time, out of his bedroom window, and I
began to look around at the pictures. Dad and the president talked about
all kinds of shooting, from mudhens to moose, and then dad told the
president he was going abroad on account of his liver, and wanted a
letter of introduction to some of the kings and emperors, and queens,
and jacks, and all the face cards, and the president said he made it a
practice not to give any personal letters to his friends, the kings,
but that dad could tell any of them that he met that he was an American
citizen, and that would take him anywhere in Europe, and then he got
up and began to show his teeth at dad again, and dad gave him the grand
hailing sign of distress of the Grand Army and backed out, dropped his
hat, and in trying to pick it up, he stepped on it, but that made it
look better, anyway, and we found ourselves outside the room, and a lot
of common people from the country were ready to go in and talk politics
and cat shooting.

Well, we looked at pictures, and saw the state dining room where they
feed 50 diplomats at a time on mud turtle and champagne, and a boy about
my size looked sort of disdainful at me, and I told him it he would come
outside I would mash his jaw, and he said I could try it right there
if I was in a hurry to go, and I was starting to give him a swift punch
when a detective took hold of my arm and said they couldn’t have any
scrap there, ‘cause the president’s son could not fight with common
boys, and I asked him who he called a common boy, and then dad said we
better go before war broke out in a country that was illy prepared for
hostilities on a large scale, and then I told a detective that dad was
liable to have one of his spells and begin shooting any minute, and
then the detectives all thought dad was one of these president
assassinationists, and they took him into a room and searched him, and
asked him a whole lot of fool questions, and they finally let us out,
and told us we better skip the town before night.

[Illustration: I was starting to give him a swift punch 047]

Dad got kind of heavy-hearted over that and took a notion he would like
to see ma again before crossing the briny deep, so you came near having
your little angel again soon. This weakness of dad’s didn’t last long,
for we’re looking for a warm time in New York and old Lunnon.

So long,

Hennery.



CHAPTER IV.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Visit Mount Vernon--Dad Weeps at the
     Grave of the Father of Our Country.

New York City.--My Dear Uncle Ezra: I got a letter from my chum this
morning, and he says he was in the grocery the day he wrote, and you
were a sight. He says that if I am going to be away several months you
will never change your shirt till I get back, for nobody around the
grocery seems to have any influence over you. I meant to have put you
under bonds before I left, to change your shirt at least quarterly, but
you ought to change it by rights every month. The way to do is to get
an almanac and make a mark on the figures at the first of the month,
and when you are studying the almanac it will remind you of your duty to
society. People east here, that is, business men in your class, change
their shirts every week or two. Try and look out for these little
matters, insignificant as they may seem, because the public has some
rights that it is dangerous for a man to ignore.

Dad and I have been down to Mount Vernon, and had a mighty solemn
time. I think dad expected that we would be met at the trolley car by
a delegation of descendants of George Washington, by a four-horse
carriage, with postilions and things, and driven to the old house, and
received with some distinction, as dad had always been an admirer
of George Washington, and had pointed with pride to his record as a
statesman and a soldier, but all we saw was a bunch of negroes, who
told us which way to walk, and charged us ten cents apiece for the
information.

At Mount Vernon we found the old house where George lived and died,
where Martha told him to wipe his feet before he came in the house, and
saw that things were cooked properly. We saw pictures of revolutionary
scenes and men of that period, relics of the days when George was the
whole thing around there. We saw the bed on which George died, and then
we went down to the icehouse and looked through the fence and saw the
marble coffins in which George and Martha were sealed up. Say, old man,
I know you haven’t got much reverence, but you couldn’t look through
that fence at what remains of the father of his country without taking
off your hat and thinking good things while you were there.

[Illustration: Saw the marble coffins in which George and Martha 050]

I was surprised at dad; he cried, though he never met George Washington
in all his life. I have seen dad at funerals at home, when he was a
bearer, or a mourner, and he never acted as thought it affected him
much, but there at Mount Vernon, standing within eight feet of the
remains of George Washington, he just lost his nerve, and bellered, and
I felt solemn myself, like I had been kept in after school when all the
boys were going in swimming. If a negro had not asked dad for a quarter
I know dad would have got down on his knees and been pious, but when
he gave that negro a swift kick for butting in with a commercial
proposition, in a sacred moment, dad come to, and we went up to the
house again. Dad said what he wanted was to think of George Washington
just as a country farmer, instead of a general and a president. He said
we got nearer to George, if we thought of him getting up in the morning,
putting on his old farmer pants and shirt, and going downstairs in his
stocking feet, and going out to the kitchen by the wooden bench, dipping
a gourd full of rain water out of a barrel into an earthen wash basin
and taking some soft soap out of a dish and washing himself, his shirt
open so his great hairy breast would catch the breeze, his suspenders,
made of striped bed ticking, hanging down, his hair touseled up until
he had taken out a yellow pocket comb and combed it, and then yelling
to Martha to know about how long a workingman would have to wait for
breakfast. And then dad said he liked to think of George Washington
sitting down at the breakfast table and spearing sausages out of a
platter, and when a servant brought in a mess of these old-fashioned
buckwheat cakes, as big as a pieplate, see George, in imagination, pilot
a big one on to his plate, and cover it with sausage gravy, and eat
like he didn’t have any dyspepsia, and see him help Martha to buckwheat
cakes, and finally get up from breakfast like a full Christian and go
out on the farm and count up the happy slaves to see if any of them had
got away during the night.

By ginger, dad inspired me with new thoughts about the father of his
country. I had always thought of Washington as though he was constantly
crossing the Delaware in a skiff, through floating ice, with a cocked
hat on, and his coat flaps trimmed with buff nankeen stuff, a sort of
a male Eliza in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” getting away from the hounds that
were chasing her to chew her pants. I was always thinking of George
either chopping cherry trees, or standing on a pedestal to have his
picture taken, but here at the old farm, with dad to inspire me, I was
just mingling with Washington, the planter, the neighbor, telling the
negroes where they would get off at if they didn’t pick cotton fast
enough, or breaking colts, or going to the churn and drinking a quart
of buttermilk, and getting the stomach ache, and calling upstairs to
Martha, who was at the spinning wheel, or knitting woolen socks, and
asking her to fix up a brandy smash to cure his griping pains. I thought
of the father of his country taking a severe cold, and not being able
to run into a drug store for a bottle of cough sirup, or a quinine pill,
having Martha fix a tub of hot mustard water to soak those great feet of
his, and bundle him up in a flannel blanket, give him a hot whisky, and
put him to bed with a hot brick at his feet.

Then, when I looked at a duck blind out in the Potomac, near the shore,
I thought how George used to put on an old coat and slouch hat and take
his gun and go out in the blind, and shoot canvas-back ducks for dinner,
and paddle his boat out after the dead birds, the way Grover Cleveland
did a century later. I tell you, old man, the way to appreciate our
great statesmen, soldiers and scholars is to think of them just as
plain, ordinary citizens, doing the things men do nowadays. It does dad
and I more good to think of Washington and his friends camping out down
the Potomac, on a fishing trip, sleeping on a bed of pine boughs, and
cooking their own pork, and roasting sweet potatoes in the ashes, eating
with appetites like slaves, than to think of him at a state dinner in
the white house, with a French cook disguising the food so they could
not tell what it was.

O, I had rather have a picture of George Washington and Lafayette coming
up the bank of the Potomac toward the house, loaded down with ducks, and
Martha standing on the porch of Mount Vernon asking them who they bought
the ducks of and how much they cost, than to have one of those big
paintings in the white house showing George and Lafayette looking as
though they had conquered the world. If the phonograph had been invented
then, and we could listen to the conversation of those men, just as they
said things, it would be great. Imagine George saying to Lafayette, so
you cotild hear it now: “Lafe, that last shot at that canvasback you
made was the longest shot ever made on the Potomac. It was a Jim dandy,
you old frog eater,” and imagine Lafayette replying: “You bet your life,
George, I nailed that buck canvasback with a charge of number six shot,
and he never knew what struck him.” But they didn’t have any phonographs
in those days and so you have got to imagine things.

How would Washington’s farewell address sound now in a phonograph,
or some of George’s choice swear words at a slave that had ridden a
sore-backed mule down to Alexandria after a jug of rum. I would like to
run a phonograph show with nothing in the machine but ancient talk from
George Washington, but we can have no such luck unless George is born
again.

Old man, if you ever get a furlough from business, you go down to Mount
Vernon and revel in memories of the father of his country. If you go,
hunt up a negro with a hair lip, that is a servant there, and who used
to be Washington’s body servant, unless he is a liar, and tell him I
sent you and he won’t do a thing to you, for a dollar or so. I told that
negro that dad was a great general, a second Washington, and he wore
all the skin off his bald head taking off his hat to dad every time dad
looked at him, and he bowed until his back ached, but when we were going
away, and dad asked me what ailed the old monkey to act that way, the
old negro thought these new Washingtons were a pretty tough lot.

All the time at Mount Vernon I couldn’t get up meanness enough to
play any trick on dad, but I picked up a sort of a horse chestnut or
something, with prickers on it as sharp as needles, and as we were
getting on the trolley I slipped it down the back of dad’s pants, near
where his suspenders button on, and by the time we sat down in the car
the horse chestnut had worked down where dad is the largest, and when he
leaned back against the seat he turned pale and wiggled around and asked
me if he looked bad.

[Illustration: Slipped it down the back of dad’s pants 057]

I told him he looked like a corpse, which encouraged him so he almost
fainted. He asked me if I had heard of any contagious diseases that were
prevalent in Virginia, ‘cause he felt as though he had caught something.
I told him I would ask the conductor, so I went and asked the conductor
what time we got to Washington, and then I went back to dad and told
him the conductor said there was no disease of any particular account,
except smallpox and yellow fever, and that the first symptom of smallpox
was a prickling sensation in the small of the back.

Dad turned green and said he had got it all right, and I had the
darndest time getting him back to the hotel at Washington. Say, I had to
help him undress, and I took the horse chestnut and put it in the foot
of the bed, and got dad in, and I went downstairs to see a doctor, and
then I came back and told him the doctor said if the prickly sensation
went to his feet he was in no danger from smallpox, as it was an
evidence that an old vaccination of years ago had got in its work and
knocked the disease out of his system lengthwise, and when I told dad
that he raised up in bed and said he was saved, for ever since I went
out of the room he had felt that same dreaded prickling at work on his
feet, and he was all right.

I told dad it was a narrow escape and that it ought to be a warning
to him. Dad has to wear a dress suit to dinner here and cough up money
every time he turns around, ‘cause I have told the bell boys dad is a
bonanza copper king, and they are not doing a thing to dad.

O, I guess I am doing just as the doctors at home ordered, in keeping
dad’s mind occupied.

Well, so long, old man, I have got to go to dinner with dad, and I am
going to order the dinner myself, dad said I could, and if I don’t put
him into bankruptcy, you don’t know your little

Hennery.



CHAPTER V.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Have Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria--
     The Bad Boy Orders Dinner--The Old Man Gets Stuck--Tries to
     Rescue a Countess in Distress.

Waldorf-Astoria, New York.--Dear Uncle Ezra: We are still at this
tavern, but we don’t do anything but sleep here, and stay around in
the lobby evenings to let people look at us, and dad wears that old
swallow-tail coat he had before the war, but he has got a new silk hat,
since we got here; one of these shiny ones that is so slick it makes his
clothes look offul bum. We about went broke on the first supper we
had, or dinner they call it here. You see, dad thought this was about a
three-dollar-a-day house, and that the meals were included, like they do
at Oshkosh, and so when we went down to dinner dad said we wouldn’t do
a thing to old Astor. He let me order the dinner, but told me to order
everything on the bill-of-sale, because we wanted to get the worth of
our three dollars a day. Well, honest, I couldn’t order all there was,
‘cause you couldn’t have got it all on a billiard table. Say, that list
they gave me had everything on it that was ever et or drunk, but I told
dad they would fire us out if we ordered the whole prescription, so all
I ordered was terrapin, canvasback duck, oysters, clams, crabs, a lot of
new kinds of fish, and some beef and mutton, and turkey, and woodcock,
and partridge, and quail, and English pheasant, and lobster and salads
and ices, and pie and things, just to stay our stomachs, and when it
came to wine, dad weakened, because he didn’t want to set a bad example
to me, so he ordered hard cider for hisself and asked me if I wanted
anything to drink, and I ordered brown pop. You’d a been tickled to see
the waiter when he took that order, ‘cause I don’t s’pose anybody ever
ordered cider and brown pop there since Astor skinned muskrats for a
living, when he was a trapper up north. Gosh, but when they brought that
dinner in, you ought to have seen the sensation it created. Most of the
people in the great dining hall looked at dad as though he was a Crases,
or a Rockefeller, and the head waiter bowed low to dad, and dad thought
it was Astor, and dad looked dignified and hurt at being spoken to by a
common tavern keeper. Well, we et and et, but we couldn’t get away with
hardly any of it, and dad wanted to wrap some of the duck and lobsters
and things in a newspaper and take it to the room for a lunch, but the
waiter wouldn’t have it. But the cyclone struck the house when dad and
I got up to go out of the dining-room, and the waiter brought dad the
check.

[Illustration: The waiter brought dad the check 063]

“What is this?” said dad, as he put on his glasses and looked at the
check which was $43 and over.

“Dinner check, sir,” said the waiter, as he straightened back and held
out his hand.

“Why, ain’t this house run on the American plan?” said dad, as his chin
began to tremble.

“No, sir, on the Irish plan,” said the waiter. “You pays for what you
horders,” and dad began to dig up. He looked at me as though I was to
blame, when he told me to order all there was in sight. Well, I have
witnessed heart-rending scenes, but I never saw anything that would
draw tears like dad digging down for that $43. The doctors at home had
ordered excitement for dad, but this seemed to be an overdose, and I
was afraid he would collapse and I offered him my glass of brown pop to
stimulate him, but he told me I could go plumb, and if I spoke to him
again he would maul me. He got his roll half out of his pistol pocket,
and then talked loud and said it was a damoutridge, and he wanted to see
Astor himself before he would allow himself to be held up by highwaymen,
and then all the other diners stood up and looked at dad, and a lot of
waiters and bouncers surrounded him, and then he pulled out the roll,
and it was pitiful to see him wet his trembling thumb on his trembling
dry tongue and begin to peel off the bills, like you peel the layers off
an onion, but he got off enough to pay for the dinner, gave the waiter
half a dollar, and smiled a sickly smile at the head waiter, and I
led him out of the dining-room a broken-down old man. As we got to the
lobby, where the horse show of dress-suit chappies was beginning the
evening procession, I said to dad: “Next time we will dine out, I
guess,” and at that he rallied and seemed to be able to take a joke, for
he said: “We dined out this time. We dined out $43,” and then we joined
the procession of walkers around, and tried to look prosperous, and
after awhile dad called a bell boy, and asked him if there wasn’t a good
dairy lunch counter near the Waldorf, where a man could go and get a
bowl of bread and milk, and the bell boy gave him the address of a
dairy lunch place, and I can see my finish, ‘cause from this out we will
probably live on bread and milk while we are here, and I hate bread and
milk.

It got all around the hotel, about the expensive dinner dad ordered for
himself and the little heir to his estate, and everybody wanted to get
acquainted with dad and try to get some stock in his copper mine. I had
told dad about my telling the boys he was a bonanza copper miner, and
he never batted an eye when they asked him about his mine, and he looked
the part.

[Illustration: One man wanted dad to cash a check 067]

One man wanted dad to cash a check, ‘cause the bank was closed, and he
was a rich-looking duke, and dad was just going to get his roll out and
peel off some more onion, when I said: “Not on your tintype, Mr. Duke,”
 and dad left his roll in his pocket, and the duke gave me a look as
though he wanted to choke me, and went away, saying: “There is Mr.
Pierpont Morgan, and I can get him to cash it.” I saved dad over a
hundred dollars on that scheme, and so we are making money every minute.
We went to our room early, so dad could digest his $43 worth of glad
food.

Gee, but this house got ripped up the back before morning. You remember
I told you about a countess, or a duchess, or some kind of high-up
female that had a room next to our room. Well, she is a beaut, from
Butte, Mont., or Cuba, or somewhere, for she acts like a queen that has
just stepped off her throne for a good time. She has got a French maid
that is a peacharino. You know that horse chestnut, with the prickers
on, that I put in dad’s pants at Washington. Well, I have still got it,
and as it gets dry the prickers are sharper than needles, sharper even
than a servant’s tooth, as it says in the good book. I thought I would
give dad a run for his money, ‘cause exercise and excitement are good
for a man that dined heartily on $43 worth of rich food, so when we went
to our room I told dad that I was satisfied from what a bell boy told
me that the countess in the next room, who had gold cords over her
shoulders for suspenders, was stuck on him, because she was always
inquiring who the lovely old gentleman was with the sweet little boy.
Dad he got so interested that he forgot to cuss me about ordering that
dinner, and he said he had noticed her, and would like real well to get
acquainted with her, ‘cause a man far away from home, sick as a dog,
with no loving wife to look after him, needed cheerful company. So I
told him I had it all arranged for him to meet her, and then I went out
in the hall, sort of whistling around, and the French maid came out
and broke some English for me, and we got real chummy, ‘cause she was
anxious to learn English, and I wanted to learn some French words; so
she invited me into the room, and we sat on the sofa and exchanged words
quite awhile, until she was called to the telephone in the other room.
Say, you ought to have seen me. I jumped up and put my hand inside
the sheets of the bed, and put that chestnut in there, right about the
middle of the bed, and then, after learning French quite a spell, with
the maid, we heard the countess getting off’ the elevator, and the maid
said I must skip, ‘cause it was the countess’ bed-time, and I went back
and told dad the whole thing was arranged for him to meet the countess,
in a half an hour or so, as she had to write a few letters to some
kings and dukes, and when she gave a little scream; as though she was
practicing her voice on an opera, or something, dad was to go and rap
at the door. Gosh, but I was sorry for dad, for he was so nervous and
anxious for the half hour to expire that he walked up and down the room,
and looked at himself in the mirror, and acted like he had indigestion.
I had told the maid that she and the countess must feel perfectly safe,
if anything ever happened, ‘cause my dad was the bravest man in the
world, and he would rush to the rescue of the countess, if a burglar got
in in the night, or the water pipes busted, or anything, and all she had
to do was to screech twice and dad would be on deck, and she must open
the door quicker-n scat, and she thanked me, and said she would, and for
me to come, too. Say, on the dead, wasn’t that a plot for an amateur to
cook up? Well, sir, we had to wait so long for the countess to get on
the horse chestnut that I got nervous myself, but after awhile there
came a scream that would raise your hair, and I told dad the countess
was singing the opera. Dad said: “Hennery, that ain’t no opera, that’s
tragedy,” but she gave two or three more stanzas, and I told dad he
better hustle, and we went out in the hall and rapped at the door of the
countess’ room, and the maid opened it, and told us to send for a doctor
and a policeman, ‘cause the countess was having a fit. Well, say, that
was the worst ever. The countess had jumped out of bed, and was pulling
the lace curtains around her, but dad thought she was crazy, and was
going to jump out of the window, and he made a grab for her, and he
shouted to her to “be cam, be cam, poor woman, and I will rescue you.”
 I tried to pacify the maid the best I knew how, and dad was getting the
countess calmer, but she evidently thought he was an assassin, for every
little while she would yell for help, and then the night watchman came
in with a house policeman, and one of them choked dad off, and they
asked the countess what the trouble was, and she said she had just
retired when she was stabbed about a hundred times in the small of the
back with a poniard, and she knew conspirators were assassinating her,
and she screamed, and this old bandit, meaning dad, came in, and the
little monkey, meaning me, had held his hand over her maid’s mouth, so
she could not make any outcry.

[Illustration: Night watchman came in with a house policeman 071]

Well, I got my horse chestnut all right, out of the bed, and the
policeman told the countess not to be alarmed, and go back to bed, and
they took dad and I to our room, and asked us all about it. Gee, but
dad put up a story about hearing a woman scream in the next room, and,
thinking only of the duty of a gentleman under the circumstances, rushed
to her rescue, and all there was to it was that she must have had a
nightmare, but he said if he had it to do over again, he would do the
same. Anyway, the policeman believed dad, and they went off and left us,
and we went to bed, but dad said: “Hennery, you understand, I don’t want
to make any more female acquaintances, see, among the crowned heads,
and from this out we mingle only with men. The idea of me going into a
woman’s room and finding a Floradora with fits and tantrums, and me, a
sick man. Now, don’t write to your ma about this, ‘cause she never did
have much confidence in me, around women with fits.” So, Uncle Ezra, you
must not let this get into the papers, see?

Well, we have bought our tickets for Liverpool, and shall sail
to-morrow, and while you are making up your cash account Saturday night,
we shall be on the ocean. I s’pose I will write you on the boat, if they
will tie it up somewhere so it will stand level. Your dear boy. Hennery.



CHAPTER VI.

     The Bad Boy Writes the Old Groceryman About Ocean Voyages--
     His Dad Has an Argument Over a Steamer Chair.

On Board the Lucinia, Mid-ocean.

Dear Old Geezer.

I take the first opportunity, since leaving New York, to write you,
‘cause the boat, after three days out, has got settled down so it runs
level, and I can write without wrapping my legs around the table legs,
to hold me down. I have tried a dozen times to write, but the sea was so
rough that part of the time the table was on top of me and part of the
time I was on top, and I was so sick I seem to have lost my mind, over
the rail, with the other things supposed to be inside of me. O, old man,
you think you know what seasickness is, ‘cause you told me once about
crossing Lake Michigan on a peach boat, but lake sickness is easy
compared with the ocean malady. I could enjoy common seasickness and
think it was a picnic, but this salt water sickness takes the cake. I am
sorry for dad, because he holds more than I do, and he is so slow
about giving up meals that he has paid for, that it takes him longer to
commune with nature, and he groans so, and swears some.

[Illustration: I am sorry for dad, because he holds more than I do 074]

I don’t see how a person can swear when he is seasick on the ocean, with
no sure thing that he will ever see land again, and a good prospect of
going to the bottom, where you got to die in the arms of a devil fish,
with a shark biting pieces out of your tender loin and a smoked halibut
waiting around for his share of your corpse, and whales blowing syphons
of water and kicking because they are so big that they can’t get at you
to chew cuds of human gum, and porpoises combing your damp hair with
their fine tooth comb fins, and sword fish and sawtooth piscatorial
carpenters sawing off steaks. Gee, but it makes me crawl. I once saw a
dead dog in the river, with bull heads and dog-fish ripping him up the
back, and I keep thinking I had rather be that dog, in a nice river at
home, with bullheads that I knew chewing me at their leisure, than to be
a dead boy miles down in the ocean, with strange fish and sea serpents
quarreling over the tender pieces in me. A man told me that if you smoke
cigarets and get saturated with nickoteen, and you are drownded, the
fish will smell of you, and turn up their noses and go away and leave
your remains, so I tried a cigaret, and, gosh, but I had rather be et
by fish than smoke another, on an ocean steamer. It only added to my
sickness, and I had enough before. I prayed some, when the boat stood on
its head and piled us all up in the front end, but a chair struck me on
the place where Fitzsimmons hit Corbett, and knocked the prayer all out
of me, and when the boat stood on her butt end and we all slid back the
whole length of the cabin, and I brought up under the piano, I tried to
sing a hymn, such as I used to in the ‘Piscopal choir, before my voice
changed, but the passengers who were alive yelled for some one to choke
me, and I didn’t sing any more. Dad was in the stateroom when we were
rolling back and forth in the cabin, and between sicknesses he came
out to catch me and take me into the stateroom, but he got the rolling
habit, too, and he rolled a match with an actress who was voyaging for
her health, and they got offully mixed up. He tried to rescue her, and
grabbed hold of her belt and was reeling her in all right, when a man
who said he was her husband took dad by the neck and said he must keep
his hands off or get another nose put on beside the one he had, and then
they all rolled under a sofa, and how it came out I don’t know, but the
next morning dad’s eye was blacked, and the fellow who said he was her
husband had his front teeth knocked out, and the actress lost her back
hair and had to wear a silk handkerchief tied around her head the rest
of the trip, and she looked like a hired girl who has been out to a
saloon dance.

The trouble with dad is that he butts in too much. He thinks he is the
whole thing and thinks every crowd he sees is a demonstration for him.
When the steamer left New York, there were hundreds of people on the
dock to see friends off, and they had flowers to present to Unfriends,
and dad thought they were all for him, and he reached for every bunch of
roses that was brought aboard, and was going to return thanks for them,
when they were jerked away from him, and he looked hurt. When the gang
plank was pulled in, and the boat began to wheeze, and grunt, and move
away from the dock, and dad saw the crowd waving handkerchiefs and
laughing, and saying _bon voyage_, he thought they were doing it all for
him, and he started in to make a speech, thanking his fellow countrymen
for coming to see him off, and promising them that he would prove a true
representative of his beloved country in his travels abroad, and that
he would be true to the stars and stripes wherever fortune might place
him, and all that rot, when the boat got so far away they could not hear
him, and then he came off his perch, and said, “Hennery, that little
impromptu demonstration to your father, on the eve of his departure from
his native land, perhaps never to return, ought to be a deep and lasting
lesson to you, and to show you that the estimation in which I am held
by our people, is worth millions to you, and you can point with pride to
your father.” I said “rats” and dad said he wouldn’t wonder if the boat
was full of rats, and then we stood on deck, and watched the objects of
interest down the bay.

[Illustration: A speech, thanking his fellow countrymen 078]

As we passed the statue of Liberty, which France gave to the republic,
on Bedloe’s Island, dad started to make a speech to the passengers, but
one of the officers of the boat told dad this was no democratic caucus,
and that choked him off, but he was loaded for a speech, and I knew
it was only a matter of time when he would have to fire it off, but I
thought when we got outside the bar, into the ocean, his speech would
come up with the rest of the stuff, and I guess it did, for after he
began to be sea sick he had to keep his mouth shut, which was a great
relief to me, for I felt that he would say something that would get this
country in trouble with other nations, as there were lots of foreigners
on board. I heard that J. Pierpont Morgan was on board, and I told
everybody I got in conversation with that dad was Pierpont Morgan, and
when people began to call him Mr. Morgan, I told dad the passengers
thought he was Morgan; the great financier, and it tickled dad, and he
never denied it. Anyway, the captain put dad and I at his own table,
and he called me “Little Pierp,” and everybody discussed great financial
questions with dad, and everything would have been lovely the whole
trip, only Morgan came amongst us after he had been sea sick for three
days, and they gave him a seat opposite us, and with two Morgans at the
same table it was a good deal like two Uncle Tom’s in an Uncle Tom’s
Cabin show, so dad had to stay in his stateroom on account of sickness,
a good deal. Then dad got to walking on deck and flirting with the
female passengers. Say, did you ever see an old man who was stuck on
hisself, and thought that every woman who looked at him, from curiosity,
or because he had a wart on his neck, and watch him get busy making ‘em
believe he is a young and kitteny thing, who is irresistible? Gee,
but it makes me tired. No man can mash, and make eyes, and have a love
scene, when he has to go to the rail every few minutes and hump hisself
with something in him that is knocking at the door of his palate, to
come out the same way it went in. Dad found a widow woman who looked
back at him kind of sassy, when he braced up to her, and when the ship
rolled and side-stepped, he took hold of her arm to steady her, and she
said maybe they better sit down on deck and talk it over, so dad found
a couple of steamer chairs that were not in use, and they sat down near
together, and dad took hold of her hand to see if she was nervous, and
he told me I could go any play mumbletypeg in the cabin, and I went in
the cabin and looked out of the window at dad and the widow. Say, you
wouldn’t think two chairs could get so close, and dad was sure love
sick, and so was she. The difference between love sick and sea sick is
that in love sick you look red in the face and snuggle up, and squeeze
hands, and look fondly, and swallow your emotion, and try to wait
patiently until it is dark enough so the spectators won’t notice
anything, and in sea sickness you get pale in the face, and spread
apart, and let go of hands, and after you have stood it as long as
you can you rush to the rail and act as though you were going to jump
overboard, and then stop sudden and let-’er-go-gallagher, right before
folks, and after it is over you try to look as though you had enjoyed
it. I will say this much for dad, he and the widow never played a duet
over the rail, but they took turns, and dad held her as tenderly as
though they were engaged, and when he got her back to the steamer chair
he stroked her face and put camphor to her nose, and acted like an
undertaker that wasn’t going to let the remains get away from him. They
were having a nice convalescent time, just afore it broke up, and hadn’t
either of them been sick for ten minutes, and dad had put his arm around
her shoulders, and was talking cunning to her, and she was looking
lovingly into dad’s eyes, and they were talking of meeting again in
France in a few weeks, where she was going to rent a villa, and dad was
saying he would be there with both feet, when I opened the window and
said, “The steward is bringing around a lunch, and I have ordered two
boiled pork sandwiches for you two easy marks.” Well, you’d a dide to
see ‘em jump. What there is about the idea of fat pork that makes people
who are sea sick have a relapse, I don’t know, but the woman grabbed her
stum-mix in both hands and left dad and rushed into the cabin yelling
“enough,” or something like that, and dad laid right back in the chair
and blatted like a calf, and said he would kill me dead when we got
ashore. Just then an Englishman came along and told dad he better get
up out of his chair, and dad said whose chair you talking about, and the
man said the chair was his, and if dad didn’t get out of it, he would
kick him in the pants, and dad said he hadn’t had a good chance at an
Englishman since the Revolutionary war, and he just wanted a chance
to clean up enough Englishmen for a mess, and dad got up and stood at
“attention,” and the Englishman squared off like a prize fighter, and
they were just going to fight the battle of Bunker Hill over again, when
I run up to an officer with gold lace on his coat and lemon pie on his
whiskers, and told him an old crazy Yankee out on deck was going to
murder a poor sea sick Englishman, and the officer rushed out and took
dad by the coat collar and made him quit, and when he found what the
quarrel was about, he told dad all the chairs were private property
belonging to the passengers, and for him to keep out of them, and he
apologized to the Englishman and they went into the saloon and settled
it with high balls, and dad beat the Englishman by drinking two high
balls to his one. Then dad set into a poker game, with ten cents ante,
and no limit, and they played along for a while until dad got four
jacks, and he bet five dollars, and a Frenchman raised him five thousand
dollars, and dad laid down his hand and said the game was too rich for
his blood, and when he reached in his vest pocket for money to pay for
his poker chips he found that his roll was gone, and he said he would
leave his watch for security until he could go to his state room and get
some money, and then he found that his watch had been pinched, and the
Englishman said he would be good for it, and dad came out in the cabin
and wanted me to help him find the widow, cause he said when she laid
her head on his shoulder, to recover from her sickness, he felt a
fumbling around his vest, but he thought it was nothing but his stomach
wiggling to get ready for another engagement, but now he knew she had
robbed him. Say, dad and I looked all over that boat for the widow, but
she simply had evaporated. But land is in sight, and we shall land at
Liverpool this afternoon, and dad is going to lay for the widow at the
gang plank, and he won’t do a thing to her. I guess not. Well, you will
hear from me in London next, and I’ll tell you if dad got his money and
watch back.

Hennery.



CHAPTER VII.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Eat Fog--Call on Astor--A Dynamite
     Outrage.

London, England.

Dear Old Man:

Well, sir, if a court sentenced me to live in this town, I would appeal
the case, and ask the judge to temper his sentence with mercy, and hang
me. Say, the fog here is so thick you have to feel around like a blind
goddess, and when you show up through the fog you look about eighteen
feet high, and you are so wet you want to be run through a clothes
wringer every little while. For two days we never left the hotel, but
looked out of the windows waiting for the fog to go by, and watching the
people swim through it, without turning a hair. Dad was for going right
to the Lord Mayor and lodging a complaint, and demanding that the fog be
cleared off, so an American citizen could go about town and blow in his
money, but I told him he could be arrested for treason. He come mighty
near being arrested on the cars from Liverpool to London. When we got
off the steamer and tried to find the widow who robbed dad of his
watch and roll of money, but never found her, we were about the last
passengers to reach the train, and when we got ready to get on we found
these English cars that open on the sides, and they put you into a box
stall with some other live stock, and lock you in, and once in a while
a guard opens the door to see if you are dead from suffocation, or have
been murdered by the other passengers. Dad kicked on going in one of the
kennels the first thing, and said he wanted a parlor car; but the guard
took dad by the pants and gave him a shove, and tossed me in on top of
dad, and two other passengers and a woman in the compartment snickered,
and dad wanted to fight all of ‘em except the woman, but he concluded to
mash her. When the door closed clad told the guard he would walk on his
neck when the door opened, and that he was not an entry in a dog show,
and he wanted a kennel all to himself, and asked for dog biscuit. Gee,
but that guard was mad, and he gave dad a look that started the train
going. I whispered to dad to get out his revolver, because the other
passengers looked like hold up men, and he took his revolver out of
his satchel and put it in his pistol pocket, and looked fierce, and the
woman began to act faint, while the passengers seemed to be preparing
to jump on dad if he got violent. When the train stopped at the first
station I got out and told the guard that the old gentleman in there
was from Helena, Montana, and that he had a reputation from St. Paul
to Portland, and then I held up both hands the way train robbers make
passengers hold up their hands. When I went back in the car dad was
talking to the woman about her resembling a woman he used to know in
the states, and he was just going to ask her how long she had been so
beautiful, when the guard came to the side door and called the woman out
into another stall, and then one of the passengers pulled out a pair
of handcuffs and told dad he might as well surrender, because he was a
Scotland yard detective and had spotted dad as an American embezzler,
and if he drew that gun he had in his pocket there would be a dead
Yankee in about four minutes. Well, I thought dad had nerve before, but
he beat the band, right there. He unbuttoned his overcoat and put his
finger on a Grand Army button in his buttonhole, and said, “Gentlemen,
I am an American citizen, visiting the crowned heads of the old world,
with credentials from the President of the United States, and day after
tomorrow I have a date to meet your king, on official business that
means much to the future peace of our respective countries. Lay a hand
on me and you hang from the yard arm of an American battleship.” Well,
sir, I have seen a good many bluffs in my time, but I never saw the
equal of that, for the detective turned white, and apologized, and asked
dad and I out to luncheon at the next station, and we went and ate all
there was, and when the time was up the detective disappeared and dad
had to pay for the luncheon, but he kicked all the way to London, and
the guard would not listen to his complaints, but told him if he tried
to hold up the train he would be thrown out the window and run over by
the train. We had the compartment to ourselves the rest of the way to
London, except about an hour, when the guard shoved in a farmer who
smelled like cows, and dad tried to get in a quarrel with him, about
English roast beef coming from America, but the man didn’t have his
arguing clothes on, so dad began to find fault with me, and the man
told dad to let up on the kid or he would punch his bloody ‘ed off. That
settled it, when the man dropped his “h,” dad thought he was one of the
nobility, and he got quite chummy with the Englishman, and then we
got to London, and dad had a quarrel about his baggage, and after
threatening to have a lot of fights he got his trunk on the roof of a
cab, and in about an hour we got to the hotel, and then the fog began an
engagement. If the fog here ever froze stiff, the town would look like
a piece of ice with fish frozen in. Gee, but I would like to have it
freeze in front of our hotel, so I could take an ax and go out and chop
a frozen girl out, and thaw her till she came to.

Say, old man, if anybody ever wants to treat you to a trip to Europe,
don’t come here, but go to some place where they don’t think they
can speak English. You can understand a Nitalian or a Frenchman, or a
Dutchman, who can’t speak English, and knows he can’t, better than you
can an Englishman who thinks he can speak English, and can’t, “don’t you
know.” Everything is “don’t you know.” If a servant gives you an evening
paper, he says, “‘Ere’s your paiper, don’t you know,” and if a man
should--I don’t say they would, but if a man _should_ give you a civil
answer, when you asked him the name of a street, he would look at you
as though you were a cannibal, and say, “Regent street, don’t you know,”
 and then he would act as though you had broken him of his rest. Dad
asked more than a dozen men where Bill Astor lived, and of all the
population of London I don’t believe anybody knows, except one newsboy.
We rode half a day on top of a bus, through streets so crowded that the
horses had to creep, and dad hung on for fear the bus would be tipped
over, and finally we got out into the suburbs, where the rich people
live, and dad said we were right on the trail of King Edward, and we got
off and loitered around, and dad saw a beautiful place, with a big iron
fence, and a gate as big as a railroad bridge, and dad asked a newsboy
who lived there, and the boy made up a face at dad and said, “H’astor,
you bloke,” and he put out his hand for a tip. It was the first civil
answer dad had received in London, so he gave the boy a dollar. The boy
fell over on the sidewalk, dead, and dad started to go away for fear he
would be arrested for murder, but I kicked the boy on the pants, and he
got up and yelled some kind of murdered English, and more than a dozen
newsboys came on a gallop, and when the boy told them what had happened
they all wanted dad to ask them questions. I told the boys dad was
Andrew Carnegie, and that he was giving away millions of dollars, so
when dad got to the gate of the beautiful H’astor place, the boys yelled
Andrew Carnegie, and a flunkey flunked the gate open and dad and I went
in, and walked up to the house. Astor was on the veranda, smoking a
Missouri corn cob pipe, and drinking American beer, and seemed to
be wishing he was back home in America. Dad marched right up to the
veranda, like a veteran soldier, and Astor could see dad was an American
by the dandruff on his coat collar, and Astor said, “You are an American
citizen and you are welcome. Once I was like you, and didn’t care a
continental dam for anybody, but in a moment of passion I renounced my
country, swore allegiance to this blawsted country, and everybody hates
me here, and I don’t dare go home to collect my rent for fear I will be
quarantined at Ellis Island and sent back to England as an undesirable
emigrant who has committed a crime, and is not welcome in the land where
I was born. Old man, have a glass of Milwaukee beer and let’s talk of
your home and my birthplace, and forget that there is such a country as
England.” Dad sat down on the porch, and I went out on the lawn chasing
peacocks and treeing guinea hens, and setting dogs on the swans, until a
butler or a duke or something took me by the collar and shook me till my
teeth got loose, and he took me back to the veranda and sat me down on
the bottom step so hard my hair raised right up stiff, like a porcupine.
Then I listened to dad and Astor talk about America, and I never saw a
man who seemed to be so ashamed that he was a brevet Englishman, as he
did. He said he had so much money that it made his headache to hear the
interest accumulate, nights, when he couldn’t sleep, and yet he had no
more enjoyment than Dreyfus did on Devil’s Island. He had automobiles
that would fill our exposition building, horses and carriages by the
score, but he never enjoyed a ride about London, because only one person
in ten thousand knew him, and those who did looked upon him with pity
and contempt because he had renounced his country to get solid with the
English aristocracy, and nobody would speak to him unless they wanted to
borrow money, and if they did borrow money from him he was afraid they
would pay it back, and make him trouble counting it. He told dad he
wanted to get back into America, and become a citizen again of that
grand old country of the stars and stripes, and asked dad how he could
do it, for he said he had rather work in a slaughter house in America
than be a grand duke in England. I never saw dad look so sorry for a man
as he did for Astor, and he told him the only way was to sell out his
ranch in London and go back on an emigrant ship, take out his first
papers, vote the democratic ticket and eventually become a citizen.
Astor was thinking over the proposition, and dad had asked him if he
was not afraid of dynamiters, when he shuddered and said every day he
expected to be blown sky high, and finally he smelled something burning
and said the smell reminded him of an American 4th of July. You see, I
had been sitting still on the step of the veranda so long I got nervous,
for something exciting, so I took a giant firecracker out of my
pocket and lit the long tail, and shoved it under the porch and looked
innocent, and just then one of the flunkies with the tightest pants you
ever saw came along and patted me on the head and said I was a nice boy,
and that made me mad, and when he went to sit down beside me on the step
I took my horse chestnut out of my pocket and put it on the step just
where he sat down, and how it happened to come out so I don’t know, it
must have been Providence.

[Illustration: Now I lay me down to sleep 094]

You see just as the flunkey flunked on the chestnut burr, the fire
cracker went off, and the man jumped up and said ‘“Ells-fire, h’am
blowed,” and he had his hands on his pants, and the air was full of
smoke, and dad got on his knees and said, “Now I lay me,” and Mr. Astor
fainted all over a rocking chair and tipped beer bottles on the veranda
and more than forty servants came, and I told dad to come on, and we got
outside the gate, ahead of the police, and got a cab and drove quicker
than scat to the hotel, and I ast dad what he thought it was that went
off, and he said “You can search me,” but he said he had got enough of
trying to reform escaped Americans, and we got in the hotel and laid
low, and the newspapers told about a dynamite outrage, and laid it to
anarchists. Well I must close, cause we are going to see the American
minister and get a date to meet King’ Edward. We won’t do a thing to
Edward.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER VIII.

     The Bad Boy Writes About the Craze for Gin in the
     Whitechapel District--He Gives His Dad a Scare in the Tower
     of London.

London, England.--My Dear Chum: I received your letter yesterday, and it
made me homesick. Gee, but if I could be home there with you and go down
to the swimming hole and get in all over, and play tag in the sand, and
tie some boy’s pants and shirt in knots, and yell that the police are
coming, and all grab our clothes under our arms and run across lots with
no clothes on, and get in a barn and put on our clothes, and dry our
hair by pounding it with a stick, so we would not get licked when we got
home, life would be worth living, but here all I do is to dodge people
on the streets and see them look cross when they step on me.

Say, boy, you will never know your luck in being a citizen of good old
America, instead of a subject of Great Britain, because you have got
to be rich or be hungry here, and if you are too rich you have got no
appetite. You have heard of the roast beef of old England, but nobody
eats it but the dukes and bankers. The working men never even saw
a picture of a roast beef, and yet we look upon all Englishmen as
beef-eaters, but three-fourths of the people in this town look hungry
and discouraged, and they never seem to know whether they are going to
have any supper.

I went down to a market this morning where the middle class and the very
poor people buy their supplies, and it would make you sick to see them.
They buy small loaves of bread and a penny’s worth of tea, and that is
breakfast, and if a man is working he takes some of the bread to work
for lunch, and the wife or mother buys a carrot or a quarter of a
cabbage, and maybe a bone with a piece of meat about as big as a fish
bait, and that makes supper, with a growler of beer.

Say, the chunk of meat with a bone that an American butcher would throw
at a dog that he had never been introduced to would be a banquet for a
large family over here.

I have been down into the White Chapel district, which is the Five
Points of London, and of the thousands of tough people I saw there
was not a man but looked as though he would cut your liver out for a
shilling, and every woman was drunk on gin. What there is about gin that
makes it the national beverage for bad people beats me, for it looks
like water, tastes like medicine and smells like cold storage eggs. At
home when a person takes a drink of beer or whisky he at least looks
happy for a minute, and maybe he laughs, but here nobody laughs unless
somebody gets hurt, and that seems to tickle everybody in the White
Chapel district.

The people look mad and savage when they are not drinking, as though
they were only looking for an opportunity to commit murder, and then
when they take a drink of gin, instead of smiling and smacking their
lips as though it was good and braced them up, they look as though
they had been stabbed with a dirk and they put on a look of revenge,
as though they would like to wring a child’s neck or cut holes in the
people they meet.

Two drinks of gin makes a man or woman look as though they had swallowed
a buzz saw. I always thought drinking liquor made people think they were
enjoying themselves, or that they took it to drive away care and make
them forget their sorrows, but when these people drink gin they seem
to do it the way an American drinks carbolic acid, to end the whole
business quick.

At home the drinker drinks to make him feel like he was at a picnic.
Here every drinker acts like a suicide, who only hopes that he may
commit a murder before the gin ends his career. And there are hundreds
of thousands of people in this town who have no ambition except to get
a bit of bread to sustain them till they can get a drink of gin, and
gradually they let up on bread entirely and feed on gin, and look like
mad dogs and snarl at everybody they see, as much as to say: “What are
you going to do about it?”

[Illustration: Snarl at everybody they see 101]

A good square American meal would give them a fit, and they would go to
a hospital and die if the meal could not be got out of them.

Gosh, but I was glad to get out of the White Chapel district, and I kept
looking back for fear one of the men or women would slit me up the back
with a butcher knife, and laugh like an insane asylum inmate.

Do you know, those people who drink gin and go hungry are different from
our American murderers. Our murderers will assault you with a smile, rob
you with a joke on their tongue’s end, and give you back car fare when
they hold you up, and if they murder you they will do it easy and lay
you out with your hands across on your breast and notify the coroner,
but your White Chapel murderer wants to disembowel you and cut you up
into chunks, and throw your remains head first into something nasty,
and if you have money enough on your person to buy a bottle of gin your
murderer is as well satisfied as though he got a roll. Some men in our
country commit murders in order to get money to lay away so they can
live a nice, respectable life and be good ever afterwards, but your slum
murderer in London just kills because his stomach craves a drink, and
when he gets it he is tame, like a tiger that has eaten a native of
India.

You may think this letter is a solemn occasion because I tell you about
things that are not funny, but if you ever traveled abroad you will find
that there is no fun anywhere except in America unless you make it or
buy it.

We are taking in the solemn things first in order to get dad’s mind in a
condition so he can be cured of things he thinks ail him. I took dad to
the Tower of London, and when we got out of it he wanted to have America
interfere and have the confounded place burned down and grass sown on
the site and a park made of it.

The tower covers 13 acres of ground, and there are more things brought
to a visitor’s attention that ought to be forgotten than you ever
thought about.

I remember attending the theater at home and seeing Richard the Third
played, and I remember how my sympathies were aroused for the two little
boy princes that were murdered by Richard the Third, but I thought it
was a fake play, and that there was nothing true about it, but, by gosh,
it was right here in the Tower of London that the old hump-backed cuss
murdered those little princes, and dad and I stood right on the spot,
and the beef-eater who showed us around told us all the particulars. Dad
was indignant, and said to the beef-eater:

[Illustration: Stood around and let Richard kill those princes 098]

“Do you mean to tell me you stood around and let Richard kill those
princes without uttering a protest or protecting them or ringing for
the police? By the great hornspoon, you must have been accessory to the
fact, and you ought to be arrested and hung,” and dad pounded his cane
on the stone floor and looked savage.

The beef-eater got red in the face and said: “Begging your pardon, don’t
you know, but h’l was not ‘ere at the time. This ‘istory was made six
‘undred years ago.”

Dad begged the man’s pardon and told him he supposed the boys were
murdered a year or two ago, and he gave the beef-eater a dollar, and he
was so gratified I think he would have had a murder committed for dad
right there and then if dad had insisted on it.

You feel in going through the tower like you was in an American
slaughter house, for it was here that kings and queens were beheaded
by the dozen. They showed us axes that were used to behead people, and
blocks that the heads of the victims were laid on, and the places where
the heads fell on the floor. It seemed that in olden times when a king
or a queen got too gay, the anti-kings or queens would go to the palace
and catch the king or queen in the act, and take them by the neck and
hustle them to the tower, and when a king or queen got in the tower they
went out on the installment plan, and after being thrown in the gutter
for the mob to recognize, and walk on the bodies, they would bring
them back in the tower, and seal them up in a pigeon hole for future
generations to cry over.

All my life I have had in our house to look at a picture of beautiful
Anne Boleyn, and here I stood right where her head was cut off, and I
couldn’t help thinking of how we in America got our civilization from
the descendants of the English people who cut her head off.

By ginger, old chum, it made me hot. I didn’t care to look at the old
armor, or the crown jewels, which make you think of a cut glass factory,
but I reveled in the scenes of the beheading. I never was stuck much
on kings and queens, but it seems to me if they had to murder them they
ought to have given ‘em a show, and let them fight for their lives,
instead of getting into a trap, like you would entice a rat with cheese,
and then cut their heads off.

I suppose it is right here that we inherited the desire to lynch and
burn at the stake the negroes that commit crime and won’t confess at
home. When anything is born in the blood you can’t get rid of it without
taking a dose of patriotism and purifying the blood, and I advise you
never to visit the Tower of London, unless you want to feel like going
out and killing some one that is tied up with a rope.

Hearing of these murders and seeing the place where they were committed
does not give you an idea of fair play and you don’t feel like taking
some one of your size when you fight, but you get to thinking that if
you could catch a cripple who couldn’t defend himself you would like to
take a baseball club and maul the stuffing out of him. You become imbued
with the idea that if you went to war you would not want to stand up
and fight fair, but that you would like to get your enemy in a bunch
and drop dynamite down on him from a balloon, and kill all in sight, and
sail away with an insane laugh.

Gee, but another day in this tower, and I would want to go home and
murder ma, or the neighbors.

The only thing we have got in America that compares with the Tower of
London and its associates is the Leutgert sausage factory in Chicago,
where Leutgert got his wife into the factory, murdered her, and is
alleged to have cut her up in pieces and made sausage of the meat, given
the pieces with gristle in to his dogs, boiled the bones until they
would run into the sewer, dissolved the remnants in concentrated lye,
and sold the sausage to the lumber Jacks in the pine woods.

I expect Chicago will buy that sausage factory and make a show of it, as
London does the tower, and you can go and see it, and feel that you are
as full of modern history as I am of ancient history, here in London.

I could see that dad was getting nervous every time a new beheading
was described to us, and I thought it was time to wake him up. In going
through the room where the old armor was displayed the beef eater told
us who wore the different pieces of armor, and he said at times the
spirit of the dead came back to the tower and occupied the armor, and
I noticed that dad shied at some of the pieces of armor, so when we got
right into the midst of it, and there was armor on every side, and dad
and the beef eater were ahead of me, and dad was walking fast in order
to get out quick, I pushed over one of the pieces, and it went crashing
to the floor and the noise was like a boiler factory exploding, and the
dust of centuries rose up, and the noise echoed down the halls.

Well, you’d a died to see dad and the beef eater. Dad turned pale and
got down on his knees, and I think he began to pray, if he knows how,
and he trembled like a leaf, and the beef eater got behind a set of
armor that Cromwell or some old duck used to wear, and said, “Wot in
the bloody ‘ell is the matter with the h’armor?” and then a lot of other
beef eaters came, and they thought dad was the spirit of King John, and
they stampeded, and finally I got dad to stop praying, or whatever it
was that he was doing, and I led him out, and when he got into the open
air he recovered and said. “‘Ennery, ‘hi have got to get out of Lunnon,
don’t you know, because me ‘eart is palpitating,” and we went back to
the ‘otel, to see if our invitation to visit King Hedward had arrived.

[Illustration: Beefeater’s stampede 107]

Say, we are getting so we talk just like English coachmen, and you won’t
hundredstand us when we get ‘ome. Yours, with a haccent.

‘Ennery.



CHAPTER IX.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Call on King Edward and Almost
     Settle the Irish Question.

London, H-england.--Dear Uncle Ezra: The worst is over, and dad and I
have both touched a king. Not the way you think, touching a king for a
hand-out, or borrowing his loose change, the way you used to touch dad
when you had to pay for your goods, but just taking hold of his hand and
shaking it in good old United States fashion.

The American minister arranged it for us. He told somebody that Peck’s
Bad Boy and his dad were in town, and just wanted to size up a king and
see how he averaged up with United States politicians, and the king set
an hour for us to call.

Well, you’d a dide to see dad fix up. Everybody said, when we showed our
card at the hotel, notifying us that we were expected at Marlboro House
at such a time, that we would be expected to put on plenty of dog. That
is what an American from Kalamazoo, who sells breakfast food, said,
and the hotel people said we would be obliged to wear knee breeches
and dancing pumps and silk socks, and all that kind of rot, and men’s
furnishers began to call upon us to take our measure for clothes, but
when they told us how much it would cost, dad kicked. He said he had
a golf suit he had made in Oshkosh at the time of the tournament, that
every one in Oshkosh said was out of sight, and was good enough for
any king, and so he rigged up in it, and I hired a suit at a masquerade
place, and dad hired a coat, kind of red, to go with his golf pants and
socks, and he wore canvas tennis shoes.

[Illustration: Suit he had made in Oshkosh 111]

I looked like a picture out of a fourteenth century book, but dad looked
like a clown in a circus. One of dad’s calves made him look as though he
had a milk leg, cause the padding would not stay around where the calf
ought to be, but worked around towards his shin. We went to Marlboro
House in a hansom cab, and all the way there the driver kept looking
down from the hurricane deck, through the scuttle hole, to see if we
were there yet, and he must have talked with other cab drivers in sign
language about us, for every driver kept along with us, looked at us and
laughed, as though we were a wild west show.

On the way to the king’s residence it was all I could do to keep dad
braced up to go through the ordeal. He was brave enough before we got
the invitation, and told what he was going to say to the king, and you
would think he wasn’t afraid of anybody, but when we got nearer to the
house and dad thought of going up to the throne and seeing a king in all
his glory, surrounded by his hundreds of lords and dukes and things, a
crown on his head, and an ermine cloak trimmed with red velvet, and a
six-quart milk pan full of diamonds, some of them as big as a chunk of
alum, dad weakened, and wanted to give the whole thing up and go to a
matinee, but I wouldn’t have it, and told him if he didn’t get into the
king row now that I would shake him right there in London and start in
business as a Claude Duval highwayman and hold up stage coaches, and
be hung on Tyburn Tree, as I used to read about in my history of
Sixteen-String Jack and other English highwaymen. Dad didn’t want to see
the family disgraced, so he let the cabman drive on, but he said if
we got out of this visit to royalty alive, it was the last tommyrot he
would indulge in.

Well, old man, it is like having an operation for appendicitis, you feel
better when you come out from under the influence of the chloroform and
the doctor shows you what they took out of you, and you feel that you
are going to live, unless you grow another vermiform appendix. We were
driven into a sort of Central park, and up to a building that was big
as a lot of exposition buildings, and the servants took us in charge and
walked us through long rooms covered with pictures as big as side show
pictures at a circus, but instead of snake charmers and snakes and wild
men of Borneo and sword swallowers, the king’s pictures were about war,
and women without much clothes on from the belt up. Gosh, but some of
those pictures made you think you could hear the roar of battle and
smell gun powder, and dad acted as though he wanted to git right down on
the marble floor and dig a rifle pit big enough to git into.

They walked us around like they do when you are being initiated into a
secret society, only they didn’t sing, “Here comes the Lobster,” and hit
you with a dried bladder. The servants that were conducting us laffed.
I had never seen an Englishman laff before, and it was the most
interesting thing I saw in London. Most Englishmen look sorry about
something, as though some dear friend died every day, and their faces
seem to have grown that way. So when they laff it seems as though the
wrinkles would stay there, unless they treated their faces with massage.
They were laughing at dad’s dislocated calf, and his scared appearance,
as though he was going to receive the thirty-second degree, and didn’t
know whether they were going to throw him over a precipice or pull him
up to the roof by the hind legs. We passed a big hall clock, and it
struck just when we were near it, and of all the “Hark, from the tombs”
 sounds I ever heard, that clock took the cake. Dad thought it sounded
like a death knell, and he would have welcomed the turning in of a fire
alarm as a sound that meant life everlasting, beside that doleful sound.

After we had marched about three mile heats, and passed the chairs of
the noble grand and the senior warden, and the exalted ruler, we came to
a bronze door as big as the gate to a cemetery, and the grand conductor
gave us a few instructions about how to back out fifteen feet from the
presence of the king, when we were dismissed, and then he turned us over
to a little man who was a grand chambermaid, I understood the fellow
to say. The door opened, and we went in, and dad’s misplaced calf was
wobbling as though he had locomotor attacks-ye.

Well, there were a dozen or so fellows standing around, and they all had
on some kind of uniforms, with gold badges on their breasts, and in the
midst of them was a little, sawed-off fat fellow, not taller than five
feet six, but a perfect picture of the cigar advertisements of America
for a cigar named after the king. I expected to see a king as big as
Long John Wentworth of Chicago, a great big fellow that could take a
small man by the collar and throw him over a house, and I felt hurt at
the small size of the king of Great Britain, but, gosh, he is just like
a Yankee, when you get the formality shook off.

We bowed and dad made a courtesy like an old woman, and the king came
forward with a smile that ought to be imitated by every Englishman. They
all imitate his clothes and his hats and his shoes, but he seems to be
the only Englishman that smiles. Maybe it is patented, and nobody has a
right to smile without paying a royalty, but the good-natured smile of
King Edward is worth more than stomach bitters, and the English ought
to be allowed to copy it. There is no more solemn thing than a party of
Englishmen together in America, unless it is a party of speculators
that are short on wheat, or a gathering of defeated politicians when the
election returns come in. But the king is as jolly as though he had not
a note coming due at the bank, and you would think he was a good, common
citizen, after working hours, at a round beer table, with two schooner
loads in the hold and another schooner on the way, frothing over the top
of the stein. That is the feeling I had for the king when he came up
to us and greeted dad as the father of the bad boy and patted me on the
shoulder and said: “And so you are the boy that has made more trouble
than any boy in the world, and had more fun than anybody, and made
them all stand around and wonder what was coming next. You’re a wonder.
Strange the American people never thought of killing you.” I said
yessir, and tried to look innocent, and then the king told dad to sit
down, and for me to come and stand by his knee, and by ginger, when
he patted me on the cheek, and his soft hand squeezed my hand, and he
looked into my eyes with the most winning expression, I did not wonder
that all the women were in love with him, and that all Englishmen would
die for him.

He asked dad all about America, its institutions, the president, and
everything, and dad was just so flustered that he couldn’t say much,
until the king said something about the war between the States, in which
the southern states achieved a victory. I don’t know whether the king
said that just to wake dad up, ‘cause dad had a grand army button on his
coat, but dad choked up a little, and then began to explode, a little at
a time, like a bunch of firecrackers, and finally he went off all in a
bunch. Dad said: “Look a here, Mr. King, some one has got you all balled
up about that war. I know, because I was in it, and now the north and
the south are United, and can whip any country that wants to fight a
champion, and will go out and get a reputation, by gosh!”

The king laughed at touching dad off, and asked dad what was the matter
of America and Great Britain getting together and making all nations
know when they had better keep their places, and quit talking about
fighting. Dad said he never would consent to America and Great Britain
getting together to fight any country until Ireland got justice and
was ready to come into camp on an equality, and the king said he would
answer for the Irishmen of Ireland if dad would pledge the Irishmen of
America, ‘cause we had about as many Irishmen in America as he had in
Ireland, and dad said if the king would give Ireland what she asked for,
he would see that the Irishmen in America would sing God Save the King.

[Illustration: Settling the Irish question 115]

I guess dad and the king would have settled the Irish question in
about fifteen minutes, and signed a treaty, only a servant brought in a
two-quart bottle of champagne, and dad and the king hadn’t drank a quart
apiece before dad started to sing “My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land
of Libertee,” and the king sang “God Save the King,” and, by thunder, it
was the same tune, and tears came into dad’s eyes, and the king took out
his handkerchief and wiped his nose, and I bellered right out, and the
king rose and offered a toast to America and everybody in it, and they
swallered it, and dad said there was enough juice left in the bottle
for one more round, and he proposed a toast to all the people of Great
Britain, including the Irish and the king who loved them, and down she
went, and they were standing up. And I told dad it was time to go.

[Illustration: God save the king 119]

Say, it was great, Uncle Ezra, and I wish you could have been there, and
there had been another bottle. The only thing that happened to mar
the reunion of dad and the king was when we were going out backwards,
bowing. There was a little hassock back of me, and I kicked it back of
dad, and when dad’s heels struck it he went over backwards and struck
on his golf pants, and dad said: “El, ‘Ennery, I’ave broken my bloomink
back, but who cares,” and when the servants picked dad up and took him
out in the hall and marched us to the entrance, dad got in the cab, gave
the grand hailing sign of distress, started to sing God save something
or other, and went to sleep in the cab, and I took him to the hotel.

Yours,

Hennery.

[Illustration: He went over backwards 121]



CHAPTER X.

     The Bad Boy Writes of Ancient and Modern Highwaymen--They
     Get a Taste of High Life in London and Dad Tells the Story
     of the Picklemaker’s Daughter.

London, England.--My Dear Old Skate: Well, if we are going to see any of
the other countries on this side of the water before our return ticket
expires, we have got to be getting a move on, and dad says in about
a week we will be doing stunts in Paris that will bring about a
revolution, and wind up the republic of France, and seat some nine-spot
on the throne that Napoleon used to wear out his buckskin pants on.

Dad asked me tother day what I cared most to see in London, and I told
him I wanted to visit Newgate prison, and the places made famous by the
bold highwaymen of a century or two ago. He thought I was daffy, but
when I told him how I had read “Claude Duval” and “Six-teen-String Jack”
 and all the highway literature, in the haymow, when dad thought I was
weeding the garden, he confessed that he used to hunt those yellow
covered books out of the manger when I was not reading them, and that
he had read them all himself, when I thought he was studying for his
campaign speeches, and so he said he would go with me. So we visited
Homestead Heath, where Claude Duval used to ride “Black Bess,” and hold
up people who traveled at night in post chaises, and we found splendid
spots where there had been more highway robbery going on than any place
east of Missouri, but I was disgusted when I thought what chumps those
old highway robbers were, compared to the American highway robbers and
hold up men of the present day.

In Claude Duval’s time he had a brace of flintlock pistols, which he had
to examine the priming every time a victim showed up, and while he
was polite when he robbed a duchess, he used to kill people all right,
though if they had had cameras at that time the flash from the priming
pan would have taken a flash-light picture of the robber, so he could
have been identified when he rode off in the night to a roadside inn and
filled up on beer, while he counted the ten shillings he had taken from
the silk purse of the victim. Why, one of our American gangs that hold
up a train, and get an express safe full of greenbacks, and shoots up
a mess of railroad hands and passengers with Winchesters and automatic
pistols, and blows up cars with dynamite and gets away and has to have
a bookkeeper and a cashier to keep their bank accounts straight, could
give those old Claude Duvals and Sixteen-String Jacks cards and spades.

But civilization, dad says, has done much for the highway robbery
business, and he says we in America have arrived at absolute perfection.
However, I was much interested in looking over the ground where my first
heroes lived and died, and did business, and when we went to the prisons
where they were confined, and were shown where Tyburn Tree stood, that
so many of them were hung on, tears came to my eyes at the thought that
I was on the sacred ground where my heroes croaked, and went to their
deaths with smiles on their faces, and polite to the last. The guard who
showed us around thought that dad and I were relatives of the deceased
highwaymen, and when we went away he said to dad: “Call again, Mr.
Duval. Always glad to serve any of the descendants of the heroes. What
line of robbery are you in, Mr. Duval?” Dad was mad, but he told
the guard he was now on the stock exchange, and so we maintained the
reputation of the family.

[Illustration: Glad to serve any of the descendants of the heroes 126]

Then we hired horses and took a horse back ride through Rotten Row,
where everybody in London that has the price, rides a horse, and no
carriages are allowed. Dad was an old cavalry man forty years ago,
and he is stuck on his shape when he is on a horse, but he came near
breaking up the horse back parade the day we went for the ride. The
liveryman gave us two bob-tailed nags, a big one for dad and a small one
for me, but they didn’t have any army saddle for dad, and he had to ride
on one of these little English saddles, such as jockeys ride races on,
and dad is so big where he sits on a saddle that you couldn’t see the
saddle, and I guess they gave dad a hurdle jumper, because when we got
right amongst the riders, men and women, his horse began to act up, and
some one yelled, “Tally-ho,” and that is something about fox hunting,
not a coach, and the horse jumped a fence and dad rolled off over the
bowsprit and went into a ditch of dirty water.

[Illustration: Dad rolled off over the bowsprit 128]

The horse went off across a field, and the policeman fished dad out of
the ditch, and run him through a clothes wringer or something, and got
him dried out, and sent him to the hotel in an express wagon, and I rode
my horse back to the liveryman and told him what happened to dad, and
they locked me up in a box stall until somebody found the horse, ‘cause
they thought dad was a horse thief, and they held me for ransom. But dad
came around before night and paid my ransom, and we were released. Dad
says Rotten Row is rotten, all right enough, and by ginger it is, ‘cause
he has not got the smell of that ditch off his clothes yet.

Now he has got a new idea, and that is to go to some country where there
are bandits, different from the bandits here in London, and be captured
and taken to the mountain fastnesses, and held for ransom until our
government makes a fuss about it, and sends warships after-us. I tell
dad it would be just our luck to have our government fail to try to get
us, and the bandits might cut our heads off and stick them on a pole
as a warning to people not to travel unless they had a ransom concealed
about their clothes. But dad says he is out to see all the sights, and
he is going to be ransomed before he gets home, if it takes every dollar
our government has got. I think he is going to work the bandit racket
when we get to Turkey, but, by ginger, he can leave me at a convent,
because I don’t want one of those crooked sabers run into me and turned
around like a corkscrew. Dad says I can stay in a harem while he goes to
the mountains with the bandits, and I don’t know as I care, as they say
a harem is the most interesting place in Turkey. You know the pictures
we have studied in the old grocery, where a whole bunch of beautiful
women are practicing using soap in a marble bath.

Well, don’t you say anything to ma about it, but dad has got his foot
in it clear up to the top button. It isn’t anything scandalous, though
there is a woman at the bottom of it. You see, we used to know a girl
that left home to go out into the world and earn her own living. She
elocuted some at private parties and sanitariums, to entertain people
that were daffy, and were on the verge of getting permanent bats in
their belfry, and after a few years she got on the stage, and made
a bunch of money, and went abroad. And then she had married a titled
person, and everybody supposed she was a duchess, or a countess, and ma
wanted us to inquire about her when we got over here. Ma didn’t want us
to go and hunt her up to board with her, or anything, but just to get
a glimpse of high life, and see if our poor little friend was doing
herself proud in her new station in life.

[Illustration: Isn’t money enough in the whole family to wad a gun 131]

Gee, but dad found her, and she ain’t any more of a duchess than I am.
Her husband is a younger son of a titled person, but there isn’t money
enough in the whole family to wad a gun, and our poor girl is working in
a shop, or store, selling corsets to support a lazy, drunken husband and
a whole mess of children, and while she is seven removes from a duchess,
she does not rank with the woman who washes her mother’s clothes at
home. Gosh, but dad was hot when he found her, and after she told him
about her situation in life he gave her a yellow-backed fifty-dollar
bill, and came back to the hotel mad, and wanted to pack up and go
somewhere else, where he didn’t know any titled-persons.

That night a couple of dukes came around to the hotel to sell dad some
stock in a diamond mine in South Africa, and they got to talking about
how English society held over our crude American society, until dad got
an addition to the mad he had when he called on our girl, and when one
of the dukes said America was being helped socially by the marriage
of American women to titled persons, dad got a hot box, like a stalled
freight train.

Says dad, says he: “You Johnnies are a lot of confidence men, who live
only to rope in rich American girls, so you can marry them and have
their dads lift the mortgages on your ancestral estates, and put on tin
roofs in place of the mortgages, ‘cause a mortgage will not shed rain,
and you get their money and spend it on other women.” One of the dukes
turned red like a lobster, and I think he is a lobster, anyway, and he
was going to make dad stop talking, but the duke didn’t know dad, and he
continued. Says dad, says he: “I know a rich old man in the States, who
made ten million dollars on pickles, or breakfast food, and he had a
daughter that was so homely they couldn’t keep a clock going in the
house.

“She came over here and got exposed to a duke, and she had never been
vaccinated, and the first her father knew she caught the duke, and came;
home, and he followed her. Say, he didn’t know enough to pound sand, and
the old man got several doctors for her, but they couldn’t break up the
duke fever, and finally the old pickle citizen asked him how much the
mortgage was, and how much they could live on, and he bought her the
duke, and sent them off, and the duke covered his castle with building
paper, so it would hold water, and they set up housekeeping with a
hundred servants. Then the duke wanted a racing stable, after the baby
came, and the old pickle man went over to see the baby, and it looked
so much like the old man that he invested in a racing stable, and the
servants bowed low to the old man and called him ‘Your ‘ighness,’
and that settled the old pickle person, and he fell into the trap of
building a townhouse in London.

“Then he went home and made some more pickles, and the daughter cabled
him to come right over, as they had been invited to entertain the king
and a lot of other face cards in the pack. And the old man thought it
would be great to get in the king row himself, so he shoveled a lot of
big bills into some packing trunks and went over to fix up for the king.
The castle had to be redecorated for about six miles, up one corridor
and down the other, but Old Pickles stood the raise, because he thought
it would be worth the money to be on terms of intimacy with a king.

“Then when it was all ready, and the old man was going to stand at the
front door and welcome the king, they made him go to his room, back
about a half a mile in the rear of the castle, and for two weeks old
Pickles had his meals brought to his room, and when it was over, and
his sentence had expired, he was let out, and all he saw of the grand
entertainment to the crowned heads was a ravine full of empty wine
bottles, a case of jimjams for a son-in-law, a case of nervous
prostration for a daughter, and hydrophobia for himself. My old pickle
friend has got, at this date, three million good pickle dollars invested
in your d--d island, and all he has to show for it is a sick daughter,
neglected by a featherhead of a husband, who will only speak to old
pickles when he wants more money, and a grandchild that may die teething
at any time. You are a nice lot of ducks to talk to me about your
English society being better than our American civilization. You get,”
 and dad drove the dukes out.

[Illustration: Dad drove the dukes out 135]

I think they are going to have dad arrested for treason. But don’t tell
ma, ‘cause she may think treason serious.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XI.

     The Bay Boy Writes About Paris--Tells About the Trip Across
     the English Channel--Dad Feeds a Dog and Gets Arrested.

Paris, France.--My Dear Uncle Ezra: Dad is in an awful state here, and I
do not know what to do with him. We struck this town all in a heap, and
the people seemed to be paralyzed so they couldn’t speak, except to make
motions and make noises that we could not interpret. This is the
first time dad and I have been in a place where nobody understood our
language. Ordinarily we would take pleasure in teaching people to speak
the English language, but in coming across the English channel dad and
I both got something we never got on the water before. Ordinary
seasickness is only an incident, that makes you wish you were dead--just
temporary, but when it wears off you can enjoy your religion and
victuals as well as ever, but the seasickness that the English channel
gives you is a permanent investment, like government bonds that you cut
coupons off of. I ‘spect we shall be sick always now, and worse every
other day, like chills and fever.

Say, a boat on the English channel does not roll, or pitch, at
intervals, like a boat on ordinary water, but it does stunts like a
broncho that has been poisoned by eating loco-weeds, and goes into the
air and dives down under, and shakes itself like a black bass with a
hook in its mouth, and rolls over like a trained dog, and sits up on its
hind legs and begs, and then walks on its fore paws, and seems to jump
through hoops, and dig for woodchucks, and all the time the water boils
like ‘pollinarius, full of bubbles, and it gives you the hiccups to look
at it, and it flows every way at the same time, and the wind comes from
the fourteen quarters at once, and blows hot if you are too hot and want
a cool breeze, and if you are too cold, and want a warm breeze to keep
you alive, it comes right from the north pole, and you just perish in
your tracks.

Gee, but it is awful. When you get seasick on an ordinary ocean, you
know where to locate the disease, and you know where to go for relief,
and when you have got relieved you know that you are alive, but an
English channel seasickness is as different from any other as an
alcohol jag is different from a champagne drunk. This English channel
seasickness begins on your toes, and you feel as though the toenails
were being pulled out with pincers, and the veins in your legs seem to
explode, your arms wilt like lettuce in front of a cheap grocery, your
head seems to be struck with a pile-driver and telescoped down into your
spine, and your stomach feels as though you had swallowed a telephone
pole with all of the cross arms and wires and glass insulators, and you
wish lightning would strike you. Gosh, but dad was hot when he found
that he was sick that way, and when we got ashore he wanted to kill the
first man he met.

He thinks that it is a crime for a man not to understand the English
language, and when he tells what he wants, and the man he is talking to
shrugs his shoulders and laughs, and brings him something else, he wants
to pull his gun and begin to shoot up the town, and only for me he would
have killed people before this, but now he takes it out in scowling at
people who do not understand him. Dad seems to think that if he cannot
make a man understand what he says, all he has to do is to swear at the
man, but there is no universal language of profanity, so the more dad
swears the more the nervous Frenchman smiles, and acts polite.

I think the French people are the politest folks I ever knew. If a
Frenchman had to kick a person out of doors, he would wear a felt
slipper, and after he had kicked you he would place his hand on his
heart, and bow, and look so sorry, and hurt, that you would want to give
him a tip.

O, but this tipping business is what is breaking dad’s heart. I think
if the servants would arrange a syndicate to rob dad of two or three dol
lars a day, by pocket picking, or sneak thieving, he would overlook
it, and say that as long as it was one of the customs of the country
we should have to submit to it, but when he has paid his bill, with
everything charged extra, and the servants line up and look appealingly,
or mad, as the case may be, dad is the hardest man to loosen that ever
was, but if they seem to look the other way, and not, apparently, care
whether they get a cent or not, dad would go and hunt them up, and
divide his roll with them. Dad is not what you would call a “tight wad,”
 if you let him shed his money normally, when he feels the loosening
coming on, but you try to work him by bowing and cringing, and his
American spirit gets the better of him, and he looks upon the servant as
pretty low down. I have told him that the tipping habit is just as bad
in America as in France, but he says in America the servant acts as
though he never had such a thought as getting a tip, and when you give
him a quarter or other tip he looks puzzled, as though he did not just
recall what he had done to merit such treatment, but finally puts the
money in his pocket with an air as though he would accept it in trust,
to be given to some deserving person at the first opportunity, and then
he smiles, and gets away, and blows in the tip for something wet and
strong.

I told dad if he would just ignore the servants, as though he did not
understand that they expected a tip, that he would be all right, so when
we got ready to move from the hotel to private rooms dad never gave any
servant a tip. Well, I don’t know what the servants did to our baggage,
but they must have marked it with a smallpox sign, or something, for
nobody would touch it for several hours, but finally a baggage man took
it and started for our apartments, and got lost and didn’t show up for
two days, and when it was finally landed on the sidewalk nobody would
carry it upstairs, and dad and I had to lug it up two flights, and I
thought dad would have apoplexy.

[Illustration: Coughs up a tip every time 143]

We found a guide who could talk New Orleans English and he said it would
cost three dollars to square it with the servants at the hotel, and have
the boycott removed from our baggage, and dad paid it, and now he coughs
up a tip every time he sees a servant look at him. He pays when he goes
in a restaurant and when he comes out, and says he is cured of trying to
reform the customs of anybody else’s country.

We have engaged a guide to stay with us day and night. The guide took
us out for a bat last night, and dad had the time of his life. Dad has
drank a good deal of spiritous and malt liquors in his time, but I don’t
think he ever indulged much in champagne at three or four dollars a
bottle at home. Maybe he has been saving himself up till he got over
here, where champagne is cheap and it takes several quarts to make you
see angels. The guide took us to one of these bullyvards, where there
are tables out on the sidewalk, and you can eat and drink and look at
the dukes and counts and dutchesses and things promenading up and down,
flirting like sin, and we sat down to a table and ordered things to eat
and drink, and dad looked like Uncle Sam, and felt his oats.

[Illustration: A tone of voice that meant trouble 138]

When he had drank a few thimblefuls of absinthe, and some champagne, and
eat a plateful of frogs, he was just ripe for trouble. A woman and a man
at an adjoining table had one of these white dogs that is sheared like
a hedge fence, with spots of long hair left on in places, and dad coaxed
the dog over to our table and began to feed him frogs’ legs, and the
woman began to talk French out loud, and look cross at dad, and the
count that was with her came over to our table and looked at dad in
a tone of voice that meant trouble, and said something sassy, and the
guide said the man wanted to fight a duel because dad had contaminated
the woman’s dog, and dad got mad and offered to wipe out the whole
place, and he got up with a champagne bottle and looked defiance at the
count, and the waiters began to scatter, when the woman came up to dad
and begged him not to hurt the count, and as she spoke broken English
dad could understand her, and she looked so beautiful, and her eyes were
filled with tears, and dad relented and said: “Don’t cry, dear, I won’t
hurt the little runt.” She was so glad dad was not going to kill the
count that she threw herself into his arms and thanked dear America
for producing such a grand citizen, such a brave man as dad, who could
forego the pleasure of killing a poor, weak man who had insulted him,
particularly as dad’s wild Indian ancestry made it hard for him to
refrain from blood.

[Illustration: I won’t hurt the little runt 145]

Well, dad’s face was a study, as he braced up and held that 150 pounds
of white meat in his arms, with all the people looking on, and he seemed
proud and heroic, and he stroked her hair and told her not to worry, and
finally she hied herself away from dad and the count took her away,
and they went up the bullyvard, and after all was quiet again dad said:
“Hennery, let this be a lesson to you. When you are tempted to commit a
rash act and avenge an insult in blood, stop and think of the sorrow and
shame that will come to you if you draw your gun too quick, and have a
widow on your hands as the result. Suppose I had killed that shrimp, the
face of his widow would have haunted me always, and I would have wanted
to die. Don’t ever kill anybody, my boy, if you can settle a dispute by
shaking the dice.”

Well, dad ordered some more wine, and as he drank it, he allowed
the populace to admire him and say things about the great American
millionaire, who spent money like water and was too brave to fight. Then
dad called for his check to pay his bill, and when he felt in his pocket
for his roll of bills, he hadn’t a nickel and the woman, when she was in
his arms, weeding with one hand, had gone through dad’s pockets with the
other. Dad felt for his watch, to see what time it was, and his watch
was gone, and the waiter was waiting for the money and dad tried to
explain that he had been buncoed, and the head waiter came and begun to
act sassy, and then they called a policeman to stay by us till the money
was produced, and everybody at the other tables laughed, and dad turned
blue, and I thought he would have a fit. Finally, the guide began to
talk, and the result was that a policeman went home with us, and dad
found money enough to pay the bill, but he talked language that caused
the landlady to ask us to find a new place.

[Illustration: Tried to explain that he had been buncoed 148]

The next morning the guide showed up with an officer who had a warrant
for dad for hugging a woman in a public cafe, and it seemed as though we
were in for it, but the guide said he could settle the whole business
by paying the officer $20, and dad paid it and I think the guide and the
officer divided the money. Say, this is the greatest town we have struck
yet for excitement, and I guess dad will not have a chance to think of
his sickness.

This morning we went into a big department store, and, by gosh! we
found the count that dad was going to fight was a floor-walker, and
the countess was behind a counter selling soap. When dad saw the count
leering at him, he put his hand on his pistol pocket and yelled a
regular cowboy yell, and the count rushed down into the basement, the
soap countess fainted, and the police took dad to the police station,
and all day the guide and I have been trying to get him out on bail.
If we get dad out of this we are going to put a muzzle on him. Well, if
anyone asks you if I am having much of a time abroad, you can tell them
the particulars.

P. S.--We got dad out for $20 and costs, and he says he will blow Paris
up before night. We are going up to the top of the Eiffel tower this
afternoon, to count our money, as dad dasscnt take out his pocketbook
anywhere on the ground for fear of being robbed.

Yours full of frogs.

Hennery.



CHAPTER XII.

     The Bad Boy’s Second Letter from Paris--Dad Poses as a
     Mormon Bishop and Has to Be Rescued--They Climb the Eiffel
     Tower and the Old Man Gets Converted.

Paris, France.--Old Pardner in Crime: I got your letter, telling me
about the political campaign that is raging at home, and when I read it
to dad he wanted to go right out and fill up on campaign whisky and yell
for his presidential candidate, but he couldn’t find any whisky, so he
has not tried to carry any precincts of Paris for our standard-bearer.

There is something queer about the liquor here. There is no regular
campaign beverage. At home you can select a drink that is appropriate
for any stage of a campaign. When the nominations are first made you are
not excited and beer and cheese sandwiches seem to fit the case A little
later, when the orators begin to come out into the open and shake their
hair, you take cocktails and your eyes begin to resemble those of a
caged rat, and you are ready to quarrel with an opponent. The next stage
in the campaign is the whisky stage, and when you have got plenty of it
the campaign may be said to be open, and you wear black eyes and lose
your teeth, and you swear strange oaths and smell of kerosene, and only
sleep in the morning. Then election comes and if your side wins you
drink all kinds of things at once for a week, shout hoarsely and then
go to the Keeley cure, but if your party loses you stay home and take a
course of treatment for nervous prostration and say you will never mix
up in another campaign.

Here in France it is different. The people have nervous prostration to
start on, start a campaign on champagne, wind up on absinthe, and after
the votes are counted go to an insane asylum. I do not know what first
got dad to drink absinthe and I don’t know what it is, but it looks like
soap suds, tastes like seed cookies and smells like vermifuge. But it
gets there just the same and the result of drinking it is about the same
as the result of drinking anything in France--it makes you want to hug
somebody.

At home when a man gets full of whisky, he wants to hug the man he
drinks with and weep on his collar, and then hit him on the head with
a bottle; but here every kind of drink puts the drinker in condition to
want to hug. Dad says he never knew he had a brain until he learned to
drink absinthe, but now he can close his eyes and see things worse than
any mince pie nightmare, and when we go out among people he never sees
a man at all, but when a woman passes along, dad’s eyes begin to take
turns winking at them and it is all I can do to keep him from proposing
marriage to every woman he sees.

[Illustration: Badge on dad’s breast, with the word “Bishop” 153]

I thought I would break him of this woman foolishness, so I told
everybody dad was a Mormon bishop, and had a grand palace at Salt Lake
City, and owned millions of gold mines and tabernacles and wanted to
marry a thousand women and take them to Utah and place them at the head
of homes of their own, and he would just call once or twice a week and
leave bags of gold for his wives to spend. A newspaper reporter, that
could talk English, wrote a piece for a paper about dad wanting to marry
a whole lot and he said life in Utah was better than a Turkish harem,
cause the wives of a Mormon bishop did not have to be locked up and
watched by unix, but could flirt and blow in money and go out to dances
and have just as much fun as though they lived in Newport, and had got
divorces from millionaires, and he said any woman who wanted to marry a
Mormon bishop could meet dad on the bullyvard near a certain monument,
on a certain day. I was on to it, with the reporter, and we hired a
carriage and went to the bullyvard, just at the time the newspaper said
and I put a big red badge on dad’s breast, with the word “Bishop” on it,
and dad had been drinking absinthe and he thought the badge was a kind
of sign of nobility. Well, you’d adide to see the bunch of women that
were there to meet dad. “What’s the matter here?” said dad, as he
saw the crowd of women, looking like they were there in answer to an
advertisement for nurses. I told dad to stand up in the carriage, like
Dowie does in Chicago, and hold out his hands and say: “Bless you, my
children,” and when dad got up to bless them, the reporter and I got out
of the carriage, and the reporter, which could talk French, said for all
the women who wanted to be Mormon wives to get into the carriage with
the bishop and be sealed for life.

Well, sir, you’d a thought it was a remnant sale! More than a dozen got
into the carriage with dad, and about 400 couldn’t get in, but when the
scared driver started up the horses, they all followed the carriage, and
then the mounted police surrounded the whole bunch and moved them off
towards the police station, and dad under the wagonload of females, each
one trying to get the nearest to him, so as to be his favorite wife.

It got noised around that a foreign potent-ate had been arrested with
his whole harem for conduct unbecoming to a potent-ate, and so when
we got to the jail dad had to be rescued from his wives, and they were
driven into a side street by the police, and dad was locked up to save
his life. The reporter and I went to the jail to get him out, but we had
to buy a new suit of clothes for him, as everything was torn off him in
the Mormon rush.

[Illustration: Dad was a sight when we found him in jail 155]

Dad was a sight when we found him in jail, and he thought his bones
were broken, and he wanted to know what was the cause of his sudden
popularity with the fair sex, and I told him it all came from his
looking so confounded distinguished, and his flirting with women. He
said he would swear he never looked at one of those women in a tone of
voice that would deceive a Sunday school teacher, and he felt as though
he was being misunderstood in France. We told him the only way to get
out of jail was to say he was a crowned head from Oshkosh, traveling
incog, and when he began to stand on his dignity and demand that a
messenger be sent for the president of France, to apologize for the
treatment he had received, the jailer and police begged his pardon and
we dressed him up in his new clothes and got him out, and we went to the
Eiffel tower to get some fresh air.

I suppose you have seen pictures of the Eiffel tower, on the
advertisements of breakfast food in your grocery, but you can form
no idea of the height and magnificence of the tower by studying
advertisements. You may think that the pictures you see of world events
on your cans of baked beans and maple syrup and soap, give you the
benefit of foreign travel, but it does not. You have got to see the
real thing or you are not fit to even talk about what you think you have
seen. You remember that Ferris wheel at the Chicago world’s fair, and
how we thought it was the greatest thing ever made of steel, so high
that it made us dizzy to look to the top of it, and when we went up
on the wheel we thought we could see the world, from Alaska to South
Africa, and we marveled at the work of man and prayed that we be
permitted to get down off that wheel alive, and not be spilled down
through the rarified Chicago atmosphere and flattened on the pavement so
thin we would have to be scraped up off the pavement with a case knife,
like a buckwheat cake that sticks to the griddle.

You remember, old man, how you cried when our sentence to ride in the
Ferris wheel expired, and the jailer of the wheel opened the cell and
let us out, and you said no one would ever get you to ride again on
anything that you couldn’t jump out of if it balked, or you got wheels
in your head and chunks of things came up to your Adam’s apple and
choked you. Well, cross my heart, if that Ferris wheel, that looked so
big to us, would make a main spring for the Eiffel tower. The tower is
higher than a kite, and when you get near it and try to look up to the
top, you think it is a joke, and that really no one actually goes up to
the top of it. You see some flies up around the top of it, and when the
guide tells you the flies crawling around there are men and women, you
think the guide has been drinking.

[Illustration: Flies crawling around there are men and women 157]

But dad and I and the guide paid our money, got into an elevator and
began to go up. After the thing had been going up awhile dad said he
wouldn’t go up more than a mile or so at first, and asked the man to let
him off at the 3,000-foot level, but the elevator man said dad had got
to take all the degrees and dad said: “Let her went,” and after an hour
or so we got to the top.

Gee! but I thought dad would fall dead right there, when he looked off
at Paris and the world beyond. The flies we had seen at the top before
starting had changed to human beings, all looking pale and scared, and
the human beings on the ground had changed into flies and bugs, for all
you could see of a man on the ground was his feet with a flattened plug
hat someway fastened on the ankles, and a woman looked like a spoonful
of raspberry jam dropped on the pavement, or a splash of current jelly
moving on the ground in a mysterious way. I do not know as the Eiffel
tower was intended to act as a Keeley cure, but of the 50 people
who went up with us, half of them were so full their back teeth were
floating, including dad and the guide, but when we got to the top and
they got a view of the awful height to which we had come, it seemed as
though every man got sober at once, and their tongues seemed to cleave
to the roof of their mouths. All they could do was to look off at the
city and the view in the distance, and choke up, and look sorry about
something.

I couldn’t help thinking of what sort of a pulp a man would be if he
fell off the top of the tower and struck a fat woman on the pavement,
cause it seemed to me you couldn’t tell which was fat woman and which
was man. I never saw such a change in a man as there was in dad, after
he got his second wind and got his voice working. He looked like a man
who had made up his mind to lead a different life and begin right there.

[Illustration: He took out a five-dollar bill 159]

There was a Salvation Army man and woman in the crowd and dad went up to
them. He took out a five-dollar bill and put it in the tambourine of the
lassie, and said to the man and woman: “Now, look a here, I want to
join your church, and if you have got the facilities for giving me the
degrees, you can sign me as a Christian right now. I have been a bad
man, and never thought I needed the benefits of religious training, but
since I got up here, so near Heaven, in an elevator which I will bet $10
will break and kill us all before we get down to Paris, I want you to
prepare me for the hereafter quick.”

Some of the other fellows laughed at dad, and the Salvation Army people
looked as though dad was drunk, but he continued: “You can laugh and be
jammed, but I’ll never leave this place until I am a pious man, and
you Salvation Army people have got to enlist me in your army, for I
am scared plum to death. Go ahead and convert me, while we wait.” The
Salvation Army captain put his hand on dad’s head, the girl held out
the tambourine for another contribution, and dad felt a sweet peace come
over him, and we went down in the elevator and took a hack to the hotel,
and dad’s lips worked as though in pain.

H.



CHAPTER XIII.

     The Bad Boy’s Dad and a Man from Dakota Frame Up a Scheme to
     Break the Bank, But They Go Broke--The Party in Trouble.

Monte Carlo.--Dear Uncle: I blush to write the name, Monte Carlo, at
the head of a letter to anyone that is a Christian, or who believes in
honesty and decency, and earning a living by the sweat of one’s brow,
for this place is the limit. If I should write anybody a letter from
South Clark street, Chicago, the recipient would know I had gone wrong,
and was located in the midst of a bad element, and the inference would
be that I was the worst fakir, robber, hold-up man or assassin in the
bunch.

The inference you must draw from the heading of this letter is that dad
and I have taken all the degree of badness and are now winding up
our career by taking the last degree, before passing in our chips and
committing suicide. Do you know what this place is, old man? Monaco is
a principality, about six miles square, ruled by a prince, and the whole
business of the country, for it is a “country” the same as though it had
a king, is gambling. They have all the different kinds of gambling, from
chuck-a-luck at two bits to roulette at a million dollars a minute. What
started dad to come to Monte Carlo is more than I know, unless it was
a new American he has got acquainted with, a fellow from North Dakota,
that dad met at a sort of dance that he did not take me to. It seems
there is a place in Paris where they go to see men and women dance--one
of those dances where they kick so high that their feet hit the gas
fixtures.

Well, all I know about it is that one Wednesday night dad said he felt
as though it was his duty to go to prayer meeting, so he could say when
he got home that in all the frivolities of a trip abroad, even in wicked
Paris, he never neglected his church duties. I never was stuck on going
to prayer meeting, so dad let me stay at the hotel and play pool with
the cash register boy in the barroom, and dad took a hymn book and went
out, looking pious as I ever saw him.

[Illustration: Dance, like they had seen the people dance at the show
164]

My, what a difference there was in dad in the morning. I woke up about
daylight, and dad came into the room with a strange man, with spinach on
his chin, and they began to dance, like they had seen the people dance
at the show where they had passed the evening. They were undressed,
except their underclothes, which wore these combination suits, so when
a man gets into them he is sealed up like a bologna, and he has to have
help when he wants to get out to take a bath, and he has to have an
outsider button him in with a button hook. Gee, I would rather be a
sausage and done with it! Well, dad and this man from Dakota kicked high
until dad caught by the ankle on a gas bracket, and the strange man got
me up out of bed to help unloosen dad and get him down before he was
black in the face. Finally we got dad down and then the two old codgers
began to discuss a proposition to go to Monte Carlo to break the bank.

[Illustration: A system of gambling 162]

The Dakota man agreed that Americans had no right to be spending their
own money doing Europe, when their genius was equal to the task of
acquiring the money of the less intelligent foreigners. He said they
could go to Monte Carlo and by a system of gambling which he had used
successfully in the Black Hills they could carry away all the money
they could pile into sacks. The man said he would guarantee to break
the bank if dad would put his money against the Dakota man’s experience
as a gambler, and they would divide the proceeds equally. Dad bit like a
bass. He said he had always had an element of adventure in his make-up,
and had always liked to take chances, and from what he had heard of
the fabulous sums won and lost at Monte Carlo he could see that if a
syndicate could be formed that would win most of the time, he could see
that there was more money in it than in any manufacturing enterprise,
and he was willing to finance the scheme.

The Dakota man fairly hugged dad, and he told dad in confidence that
they two could divide up money enough to make them richer than they ever
dreamed of, and all the morning they discussed the plan, and made a
list of things they would need to get away with the money. They provided
themselves with canvas sacks to carry away the gold, and dad drew all
his money out of the bank, and that evening we took a train for Monte
Carlo. All the way here dad and his new friend chuckled over the
sensation they would make among the gamblers, and I became real
interested in the scheme. There was to be some fun besides the winning
of the money, because they talked of going out in the park and on the
terraces when they were tired of winning money, and seeing the poor
devils who had gone broke commit suicide, as that is said to be one of
the features of the place.

[Illustration: Seeing the poor devils who had gone broke 166]

Well, we got a suite of rooms and the first day we looked over the
place, and ate free banquets and saw how the people dressed, and just
looked prosperous and showed money on the slightest provocation, and
got the hang of things. Dad was to go in the big gambling room in the
afternoon with his pockets fairly dropsical with money, and the Dakota
man was to do the betting, and dad was to hold one of the canvas bags,
and when it was full we were to take it to our room, and quit gambling
for awhile, to give the bank a chance to raise more money. Dad insisted
that his partner should lose a small bet once in awhile, so the bank
should not get on to the fact that we had a cinch.

After luncheon we entered the big gambling room, in full-dress suits,
and, by gosh! it was like a king’s reception. There were hundreds of
men and women, dressed for a party, and it did not seem like a gambling
hell, except that there were, piles of gold as big as stoves, on all
the tables, and the guests were provided with silver rakes, with long
handles, to rake in the money. Dad said in a whisper to the Dakota man:
“What is the use of taking the trouble to run a gold mine, and get all
dirtied up digging dirty nuggets, when you can get nice, clean gold, all
coined, ready to spend, by betting right?” And then dad turned to me
and he said; “Hennery, don’t let the sight of this wealth make you
avaricious. Don’t be purse-proud when you find that your poor father,
after years of struggle against adversity, and the machinations of
designing men, has got next to the Pierpont Morgan class and has money
to buy railroads. Don’t get excited when we begin to bag the money, but
just act as though it was a regular thing with us to salt down our gold
for winter, the same as we do our pork.”

A count, or a duke, gave us nice seats, and rakes to haul in the money;
a countess, with a low-necked dress, winked at dad when he reached into
his pistol pocket and brought out a roll of bills and handed them to the
Dakota man, who bought $500 worth of red chips, and when the man looked
the roulette table over and put about a pint of chips on the red, dad
choked up so he was almost black in the face, and began to perspire so
I had to wipe my face with a handkerchief; the gambler rolled the wheel
and when the ball stopped on the red, and dad did the raking and raked
in a quart of chips, and dad shook hands with the Dakota man and said:
“Pard, we have got ‘em on the run,” and reached for his sack to put in
the first installment of acquired wealth, and the low-necked countess
smiled a ravishing smile on dad, and dad looked as though he owned a
brewery, and the Dakota man twisted his chin whiskers and acted like he
was sorry for the Monte Carlo bank, I just got so faint with joy that I
almost cried.

To think we had skinned along as economically as possible all our lives,
and never made much money, and now, through this Dakota genius, and this
Monte Carlo opportunity, we had wealth raking in by the bushel, made
me feel great, and I wondered why more people had not found out this
faraway place, where people could become rich and prosperous in a day,
if they had the nerve. I tell you, old man, it was great, and I was
going to cable you to sell out your grocery for what you could get
at forced sale and come here with the money, gamble and become a
millionaire.

[Illustration: Reach into another pocket and dig up another roll 171]


*****


Monte Carlo (the next day).--My Dear Uncle Ezra: I do not know how to
write you the sequel to this tragedy. After our Dakota partner, with the
Black Hills system of beating a roulette game, had won the first bet,
he never guessed the right color again, and dad had no more use for the
rake. Every time he bet and lost, he would reach out to dad for more
money, and dad would reach into another pocket and dig up another roll,
and the countess would laugh and dad had to act as though he enjoyed
losing money.

It was about dark when dad had fished up the last hundred dollars and it
was gone before dad could wink back to the countess, then the Dakota man
looked at dad for more, and dad shook his head and said it was all off,
and they looked it each other a minute, and then we all three got up
and went out in the park to see the people who had gone broke commit
suicide, but there was not a revolver shot and dad and the Dakota man
sat down on a seat and I looked at the moon.

He would reach out to Dad for more money, and Dad would reach into
another pocket and dig up another roll.

Dad looked at the Dakota man and said: “You started me in all right.
What happened to your system?” The Dakota man was silent for a moment,
and then he pointed to me and said: “That imp of yours crossed his
fingers every time I bet, except the first time.” Dad called me to him,
and he said: “Hennery, let this be a lesson to you. Never to cross your
fingers. You have ruined your dad,” and he turned his pockets inside
out, and hadn’t change for a dollar note, and he gave me the empty sack
to carry, and we went to our suite of rooms, knowing we would be fired
out into the cold world.

It will take a week to get money from the states, and we may be sent
to the work house, as we are broke, and haven’t got the means even to
commit suicide. Don’t tell ma.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XIV.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Have an Automobile Ride--They Run
     Over a Peasant--Climb “Glaziers”--Dad Falls Over a
     Precipice, But Is Rescued by the Guides After a Hard Time
     of It.

Geneva, Switzerland.--My Dear Old Man: By ginger, but I would like to be
home now. I have had enough of foreign travel; I don’t see what is the
use of traveling, to see people of foreign countries, when you can go to
any large city in America, and find more people belonging to any
foreign country than you can find by going to that country, and they
know a confounded sight more. Take the Russians in New York, the
Norwegians of Minnesota, the Italians of Chicago, and the Germans of
Milwaukee, and they can talk English, and you can find out all about
their own countries by talking with them, but you go to their countries
and the natives don’t know that there is such a language as the United
States language, and they laugh at you when you ask questions. I am sick
of the whole business, and would give all I ever expect to be worth, to
be home right now, with my skates sharp.

I would like to open the door of your old grocery, and take one long
breath and die right there on the doorstep, rather than to live in
luxury in any foreign country. Do you know, I sometimes go into a
grocery store abroad, and smell around, in order to get my thoughts on
dear old America, but nothing abroad smells as the same thing does in
our country. If I could get one more smell of that keg of sauerkraut
back of your counter, when it is ripe enough to pick, I think I would
break right down and cry for joy. Of course I have smelled sauerkraut
over here, but it all seems new and tame compared to yours. It may be
the kraut here is not aged enough to be good, but yours is aged enough
to vote and sticks to your clothes. Gee, but I just ache to get into
your grocery and eat things, and smell smells, and then lay down on the
counter with the cat with my head on a pile of wrapping paper and go to
sleep and wake up in America, an American citizen, that no king or queen
can tell to “hush up” and take off my hat when I want my hat on.

You may wonder how we got out of Monte Carlo, when we had lost every
cent we had gambling. Well, we wondered about it all night, and had our
breakfast sent up to our room, and had it charged, expecting that when
the bill came in we would have to jump into the ocean, as we had no gun
to kill ourselves with. Just after breakfast a duke, or something, came
to our room, and dad said it was all off, and he called upon the Dakota
man to make a speech on politics, while dad and I skipped out. We
thought the duke, who was the manager of the hotel, would not understand
the speech, and would think we were great people, who had got stranded.

[Illustration: Started in on a democratic speech 175]

The Dakota man started in on a democratic speech that he used to deliver
in the campaign of ‘96, and in half an hour the duke held up his hands,
and the Dakota man let up on the speech. Then the duke took out a roll
of bills and said: “Ze shentlemen is what you call bust. Is it not so?”
 Dad said he could bet his life it was so. Then the duke handed the roll
of bills to dad, and said it was a tribute from the prince of
Monaco, and that we were his guests, and when our stay was at an end,
automobiles would be furnished for us to go to Nice, where we could
cable home for funds, and be happy.

Well, when the duke left us, dad said: “Wouldn’t that skin you?” and he
gave the Dakota man one of the bills to try on the bartender, and when
he found the money was good we ordered an automobile and skipped out for
Nice. The chauffeur could not understand English, so we talked over the
situation and decided that the only way to be looked upon as genuine
automobilists would be to wear goggles and look prosperous and mad at
everybody. We took turns looking mad at everybody we passed on the road,
and got it down so fine that people picked up rocks after we had-passed,
and threw them at us, and then we knew that we were succeeding in being
considered genuine, rich automobile tourists.

After we had succeeded for an hour or two in convincing the people that
we were properly heartless and purse proud, dad said the only thing
we needed to make the trip a success was to run over somebody. He
said nearly all the American automobile tourists in Europe had killed
somebody and had been obliged to settle and support a family or two in
France or Italy, and they were prouder of it than they would be if they
endowed a university, or built a church, and he said he trusted our
chauffeur would not be too careful in running through the country, but
would at least cripple some one.

Well, just before we got to Nice, and darkness was settling down on the
road, the chauffeur blew his horn, there was a scream that would raise
hair on Horace Greeley’s head, the automobile stopped, and there was a
bundle of dusty old clothes, with an old woman done up in them, and we
jumped out and lifted her up, and there we were, the woman in a faint,
the peasants gathering around us with scythes and rakes and clubs,
demanding our lives. The bloody-faced woman was taken into a home, the
crowd held us, until finally a doctor came, and after examining the
woman said she might live, but it would be a tight squeeze. We wanted
to go on, but we didn’t want to be cut open with a scythe, so finally a
man, who said he was the husband of the woman, came out with a gun, dad
got down on his knees and tried to say a prayer, the Dakota man held up
both hands like it was a stage being held up, and I cried.

[Illustration: Dad got down on his knees and tried to say a prayer 178]

Finally the chauffeur said, in broken English, that the husband would
settle for $400, because he could pay the funeral expenses, get
another wife for half the money and have some thing left to lay up for
Christmas. As the man’s gun was pointed at dad, he quit praying and
gave up the money and agreed to send $50 a month for 11 years, until the
oldest child was of age.

Well, we got away alive, got into Nice, and the chauffeur started back
and we cabled home for money to be sent to Geneva, Switzerland. But,
say; you have not heard the sequel. A story that has a sequel is always
the best, and I hope to die if the police of Nice didn’t tell us that we
were buncoed by that old woman and that the chauffeur was in the scheme
and got part of dad’s money. The way they do it is to wait till dark,
and then roll the woman in the dust and put some red ink on her face,
and she pretends to be run over, and the doctor is hired by the month,
and they average $500 a night, playing that game on automobile tourists
from America. After the woman is run over every night, and the money
is collected, and the victims have been allowed to go on their way, the
whole community gathers at the house of the injured woman and they have
a celebration and a dance, and probably our chauffeur got back to the
house that night in time to enjoy the celebration. I suppose thousands
of Americans are paying money for killing people that never got a
scratch.

Say, we think in America that we have plenty of ways to rob the
tenderfoot, but they give us cards and spades and little casino and beat
us every time. Dad wanted to hire a hack and go back and finish that old
woman with an ax, because he said he had a corpse coming to him, but the
police told him he could be arrested for thinking murder, and that he
was a dangerous man, and that they would give him 12 hours to get out
of France, and so we bought tickets for Switzerland, though what we came
here for I don’t know, only dad said it was a republic like America
and he wanted to breathe the free air of mountains in the home of the
Switzerkase.

Well, anybody can have Switzerland if they want it. I will sell my
interest cheap. The first three days we were here everybody wanted us to
go out on the lake, said to be the most beautiful lake in the world, and
we sailed on it, and rowed on it, and looked down into the clear water
where it is said you can see a corpse on the bottom of the lake 100 feet
down. We hadn’t lost any corpse, except the corpse of that old woman
we run over at Nice, but we wanted to get the worth of our money, so we
kept looking for days, but the search for a corpse becomes tame after
awhile, and we gave it up. All we saw in the bottom of the lake was a
cow, but no man can weep properly over the remains of a cow, and dad
said they could go to the deuce with their corpses, and we just camped
at the hotel till our money came. Say, that lake they talk so much about
is no better than lakes all over Wisconsin, and there are no black bass
or muskellunges in it.

The tourists here are just daffy about climbing mountains and glaziers,
and they talk about it all the time, and I could see dad’s finish.
They told him that no American that ever visited Switzerland would be
recognized when he got home if he had not climbed the glaziers, so dad
arranged for a trip up into the sky. We went 100 miles or so on the
cars, passing along valleys where all the cows wear tea bells, and it
sounds like chimes in the distance. It is beautiful in Switzerland,
but the cheese is something awful. A piece of native Swiss cheese would
break up a family.

At night we arrived at a station where we hired guides and clothes, and
things, and the next morning we started. Dad wanted me to stay at the
station a couple of days, while he was gone, and play with the goats,
but I told him if there were any places in the mountains or glaziers any
more dangerous than Paris or Monte Carlo, I wanted to visit them, so he
let me go. Well, we were rigged up for discovering the north pole, and
had alpenstocks to push ourselves up with, and the guides had ropes to
pull us up when we got to places where we couldn’t climb. I could get
along all right, but they had dad on a rope most of the time pulling him
until his tongue run out and his face turned blue. But dad was game, and
don’t you forget it.

Before noon we got on top of a glazier, which is the ice of a frozen
river, that moves all the time, sliding towards the sea.

[Illustration: Dad slipped down a crevice about 100 feet 181]

There was nothing but a hard winter, in summer, to the experience, and
we would have gone back the same night, only dad slipped down a crevice
about 100 feet with the rope on him, and the two guides couldn’t pull
him up, and we had to send a lunch down to him on the rope and one of
the guides had to go back to the village for help to get dad up. Well,
sir, I think dad was nearer dead than he ever was before, but they sent
down a bottle of brandy, and when he drank some of it the snow began to
melt and he was warm enough to use bad language.

He yelled to me that this was the limit and wanted to know how long
they were going to keep him there. I yelled to him that one of the
guides had gone for help to pull him out, and he said for them to order
a yoke of oxen. I told him that probably he would have to remain there
until spring opened and that I was going back to America and leave him
there, and he better pray.

[Illustration: Have to remain there until spring opened 183]

I don’t know whether dad prayed, down there in the bowels of the
mountains, but he didn’t pray when help came, and they finally hauled
him up. His breath was gone, but he gave those guides some language
that would set them to thinking if they could have understood him, and
finally we started down the mountain. They kept the rope on dad and
every little while he would slip and slide 100 feet or so down the
mountain on his pants, and the snow would go up his trousers legs clear
to his collar, and the exercise made him so hot that the steam came out
of his clothes, and he looked like a locomotive wrecked in a snow bank
blowing off steam.

It became dark and I expected we would be killed, but before midnight we
got to the station and changed our clothes and paid off the guides and
took a train back. Dad said to me, as we got on the cars: “Now, Hennery,
I have done this glazier stunt, just to show you that a brave man,
whatever his age, is equal to anything they can propose in Europe,
but by ginger, this settles it, and now I want to go where things come
easier. I am now going to Turkey and see how the Turks worry along. Are
you with me?” “You bet your life,” says I.

Yours truly,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XV.

     Dad Plays He Is an Anarchist--They Give Alms to the Beggars
     and the Bad Boy Ducks a Gondolier and His Dad in the Grand
     Canal.

Venice, Italy.--My Dear Old Chumireno: Dad couldn’t get out of
Switzerland quick enough after he got thawed out the day after we
climbed the glaziers. We found that almost all the tourists in Geneva
were there because they did not want to go home and say they had not
visited Switzerland, so they just jumped from one place to another. The
people who stay there any length of time are like the foreign residents
of Mexico, who are wanted for something they have done at home, that is
against the law. There are more anarchists in Geneva than anything else,
and they look hairy and wild eyed, and they plot to kill kings and drink
beer out of two quart jars.

When we found that more attention was paid to men suspected of crime
in their own countries, and men who were believed to be plotting to
assassinate kings, dad said it would be a good joke if a story should
get out that he was suspected of being connected with a syndicate that
wanted to assassinate some one, so I told a fellow that I got acquainted
with that the fussy old man that tried to ride a glazier without any
saddle or stirrup was wanted for attempting to blow up the president
of the United States by selling him baled hay soaked in a solution of
dynamite and nitro-glycerine.

[Illustration: Dad and the anarchists reveled till morning 188]

Say, they will believe anything in Switzerland. It wasn’t two hours
before long-haired people were inviting dad to dinners, and the same
night he was taken to a den where a lot of anarchists were reveling, and
dad reveled till almost morning. When he came back to the hotel he said
his hosts got all the money he had with him, through some game he didn’t
understand, but he under stood it was to go into a fund to support
deserving anarchists and dynamiters. He said when they found out he was
a suspected assassin nothing was too good for him. He said they wanted
to know how he expected to kill a president by soaking baled hay in
explosives, and dad said it came to him suddenly to tell them that the
president rode on horseback a good deal, and he thought if a horse was
filled with baled hay, and nitro-glycerine and the president spurred
the horse and the horse jumped in the air and came down kerchunk on an
asphalt pavement, the horse would explode, and when the rider came down
covered with sausage covers and horse meat, he would be dead, or would
want to be. Dad said the anarchists went into executive session and took
up a collection to send a man to Berlin to fill the emperor’s saddle
horse with cut feed like dad suggested.

Well, the anarchist story was too much for Switzerland, and the next
morning dad was told by a policeman that he had to get out of the
country quick, and it didn’t take us 15 minutes to pack up, and here we
are in Venice.

Well, say, old friend, this is the place where you ought to be, because
nobody works here, that is, nobody but gondoliers. We have been here
several days, and I have not seen a soul doing anything except begging,
or selling things that nobody seems to want. If anybody buys anything
but onions, it is for curiosity, or for souvenirs, and yet the whole
population sits around in the sun and watches the strangers from other
lands price things and go away without buying, and then everybody looks
mad, as though they would like to jab a knife into the stranger. The
plazas and the places near the canal are filled with hucksters and
beggars, and you never saw beggars so mutilated and sore and disgusting.
I never supposed human beings could be so deformed, without taking an ax
to them, and it is so pitiful to see them that you can’t help shedding
your money.

[Illustration: Coughed up over $40 the first day, just giving to beggars
191]

As hard hearted as dad is, he coughed up over $40 the first day, just
giving to beggars, and he thought he had got them all bought up, and
that they would let him alone, but the next day when he showed up there
were ten beggars where there was one the day before, and they followed
him everywhere, and all the loafers in the plazas laughed and acted as
if they would catch the cripples when dad got out of sight and rob the
beggars. Dad thinks the way the people live is by dividing with beggars.
A man who has a deformity, or a sore that you can see half a block away,
seems to be considered rich here, like a man in America who owns stock
in great corporations. These beggars pay more taxes than the dukes and
things who live in style.

I suppose dad never studied geography, so he didn’t know how Venice was
situated, so he told me to go out and order a hack the first morning we
were here, and we would go and see the town. When I told dad there were
no hacks, no horses and no roads in Venice, he said I was crazy in my
head and wanted me to take some medicine and stay in bed for a few days,
but I convinced him, when we got outdoors, that everything run by water,
and when I showed him the canal and the gondolas, he remembered all
about Venice, and picked out a gondalier that looked like one dad saw
at the world’s fair, and we hired him because he talked English. All the
English the gondolier could use were the words “you bet your life,” and
“you’re dam right,” but dad took him because it seemed so homelike, and
we have been riding in gondolas every day.

On the water you can get away from the beggars. This is an ideal
existence. You just get in the gondola, under a canopy, and the
gondolier does the work, and you glide along between build ings and
wonder who lives there, and when they wake up, as all day long the
blinds are closed, and everybody seems to be dead. But at night, when
the canals are lighted, and the moon shines, the people put on their
dress clothes and sit on verandas, or eat and drink, and talk Eyetalian,
and ride in gondolas, and play guitars, and smoke cigarettes, and talk
love. It is so warm you can wear your summer pants, and the water smells
of clams that died long ago. It is just as though Chicago was flooded
by the bursting of the sewers, and people had to go around State street,
and all the cross streets, and Michigan avenue, in fishing boats, with
three feet of water on top of the pavements. Imagine the people of
Chicago taking gondolas and riding along the streets, landing at the
stores and hotels, just as they do now from carriages.

We had been riding in gondolas for two days, getting around in the mud
when the tide was out, and going to sleep and waiting for the tide to
come in, when it seemed to me that dad needed some excitement, and last
night I gave it to him.

We were out in our gondola, and the moon was shining, and the electric
lights made the canal near the Rialto bridge as light as day. The Rialto
bridge crosses the Grand canal, and has been the meeting place for
lovers for thousands of years. It is a grand structure, of carved
marble, but it wouldn’t hold up a threshing machine engine half as
well as an iron bridge. Well, the canal was filled with thousands of
gondolas, loaded with the flower of Venetian society, and the music just
made you want to fall in love. Dad said if he didn’t fall in love, or
something, before morning, he would quit the place. I made up my mind he
should fall into something, so I began by telling dad it seemed strange
to me that nobody but Eyetalians could run a gondola. Dad said he could
run a gondola as well as any foreigner, and I told him he couldn’t run
a gondola for shucks, and he said he would show me, so he got out of the
hen house where we were seated, and went back on to the pointed end
of the gondola, and grabbed the pole or paddle from the gondolier, and
said: “Now, Garibaldi, you go inside the pup tent with Hennery, and let
me punt this ark around awhile.”

Garibaldi thought dad was crazy, but he gave up the pole, and just then,
when they were both on the extreme point of the gondola, and she was
wabbling some, I peeked out through the curtains and thought the fruit
was about ripe enough to pick, so I threw myself over to one side of
the gondola, and, by gosh, if dad and Garibaldi didn’t both go overboard
with a splash, and one yell in the English language, and one in
Eye-talian, and I rushed out of the cabin and such a sight you never
saw.

[Illustration: Overboard, one yell in the English language, one in
Eye-talian 193]

Dad retained the paddle, and had his head out of water, but nothing
showed above the water, where Garibaldi was except a red patch on his
black pants. Dad was yelling for help, and finally the gondolier got his
head out of the water, and said something that sounded like grinding a
butcher knife on a grindstone, and I yelled, too, and the gondolas began
to gather around us, and the two men were rescued. The gondolier had
been gondoling all his life and he had never been in the water before,
and they thought it would strike in and kill him, so they wrapped him up
in blankets and put him aboard his canoe, and he looked at me as though
I was to blame. They got a boat hook fastened in dad’s pants and landed
him in the gondola, and he dripped all the way to our hotel, and he
smelled like a fish market.

I asked Garibaldi, on the way to the hotel, if he was counting his beads
when he was down under the water with nothing but his pants out of the
water, and he said: “You’re dam right,” but I don’t think he knew the
meaning of the words, because he probably wouldn’t swear in the presence
of death. Dad just sat and shivered all the way to the hotel, but when
we got to our room I asked him what his idea was in jumping overboard
right there before folks, with his best clothes on, and he said it was
all Garibaldi’s fault, that just as dad was getting a good grip on the
paddle, the gondolier heaved a long sigh, and the onions in his breath
paralyzed dad so he fell overboard.

[Illustration: Then you don’t blame your little boy, do you 197]

“Then you don’t blame your little boy, do you?” says I, and dad looked
at me as he was hanging his wet shirt on a chair. “Course not; you
were asleep in the cabin. But say, if I ever hear that you did tip that
gondola, it will go hard with you,” but I just looked innocent, and dad
went on drying his shirt by a charcoal brazier and never suspected me.
But I am getting the worst of it, for dad and his clothes smell so much
like a clam bake that it makes me sick.

Well, old friend, you ought to close up your grocery and come over here
and go to Vesuvius and Pompeii with us, where we can dry our clothes
by the volcano, and dig in the city that was buried in hot ashes 2,000
years ago. They say you can dig up mummies there that are dead ringers
for you, old man.

O, come on, and have fun with us.

Your friend,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XVI.

     The Bad Boy Writes from Naples--Dad Sees Vesuvius and Calls
     the Servants to Put Out the Fire--They Have Trouble with a
     “Dago” in Pompeii.

Naples, Italy.--Dear Old Partner in Crime: Well, sir, we have struck a
place that reminds us of home, and your old grocery store. The day we
got here dad and I took a walk into the poorer districts, where they
throw all the slops and refuse in the streets, and where nobody ever
seems to clean up anything and burn it. The odor was something that you
cannot describe without a demonstration, and after we had turned pale
and started to go away, dad said the smell reminded him of something
at home, and finally he remembered your old grocery in the sauerkraut
season, early in the morning, before you had aired out the place. Your
ears must have burned when we were talking about you.

If you want to get an idea of Naples, at its worst, go down into your
cellar and round up all the codfish, onions, kraut, limburger cheese,
kerosene, rotten potatoes, and everything that is dead, put it all in
a bushel basket, and just before the Health officers come to pull your
place, get down on your knees and put your head down in the basket, and
let some one sit on your head all the forenoon, and you will have just
such a half day as dad and I had in the poor quarter of Naples, and
it will not cost you half as much as it did us, unless, after you have
enjoyed yourself in your cellar with your head in the basket, you decide
to have a run of sickness and hire a doctor who will charge you the
price of a trip to Europe.

Well, sir, Naples is a dandy, in its clean part. The bay of Naples is a
dead ringer for Milwaukee bay, in shape and beauty, but Milwaukee
lacks Vesuvius and Pompeii, for suburbs, and she lacks the customary
highwaymen to hold you up. Every man, woman and child we have met makes
a living out of the tourists, and nobody that I have seen works at any
other business.

[Illustration: Wanted to turn in a fire alarm 201]

We woke up the first morning and dad looked out the window and saw
Vesuvius belching forth flame and lava and stone fences, and wanted to
turn in a fire alarm, but I told him that that fire had been raging
ever since the Christian era, and was not one of these incendiary barn
burnings, but he opened the window and yelled fire, and the porters and
chambermaids came running to our room, with buckets of water, and
wanted to know where the fire was. Dad pointed out of the window towards
Vesuvius and said: “Some hired girl has been starting a fire with
kerosene, in that shanty on the knoll out there, and the whole ranch
will burn if you don’t turn out the fire department, you gosh blasted
lazy devils. Get a move on and help carry out the furniture.”

Well, they calmed dad, and then I had to go to work and post dad up
on the geography he had forgotten, and finally he remembered seeing a
picture of a volcano or burning mountain in his geography 50 years ago,
but he told me he never believed there was a volcano in the world, but
that he always thought they put those pictures in geographies to make
them sell. How a man can attain the prominence and position in the
business world that dad has, and not know any more than he does, is what
beats me.

Of course, you know, having kept a grocery since the war, and having had
opportunities to study history, by the pictures on the soap boxes and
insurance calendars, that Nero, the Roman tyrant, after Rome was burned,
while he fiddled for a dance in a barn, got so accustomed to fire and
brimstone that he retired to Naples and touched off Vesuvius, just so
he could look at it. But Vesuvius, about 2,000 years ago, got to burning
way down in its bowels, and the fire got beyond control, and I suppose
now the fire is away down in the center of the earth, and you know when
you get down in the earth below the crust, on which we live and raise
potatoes, everything is melted, like iron in a foundry, and Vesuvius is
the spigot through which the fluid comes to the surface. You see, don’t
you?

Just imagine that this earth is a barrel of beer, which you can
understand better than anything else, and it is being shaken up by being
hauled around on wagons and cars, and is straining to get out, then a
bartender drives a spigot into the bung, turns the thumb piece, and the
pent-up beer comes out foaming and squirting, and there you are.

Instead of beer, Vesuvius is loaded with lava, that runs like molasses,
and when it is cold it is indigestible as a cold buckwheat cake, and you
can make it up into jewelry, that looks like maple sugar and smells like
a fire in a garbage crematory. Besides the lava there are stones as big
as a house that are thrown up by the sea-sickness of the earth, as it
heaves and pants, and then the ashes that come out of the crater at
times would make you think that what they need there is to have a
chimney sweep go down and brush out the flues.

[Illustration: Threw a pail of ashes over the fence 204]

To get an idea of what a nuisance the ashes from the crater are to the
cities on the plain below, you remember the time you were out in your
back yard splitting boxes for kindling wood and my chum and I threw a
pail of ashes over the fence, and accidentally it went all over you,
about four inches thick. That time you got mad and threw cucumbers
at us, when we ran down the alley. Keep that in your mind and you can
understand the destruction of Pompeii, when Vesuvius, thousands of years
ago, coughed up hot ashes and covered the town 40 feet deep with hot
stuff, and killed every living thing, and petrified and preserved the
whole business, and made a prairie on top of a town, and everybody
eventually forgot that there had ever been a town there, for about 2,000
years. If my chum and I had not run out of ashes we would have buried
you so deep in your back yard that you would have been petrified with
your hatchet, and when they excavated the premises a thousand years
later they would have found your remains and put you in a museum.

Well, a couple of hundred years ago a peasant was sinking a well down in
the ashes, and he struck a petrified barroom, with a bartender standing
behind the bar in the act of serving some whisky 2,000 years old, and
the peasant located a claim there, and the authorities took possession
of the prairie and have been digging the town out ever since, looking
for more of that 2,000-year-old whisky.

When I told dad about what they were finding at the ruins of Pompeii,
and how you were liable to find gold and diamonds and petrified women,
he wanted to go and dig in the ashes, as he said it would be more
exciting than raking over the dumping grounds in Chicago for tin cans
and lumps of coal, and so we hired a hack and went to the buried town,
but dad insisted on carrying an umbrella, so if Vesuvius belched any
more ashes he could protect himself. Gee, but from what I have seen at
that old ruin, a man would need an umbrella made of corrugated iron to
keep from being buried.

[Illustration: Dad insisted on carrying an umbrella 207]

Well, when we got to Pompeii dad was for going right where they were
digging, but I got him to look over the streets and houses that had
been uncovered first, and he was paralyzed to think that a town could be
covered with ashes all these thousands of years, and then be uncovered
and find a town that would compare, in many respects, with cities of the
present day, with residences complete with sculpture, paintings and cut
marble that would skin Chicago to a finish.

We went through residences that looked as rich as the Vanderbilt houses
in New York, baths that you could take a plunge and a swim in, if they
had the water, paintings that would take a premium at any horse show
to-day, pavements that would shame the pavements of London and Paris,
and petrified women that you couldn’t tell from a low-necked party in
Washington, except that the ashes had eaten the clothes off. I guess
most of the people in Pompeii got away when the ashes began to rain
down, for they must have seen that it wasn’t going to be a light shower,
but a deluge, ‘cause they never have found many corpses. They must have
run to Naples, and maybe they are running yet, and you may see some
of them at your grocery, and if you do see anybody covered with ashes,
looking for a job, give them some crackers and cheese and charge it to
dad, for they must be hungry by this time.

Say, do you know that some of those refugees from Pompeii went off in
such a hurry that they left bread baking in the ovens, and meat cooking
in the pots? It seems the most wonderful thing to me of anything I ever
saw. We went all through the streets and houses and saw ballrooms
that beat anything in San Francisco, and when we went into a building
occupied by the officers in charge of the excavations, and dad saw a
telephone and an electric light, he thought those things had been dug
up, too, and he claimed that the men who were receiving millions of
dollars in royalties on telephones and electric lights were frauds who
were infringing on Pompeii patents 2,000 years old, and he wouldn’t
believe me when I told him that telephones and electric lights were not
dug up; he said then he wouldn’t believe anything was dug up, but that
the whole thing was a put-up job to rob tourists. But when we got to a
locality where the dagoes were digging the ashes away from a house and
were uncovering a parlor, where rich things were being discovered, he
saw that it was all right.

I suppose I never ought to have played such a thing on dad, but I told
him that anybody who saw a thing first when it came out of the ashes
could grab it and keep it, and just as I told him a workman threw out a
shovel full of ashes, just as you would throw out dirt digging for angle
worms, and there was a little silver urn with a lot of coins in it, and
you could not hold dad. He grabbed for it, the workman grabbed for it,
and they went down together in the ashes, and the man rolled dad over
and he was a sight, but the workman got the silver urn, and dad wanted
to fight.

[Illustration: The man rolled dad over and he was a sight 210]

Finally a man with a uniform on came along and was going to arrest dad,
but they finally compromised by the man offering to sell the silver urn
and the gold coins to dad for a hundred dollars, if he would promise
not to open it up until he got out of Italy, and dad paid the money and
wrapped the urn up in a Chicago paper, and we took our hack and went
back to Naples on a gallop.

Dad could hardly wait till we got to the hotel before opening up his
prize, but he held out until we got to our room, when he unwrapped the
urn to count his ancient gold coins. Well, you’d a-died to see dad’s
face when he opened that can. It was an old tomato can that had been
wrought out with a hammer so it looked like hammered silver, and when
he emptied the gold coins out on the table there was a lot of brass tags
that looked like dog license tags, and baggage checks and brass buttons.
I had to throw water on dad to bring him to, and then he swore he would
kill the dago that sold him the treasure from the ruins of Pompeii.
It was a great blow to dad, and he has bought a dirk knife to kill the
dago. To-morrow we take in Vesuvius, and when we come down from the
crater we go to Pompeii and kill the dago in his tracks. Dad may cause
Vesuvius to belch again with hot ashes, and cover the ruins of Pompeii,
but if he can’t turn on the ashes, the knife will do the business.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XVII.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Climb Vesuvius--A Chicago Lady Joins
     the Party and Causes Trouble.

Naples, Italy.--Siegnor ze Grocerino: I guess that will make you stand
without hitching for a little while. Say, I am getting so full of dead
languages, and foreign palaver, that I shall have to have an operation
on my tongue when I get home before I can speel the United States
language again so you can make head or tail of it. You see, I don’t stay
long enough in a country to acquire its language, but I get a few words
into my system, so now my English is so mixed with French words, Italian
garlic and German throat trouble that I cannot understand myself unless
I look in a glass and watch the motions of my lips. Dad has not picked
up a word of any foreign language, and says he should consider himself a
traitor to his country if he tried to talk anything but English. He
did get so he could order a glass of beer by holding up his finger and
saying “ein,” but he found later that just holding up his finger
without saying “ein” would bring the beer all the same so he cut out the
language entirely and works his finger until it needs a rest.

When I used to study my geography at the little red schoolhouse, and
look at the picture of the volcano Vesuvius, and read about how it would
throw up red-hot lava, and ashes, and rocks as big as a house, and wipe
out cities, it looked so terrible to me that I was glad when we got
through with the volcano lesson, and got to Greenland’s icy mountains,
where there was no danger except being frozen to death, or made sick by
eating blubber sliced off of whales.

Then I never expected to be right on the very top of that volcano,
throwing stones down in the lava, and sailing chips down the streams of
hot stuff, just as I sailed chips on ice water at home-when the streets
were flooded by spring rains. Say, there is no more danger on Vesuvius
than there is in a toboggan slide, or shooting the chutes at home. I
thought we would have to hire dagoes to carry us up to the top, and be
robbed and held up, and may be murdered, but it is just as easy as going
up in the elevator of a skyscraper, and no more terrifying than
sitting on a 50-cent seat in a baseball park at home and witnessing the
“Destruction of Pompeii” by a fireworks display

The crater looks sort of creepy, like a big cauldron kettle boiling soap
on a farm, only it is bigger, and down in the earth’s bowels you can
well believe there is trouble, and if you believe in a hell, you can get
it, illustrated proper, but the rivulets of lava that flow out of the
wrinkles around the mouth of the crater are no more appalling than
making fudges over a gas stove. When the lava cools you would swear it
was fudges, only you can’t eat the lava and get indigestion as you can
eating fudges.

It was hard work to get dad to go up on the volcano, because he said he
knew he would fall into it, and get his clothes burned, and he said he
couldn’t climb clear to the top, on account of his breath being short,
but when I told him he could ride up on a trolley car, and have the
volcano brought right to him, he weakened, and one morning we left
Naples early and before two hours had passed we were on a little
cogwheel railroad going up, and dad was looking down on the scenery,
expecting every minute the cogs would slip and we would cut loose and go
down all in a heap and be plastered all over the vineyards and big trees
and be killed.

I don’t know what makes dad so nervous, but he wanted a woman from
Chicago, who was on the car with us, to hold his hand all the way up,
but she said she was no nurse in a home for the aged, and she said she
would cuff dad if he didn’t let go of her. I told her she better not
get dad mad if she knew what was good for her, for he was a regular
Bluebeard, and wouldn’t take no slack from no Chicago female, ‘cause
he had buried nine wives already. So she held his hand, and I guess she
thinks she will be my stepmother, but I bet she don’t.

Well, after we got almost to the top the car stopped, and we had to walk
the rest of the way, several hundred feet, and we had to have a pusher
and a putter for dad, a dago to go ahead and pull him up, and another
to put his shoulder against dad’s pants and shove. Gee, but it was a
picture to see dad “go up old baldhead,” with the dagoes perspiring and
swearing at dad for being so heavy, and the Chicago woman laughing, and
me pushing her up.

[Illustration: It was a picture to see dad go up old baldhead 214]

One thing that scared dad was that every little way there was a shrine,
where the guides left dad lying on the ground, blocked with a piece of
cold lava, so he wouldn’t roll down, like you would block a wagon wheel,
and they would go to the shrine and kneel and say some prayers.

Dad was afraid they were going to charge the prayers in the bill for
pushing him up, but I told dad that these people expected every time
they, went up to the top that it would be their last trip, as they knew
that some day the volcano would open in a new place and swallow them
whole, with all the tourists. Then he gave them a dollar apiece to pray
for him, and wanted to go back down the mountain and let Vesuvius run
its own fireworks, but the Chicago lady told dad to brace up and she
would protect him, and so the guides gave a few more pushes, and we were
on top of the volcano, and dad collapsed and had to be brought to with
smelling salts and whisky that the woman carried in her pistol pocket.

Gee, but it was worth all the trouble to get up the mountain, to see the
sight that opened up. The hole in the mountain filled with boiling stuff
was worth the price of admission, and the roaring of the boiling stuff,
and the explosions way down cellar, and the flying stones, the smoke
going into the air for a mile, like the burning of an oil well, the
red-hot lava finding crevices to leak through, and flowing down the
side of the mountain in streams like hot maple sirup, made a scene thai
caused us to take off our hats and thank the good Lord that the thing
hadn’t overflowed enough to hurt us. But I could see dad was scared,
‘cause when I wanted him to go around the edge of the crater with me,
and see the hell-roaring free show from other points of view, and
see where the hot ashes years ago rolled down and covered Pompeii and
Herculaneum, he balked and said he had seen all he wanted to, and if he
could stay alive until the next car went down the mountain, they could
all have his interest in Vesuvius, and be darned to them, but he said if
I wanted to go around looking for trouble, he would stay there under a
big rock, with the Chicago lady, and wait for me to come back. She said
she knew dad was all tired out, and needed rest, and she would stay with
him, and keep him cheered up; so I left them and went off with one
of the dagoes, to slide down hill on some flowing lava, and pick up
specimens.

Well, sir, I wish I could get along some way without telling the rest of
this sad story, but if I am going to be a historian I have got to tell
the whole blame thing.

[Illustration: And she was stroking his hair 217]

When I left dad and the Chicago woman she had produced a lunch from
somewhere about her person, and a small bottle, and they were eating and
drinking, and dad was laughing more natural than I had seen him laugh
since we run over the old woman with the automobile at Nice, and she was
smiling on dad just as though she was his sweetheart. (As I went around
the crater, a couple of blocks away, I looked back and dad had laid his
head in her lap, and she was stroking his hair. )

Well, I picked up specimens, burned the soles off my shoes wading in the
lava, and took in the volcano from all sides, and after an hour I went
back to where dad and the woman were lunching, but the woman was gone,
and dad acted as though he had been hit by an express train, his eyes
were wild, his collar was gone, his pocketbook was on the ground, empty,
his coat was gone, his scarf-pin had disappeared and the $11 watch he
bought when he was robbed the other time was missing, and dad’s tongue
was run out, and he was yelling for water. I thought he had been trying
to drink some lava.

[Illustration: He was yelling for water 223]

“Dad, what in the world has happened to you?” said I, as I rushed up to
him.

“That woman has happened to me, that is all,” said dad, as he took a
swallow of water out of a canteen one of the dagoes had.

“Tell me about it, dad,” said I, trying to keep from laughing, when I
saw that he was not hurt.

“Say, let this be a lesson to you,” said dad, “and don’t you steer
another woman to me on this trip. Do you know you hadn’t more than got
around that big rock when she said she was tired and was going to faint,
for the altitude was too high for her, and I tried to soothe her, and
she did look pale, and, by gosh, I thought she was going to die on my
hands, and I would have to carry her corpse down the mountain. I heard
a scuffling on the rocks, and she looked up and saw a man not ten feet
away, and she said: ‘Me husband!’ and then she fainted and grabbed me
around the neck, and I couldn’t get her loose. She just froze to me
like a person drowning, and that husband of hers, who had come up on the
last car, hunting for his wife, who had eloped, pulled a long blue gun
and told me he would give me five minutes to pray, and then he would
kill me and throw my body down in the creater, to sizzle.”

[Illustration: Pulled a long blue gun 220]

“I told him I could pay up enough ahead in three minutes, and he could
take all I had if he would loosen up his wife, and bring her to, and
take her away, and let me die all alone, and let the buzards eat me,
uncooked. He took the bet, pulled her arms away from my throat, took my
money and coat, brought her to, and said he was going to throw her into
the crater, but I told him she had certainly been good to me, and if he
would spare her life, and take her away in the cars, he could have my
watch and scarfpin, and he took them, and they went to the cars.

“She looked back at me with the saddest face I ever saw, and said:
‘O, sir, it is all a terrible dream, and I will see you in Naples, and
explain all,’ and now, by Christmas, I want to go back to town and find
her, and rescue her from that jealous husband,” and dad got up and we
started for the car.

The man and his wife went down on the car ahead of us, and dad wouldn’t
believe they were regular bunko people, who play that game everyday on
some old sucker, but the man that runs the car told me so.

I can be responsible for dad in everything except the women he meets.
When it comes to women, your little Hennery don’t know the game at all.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XVIII.

     The Bad Boy Makes Friends with Some Italian Children--Dad Is
     Chased by Lions from the Coliseum--“Not Any More Rome for
     Papa,” Says Dad.

Rome, Italy.--My Dear Old “Pard:” Well, sir, if you could see me now,
you wouldn’t know me, because foreign travel has broadened me out so
I can talk on any subject, and people of my age look upon me as an
authority, and they surround me everywhere I go and urge me to talk.
The fact that the boys and girls do not understand a word I say makes
no difference. They do not wear many clothes here, and there is no style
about them, and when they see me with a whole suit of clothes on, and
a hat and shoes and socks, and a scarf-pin on my necktie, they think
I must be an Americano that is too rich for any use, or something that
ranks with a prince at least, and the boys delight to be with me and do
errands for me, and the girls seem to be in love with me.

There is no way you can tell if a girl is in love with you, except that
she looks at you with eyes that are as black as coal, and they seem to
burn a hole right into your insides, and when they take hold of your
hand they hang on and squeeze like alamand-left in a dance at home, and
they snug up to you and are as warm and cheerful as a gas stove.

[Illustration: It brought on a revolution 227]

Say, I sat on a bench in a plaza with a girl about my age, for an hour,
while the other girls and boys sat on the ground and looked at us in
admiration, and when I put my arm around her and kissed her on her
pouting lips, it brought on a revolution. An Italian soldier policeman
took me by the neck and threw me across the street, the girl scratched
me with her finger nails and bit me, and yelled some grand hailing sign
of distress, her brother and a ragged boy that was in love with the girl
and was jealous, drew daggers, and the whole crowd yelled murder, and I
started for our hotel on a run, and the whole population of Rome seemed
to follow me, and I might as well have been a negro accused of crime in
the states. I thought they would burn me at the stake, but dad came out
of the hotel and threw a handful of small change into the crowd, and it
was all off.

After they picked up the coin they beckoned me to come out and play some
more, but not any more for little Hennery. I have been in love in all
countries where we have traveled, and in all languages, but this Italian
love takes the whole bakery, and I do not go around any more without a
chaperone. The girls are ragged and wear shawls over their heads,
and there are holes in their dresses and their skin isn’t white, like
American girls’, but is what they call olive complexion, like stuffed
olives you buy in bottles, stuffed with cayenne pepper, but the girls
are just like the cayenne pepper, so warm that you want to throw water
on yourself after they have touched you. Gee, but I wouldn’t want to
live in a climate where girls were a torrid zone, ‘cause I should melt,
like an icicle that drops in a stove, and makes steam and blows up the
whole house.

Well, old man, you talk about churches, but you don’t know anything
about it. Dad and I went to St. Peter’s in Rome, and it is the grandest
thing in the world. Say, the Congregational church at home, which we
thought so grand, could be put in one little corner of St. Peter’s, and
would look like 30 cents. St. Peter’s covers ground about half a mile
square, and when you go inside and look at grown people on the other
side of it, they look like flies, and the organ is as big as a block of
buildings in Chicago, and when they blow it you think the last day has
come, and yet the music-is as sweet as a melodeon, and makes you want
to get down on your knees with all the thousands of good Christians of
Italy, and confess that you are a fraud that ought to be arrested.

Dad and I have been to all kinds of churches, everywhere, and never
turned a hair, but since we got to this town and got some of the
prevailing religion into our systems, we feel guilty, and it seems as
though everybody could see right into us, and that they knew we were
heathen that never knew there was a God. Sure thing, I never supposed
there were so many people in the world that worshiped their Maker, as
there are here, and I don’t wonder that all over the world good people
look to Rome for the light. Dad keeps telling me that when we get home
we will set an example that will make people pay attention, but he says
he does not want to join the church until he has seen all the sights,
and then he will swear off for good.

He said to me yesterday: “Now, Hennery, I have been to all the pious
places with you, the pope’s residence, the catacombs and St. Peter’s,
where they preach from 40 different places and make you feel like giving
up your sins, and I have looked at carvings and decorations and marble
and jewels and seen the folly of my ways of life, and I am ripe for a
change, but before I give up the world and all of its wickedness, I want
blood. I want to go to the other extreme, and see the wild beasts at the
Coliseum tear human beings limb from limb, and drink their blood, and
see gladiators gladiate, and chop down their antagonists, and put one
foot on their prostrate necks, like they do in the theaters, and then I
am ready to leave this town and be good.”

Well, sir, I have been in lots of tight places before, but this one beat
the band. Here was my dad, who did not know that the Roman, gladiator
business had been off the boards for over 2,000 years, that the eating
of human prisoners by wild beasts in the presence of the Roman populace
was played out, and that the Coliseum was a ruin and did not exist as
a place of amusement. He thought everything that he had read about the
horrors of a Roman holiday was running to-day, as a side show, and he
wanted to see it, and I had encouraged him in his ideas, because he was
nervous, and I didn’t want to undeceive him. He had come to Rome to
see things he couldn’t find at home, and it was up to me to deliver the
goods.

Gee, but it made me sweat, ‘cause I knew if dad did not get a show for
his money he would lay it up against me, so I told him we would go to
the Coliseum that night and see the hungry lions and tigers eat some of
the leading citizens, just as they did when Caesar run the show. Then I
found an American from Chicago at the hotel, who sells soap in Rome, and
told him what dad expected of me in the way of amusement, and he said
the only way was to take dad out to the Coliseum, and in the dark roll
a barrel of broken glass down the tiers of seats and make him believe
there was an earthquake that had destroyed the Coliseum, and that the
lions and tigers were all loose, looking for people to eat, and scare
dad and make a run back to town.

[Illustration: What dad expected of me in the way of amusement 230]

I didn’t want to play such a scandalous trick on dad, but the Chicago
man said that was the only way out of it, and he could get a barrel of
broken glass for a dollar, and hire four ruffians that could roar like
lions for a few dollars, and it would give dad good exercise, and may be
save him from a run of Roman fever, ‘cause there was nothing like a good
sweat to knock the fever out of a fellow’s system. The thing struck me
as not only a good experience for dad, but a life saver, so I whacked up
the money, and the Chicago soap man did the rest.

After dark we went out to the ruin of the Coliseum, where a great many
tourists go to look at the ruins by moonlight, and dad was as anxious
and bloodthirsty as a young surgeon cutting up his first “stiff.”
 When we got to the right place, and I told dad we were a little early,
because the nobility were not in their seats, the villains began to roar
three dollars’ worth like hungry lions, and dad turned a little pale and
said that sounded like the real thing.

I told him we better not get too near, because we were not accustomed
to seeing live men chewed up by beasts, and dad said he didn’t care how
near we got, as long as they chewed and tore to pieces the natives; so
we started to work up a little nearer, when there was a noise such as I
never heard before, as the hogshead of broken glass began to roll down
the tiers of stone seats, and I fell over on the ground, and pushed
dad, and he went over in the sand and struck his pants on a cactus, and
yelled that he was stabbed with a dirk.

[Illustration: Went over in the sand and struck his pants on a cactus
233]

I got up and fell down again, and just then the Chicago soap man came
up on a gallop, followed by the villains playing lion and tiger, and dad
asked the Chicago man what seemed to be the matter, and he said: “Matter
enough; there has been an earthquake, and the Coliseum has fallen down,
killing more than 10,-000 Romans, and the animals’ cages are busted and
the animals are loose, looking for fresh meat, and we better get right
back to Rome, too quick, or we will be eaten alive. Come on if you are
with me. Do you hear the lions after us?” said he, as the hired villains
roared.

[Illustration: He took the lead for good old Rome 235]

Well, you’d a died to see dad get up out of that prickly cactus and take
the lead for good old Rome. I didn’t know he was such a sprinter, but
we trailed along behind, roaring like lions and snarling like tigers and
yip-yapping like hyenas and barking like timber wolves, and we couldn’t
see dad for the dust, on that moonlight night.

We slowed up and let dad run ahead, and he got to the hotel first, and
we paid off the villains, and finally we went in the hotel and found
dad in the bar-room puffing and drinking a high-ball. “Pretty near hell,
wasn’t it,” said dad, to the soap man. “Did the lions catch anybody?”
 “O, a few of the lower classes,” said the soap man, “but none of the
nobility. The nobility were in the boxes and that part of the Coliseum
never falls during an earthquake,” and the soap man joined dad in a
high-ball.

After dad got through puffing and had wiped about two quarts of
perspiration off his head and neck, and the soap man had told him what
a great thing it was to perspire in Rome, on account of the Roman fever,
that catches a man at night and kills him before morning, dad turned
to me and said: “Hennery, you go pack up and we get out of this in the
morning, for I feel as though I had been chewed by one of those hyenas.
Not any more Rome for papa,” and the high-ball party broke up, and we
went to bed to get sleep enough to leave town.

Do you know, the next morning those hired villains made the soap man and
I pay ten dollars extra on account of straining their lungs roaring
like lions? But we paid for their lungs all right, rather than have them
present a bill to dad.

Well, good-by, old man. We are getting all the fun there is going.

Your only,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XIX.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Visit the Pope--They Bow to the King
     of Italy and His Nine Spots--Dad Finds That “The Catacombs”
      Is Not a Comic Opera.

Rome, Italy.--Dear Old Friend: You remember, don’t you when you were
a boy, playing “tag, you’re it,” and “button, button, who’s got the
button?” that one of the trying situations was to be judged to “go to
Rome,” which meant that you were to kiss every girl in the room.

[Illustration: Had to kiss anybody they brought to me 238]

I never got enough “going to Rome” when I attended church sociables
and parties, but always got blindfolded, and had to kiss anybody they
brought to me, which was usually a boy or a colored cook, so I teased
dad to take me to Rome, and when he got over his being rattled and
robbed and burned by lava at Vesuvius, he said he didn’t care where
he went, and, besides, I told him about the Roman Coliseum, where they
turned hungry tigers and lions and hyenas loose among the gladiators,
and the people could see the beasts eat them alive, and dad said that
was something like it, as the way he had been robbed and misued in
Italy, he would enjoy seeing a good share of the population chewed by
lions, if the lions could stand it. I didn’t tell dad that the wild
animal show had not been running for a couple of thousand years, ‘cause
I thought he would find it out when we got here.

Say, old man, I guess I can help you to locate Rome. You remember the
time I spoke a piece at the school exhibition, when I put my hand inside
my flannel shirt, like an orator, and said: “And this is Rome, that
sat on her seven hills, and from her throne of beauty ruled the whole
world.” Well, this is it, where I am now, but the seven hills have been
graded down, and Rome don’t rule the whole world a little bit; but she
has got religion awful.

The pope lives here, and he is the boss of more religious people than
anybody, and though you may belong to any other kind of church, and when
you are home you don’t care a continental for any religion except your
own, or your wife’s religion, and you act like an infidel, and scoff
at good people, when you get to Rome and see the churches thicker than
saloons in Milwaukee, and everybody attending church and looking pious,
you catch the fever, and try to forget bad things you have done, and if
you get a chance to see the pope, you may go to his palace just ‘cause
you want to see everything that is going on, and you think you don’t
care whether school keeps or not, and you feel independent, as though
this religion was something for weak people to indulge in, and finally
you come face to face with the pope, and see his beautiful face, and his
grand eyes, and his every movement is full of pious meaning, you “penuk”
 right there, and want to kneel down and let him bless you, by gosh.

Say, I never saw dad weaken like he did when the pope came in. We got
tickets to go to his reception, but dad said he had rather go to the
catacombs, or the lion show at the Coliseum. He said he didn’t want to
encourage popes, because he didn’t believe they amounted to any more
than presiding elders at home. He said he had always been a Baptist, and
they didn’t have any popes in his church, and he didn’t believe in ‘em,
but some other Americans were going to see the pope, and dad consented
to go, under protest, it being understood that he didn’t care two
whoops, anyway.

Well, sir, we went, and it was the grandest thing you ever saw. There
were guards by the thousand, beautiful gardens that would make Central
Park look like a hay marsh, hundreds of people in church vestments, and
an air of sanctity that we never dreamed; jewels that are never seen
outside the pope’s residence, and we lined up to see the holy father
pass.

Gee, but dad trembled like a dog tied out in the snow, and the
perspiration stood out on his face, and he looked sorry for himself.
Then came the procession, all nobles and great people, and then there
was a party of pious men carrying the most beautiful man we ever saw on
a platform above us, and it was the pope, and he smiled at me, and the
tears came to my eyes, and I couldn’t swallow something which I s’pose
was my sins, and then he looked at dad, and held up one hand, and dad
was pale, and there was no funny business about dad any more, and then
they set the platform down and the pope sat in a chair, and those who
wanted to went up to him, and he blessed them.

[Illustration: For awhile dad dassent go up 241]

Say, for awhile dad dassent go up, ‘cause he thought the pope could see
right through him, and would know he was a Baptist, but the rest of the
Americans were going up, and dad didn’t want to be eccentric, so he and
I went up. The pope put out his hand to dad, and instead of shaking it,
as he would the hand of any other man on earth, and asking how his folks
were, dad bent over and kissed the pope’s hand, and the pope blessed
him. Dad looked like a new man, a good man, and when the pope put his
hand on my head, and blessed me, my heart came up in my throat, ‘cause
I thought he must know of all the mean things I had ever done, but I can
feel his soft, beautiful hand on my head now, and from this out I would
fight any boy twice my size that ever said a word against the pope and
his religion. When we got outside dad says to me: “Hennery, don’t you
ever let me hear of your doing a thing that would make the good man
sorry if he was to hear about it.” And we went to our hotel and stayed
all the afternoon, and all night, and just thought of that pope’s
angelic face, and when one of the Americans came to our room and wanted
dad to play cinch, he was indignant, and said: “I would as soon think
of robbing a child’s bank,” and we went to bed, and if dad wasn’t a
converted man I never saw one.

Well, sir, trouble, and sorrow, and religion, don’t last very long on
dad. The next morning we talked things over, and I quoted all the Roman
stuff I could think of to dad, such as “In that elder day, to be a Roman
was greater than a king,” but before I could think twice there was a
commotion in the streets and a porter came and made us take off our
hats, because the king was riding by, and we looked at the king, and dad
was hot. He said that fellow was nothing but a railroad hand, disguised
in a uniform, and, by ginger, if we had seen that king out west working
on a railroad, with canvas clothes on, he would not have looked like
a king, on a bet. There was nothing but his good clothes that stood
between the king and a dago digging sewers in Chicago.

After the king and his ninespots had passed, dad said: “When you are in
Rome, you must do as the Romans do,” and he said he wanted to get
that heavy feeling off his shoulders, which he got at the religious
procession, and wanted me to suggest something devilish that we could
do, and I told him we better go and see the “Catacombs.” He wanted
to know if it was anything like “a trip to Chinatown,” or the “Black
Crook,” and I told him it was worse. Then he asked me if there was much
low neck and long stockings in the “Catacombs,” and I told him there was
a plenty, and he said he was just ripe to see that kind of a show, and
so we took a carriage for the “Catacombs,” and dad could hardly keep
still till we got there.

I suppose I ought to be killed for fooling dad, but he craved for
excitement, and he got it. The “Catacombs” are where Roman citizens have
been buried for thousands of years, in graves hewn out of solid rock,
and they are petrified, and after they have laid in the graves for a
few hundred years, the mummified bodies are taken out and stood up in
corners, if the bodies will hang together, and if not the bones are
piled up around for scenery.

We had to take torches to go in, and we wandered through corridors,
gazing at the remains, until dad asked one of the men with us what it
all meant, and the man said it was the greatest show on earth. Dad began
to think he was nutty, and when I laughed, and said: “That is great,”
 and clapped my hands, and said: “Encore,” dad stopped and said:
“Hennery, this is no leg show, this is a morgue,” but to cheer him up I
told him his head must be wrong, and I pointed to about a hundred dried
corpses, a thousand years old, in a corner, with grinning skulls all
around, and told him that was the ballet, and told him to look at the
leading dancer, and asked him if she wasn’t a beaut, from Butte, Mont.,
and that killed dad. He leaned against me, and said his eyes must have
gone back on him, because everything looked dead to him. I told him he
would get over it after awhile, and to stay where he was while I went
and spoke to one of the ballet that was beckoning to me, and I left him
there, dazed, and went around a corner and hid.

People were coming along with torches all the time, looking at the
catacombs and reading the inscriptions cut in the rock, and after awhile
I went back to where I left dad, and he was gone, but after awhile I
found him standing up with the stiffs. He was glad to see me, and wanted
to know if I thought he was’ dead. I told him I was sure he was alive,
though he had a deathly look on his face.

[Illustration: He would break me up into bones, and throw me into a pile
246]

“Well, sir,” says dad, “I thought it was all over with me, after you
left, for a man came along and moved me around, and took hold under my
arms and jumped me along here by these stiffs, and told me if I didn’t
stay where I belonged he would break me up into bones, and throw me into
a pile, and I thought I would have to do as the Romans do and stay here,
and before the man left me he reached into my pocket and took my money,
and said I couldn’t spend any money in there where I was going to stay
for a million years, and, by gosh, I was so petrified I couldn’t stop
him from robbing me. Say, Hennery, they will rob you anywhere, even in
the grave, and if this Catacomb show is over, and the curtain has gone
down, I want to get out of here, and go to the Coliseum or the Roman
amphitheater, where the wild beasts eat people alive.” And so we left
the Catacombs and went back to town, and dad began to show life again.
Say, you tell the folks at home that dad is gaining every day, and his
vacation is doing him good. He has promised to kill me for taking him to
the Catacomb show, but dad never harbors revenge for long, and I guess
your little nephew will pull through. I wish I had my skates, cause dad
wants to go to Russia.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XX.

     The Bad Boy Tells About the Land of the Czar and the Trouble
     They Had to Get There--Dad Does a Stunt and Mixes It Up with
     the People and Soldiers.

St. Petersburg, Russia.--My Dear Groceryow-ski: Well, sir, I ‘spose
you will be surprised to hear from me in Russia, but there was no use
talking when Dad said he was going to St. Petersburg if it was the last
act of his life. He got talking with a Japaneser in Rome and the Jap
said the war in the far east would last until every Russian was killed,
unless America interfered to put a stop to it, and as Roosevelt didn’t
appear to have sand enough to offer his services to the czar, what it
needed was for some representative American citizen who was brave and
had nerve to go to St. Petersburg and see the czarovitch and give him
the benefit of a good American talk. The Jap said the American who
brought about peace, by a few well chosen remarks, would be the greatest
man of the century, and would live to be bowed down to by kings and
emperors and all the world would doff hats to him.

At first dad was a little leary about going on such a mission without
credentials from Washington, but as luck would have it, he met an exiled
Russian at a restaurant, who told dad that he reminded him of Gen.
Grant, because dad had a wart on the side of his nose, and he told
dad that Russia would keep on fighting until every Japanese was killed
unless some distinguished American should be raised up who deemed it
his duty to go to St. Petersburg and see the Little Father, and in
the interest of humanity advise the czar to call a halt before he had
exterminated the whole yellow race. Dad asked the Russian if he thought
the czar would grant an audience to an American of eminence in his own
country, and the Russian told dad that Nicholas just doted on Americans,
and that there was hardly ever an American ballet dancer that went to
Russia but what the czar sent for her to come and see him and dance
before the grand dukes, and he always gave them jewels and cans of
caviar as souvenirs of their visit.

[Illustration: The Russian told dad that Nicholas just doted on
Americans 250]

Dad thought it over all night, and the next morning we started for
Russia and I wish we had joined an expedition to discover the North Pole
instead of coming here. Say, it is harder to get into Russia than it
would be to get out of a penitentiary at home. At the frontier we were
met by guards on horseback and on foot, policemen, detectives and other
grafters, who took our passports and money, and one fellow made me
exchange my socks with him. Then they imprisoned us in a stable with
some cows until they could hold a coroner’s inquest on our passports and
divide our money. We slept with the cows the first night in Russia, and
I do not want to sleep again with animals that chew cuds all night, and
get up half a dozen times to hump up their backs and stretch and bellow.
We never slept a wink, and could look out through the cracks in the
stable and see the guards shaking dice for our money.

[Illustration: See the guards shaking dice for our money 253]

Finally they looked at the great seal on our passports and saw it was an
American document, and they began to turn pale, as pale as a Russian
can get without using soap, and when I said, “Washington, embassador,
minister plenipotentiary, Roosevelt, Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight, E
Pluribus Unum, whoopla, San Juan Hill,” and pointed to dad, who was just
coming out of the stable, looking like Washington at Valley Forge, the
guards and other robbers bowed to dad, gave him a bag full of Russian
money in place of that which they had taken away, and let us take a
freight train for St. Petersburg, and they must have told the train men
who we were, because everybody on the cars took off their hats to us,
and divided their lunch with us.

Dad could not understand the change in the attitude of the people
towards us until I told him that they took him for a distinguished
American statesman, and that as long as we were in Russia he must try
to look like George Washington and act like Theodore Roosevelt, so every
little while dad would stand up in the aisle of the car and pose like
George Washington and when anybody gave him a sandwich or a cigarette
he would show his teeth and say, “Deelighted,” and all the way to St.
Petersburg dad carried out his part of the programme and we were not
robbed once on the trip, but dad tried to smoke one of the cigarettes
that was given him by a Cossack, and he died in my arms, pretty near.

They make cigarettes out of baled hay that has been used for beddings
and covered with paper that has been used to poison flies. I never
smelled anything so bad since they fumigated our house by the board of
health after the hired girl had smallpox.

Well, we got to St. Petersburg in an awful time, and went to a hotel,
suspected by the police, and marked as undesirable guests by the
Cossacks, and winked at by the walking delegates and strikers, who
thought we were non-union men looking for their jobs.

The next day the religious ceremony of “blessing the Neva” took place,
where all the population gets out on the bank of the river, with
overshoes on, and fur coats, and looks down on the river, covered with
ice four feet thick, and the river is blessed. In our country the people
would damn a river that had ice four feet thick, but in Russia they
bless anything that will stand it. We got a good place on the bank of
the river, with about a million people who had sheepskin coats on,
and who steamed like a sheep ranch, and were enjoying the performance,
looking occasionally at the Winter palace, where the czar was peeking
out of a window, wondering from which direction a bomb would come to
blow him up, when a battery of artillery across the river started
to fire a salute, and then the devil was to pay. It seems that the
gentlemen who handled the guns, and who were supposed to fire blank
cartridges into the air, put in loaded cartridges, filled with grape
shot, and took aim at the Winter palace, and cut loose at Mr. Czar.

Well, you would have been paralyzed to see the change that came over
that crowd, blessing the river one minute and damning the czar and the
grand dukes the next. The shot went into the Winter palace and tore the
furniture and ripped up the ceiling of the room the czar was in, and in
a moment all was chaos, as though every Russian knew the czar was to be
assassinated at that particular moment, and all rushed toward the Winter
palace as though they expected pieces of the Little Father would be
thrown out the window for them to play football with. For a people who
are supposed to be lawful and law-abiding, and who love their rulers, it
seemed strange to see them all so tickled when they thought he was blown
higher than a kite by his own soldiers.

Dad and I started with the crowd for the Winter palace, and then we had
a taste of monarchial government. The crowd was rushing over us and dad
got mad and pulled off his coat and said he could whip any confounded
foreigner that rubbed against him with a sheepskin coat on, and he was
just on the point of smiting a fellow with whiskers that looked like
scrambled bristles off a black hog when a regiment of Cossacks came down
on the crowd, riding horses like a wild west show, and with whips in
their hands, with a dozen lashes to each whip, and they began to lash
the crowd and ride over them, while the people covered their faces with
their arms, and run away, afraid of the whips, which cut and wound and
kill, as each lash has little lead bullets fastened to them and a stroke
of the whip is like being shot with buck shot or kicked with a frozen
boot.

[Illustration: a Cossack rode right up to him and lashed him over the
back 258]

Well, sir, dad was going to show the Cossacks that he was pretty near an
American citizen and didn’t propose to be whipped like a school boy by
a teacher that looked like a valentine, so he tried to look like George
Washington defying the British, but it didn’t work, for a Cossack rode
right up to him and lashed him over the back (and about 15 buck shot in
his whip took dad right where the pants are tight when you bend over to
pick up something) and the Cossack laughed when dad straightened up and
started to run. I never saw such a change in a man as there was in dad.
He started for our hotel, and as good a sprinter as I am I couldn’t
keep up with him, but I kept him in sight. Before we got to the hotel
a sledge came along, not an “old sledge,” such as you play with cards,
high-low-Jack-game, but a sort of a sleigh, with three horses abreast,
and I yelled to dad to take a hitch on the sledge, and he grabbed on
with his feet on the runners, and a man in the sledge with a uniform
on, who seemed to be a grand duke, ‘cause everybody was chasing him
and yelling to head him off, hit dad in the nose with the butt of a
revolver, and dad fell off in the snow and the crowd that was chasing
the grand duke picked dad up and carried him on their shoulders because
they thought he had tried to assassinate the duke, and we were escorted
to our hotel by the strikers.

[Illustration: Hit dad in the nose with the butt of a revolver 255]

We didn’t know what they were, but you can tell the laboring men here
because they wear blouses and look hungry, and when they left us the
landlord notified the police that suspicious characters were at the
hotel, and came there escorted by the mob, and the police surrounded the
house and dad went to our room and used witch hazel on himself where
the Cossack hit him with the loaded whip. He says Russia will pay pretty
dear for that stroke of the whip by the Cossack, and I think dad is
going to join the revolution that is going to be pulled off next Sunday.

They are going to get about a million men to take a petition to the
czar, workingmen and anarchists, and dad says he is going as an American
anarchist who is smarting from injustice, and I guess no native is
smarting more than dad is, ‘cause he has to stand up to eat and lie on
his stummick to sleep. There is going to be a hades of a time here in
St. Petersburg this next week, and dad and I are going to be in it clear
up to our necks.

Dad has given up trying to see the czar about stopping the war and says
the czar and the whole bunch can go plum (to the devil) and he will die
with the mob and follow a priest who is stirring the people to revolt.

Gee, I hope dad will not get killed here and be buried in a trench with
a thousand Russians, smelling as they do.

I met a young man from Chicago, who is here selling reapers for the
harvester trust, and he says if you are once suspected of having
sympathy with the working people who are on a strike you might just as
well say your prayers and take rough on rats, ‘cause the Cossacks will
get you, and he would advise me and dad to get out of here pretty quick,
but when I told dad about it he put one hand on his heart and the other
on his pants and said “Arnica, arnica, arnica!” and the police that
were on guard near his room thought he meant anarchy, and they sent four
detectives to stay in dad’s room.

The people here, the Chicago young man told me, think the Cossacks are
human hyenas, that they have had their hearts removed by a surgical
operation when young, and a piece of gizzard put in in place of the
heart, and that they are natural murderers, the sight of blood acting
on them the same as champagne on a human being, and that but for the
Cossacks Russia would have a population of loving subjects that would
make it safe for the Little Father to go anywhere in Russia unattended,
but with Cossacks ready to whip and murder and laugh at suffering, the
people are becoming like men bitten by rabid dogs, and they froth at the
mouth and have spasms and carry bombs up their sleeves, ready to blow up
the members of the royal family, and there you are.

If you do not hear from me after next Sunday you can put dad’s obituary
and mine in the local papers and say we died of an overdose of Cossack.
If we get through this revolution alive you will hear from me, but this
is the last revolution I am going to attend.

Yours,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXI.

     Dad Sees a Russian Revolution and Faints--The Bad Boy
     Arranges a Wolf Hunt--Dad Threatens to Throw the Boy to the
     Wolves.

St. Petersburg, Russia.--My Dear Grocery-witz: Well, sir, dad and I have
got too much of Russia the quickest of any two tourists you ever heard
of. That skirmish we saw, the day the Russians blessed the Neva, and
shot blank cartridges filled with old iron at the czar, was not a marker
to the trouble the next Sunday, when the working people marched to the
Winter Palace, to present a petition to the “Little Father.”

We thought a revolution was like a play, and that it would be worth
going miles to see. Dad was in South America once when there was a
revolution, where more than a dozen greasers, with guns that wouldn’t
shoot, put on a dozen different kinds of uniforms, and yelled: “Down
with the government,” and frothed at the mouth, and drank buttermilk and
yelled Spanish swear words, and acted brave, until a native soldier with
white pajamas came out with a gun and shot one of the revolutionists
in the thumb, when the revolution was suppressed and the next day the
revolutionists were pounding stone, with cannon balls chained to their
legs; and dad thought a revolution in Russia would be something like
that, and that we could get on a front porch and watch it as it went
by, and joke with the revolution, and throw confetti, like it was a
carnival, but that Sunday that the Russian revolution was begun, we had
enough blood to last us all our lives.

We got a place sitting on an iron picket fence, and we saw the people
coming up the street towards the Winter Palace, dressed mostly in
blouses, and looking as innocent as a crowd of sewer diggers at home
going up to the city hall to ask for a raise in wages of two shillings a
day. Nobody had a gun, and no one would have known how to use a gun,
and all looked like poor people going to prayers. There were troops
everywhere, and every soldier acted as though he was afraid something
would happen to spoil their chance of killing anybody. The snow on the
streets was clean and as white as the wings of a peace dove, and dad
said the show was no better than a parade of laboring men at home on
Labor day.

Suddenly some officer yelled to the parade to stop, and the priest
at the head of the procession, who was carrying a cross, slowed up a
little, like the drum major of a band when the populace at home begins
to throw eggs, but they kept on, and then the shooting began, and in a
minute men, women and children were rolling in the snow, bleeding and
dying, the marchers were too stunned to run, and the deadly guns kept on
spitting fire, and the street was full of dead and dying, and then the
Cossacks rode over the dead and sabered and knouted the living, and as
the snow was patched with red blood, dad fainted away and fell off the
picket fence, and hung by one pant leg, which caught on a picket, and
crowds rushed in every direction, and it was an hour before I could get
a drosky to haul dad to the hotel.

[Illustration: Hung by one pant leg 264]

Dad collapsed when he got to the hotel, and I got a doctor and a nurse,
and for two days I had to watch the revolution alone, while dad had fits
of remorse ‘cause he brought me to such a charnel house, he said.

Well, if you ever go anywhere, traveling for pleasure, do not go to
Russia, because it is the saddest place on earth. I have seen no person
smile or laugh in all the ten days we have been here, except a Cossack
when he run a saber through a little girl, and his laugh was like the
coyote on the prairie when he captures a little lamb. The people look
either heart-broken or snarly, like the people confined in an insane
asylum at home.

The czar, who a week ago was loved by the people, who believed if they
went to him, as to their God, and appealed for guidance, is to-day hated
by all, and instead of “Nicholas the Good,” since he scampered away to a
castle in the country, and crawled under a bed, all the people call him
“the Little Jack Rabbit,” and his fate is sealed, as a bomb will blow
him into pieces so small they will have to be swept up in a dustpan for
burial, maybe before dad and I can get out of Russia.

Going to St. Petersburg for a pleasant outing is a good deal like
visiting the Chicago stockyards to watch the bloody men kill the cattle,
and the butchers in the stockyards, calloused against any feeling for
suffering animals, are like the soldiers here who shoot down their
neighbors because they are hired to do so. The murder of those unarmed
working men, that Sunday, has changed a helpless, pleading people
into anarchists with deadly bombs in their blouses, where they were
accustomed to carry black bread to sustain life, and with the menace of
Japan in the far east and an outraged people at home, Russia is in a
bad way, and if I was the czar or a grand duke, I would find a woodchuck
hole and arrange with the woodchuck for a furnished flat.

I didn’t think there was going to be anything going on in Russia except
bloodshed and bombs, and things to make you sorry that you were here,
and I was willing to take chloroform and let them carry me home in a
box, with my description on the cover, until the doctor told me that dad
was in a condition of nervousness, that he needed something to happen to
get his mind off of the awful scenes he had witnessed, and asked me if I
couldn’t think of something to excite him and wake him up, and then dad
said, after he got so he could go out doors: “Hennery, you have always
been Johnny on the spot when I needed diversion, and I want you to take
your brain apart, and oil the works, and see if you can’t conjure up
something to get my blood circulating and my pores open for business,
and anything you think of goes, and I swear I will not kick if you scare
the boots off of me.”

Well, that was right into my hand; and I set my mind to strike at four
p. m. I had been out riding once with the Chicago man, in a sledge, with
three horses abreast, all runaway horses, and the driver was a Cossack
who lashed the horses into a run every smooth place he found in the
road, and it was like running to a fire, so I got the Chicago fellow
to go with me and we found the Cossack, and he was drunker than usual.
There is a kind of liquor here called vodka, which skins wood alcohol
and carbolic acid to a finish, and when a man is full of it he is so mad
he wants to cut his own throat. This driver had put up sideboards on his
neck and had two jags in one, and we hired him by the hour.

I told the Chicago man the circumstances and that I had got to get dad
out of his trance, and he said he would help me. When I was out riding
the day before I noticed that the road was full of great dane dogs, wolf
hounds and stag hounds, which followed their master’s sledges out in
the country, and the dogs loafed around, hungry, looking for bones, and
fighting each other, so I decided to get the dogs to chase our sledge
and make dad think we were chased by wolves. I thought that would make
dad stand without hitching, and it did.

The Chicago man bought some cannon firecrackers, and I bought a cow’s
liver, and hitched it to a rope, and hid it in the back seat, and my
Chicago friend and I took the back seat, and we got dad in the seat
behind the driver, and started about an hour before dark out in the
country, through a piece of woods that looked quite wolfy. On the way
out the driver let his horses run away a few times, like you have seen
in Russian pictures, and dad was beginning to sit up and take notice,
and seemed to act like a man who expects every minute to be thrown over
a precipice and mixed up with dead horses. Dad touched the driver once
on the coat-tail and told him not to hurry so confounded fast, and the
driver thought he was complaining because it was too slow, and he gave
a Comanche yell and threw the lines into the air, and the horses just
skedaddled, and run into a snow bank and tipped over the sledge, and
piled us out on top of dad, but dad only said: “This is getting good.”

[Illustration: Piled us out on top of dad 269]

We righted up, and dad wanted to know where all the pups came from that
we had passed. I had been throwing out pieces of meat into the road for
a mile or so, and the dogs were having a picnic. It was getting pretty
dark by this time, and we started back to town, and I threw out my
liver, fastened to the rope, and the Chicago man, who had given the
driver a drink of vodka when we tipped over, told him, in Russian, that
when the dogs began to follow us, to get hold of the liver, to yell
“wolves,” and give the team the rein, for a five-mile run, and yell all
the time, because we wanted to give the old gentleman a good time.

Well, uncle, I would have given anything if you could have seen dad,
when the dogs began to chase that liver, and bark and fight each other.
The driver yelled something in Russian, and pointed back with his whip,
the Chicago man said: “My God, we are pursued by a pack of ravenous
wolves, and there is no hope for us,” and I began to cry, and implored
dad, if he loved me, to save me.

[Illustration: Dad stood up in the sledge 267]

[Illustration: Pursued by a pack of ravenous wolves 271]

Dad stood up in the sledge and looked back, and saw the wolves, and
he was scared, but he said the only thing to do was to throw something
overboard for them to be chewing on while we got away, but he sat down
and pulled a robe over his head and his lips were moving, but I do not
know whom he was addressing.

The Chicago man touched off a couple of cannon firecrackers behind the
sledge, but that only kept the dogs back for a minute, and dad said
probably the best thing to do was to throw me overboard and let them eat
me, and I said: “Nay, nay, Pauline,” and then I think dad fainted away,
for he never peeped again until the team had run away a lot more, and
I cut my liver rope, and when we got into the suburbs of St. Petersburg
the dogs had overtaken the liver, and were fighting over it.

The driver had to pull up his horses as we struck the town, and dad must
have got a whiff of the driver’s vodka, because he come to, and we
got to the hotel all right, and I thought dad would simply die in his
tracks, but the ride and the excitement did him good, and he wanted to
buy a gun and go out wolf hunting the next day, but our tickets were
bought and we shall get out of this terrible country to-morrow.

Dad woke me, up in the night and wanted to know if I saw him when he
pulled his knife and wanted to get out and fight the pack of wolves
single-handed. I am not much of a liar, but I told him I remembered it
well, and it demonstrated to me that he was as brave a man as the czar,
“the Little Jack Rabbit,” as his people call him.

Well, thanks to my wolf hunt, dad is all right again, and now we shall
go to some country where there is peace. I don’t know where we will find
it, but if such a country exists, your little Henry will catch on, if
dad’s money holds out.

Yours, covered with Gore.

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXII.

     Dad Wears His Masonic Fez in Constantinople--They Find the
     Turks Sensitive on the Dog Question--A College Yell for the
     Sultan Sends Him Into a Fit.

Constantinople, Turkey.--My Dear Old “Shriner”--We got out of Russia
just in time to keep from being arrested or blown up with a bomb. Dad
wanted to go to Moscow, because he saw a picture once of Moscow being
destroyed by fire by Napoleon, or somebody, and he wanted to see if they
had ever built the town up again, but I felt as though something serious
was going to, happen in that country if we didn’t look out, and so I
persuaded dad to go to Turkey, and the day we started for Constantinople
we got the news that the Nihilists had thrown a bomb under the carriage
of the Grand Duke Sergius and blew him and the carriage into small
pieces not bigger than a slice of summer sausage, and they had to sweep
his remains up in a dustpan and bury them in a two-quart fruit jar.
Wouldn’t that jar you?

When dad heard about that you couldn’t have kept him in Russia on a bet,
and so we let the authorities have all the money we had, giving some to
each man who held us up, until we got out of the country, and then we
took the first long breath we had taken since we struck the Godforsaken
country of the czar. If the bombs hold out I do not think there will
be a quorum left in Russia in a year, either czars, dukes or anything
except peasants on the verge of starvation and workingmen who have not
the heart to work. I wouldn’t take the whole of Russia as a gift, and
have to dodge bombs night and day.

Say, old man, you never dreamed that I knew all about you and dad
joining the Masons that time, but I watched you and dad giving each
other signs and grips, and whispering passwords into each other’s ears,
in the grocery, nights, after you had locked up. I thought, at the time,
that you and dad were planning a burglary, but when you both went to the
lodge one night and stayed till near morning, and dad came home with a
red Turkish fez and told ma that you and he had joined the shrine, which
was the highest degree in Masonry, and you and he were nobles, and all
that rot, I was on to you bigger than a house, and you couldn’t fool me
when you and dad winked at each other and talked about crossing the hot
sands of the desert.

Well, dad brought his red fez along, ‘cause I think he expected he would
meet shriners all over the world, that he could borrow money of. When we
struck Constantinople and dad saw that every last one of the Turks wore
a red fez, he felt as though he had got among shriners, and he got his
fez out of his trunk and he wears it all the time.

Dad acts as familiar with the Turks here as though he owned a harem. We
go to the low streets, about as wide as a street car, where Turks are
selling things, with dad wearing his fez, and he begins to make motions
and give grand hailing signs of distress, and the Turks look at him
as though he had robbed a bank, and they charge enormous prices for
everything, and dad pays with a smile, thinking his brother Masons are
fairly giving things away. He looks upon all men who wear the fez as his
brothers, and they look at him as though he was crazy in the head.

The only trouble is that dad insists on talking to the women here
without an introduction, and a woman in Turkey had rather die than
have a Christian dog look at her. Dad was buying some wormy figs of a
merchant, who was seated on the floor of his shop, and giving him signs,
when a curtain behind the Turk was pulled one side and a woman with
beautiful eyes and her face covered with a veil, came out with a cup of
coffee for the Turk. Dad shook hands with her, and said: “Your husband
and I belong to the same lodge,” and he was going to go inside and visit
the family, when the woman drew a small dagger out of the folds of her
dress, and the Turk drew one of these scimeters, and it looked for a
moment as though I was going to be a half orphan, particularly when
dad put his hand on her shoulder and petted it, and smiled one of those
masher smiles which he uses at home, and said: “My good woman, you must
not get in the habit of jabbing your husband’s friends with this crooked
cutlery, though to be killed by so handsome a woman would indeed be a
sweet death,” but the bluff did not go, and the woman disappeared behind
the curtain, and dad had the frantic husband to deal with.

[Illustration: When dad put his hand on her shoulder and petted it 276]

I have never seen a human being look as murderous as that Turk did as
he drew his thumb across the blade of his knife, drew up his lip and
snarled like a dog that has been bereaved of a promising bone by a
brother dog that was larger.

The Turk looked through his teeth, and his eyes seemed to act like small
arc lights, that were to show him where to cut dad, and dad began to
turn pale, and looked scared.

“Give him the grand hailing sign of distress,” said I as dad leaned
against a barrel of dried prunes. Dad said he had forgotten the sign,
and then I told him the only way out of it, alive, would be to buy
something, so dad picked up a little jim-crack worth about ten cents,
and gave the Turk a five-dollar gold piece, and while the Turk went
in behind the curtain to get the change I told dad now was the time
to skip, and you ought to have seen dad make a sprint out the door and
around a corner, and up another street, while I followed him, and we
got away from the danger of being stabbed, but dad got his foot into it
again before we had gone a block.

Nobody in Constantinople ever hurries, or goes off a walk, so when the
people saw an old man, with a fez on his head, running amuck, as they
say here, followed by a beautiful boy, they began to crawl into their
holes, thinking dad was crazy, but when we were passing a sausage store,
where about 20 dogs were asleep in the street, and dad kicked half a
dozen dogs and yelled, “get out, you hounds,” that settled it, and they
knew he was wrong in the head, and they yelled for the police, and we
were pulled for fast driving, and taken before a Turkish justice of the
peace, followed by the whole crowd.

[Illustration: Get out you hounds 282]

The justice did not wear a fez, but had on a turban, so dad did not give
him any signs, but after jabbering a while they sent for an interpreter,
who could talk pigeon English, and then dad had a trial, and I acted
as his lawyer. I told about how dad had tried to be kind and genial to
another man’s wife, and how, in his hurry to get away from the murderous
husband he fell over a mess of dogs, and that he was a distinguished
American, who was in Turkey to negotiate a loan to the sultan.

Say, that fixed them, and they all made salams to dad, and bowed all
over themselves, and the justice of the peace prayed to Allah, and the
interpreter said we could go, but to be careful about touching a Turkish
woman or a dog, particularly a dog, as the Turks were very sensitive on
the dog question. So we went out of the courtroom and wandered around
the town, and you can bet that dad didn’t look at any more women, though
they were everywhere with veils that covered their faces so nothing but
their eyes could be seen.

Gee, but you never saw such eyes as these Turkish women have. They are
big and black, and they go right through you, and clinch on the other
side. Dad says the facilities for getting into trouble are better in
Constantinople than any place we have been, as the men look like bandits
and the women look like executioners. Dad thanked me for helping him
out of that scrape by claiming he was the agent of a financial syndicate
that wanted to lend money to the sultan. If I had said dad was a
collecting agency, to make the sultan pay up, they would have sentenced
him to be boiled in oil.

Well, we thought we had been in trouble before, but we are in it now
worse than ever. We heard at the hotel that at 11 o’clock in the morning
the sultan would pass by in a carriage, with an escort, on the way to a
mosque, to pray to Allah, and everybody could see the sultan, so we got
a place on a balcony, and at the appointed time the procession came in
sight. It was imposing, but solemn, and the people on both sides of the
street acted like they do in America when the funeral of a great man is
passing. No man spoke, and all looked as though they expected, if they
moved, to be arrested and have a stone tied to their feet and thrown
into the Bosphorus, the way they kill one of the sultan’s wives when she
flirts with a stranger.

We watched the soldiers, and finally the carriage of the sultan came,
and in it was a dried up man, with liver complaint, with a nose like an
eagle, and eyes like shoe buttons. He looked as though death would be
a relief, and yet he seemed afraid of it, and there was no sound of
welcome, such as there would be if Roosevelt was riding down Michigan
avenue at Chicago, on the way to the stockyards to pray to Armour,
instead of to Allah.

You could have heard a pin drop. I said: “Dad, this is too solemn, even
for a sultan. Let’s give him the university yell, and show that mummy
that he has got two friends in Constantinople, anyway.” “Here she goes,”
 says dad, and we leaned over the railing, just as the sultan’s carriage
was right in front of us and not ten feet away, and in that oppressive
silence dad and I opened up, “U-Rah-Rah-Wis-Con-Sin, zip-boom-Ah!”
 and then we started to sing, “There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town
To-Night.”

[Illustration: There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town To-Night 279]

Well, if any man in the crowd had touched off a bomb, there could have
been no greater consternation. The sultan turned pale, as pale as so
yellow a man could, and became faint, and fell over into the arms of a
general who sat beside him, the Bazi Bazouks on horseback began to ride
up and down the street, the crowd scattered, the sultan’s carriage was
turned around and rushed back to the palace, with the ruler of Turkey
having a fit, and about a hundred soldiers came up on the veranda, where
dad and I had broke up the procession, and they lit on dad like buzzards
on a dead horse, and took possession of the hotel, and began to search
our baggage.

[Illustration: Another took me by the ear 285]

One Turk choked dad until his tongue hung out of his mouth, and another
took me by the ear and stretched it out so it was long as a mule’s ear,
and they took us to a bastile and dad says it is all up with us now,
because they will drown us like a mess of kittens in a bag, and all
because we woke them up with a football yell in the wrong place.

Well, we might as well wind up our career here as anywhere. Good-by, old
man. You will see our obituary in the papers.

Your repentant,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXIII.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Meet the Cream of the Harem--“Little
     Egypt” Does a Dancing Stunt--The Sultan Wants to Send Fifty
     Wives to the President.

Constantinople, Turkey.--My Dear Grocer-pasha: When I wrote you last
I thought you would be in mourning for dad and I before this, as there
seemed nothing for the Turks to do but to kill us after we had stampeded
the sultan and all his soldiers by giving them a university yell, but
after we had been confined in a sort of jail over night, dad and I had
a heart to heart talk, and my diplomacy saved us for the time being.
I told dad that what we wanted to do was to tell the Turks that dad
represented the American people, and had a communication to make to the
sultan personally, which would make him rich and happy.

Well, say, they bit like a bass, and the next day they took us before
the sultan at the palace. Dad dug up a package of blank gold mining
stock in a mine that he was going to promote, though the mine was only a
small hole in the ground, and the stock had been offered for one cent a
share, the par value being a hundred dollars, so a man who got a share
for a cent would, when the mine got to paying, get a hundred dollars for
every cent he invested.

Dad filled out one of the stock certificates for 1,000,000 shares, which
would represent a capital equal to all the debts of Turkey, and we went
before the sultan, and we couldn’t have been treated better if we
had owned a brewery. Dad told his story to the sultan through an
interpreter, while I looked around at the gorgeous surroundings and
tried to think of something to do to wake them up.

Dad said he came right fresh from the American people, and was
authorized by his mining company to present the sultan with untold
millions, for pure love of the Turkish people, whom they had seen riding
and leading camels at the Chicago world’s fair, and dad produced the
stock certificate for 1,000,000 shares of stock in the Golden Horn Gold
Mining and Smelting company, and took out a handful of $20 gold pieces
and showed them to the crowd as specimens of gold that came from our
mine.

He said our people did not expect anything in return, but just desired
the good will of the Turkish empire. He said that President Roosevelt
desired him to present his warmest regards to the sultan, and to invite
him to visit America, and if he would consent to do so, an American war
vessel would be furnished for him and the white house would be turned
over to him for his harem, and dad said the president wanted him
particularly to impress upon the sultan that if he came he must bring
his folks, all his wives that would be apt to size up for beauty with
our American women.

[Illustration: He must bring his folks, and all his wives 289]

Well, you ought to have seen that sickly looking sultan brace up when
dad handed him the millions of mining stock, and he grabbed the paper
like an old clothes buyer would grab a dress suit that a wife had sold
for 60 cents, belonging to her husband. He also wanted to see the gold
that dad had shown as coming from the mine, and when dad showed him the
yellow boys he took them as souvenirs and put them in his girdle, and
then I thought dad would faint, but he kept his nerve like a poker
player betting on a bobtail flush.

The sultan asked so many questions about America that I was afraid dad
would get all balled up, but he kept his nerve, and lied as though he
was on the witness stand trying to save his life. Dad told the sultan he
was authorized by the American people to inquire into the industries of
Turkey, and what he particularly desired was an insight into the harems,
as a national institution, because many American people were gradually
adopting the customs of the orient, and he desired to report to congress
as to whether we should adopt the customs of Turkey with her dried
prunes and dates with worms in, and her attar of roses made of pig’s
lard; her fez, to cure baldness, and her outlandish pants and peaked red
Morocco shoes, and her harems.

The sultan said he would like to show us a little bunch of the cream of
the harem, who would do a stunt in the way of dancing, to celebrate the
good feeling of the American people, and the visit of the distinguished
statesman and gold miner to his realm, and dad said the sultan couldn’t
turn his stomach with no cream of the harem, only they must keep
their hands off him, and the sultan promised he should be as safe as a
“unique,” whatever that is.

Dad and I had hired knee breeches and things of a masquerade ball store,
and we didn’t look half bad when the crowd of shieks and things formed a
crescent around the sultan, who sat in a sort of barber’s chair with
an awning over it, and they sounded a hewgag or something, and about
a dozen pretty fine looking females, dressed like the ballet in a
vaudeville show, came in and began to dance before the sultan.

Dad stood it first rate until a girl got on the carpet barefooted and
began one of those willowy sort of dances that nearly broke up the
Chicago fair, when people left the buildings filled with the work of the
world’s artists, in all lines of progress, and went to the Midway in a
body to see “Little Egypt,” but when this dancer waltzed up to dad and
wiggled in a foreign language, dad sashayed up to her and I couldn’t
hold him back.

[Illustration: He was just getting warmed up 293]

He was just getting warmed up to “balance to partners,” when a frown
came over the sultan’s face and he looked cross at dad, and then the
hewgag sounded, and the girls scattered out of a side door and dad
wanted to follow, but I held him by the coat, and it was over. I
think those girls were the only ones in the whole harem that were good
looking.

Dad breathed hard a little from his exercise, and said he was ready to
inspect the stock, and the sultan detailed a tall negro, with a face
dried up like a mummy, and we started out through the harem, dad pulling
the long hair on the side of his head over his bald spot, and throwing
his shoulders back and drawing in his stomach to make him look young.

Well, say, there is nothing about a harem, much different from keeping
house at home, except that there is more of it. The idea people get of
harems is that the women are all young and beautiful, and that they sit
around a swimming tank and play guitars and keep the flies off the man
who owns the place, while he smokes the vile Turkish tobacco burning in
a jardiniere, through a section of rubber hose, and goes to sleep like
a Chinaman smoking opium, and that they drink rare wines and dance with
bangles on their legs and ropes of pearls on their necks and arms.

I have seen alleged imitations of a Turkish harem on the stage, with
American girls doing the acting, and it would make you feel as though
you would invest in a harem when you got old enough, but, gee, when you
see a regular harem, run by an up-to-date Turk, you think of the Mormon
apostle who has 40 wives of all ages, from 70 down to a 16-year-old
hired girl, with a hair-lip and warts on her thumbs. This harem was like
a big stock barn in the states, with a big room to exercise the colts,
and box stalls for the different wives and their families to live in and
do their own cooking and washing.

Instead of sitting by a bath playing a harp, the poor old wives stand by
a washtub and play tunes on the washboard, and scrub, and take care
of children. I thought the custom of spanking children was an American
institution, but it is as old as the ages, for I saw a Turkish mother
grab up a child that had lifted a kitten by the tail, and take it across
her knee and give it a few with a red hand covered with soapsuds, and
the young Turk yelled bloody murder, just like an American kid, and then
sat down on its knees, so the spanking wouldn’t hurt, and called its
mother names in a language I couldn’t understand, but I knew what the
child said, by instinct. Dad started to interfere, because he is a
member of the humane society, but the unique that was showing us around
saved dad’s life by pushing him along, before the woman got a chance to
brain him with the washboard.

The women mostly had on these baggy Turkish trousers, like the Zouaves
wear, and a jacket, and a cloth around their heads, and they acted as
though if the next meal came along all right they would be in luck. We
saw a few women pretty white, and they were Circassian slaves, with big
eyes and hoops in their ears, and a little different clothes on, but
there were none that dad would buy at an auction, or at a bargain sale,
if they were marked down to 99 cents.

We passed one woman running an American sewing machine, and dad said
he’d bet she was an American, and he went up to her and said: “Hello,
sis!” She stopped the machine, looked up at dad with a sort of Bowery
expression, and said: “Gwan, Chauncey Depew, you old peach, or I’ll have
you pinched,” and the unique took dad by the arm and pulled him along
real spry, but he hung back and looked over his shoulder at the woman,
but she went on sewing, and dad said to me: “Well, wouldn’t that frost
you?” And we went on making the inspection.

I don’t think I ever saw so many children, outside of an orphan asylum,
all about the same size and all looking exactly alike. They all had the
same beady black eyes that look as though they were afraid of getting
caught in a trap, like muskrats, and their noses had the same inquiring
appearance, as though the owner was speculating as to how much money
the visitors had in their pockets, and whether it was fastened in. Race
suicide is impossible in Turkey, but a race of bandits is growing up
that will let no foreigners with a pocketbook escape.

It took us an hour to go through the harem, and it was more like going
through the quarters of the working women of a home laundry in the
tenement district of a large city, than a comic opera, as we had been
led to expect by what we had read of harems. When we went into the harem
I think dad was going to insist on having the women dance for him, while
he sat on a throne and threw kisses at the most beautiful women in all
the world, but before we had got around all the box stalls I think if
any of them had started to dance dad would have stampeded in a body.

We finally got back to the great marble room, where the sultan was
sleeping in a stuffed chair, surrounded by his staff, and one of them
woke him up, and he asked dad what he thought of the home life of a
crowned head, and dad said it beat anything he had ever seen, and he
should recommend to his government that the harem system be adopted in
America, and actually the sultan seemed pleased. He said as an evidence
of his love for America he wanted to present to the president, through
dad, 50 of his wives, and if dad would indicate where he wanted them
delivered, they would be there, Johnny on the spot, or words to that
effect.

At first I thought dad would faint away, but I whispered to him that it
would be discourteous to decline a present, after giving the sultan a
gold mine, and that may be the old man would be so mad, if he declined
the wives, that he would tie stones to our legs and sink us in the
Bosphor-ous, so dad rallied and said, on behalf of his government, he
would accept the kindly and thoughtful gift of his highness, and that he
would cable for a war vessel to take the wives to his own America, and
he would notify the sultan when to round them up and load them on the
vessel.

Well, sir, I do not know what possessed me to make a scene, before we
got out of the presence of the sultan, but it all came to me sudden,
like an inspiration comes to a poet. I had been eating some fruit that
I bought in a paper bag, and when I had eaten the last of it, I wondered
what I would do with the bag, and then I thought what fun it would be to
blow the bag up, and suddenly burst it, when all was still. So I blowed
up the bag, so it was as hard as a bladder, and tied a string around
the neck, and waited. I did not think how afraid everybody in these old
countries is of bombs, or I never would have done it, honestly.

The sultan was signing some papers, and looking out of the corners of
his eyes to see if anybody was present who was suspicious, and dad was
getting ready to make a salam, and back out of the presence of the ruler
of Turkey, when I got behind some of the officials who were watching the
sultan, and I laid my paper bag on the marble floor, and it was as still
as death, and all you could hear was the scratching of the pen, when I
jumped up in the air as though I had a fit, and yelled “Allah,” and came
down with my whole weight on the paper bag, and of all the stampedes you
ever saw, that was the worst.

[Illustration: Stampede 299]

You know what a noise it makes to bust a paper bag. Well, this was the
toughest old bag I ever busted, and it sounded like a cannon fired down
cellar somewhere, and the air was full of dust, and before I could get
up the sultan had tipped over the table and run yelling into another
room, praying to “Allah,” and all the staff had lit out for tall timber,
and there was nobody left but dad and the unique and myself, and the
unique took dad by the arm and started for the door, and we were fired
out.

As I went out of the room I looked around, and there was a Turk’s head
sticking out of every door to see how many had been killed by the bomb,
and as we got out doors, dad said “Now we have to get out of Turkey
before night, or we die. Me for Egypt, boy, if we can catch a boat
before we are drawn and quartered.” So here goes for Cairo, Egypt.

Yours only,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXIV.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Arrive in Cairo--At the Hotel They
     Meet Some Egyptian Princesses--Dan Rides a Camel to the
     Pyramids and Meets with Difficulties.

Cairo, Egypt.--My Dear Old Irish Vegetable: Gee, but you ought to see
dad and I right now at a hotel, waiting for a chance at a room, when
a bride and groom get ready to vacate it, and go somewhere else. This
hotel is full of married people who look scared whenever there is a
new arrival, and I came pretty near creating a panic by going into the
parlor of the hotel, where a dozen couples were sitting around making
goo-goo eyes at each other, and getting behind a screen and, in a
disguised voice, shouting, “I know all! Prepare to defend yourself!”

The women turned pale and some said, “At last! At last!” while others
got faint in the head, and some fell on the bosoms of their husbands and
said: “Don’t shoot!” You see, most of these wives had husbands somewhere
else that might be looking for them. I have warned dad not to be seen
conversing with a woman, or he may be shot by a husband who is on her
trail, or by the husband she has with her.

Well, sir, of all the trips we have had anywhere, the trip from
Constantinople here was the limit. For two or three days we were on
dinky steamboats with Arabs, Turks, negroes and all nationalities
camping on deck, full of fleas, and with cholera germs on them big
enough to pick like blueberries, and all of the passengers were dirty
and eat things that would make a dog in America go mad. The dog biscuit
that are fed to American dogs would pass as a delicate confection on
the menu of any steamboat we struck, and I had rather lie down in a barn
yard with a wet dog for a pillow and a cast-off blanket from a smallpox
hospital for a bed, than to occupy the bridal chamber of any steamboat
we struck.

And then the ride across the desert by rail to reach Cairo was the worst
in the world. Passengers in rags, going to Mecca, or some other place of
worship, eating cheese a thousand years old made from old goat’s milk,
and dug from the Pyramids too late to save it, was what surrounded us,
and the sand storm blew through the cars laden with germs of the plague,
and stuck to us so tight you couldn’t get it off with sandpaper, and
when we got here all we have had to do is to bathe the dirt off in
layers.

[Illustration: It takes nine baths to get down to American epidermis
304]

It takes nine baths to get down to American epidermis, and the last bath
has a jackplane to go with it, and a thing they scale fish with. But we
are all right now, with rooms in the hotel, and rested, and when we go
home we are going to be salted down and given chloroform and shipped
as mummies. Dad insists that he will never cross a desert or an ocean
again, and I don’t know what is to become of us. Anyway, we are going to
enjoy ourselves until we are killed off.

The first two days we just looked about Cairo, and saw the congress of
nations, for there is nothing just like this town anywhere. There are
people from all quarters of the globe, the most outlandish and the most
up-to-date. This place is an asylum for fakirs and robbers, a place
where defaulters, bribers, murderers, swindlers and elopers are safe,
as there seems to be no extradition treaty that cannot be overcome by
paying money to the officials. I found that out the first day, and told
dad we should have no standing in the society of Egypt unless the people
thought he had committed some gigantic crime and fled his country.

Dad wanted to know how it would strike me if it was noised about the
hotel that he had robbed a national bank, but I, told him there would
be nothing uncommon or noticeable about robbing a bank, as half the
tourists were bank defaulters, so he would have to be accused of
something startling, so we decided that dad should be charged with
being the principal thing in the Standard Oil Company, and that he had
underground pipe lines running under several states, gathering oil away
from the people who owned it, and that at the present time he was worth
a billion dollars, and his income was $9,000,000 every little while,
and, by ginger, you ought to see the people bow down to him. Say, common
bank robbers and defaulters just fell over themselves to get acquainted
with dad, and to carry out the joke, I put some kerosene oil on dad’s
handkerchief, and that clinched it, for everybody loves the smell of a
perfume that represents a billion dollars.

All the women wanted to dance with dad in the hotel dance, and because
they thought I must be heir to all the oil billions, they wanted to hold
me on their laps, and stroke my hair, as though I was it. I guess we
are going to have everything our own way here, and if dad does not
get eloped with by some Egyptian princess, I shall be mistaken. The
Egyptians are pretty near being negroes, and wear bangles in their ears,
and earrings on their arms. You take it in the dark, and let a princess
put her arms around you, and sort of squeeze you, and you can’t tell
but what she is white, only there is an odor about them like “Araby the
blessed,” but in the light they are only negroes, a little bleached,
with red paint on their cheeks. If I was going to marry an Egyptian
woman, I would take her to Norway, or up towards the north pole, where
it is night all day, and you wouldn’t realize that you were married to
a colored woman. To be around among these Egyptians is a good deal like
having a pass behind the scenes at the play of Ben Hur in New York, only
here the dark and dangerous women are the real thing, instead of being
white girls with black paint on.

We have just got back from the pyramids, and dad is being treated for
spinal meningitis, on account of riding a camel. I never tried harder
to get dad to go anywhere on the cars than I did to get him to go to the
pyramids by rail, as a millionaire should, but he said he was going to
break a camel to the saddle, and then buy him and take him home for a
side show. So we went down to the camel garage and hired a camel for
dad, and four camels for the arabs and things he wanted for an escort,
and a jackass for me. There were automobiles and carriages, and
trolleys, and everything that we could have hired, and been comfortable
for the ten-mile ride, but dad was mashed on the camel, and he got it.

Well, sir, it was not one of these world’s fair camels that lay down for
you to get on, and then got up on the installment plan, and chuck you
forward and aft, but a proud Egyptian camel that stands up straight and
makes you climb up on a stepladder.

Dad got along up the camel’s ribs, when the-stepladder fell, and he
grabbed hold of the hair on the two humps, and the humps were loose and
they lopped over on the side, and it must have hurt the camel’s feelings
to have his humps pulled down, so he reached around his head and took a
mouthful out of the seat of dad’s pants, and dad yelled to the camel
to let go, and the Arabs amputated the camel from dad’s trousers, and
pushed dad up on top with a bamboo pole with a crotch in it, and when
dad got settled between the humps he said, “Let ‘er go,” and we started.

Dad could have had a camel with a platform on top, and an awning, but he
insisted on taking his camel raw, and he sat there between those humps,
his trousers worked up towards his knees, showing his red socks and blue
drawers, and his face got pale from sea sickness, and the red, white and
blue colors made me think of a fourth of July at home. We went out of
town like a wild west show, and dad seemed happy, except that every time
an automobile went whizzing along, dad’s camel got the jumps and waltzed
sideways out into the sandy desert, and chewed at dad’s socks, so part
of the time dad had to draw up his legs and sit on one hump and put his
shoes on the other hump. The Arabs on the other camels would ride up
alongside and steer dad’s camel back into the road, by sticking sharp
sticks into the camel, and the animal would yawn and groan and make up
faces at me on my jackass, and finally dad wanted to change works with
me and ride my jackass, but I told him we had left the stepladder back
at Cairo, so dad hung to his mountainous steed, but the dust blew so
you couldn’t see, and it was getting monotonous when the queerest thing
happened.

You have heard that camels can fill up with water and go for a week
without asking for any more. Well, I guess the week was up, and it was
time to load the camels with water, for as we came to the Nile every
last camel made a rush for the river, and they went in like a yoke of
oxen on a stampede, and waded in clear up to the humps, and began to
drink, and dad yelled for a life preserver and pulled his feet up on top
and sat there like a frog on a pond lily leaf.

[Illustration: Sat there like a frog on a pond lily leaf 308]

My jackass only stepped his feet in the edge, and dad wanted me to swim
my jackass out to the camel and let him fall off onto the jack, but I
knew dad would sink my jack in a minute, and I wouldn’t go in the river.
Well, the camels drank about an hour, with dad sitting there meditating,
and then the dragomen got them out, and we started off for the pyramids,
which were in plain sight like the pictures you have seen, with palm
trees along the Nile, and Arabs camping on the bank, and it looked as
though everything was going to be all right, when suddenly dad’s camel
stopped dead still and wouldn’t move a foot, and all the rest of the
camels stopped, closed their eyes and went to sleep, and the Arabs went
to sleep, and dad and the jackass and I were apparently the only animals
in Egypt that were awake.

Dad kicked his camel in the ribs, but it wouldn’t budge. He asked me if
I could’t think up some way to start the procession, and I stopped my
jackass and thought a minute, and told dad I had it. I had bought some
giant fire crackers and roman candles at Cairo, with which I was going
to fire a salute on top of the biggest pyramid, to celebrate for old
America, and I told dad what I had got, and I thought if I got off my
jackass and fired a salute there in the desert it would wake them up.

Dad said, “all right, let ‘er go, but do it sort of easy, at first, so
not to overdo it,” and I got my artillery ready. Say, you can’t fire off
fireworks easy, you got to touch a match to ‘em and dodge and take your
chances. Well, I scratched a match and lit the giant fire cracker, and
put it under the hind legs of dad’s camel, and when it got to fizzing
I lit my roman candle, and as the fire cracker exploded like a 16-inch
gun, my roman candle began to spout balls of fire, and I aimed one at
each camel, and the whole push started on a stampede for the pyramids,
the camels groaning, the Arabs praying to Allah, dad yelling to stop
‘er, and my jackass led the bunch, and I was left in the desert to pick
up the hats.

[Illustration: Started on a stampede for the pyramids 311]

I guess I will have to tell you’ the rest of the tragedy in my next
letter.

Yours with plenty of sand,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXV.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad Climb the Pyramids--The Bad Boy
     Lights a Cannon Cracker in Rameses’ Tomb--They Flee from
     Egypt in Disguise.

Cairo, Egypt.--My Dear Old Geezer: I broke off my last letter in sight
of the pyramids, when I was left alone on the desert, my jackass having
stampeded with the camels, on account of my fireworks, and I presume
you think I was all in, but I got to the pyramids before the stampeded
caravan did. I saw a car coming along, and I just got aboard and in ten
minutes I was at the base of the big pyramid, and the camel with dad on
between the humps, was humping himself half a mile away, trying to get
there, and the other camels, with the Arabs, were stretched out like
horses in a race, behind, and my jackass was right next to dad’s camel,
braying and occasionally kicking dad’s camel in the slats.

There were about a hundred tourists around the stampede of the camels,
and I told them my the base of the big pyramid, all looking towards dad,
the great American millionaire, was on the runaway camel in advance, and
asked them to form a line across the trail and save dad, but when the
camel came nearer I was ashamed of dad. He had his arms around the front
hump of the camel, and he was yelling for help to stop his menagerie,
and his legs were flying in the air, and every time they came down they
kicked a hole in the side of the camel.

[Illustration: I was ashamed of dad 319]

Well, sir, I thought dad was a brave man, but he blatted like a calf,
and when the camel stopped and went to eating a clump of grass dad
opened his eyes, and when he saw that the procession had stopped he
rolled off his camel like a bag of wheat, and stuck in the sand and
began to say a prayer, but when he saw me standing there, laughing, he
stopped praying, and said to me: “I thought you were blown up when that
jackass kicked the can of dynamite. You have more lives than a cat. Now,
get a hustle on you and we will climb that pyramid, and then quit
this blasted country,” and dad sat down on a hummock and began to pull
himself together, after the most fearful ride he ever had. He said the
camel loped, trotted, galloped, single-footed and shied all at the same
time, and when one hump was not jamming him in the back the other hump
was kicking him in the stomach, and if he had a gun he would shoot the
camel, and the Arabs, and bust up the show.

By the time dad got so he could stand up without leaning against a
pyramid the Arabs came up and they all talked at once, and drew knives,
and it seemed as though they were blaming dad for something. We found
an interpreter among the tourists, and he talked with the Arabs, and
pointing to the camel dad had ridden, which was stretched out on the
sand like he was dead, he told dad the Arabs wanted him to pay for the
camel he had ridden to death, and foundered by letting it drink a wagon
load of water, and then entered in a race across the desert, and the
interpreter said dad better pay, or they would kill him.

[Illustration: Pay, or they would kill him 316]

Dad settled for the camel for a hundred dollars, and a promise of the
skin of the camel, which he was going to take home and have stuffed.
Then a man who pretended to be a justice of the peace had dad arrested
for driving off of a walk, and he was fined $10 and costs for that, and
then all the Arabs stuck him for money for one thing and another, and
when he had settled all around and paid extra for not riding back to
Cairo on the camel, we got ready to climb up the pyramid. Dad said he
wouldn’t ride that camel back to Cairo for a million dollars, for he was
split up so his legs began where his arms left off, and he was lame from
Genesis to Revelations.

But I never saw such a lot of people to pray as these pirates are. Just
before they rob a man they get down on their knees on a rug, and mumble
something to some god, and after they have got you robbed good and
plenty, they get down and pray while they are concealing the money they
took from you. Gee, but when I get home I am going to steer the train
robbers and burglars onto the idea of always being on praying grounds.

Well, I told dad he hadn’t better try to climb up the pyramid, that I
would go up, ‘cause I could climb like a goat, and when I got up to the
top I would fire a salute, so everybody would know that a star spangled
American was on deck, but dad said he would go up or quit the tourist
business. He said he had come thousands of miles to climb the pyramids,
and sit in the shadow of the spinks, and by ginger he was going to do
it, and so we started.

Well, say, each stone is about four feet high, and dad couldn’t get up
without help, so an Arab would go up a stone ahead, and take hold of
dad’s hands, and two more Arabs would get their shoulders under dad’s
pants, and shove, and he would get up gradually. We got about half way
up when dad weakened, and said he didn’t care so much about pyramids as
he thought he did, and he was ready to quit, but the guide and some of
the tourists said we were right near the entrance to the great tomb of
the kings, and that we better go in and at least make a formal call on
the crowned heads, and so we went in, through dark passages, with little
candles that the guides carried, and up and down stairs, until finally
we got into a big room that smelled like a morgue, with bats and evil
looking things all around, and I felt creepy.

The guides got down on their knees to pray, and I thought it was time to
be robbed again. I do not know what made me think of making a sensation
right there in the bowels of that pyramid, where there were corpses
thousands of years old, of Egypt’s rulers. I never felt that way at
home, when I visited a cemetery, but I though I would shoot my last
roman candle and fire my last giant firecracker right there in that
moseleum, and take the chances that we would get out alive. So when the
tourists were lined up beside a tomb of some Rameses or other, and the
guides were praying for strength and endurance, probably, to get away
with all the money we had, I picked out a place up toward the roof that
seemed full of bats and birds of ill omen, and I sneaked my roman candle
out from under my shirt, and touched the fuse to a candle on the turban
of a guide who was on his knees, and just as the first fire ball was
ready to come out I yelled “Whoop-la-much-a wano, epluribus un-um,” and
the fire balls lighted up the gloom and knocked the bats gaily west.

Holy jumping cats, but you ought to have seen the guides, yelling Allah!
Allah! and groveling on the floor, and the bats were flying around in
the faces of the tourists, and everybody was simply scared out of
their boots. I thought I might as well wind the thing up glorious, so
I touched the tail of my last giant firecracker to the sparks that were
oozing out of my empty roman candle, and threw it into the middle of the
great room, and when it went off you would think a cannon had exploded,
and everybody rushed for the door, and we fell over each other getting
out through the passage towards the door.

I was the first to get out on to the side of the pyramid, and I watched
for the crowd to come out. The tourists got out first, and then dad came
out, puffing and wheezing, and the last to come out were the Arabs, and
they came on their hands and knees, calling to Mr. Allah and every one
of them actually pale, and I think they were conscience-stricken, for
they began to give back the money they had robbed dad of, and an Arab
must be pretty scared to give up any of his hard-earned robberies. I
think dad was about the maddest man there was, until he got some of his
money back, when he felt better, but he gave me a talking to that I will
never forget.

He said: “Don’t you know better than to go around with explosives, like
a train robber, and fire them off in a hole in the ground, where there
is no ventilation, and make people’s ears ring? Maybe you have woke
up those kings and queens in there, and changed a dynasty, you little
idiot.” The rest of the crowd wanted to throw me down the side of the
pyramid, but I got away from them and went up on top of the pyramid and
hoisted a small American flag, and left it floating there, and then came
back to where the crowd was discussing the explosion in the tomb, and
then we all went down the side of the pyramid.

The guides got their nerve back after they got out in the air, because
they wouldn’t help dad down unless he paid them something every stone
they helped him climb down, so when he got down he didn’t have any
money, and hardly any pants, because what pants the Arabs didn’t tear
were worn off on the stones, so when he showed up in front of the spinks
he was a sight, and he bought a turban of a guide and unwound it and
wound it around him in place of pants. I was ashamed of dad myself, and
it is pretty hard to make me ashamed.

We went back to Cairo on the cars, and what do you think, that dead
camel that the Arabs made dad pay for was with the caravan going back
to town, ‘cause we saw him out of the car window with the hair wore off
where dad kicked him in the side. The tourists say the Arabs have that
camel trained to die every day when they get to the pyramids, and they
make some tenderfoot pay for him at the end of each journey. Dad is
going to try to get his money back from the Egyptian government, but I
guess he will never realize on his claim.

Well, sir, after dad had doctored all night to get the camel rheumatism
and spinal meningitis out of his system, we took a trip by boat on the
Nile, and saw the banks where the people grow crops by irrigation, and
where an English syndicate has built a big dam, so the whole valley can
be irrigated, and I tell you it will not be long before Egypt will raise
everything used in the world on that desert, and every other country
that raises food to sell will be busted up in business, but it is
disgusting to take a trip on the Nile, ‘cause all the natives are dirty
and sick with contagious diseases, and they are lazy and crippled, and
beg for a living, and if you don’t give them something they steal all
you got. You are in luck if you get away without having leprosy, or the
plague, or cholera, or fleas.

So we went back to Cairo, and there was the worst commotion you ever
saw, about my fireworks in the tomb. The papers said that an American
dynamiter had attempted to blow up the great pyramid, and take
possession of the country and place it under the American flag, and that
the conspirators were spotted and would be arrested and put in irons as
soon as they got back from a trip on the Nile.

Well, sir, dad found his career would close right here, and that he
would probably spend the balance of his life in an Egyptian prison if
wc didn’t get out, so we made a sneak and got into our hotel, bought
disguises and are going to get out of here tonight, and try to get to
Gibraltar, or somewhere in sight of home. Dad is disguised as a shiek,
with whiskers and a white robe, like a bath robe, and I am going to
travel with him as an Egyptian girl till we get through the Suez canal.

[Illustration: Dad is disguised as a shiek 323]

Gee, but I wouldn’t be a nigger girl only to save dad.

Your innocent,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXVI.

     The Bad Boy Writes About Gibraltar--The Irish-English Army--
     How He Would Take the Fortress--Dad Wants to Buy the “Rock.”

Gibraltar, in Spain and England. My Dear Foster Uncle: It seems good
to get somewhere that you can hear the English language spoken by the
Irish, and the English soldiers are nearly all Irish. When you think of
the way the British government treats the Irish, and then you look on
while an orderly sergeant calls the roll of a company, and find that
nine out of ten answer to Irish names, and only one out of ten has the
cockney accent, you feel that the Irish ought to rule England, and an
O’Rourke or a O’Shaunnessy should take the place of King Edward. It
makes a boy who was brought up in an Irish ward in America feel like he
was at home to mix with British soldiers who come from the old sod.
Dad says that there is never an army anywhere in the world, except the
armies of Russia and Japan, that the bravest men are not answering to
Irish names, and always on the advance in a fight, or in the rear when
there is a retreat. Dad says that in our own army, when the North and
South were fighting, the Irish boys were the fellows who saved the
day. They wanted to fight nights and Sundays, and never struck for an
eight-hour day, or union wages. When the fighting was over, and soldiers
were sick, or discouraged, and despondent, an Irish soldier would come
along, maybe on crutches, or with a bullet in his inwards, and tell
funny stories and make the discouraged fellows laugh in spite of
themselves, and when another fight was on, you had to tie the wounded
Irish soldiers to their cots in the hospital, or put them in jail to
keep them from forgetting their wounds, and going to the front for one
more fight. Dad says if there was an Irish nation with an army and navy,
the whole world would have to combine to whip them, and yet the nation
that has the control of the Irish people treats them worse than San
Francisco treats Chinamen, makes them live on potatoes, and allows
landlords to take away the potatoes if they are shy on the rent. Gosh,
if I was an Irishman I would see the country that walked on my neck in
hell before I would fight for it. (Gee, dad looked over my shoulder and
saw what I had written, and he cuffed me on the side of the head, and
said I was an incendiary and that I ought to have sense enough not to
write treason while a guest on British soil.) Well, I don’t care a
darn. It makes me hot under the collar when I think of the brave Irish
fellows, and I wonder why they don’t come to America in a body and be
aldermen and policemen. When I get home I am going to join the Fenians,
and raise thunder, just as quick as I am old enough.

[Illustration: Keep away from the banks for fear the banks will cave in
329]

Well, sir, we have been through the Suez canal, and for a great modern
piece of engineering it doesn’t size up with a sewer in Milwaukee, or
a bayou in Louisiana. It is just digging a railroad cut through the
desert, and letting in the water, and there you are. The only question
in its construction was plenty of dredging machines, and a place to
pile the dirt, and water that just came in of its own accord, and stays
there, and smells like thunder, and you see the natives look at it, and
keep away from the banks for fear the banks will cave in on them, and
give them a bath before their year is up, cause they don’t bathe but
once a year, and when they skip a year nobody knows about it, except
that they smell a year or so more frowsy, like butter that has been left
out of the ice box. Our boat went right along, and got out of the canal,
because it was a mail boat, but the most of the boats we saw were tied
up to the bank, waiting for the millennium. We saw some Russian boats
waiting for the war to blow over and as we passed them every Russian on
board looked scared, as though we were Japs that were going to fire a
torpedo under them, or throw a bomb on deck, and when our boat got by
the Russian boat, the crew was called to prayers, to thank the Lord, or
whoever it is that the Russians thank, because they had escaped a dire
peril. I guess the Russians are all in, and that those who have not gone
to the front are shaking hands with themselves, and waiting for the dove
of peace to alight on their guns. The Suez canal probably pays, and no
wonder, cause they charge what they please to boats that go through, and
if they don’t pay all they have to do is to stay out, and go around a
few thousand miles. It is like a ferry across a little stream out west,
where there is no other way to cross, except to wade or go around, and
the old ferryman sizes up the wagon load that wants to cross, and takes
all they have got loose, and then the travelers are ahead of the game,
cause if they didn’t cross the stream they would have to camp on the
bank until the stream dried up. Some day an earthquake will split that
desert wide open and the water in the Suez canal will soak into the
sand and the steamboats will lay in the mud, and be covered with a sand
storm, and future ages will be discovering full rigged ships down deep
on the desert. Dad says we better sell our stock in the canal and buy
air ship stock. And talk about business, there is more tonnage goes
through the Soo canal, between Michigan and Canada than goes through the
Suez and we don’t howl about it very much.

Well, sir, I have studied Gibraltar in my geography, and read about
it in the papers, and seen its pictures in advertisements, but never
realized what a big thing it was. Now, who ever thought of putting
that enormous rock right there on that prairie, but God. I suppose the
English, when they saw that rock, thought the good Lord had put it there
for the English to drill holes in, for guns, and when the Lord was
busy somewhere else, the English smoughed the rock away from Spain, by
playing a game with loaded dice, and when England got it, that country
decided to arm it like a train robber, and hold up the other nations of
the earth. When a vessel passes that rock it has to hold up its hands
and salute the British flag, or get a mess of hardware fired into its
vital parts, but that is all it amounts to, cause it couldn’t win any
battle for England, and could only sink trading vessels. The walls of
the rock are perforated from top to bottom, with holes big enough for
guns to squirt smoke and shells, but if the enemy should stay away from
right in front of the holes, they might shoot till doomsday and never
hit anything but fishing smacks and peddlers of oranges. Gibraltar is
like a white elephant in a zoological garden. It just eats and keeps off
the flies with its short tail, and visitors feed it peanuts and wonder
what it was made for, and how much hay it eats. Gibraltar is like a
twenty-dollar gold piece that a man carries in his watch pocket for an
emergency, which he never intends to spend until he gets in the tightest
place of his life, and it wears out one pocket after another, and some
day drops through on to the sidewalk, and a tramp finds it and goes on
a bat and gets the worth of his money, and has a good time, if he saves
enough to buy a bromo seltzer the next morning after. It is like the
Russian war chest, that is never to be opened as long as they can borrow
money. If Gibraltar could be put on castors, and rolled around from one
country to another, England could whip all Europe and Asia. It would be
a Tro Jane horse on a larger scale, and be a terror; but, say, if it got
to America we wouldn’t do a thing to it. We would run a standpipe up the
side, and connect it with an oil pipe line, fill Gibraltar’s tunnels and
avenues, and magazines and barracks with crude oil, and touch a match to
it, and not an Englishman would live to tell about it. Gee, but I would
be sorry for the Irish soldiers, but I guess they wouldn’t be there,
cause they wouldn’t fight America. Well, if England ever has a big war,
and she gets chesty about Gibraltar, and says it is impregnable, and
defies the world to take it, I bet you ten dollars it could be taken in
twenty-four hours. If I was a general, or an admiral, I would have about
forty tank steamers, loaded with kerosene, and have them land, innocent
like, right up beside Gibraltar, ostensibly to sell oil for perfumery
to the natives, who would all be improved by using kerosene on their
persons. Then I would get on a barrel, on deck of my flag ship, and
command the English general to surrender unconditionally, and if he
refused I would set a slow match on every oil vessel, and have the crews
get in skiffs and pull for the opposite shore, and when the oil got on
fire, and rolled up all over Gibraltar, and burned every living thing, I
would throw water from a fire department boat on the rock, and she would
split open and roll all over-the prairie, and then I would bury the
cremated dead out on the desert, and seek other worlds to conquer, like
Alexander the Great. But don’t be afraid. I won’t do it unless they make
me mad, but you watch my smoke if they pick on your little Hennery too
much, when he grows up.

But I haven’t got any kick coming about Gibraltar, cause they treated
dad and I all right, and the commander detailed an ensign to show us all
through the fortress. Now don’t get an ensign mixed up with a unique,
such as showed us through the Turkish harem. An English ensign is just
as different from a Turkish unique as you can imagine. Every man to his
place. You couldn’t teach a Turkish unique how to show visitors around
an English fortress, and an English ensign in a Turkish harem would
bring on a world’s war, they are so different. Well, wc went through
tunnels in the rock, and up and down elevators, and all was light as day
from electric lights, and we saw ammunition enough to sink all the ships
in the world, if it could be exploded in the right place, and they have
provisions enough stored in the holes in the rock to keep an army for
forty years if they didn’t get ptomaine poisoned from eating canned
stuff. It was all a revelation to dad, and when we got all through,
and got out into the sunlight, we breathed free, and when clad got his
second wind he broke up the English officers by taking out a pencil and
piece of paper, and asked them what they would take for the rock and its
contents, and move out, and let the American flag float over it. Well,
say, they were hot, and they told dad to go plum to ‘ell, but dad
wouldn’t do it. He said America didn’t want the old stone quarry,
anyway, and if it did it could come and take it. I guess they would have
had dad arrested for treason, only when we got out into the town there
was the whole British Atlantic squadron lined up, with the men up in the
rigging like monkeys, and every vessel was firing a salute, as a yacht
came steaming by. Dad thought war had surely broke out, or that some
rich American owned the yacht, but it turned out to be Queen Alexandria
and a party of tourists, and when the band played “God Save the Queen,”
 dad got up on his hind legs and sang so loud you would think he would
split hisself, and a fellow went up and threw his arms around dad, and
began to weep, and the tears came in dad’s eyes, and another fellow
pinched dad’s watch, and the celebration closed with everybody getting
drunk, and the queen sailed away. Say, we are going to Spain, on the
next boat, and you watch the papers. We will probably be hung for taking
Cuba and the Phillipines.

Yours,

Hennery.

[Illustration: Sang so loud you would think he would split hisself 333]



CHAPTER XXVII.

     The Bad Boy Writes of Spain--They Call on the King And the
     Bad Boy is at it Once More--They See a Bull Fight and Dad
     Does a Turn.

Madrid, Spain.--My Dear Uncle: You probably think we are taking our
lives in our hands by coming to Spain, so soon after the Cuban war, in
which President Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill, in the face of over
thirty bloodthirsty Spaniards, and captured the blockhouse on the
summit of the hill, which was about as big as a switchman’s shanty, and
wouldn’t hold two platoons of infantry, of twelve men to the platoon,
without crowding, and which closed the war, after the navy had
everlastingly paralyzed the Spanish vessels, and sunk them in wet water,
and picked up the crews and run them through clothes-wringers to dry
them out; but we are as safe here as we would be on South Clark street,
in Chicago. Do you know, when I read of that charge of our troops up San
Juan hill, headed by our peerless bear-hunter, I thought it was like the
battle of Gettysburg, where hundreds of thousands of men fought on each
side, and I classed Roosevelt with Grant, Sheridan, Sherman, Meade and
Thomas, and all that crowd, but one day I got talking with a veteran of
the Spanish-American war, who promptly deserted after every pay day, and
re-enlisted after he had spent his money, and he didn’t do a thing to my
ideas of the importance of that battle. He told me it was only a
little skirmish, like driving in a picket post, and that there were not
Spaniards enough there to have a roll call, not so many Spanish soldiers
as there were American newspaper correspondents on our side, that only a
few were killed and wounded, and that a dozen soldiers in an army wagon
could have driven up San Juan hill with firecrackers and scared the
Spaniards out of the country, and that a part of a negro regiment did
pretty near all the shooting, while our officers did the yelling, and
had their pictures taken, caught in the act. So I have quit talking of
the heroism of our army in Cuba, because it makes everybody laugh and
they speak of Shaffer and Roosevelt, and hunch up their shoulders, and
say, “bah,” but when you talk about the navy, and Schley, and Sampson,
and Clark, and Bob Evans, they take off their hats and their faces are
full of admiration, and they say, “magnificent,” and ask you to take a
drink. Gee, but dad got his foot in it by talking about the blowing up
of the Maine, and looking saucy, as though he was going to get even with
the Spaniards, but he found that every Spaniard was as sorry for that
accident as we were, and they would take off their hats when the Maine
was mentioned, and look pained and heart-sick. I tell you the Spaniards
are about as good people as you will find anywhere, and dad has
concluded to fall back on Christopher Columbus for a steady diet
of talk, cause if it had not been for Chris we wouldn’t have been
discovered to this day, which might have been a darn good thing for us.
But the people here do not recall the fact that there ever was a man
named Christopher Columbus, and they don’t know what he ever discovered,
or where the country is that he sailed away to find, unless they are
educated, and familiar with ancient history, and only once in a while
will you find anybody that is educated. The children of America know
more about the history of Spain than the Spanish children. This country
reminds you of a play on the stage, the grandees in their picturesque
costumes, though few in number, compared to the population, are the
whole thing, and the people you see on the stage with the grandees, in
peasant costume, peddling oranges and figs, you find here in the life
of Spain, looking up to the grandees as though they were gods. Every
peasant carries a knife in some place, concealed about him, and no two
carry their toad stabbers in the same place. If you see a man reach his
finger under his collar to scratch his neck, the chances are his fingers
touch the handle of his dagger, and if he hitches up his pants, his
dagger is there, and if he pulls up his trousers leg to scratch for a
flea, you can bet your life his knife is right handy, and if you have
any trouble you don’t know where the knife is coming from, as you do
about an American revolver, when one of our citizens reaches for his
pistol pocket. Spaniards are nervous people, on the move all the time,
and it is on account of fleas. Every man, woman and child contains more
than a million fleas, and as they can’t scratch all the time, they keep
on the move, hoping the fleas will jump off on somebody else. When we
came here we were flealess, but every person we have come near to seems
to have contributed some fleas to us, until now we are loaded down
with them, and we find in our room at the hotel a box of insect powder,
which, is charged in with the candles. The king, who is a boy about
three years older than I am, is full of fleas, too, and he jumps around
from one place to another, like he was shaking himself to get rid of
them. He gets up in the morning and goes out horseback riding, and jumps
fences and rides tip and down the marble steps of the public buildings,
as though he wanted to make the fleas feel in danger, so they will
leave him. Seems to me if every man kept as many dogs as they do in
Constantinople, the fleas would take to the dogs, but they say here that
fleas will leave a dog to get on a human being, because they like the
smell of garlic, as every Spaniard eats garlic a dozen times a day. They
are trying to teach dogs to eat garlic, but no self-respecting dog will
touch it. We have had to fill up on garlic in order to be able to talk
with the people, cause dad got sea sick the first day here, everybody
smelled so oniony. Dad wanted a druggist to put up onions in capsules,
like they do quinine, so he could take onions and not taste them, but
he couldn’t make the man understand. There ought to be a law against any
person eating onions, unless he is under a death sentence. But you can
stand a man with the onion habit, after you get used to it. It is a
woman, a beautiful woman, one you would like to have take you on your
lap and pet you, that ought to know better than to eat onions. Gee, but
when you see a woman that is so beautiful it makes her ache to carry her
beauty around, and you get near to her and expect to breathe the odor of
roses and violets, that makes you tired when she opens her mouth to say
soft words of love, and there comes to your nostrils the odor of onions.
Do you know, nothing would make me commit suicide so quick as to have
a wife who habitually loaded herself with onions. Dad was buying some
candy for me at a confectioner shop, of a beautiful Spanish woman, and
when he asked how much it was, she bent over towards him in the most
bewitching manner and breathed in his face and said, “Quatro-realis,
seignor,” which meant “four bits, mister,” and he handed her a
five-dollar gold piece, and went outdoors for a breath of fresh air, and
let her keep the change. He said she was welcome to the four dollars and
fifty cents if she would not breathe towards him again.

[Illustration: Breathed in his face 339]

Well, we have taken in the town, looked at the cathedrals, attended the
sessions of the cortez, and thew gambling houses, saw the people sell
the staple products of the country, which are prunes, tomatoes and wine.
The people do not care what happens as long as they have a quart of
wine. In some countries the question of existence is bread, but in Spain
it is wine. No one is so poor they cannot have poor wine, and with wine
nothing else is necessary, but a piece of cheese and bread helps the
wine some, though either could be dispensed with. In some countries
“wine, women and song” are all that is necessary to live. Here it is
wine, cheese and an onion. We went to see the king, because he is such
a young boy, and dad thought it would encourage the ruler to see an
American statesman, and to mingle with an American boy who could give
him cards and spades, and little casino, and beat him at any game. I
made dad put on a lot of badges we had collected in our town when there
were conventions held there, and when they were all pinned on dad’s
breast he looked like an admiral. There was a badge of Modern Woodmen,
one of the Hardware Dealers’ Association, one of the Wholesale
Druggists, one of the Amalgamated Association of Railway Trainmen, one
of the Farmers’ Alliance, one of the Butter and Cheese-men’s Convention,
one of the State Undertakers’ Guild, and half a dozen others in brass,
bronze and tin, on various colored ribbons. Say, do you know, when they
ushered us into the throne room at the palace, and the little king, who
looked like a student in the high school, with dyspepsia from
overstudy and cake between meals, saw dad, he thought he was the most
distinguished American he had ever seen, and he invited dad up beside
him on the throne, and dad sat in the chair that the queen will sit
in when the boy king gets married, and I sat down on a front seat and
watched dad. Dad had read in the papers that the boy king wanted to
marry an American girl who was the possessor of a lot of money, so dad
began to tell the king of girls in America that were more beautiful than
any in the world, and had hundreds of millions of cold dollars, and an
appetite for raw kings, and that he could arrange a match for the king
that would make him richer than any king on any throne. The boy king was
becoming interested, and I guess dad would have had him married off all
right, if the king had not seen me take out a bag of candy and begin to
eat, when he said to me, “Come up here, Bub, and give me some of that.”
 Gosh, but I trembled like a leaf, but I went right up the steps of the
throne and handed him the bag, and said, “Help yourself, Bub.” Well,
sir, the queerest thing happened. I had bought two pieces of candy
filled with cayenne pepper, for April fool, and the king handed the bag
to the master of ceremonies, a big Spaniard all covered over with gold
lace, and if you will believe me the king got one piece of the cayenne
pepper candy, and that spangled prime minister got the other, and the
king chewed his piece first, and he opened his mouth like a dog that has
picked up a hot boiled egg and he blew out his breath to cool his tongue
and said, “Whoosh,” and strangled, and sputtered, and then the prime
minister he got his, and he yelled murder in Spanish, and the king
called for water, and put his hands on his stomach and had a cramp, and
the other man he tied himself up in a double bowknot, and called for
a priest, and the king said he would have to go to the chapel, and the
fellows who were guarding the king took him away, breathing hard, and
red in the face, and dad said to me, “What the bloody hell you trying to
do with the crowned heads? Cause you have poisoned the whole bunch, and
we better get out.”

[Illustration: The king got one piece of the cayenne pepper candy 347]

So we went out of the palace while the king’s retainers were filling him
with ice water. Well, they got the cayenne pepper out of him, because we
saw him at the bull fight in the afternoon, but for a while he had the
hottest box there ever was outside of a freight train, and if he lives
to be as old as Mr. Methuselah he will always remember his interview
with little Hennery. The bull fights ain’t much. Bulls come in the
ring mad as wet hens, cause they stick daggers in them, and they bellow
around, and the Spaniards dodge and shake red rags at them, and after a
bull has ripped a mess of bowels out of a few horses, then a man with a
saber stabs the bull between the shoulders, and he drops dead, and the
crowd cheers the assassin of the bull, and they bring in another bull.
Well, sir, dad came mighty near his finish at the bull fight. When the
second bull came in, and ripped the stomach out of a blind horse, and
the bull was just charging the man who was to stab it, dad couldn’t
stand it any longer and he climbed right over into the ring, and he
said: “Look a here, you heathen; I protest, in the name of the American
Humane Society, against this cruelty to animals, and unless this
business stops right here I will have this place pulled, and------”

[Illustration: Dad couldn’t stand it any longer 343]

Well, sir, you would of thought that bull would have had sense enough
to see that dad was his friend, but he probably couldn’t understand what
dad was driving at, for he made a rush for dad, and dad started to run
for the fence, and the bull caught dad just like dad was sitting in a
rocking chair, and tossed him over the fence, and dad’s pants stayed
on the bull’s horns, and dad landed in amongst a lot of male and female
grandees and everybody yelled, “Bravo, Americano,” and the police
wrapped a blanket around dad’s legs and were going to take him to the
emergency hospital, but I claimed dad, and took him to the hotel. Dad is
ready to come home now. He says he is through.

Yours,

Hennery.

[Illustration: Dad’s pants stayed on the bull’s horns 349]



CHAPTER XXVIII.

     The Bad Boy and His Dad at Berlin--They Call on Emperor
     William and his Family and the Bad Boy Plays a Joke on Them
     All.

Berlin, Germany.--My Dear Old Pummer-nickel: Now we have got pretty near
home, and you would enjoy it to be with us, because you couldn’t tell
the town from Milwaukee, except for the military precision with which
everything is conducted, where you never take a glass of beer without
cracking your heels together like a soldier, and giving a military
salute to the bartender, who is the commander-in-chief of all who happen
to patronize his bar. Everybody here acts like he was at a picnic in the
woods, with a large barrel of beer, with perspiration oozing down the
outside, and a spigot of the largest size, which fills a schooner at one
turn of the wrist, and every man either smiles or laughs out loud, and
you feel as though there was happiness everywhere, and that heaven was
right here in this greatest German city.

[Illustration: There is laughter everywhere 353]

There is laughter everywhere, except when the Emperor drives by,
escorted by his bodyguard, on the finest horses in the world; then
every citizen on the street stops smiling and laughing; all stand
at attention, and every face takes on a solemn, patriotic, almost a
fighting look, as though each man would consider it his happiest duty
and pleasure to walk right up to the mouth of cannon and die in his
tracks for his pale-faced, haggard and loved Emperor. And the Emperor
never smiles on his subjects as he passes, but looks into every eye on
both sides of the beautiful street, with an expression of agony on his
face, but a proud light in his eye, as though he would say, “Ach, Gott,
but they are daisies, and they would fight for the Fatherland with the
last breath in their bodies.”

The pride of the people in that moustached young man, with the look of
suffering, is only equalled by the pride of the Emperor in every German
in Germany, or anywhere on the face of the globe. There is none of the
“Hello, Bill!” such as we have in America, when the President drives
through his people, many of whom yell, “Hello, Teddy!” while he shows
his teeth, and laughs, and stands up in his carriage, and says, “Hello,
Mike,” as he recognizes an acquaintance. But these same “Hello, Bill,”
 Americans are probably just as loyal to their chief, whoever he may be,
and would fight as hard as the loving Germans would for their hereditary
Emperor.

I suppose there is somebody working in Berlin, but it seems to us that
the whole population, so far as can be seen, is bent on enjoying every
minute, walking the streets, in good clothes, giving military salutes,
and drinking beer between meals, and talking about what Germany would do
to an enemy if the ever-present chip on the shoulder should be knocked
off, even accidentally. But they all seem to love America, and when we
registered at the hotel, from Milwaukee, Wis., U. S. A., citizens began
to gather around us and ask about relatives at our home. They seem to
think that every German who has settled in Milwaukee owns a brewery, and
that all are rich, and that some day they will come back to Germany and
spend the money, and fight for the Emperor.

We did not have the heart to tell them that all the Germans in Milwaukee
were going to stay there and spend their money, and while their hearts
were still warm towards the Fatherland, they loved the Stars and
Stripes, and would fight for the American flag, against the world, and
that the younger Germans spoke the German language, if it all, with a
Yankee accent. Gee, but wouldn’t the people of Berlin be hot under the
collar if they knew how many Germans in America were unfamiliar with the
make-up of the German flag, and that they only see it occasionally when
some celebration of German days takes place.

Well, when dad saw the German Emperor drive down the great street, and
got a look at his face, he said, “Hennery, I have got to see that
young man and advise him to go and consult a doctor,” and so we made
arrangements to go to the Palace and see the Emperor and his son, the
Crown Prince, who will before long take the empire on his shoulders, if
William is as sick as he looks. You don’t have to hire any masquerade
clothes to call on the Emperor of Germany, like you do when you visit
royalty in Turkey and Egypt, for a good frock coat and a silk hat will
take you anywhere in the day time, and a swallowtail is legal tender at
night; so dad put on his frock coat and silk hat, just as he would to
go and attend an afternoon wedding at home, and we were ushered in to a
regular parlor, where the Emperor was having fun with his children, and
the Empress was doing some needlework.

Dad supposed we would have to talk to the Emperor and the Prince through
an interpreter, and we stood there waiting for some one to break the
ice, when some one told the Emperor that an American gentleman and his
boy wanted to pay their respects, and the Emperor, who wore an ordinary
dark suit, with no military frills, took one of the young Princes he had
been playing with across his knee and gave him a couple of easy spanks,
in fun, and the whole family was laughing, and the spanked boy “tackled”
 the Emperor around the legs, below the knee, like a football player,
and the other Princes pulled him off, and the Emperor came up to dad,
smiling as though he was having the time of his life, and spoke to dad
in the purest English, and said he was glad to see the “Bad Boy” man,
because he had read all about the pranks of the Bad Boy, and bid dad
welcome to Germany, and he didn’t look sick at all.

[Illustration: And so this is the champion little devil of America 357]

Dad was taken all of a heap, and didn’t know what to make of the German
Emperor talking English, but when the ruler of Germany turned to me and
said, “And so this is the champion little devil of America,” and patted
me on the head, dad felt that he had struck a friend of the family,
and he sat down with the Emperor and talked for half an hour, while the
young Princes gathered around me, and we sat down on the floor and the
boys got out their knives, and we played mumbletypeg on the carpet, just
as though we were at home, and all the boys talked English, and we had
a bully time. The princes had all read “Peck’s Bad Boy” and I think the
Emperor and Empress have encouraged them in their wickedness, for the
boys told me of several tricks they had played on their father, the
Emperor, which they had copied from the Bad Boy, and it made me blush
when they told of initiating their father into the Masons, the way my
chum and I initiated dad into the Masons with the aid of a goat.

I asked the boys how their dad took it, and told them from what we in
America heard about the Emperor of Germany, we would think he would
kill anybody that played a trick on him; but they said he would stand
anything from the children, and enjoy it; but if grown men attempted
to monkey with him, the fur would fly. The Crown Prince came in and was
introduced to me, and he seemed proud to see me, cause his uncle, Prince
Henry, had told him about being in Milwaukee, and how all the women in
that town were the handsomest he had ever seen in his trip around the
world, and he asked me if it was so. I referred him to dad, and dad
told him the women were the greatest in the world, and then dad made
his usual break. He said: “Look ahere, Mister Prince, you have got to be
married some day, and raise a family to hand the German empire down to,
and my advice to you is not to let them saw off on to you no duchess or
princess as homely as a hedge fence, with no ginger in her blood, but
you skip out to America, and come to Milwaukee, and I will introduce you
to girls that are so handsome they will make you toe the mark, and if
you marry one of them she will raise a family of healthy young royalty
with no humor in the blood, and you won’t have to go off and be gay away
from home, cause an American wife will take you by the ear if you
show any signs of wandering from your own fireside, like lots of your
relatives have done.”

Gee, but that made the Emperor hot, and he said dad needn’t instill any
of his American ideas into the German nobility, as he could run
things all right without any help, and dad got ready to go, cause the
atmosphere was getting sort of chilly, but the Emperor soon got over
his huff, and told dad not to hurry, and then he turned to me and said,
“Now, little American Bad Boy, what kind of a trick are you going to
play on me, ‘cause from what I have read of you I know you will never
go out of this house without giving me a benefit, and all my boys expect
it, and will enjoy it, the same as I will; now, let ‘er go.”

I felt that it was up to me to do something to maintain the reputation
I had made, so I said, “Your majesty, I will now proceed to make it
interesting for you, if you and the boys will kindly be seated in a
circle around me.” They got into a circle, all laughing, and I took out
of my pistol pocket a half pint flask, of glass, covered with leather,
and with a stopper that opened by touching a spring, and I walked around
in front of each one of the Royal family, mumbling, “Ene-mene-mony-my,”
 and opening the flask in front of each one, and pretty soon they all
began to get nervous, and scratch themselves, and the Emperor slapped
his leg, and pinched his arm, and put his fingers down his collar and
scratched his neck, and the Crown Prince jumped up and kicked his leg,
and scratched his back, and said, “Say, kid, you are not hypnotizing
us, are you?” and I said, “Ene-meny-mony-my,” and kept on touching the
stopper.

By and by they all got to scratching, and the Emperor turned sort of
pale, but he was going to see the show through to the end, as long as
he had a ticket, and he said, “What is the joke, anyway?” and I kept on
saying, “Ene-mene-mony-my,” and walking around in front of them, and dad
began to dance around, too, and dig under his shirt bosom, and scratch
his leg, and then they all scratched in unison, and laughed, and a
little prince asked how long before they would know what it was all
about, and I said my ene-mene, and looked solemn, and dad said, “What
you giving us?” and I said, “Never you mind; this is my show, and I am
the whole push,” and everybody had raised up out of his chair and each
was scratching for all that was out, and finally the Emperor said, “I
like a joke as well as anybody, but I can’t laugh until I know what I am
laughing about,” and he told dad to make me show what was in the bottle,
and I showed the bottle and there was nothing in it, and there they
stood scratching themselves, and I told dad we better excuse ourselves
and go, and we were going all right enough when dad said, “What is it
you are doing?” and as we got almost to the door I said, “Your majesty,
I have distributed, impartially, I trust, in the Royal family of
Germany, a half a pint of the hungriest fleas that Egypt can produce,
for they have been in that flask three weeks, with nothing to eat except
themselves, and I estimate that there were a million Cairo fleas in
the flask, enough to set up housekeeping in your palace, with enough to
stock the palace of your Crown Prince when he is married, and this is
that you may remember the visit of Peck’s Bad Boy and his Dad.”

[Illustration: Dad leaned against a lamp post and scratched his back
364]

The Emperor was mad at first, but he laughed, and when we got out of the
palace dad leaned against a lamp post and scratched his back, and said
to me, “Hennery, you never ought to have did it,” and I said, “What
could a poor boy do when called upon suddenly to do something to
entertain royalty?”

“Well,” says dad, “I don’t care for myself, but this thing is apt to
bring on international complications,” and I said, “Yes, it will bring
Persia into it, cause they will have to use Persian insect powder to get
rid of them,” and then we went to our hotel and fought fleas all night,
and thought of the sleepless night the royal family were having.

Well, so long, old Pummernickel.

Your only,

Hennery.



CHAPTER XXIX.

     The Bad Boy Writes from Brussels--He and Dad see the Field
     of Waterloo and call on King Leopold and Dad and the King go
     in for a Swim--The Bad Boy, a Dog and some Goats do the
     rest.

Brussels, Belgium.--Dear Old Skate: “What is the matter with our going
to Belgium?” said dad to me, as we were escaping from Germany. “Well,
what in thunder do we want to go to Belgium for?” said I to dad. “I do
not want to go to a country that has no visible means of support, except
raising Belgian hares, to sell to cranks in America. I couldn’t eat
rabbits without thinking I was chewing a piece of house cat, and rabbits
is the chief food of the people. I have eaten horse and mule in Paris,
and wormy figs in Turkey, and embalmed beef fried in candle grease
in Russia, and sausage in Germany, imported from the Leutgart sausage
factory in Chicago, where the man run his wife through a sausage
machine; and stuff in Egypt, with ground mummy for curry powder, but I
draw the line on Belgian hares, and I strike right here, and shall have
the International Union of Amalgamated Tourists declare a boycott on
Belgium, by gosh,” said I, just like that, bristling up to dad real
spunky.

“You are going to Belgium all right,” said dad, as he took hold of my
thumb in a Jiu Jitsu fashion, and twisted it backwards until I fairly
penuked, and held it, while he said he should never dare go home without
visiting King Leopold’s kingdom, and had a talk with an eighty-year-old
male flirt, who had a thousand chorus girls on his staff, and could give
the Sultan of Turkey cards and spades and little casino in the harem
game. “You will go along, won’t you, bub?” and he gave my thumb another
twist, and I said, “You bet your life, but I won’t do a thing to you and
Leopold before we get out of the Belgian hare belt,” and so here we are,
looking for trouble.

It is strange we never hear more about Belgium in America, but actually
I never heard of a Belgian settling in the United States. There are
Irish, and Germans, and Norwegians, and Italians, and men of all other
countries, but I never saw a Belgian until to-day, and it does you good
to see a people who don’t do anything but work. There is not a loafer
in Belgium, and every man has smut on his nose, and his hands are black
with handling iron, or something. There is no law against people going
away from Belgium, but they all like it here, and seem to think there is
no other country, and they are happy, and work from choice.

“Began to sell dad relics of the Battle of Waterloo.”

I always knew the Belgian guns that sell in America for twelve
shillings, and kill at both ends, but I never knew they made things here
that were worth anything, but dad says they are better fixed here for
making everything used by civilized people than any country on earth,
and I am glad to be here, cause you get notice when you are going to be
robbed. They ring a bell here every minute to give you notice that some
one is after the coin, so when you hear a bell ring, if you hang onto
your pocketbook, you don’t lose.

This is the place where “There was a sound of revelry at night, and
Belgium’s capitol had gathered there.” You remember, the night before
the Battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon Bonaparte got his. You must
remember about it, old man, just when they were right in the midst of
the dance, and “soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,” and
they were taking a champagne bath, inside and out, when suddenly the
opening guns of Waterloo, twelve miles away, began to boom, and the
poet, who was present, said, “But hush, hark, a deep sound like a rising
knell,” and everybody turned pale and began to stampede, when the floor
manager said, “‘Tis but the wind, or the car on the stony street, on
with the dance, let joy be unconfined, no sleep till morn, when youth and
pleasure meet, to chase the glowing hours with flying feet.”

Well, sir, this is the place where that ball took place, which is
described in the piece I used to speak in school, but I never thought
I would be here, right where the dancers got it in the neck. When dad
found that the battlefield of Waterloo was only a few miles away, he
hired a wagon and we went out there. Well, sir, of all the frauds we
have run across on this trip the battlefield of Waterloo is the
worst. When the farmers who are raising barley and baled hay on the
battlefield, saw us coming, they dropped their work and made a rush for
us, and one fellow yelled something in the Belgian language that sounded
like, “I saw them first,” and he got hold of dad and me, and the rest
stood off like a lot of hack drivers that have seen a customer fall into
the hands of another driver, and made up faces at us, and called the
farmer who had caught us the vilest names. They said we would be skinned
to a finish by the faker who got us, and they were right.

[Illustration: 368 began to sell things to dad]

He showed us from a high hill, where the different portions of the
battle were fought, and where they caught Napoleon Bonaparte, and where
Blucher came up and made things hum in the German language, and then
he took us off to his farm where the most of the relics were found, and
began to sell things to dad, until he had filled the hind end of the
wagon with bullets and grape-shot, sabres and bayonets, old rusty
rifles, and everything dad wanted, and we had enough to fill a museum,
and when the farmer had got dad’s money we went back to Brussels, and
got our stuff unloaded at the hotel. Say, when we came to look it over
we found two rusty Colt’s revolvers, and guns of modern construction,
which have been bought on battlefields in all countries, and properly
rusted to sell to tourists. I showed dad that the revolver was unknown
at the time of the battle of Waterloo, and that every article he had
bought was a fraud, the sabers having been made in America, before the
war of the rebellion, and dad was mad, and gave the stuff to the porter
of the hotel, who charged dad seven dollars for taking it away.

Dad kept one three-cornered hat that the farmer told him Bonaparte lost
when his horse stampeded with him, and it drifted under a barbed
wire fence, where it had lain until the day before we visited the
battlefield. Say, that hat is as good as new, and dad says it is worth
all the stuff cost, but I would not be found dead wearing it, cause it
is all out of style.

We have seen the King of Belgium, and actually got the worth of our
money. He is an old dandy, and looks like a Philadelphia Quaker, only
he is not as pious as a Quaker. Dad wrote to the King and said he was
a distinguished American, traveling for his health, and had a niece who
had frequently visited Belgium with an opera company, and she had
spoken of the King, and dad wanted to talk over matters that might be of
interest both to Belgium and to America. Well, the messenger came back
and said dad couldn’t get to the palace a minute too quick, and so we
went over, and as we were going through the park we saw an old man, in
citizen’s clothes, sitting on a bench, patting the head of a boar hound,
and when he saw us he said, “Come here, Uncle Sam, and let my dog chew
your pants.” Dad thought it must be some lunatic, and was going to make
a sneak, and get out, when the man rose up and we saw it was the King,
and we went up to him and sat down on the bench, and he asked dad if he
had come as the relative of the opera singer, to commence suit against
the King for breach of promise, or to settle for a money consideration,
remarking that he had always rather pay cash than to have any fuss made
about these little matters. Dad told him he had no claim against him for
alienating anybody’s affections, or for breach of promise, and that all
he wanted was to have a little talk with the King, and find out how a
King lived, and how he had any fun in running the king business, at his
age, and they sat down and began to talk as friendly as two old chums,
while the dog played tag with me. We found that the King was a regular
boy, and that instead of his mind being occupied by affairs of state,
or his African concessions in the Congo country, where he owns a few
million slaves who steal ivory for him, and murder other tribes, he was
enjoying life just as he did when he was a barefooted boy, fishing for
perch at the old mill pond, and when he mentioned his career as a boy,
and his enjoyments, dad told about his youth, and how he never got so
much pleasure in after life as he did when he had a stone bruise on his
heel, and went off into the woods and cut a tamarack pole and caught
sunfish till the cows came home.

The King brightened up and told dad he had a pond in the palace grounds,
stocked with old-fashioned fish, and every day he took off his shoes and
rolled up his pants, and with nothing on but a shirt and pants held
up by one suspender of striped bed ticking, he went out in a boat and
fished as he did when a boy, with a bent pin for a hook, and he was
never so happy as when so engaged, and they could all have their grand
functions, and balls, and dinners, and Turkish baths, if they wanted
them, but give him the old swimming hole. “Me, too,” said dad, and as
dad looked down into the park he saw a little lake, and dad held up two
fingers, just as boys do when they mean to say, “Come on, let’s go in
swimming,” and the King said, “I’ll go you,” and they locked arms
and started through the woods to the little lake, and the dog and I
followed.

[Illustration: Dad and Leopold make a rush for that swimming place 372]

Well, sir, you’d a dide to see dad and Leopold make a rush for that
swimming place. The King put his hand in the water, and said it was
fine, and began to peel his clothes off, and dad took off his clothes
and the King made a jump and went in all over, and came up with his eyes
full of water, strangling because he did not hold his nose, and then dad
made a leap and splashed the water like an elephant had fallen in, and
there those two old men were in the lake, just like kids.

[Illustration: I’ll swim you a match to the other side 378]

“I’ll swim you a match to the other side,” said the King. “It’s a go,”
 said dad, and they started porpoising across the little lake, and then
I thought it was time there was something doing; so I got busy and tied
their clothes in knots so tight you couldn’t get them untied without an
act of parliament. They went ashore on the opposite side of the lake,
cause some women were driving through the grounds, and then I found
a flock of goats grazing on the lawn, and the dog and I drove them to
where the clothes were tied in knots, and when the goats began to chew
the clothes I took the dog and went back to the entrance of the park,
and dad and the King swam back to where the clothes and the goats were,
and when they drove the goats away, and couldn’t untie the knots, the
King gave the grand hailing sign of distress, or something, and the
guards of the palace and some cavalry came on the run, and the park
seemed filled with an army, and I bid the dog good-bye, and went back to
the hotel alone and waited for dad.

[Illustration: When the goats began to chew the clothes 375]

Dad didn’t get back till after dark, and when he came he had on a suit
of the King’s clothes, too tight around the stomach, and too long in the
legs, cause dad is pusey, and the King is long-geared. “Did you have a
good time, dad?” says I, and he said, “Haven’t you got any respect for
age, condemn you? The King has ordered that you be fed to the animals in
the zoo.” I told him I didn’t care a darn what they did with me; I had
been brought up to tie knots in clothes when I saw people in swimming,
and I didn’t care whether they were crowned heads or just plain dubs,
and I asked dad how they got along when their clothes were chewed up. He
said the soldiers covered them with pouches and got them to the palace,
and they had supper, he and the King, and the servants brought out a lot
of clothes and he got the best fit he could. I asked him if the King was
actually mad, and he said no, that he always enjoyed such things,
and wanted dad and I to come the next day and go fishing with him,
barefooted. Say, dad can go, but I wouldn’t be caught by that King on a
bet. He would get even, sure, cause he has a look in his eye like they
have in a sanitarium. Not any king business for your little Hennery.



CHAPTER XXX.

     The Bad Boy’s Delayed Letter about Holland and Cuba--Dad and
     the Boy go for a Drive in a Dogcart--They have a Great Time--
     Land in Cuba and See the Island t we Fought for.

Havana, Cuba. My Dear Old Greaser: We stopped in Holland for a couple of
days after we left Belgium, and it was the most disappointing country
we visited on our whole trip. We expected to be walked on with wooden
shoes, and from what we had heard of that Duke that married Queen
Wilhelmina, we thought we were going to a country where men were cruel
to their wives, and swatted them over the head when things didn’t go
right, but when we saw the queen riding with her husband, as free, from
ostentation as a department store clerk would ride out with his cash
girl wife, and saw happiness beaming on the face of the queen and her
husband, and saw them squeeze hands and look lovingly into each other’s
eyes, we made up our minds that you couldn’t believe these newspaper
scandals. And when we saw the broad-shouldered, broad-chested and
broad-everywhere women of Holland we concluded that it would be a brave
or reckless husband who would be unkind to one of them, and mighty
dangerous because the women are stronger than the men, and any woman
could whip four men at the drop of the hat, because she could take off
her wooden shoes and strike out and a man would think he had been hit by
a railroad tie.

Illustration: Any woman could whip four men at the drop of the hat 388

I do not know what makes Hollanders wear wooden shoes, unless they are
sentenced to do it, or that they are unruly, and have to be hobbled,
to keep them from jumping fences, but the people are so good and honest
that after you have met them you forget the vaudeville feature of their
costumes, and love them, and wish the people of other countries were as
honest as they. For two or three days we were not robbed, and I do not
believe there is a dishonest man or woman in Holland, except one. There
was one woman that played it on dad in Amsterdam, but I think she only
played him for a sucker for a joke, for she laughed all the time.

Dad was much struck at seeing the women selling milk from little carts,
hauled by teams of big dogs, and he negotiated with a woman for a dog
team and cart, and all one day dad and I put on wooden shoes, and Dutch
clothes and drove the dog team around town, and we had the time of
our lives, more fun than I ever had outside of a circus, but the shoes
skinned our feet, and when the dogs laid down to rest, and dad couldn’t
talk dog language to make them get up and go ahead, he kicked the off
dog with his wooden shoe, and the dog got up and grabbed a mouthful of
dad’s ample pants and shook dad till his teeth were loose.

[Illustration: Grabbed a mouthful of dad’s ample pants 386]

A woman driving another mess of dogs had to come and choke the off dog
so he wouldn’t swallow dad, pants and all. Dad gave her a dollar for
rescuing him, and what do you think? Say, she pulled an old stocking of
money out of her bosom and counted out ninety-six cents in change and
gave it back to dad, and only charged four cents for saving his life,
and that couldn’t occur in any other country, cause in most places they
would take the dollar and strike him for more.

Dad wanted to take the dog team and cart to Milwaukee to give it to a
friend who sells red hot weiners, and so we arranged to have the team
loaded on the boat, but just before the boat sailed, the dog team was
lying down on the dock, sleeping and scratching flees, when the woman
dad bought the team of came along and spoke to the dogs in Dutch, and,
say, those dogs woke up and started on a regular runaway down the dock,
after the laughing woman, and disappeared up the street. Just as the
boat whistled to pull in the gang planks, dad and I stood on deck and
saw the team disappear, and dad said, “Buncoed again, by gosh, and it is
all your condemned fault. Why didn’t you hang on to that off dog.” Well,
we lost our dog team, but we got the worth of our money, for we saw a
people who do not eat much beside cabbage and milk, and they are the
strongest in the world, and there never was a case of dyspepsia in their
country. We saw a people with stone bruises on their heels and corns on
their toes, smiling and laughing all the time. We met a people that work
all the time, and never take any recreation except churning and rocking
babies, and yet never have to call a doctor, because there are no
doctors except veterinary surgeons, who care for dogs and cattle.

The people we met in Holland wear wooden shoes to teach them patience
and humility. With wooden shoes no frenzied financier of Holland will
ever travel the fast road of speculation, slip on a bucket-shop banana
peel, and fall on the innocent bystander who has coughed up his savings
and given them to the honest financier to safely invest.

The bank of Holland is an old woolen stock ing, and money never comes
out of the stocking unless there is a string to it, and the string is
the heart string of an honest people, that will stand no trifling. If a
dishonest financier came to Holland from any other country, and did any
of his dirty work, the women of Holland, who handle the funds, would
give him such a hazing that he would never open his three-card monte
lay-out in any other country.

It is a country where you get the right change back, and the cows give
eighteen carat milk, and the hens have not learned to lay small, cold
storage eggs. It is the country for me, if the women would wear corsets,
and not be the same size all the way down, so that if you hugged a girl
you wouldn’t make a dent in her, that would not come out until she got
her breath.

And we left such a country and such a people, to come here to Cuba,
where the population now comprises the meanest features of the desperate
and wicked Spaniards, beaten at their own game of loot, the trickiness
of the native Cuban, flushed with pride because his big American brother
helped him to drive away the Spaniard that he could never have gotten
rid of alone, and with no respect for the American who helped, and only
meets him respectfully because he is afraid of being thrown into the
ocean if he is impudent, and the worst class of Yankee grafters and
highway robbers that have ever been allowed to stray away from the land
of the free. That is what Cuba is to-day.

Soulless Yankee corporations have got hold of most of the branches of
business that there is any money in, and the things that do not pay and
never can be made to pay, are for sale to tenderfeet. The cuban hates
the Yankee, the Yankee hates the Cuban, and the Spaniard hates both, and
both hate him. In Havana your hotel, owned by a Cuban, run by a Yankee,
with a Spanish or Portuguese cashier, will take all the money you bring
into it for a bed at night, and hold your baggage till your can cable
for money to buy breakfast. It is a “free country,” of course, run by
men who will fly high as long as they can borrow money for some one else
to pay after they are dead, but within ten years the taxes will eat the
people so they will be head over heels in debt to the Yankee and the
Spaniard, the German and the Englishman, the Frenchman and the Italian,
and some day warships will sail into Havana harbor, over the submerged
bones of the “Maine,” and there will be a fight for juicy morsels of the
Cuban dead horse, by the congregated buzzards of strange navies, unless
they shall shake the dice for the carcass, and by carefully loading the
dice saw the whole thing off on to Uncle Sam, and make him pay the debts
of the deceased republic, and act as administrator for the benefit of
the children of the sawed off republic, whose only asset now is climate
that feels good, but contains germs of all diseases, and tobacco that
smells good when it is in conflagration under your nose, and does not
kill instantly if it is pasted up in a Wisconsin wrapper, that is the
pure goods. If tobacco ever ceases to be a fad with the rich consumer
of fifty-cent cigars, and beet sugar is found to contain no first aid
to Bright’s disease, Cuba will amount to about as much as Dry Tortugas,
which has purer air, and the Isle of Pines, which has more tropical
scenery and less yellow fever. But now the Island of Cuba is a joy, and
Havana is like Heaven, until you come to pay your bill, when it is hell.
Streets so wide you cannot see a creditor on the other side, pavements
as smooth as the road to perdition, and tropical trees, plants and
flowers, with birds of rare plumage, you feel like sitting on a cold
bench in the shade, and wishing all your friends were here to enjoy a
taste of what will come to those who are truly good, in the hereafter,
when suddenly you are taken with a chill up the spinal column, and a
cold sweat comes out on the forehead, and the internal arrangements go
on a strike because of the cold, perspiring cucumber you had for lunch,
and you go to the doctor, who does not do a thing to you, but scare you
out of your boots by talking of cholera, and giving you the card of
his partner, the undertaker, telling you never to think of dying in a
tropical country without being embalmed, because you look so much better
when you are delivered at your home by the express company, and then he
gives you pills and a bill, and an alarm clock that goes off every hour
to take a pill by, and furnishes you an officer to go home to your hotel
with you to collect his bill, and you pawn your watch and sleeve buttons
for a steerage ticket to New York, where you arrive as soon as the Lord
will let you, and stay as long as He thinks is good for you.

Dad has not been much good in Havana, cause he wanted to see the whole
business in one day. He got a row boat and went out in the harbor to
where the back-bone of the “Maine” acts as a monument to the fellows who
yet sleep in the mud of the bottom, and after tying a little American
flag on the rigging that sticks up above the water, and damning the
villains who blew up the good ship, we went back to town and drove out
to the cemetery where several hundred of our boys are buried, where we
left flowers on the graves and a cuss in the balmy air for the guilty
wretches who fired the bomb, and then we went back to the city and
walked the beautiful streets, until dad began to have cramps, from
trying to eat all the fruit he could hold, and then it was all off, and
I was going to call a carriage to take him to the hotel, when dad saw a
negro astride a single ox, hitched to a cart, who had come in from the
country, and dad said he wanted to ride in that cart, if it was the last
act of his life, and as dad was beginning to swell up from the fruit he
had eaten, I thought he better ride in an open cart, cause in a carriage
he might swell up so we couldn’t get him out of the door when we got to
the hotel, so I hired the negro, got dad in the cart, and we started,
but the ox walked so slow I was afraid we would never get dad there
alive, so I told the negro dad had the cholera, and that settled, for
he kicked the slats of the ox in with his heels, and the ox bellowed and
run away, and the negro turned pale from fright, and I guess the runaway
ride on the cobble stone pavement was what saved dad’s life, for the
swelling in dad’s inside began to go down, and when we got to the hotel
he got out of the cart alone, and I knew he was better, for he shook
himself, gulluped up wind, and said, “You think you are smart, don’t
you?” So I will close.

Yours,

Hennery.

[Illustration: The ox bellowed and run away 382]





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