[Frontispiece: The sweetest picture of family contentment I have ever witnessed.]
BY HUGH McHUGH
(George V. Hobart)
"JOHN HENRY," "DOWN THE LINE WITH JOHN HENRY," "IT'S UP TO YOU," "BACK TO THE WOODS," "OUT FOR THE COIN," "I NEED THE MONEY," "I'M FROM MISSOURI," "YOU CAN SEARCH ME," "GET NEXT," ETC.
GORDON H. GRANT
THE COPP, CLARK CO., LTD.
BY G. W. DILLINGHAM Co.
ISSUED MARCH, 1906.
All rights strictly reserved, and any infringement of copyright will be dealt with according to law.
JOHN HENRY ON UPPER BERTHS
JOHN HENRY ON COOKS
JOHN HENRY ON PATRIOTISM
JOHN HENRY ON MOSQUITOES
JOHN HENRY ON STREET CAR ETIQUETTE
JOHN HENRY ON SOCIAL AFFAIRS
JOHN HENRY ON CHAFING DISHES
The sweetest picture of family contentment I have ever witnessed . . . . . . Frontispiece
I made a short prayer and concluded to fall out
Ollie was half Swede and the rest of her was deaf
With the fire-crackers cheering him on
"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" [missing from book]
"Naw, we don't take no transfers, needer!"
To the five hundred and seventy-five thousands friends who have made this series of John Henry books a success beyond all dreaming, my deepest gratitude.
To the Good Fellows of the Press who have looked upon John Henry with the Eye of Understanding, and who, realizing that these books were never intended to be more than an humble form of entertainment, have written thereof with the Pen of Patience, I say thank you, with all my heart.
To the Busy Little Bunch of Newspaper Knockers who have so assiduously plied hammer and harpoon since this series began, I want to say that 575,000 John Henry books were sold up to March 1st, 1906.
There is your answer, O Beloved of the Short Arm Jab!
Ponder thereon, ye Little Brothers of the Knock-Out Drops, Five Hundred and Seventy-five Thousand books sold (and mine is twelve per cent. of the gross) while you are STILL drawing your little $18 per and STILL singing second tenor in the Anvil Chorus.
Now O, sweet-scented Companions of the Crimp, and Brethren of the Double-Cross, ask your weazened little souls what's the use?
Skiddoo for yours!
G. V. H.
JOHN HENRY ON UPPER BERTHS
I was down on the card to make a quick jump to Pittsburg a few nights ago, and I'm a lemon if I didn't draw an upper berth in the sleeping car thing!
Say! I'll be one of a party of six to go before Congress and tell all I know about an upper berth.
And I'd like to tell it right now while I'm good and hot around the collar.
The upper berth in a sleeping car is the same relation to comfort that a carpet tack is to a bare foot.
As a place to tie up a small bundle of sleep a boiler factory has it beat to a whimper.
Strong men weep every time the ticket agent says, "Nothing left but an upper," and lovely women have hysterics and begin to make faces at the general public when the colored porter points up in the air and says, "Madam, your eagle's nest is ready far up the mountain side."
The sleeping car I butted into a few nights ago was crowded from the cellar to the attic and everybody present bumped into everybody else, and when they weren't bumping into each other they were over in a corner somewhere biting their nails.
While the porter was cooking up my attack of insomnia I went out in the smoking-room to drown my sorrow, but I found such a bunch of sorrow killers out there ahead of me that I had to hold the comb and brush in my lap and sit up on the towel rack while I took a little smoke.
Did you ever notice on your travels that peculiar hog on the train who pays two dollars for a berth and always displaces eight dollars' worth of space in the smoking car?
If he would bite the end of a piece of rope and light up occasionally it wouldn't be so bad, but nix on the smoke for him.
He simply sits there with a face like a fish and keeps George Nicotine and all the real rag burners from enjoying a smoke.
If ever a statue is needed of the patriot Buttinski I would suggest a model in the person of the smokeless smoker who always travels in the smoking-car.
Two busy gazabes were discussing politics when I squeezed into the smoker on this particular occasion, and I judge they both had lower berths, otherwise their minds would have been busy with dark and personal fears of the future.
"Well," exclaimed the gabby one from Kansas City, "what is politics? Well, what is it?"
"Politics," replied Wise Willie from Providence, "politics is where we get it—sometimes in the bank, sometimes in the neck!"
Everybody present peeled the cover off a loud laugh and the smokeless hog at the window stole four inches extra space so that he could shake more when he giggled.
"Well," resumed the inquisitive person from Kansas City, "what is a politician? Do you know? Eh, well, what is a politician?"
"A politician," replied the fat man from Providence, "a politician is the reason we have so much politics."
Much applause left the hands of those present, and the smokeless hog turned sideways so that he could make the others more uncomfortable.
"Perhaps," insinuated gabby Jim from Kansas City, "perhaps you know what a statesman is, eh?"
"A statesman is a politician in good luck," was the come-back from our fat friend from Providence, and in the enthusiasm which followed the smokeless hog found out there was no buffet car on the train, so he offered to buy the drinks.
"Don't you believe that all men are born equal?" inquired the Kansas Cityite.
"Yes, but some of them have pull enough to get over it," responded the Providence philosopher, whereupon the smokeless hog by the window took out a flask and began to dampen his conscience.
Just then the towel rack fell with a crash, and after I picked up the comb and the brush and myself I decided to retire to my bracket on the wall and try to sleep.
When I left the smoker the smokeless hog was occupying two and a half seats and was now busy breathing in some second-hand cigarette smoke which nobody seemed to care for.
"How do I reach my Alpine bungalow?" I said to the porter, whereupon he laughed teethfully and hit me on the shins with a step-ladder.
The spectacular gent who occupied the star chamber beneath my garret was sleeping as noisily as possible, and when I started up the step-ladder he began to render Mendelssohn's obligato for the trombone in the key of G.
Above the roar of the train from away off in lower No. 2 faintly I could hear an answering bugle call.
I climbed up prepared for the worst and in the twinkling of an eye the porter removed the stepladder and there I was, sitting on the perilous edge of my pantry shelf with nothing to comfort me save the exhaust of a professional snorer.
After about five minutes devoted to a parade of all my sins I began to try to extract my personality from my coat, but when I pushed my arm up in the air to get the sleeve loose my knuckles struck the hard-wood finish and I fell backward on the cast-iron pillow, breathing hoarsely like a busy jack rabbit.
I waited about ten minutes while my brain was bobbing back and forth with the excitement of running fifty miles an hour over a careless part of the country, and then I cautiously tried to approach my shoe laces.
Say! if you're a man and you weigh in the neighborhood of 225 pounds, most of which is in the region of the equator, you will appreciate what it means to lie on your back in an upper berth and try to get your shoes off.
And this goes double for the man who weighs more than 225 pounds.
Every time I reached for my feet to get my shoes off I bumped my head off, and the more I bumped my head off the less I got my shoes off, and the less I got my shoes off the more I seemed to bump my head off, so I decided that in order to keep my head on I had better keep my shoes on also.
Then I tried to divorce my suspenders from my shoulders, but just as I got the suspenders half way over my head I struck my crazy bone on the rafters, and there I was, suspendered between Heaven and earth, but praying with all my heart for a bottle of arnica.
Then I decided to sleep as nature made me, with all my clothes on, including my rubbers.
So I stretched out, but just then the train struck a curve and I went up in the air till the ceiling hit me, and then I bounced over to the edge of the precipice and hung there, trembling on the verge.
Below me all was dark and gloomy, and only by the hoarse groans of the snorers could I tell that the Pullman Company was still making money.
Luck was with me, however, for just then the train struck an in-shoot curve which pushed me to the wall, and I bumped my head so completely that I fell asleep.
When I woke up a small package of daylight was peeping into the car, so I decided to descend from my cupboard shelf at once.
I peeped out through the aluminum curtains, but there was no sign of the colored porter and the step-ladder was invisible to the naked eye.
The car was peaceful now with the exception of a gent in lower No. 4, who had a strangle hold on a Beethoven sonata and was beating the cadenza out of it.
I made a short prayer and concluded to fall out, but just then one of my feet rested on something solid, so I put both feet on it and began to step down.
Alas, however, the moment I put my weight on it my stepping-stone gave way and I fell overboard with a splash.
"How dare you put your feet on my head?" yelled the man on the ground floor of my bedroom.
"Excuse me! it felt like something wooden," I whispered, while I dashed madly for the smoker.
From that day to this I have never been able to look a Pullman car in the face, and whenever anybody mentions an upper berth to me I lose my presence of mind and get peevish.
If you have ever been there yourself I know you don't blame me!
JOHN HENRY ON COOKS
When my wife made the suggestion that we should give a Thanksgiving dinner to our friends in the neighborhood it almost put me to the ropes.
You know I'm not much on the social gag, and to have to sit up and make good-natured faces at a lot of strangers gives me intermittent pains in the neck.
"Why should we give them a dinner?" I asked my wife. "Aren't most of them getting good wages, and why should we kill the fatted calf for a lot of home-made prodigals?"
"John, don't be so selfish!" was my wife's get-back. "There's a long winter ahead of us, and when we give one dinner to seven people that means seven people to give us seven dinners. Don't you see how our little plates of soup will draw compound interest if we invite the right people?"
My wife is a friend of mine, so I refused to quarrel with her.
"All right, my dear," I said, "but you must give the dinner one week before Thanksgiving."
"One week before Thanksgiving!" my wife re-echoed, "and why, pray?"
"Because this will give our guests a chance to recover from your cooking before the real day of prayer comes around, and by that time they will begin to think about you with kindness, perhaps."
My wife stung me with her cruel eyes and went out in the kitchen where the new cook was breaking a lot of our best dishes which did not appeal to her.
The name of this new cook was Ollie Olsen.
Ollie was half Swede and the rest of her was deaf.
When Ollie came to the house to get a job my wife asked her for her recommendations.
Ollie said that her face was her only recommendation, but that she was out late the night before and broke her recommendation just above the chin.
Anyway, my wife engaged her, because what good is a hearty appetite when the kitchen is empty.
Ollie said that she was a first-class cook, but when we dared her to prove it she forgot my wife was a lady and threw the coal-scuttle at her.
A day or two after Ollie arrived I decided to find out what merit there is in a vegetarian diet.
"All right," I said to the cook, after the last plate of hash with all its fond memories had disappeared, "this house is going on a diet for a few days, and henceforth we are all vegetarians, including the dog. Please govern yourself accordingly."
Ollie smiled Swedefully and whispered that vegetarianisms was where she lived.
Ollie said she could cook vegetables so artistically that the palate would believe them to be filet Mignon, with Pommery sauce, and then she started in to fool the Beef Trust and put all the butchers out of business.
Dinner time came and we were all expectancy.
The first course was mashed potatoes, which we just dabbled with gingerly.
The second course was potato chips, which we nibbled slightly while we looked eagerly at the butler's pantry.
The next course was French fried potatoes with some shoestring potatoes on the side, and I began to get nervous.
This was followed by a dish of German fried potatoes, some hash-browned potatoes and some potato saute, whereupon my appetite got up and left the room.
The next course was plain boiled potatoes with the jackets on, and baked potatoes with the jackets open at the throat, and then some roasted potatoes with a peek-a-boo waist effect, cut on the bias.
I was beginning to see the delights of being a vegetarian and at the same time I could feel myself fixing my fingers to choke Ollie.
The next course was a large plate of potato salad, and then I fainted.
When I got back Ollie was standing near the table with a sweet smile on each side of her face waiting for the applause of those present.
"Have you nothing else?" I inquired, hungrily.
"Oh, yes!" said Ollie. "I have some potato pudding for desert."
When I got through swearing Ollie was under the stove, my wife was under the table, the dog was under the bed, and I was under the influence of liquor.
No more vegetarianism in mine.
Hereafter I am for that lamb chop thing, first, last and always.
But let's get back to that Thanksgiving dinner.
My wife invited Mr. and Mrs. William T. Hodge, Joe Coyne and his wife, and their daughter, Cuticura; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Doane, and their son, Communipaw; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Golden, and their niece, Casanova; and Mr. and Mrs. Riley Hatch.
Charlie Swayne was the referee.
My wife was so worried about the cook that before dinner time arrived she had an attack of nervous postponement.
As a matter of fact, we were both in fear and trembling that Ollie would send a tomato salad from the kitchen and before it reached the table it would become a chop suey.
Anyway, the guests arrived promptly, and I could see from their faces that they would fight that dinner to a finish.
The ladies began to chat pleasantly while they sized up our furniture out of the corners of their eyes, and the men glanced carelessly around to see if I had a box of cigars which would require their attention after dinner.
Pretty soon dinner was announced and they all jumped to their feet as though they had stepped on a third rail.
I believe in being thrifty, but the way some of those people saved up their hunger for our dinner was too penurious for mine.
I took Mrs. Hodge in and she took in my wife's dress to see if it was made over from last year's.
Young Communipaw Doane tried hard not to reach the table first, but a plate of Dill-pickles caught his eye and he won from old man Hodge by an arm.
The first round was oyster cocktails and everybody drew cards.
This was Ollie's maiden attempt at making oyster cocktails and she had original ideas about them, which consisted of salad oil instead of tomato ketchup.
The salad oil came from Italy, so the oysters were extremely foreign to the taste.
After eating his cocktail Riley Hatch began to turn pale and inquired politely if we raised our own oysters.
But just then little Cutey Coyne upset a glass of water and changed the subject, and the complexion of the tablecloth.
The next round was mock turtle soup, and it made a deep impression, especially on Charlie Swayne, because little Casanova Golden upset her share in his lap when he least expected it.
Charlie was very nice about it, however.
He only swore twice, then he remembered once a gentleman always a gentleman and he did not strike the girl.
After a while we all convinced Charlie that the laugh was on the soup and not on him, and when the fish came on he forgot his troubles by getting a bone in his throat.
When Charlie began to talk like a trout, old man Hodge grabbed the bread knife and begged to be allowed to carve his initials on somebody's wishbone.
But Joe Coyne finally pacified him by a second helping of Bermuda onions.
I opened a third bottle of Pommery just to show I wasn't stingy.
Then came the Thanksgiving turkey, and this is where that Swede cook of ours won the blue ribbon.
My wife had told her to stuff it with chestnuts, but Ollie thought chestnuts too much of an old joke, so she stuffed it with peanut brittle.
Ollie had noticed some other things about the kitchen which looked lonesome, so she decided to put them in the turkey, too.
One of these was the corkscrew.
When I went to carve the turkey I found a horseshoe which Ollie had put in for luck.
It made my wife extremely nervous to see the can-opener, a pair of scissors, and nine clothes-pins come out of that turkey, but Jack Golden said that their last cook tried to stuff their last turkey with the garden hose, so my wife felt better.
The next round was some salad which Ollie had dressed in the kitchen, but the dress was such a bad fit that nobody could look at it without blushing.
Then we had some home-made ice cream for desert.
The ice was very good, but Ollie forgot to add the cream, so it tasted rather insipid.
Every time there was a lull in the conversation Charlie Swayne kept yelling for a Bronx cocktail, and the only thing that kept him from getting it was the fact that Riley Hatch wanted to tell the story of his life.
Anyway, the dinner came to a finish without anybody fainting, and the guests went home, a little hungry but unpoisoned.
The next morning my wife spoke bitterly to Ollie and she left us, followed by the Thanksgiving prayers of all those present.
The only thing about the house that loved Ollie was a pair of earrings belonging to my wife, and they went with her.
JOHN HENRY ON PATRIOTISM
Uncle Peter spent the Fourth of July at his old home in Ohio. I must show you a letter he wrote me a few days after that noisy event.
We had a nice quiet time on the Fourth with the exception of my ankle, which was somewhat dislocated because my foot stepped on an infant bombshell which same exploded for my benefit.
I like the idea of the Fourth with the exception of the noise.
I believe that if our forefathers had suspected that their great-grandchildren would make such an infernal racket on the Fourth of July they would have waited for a snow storm on the 16th of January before signing their John Hancocks, because then it would be too cold to explode firecrackers under your neighbor's eyebrows when he least expects it.
We had a nice quiet time at home on the Fourth, John, with the exception that little Oscar Maddy, who lives next door, presented me with a Roman candle which joined me between the third button on my waistcoat and the solar plexus.
I acknowledged the receipt by falling off the front step and barking my shoulder.
You should always remember, John, that the Fourth is the day when your patriotic voice should climb out of your thorax and make the welkin ring, but it isn't really necessary to get up a row between a stick of dynamite and a keg of giant powder to prove that you love the cause of liberty.
You will find that some of our best citizens—men who love liberty with an everlasting love—are hiding in the cellar with both hands over their ears from July 3d to July 5th.
We had a nice quiet time at home on the Fourth, John, with the exception that your second cousin, Randolph, tried to explode a toy cannon and removed the apex of his thumb and about half of the dining-room window.
It may be necessary to celebrate the birth of freedom by bursting forth into noise, but my idea, John, is that Old Glory would like it much better if we were more subdued and kept our children on the earth instead of letting them go up in the air in small fragments.
We had a very quiet time at home, John, on the Fourth with the exception of your distant relative, Uncle Joseph Carberry. Uncle Joe annexed about six mint juleps and then went to sleep on the front porch with five packs of firecrackers in his coat pocket.
Full of the spirt [Transcriber's note: spirit?] of liberty, your interesting cousin, Randolph, set fire to your Uncle's pocket, and when last seen your Uncle Joe was rushing over hill and dale in the general direction of Hartford, Connecticut, with the firecrackers cheering him on.
Liberty, John, is the only real thing in this world for a nation, but just why the glorious cause of freedom should be slapped in the face with an imitation of the bombardment of Port Arthur is something which I must have misconstrued.
We had a very quiet time here at home on the Fourth, John, with the exception that another interesting cousin of yours, my young namesake, Peter Grant, tied a giant firecracker to the cat's tail, and the cat went to the kitchen to have her explosion.
It took two hours and seven neighbors to get your good old Aunt Maggie out of the refrigerator, which was the place selected for her by the catastrophe.
The stove lost all the supper it contained; little Peter Grant lost two eyebrows and his Buster Brown hair; the cat lost seven of its lives, and the glorious cause of Freedom got a send-off that could be heard nineteen miles.
We all missed you, John, but maybe it is better you were not at home on the Fourth, because the doctor is occupying your room so that he could be near the wounded—otherwise, we are all well.
I think, John, that when Freedom was first invented by George Washington the idea was to make it something quiet and modest which he could keep about the house and which he could look at once in a while without getting nervous prostration.
But George forgot to leave full instructions, and nowadays when the Birthday of Freedom rolls around the impulsive American public wakes up at daylight, shoves up the window and begins to hurl torpedoes at the house next door, because a noise in the air is worth two noises on the quiet.
We had a very quiet Fourth at home, John, with the exception of your second cousin, Hector, who patriotically attached himself to a hot-air balloon, and when last seen was hovering over Erie, Pa., and making signs to his parents not to wait supper for him.
Most of our neighbors for miles in every direction have sons and daughters missing, but what could they expect when a child will try to put a pound of powder in four inches of gas pipe and then light the result with a match.
The Fourth is a great idea, but I think this is carrying it too far, as the little boy said when he went over the top of the house on the handle of a sky-rocket.
We had a very quiet time at home on the Fourth, John, with the exception of our parlor which took fire when your enthusiastic cousin, Randolph, tried to make some Japanese lanterns by setting fire to the lace curtains.
The firemen put out the fire and most of our furniture.
Your cousin was also much put out when I spanked him.
We hope to recover from the excitement before the next Fourth, but your Aunt hopes that somebody will soon invent a new style of noise, which will not be so full of concussion.
Yours with love, UNCLE PETER.
JOHN HENRY ON MOSQUITOES
When Peaches and I were married we were sentenced to live in one of those 8x9 Harlem people-coops, where they have running gas on every floor and hot and cold landlords and self-folding doors, and janitors with folding arms, and all that sort of thing.
When we moved into the half-portion dwelling house last spring I said to the janitor, "Have you any mosquitoes in the summer?"
The janitor was so insulted he didn't feel like taking a drink for ten minutes.
"Mosquitoes!" he shouted; "such birds of prey were never known in these apartments. We have piano beaters and gas meters, but never such criminals as mosquitoes."
With these kind words I was satisfied.
For weeks I bragged about my Harlem flat for which no mosquito could carry a latch-key.
The janitor said so, and his word was law.
I looked forward to a summer without pennyroyal on the mantelpiece or witch hazel on the shin bone, and was content.
But one night in the early summer I got all that was coming to me and I got it good.
In the middle of the night I thought I heard voices in the room and I sat up in bed.
"I wonder if it's second-story men," I whispered to myself, because my wife was away at the seashore.
She had gone off to the shimmering sands and left me chained to the post of duty, and I tell you, boys, it's an awful thing when your wife quits you that way and you have to drag the post of duty all over town in order to find a cool place.
Wives may rush away to the summer resorts where all is gayety, and where every guess they make at the bill of fare means a set-back in the bank account; but the husbands must labor on through the scorching days and in the evenings climb the weary steps to the roof gardens.
"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" exclaimed the voices on the other side of the bed.
"If they are after my diamonds," I moaned, "they will lose money," and then I reached under the pillow for the revolver I never owned.
"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" went the conversation on the other side of the bed.
"There is something doing here," I remarked to myself, while I wished for daylight with both hands.
"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" went the conversation on the other side of the bed.
"Who is it?" I whispered, waiting for a reply, but hoping no one would answer me.
"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" said the same mysterious voices.
Then suddenly it struck me—the janitor was a liar.
Those voices in the night emanated from a convention of mosquitoes.
In that nerve-destroying moment I recollected my parting admonition to my wife when she went away, "Darling, remember, money is not everything in this world and don't write home to me for any more. And remember, also, that when the Jersey mosquito makes you forget the politeness due to your host, flash your return ticket in his face and rush hither to your happy little home in Harlem, where the mosquito never warbles and stingeth not like a serpent, are you hep?"
And now it was all off.
Never more could we go away to the seashore for two expensive weeks and realize that we would be more comfortable at home, like millions of other people do every year.
"Ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!" shrieked those relentless voices in the darkness.
"Do you want my money or my life?" I inquired, tremblingly.
"We desire to bite our autograph on your wish-bone," one voice replied pleasantly.
"Great Scott!" I shouted, "why do you wish to bite one who is a stranger to you?"
"You have a wife who is spending a few weeks and a few dollars at the Jersey seashore, is it not so?" inquired the hoarsest voice.
"Heaven help me, I have," I answered, manfully.
"She is at Cheesehurst-by-the-Sea?" that awful voice went on.
"She is," I admitted it.
"Well, yesterday evening she slapped her forehead suddenly and killed the bread-winner of this family," the voice shrieked, "and we are here for revenge!"
"What are your names, please?" I whispered.
"My name is Clementina Stinger, and with me is my son, little Willie Stinger, formerly of Cheesehurst-by-the-Sea," the voice answered.
I sat there listening while my knees shook for the drinks.
"We looked up your wife's home address and came hither to board with you, because she upset our bread-winner's apple cart," the voice went on, threateningly.
"Willie, my son, get a light luncheon from the gentleman's medulla oblongata, and I will eat a small steak from his solar plexus—ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!"
"Have you no pity?" I said, pleadingly.
"Pity!" said Clementina—"pity! you ask for pity when my forefathers were the first to land on the only Plymouth Rock in the meadows of Hackensack! I wish you to know that the proud blood of many victims rushes through the veins of the Stinger Family. We do not belong to the pity push. Willie, if the gentleman kicks bore a tunnel through his cerebellum, near the medusa, and I will jump in his alimentary canal and take a swim—ping-ding-a-zing-a-boom!"
Then, just as these two ferocious members of the Stinger Family rushed at me, I awoke with a cry for help.
There was not a mosquito in the room.
Thank Heaven, it was only a dream!
At the door, however, was a messenger with a special delivery letter from my wife.
The letter read, "Dear John, I only want to say that Cheesehurst-by-the-Sea would be a nice place if a person could wear armor plate to avoid the mosquitoes. I have rubbed my complexion with peppermint, and I have worn smoke-sticks in my hair till I burned my pompadour, but the mosquitoes still look upon me as their meal ticket. I expect to insult everybody present and leave for home to-morrow. Lovingly, thy wife."
My dream was out.
I don't want to change the subject too abruptly, but you remember Uncle William, don't you?
Well, once upon a time, Uncle Bill was clear daffy on the subject of mosquitoes.
He invented more kerosene tablets to poison 'em and set more traps to catch 'em than any pest-remover in the business.
I must tell you about the time he was one of a committee of three appointed by Budweiser College or Anheuser University, or some such concern, to study the mosquito at close range in its native jungles.
The committee consisted of Professor Kenneth Glueface, Professor Oscar Soupnoodle, a German gentleman with thistles in his conversation, and my Uncle, Mr. William Gray.
The committee decided that the best way to study the New Jersey mosquito would be to live in their gloomy haunts and forsake civilization for the time being.
In accordance with this idea they had the Carnegie Steel Company build for them a steel cage, which was placed in the depths of the Hackensack jungles, and thither they went.
Dr. Soupnoodle was of the opinion that a Jersey mosquito has a language, and the other two members of the committee agreed to help him to settle this point.
"My idea is," said Dr. Soupnoodle, "dot der beasts haf a speech vich dey use, uddervise how can dey find our fairst families in der blue book und go after deir blue blood?"
"Do you hold, Doctor, that the mosquito speaks with a guttural inflection on the vowels?" inquired Uncle William.
"More likely with a stringency on the last syllable of the diphthong," suggested Dr. Glueface.
"Ve vill sprinkle near der cage a little Wienerwurst und a cubble of smoked hams," explained the Dutch doctor. "Ve vill den retire behind der bars of der steel cage, und mit our repitition rifles on our knees avait der cameing of der enemies of cifilization."
This plan was carried into effect.
The minutes passed by and they sat there, three determined men, trying to drag from reluctant New Jersey the terrible secrets of its most popular industry.
"We must not talk," whispered Professor Glueface, "because if the mosquito suspects the presence of a human being he will not talk."
"No," replied Uncle William, pale but calm; "the battle cry of the mosquito is deeds, not words!"
Deep silence fell over the Jersey jungle, broken only by the far-away shrieks of a locomotive as it snorted with fear and hurried out of the State.
The committee grasped their repeating rifles and peered into the darkness.
"Vun of dem is cameing!" whispered Professor Soupnoodle; "remember Metz und strike for der Fatherland!"
Gee whiz! the horror of that bitter moment.
Uncle William removed a short prayer from his mind, and the Dutch Professor started to sing "Die Wacht am Rhine."
But just then Professor Glueface smacked his lips and put the bottle down.
"Fine!" he said; "I feel better now."
Then the rest of the committee knew that it was a false alarm originating in the thirst of the Professor.
But just then the gloom in front of them began to take form and shape, and they knew this was no false alarm.
"Zwei!" whispered Professor Soupnoodle.
"Great Scott!" exclaimed Dr. Glueface, "my idea is right—the Jersey mosquito has a language! I can catch a word now and then. It is something like Sanscrit, only slangier!"
They listened and watched.
Approaching them through the gloom could be seen two beautiful specimens of the Kings of the Jersey jungles.
"It is a male und a female," whispered the Dutch Professor. "I can tell it because he vears someding like a Pajama hat, und she holds vun ving up like a skirt."
The committee clutched their repeating rifles closer and prepared for the worst.
"They are engaged to be married," Professor Glueface whispered; "he has just told her that he knows where to get good board and lodging in a Harlem flat. She calls him Percy. Her name is Evaline. Hss-s-s-sh!"
The warning was too late.
The Scourges of the Swamp had discovered the cage and drew nearer.
"He laughs at us," whispered Professor Glueface; "now he is telling her that the cage is only made of steel and it is a cinch. He has gone to get his drill. What is to be done?"
"In the interests of science," Uncle William whispered, "let us sneak out and run for the police with all our hearts."
And this they did while Percy was getting his drill ready.
Time, for the first 100 yards, nine seconds flat; for the rest of the distance about ten seconds on the average.
The committee has not yet reported whether or not there is malaria in a mosquito's bite, because they didn't wait to let him bite them.
JOHN HENRY ON STREET CAR ETIQUETTE
"Naw, we don't take no transfers, needer! Aw, chase yerself!"
For my part I haven't been able to figure it out, but Uncle Peter is the lad who has made a profound study of that street car proposition known as the End-Seat Hog.
* * * * * *
I'm going to pass you out a talk he handed me a few evenings ago on that subject.
Suffering crumpets, John! I don't know anything about this end seat business, and the more I try to find out the more complex becomes the problem.
I've been up and down and over and across in the surface cars, John, and my experience is ornamented by ripped trousers and discolored shins, but my intellect blows out a fuse every time I try to dope out the real way not to be an End-Seat Hog.
Last Monday I jumped on an open-face car and it seemed that all the world was filled with joy and good wishes.
I was smoking one of those Bad Boy cigars. I call it a Bad Boy cigar because as soon as it goes out it gets awful noisy.
It was away uptown and the car was empty with the exception of a couple of benches.
Two blocks further on the car stopped and a stout lady looked over the situation.
I think she must have been color blind, because she didn't see the empty seats ahead and decided to cast her lot with me.
It was a terrific moment.
"Peter," I said to myself, "don't be a Hog—move over!"
And virtue was triumphant.
I moved over, and the stout lady settled squashfully into the end seat.
Her displacement was about fifteen cents' worth of bench.
After we had gone about ten blocks more every seat in the car in front and behind us was crowded, but nobody could get in our section because the fat lady held them at bay like Horatius held the bridge in the brave days of old.
People would rush up to the car when it stopped, glance carelessly fore and aft until their eyes rested on the vacant seats in our direction, and then they would see the stout lady sitting there, as graceful as the sunken ships which used to block the harbor at Port Arthur.
The people would look at the stout lady with no hope in their eyes, and then, with a sigh, they would retire and wait for the next car.
No one was brave enough to climb the mountain which grew up between them and the promised land.
After a while I began to get a toothache in my conscience.
"Peter," I said to myself in a hoarse whisper, "perhaps after all you were the Hog because you moved over! After the lady had climbed over you she would have kept on to the other end of the bench where now there is nothing but a sullen space."
I began to insult myself.
"Peter," I exclaimed inwardly, "what do you know about the etiquette of the street car? According to the newspapers it is only a Man who can be a Hog on the street cars, and since you are the original cause of blockading the port when you moved over, you must be the Hog!"
Then I got so mad at myself that I refused to talk to myself any further.
The next day I was riding downtown on the end seat with my mind made up to stay there and keep the harbor open for commerce.
"Never," I said to myself, "never will anyone become a human Merrimac to bottle up the seating capacity of this particular bench while the blood flows through these veins and the flag of freedom waves above me."
At the next corner a very thin little gentleman squeezed by me with a look of reproach on his face the like of which I hope never to see again, but I was Charles J. Glue and firm in the end seat.
Then a couple of Italy's sunny sons by the names of Microbeini and Germicide crawled over me and kicked their initials on my knee-cap and then sat down to enjoy a smoke of domestic rope which fell across my nostrils and remained there in bitterness.
After I had been stepped on, sat on, clawed at and scowled at for twenty minutes, I began to discuss myself to myself.
"Peter," I whispered, "do you really think that the general public appreciates your efforts to keep the Harbor open?"
And then myself replied to myself with a sigh of exhaustion, "I don't think!"
"Peter," I said to myself, "no matter what your motives may be the other fellow will always believe you are trying to get the best of it. If you move over and give the end seat to another gentleman he will consider it only what is his right. If you don't move over he will think you are a Hog for keeping that which is as much yours as his."
I began to grow confidential with myself.
"Civilization is a fine idea, but Human Nature can give it cards and spades and then beat it out!" I told myself. "The Human Hog was invented long before the open-face street car began to stop for him, and there isn't anybody living who should stop to throw stones at him, because selfishness is like the measles, it breaks out in unexpected places. All of us may not be Hogs, but there is a moment in the life of every man when he gets near enough to it to be called a Ham Sandwich."
Just then the Disinfecti Brothers, Microbeini and Germicide, walked over me backward and I had a short but exciting visit to the slums.
Since that eventful day I have moved over 36 times, and out of the 36 people I gave the end seat to all but three of them belonged to the Mucilage Family, and stayed there.
Thereafter I made myself a severe promise not to worry any more about my Hog qualifications when movable or immovable on an open-face car.
I will do as my conscience dictates and walk downtown as much as possible.
And speaking of street cars, John, Uncle Peter resumed after a long pause, I was in one of those cities recently where some of the cars stop on the near side of some of the streets and some stop on the far side of some of the streets.
Honestly, John, they had me up in the air.
I left the hotel to attend to some business downtown and went over on the near side of the street to wait for a car.
When the car came along I held my thumb out in the atmosphere warningly, but the motorman kept on to the far side and stopped.
By the time I ran over to the far side he was gone again and another car had stopped at the near side.
When I rushed back to the near side the car passed me going to the far side, and now the near side looked so much like the far side that I went back to the other side, which should have been the near side, but how could it be the near side when the car was on the far side and I could not get near the near side in time to catch the car before it was far away on the far side?
Just as I rushed back again to the far side the near side became the nearer side to catch the car, and when I rushed over again from the far side to the near side the nearer I got to the near side the clearer I could see that while the far side was far away it was nearer than the near side, which was always on the far side when I hoped to take a car on the near side.
Then I began to grit my teeth and made up my mind to anticipate the action of the next car by standing half way between the near side and the far side, so that I could run to either side the emergency called for.
I was standing there about a minute much pleased with the idea, because the near side was now about as far away as the far side, when just then an automobile sneaked up behind me and one of the forward turrets struck me on my own personal far side and hoisted me over to the near side just as a car left for the far side.
I reached out my hand to grasp the far side of the step, but I missed it and caught the near side, and by this time the car was on the far side and the motorman grabbed the near side of the electric controller and pushed it over to the far side, whereupon the car started for El Paso, Texas, at a speed of about 3,000 miles a minute, and there I was with the near side of four fingers holding on to the far side of the step and the rest of my body sticking straight out in space like a pair of trousers on a clothes-line in a gale of wind.
Then suddenly the near side of my fingers refused to hold on to the far side of the step, and with the near side of my face I struck the far side of the tracks, and the near side of my brain saw every individual star on the far side of the universe.
Then I went back to the hotel and crawled into the far side of the bed while my wife sent for a near side doctor who lived on the far side of the block.
* * * * * *
That will be about all for Uncle Peter.
JOHN HENRY ON SOCIAL AFFAIRS
Last year Bunch and Alice spent several weeks doing the society stunt at the fashionable seaside resorts.
I must put you next to a letter Bunch wrote me from Newport:
With a party of our society friends we have been Newporting all this week.
Next week I hope to Bar Harbor for a few days, and the week after that I hope to Narragansett for a short period.
In the party with us here are Clarence Fussyface, Llewellyn Shortbrow, Harry Pifflemind, Cecil Vanwigglevandoozen, Mrs. George Plentycash and Miss Clorinda Fritters.
Mrs. Plentycash is accompanied by a friend of her husband's by the name of Murgatroyd Mutt; and Mr. Harry Pifflemind has his own private bartender, so there is nothing to mar the beauty of the visit.
During our first day at Newport we played bridge until two o'clock, then we jumped in our automobiles to see if we could run across a few friends.
Llewellyn Shortbrow made a mistake with his machine and ran across a stranger, hitting him just between the wish-bone and the Casino.
The stranger's leg was broken, which put the laugh on Llewellyn.
The next evening Cecil Vanwigglevandoozen gave us one of the most delightful experiences I have ever known.
It was a monkey dinner.
A monkey dinner consists of a happy mixture of Society and monkey—with just a trifle more Society than monkey to give it the proper flavor.
The idea of the monkey dinner originated in a fertile spot in the southeastern part of Vanwigglevandoozen's brain, which up to then was supposed to be extinct.
The eruption of such a gigantic idea from a brain supposed to be extinct came as a great but pleasant shock to Society.
Originally it was Vanwigglevandoozen's idea to have Clarence Fussyface play the monkey, because Clarence's intelligence is built on a plan to suggest such mimicry, but a hand-organ proprietor by the name of Guissepi, who is summering at Newport, came to the rescue with a real monkey by the name of Claude.
Claude has acted for many years as a second-story man for Guissepi, and is one of the very best ice-cutters in the whole monkey business.
A full dress suit was made for Claude, and when he entered Society you could tell at once that he was not a waiter.
Claude was placed at the head of the table, and as he sat there smiling at his friends it made one of the sweetest pictures of family contentment I have ever witnessed.
There were no set speeches.
Vanwigglevandoozen gave Claude a glass of champagne, which the guest of honor politely refused by spilling it down the neck of Harry Pifflemind in such an artless monkey way that the other guests roared with delight.
With monkey signs Claude gave the signal to rush the growler, which was accompanied with a true spirit of goodfellowship by the butler.
The conversation during the dinner hour was altogether of a zoological nature.
Claude displayed an acrobatic appetite and went down the line, from soup to nuts, in a manner which was captivating in the extreme.
After completely filling the large inside pocket originally built for him by Mother Nature, Claude began to put the knives and forks in the pockets of his full dress suit.
This was greeted with ringing cheers from those present.
The only break that Claude made during the dinner was trying to put his feet on the table before the ladies left the room, but Llewellyn Shortbrow remedied this by hitting Claude on the chest with a table spoon.
When the other young men began to smoke their cigarettes Claude grew uneasy.
After they had consumed about seven sticks apiece Claude buried his face in a foaming stein of beer, and there it remained until a happy unconsciousness put him down and out.
Eight footmen, six coachmen, twenty-seven valets and the butler carried Claude to his bed-chamber, and the monkey dinner broke up with loud cries of "Author! Author! Author!"
Vanwigglevandoozen is now the hero of the day, and great things are expected of him.
But I have my doubts.
It is too much to expect one brain to think up another idea as good as that.
* * * * * *
Yesterday afternoon at 2:30 a loud shriek emanated from the "Bungalooza Villa," followed almost immediately by its publisher, Mrs. Shinevonboodle.
Both the shriek and its author came out as far as the gate and attracted the ears of a policeman.
"My diamonds have been stolen!" exclaimed Mrs. Shinevonboodle, excitedly.
"For publication purposes or for pawning?" inquired the policeman.
"Must I tell you the details without first being introduced to you?" said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, angrily.
"Not unless you don't care to meet me," answered the policeman.
"Mercy!" said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, "must I cross the social chasm to get those presents back?"
"What kind of diamonds are missing?" inquired the policeman. "Are they sparklers or shines?"
"What is the difference?" asked Mrs. Shinevonboodle, haughtily.
"The difference is about $95 a carat," whispered the policeman.
"The best that money can buy is none too good for me," said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, with proud scorn.
"Yes, I noticed that by your hair and complexion," replied the policeman, politely.
"Will you find the missing diamonds, or must I shriek again?" inquired Mrs. Shinevonboodle.
"Is your photographer present?" demanded the policeman.
"Do you suspect him?" gasped Mrs. Shinevonboodle, with a shudder.
"The photographer generally takes things," answered the policeman. "Otherwise, how could the pictures get in the newspapers?"
"Heaven forgive me for this oversight, but my photographer neglected to take the jewels before I lost them," said Mrs. Shinevonboodle, with bitter tears in her lamps.
The policeman turned away to conceal his emotion and to take a pull at his two-for cigar.
"What, oh! what is to be done?" wailed the helpless woman.
"Nothing," responded the policeman, after a miserable pause. "Without pictures of the jewels to put in the newspapers the sensation will be weak and will wobble at the knees."
Mrs. Shinevonboodle leaned against the fence and groaned inwardly.
"It is too bad," muttered the policeman, as he bit into the two-for cigar and walked silently away.
Mrs. Shinevonboodle sat down in her most expensive flower bed and wept bitterly.
Just then the policeman came running back.
"Perhaps you remember the jewels well enough to get a photograph from memory?" he suggested.
A smile chased itself over the face of Mrs. Shinevonboodle, and she picked herself up from the geraniums.
"I remember them perfectly," she whispered, "because when my husband got the bill for them he had four different styles of fits in four minutes. Three of these fits were entirely new and original with him, so I remember the jewels perfectly."
"Good!" said the policeman. "I will have 18 detectives and 219 reporters up here in ten minutes. Calm yourself, now, calm yourself, because what is lost will soon be found in the newspapers."
The policeman rushed away to the telephone, and with a glad cry of thanksgiving Mrs. Shinevonboodle ran in the house and began to beat Mozart out of the piano.
* * * * * *
That's all the Society news I have at present, John.
Yours as per usual, BUNCH.
JOHN HENRY ON CHAFING DISHES
I pulled a wheeze on Bunch Jefferson a few weeks ago that made him sit up and scream for help.
Bunch is the Original Ace all right, all right, but it does put dust on his dignity to have anybody josh his literary attainments.
Bunch can really sling a nasty little pen, but he isn't anybody's John W. Milton.
Not at all.
He can take a bunch of the English language and flatten it out around the edges till it looks quite poetic, but that doesn't make him a George O. Khayaam.
Not at all.
The trouble with Bunch is that his home folks have swelled his chest to such an extent by petting his adjectives that he thinks he has Shakespeare on a hot skiddoo for the sand dunes, and when it comes to that poetry thing he thinks he can make Hank Longfellow beat it up a tree.
Bunch lives out in Westchester County in one of those hand-painted suburbs where everybody knows everybody else's business and forgets his own.
Bunch and Alice joined the local club, of course, and when Bunch read some of his poetical outbursts at a free-and-easy one evening, Society got up on its hind legs and with one voice declared my old pal Jefferson to be the logical successor to Robert H. Browning, Sir Walter K. Scott, Bert Tennyson, or any other poet that ever shook a quill.
Bunch began to fancy himself some—well, rather!
When Peaches and I went out Westchester way a few weeks ago to spend a week-end with Bunch and Alice, all we heard was home-made poetry.
When Bunch wasn't ladling out impromptu sonnets, Alice was reading one of his epics or throwing a fit over a "perfectly lovely" rondeau—whatever that may be.
Even at meal times Bunch couldn't break away.
With a voice full of emotion and vegetable soup he would exclaim:
And now the twilight shadows on The distant mountain flutter, And thou, my fair and good friend John, Wilt kindly pass the butter!
What are you going to do with a man who has a bug like that?
What would you do, if while sitting at breakfast with an old chum, he suddenly yelped in accents wild:
The palpitating Elsewhere shrinks Before that glamorous host, Eftsoon, aye, now, good friend, methinks That thou would'st have more toast!
It was clearly up to me to hand Bunch a good hard bump and wake him up before that poetry germ began to bite his arm off.
Bunch told me that in response to the urgent demands of his Westchester friends, he contemplated getting out a little book of his poems, and this was my cue.
I figured it out that the antithesis of a book of poetry would be a cook book, so I hustled.
In a few days I had the book framed up; a few days later it was printed, and before very long Bunch's Westchester society friends were grabbing for what they supposed was his feverish output of poesy.
This is what they got:
A GUIDE TO THE CHAFING DISH.
BY BUNCH JEFFERSON
(From Recipes Furnished by Famous Friends.)
In presenting these Cuckoo Recipes for the Chafing Dish to his friends Mr. Jefferson wishes it distinctly understood that all doctors' bills arising from a free indulgence in any of the dishes suggested herein must be paid by the indulgee, and he wishes to state, further, that while this book may contain many aches and pains no ptomaine is intended.
MOCK BAKED BEANS.
(From a Recipe furnished by Morton Smith.)
Take as many buttons as the family can afford and remove the thread. Add pure spring water and stew gently till you burst your buttons. Add a little flour to calm them and let them sizzle. Serve with tomato ketchup or molasses, according to the location you find yourself living on the map. A quart bottle of Pommery on the side will help some.
MOCK HAM AND EGGS.
(From a Recipe furnished by De Wolf Hopper.)
Place the white of a newspaper in the frying pan, and then cover the centre with an Italian sunset picked fresh from a magazine picture. This forms the basis of the egg and it tastes very realistic. Be sure to get a fresh newspaper and a fresh magazine, edited by a fresh editor, otherwise the imitation egg will be dull and insipid. Now add a few slices of pickled linoleum and fry carelessly for twenty minutes. Serve hot with imitation salt and pepper on the side. This is a daylight dish, because the sunset effect is lost if cooked after dark.
MOCK LAMB CHOPS.
(From a Recipe furnished by William T. Hodge.)
Saw away three chops from the face of the kitchen table and put them in the broiler. Be economical with the sawdust, which can be forced into a cottage pudding. When the chops begin to sizzle, add a red necktie and a small bunch of imitation butter and stir gently. Now let them sizzle. If the chops crack across the surface while cooking, it is a sign you were cheated when you bought the kitchen table. Let them sizzle. Serve hot with imitation water cresses on the side. Nice water cresses can be made from green window blinds cut on the bias.
(From a Recipe furnished by Silvio Hein.)
Always be sure to get a fresh Hamburger. There is nothing that will reconcile a man to a vegetarian diet so quick as an over-ripe Hamburger. They should always be picked at the full of the moon. To tell the age of a Hamburger look at its teeth. One row of teeth for every year, and the limit is seven rows. Now remove the wishbone and slice carefully. Add Worcester sauce and let it sizzle. Add a pinch of potato salad and stir gently. Serve hot and talk fast while eating.
(From a Recipe furnished by Frank Doane.)
Coax a few feet of garden hose into the kitchen and then kidnap it. When it is finally subdued, chop it into sections and stuff it with odds and ends. Nice, fresh odds and ends may be bought by the wholesale at any first-class junk shop. Place the result in a saucepan without adding any water, because if you put water in with the garden hose it will get up and go out on the lawn. Now let it sizzle. When the imitation clock points to an hour and a half the sausage is done. Serve hot with a Yarmouth bloater and some crumpets on the side. Be sure to have a gold safety pin in your flannel collar before eating.
(From a Recipe furnished by John Park.)
Take an old whisk broom and remove the handle. If the handle is made of wood keep it, because it can be turned into a breakfast food the first time you see a sawmill. Now remove the wire from the broom and sprinkle with baking soda. Serve cold with a pinch of salt on the northwestern end.
IMITATION BEEF TEA.
(From a Recipe furnished by Rupert Hughes.)
Take the white of an egg and beat it without mercy. When it is insensible put it in the teapot and add enough hot water to drown it. Let it drown about twenty minutes, then lead the yolk of an egg over to the teapot and push it in. Season with a small pinch of paprika and let it simper. Serve hot, and always be sure to put a piece of lemon in the finger-bowl.
IMITATION MOCK TURTLE SOUP.
(From a Recipe furnished by John L. Golden.)
Go out in the garden and catch a young mock. Remove the pin feathers and place the mock in a skillet. Catch an onion when it isn't looking and push it in the skillet. Add water and let it sizzle. Add more water. Be sure there are no chemicals in the water. Add more water. Always wash the water before adding. Now upset the skillet into the soup tureen and add imitation Tabasco sauce. Imitation Tabasco sauce can be made from pickled firecrackers. Serve hot and keep the lips closed firmly while eating it from the left-hand side of the spoon.
IMITATION ROAST BEEF.
(From a Recipe furnished by E. W. Kemble.)
Draw from memory the outlines of a cow and remove the forequarter. Place the forequarter on the gridiron and let it sizzle. Now brown the wheats and draw one. Add boiling water and stir gently with an imitation spoon. After cooking two hours try it with the can-opener. If it breaks the can-opener it is not done. Let it sizzle. When the supper bell rings serve hot with imitation pickles on the side. Nice pickles can be made from green trading stamps, but be careful to squeeze out all the premiums from the green trading stamps before using, because the premiums are full of ptomaine.
IMITATION ROAST TURKEY
(From a Recipe furnished by Dr. Percy Crandall.)
Find a copy of a Thanksgiving-Day newspaper and select therefrom the fattest turkey on page 3. Now, with a few kind words, coax the turkey away from the newspaper in the direction of the kitchen. Care should be taken that the turkey does not escape in the butler's pantry or fly up the dumb-waiter, because the turkey is a very nervous animal. Once you get the turkey in the kitchen lock the door and prepare the stuffing. The best stuffing for a turkey is chestnuts, which you can obtain from any author who writes musical comedy. Now remove the wishbone carelessly and make a wish. Add twenty-four, multiply by nineteen, and sprinkle with salt. Then rush the turkey over to the gas stove before it has a chance to change its mind. Let it sizzle for four hours and serve hot with jib cocktails and Philippine napkins on the side.
(From a Recipe furnished by Daniel V. Arthur.)
Get mad at a piece of bread and soak it. Chop it up fine and add liquid water. Let it sizzle. Stir it caressingly with a wooden spoon. When the spoon becomes a brunette the coffee is done. Serve without splashing it and add a little cold water, painted white, to look like milk. If you have any tame cheese in the pantry now is the time to whistle for it.
(From a Recipe furnished by Edward Abeles.)
Take two rubber-neck clams and, after stuffing them with peanuts, fry them over a slow fire. Now remove the necks from the clams and add baking soda. Let them sizzle. Take the juice of a lemon and threaten the clams with it. Serve hot with pink finger-bowls with your initials on them. Some people prefer to have their initials on the clams, but such an idea is only for the wealthy.
MOCK BREAKFAST BACON.
(From a Recipe furnished by A. Baldwin Sloane.)
Take a hatful of pine shavings and remove the hat. Add a little sherry wine and sweeten to taste. Let them sizzle. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and other cosmetics. Let them sizzle. Serve cold with shredded onions on the side.
MOCK BEEF STEAK.
(From a Recipe furnished by Joseph Coyne.)
Carefully remove the laces from an old shoe and put them away, because they can be used for shoe-string potatoes just as soon as the potato trust gets started. Beat the shoe with a hammer for ten minutes until its tongue stops wagging and it gets black and blue in the face. Then put in the frying pan and stir gently. When it begins to sizzle add the yolk of an egg and season with parsley. Imitation parsley can be made from green wall paper with the scissors. If there is no green wall paper in the house speak to the landlord about it. Let it sizzle. Should you wish to smother it with onions now is your chance, because after cooking so long it is almost helpless. Serve hot with a hatchet on the side. If there are more than four people in the family use both shoes.
IMITATION IRISH STEW.
(From a Recipe furnished by Charles Swayne.)
Remove the jacket and waistcoat from a potato and put in the saucepan. Add three quarts of boiling water. Get a map of Ireland and hang it on the wall directly in front of the saucepan. This will furnish the local color for the stew. Let it boil two hours. When the potato begins to moult it is a sign the stew is nearly done. Walk easy so as not to frighten it. Add a pint of rhubarb and serve hot with lettuce dressing. If the lettuce isn't dressed it ought to be ashamed of itself.
IMITATION PRUNE PIE.
(From a Recipe furnished by George W. Lederer.)
Take a dozen knot-holes and peel them carefully. Remove the shells and add a cup of sugar. Stir quickly and put in a hot oven. Bake gently for six hours and then add a little Jamaica ginger and some pickled rag-time. Serve hot with tea wafers on the side.
* * * * * *
I haven't seen Bunch since the book came out.
But I know he will get back at me good and hard some of these fine days.