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Babbit eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 351 pages of information about Babbit.

This is the straight steer, Benny, the painless chicklets of the Wrollicking Wrens are the cuddlingest bunch that ever hit town.  Steer the feet, get the card board, and twist the pupils to the PDQest show ever.  You will get 111% on your kale in this fun-fest.  The Calroza Sisters are sure some lookers and will give you a run for your gelt.  Jock Silbersteen is one of the pepper lads and slips you a dose of real laughter.  Shoot the up and down to Jackson and West for graceful tappers.  They run 1-2 under the wire.  Provin and Adams will blow the blues in their laugh skit “Hootch Mon!” Something doing, boys.  Listen to what the Hep Bird twitters.

“Sounds like a juicy show to me.  Let’s all take it in,” said Babbitt.

But they put off departure as long as they could.  They were safe while they sat here, legs firmly crossed under the table, but they felt unsteady; they were afraid of navigating the long and slippery floor of the grillroom under the eyes of the other guests and the too-attentive waiters.

When they did venture, tables got in their way, and they sought to cover embarrassment by heavy jocularity at the coatroom.  As the girl handed out their hats, they smiled at her, and hoped that she, a cool and expert judge, would feel that they were gentlemen.  They croaked at one another, “Who owns the bum lid?” and “You take a good one, George; I’ll take what’s left,” and to the check-girl they stammered, “Better come along, sister!  High, wide, and fancy evening ahead!” All of them tried to tip her, urging one another, “No!  Wait!  Here!  I got it right here!” Among them, they gave her three dollars.

XI

Flamboyantly smoking cigars they sat in a box at the burlesque show, their feet up on the rail, while a chorus of twenty daubed, worried, and inextinguishably respectable grandams swung their legs in the more elementary chorus-evolutions, and a Jewish comedian made vicious fun of Jews.  In the entr’actes they met other lone delegates.  A dozen of them went in taxicabs out to Bright Blossom Inn, where the blossoms were made of dusty paper festooned along a room low and stinking, like a cow-stable no longer wisely used.

Here, whisky was served openly, in glasses.  Two or three clerks, who on pay-day longed to be taken for millionaires, sheepishly danced with telephone-girls and manicure-girls in the narrow space between the tables.  Fantastically whirled the professionals, a young man in sleek evening-clothes and a slim mad girl in emerald silk, with amber hair flung up as jaggedly as flames.  Babbitt tried to dance with her.  He shuffled along the floor, too bulky to be guided, his steps unrelated to the rhythm of the jungle music, and in his staggering he would have fallen, had she not held him with supple kindly strength.  He was blind and deaf from prohibition-era alcohol; he could not see the tables, the faces.  But he was overwhelmed by the girl and her young pliant warmth.

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