Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories.

The next day, about noon, a policeman brought me the following note, written in pencil, on a leaf torn from a pocket-book.

  DEAR FRIEND;

I made a speech last night (and a very good one too) in behalf of oppressed humanity, but its effect upon my audience was, to say the least, singular.  Its results, as far as I am personally concerned were also somewhat unpleasant.  Looking at myself in my pocketglass this morning, I find that my nose has become disproportionately prominent, besides showing an abnormal lateral development If you would have the goodness to accompany the obliging gentleman, who is the bearer of this, to my temporary lodgings, I will further explain the situation to you.  By the way, it is absolutely necessary that you should come.

  Yours in haste,

  VICTOR J. ST. D. DANNEVIG, R.D.O.[A]

[Footnote A:  Knight of the Order of Dannebrog.]

I found Dannevig, as I had expected, at the so-called Armory (the city prison), in pleasant converse with half-a-dozen policemen, to whom he was describing, with inimitable grace and good-humor, his adventures of the preceding night.  He was too absorbed in his narrative to notice my arrival, and I did not choose to interrupt him.

“You can imagine, gentlemen,” he was saying, accompanying his words with the liveliest gesticulations, “how the rude contact of a plebeian fist with my tender skin must have impressed me.  Really gentlemen, I was so surprised that I literally lost my balance.  I was, as you are no doubt aware, merely asserting my rights as a free citizen to protest against the presumptions of the unprincipled oligarchy which is at present ruling this fair city.  My case is exactly parallel to that of Caius Gracchus, who, I admit, reaped a similar reward.”

“But you were drunk,” replied a rude voice from his audience.  “Dead drunk.”

“Drunk,” ejaculated Dannevig, with a gesture of dignified deprecation.  “Now, I submit it to you as gentlemen of taste and experience:  how would you define that state of mind and body vulgarly styled ‘drunk?’ I was merely pleasantly animated, as far as such a condition can be induced by those vulgar liquids which you are in the habit of imbibing in this benighted country.  Now, if I had had the honor of your acquaintance in the days of my prosperity, it would have given me great pleasure to raise your standard of taste regarding wines and alcoholic liquors.  The mixed drinks, which are held in such high esteem in this community, are, in my opinion, utterly demoralizing.”

Thinking it was high time to interrupt this discourse, I stepped up to the orator, and laid my hand on his shoulder.

“Dannevig,” I said, “I have no time to waste Let me settle this business for you at once.”

“In a moment I shall be at your service,” he answered, gracefully waving his hand; and for some five minutes more he continued his harangue on the corrupting effects of mixed drinks.

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Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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