The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories.

Central office. (GRUFFY.) Hello!

I. Is it the Central Office?

C. O. Of course it is.  What do you want?

I. Will you switch me on to the Bagleys, please?

C. O. All right.  Just keep your ear to the telephone.

Then I heard K-look, K-look, K’LOOK—­KLOOK-KLOOK-KLOOK-look-look! then a horrible “gritting” of teeth, and finally a piping female voice:  Y-e-s? (Rising inflection.) Did you wish to speak to me?

Without answering, I handed the telephone to the applicant, and sat down.  Then followed that queerest of all the queer things in this world —­a conversation with only one end of it.  You hear questions asked; you don’t hear the answer.  You hear invitations given; you hear no thanks in return.  You have listening pauses of dead silence, followed by apparently irrelevant and unjustifiable exclamations of glad surprise or sorrow or dismay.  You can’t make head or tail of the talk, because you never hear anything that the person at the other end of the wire says.  Well, I heard the following remarkable series of observations, all from the one tongue, and all shouted —­for you can’t ever persuade the sex to speak gently into a telephone: 

Yes?  Why, how did that happen?

Pause.

What did you say?

Pause.

Oh no, I don’t think it was.

Pause.

No!  Oh no, I didn’t mean that.  I meant, put it in while it is still boiling—­or just before it comes to a boil.

Pause.

What?

Pause.

I turned it over with a backstitch on the selvage edge.

Pause.

Yes, I like that way, too; but I think it’s better to baste it on with Valenciennes or bombazine, or something of that sort.  It gives it such an air—­and attracts so much noise.

Pause.

It’s forty-ninth Deuteronomy, sixty-forth to ninety-seventh inclusive. 
I think we ought all to read it often.

Pause.

Perhaps so; I generally use a hair pin.

Pause.

What did you say? (Aside.) Children, do be quiet!

Pause

Oh!  B flat!  Dear me, I thought you said it was the cat!

Pause.

Since when?

Pause.

Why, I never heard of it.

Pause.

You astound me!  It seems utterly impossible!

Pause.

Who did?

Pause.

Good-ness gracious!

Pause.

Well, what is this world coming to?  Was it right in church?

Pause.

And was her mother there?

Pause.

Why, Mrs. Bagley, I should have died of humiliation!  What did they do?

Long pause.

I can’t be perfectly sure, because I haven’t the notes by me; but I think it goes something like this:  te-rolly-loll-loll, loll lolly-loll-loll, O tolly-loll-loll-Lee-Ly-LI-I-do!  And then repeat, you know.

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Project Gutenberg
The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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