BY THE SAME AUTHOR
The College Widow, In Pastures New, Knocking the Neighbors, Fables in Slang
Illustrated by John T. McCutcheon
GARDEN CITY NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 1914
Copyright, 1912, 1913, by COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE
Copyright, 1914, by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO.
All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian
The New Fable of the Private Agitator and What He Cooked Up 3
The New Fable of the Speedy Sprite 23
The New Fable of the Intermittent Fusser 43
The New Fable of the Search for Climate 62
The New Fable of the Father Who Jumped In 83
The New Fable of the Uplifter and His Dandy Little Opus 100
The New Fable of the Wandering Boy and the Wayward Parent 119
The New Fable of What Transpires After the Wind-up 137
The Dream That Came Out with Much to Boot 155
The New Fable of the Toilsome Ascent and the Shining Table-Land 171
The New Fable of the Aerial Performer, the Buzzing Blondine, and the Daughter of Mr. Jackson 193
The New Fable of Susan and the Daughter and the Granddaughter, and then Something Really Grand 212
The New Fable of the Scoffer Who Fell Hard and the Woman Sitting By 237
The New Fable of the Lonesome Camp on the Frozen Heights 257
The New Fable of the Marathon in the Mud and the Laurel Wreath 281
"You are entitled to One Hundred Thousand Dollars," murmurs the stealthy Promoter. Frontispiece
Every time he sauntered carelessly across the porch, he gave a correct Imitation of a troop of Cavalry going over a Wooden Bridge 43
Father came in and took one look and said: "Not for Mine! I won't stand for any Puss Willow being grafted on to our Family Tree" 83
He was dazed and horrified to find himself suddenly subjected to the demoralizing Influences of the Small Town 119
Nearly every evening the Tradesman would back up to the Student Lamp and put in a delirious half-hour with the Views 155
He liked to tow something that would cause the Oyster Forks to pause in midair and the Catty Ones to reach for their Hardware 193
He tore up the Medal Score, gave all the Clubs to the Caddy ... lifted a grimy Paw and uttered the Vow of Renunciation 237
He talked Numbers to himself as he sped along and mumbled over the important Letters he was about to dictate 281
THE NEW FABLE OF THE PRIVATE AGITATOR AND WHAT HE COOKED UP
Ambition came, with Sterling Silver Breast-Plate and Flaming Sword, and sat beside a Tad aged 5. The wee Hopeful lived in a Frame House with Box Pillars in front and Hollyhocks leading down toward the Pike.
"Whither shall I guide you?" asked Ambition. "Are you far enough from the Shell to have any definite Hankering?"
"I have spent many Hours brooding over the possibilities of the Future," replied the Larva. "I want to grow up to be a Joey in a Circus. I fairly ache to sit in a Red Wagon just behind the Band and drive a Trick Mule with little pieces of Looking Glass in the Harness. I want to pull Mugs at all the scared Country Girls peeking out of the Wagon Beds. The Town Boys will leave the Elephant and trail behind my comical Chariot. In my Hour of Triumph the Air will be impregnated with Calliope Music and the Smell of Pop-Corn, modified by Wild Animals."
Ambition went out to make the proper Bookings with Destiny. When he came back the Boy was ten years old.
"We started wrong," whispered Ambition, curling up in the cool grass near the Day-Dreamer. "The Trick Mule and the Red Cart are all very well for little Fraidy-Cats and Softies, but a brave Youth of High Spirit should tread the Deck of his own Ship with a Cutlass under his Red Sash. Aye, that is Blood gauming up the Scuppers, but is the Captain chicken-hearted? Up with the Black Flag! Let it be give and take, with Pieces of Eight for the Victor!"
So it was settled that the Lad was to hurry through the Graded Schools and then get at his Buccaneering.
But Ambition came back with a revised Program. "You are now Fifteen Years of Age," said the Wonderful Guide with the glittering Suit. "It is High Time that you planned a Noble Career, following a Straight Course from which there shall be no Deviation. The Pirate is a mere swaggering Bravo and almost Unscrupulous at times. Why not be a great Military Commander? The Procedure is Simple. Your Father gives the Finger to the Congressman and then you step off the Boat at West Point. Next thing you know, you are wearing a Nobby Uniform right out on the Parade Ground, while bevies of Debutantes from New York City and other Points admire you for the stern Profile and Military Set-Up. After that you will subdue many Savage Tribes, and then you will march up Pennsylvania Avenue at the head of the whole Regular Army, and the President of the United States will be waiting on the Front Porch of the White House to present you with a jewelled Sword on behalf of a Grateful Nation."
"You are right," said the Stripling. His eyes were like Saucers, and his Nostrils quivered. "I will be Commander-in-Chief, and after I am laid away, with the Cannon booming, the Folks in this very Town will put up a Statue of Me at the corner of Sixth and Main, so the Street-Cars will have to circle to get around it."
Consequently, when he was in his 21st Year, he was sitting at a high Desk in an Office watching the Birds on a Telegraph Wire. The Knowledge he had acquired at the two Prep Schools before being pushed into the Fresh Air ahead of Time had not made him round-shouldered. He was a likely Chap, but he wore no Plumes.
He became dimly conscious that Ambition was squatted on the Stool next to him.
"Up to this time we have been Dead Wrong," said the Periodical Visitor. "There is only one Prize worth winning and that is the Love of the Niftiest Nectarine that ever came down a Crystal Stairway from the Celestial Regions to grace this dreary World with her Holy Presence. Yes, I mean the One you passed this morning—the One with her hair in a Net and the Cameo Brooch. Why not annex her by Legal Routine and settle down in a neat Cottage purchased from the Building and Loan Association? You could raise your own Vegetables. Go to it."
Four years elapse. Our Hero now has everything. The jerry-built home of the Early Bungalow Period stands up bravely under the Mortgage. Little Dorothy is suspended in a Jump Chair on the Veranda facing Myrtle Avenue, along which the Green Cars run direct to City Hall Square. The Goddess is in the kitchen trying to make preserves out of Watermelon Rinds, with the White House Cook Book propped open in front of her. Friend Husband is weeding the Azaleas and grieving over the failure of the Egg-Plant.
He finds himself gently prodded, and there is Ambition once more at his Elbow.
"You are entitled to One Hundred Thousand Dollars," murmurs the stealthy Promoter. "Why should some other Citizen have his Coal-Bin right in the House while you carry it from a Shed? Your Wife should sit at her own Dinner Table and make signs at the Maid. And as you ride to your Work with the other dead-eyed Cattle and see all those Strong-Arm Johnnies coming out of their Brick Mansions to hop into their own Broughams and Coupes, have you not asked yourself why you are in the Horse-Cars with the Plebes when you might be in a Private Rig with the Patricians?"
For, wot ye, Gentle Reader, all this unwound from the Reel before the first Trolley Car climbed a Hill or the first Horseless Carriage came chugging sternly up the Boulevard.
So Ambition received special Instructions to make Our Hero worth $100,000.
Those were the days of tall Hustling: If he saw an Opening six inches wide, he held it with his Foot until he could insert his Elbow, and then he braced his Shoulder, and the first thing you knew he was on the Inside demanding a fair cut of the Swag.
The Golden Rule received many a Jolt, but he adhered strictly to the old and favorite Admonition: If you want Yours, take a short piece of Lead Pipe and go out and Collect.
On a certain January First he made a careful Invoice. All the Hard-Earned Kale dropped into the Mining Companies or loaned to Relatives of Wife he marked off and put under the Head of Gone but not Forgotten. He was a True Business Guy. Even after subtracting all Cats and Dogs he could still total the magnificent Sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars.
When he looked at this Mound of Currency, he felt like a Vag and a Pauper. For he had climbed to the table-lands of High Finance and taken a peek at the Steam-Roller methods of the Real Tabascos.
"Make it a Million," said Ambition, leaning across the Table and tapping nervously. "Are you going to be satisfied with a Station Wagon and a Colored Boy when you might have a long-waisted Vehicle with two pale Simpsons in Livery on the Box? When you go into your Club and see the Menials kow-towing to a cold-looking Party with rippling Chins who seems to favor his Feet, you know that he gets the Waving Palms and the Frankincense because he is a Millionaire. You and the other financial Gnats are admitted simply to make a Stage Setting for the Big Squash."
"I always said that when I got a Hundred Thousand I'd take a long Vacation in Europe and learn how to order a Meal," suggested Our Hero, holding out weakly.
"When you came back you would find your hated Rival on the Hill with the Batteries turned against you. Camp on the Job and work straight toward the High Mark. And remember that anybody with less than a Million is a Two-Spot in a soiled Deck."
From that day the Piking ceased. No more of the dinky trafficking of the Retailer. He went out and bought Public Service Utilities on Nerve, treated them with Aqua Pura by the Hogshead, and created Wealth by purely lithographic Methods. And, if he wanted to reason out a Deal with a contrary-minded Gazook, he began the Negotiations by soaking the Adversary behind the Ear and frisking him before he came to.
A Fairy Wand had been waved above the snide Bungalow, and it was now a Queen Anne Chateau dripping with Dew-dads of Scroll Work and congested with Black Walnut. The Goddess took her Mocha in the Feathers, and a Music Teacher came twice each week to bridge the awful chasm between Dorothy and Chopin. Dinner had been moved up to Milking Time. Sweetbreads and Artichokes came into the Lives of the Trio thus favored by Fortune.
One day the busy Thimble-Rigger took his Helpmate into the lonesome Library and broke the glad Tidings to her.
"I have unloaded all of my Cripples," he said. "They have been wished on to a Group of Philanthropists in New England. Sound the glad Tocsin. I have a Million in my Kick."
So she began packing the huge Saratogas and reading the Folders on Egypt and the Riviera. He sat in his Den pulling at a long black Excepcionale. Through the bluish clouds of Smoke came that old familiar Voice.
"Let the Missus and the Heiress do the European Thing," said Ambition. "You stick around. Wait for Black Friday. Then get busy at the Bargain Counter. By and by the new Crop will begin to move, and Money will creep out of the Yarn Stockings and a few Wise Gazabes will cop all the Plush. In every Palm Room there are more Millionaires than Palms. But the Big Round Table over by the Fountain is always reserved by Oscar for the Lad who can show Ten Millions."
The Ocean Greyhound moved out past Sandy Hook with the Family and all the Maids on board, but Papa remained behind to sharpen his Tools and get ready for another Killing.
Every time he was given a Crimp in the Rue de la Paix he caught even by leading a new Angora up the Chute and into the Shambles.
When the fully matured Goddess and the radiant Heroine of the latest International Alliance came home with the French Language and two tons of Glad Raiment, they found themselves reuning with the Magnate at the big Table over by the Fountain.
Our Hero was now sleeping in a Bed almost twelve feet wide, with a silk Tent over it. One Morning he found the Companion of many Years sitting on the edge of the Mattress.
"Again?" asked the Multi-Millionaire. "What next?"
"The Exercises up to this Time have been Preliminary," said Ambition. "What is the good of a Bank Roll if you cannot garnish it with the delectable Parsley of Social Eminence? Get a Wiggle on you. Send for the Boys with the Frock Coats and the Soft Hats and let them dig in to their Elbows. Tell the Press Agent to organize a typewriting Phalanx. Assume a few Mortgages on fluttering Newspapers. Lay a Corner-Stone ever and anon. Be Interviewed."
"What are you leading up to?" asked the Financial Giant, a sickly Fear creeping into the Region formerly occupied by his Heart.
"The Logical Finish," replied Ambition, with a reassuring Pat on the Shoulder. "You must go to the Senate. The White Palace, suitable for entertaining purposes, now awaits you in Washington. The Bulb Lights glow dimly above the Porte Cochere. A red Carpet invites you to climb the Marble Stairway and spread yourself all over the Throne. On a Receiving Night, when the perfumed Aliens in their Masquerade Suits rally around the Punch Bowl, your Place will resemble the Last Act of something by Klaw & Erlanger. You will play Stud with the Makers of History and be seen leaving the Executive Mansion."
This Line of Talk landed him. He Fell for it. That year the Christmas Tree drooped with valuable Gifts for the Boys who stood after they were hitched.
He went up to Washington with an eviscerated Check-Book in his Pocket and a faint Odor of Scandal in his Wake, but he was a certified Servant of the People. His Cut Flowers were the Talk in Official Circles. The most Exclusive consented to flirt with his Wine Cellar.
To a mere Outsider it looked as if Ambition had certainly boosted his Nobs to the final Himalayan Peak of Human Happiness. He had a House as big as a Hospital. The Hallways were cluttered with whispering Servants of the most immaculate and grovelling Description. His Wife and the Daughter and the Cigarette-Holder she had picked up in Europe figured in the Gay Life of the Nation's Capital every Night and went to see a Nerve Specialist every Day. The whole Bunch rode gaily on the Top Wave of the Social Swim, with a Terrapin as an Escort and a squad of Canvas-Back Ducks as Body-Guard.
Notwithstanding all which, Father was the sorest Hard-Shell that motored along Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Dime Denouncers printed his Picture, saying that he was owned by the Interests and hated the sight of a Poor Working Girl. When the High Class continuous Show in the Senate Chamber showed signs of flopping and the Press Gallery became impatient, some Alkali Statesman of the New School would arise in his Place and give our Hero a Turning-Over, concluding with a faithful Pen-Picture of the Dishonored Grave marked by a single Headstone, chiseled as follows: "Here lies a Burglar."
When he went traveling, he had his Food smuggled into the Drawing-Room. He knew if he went drilling through the Pullmans, some of the Passengers who had seen the Cartoons might recognize him as the notorious Malefactor.
One day, while he was cowering in a dark corner of his Club to get away from the pesky Reporters, he was joined by the Trouble-Maker.
"I gave you the wrong Steer," said Ambition, now much subdued. "You are in Dutch. Beat it! All the Rough-Necks down by the Round-House and the fretful Simps along every R.F.D. Route are getting ready to interfere in the Affairs of Government. The Storm Clouds of Anarchy are lowering. In other words, the new Primary Law has begun to do business. Every downtrodden Mokus owing $800 on a $500 House is honing for a Chance to Hand it to somebody wearing a Seal-Skin Overcoat. From now on, seek Contentment, Rural Quietude, and a cinch Rate of 5 Per Cent. on all your Holdings."
So Ambition, after leading him hither and yon, finally conducted him to the swell Country House surrounded by Oaks and winding Drives and Sunken Gardens.
Far from the Hurly-Burly he settled down among his Boston Terriers and Orchids and Talking-Machines and allowed Old Age to ripen and mellow him into a Patriarch of the benevolent Pattern.
At the suggestion of an expensive Specialist, he went in for Golf.
After he had learned to Follow Through and keep within 100 yards of the Fair Green, he happened to get mixed up in a Twosome one day with a walking Rameses who had graduated from the Stock Exchange soon after the Crime of '73. This doddering Shell of Humanity looked as if a High Wind would blow him into the Crick. When he swung at the Pill, you expected to hear something Snap.
Our Hero had about 10 Years on the Ancient, and it looked like a Compote. But the Antique managed to totter around the Course, playing short but safe, always getting Direction and keeping away from the Profanity Pits.
He never caught up with Colonel Bogey, but he had enough Class to trim our Hero and collect 6 Balls.
Ambition rode home with the unhappy Loser in the $12,000 Limousine.
"Buck up, Old Top," said the faithful Prompter. "Fasten your Eye on the Ball and don't try to Force. He is sure to blow up sooner or later. Take another Lesson to-morrow morning and then publish your Defi in the afternoon."
He never had been strong enough to stand off Ambition. So next Day he took on Old Sure-Thing again and got it in the same Place.
No wonder. The Octogenarian was of Scotch Descent. He was the Color of an Army Saddle. He never smiled except when the Kilties came on tour. His Nippie consisted of a tall Glass about half full and then a little Well Water.
A plain American Business Man with a York State Ancestry had a fat Chance against this Caledonian frame-up.
But that same persistent Ambition kept sending him back to the Ring to take another Trouncing.
One day he failed to show up at the Club House. The Trained Nurse, who fanned him during the final Hours, never suspected. But the Caddy-Master knew that he had died of a Broken Heart.
MORAL: Those who travel the hardest are not always the first to arrive.
THE NEW FABLE OF THE SPEEDY SPRITE
One Monday Morning a rangy and well-conditioned Elfin of the Young Unmarried Set, yclept Loretta, emerged into the Sunlight and hit the Concrete Path with a ringing Heel.
This uncrowned Empress of the 18th Ward was a she-Progressive assaying 98 per cent. pure Ginger.
Instead of trailing the ever onward Parade, she juggled the Baton at the head of the Push.
In the crisp introductory hours of the Wash-Day already woven into the Plot, Loretta trolleyed herself down into the Noise Belt.
She went to the office of the exclusive Kennel Club and entered the Chow Ki-Yi for the next Bench Show. At the Clearing House for K. M.'s she filed a loud call for a Cook who could cook. Then she cashed a check, ordered a pound of Salted Nuts (to be delivered by Special Wagon at once), enveloped a ball of Ice Cream gooed with Chocolate, and soon, greatly refreshed, swept down on a Department Store.
A Chenille Massacre was in full swing on the 3d floor, just between the Porch Furniture and Special Clothing for Airmen. Loretta took a run and jump into the heaving mass of the gentler Division. She came out at 10.53 with her Sky Piece badly listed to Port and her toes flattened out, but she was 17 cents to the Good. Three hearty Cheers!
So she went over to an exhibition of Paintings, breathing through her Nose for at least an Hour as she studied the new Masterpieces of the Swedo-Scandinavian School. Each looked as if executed with a Squirt Gun by a Nervous Geek on his way to a Three Days Cure. Just the same, every Visitor with a clinging Skirt and a Mushroom Hat gurgled like a Mountain Stream.
In company with four other Seraphines, plucked from the Society Col., she toyed with a Fruit Salad and Cocoa at a Tea Room instituted by a Lady in Reduced Circumstances for the accommodation of those who are never overtaken by Hunger.
The usual Battle as to which should pick up the Check and the same old Compromise. A Dutch Treat with Waitress trying to spread it four ways and the Auditing Committee watching her like a Hawk. Then a 10-cent Tip, bestowed as if endowing Princeton, and the Quartet representing the Flower of America's Young Womanhood was once more out in the Ozone, marching abreast with shining Faces and pushing white-haired Business Men off into the Sweepings.
Loretta went to a place with a glass Cover on it and had herself photoed in many a striking Posture. With the Chin tilted to show the full crop of Cervical Vertebrae and her Search Lights aimed yearningly at the top of the Singer Building, she had herself kidded into believing that she was a certified Replica of Elsie Ferguson.
As a member of the Board of Visitation she hurried out to the Colored Orphan Asylum to check up the Picks and watch them making Card-Board Mottoes.
After that she had nothing to do except fly home and complete a Paper on the Social Unrest in Spain, after which she backed into the Spangles, because Father was bringing an old Stable Companion to dinner.
In the evening she took Mother to a Travel Lecture. The colored Slides were mingled with St. Vitus Glimpses of swarming Streets and galloping Gee-Gees. They came home google-eyed and had to feel their way into the Domicile.
Tuesday A.M. dawned overcast with shifting winds from the N.E.
Loretta pried herself away from the third Waffle in order to hike to the corner and jack up Mr. Grocer about the Kindling Wood that he had sent them for Celery.
She had the Druggist 'phone the Florist, and then rewarded him by purchasing three Stamps.
At 9.30 the Committee to arrange for the Summer Camp of the In-Wrong Married Women whirled through the untidy Suburbs in a next year's Motor Car, and Loretta was nowhere except right up on the front Seat picking out the Road.
Once a year the Ladies of the Lumty-Tum went out with their embroidered Sand-Bags and swung on their Gentlemen Friends for enough Dough to pay the Vacation Expenses of Neglected Wives and Kiddies.
In every community there is an undiscovered Triton thoroughly posted on the Renaissance of the Reactionaries and the recrudescence of the Big Six Baby with the up-twist that has Whiskers on it. This Boy is so busy regulating both Parties and both Leagues that when it comes time for his Brood to take an Outing, some ignorant Outsider has to step in and unbelt.
After letting contracts for Milk and Vegetables, Loretta and the other specimens of our Best People zipped over to the Country Club, breaking into silvery Laughter every time the Speedometer made a Face at the Sign-Board which said that the Speed Limit was 12 Miles an Hour.
They showed a few milk-fed Springers how to take a Joke, and then played an 18-hole Foursome which was more or less of a Grewsome.
Then a little Tea on the Terrace with Herbert lolling by in his Flannels, just as you read about it in Mrs. Humphry Ward.
A buzzing sound dying off into the distance, a trail of Blue Smoke in the fading Twilight, and little Bright Eyes is back in her own Boudoir packing herself into a new set of Glads.
That evening she had four throbbing Roscoes curled up among her Sofa Pillows.
She had to bat up short and easy ones for this Bunch, as they came from the Wholesale District.
When they began to distribute political Bromides, the artful Minx sat clear out on the edge of the Chair and let on to be simply pop-eyed with Ardor.
Shortly after 12 she turned the last night-blooming Cyril out into the Darkness and did a graceful Pirouet to the Husks.
On Wednesday morning, between the Ham and Eggs, she glanced at her double-entry Date Book and began to gyrate.
On the way down-town she stopped in and had herself measured for a new mop of Hair.
Thence to the Beauty Works to have the peerless Frontispiece ironed out and the Nails ivoried.
When she appeared at the Sorority Tiffin at 1 P.M. she was dolled for fair.
The Response in behalf of the Alumnae of Yamma Gamma was a neat Affair.
After swiping the Table Decorations, she and two Companions hurried to a Mat. It was a Performance given under the auspices of the Overhanging Domes, and the Drama was one that no Commercial Manager had the Nerve to unload on the Public. The Plot consisted of two victims of Neurasthenia sitting at a Table and discussing Impaired Circulation.
That evening she helped administer the Anesthetic to a Seminary Snipe who was getting into the Life Boat with a hard-wood Bachelor grabbed off at the 11th Hour.
Loretta wept softly while straightening out the Veil, in accordance with Tradition. Later on she did an Eddie Collins and landed the Bride's Bouquet. At 11.30 she had the Best Man backed into a Corner, slipping him that Old One about his Hair matching his Eyes.
It is now Thursday morning and who is this in the Gym whanging the Medicine Ball at the Lady Instructor with the Face?
It is Loretta.
Behold her at 10.30, after an icy Splash and a keen rub with a raspy Towel.
She has climbed back into the dark-cloth Effect and is headed for the Studio of Madam to grapple with the French Lesson.
After that she will do nothing before Lunch Time except try on White Shoes and fondle some Hats that are being sacrificed at $80 per throw.
The Suffrage Sisters rounded up Thursday afternoon. A longitudinal Brigadieress in the army of Intellectuality did the main Spiel, with Loretta as principal Rooter.
The Speaker was there with the Pep and with the Vocabulary. Otherwise she was a Naughty-Naughty. The costume was a plain Burial Shroud, the only Ornament being a 4-carat Wen just above the Neckband.
At 4 P.M., after the Male Sex had been ground to a Hamburger, our little Playmate escaped to a Picture Show, but not until she had duly fortified herself with the nourishing Marshmallow.
There was nothing on the Cards that night except a Subscription Dance, which got under way at 10 P.M. and never subsided until the cold Daylight began to spill in at the Windows.
Loretta did 27 out of a possible 29. Percentage .931—six better than Bogey and 400 points ahead of Ty Cobb.
Nevertheless and notwithstanding, don't imagine that she failed to come up for Air on Friday Morning.
Life is real, Life is earnest, and she had a Gown to be shortened up and re-surveyed around the Horse Shoe Curve, just as soon as she could leave the Gloves to be cleaned.
Happening into Automobile Row, she permitted a blond salesman with a Norfolk Jacket to demonstrate the new type of Electric Runabout.
One of the most inexpensive pursuits of the well-dressed Minority is to glide over the Asphalt in a Demonstration car and pretend to be undecided.
She permitted the man to set her down at a Book Shop, where she furtively skinned eight Magazines while waiting for a Chum to pop through the Whirligig Door.
The two went Window-Hopping for an hour. After making Mind Purchases of about $8000 worth of washable Finery edged with Lace, a spirit of Deviltry seized them.
They ordered their Lettuce Sandwiches and diluted Ceylon in a Restaurant where roguish Men-about-Town sat facing the Main Entrance to pipe the pulchritudinous Pippins.
Was it seven or eight Party Calls that she checked from her social Ledger before 4 o'clock? Answer: eight.
Then a swinging Gallop for home. Whilst she had been socializing around, Robert W. Chambers had taken a lead of two Novels on her.
Retiring to a quiet Alcove with four Volumes that were being dissected at the drawing-room Clinics, she took a hack at the first and last Chapter of each. Just enough to protect her against a Fumble if she found herself next to a Book Sharp.
That evening a famous Hungarian Fiddler, accompanied by a warbling Guinea Hen and backed up by sixty Symphonic Heineys wearing Spectacles, was giving a Recital for the True Lovers in a Mammoth Cave devoted to Art.
Loretta had a sneaking preference for the May Irwin School of Expression, but she had to go through with the Saint-Saens Stuff now and then to maintain a Club Standing.
Accordingly she and Mother and poor old dying Father, with no Heart in the Enterprise, were planted well down in Section B, where they could watch Mrs. Leroy Geblotz, who once entertained Nordica, and say "Bravo" at the Psychological Moment.
On Saturday Morning, after she had penned 14 Epistles, using the tall cuneiform Hieroglyphics, she didn't have a blessed thing to do before her 1 o'clock Engagement except drop in at a Flower Show and a Cat Show and have her Palm read by a perfectly fascinating Serpent with a Goatee who had been telling all the Gells the most wonderful things about themselves.
A merry little Group went slumming Saturday afternoon. They attended a Ball Game. Loretta had her Chin over the Railing and evinced a keen Interest, her only Difficulty being that she never knew which Side was at bat.
At dusk she began hanging on the Family Jewels. It was a formal Dinner Party with a list made up by Dun and Bradstreet.
Loretta found herself between an extinct Volcano of Political World and a sappy Fledgling whose Grandfather laid the cornerstone of Brooklyn.
The Dinner was one of those corpseless Funerals, stage-managed by a respectable Lady with a granite Front who had Mayflower Corpuscles moving majestically through her Arterial System.
Loretta was marooned so far from the Live Ones that she couldn't wig-wag for Help. Her C.Q.D. brought no Relief.
She threw about three throes of Anguish before they escaped to the private Gambling Hell.
Here she tucked back her Valenciennes and proceeded to cop a little Pin-Money at the soul-destroying game known as Bridge.
At 11.30 she led a highly connected volunteer Wine Pusher out into the Conservatory and told him she did not think it advisable to marry him until she had learned his First Name.
Shortly after Midnight she blew, arriving at headquarters just in time to participate in a Chafing-Dish Jubilee promoted by only Brother, just back from the Varsity.
She approached the Porcelain in a chastened mood that Sabbath morning. She was thinking of the Night Before and of playing cards for Money.
She remembered the glare of Light from overhead and the tense, eager Faces peering above the Paste-Boards.
Then she recalled, with a sharp catch of the Breath and a little tug of Pain at the Heart, that she had balled herself up at the one Stage and got dummied out of a Grand Slam.
"It would have meant a long pair of the Silk Kind," thought she, as she sighed deeply and turned the cold Faucet.
After Breakfast she took a long Walk up the Avenue as a Bracer.
After which to the Kirk, for she taught a class of Little Girls in the Sunday School, and she had to fake up an Explanation of how Joshua made the Sun stand still, thereby putting herself in the Scratch Division of Explainers, believe us.
She listened to a dainty Boston Sermon, trimmed with Ruching, singing lustily before and after.
Then back home with the solemn Parade to sit among the condemned waiting for that superlative Gorge known as the Sunday Dinner.
While she was waiting, a male Friend dropped in. His costume was a compromise between an English Actor and a hired Mourner.
On Week Days he sat at a Desk dictating Letters and saying that the Matter had been referred to the proper Department.
He looked at Loretta, so calm and cool and collected in her pious Raiment, and the Smile that he summoned was benevolent and almost patronizing.
"I was wondering," said he. "I was wondering if a Girl like you ever gets tired of sitting around and doing nothing."
Loretta did not cackle. She had read in a Book by a Yale Professor that Woman is not supposed to possess the Sense of Humor.
MORAL: The Settlement Campaign is not getting to the real Workers.
THE NEW FABLE OF THE INTERMITTENT FUSSER
Once a grammar-school Rabbit, struggling from long Trousers toward his first brier-wood Pipe, had Growing Pains which he diagnosed as the pangs of True Love.
The Target was a dry-seasoned Fannie old enough to be his Godmother.
She was a Post-Graduate who was keeping herself on Earth by running to the Drug-Store every few minutes.
The Eye-Brows were neatly blocked out by some Process unknown to the writer, and she had a Shape that could be revised ad lib.
An Expert would have Made her at a glance, but the Cub fell for the Scenery and Mechanical Effects.
He had sketched a little synopsis of the Future. After waiting 8 years, until she had unpetaled into the perfect bloom of Womanhood and he was wearing a Full Beard, he would take her by the Long Glove and lead her off into Dreamland.
Just to show how one of those pinfeather Passions may be shunted onto a Siding and left among the Dog-Fennel, when the Subject of this Sketch was aetat 22, he was picking them out of the Air in the Left Garden at the State University. Fannie (she of the purchased Pallor) was thoroughly married to a Veterinary with the Drug Habit.
Soon after recovering from the Pip, known in Medical Parlance as the Spooney Infantum, he began to glory in the friendship of an incipient Amazon who wore a Blazer and walked like a Policeman.
She did not hamper her fibrous Physique with any excess Harness that might pinch when she essayed a full St. Andrew's Swipe with a wooden Club. And she had one lower octave of Pipes, like a Brakeman on the Erie.
There comes a brief Period in the Veal Epoch of every Sentimental Tommy when the only real Cutie is one who can propel a Canoe and throw Overhand.
So Walter, such being the baptismal Handicap, often thought it would be Sweet Billiards to keep house with the she-Acrobat for 30 or 40 years, because when they were tired of sitting in the House they could go into the Front Yard and play Ketch.
He was just at the rickety Age when the Gams refuse to cooerdinate. Every time he sauntered carelessly across the porch at a Summer Hotel, he gave a correct Imitation of a troop of Cavalry going over a Wooden Bridge at full Gallop.
He had a way of backing into Potted Plants.
Each Morning was clouded by the task of picking out a Cravat that would be of the same Radio-Activity as the Socks. And all through the waking hours he carried with him a faint and sickly Realization that his Parents did not understand him.
One day he stood before a kind-faced Registrar and matriculated. Branded as a regular Freshman, he went back to his little Den and put a news-stand Photo of Lillian Russell between two Pennants.
The whalebone Divinity in the Home Town passed out of his Life. He told himself that he would be true to Miss Russell and all the other Members of her sprightly Profession.
The emotional side of his unfolding Nature began to nourish itself on Song Hits, and he slept each night with his Banjo folded tightly to his Bosom.
He became acquainted with a Sophomore who once sat near Trixie Friganza in a Parlor Car. One night Alice Nielsen looked directly at the Box in which he was seated with the other Fraters of the Ippy Ki Yi. In fact, his Life became crowded with tingling Experiences.
The collection of Cigarette Pictures made him acquainted with many Celebrities. His intimacy with them grew apace as he developed a bookish appetite for Sunday Newspapers.
He danced with the local Chickadees, but all the time his Heart was far away, in the Dramatic Column.
Suddenly he found that he was an Upper Classman, to whom each Neophyte touched the Leaf of Lettuce balanced on top of the Head, ostensibly as a Cap.
He became endowed with the divine Right to hit himself on the Leg with a Walking Stick and sit on a hallowed Fence.
Simultaneous-like, he became conscious of the fact that the Footlight Favorites were no longer worthy of him. He began to hold long and serious Conversaziones with the Sister of a Prof.
She was an aerial Performer who wore powerful Spectacles, in which any one standing before her could see an Image of himself, greatly reduced.
She looked as if she had been sitting up all night, writing a History of Civilization.
Walter found himself uplifted every time they were left together in the Library. Sometimes she took him up so high that he became dizzy.
He now began to prog as follows: He and the Lady Emerson would be legally welded just after Commencement and spend the Honeymoon at some lively Chautauqua.
The grinding Wheels and raucous buying and selling of the Marts of Trade seemed faint and far away when he roamed through the Cloisters with Elfreda. He was in the moulting Stage, and it seemed to him that Success in Life would consist of going about reeking of Culture.
A Degree looked bigger than a Dividend.
He never had heard tell of such a thing as a Coal-Bill or a Special Assessment for a Sewer.
The vision of Elfreda floated out through a Transom three days after he drew a Desk in the extensive Works owned by the Governor.
He was too busy keeping his Head above the Churning Waves to bother with Speculative Philosophy or write Letters studded with Latin Phrases, like Currants in an English Cake.
All the cringing Peons in the big Stockade hated him because he had a Drag. It was up to him to deliver the Merchandise and demonstrate that he was a Human Being rather than a College Graduate.
In the meantime, the Spectators were hoping that he would Skid and go into the Fence.
He began to wear his Frat pin on his undershirt, and he had no time to frivol away on the fluffy Gender, because he expected to be sitting in the Directors' Room in a couple of years, talking it over with Henry C. Frick.
So he waved aside the Square Envelopes and allowed himself to be billed all over the Macaroon Circuit as a Woman-Hater.
Of course he girled in a conservative way, but he merely trailed. He did not buzz, or throw himself at the fallen Handkerchief, or run to get the Wraps, or do any of the Stuff that marks the true and bounden Captive.
When he found himself in the cushioned Lair of a Feline, he would lean back in perfect Security, knowing that even if she exercised her entire repertoire of Wiles, she could not warm the Dead Heart nor stir into life the fallen Rose Leaves of Romance.
All the time she was spilling her familiar line of Chatter, he would look at her with an arid and patronizing Smile, such as the Harvard Man produces when he finds himself in immediate juxtaposition to some human Caterpillar from west of Pittsburgh.
Very often, when the registered Dolly Grays got together for a Bon-Bon Orgy, some one would say, "Oh, Crickey, ain't he the regular Cynic?"
Another might suggest that he was hiding a great Sorrow, his whole Existence having been embittered by the faithlessness of some Creature.
Then they would take a Vote and decide that he was a plain Mutt.
The Chauncey who refuses to reciprocate will excite more Conversation than a regular Union Lover, but it is Lucky for him that he does not hear all the Conversation.
Walter at the age of twenty-five thought he was too old and sedate to be a Diner-Out and a Dancing Devil.
When he was 28, however, he had become Hep to the large and luminous Truth that the man who sits in his Lodgings reading Dumas may overlook many a Bet.
He noted on every Hand the nice-looking Boys who turned in about 10.40 and avoided the Pitfalls of Society, and most of them were pulling down as much as $14 a week.
He recalled what this humble Chronicler had said away back in 1899: "Early to Bed and Early to Rise and you will meet very few of our Best People."
He looked over the Lay-Out and decided that it was just as easy to mingle with the Face Cards as to sleep in the Discards.
He saw many a Light Weight with a gilt sign exposed on Main Street and no Assets except a Suit with a Velvet Collar, a pair of indestructible dancing Legs, and just enough intellectual Acumen to stir Tea without spilling it.
So he decided to have a try at the Gay Life and worm his way into the Safety Deposit Vaults via the Parlor Route.
A worthy Resolve and one often taken.
If a Friend of the People can capitalize his Vocal Cords, why should not the little Brother of the Rich put his undying Nerve into the Market and get what he can on it?
The Captain of Finance is usually owned, Body and Soul, by the other Half of the Sketch. She may be a head bell-ringer in the D. A. R. or the blue-pencil Queen of the Golden Pheasants, but in a vast majority of cases she has not the Looks to back up the Title.
Even the Buckingham Palace manner and the Arctic Front cannot buffalo the idle Spectator into overlooking the fact that she belongs to the genus Quince.
She may not be a Beaut, but it is She who stands at the main entrance to the Big Tent and tears off seat coupons.
Walter knew that if he wished to be mentioned all over town as a Sure-Enough, his passport to the Inner Circle of Hot Potatoes would have to be vised by Patroness No. 1.
He began to work in the Secret Service of the Chosen Few and was First Aid to the Chaperons.
A Hard Life, say you? Not a tall—not a tall.
He was entirely surrounded by Fairy Lamps and sweet-smelling Flowers.
Life became a kaleidoscopic Aurora Borealis.
When the first Crash of Music came through the hothouse Palms, Walter would be out on the Waxen Floor with his hair in a Braid.
Through the long watches of the night he played Blonde against Brunette and then went home with his Time-Card bearing the official O.K.
He swam among the floating Hooks and side-stepped the Maternal Traps, until the compilers of Marital Statistics had his name in the list marked "Nothing Doing."
The Dope on him seemed to be that he was Immune and Jinx-Proof.
After he led one of them back to a Divan and fed her an Ice, it was a case of "Good Night, Miss Mitchell."
Truly, a Bachelor flown with Insolence and Pride is the favorite Mark for the Bow-and-Arrow Kid.
For every weather-beaten Beau and Ballroom Veteran there is waiting somewhere in Ambuscade a keen little Diana with the right kind of Ammunition.
One night he went to a Small Dance in his regular Henry Miller suit and wearing a tired look around the Eyes. He counted these minor Functions a dreadful Bore.
Over in a corner sat a half-portion Damosel who had come to town on a Visit. Her name was Violet, and she looked the Part.
She didn't know who was running for President or what Miss Pankhurst said about Suffrage, but she had large belladonna Orbs, with Danger lurking in their limpid depths.
She was just at the Age when any girl who is not actually Deformed looks fair to middling, while the real Dinger, with the Tresses and the Complexion and the gleaming white Shoulders and the Parisian figure, is right there with a full equipment for breaking up Families.
Old Dare-Devil Dick, the Hero of 1000 Flirtations, was sitting out one of the Dances recently condemned by Press and Pulpit.
He became aware of the presence of something Feminine at his immediate right. He took a cautious Look and beheld a timid Debutante, sparkling with the Dew and waiting to be plucked.
She gave him a frightened Smile and lamped him very slowly.
Suddenly he felt himself wafted away on a cloud of Purple Perfumery.
She had put the Sign on him without lifting a Finger.
As she circled away, clutched by a rude Collegian, he lay back helpless, tied in a True Lovers' Knot.
Later in the evening he met her. He sat alongside of her in an agony of confused Bliss, with a Temperature of 104 and the Vocal Chords entirely paralyzed. And yet, as a rule, he was just as reliable as a Phonograph.
All the way home that night he was Bleeding freely.
At 8 the next Morning he began sending Flowers.
It was a terrible Case. The old ones seem to suffer more.
He followed her like a trained Spaniel.
When she seemed cold and distant, he would hurry to his Room and pull a private Brain-Storm. For many Hours thereafter the Map of the World would have a Black Border around it.
Next day she would relent, and accept his Jack Roses, and he would run around and around in a Circle, gurgling and clapping his Hands.
He was on the waiting list for the Nut Club. Our Old Friend was flooey in the Filbert. The Love Bacilli swarmed in every part of his Being.
When she found that she had him sure enough Lariated, she eased up on her part of the Work and began a public demonstration of Woman's Power and Dominion over the Brute Creation. He was meeker than a Federal Office-Holder.
Any time she snapped her Fingers, he sat up and Begged.
Then she used to carry on with certain Men against whom he had warned her. It amused her to know that he was walking up and down outside, chewing the White Gloves.
His friends tried to save him. They demonstrated, with a Pencil and a Piece of Paper, that she was just an ordinary, everyday Baby Doll with a Second Reader intelligence and the Spiritual Caliber of a Humming Bird. They proved that exactly the same kind were scattered through every Department Store, working for $6 a week.
When they got through knocking, he hurried over and told her everything and promised her that if she would marry him, not one of these Snakes would ever be permitted to enter the House.
He writhed on the Rug and said that if she didn't whisper that One Little Word, it would be a case of Satin Lining and Silver Handles for little Wallie.
She looked out the Window and yawned slightly and then said, "Oh, very well."
He rode home standing up in a Taxicab, while she was showing the Maids a lozenge-shaped Ring that set him back 450 Bucks.
MORAL: The higher they fly the harder they fall.
THE NEW FABLE OF THE SEARCH FOR CLIMATE
Once there was a Gentleman of the deepest dye who was all out of Kelter. He felt like a list of Symptoms on the outside of a Dollar Bottle. He looked like the Picture you see in the Almanac entitled, "Before Taking."
When his Liver was at Perihelion, he had a Complexion suggesting an Alligator Pear, and his Eye-Balls should have been taken out and burnished.
He could see little dirigible Balloons drifting about in all parts of the deep-blue Ether. His Tummy told him that some one had moved in and was giving a Chafing-Dish Party. Furthermore, a red-hot Awl had been inserted under each Shoulder Blade.
When every Tree was a Weeping Willow and the Sun went slinking behind a Cloud, his only definite Yearn was to crawl into a dark Cellar with Fungus on the Walls and do the Shuffle, after making a sarcastic Will that disinherited all Relatives and Friends.
This poor, stricken Gloomer had time-tabled himself all over the Universe, trying to close in on a Climate that would put him on his Feet and keep him Fit as a Fiddle.
He had de-luxed himself to remote Spots that were supplied with Steam Heat and French Cooking, together with Wines, Liquors, and Cigars, but no matter what the Altitude or the Relative Humidity, he felt discouraged every Morning when he awoke and remembered that presently he would have to rally his Vital Forces and walk all the way to the Tub.
It was too bad that a Clubman, so eminent Socially, should be thus shot to Rags and Fragments. Could aught be more Piteous than to Witness a proud and haughty Income tottering along the Street, searching in vain for a Workingman's Appetite? When one with a spending possibility of $2 a Minute is told by a Specialist to drink plenty of Hot Water, the Words seem almost Ironic.
His Operating Expenses kept running up, and yet it looked like sheer Waste to lavish so much Collateral on the upkeep of a Physical Swab.
To show you how he worked at recouping his Health, once he spent a whole Summer in Merrie England. He had been told by a Globe-Trotter that One lodging within a mile of Trafalgar Square could hoist unlimited Scotch and yet sidestep the Day After.
The Explanation offered by members of the Royal Alcoholic Society is that the Moisture in the Atmosphere counterbalances or nullifies, so to speak, the interior Wetness.
Also, the normal state of Melancholy is such that even a case of Katzenjammer merely blends in with the surrounding Drabness.
He experimented sincerely with the Caledonian Cure, acquiring a rich sunset Glow, much affected by half-pay Majors and the elderly Toffs who ride in the Row. He began to wear his Arteries on the outside, just like a true son of Albion. This cherry-ripe Facial Tint proves that the Britisher is the most rugged Chap in the World—except when he is in Stockholm.
In fact, if the New York Duds worn by the Yank had been less of a Fit, and he could have schooled himself to look at a Herring without shuddering, he might have rung in as a Resident of the tight little Isle, for he was often Tight.
He learned to like the Smoky Taste and could even take it warm, but still he felt Rocky, and up to 3 P.M. was only about 30 per cent. Human.
One evening in a polite Pub he heard about the wonderful Vin Ordinaire of Sunny France. He was told that the Peasants who irrigated themselves with a brunette Fluid resembling diluted Ink were husky as Beeves and simply staggering with Health.
So he went motoring in the Grape and Chateau District and played Claret both ways from the Middle. Every time the Petrol chariot pulled up in front of a Brasserie, he would call for a Flagon of some rare old Vintage squeezed out the day before.
Then he would go riding at the rate of 82 Kilos an Hour, scooping up the Climate as he scooted along.
Notwithstanding all these brave Efforts to overtake Health, he would feel like a frost-nipped Rutabaga when the matutinal Chanticleer told him that another blue Dawn was sneaking over the Hills.
He began to figure himself a Candidate for a plain white Cot in the Nerve Garage, when he heard of the wonderful Air and Dietary Advantages of Germany. It seemed that the Fatherland was becoming Commercially Supreme and of the greatest Military Importance because every Fritz kept himself saturated with the Essence of Munich.
He could see on the Post-Cards that each loyal subject of Wilhelm was plump and rosy, with Apple Cheeks and a well-defined Awning just below the Floating Ribs, and a Krug of dark Suds clutched in the right Mitt.
All the way from Duesseldorf to Wohlgebaum he played the Circuit of Gardens with nice clean Gravel on the Ground and Dill Pickles festooned among the Caraway Trees. Every time the Military Band began to breathe a new Waltz he would have Otto bring a Tub of the Dark Brew and a Frankfurter about the size of a Sash Weight.
Between pulls he would suspire deeply, so as to get the full assistance of the Climate.
Sometimes he would feel that he was being benefited.
Often at 9 P.M., before taking his final Schnitzel and passing gently into a state of Coma, he would get ready to renounce allegiance to all three of the Political Parties in the U.S.A. and grow one of those U-Shaped Mustaches.
Next Morning, like as not, he would emerge from beneath the Feather Tick and lean against the Porcelain Stove, wondering vaguely if he could live through the Day.
The very Treatment which developed large and coarse-grained Soldiers all through Schleswig-Holstein seemed to make this Son of Connecticut just about as gimpy as a wet Towel.
Undismayed by repeated Failures, he took some Advice, given in a Rathskeller, and went to a Mountain Resort famous for a certain brand of White Vinegar with a colored Landscape on the Label.
It was said that anyone becoming thoroughly acidulated with this noble Beverage would put a Feather into his Granulated Lid and begin to Yodel.
He sat among the snowy Peaks, entirely surrounded by the rarefied Atmosphere so highly boosted in the Hotel Circulars, sampling a tall bottle of every kind ending with "heimer," and yet he didn't seem to get the Results.
At last he headed for the barbaric Region which an unkindly Fate had designated as Home, almost convinced that there was no Climate on the Map which would really adapt itself to all the intricate Peculiarities of his complicated Case.
Often he would be found in the Reception Room just next to the shake-down Parlor.
After reading a few pages in a popular Magazine dated two Years back, he would be admitted to the little inside Room, faintly perfumed with something other than New Mown Hay. Here he would cower before the dollar-a-minute Specialist, who would apply a Dictagraph to the Heart Region and then say, "You are all Run Down."
Next day the Sufferer would collect his folding Trunks and Head-Ache Tablets and Hot-Water Bags and start for Florida or California or the Piney Woods.
Sometimes he would seem to perk up for a Day or two. Enlivened by Hope and a few Dry Martinis, he would move up to a little Table in the shade of the sheltering Candelabrum and tackle the Carte du Jour from Caviar to Cafe Noir.
The Climate would seem to be helping his Appetite.
Within 24 Hours, however, he would be craving only some cold Carbonic and a few Kind Words.
Florida seemed to enervate him. California was too unsettled. Even in the Mountains, his Heart always bothered him after a Hearty Meal. And the Piney Woods only made him Pine more than ever.
Time and again he would curl up in the palatial Drawing-Room at one end of the Sleeper and dream that six Life-Long Friends in deep Black were whispering among the Floral Tributes and putting on Cotton Gloves.
While searching for the Fountain of Youth he would bump into Sympathetic Souls of the kind who infest Observation Cars and hold down Rocking-Chairs in front of Wooden Hotels. These Fellow Voyagers in the realm of Hypochondria would give him various Capsules and Tablets, supposed to be good for whatever Ailed one at the Time.
So eager was he to regain his full vigor and be able to eat and drink everything forbidden by the Doctors, he would fall for every kind of Dope made from Coal Tar.
Even if he had worn Blinders he could not have walked past an Apothecary Shop.
As he moved about he produced a muffled Castanet Effect, for he had a little box of Medicated Bullets in every Pocket.
Yet he was not in Condition.
His Complexion was a Bird's-Eye Maple, and he looked like the Superintendent of a prosperous Morgue.
One Summer Day, when he was only about three jumps ahead of a Cataleptic Convulsion, he had to get on the Cars and take a long ride to inspect some Copper Mines which helped to fatten his impotent Income. The train was bowling through a placid Dairy Region in the Commonwealth regulated by Mr. La Follette.
The Chronic Invalid was in the Buffet, trying to work up a Desire for Luncheon, when suddenly the Car turned a complete Somersault, because a heavy Freight Train had met Number Six head on.
When the Subject of this Treatise came to, he was propped up on the front porch of a Farm House with one Leg in Splints and a kind-faced Lady pressing Cold Applications to the fevered Brow.
He was O.K. except that he would have to lie still for a few Weeks while the Bones did their Knitting.
The good Country Folk would not permit him to be moved. He was dead willing to sink back among the White Pillows and figure the Accident Insurance.
Through the Honeysuckles and Morning-Glories he could see the long slope of Clover Pasture, with here and there a deliberate Cow, and the Steeple of the Reformed Church showing above a distant clump of Soft Maples.
About two hours after emerging from the Trance, he made his customary Diagnosis and discovered that he was nervously shattered and in urgent need of a most heroic Bracer. He beckoned to the president of the local W.C.T.U. and said if they were all out of Scotch, he could do with a full-sized Hooker of any standard Bourbon that had matured in Wood and was not blended.
Nurse readjusted his Pillow and told him that as soon as he came out of the Delirium he could dally with a mug of Buttermilk.
By and by, as he gathered Strength, she would slip him some Weak Tea.
He had heard that in some of these outlying Regions, the Family Sideboard stood for nothing stronger than Mustard, but this was the first time he had met Human Beings who were not on visiting Terms with the Demon Rum.
At the Cocktail Hour he ventured a second Request for any one of the standard Necessities of Life, but Mrs. Peabody read him a Passage from the Family Medicine Book to the effect that Liquor was never to be used except for Snake Bites.
When he ordered the Hired Hand to bring him a large Snake, they gave him a Sleeping Powder and told inquiring Neighbors that he was still out of his Head.
Next day he found himself alive, thanks to a wonderful Constitution.
The Samaritans came and stood around his Couch and jollied him and offered him everything except what he needed.
When he offered to compromise on Drug-Store Sherry, the Daughter of the Household, Luella by name, brought out a colored Chart showing the Interior of a Moderate Drinker's Stomach. After that he was afraid to Chirp.
Even the Cigarette was Taboo among these Good People, although Father could Fletcherize about 10 cents' worth of Licorice Plug each working Day.
Far removed from the Lad with the White Apron, and with nothing to inhale except Ozone, the unhappy Bon Vivant was compelled to put up with these most unnatural Conditions.
When he was tired of dozing he could take his choice of any kind of Milk and read a few more pages of Robinson Crusoe.
Then ensued the Miracle.
His Nerves began to unspiral themselves and lie down. He began to sit up and listen for the Toot of the Dinner Horn.
As soon as he could hobble on Crutches they put him on the Hay Scales, and he thought the Thing was out of Whack, for he had taken on 4 Pounds.
The Fresh Garden Truck seemed superior to any that he had been able to obtain in the Best Restaurants.
What was more amazing, he now evinced a critical Interest in Clydesdale Colts and Leghorn Roosters, although nothing of the sort had ever come into his Life while he had an Apartment in Forty-seventh Street.
When he took his game Leg back to the Metropolis, he hurried to the Club and made a startling Report to all the broken-down Sports assembled in the Card-Room.
He said he had discovered the only Climate in the World. It had Switzerland skinned and was not enervating, like Florida, for he had been sleeping like a Baby and felt like a 2-year-old every G.M., in spite of the fact that he could not get his regular Rations.
He wanted to organize a Company and build a Million Dollar Hotel at Once.
With a New York Steward to supply the Table and a well-stocked Cellar, the Resort ought to get all the classy Trade, for he hoped to die if the Air out there hadn't done more for him in One Month than Europe had done in the whole Year.
MORAL: Nature will sometimes help the Unfortunate who finds it impossible to reach out and help Himself.
THE NEW FABLE OF THE FATHER WHO JUMPED IN
Once there was a leading Citizen with only one Daughter, but she was Some Offspring.
Bernice was chief Expense Account and Crown Jewel of a Real Estate Juggler who had done so well that all the Strap-Hangers regarded him as an Enemy to Society.
Papa was foolish, even as a Weasel.
He was what you might call Honest, which signified that all of his Low Work had been done by Agents.
A Person of rare judgment, withal. He never copped a piece of bulky Swag unless he had a Wheelbarrow with him at the time.
He had been going East with the Green Goods ever since the Party in Power precipitated the first Panic.
He had Stacks of the Needful, and his Rating was AA Plus 1, to say nothing of a Reserve cached in the little Tin Box.
Daughter alone could induce him to unbuckle, and melt, and jar loose, and come across, and kick in, and sting the Check-Book.
One day Bernice was a Little Girl, and the next she was head Flossie among the Debutantes, with a pack of Society Hounds pursuing in Full Cry, each willing to help count the Bank Roll.
Father was scared pink when he sized up the Field.
He still wore box-toed Boots and carried Foliage on the Sub-Maxillary so that those who came ringing the Front Bell didn't look very lucky to him.
Sometimes he would dream that he had been pushed into a Mausoleum and that a slender Cyril with a Lady's Watch strapped on his wrist was spending all of that Money for Signed Etchings.
Whereupon he would awake in a Cold Sweat and try to think of a safe Recipe for poisoning Boulevard Blighters.
One day Bernice went out into the Sunshine and found something and brought it home with her and put it on a Rug in the Elizabethan Room.
Father came in and took one look and said: "Not for Mine! I won't stand for any Puss Willow being grafted on to our Family Tree."
His name was Kenneth, and he reduced his Percentage on the first day by having the hem-stitched Mouchoir tucked inside of the Cuff.
Also, it was rumored that he put oil on his Eye-Brows and rubbed Perfumery on the backs of his Hands.
Father walked around the He-Canary twice, looking at him over the Specs, and then he rushed to the Library and kicked the Upholstery out of an $80 chair.
He could see the love-light glinting in the Eyes of Bernice. She had fallen for the Flukus.
Kenneth was installed as Steady.
When Bernice saw him turn the Corner and approach the House, he looked to her like Rupert, the long lost Heir—while Father discerned only an insect too large to be treated with Powder.
Kenneth was the kind of Sop that you see wearing Evening Clothes on a Colored Post-Card.
If his private Estate had been converted into Pig Iron, he could have carried it in his Watch Pocket.
He was re-fined and had lovely Teeth, but those who knew him well believed the Story that when he was a Babe in Arms, the Nurse had let him fall and strike on the Head.
He wore his Hair straight back and used Patent Leather dressing.
He was full of Swank and put on much Side and wore lily-colored Spats and was an awful Thing all around, from Pa's point of view.
In a crowd of Bank Directors he would have been a cheap Swivel, but among the Women Folks he was a regular Bright Eyes.
When you passed through the Archway of his Intellectual Domain you found yourself in the Next Block.
But—he could go into a Parlor and sprinkle Soothing Syrup all over the Rugs.
He had a Vaudeville Education and a small Tenor Voice, with the result that many a fluttering Birdie regarded him as the bona-fide Ketchup.
Bernice thought she was lucky to have snared him away from the others, and she had slipped him the whispered Promise, come Weal, come Woe.
She had no Mother to guide her, and it looked as if the Family was about to have a Bermuda wished on to it.
No wonder Father was stepping sideways.
He would come home in the evening and find the Mush perched on a Throne in the Spot Light, shooting an azure-blue Line of desiccated Drool, with Bernice sitting out in front and Encoring.
Then he would retire to the back part of the House to bark at the Butler and act as if he had been eating Red Meat.
He knew that if he elbowed in and tried to break up the Clinch, it would mean a Rope Ladder, a piece in the Papers, and a final Reconciliation, with Parent playing the usual role of Goat.
He was resolved not to put in the remainder of his Days being panhandled by a Souffle who wore Dancing Pumps in the Daytime. The problem was to get shut of the Rodent without resorting to any Rough Stuff.
Father never had heard tell of the Perils of Propinquity, and he thought Psychology had something to do with Fish.
Just the same, he remembered about a Quail a day for 30 days, and he knew that the most agreeable Perfumery would not smell right if applied with a Garden Hose.
Likewise, he suspected that many a Quarter-House would blow, if put into a two-mile Handicap.
So he blocked out a Program which proved that Solomon had nothing on him.
Instead of grilling young Kenneth and holding him up to Contumely and forbidding him the use of Cozy Corner, he started in to boost the Love Match.
Kenneth all but moved in his Trunk.
Father had a chance to weigh him, down to the last Ounce, and study the simple Mechanism of his transparent Personality.
Father classified the would-be Child-in-Law as a Gobbie, which means a Home-Wrecker who is still learning his Trade.
The Candidate became a regular Boarder.
Kenneth would sit right up close to old Cash-in-Hand, who would egg him on to tell Dialect Stories and, after that, show how to make a Salad.
The Stories were some that Marshall Wilder stopped using in 1882 and since then have been outlawed on the Kerosene Circuit.
After Bernice had heard these Almanac Wheezes 26 or 28 times, she would sit still and look at the Center-Piece while Lover was performing.
The Gags didn't sound as killing as they had at first, and sometimes she wished the Dear Boy would chop on them.
No chance. Father had him kidded into believing that all the old ham-fat Riddles were simply Immense.
As for that Salad Specialty, the poor Gink who calls loudly for English Mustard and thinks he is a Genius because he can rub a Bowl with a sprig of Garlic, may have his brief Hour of Triumph, but no man ever really got anywhere by doping Salad, when you stop to add it all up.
Father would put the two young people together in the back of the Touring Car and ride them around for Hours at a time.
Anybody who has cut in on one of those animated Automobile Conversations, while the salaried Maniac from France is hitting up 42 miles an Hour, will tell you that the hind end of a Motor Vehicle is no good Trysting Place for an Engaged Couple.
Bernice would get home after one of these wild swoops into the realm of the Death Angel, and totter to her room and lie down, and murmur: "I wonder what ailed Kenneth to-day. He seemed Preoccupied."
That Same Evening, just when she needed Smelling Salts and Absolute Quiet, her enthusiastic Father would have Fiance up to Dinner to pull the same stale Repertoire and splash around in the Oil and Vinegar.
If any Guests were present, then Father would play Introducer and tell them beforehand how good Kenneth was.
When given his Cue, the Lad would swell up and spring a hot One about the Swede and the Irishman, while Bernice would fuss with the Salt and wonder dimly if the Future had aught in store for her except Dialect Stuff.
Father had read on a Blotter somewhere that Absence makes the Heart grow fonder, so he played his System with the Reverse English.
He arranged a nice long trip by Land and Water and took the male Sweetheart along, so that the Doting Pair could be together at Breakfast.
His cunning had now become diabolical. He was getting ready to apply the Supreme Test.
Every Morning, when Bernice looked over her Baked Apple she saw nothing in this wide World except Kenneth, still reeking of Witch Hazel and spotted with Talcum Powder, and not very long on Sparkling Conversation.
When he was propped up in the cold Dawn, with his eyes partially open, he did not resemble a Royal Personage nearly as much as he had in some of his earlier Photographs.
Father would order soft-boiled Eggs to be Eaten from the Shell. When Kenneth got around to these, he would cease to be a Romantic Figure for at least a few Minutes. Bernice would turn away in dread and look out at the swaying Trees and long to see some of her Girl Friends back home.
After Kenneth had been served to her, three meals a day, for two Weeks and they had ridden together for Ages and Ages, in Pullman Compartments, she made certain horrible Discoveries.
One of his Ears was larger than the other.
He made a funny noise with his Adam's Apple when drinking Hot Coffee.
When he was annoyed, he bit his nails.
When suffering from a Cold, he was Sniffy.
The first time she became aware of the slight discrepancy in Ears, she suffered only a slight Annoyance. It handed her a tiny Pang to find a Flaw in a Piece of Work that she had regarded as Perfect.
After she had seen nothing else but those Ears for many, many Days, it became evident to her that if Kenneth truly loved her, he would go and have them fixed.
Likewise, every time her Heart's Delight lifted the Cup to his Ruby Lips, she would grip the Table Cloth with both Hands, and whisper to herself, "Now we get the Funny Noise."
Kenneth, in the mean while, had found out that her Hair did not always look the same, but one who is striving to get a Meal Ticket for Life cannot be over-fastidious.
He was Game and stood ready to obey all Orders in order to pull down the Capital Prize.
He had been such a Hit in the Maple-Sundae Set that he could not conceive the possibility of any Female becoming satiated with his Society.
The poor Loon never stopped to figure out that the only way to keep a Girl sitting up and interested is to stay away once in a while and give her a Vacation.
Father was right on the Job to see that Bernice had no Vacation. He framed it up to give her a Foretaste of Matrimony every Day in the Week.
If the Future Husband wandered more than thirty feet from her side, Father would nail him and Sic him on to her again.
She would look up and say: "Oh, Fury! Look who's here again!"
This was no way for a true-hearted Maiden to speak of her Soul Mate.
Father put the Cap Sheaf on his big Experiment by accepting an invitation to go Yachting.
He put them side by side on Deck and told them to comfort each other, in case anything happened.
They never could have been quite the same to each other after that Day.
Bernice wanted to get back on Shore and hunt her Room and peel down to a Kimono and refuse any Callers for a Month.
Even the accepted Swain was beginning to slow up. He could remember the time when he used to sit around with members of his own Sex.
Father had no Mercy. He took the two Invalids back to Land and rounded them up for Breakfast next morning.
When Kenneth appeared, he was slightly greenish in Color.
One Ear was three times as large as the other. He had caught a Sniffy Cold.
In partaking of his Coffee he made Sounds similar to those coming through the Partition when the People in the adjoining Flat have trouble with the Plumbing.
He saw Bernice glaring at him and bit his Nails in Embarrassment.
Father felt the Crisis impending and laid on the last Straw.
"I was trying to recall that Story," said he—"the One about the German and the Dog."
Bernice gave one Shriek and then dashed from the Room, making hysterical Outcries along the Corridor.
Father told Kenneth to check all the Trunks for Home and then catch an early Train.
Bernice was squirming about on the Hotel Sofa when Father entered the Room.
She threw herself into his Arms and passionately demanded, "Why, oh, why are you trying to force me into marrying that Creature?"
MORAL: Don't get acquainted too soon.
THE NEW FABLE OF THE UPLIFTER AND HIS DANDY LITTLE OPUS
Once there was a Litry Guy who would don his Undertaker's Regalia and the White Satin Puff Tie and go out of an Afternoon to read a Paper to the Wimmen.
At every Tea Battle and Cookie Carnival he was hailed as the Big Hero.
A good many pulsating Dulcineas who didn't know what "Iconoclast" meant, regarded him as an awful Iconoclast.
And cynical? Mercy!
When he stood up in a Front Room and Unfolded his MS., and swallowed the Peppermint Wafer and began to Bleat, no one in the World of Letters was safe.
He would wallop Dickens and jounce Kipling and even take a side-swipe at Luella Prentiss Budd, who was the Poetess Laureate for the Ward in which he lived.
Ever since his Stuff had been shot back by a Boston Editor with a Complimentary Note, he had billed himself as an Author and had been pointed out as such at more than one Chautauqua.
Consequently his Views on Recent Fiction carried much weight with the Carries.
He loved to pile the Fagots around a Best Seller and burn it to a Cinder, while the Girls past 30 years of Age sat in front of him and Shuddered.
As for the Drama, he could spread a New York Success on the marble-top Table and dissect it until nothing was left but the Motif, and then he would heave that into the Waste Basket, thereby leaving the Stage in America flat on its back.
And if you mentioned Georgie Cohan to him, the Foam would begin to fleck his Lips and he would go plumb Locoed.
After he had been sitting on the Fence for many years, booing those who tried to saw Wood, his Satellites began coaxing him to write something that would show up Charley Klein and Gus Thomas and all the other Four-Flushers who were raking in Royalties under False Pretenses.
They knew he was a Genius, because nothing pleased him.
He decided to start with something easy and dash off an Operetta.
Having sat through some of the Current Offerings, he noted that the Dialogue was unrelated to Real Literature and the Verses lacked Metrical Symmetry.
It would be a Pipe for a sure-enough Bard to sit down on a Rainy Afternoon and grind out something that might serve as a Model for Harry B. Smith.
So he had a Vase of Fresh Flowers put on his Desk every Day, and he would sit there, waiting for the Muse to keep her Date.
At the end of a Month he had it all planned to lay the First Scene in front of a Palace with a Forest on the Back Drop so as to get a lot of Atmosphere.
There was to be a Princess in the Thing, and a Picture of the long-lost Mother in the Locket and other New Stuff.
He put in Hours and Hours hand-embroidering the Verses.
When he made "Society" rhyme with "Propriety," he thought he was getting to be Gilbertian.
While these Lyrics were still quivering, he would take them out and read them to his wife and the Hired Girl and the man who attended to the Furnace, and get their Impartial Judgment.
They agreed that it was Hot Gravy and too good for the Stage.
Encouraged by these heart-felt Encomiums, he would hike back to the Study, shoot himself in the Arm with a hypothetical Needle, and once more begin picking Grapes in Arcady.
When People came up to the House, not knowing that he had been taken down with anything, he would own up that he was working on a Mere Trifle, and then, after being sufficiently urged, he would give a Reading.
These Readings could have been headed off only by an Order of Court or calling out the State Guard.
Inasmuch as the large-size Carnegie Medal for Heroism is waiting for the Caller who has the immortal Rind to tell a poetical Pest that his output is Punk, the Author found himself smeared with Compliments after each of these parlor Try-Outs.
They kidded him into thinking that he had incubated a Whale.
When he had chewed up a Gross of Pencils and taken enough Tea to float the Imperator, the great Work was complete and ready to be launched with a loud Splash.
He began to inquire the Name of some prominent Theatre Blokie who was a keen Student of the Classics and a Person of super-refined Taste.
The man he sought had moved into the Poor House, so he compromised by expressing his typewritten Masterpiece to a Ringmaster whose name he had seen on the Three Sheets. It was marked, "Valuable Package."
In a few months the hirelings of the Company and the Driver of the Wagon became well acquainted with the Large Envelope containing the only Hope of the present decadent Period.
Every time the Work came back to him with a brief printed Suggestion that any Male Adult not physically disabled could make $1.75 a day with a Shovel, the Author would appear at the Afternoon Club with another scathing arraignment of certain Commercial Aspects of the Modern Stage.
He saw that it was over their Heads.
It was too darned Dainty for a Flat-Head who spelt Art with a lower-case "a."
Yet it was so drenched and saturated and surcharged with Merit that he resolved to have it done by Local Amateurs rather than see it lost to the World.
The Music was written by Genius No. 2, working in a Piano Store. He had been writing Great Music for years.
Whenever he heard anything catchy, he went home and wrote it.
He was very Temperamental. That is, he got soused on about three, and, while snooted, would deride Victor Herbert, thus proving that he was Brilliant, though Erratic.
He had a trunkful of Tunes that were too scholarly for the Ikeys who publish Popular Trash.
He fitted them on to the Libretto written by the Litry Guy.
When the two got together to run over the Book and Score, they were sure enthusiastic.
The Author said the Lines were the best he had ever heard, and the Composer said the Numbers were all Gems.
When the Home Talent bunch pulled the whole Affair before a mob of Personal Friends and a subsidized City Editor, it was a Night of Triumph for all concerned.
The trained and trusty Liars who, in every Community, wear Evening Clothes and stand around at Receptions, all crowded up to the Author and gave him the Cordial Mitt and boosted something scandalous.
He didn't know that all of them Knocked after they got around the Dutch Lunch.
He went home, sobbing with Joy. That night he nominated himself for the Hall of Fame and put it to a Vote, and there was not one Dissenting Voice.
Every deluded Boob who can bat up Fungoes in his own Back Yard thinks he is qualified to break into a Major League and line out Two-Baggers.
There was no holding the inspired Librettist and the talented young Composer.
They knew that the eager Public in 48 States was waiting for the Best Thing since "Robin Hood."
The Author went up to the City and found a Manager who had a Desk and a lot of Courage and a varied experience in risking other people's Coin.
After the two Geniuses had mortgaged their Homes, the Impresario was enabled to get some Scenery built and rally a large Drove of Artists—most of them carrying Hand Bags.
During Rehearsals the brutal Stage Manager wanted to cut the Gizzard out of the Book and omit most of the sentimental Arias, but Mr. Words and Mr. Music emitted such shrieks of protest against the threatened Sacrilege that he allowed all the select home-made Guff to remain in the Script.
He thought it would serve them right.
When they gave the first Real Performance in a Dog Town on a drizzly evening in November, there was no Social Eclat to fill the sails.
The House was mostly Paper and therefore very Missouri.
Also a full delegation from the Coffin-Trimmers' Union with Cracked Ice in their Laps.
They did not owe any Money to the Author or have any Kinfolk in the Cast, so they sat back with their Hands under them and allowed the pretty little Opera to die like an Outcast.
The only Laugh in the Piece was when the Drop Curtain refused to work.
After the Show the Manager met them at an Oyster House and told them they had eased a Persimmon to him.
He said the whole Trick was a Bloomer. It was just as funny as a Wooden Leg. It needed much Pep and about two tons of Bokum.
Both Words and Music refused to countenance any radical Changes.
They said it would be another "Cavalleria" as soon as they could do it before an intelligent Audience of True-Lovers.
The Ex-Minstrel Man said there wasn't no such Animal as an intelligent Playgoer.
The Simp that pushed his Metal into the Box Office wanted Something Doing every minute and many Gals, otherwise it was back to the Store-House and a Card in the Clipper.
The Call on the Board read "Everybody at Ten," but the brainy Writer and the versatile Composer were not included.
When they appeared at the Stage Door they were met by Props, who told them to get to a certain Place out of there.
Standing in the Alley, they could hear Wails of Anguish, and they knew that their Child was having the Vital Organs removed.
The celebrated Author of the Graveyard Rag had been summoned in haste. He was in charge of the Clinic—taking out the Grammar and putting in Gags.
The Duos and Ensembles were being dropped through the Trap Door to make way for recent Song Hits from the alcoholic Cabarets.
The Ax fell right on the powdered Neck of the beautiful Prima Donna, who had studied for Grand Opera, but never had been able to find an Orchestra that would fit her Voice.
Her Part was changed from a Princess to a Shop-Lifter and was assigned to Cissy St. Vitus, late of a Burlesque Bunch known as the Lady Bugs.
The Tenor was given the Hook, and his sentimental Role was entrusted to a Head-Spinner who had acquired his Dramatic Schooling with the Ringling Circus.
All of which comes under the head of whipping a Performance into Shape.
When the two Geniuses sat out in front they recognized nothing except the Scenery and Costumes.
Their idyllic Creation had been mangled into a roughhouse Riot, in which Disorderly Conduct alternated with the shameless Gyrations taught in San Francisco.
The last Act had been omitted altogether without affecting the coherency of the Story.
The Plot died just four minutes after the Ring-Up.
Although the Report showed 27 Encores and the Gate began to jump $80 a Night, both the intellectual Troubadour and the Student of Counter-Harmonies went to the Manager and cried on his Shoulder and said that their Beautiful Work had been ruined.
He called attention to the Chunk of Money tied up in Silk Tights and fireproof Borders.
When it came to a show-down between Dough and Art he didn't propose to tear up his Meal Ticket.
If they would beat it and stay hid and leave the Artists fatten up their Scenes, probably the Bloomer could be converted into a Knock-Out.
While they were in the Sanitarium, the former Minstrel King and young Abie Fixit from the Music Foundry cut out the last vestiges of the Original Stuff and put in two Turns that had landed strong over the whole Orpheum Circuit.
The romantic Operetta now became known as Another One of Those Things.
It was eagerly discussed by Club Women and College Students.
Good seats down in the Observation Rows were not to be had except at the Hotel News Stand.
The Litry Guy and the Music-Maker came out of the Rest Cure to learn that they had registered a Hit and could get their names in "Who's Who."
With the Royalty Checks coming in from the eastern Centers of Culture they were enabled to buy four-cylinder Cars with which to go riding in lonesome Country Lanes, far from the sight of a Bill-Board.
When the Number Two Company came along presenting the Metropolitan Success in the One-Nighters, the reincarnated Gilbert and Sullivan packed up their Families and escaped to French Lick.
It was a Sell-Out, because all the Members of the Research Club wanted to see that new Dido called the Chicken Flop.
There was no knocking at the Dutch Lunches that night.
Every one said the Show was a Bird, but they thought it was up to the Author to resign from the Baptist Church.
MORAL: In elevating the Drama be sure to get it High enough, even if you have to make it a trifle Gamey.
THE NEW FABLE OF THE WANDERING BOY AND THE WAYWARD PARENT
Once there was a story-book Stripling who uncoupled himself from a Yahoo Settlement and moseyed up to the Congested Crossings and the Electric Signs. In due time he returned, wearing Gloves and with his Teeth full of Gold.
Ever since that historic Example it has been the daily desire of the Yokel, staked down in a County Seat, to walk in on Judge Gary and form a Partnership.
It befell that after a High School Alumnus had gone to a Varsity and scaled the fearsome heights of Integral and Differential Calculus, he came home to get some more of Father's Shirts and Handkerchiefs and take a new Slant at Life's doubtful Vista, while getting his Board for nothing.
The Town of his Nativity did not occupy many Pages in the statistical Census Reports. In fact, all the travelling Troupers who had worked for K. and E. referred to it as a Lime, which is the same as a Lemon, only smaller.
The ambitious Bachelor of Arts had a lot of Geological Data and College Fraternity Lore stowed away under his Mortar-Board. His hopes were set on something more noble than a Chair and a Table and a Blotter in a dusty Office up the Stairway leading to Odd Fellows' Hall.
So he resolved to hit the long Trail leading to a Modern Babylon where the Evening papers were on the Streets before Noon.
He figured that a Gazimbat with a John C. Calhoun Forehead and a lot of inside Dope on Hindoo Anthology could break into almost any Reservoir of Culture and bring home the Bacon.
Parents were dead willing to have him migrate and take his Tailor Bills with him, but they shivered with Dread when it came time to ship him to Gomorrah.
They knew all about the unbridled Deviltry of the City, having seen the large colored Illustrations in the Sunday Papers.
They had it on good Authority that the whole sub-stratum of Urban Existence was honeycombed with Rathskellers, while a Prominent Actress waited on almost every Corner, soliciting Travel on the Taxicab Route to the everlasting Coke Ovens.
While Elmer's fragile Steamer Trunk was being hoisted into the Dray, all the Relations who had assisted in bringing him up by Hand clustered around the Melodeon and sang, "Oh, where is my Boy to-night?"
After the Day Coach had pulled away from the Depot, he opened the Shoe-Box to extract a Crull and found a Book written by T. DeWitt Talmage, in which many Passages were marked.
He arrived at Union Station with his Fingers crossed. He told himself that he would break into a Dog Trot every time Vice beckoned to him.
After he had hung up his Diploma and Razor Strop in the third-story Recess of a very naughty Beanery, he hunted up some of the dear old Pals with whom he had bunked in the Dorm.
They told him they would put him next to a lot of nice clean People.
He began to tremble, fearing that some one was about to offer him Champagne, but the Orgy to which they conducted him was merely a meeting of the Civic Purifiers in a basement underneath a Church.
He had not expected to find any Churches in the great wicked City. He thought each side of the Street would be built up solidly with Syndicate Theatres, Bacchanalian Bazaars, and Manicure Pitfalls.
Instead of finding Vice triumphant, he learned that it was being chased up an Alley by the entire Police Force and the Federation of Women's Clubs.
He had the gift of Gab and a natural thirst for Tea, and the first thing he knew he had been drawn into so many Campaigns for Social Betterment that he had no time to hunt up conventional Temptations, such as the Welsh Rabbit or the Musical Comedy.
He found himself sitting next a new type of Lassie. She had no Heels on her Shoes, pronounced each Syllable distinctly, and believed that her Mission in Life was to carry Maeterlinck to the Masses.
In nearly every Instance she had a Father who acted as frozen Figurehead for some Trust Company.
Consequently, Elmer began to perk up and serve on Committees which met in Exclusive Homes and were entirely surrounded by Mahogany.