Babbit eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about Babbit.

“Yes, maybe there’s something to that.  Course, that is—­with a pretty kiddy like you, a man can’t help coming to get his mitts done.”

“Yeh, I may be a kid, but I’m a wise bird, and I know nice folks when I see um—­I can read character at a glance—­and I’d never talk so frank with a fellow if I couldn’t see he was a nice fellow.”

She smiled.  Her eyes seemed to him as gentle as April pools.  With great seriousness he informed himself that “there were some roughnecks who would think that just because a girl was a manicure girl and maybe not awful well educated, she was no good, but as for him, he was a democrat, and understood people,” and he stood by the assertion that this was a fine girl, a good girl—­but not too uncomfortably good.  He inquired in a voice quick with sympathy: 

“I suppose you have a lot of fellows who try to get fresh with you.”

“Say, gee, do I!  Say, listen, there’s some of these cigar-store sports that think because a girl’s working in a barber shop, they can get away with anything.  The things they saaaaaay!  But, believe me, I know how to hop those birds!  I just give um the north and south and ask um, ’Say, who do you think you’re talking to?’ and they fade away like love’s young nightmare and oh, don’t you want a box of nail-paste?  It will keep the nails as shiny as when first manicured, harmless to apply and lasts for days.”

“Sure, I’ll try some.  Say—­Say, it’s funny; I’ve been coming here ever since the shop opened and—­” With arch surprise. “—­I don’t believe I know your name!”

“Don’t you?  My, that’s funny!  I don’t know yours!”

“Now you quit kidding me!  What’s the nice little name?”

“Oh, it ain’t so darn nice.  I guess it’s kind of kike.  But my folks ain’t kikes.  My papa’s papa was a nobleman in Poland, and there was a gentleman in here one day, he was kind of a count or something—­”

“Kind of a no-account, I guess you mean!”

“Who’s telling this, smarty?  And he said he knew my papa’s papa’s folks in Poland and they had a dandy big house.  Right on a lake!” Doubtfully, “Maybe you don’t believe it?”

“Sure.  No.  Really.  Sure I do.  Why not?  Don’t think I’m kidding you, honey, but every time I’ve noticed you I’ve said to myself, ’That kid has Blue Blood in her veins!’”

“Did you, honest?”

“Honest I did.  Well, well, come on—­now we’re friends—­what’s the darling little name?”

“Ida Putiak.  It ain’t so much-a-much of a name.  I always say to Ma, I say, ’Ma, why didn’t you name me Doloress or something with some class to it?’”

“Well, now, I think it’s a scrumptious name.  Ida!”

“I bet I know your name!”

“Well, now, not necessarily.  Of course—­Oh, it isn’t so specially well known.”

“Aren’t you Mr. Sondheim that travels for the Krackajack Kitchen Kutlery Ko.?”

“I am not!  I’m Mr. Babbitt, the real-estate broker!”

Project Gutenberg
Babbit from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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