Abroad with the Jimmies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 197 pages of information about Abroad with the Jimmies.

I had brought a letter to Max Nordau from America, but I heard after I got to Paris that he was so fierce a woman hater, that I determined not to present it.  I read it over every once in awhile, but failed to screw my courage to the sticking point, until one day I mentioned that I had this letter, and Jimmie to my surprise threw up both hands, exclaiming: 

“A letter to Max Nordau!  Why, it is like owning a gold mine!  Present it by all means, and then tell us what he is like.”

Afraid to present it in person, I sent it by mail, saying that I had heard that he hated women and that I was scared to death of him, but if he had a day in the near future on which he felt less fierce than usual, I would come to see him, and I asked permission to bring a friend.  By “friend” I meant Jimmie.

The most charming note came in answer that a polished man of the world could write—­not in the least like the bear I had imagined him to be, but courteous and even merry.  In it he said he should feel honoured if I would visit his poor abode, and he seemed to have read my books and knew all about me, so with very mixed feelings Jimmie and I called at the hour he named.

He lives in one of the regulation apartment houses of Paris, of the meaner sort—­by no means as fine as those in the American quarter.  The most horrible odour of German cookery—­cauliflower and boiled cabbage and vinegar and all that—­floated out when the door opened.  The room—­a sort of living-room—­into which we were ushered was a mixture of all sorts of furniture, black haircloth, dingy and old, with here and there a good picture or one fine chair, which I imagined had been presented to him.

Jimmie was much excited at the idea of meeting him.  Max Nordau is one of his idols,—­Nordau’s horrible power of invective fully meeting Jimmie’s ideas of the way crimes of the bestial sort should be treated.  Jimmie is often a surprise to me in his beliefs and ideals, but when Doctor Nordau entered the room I forgot Jimmie and everything else in the world except this one man.

I can see him now as he stood before me—­a thick-set man with a magnificent torso, but with legs which ought to have been longer.  For that body he ought to have been six feet tall.  When he is seated he appears to be a very large man.  You would know that he was a physician from the way he shakes hands—­even from the touch of his hand, which seems to be in itself a soothing of pain.

He was exquisitely clean.  Indeed he seemed, after one look into his face, to be one of the cleanest men I ever had seen.  And to look into the face of a man in Paris and to be able to say that, means something.

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Abroad with the Jimmies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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