Manuel wanted to kiss Herman. Herman says he did cry large tears of gladness. And they started for town.
So they got to Reno, and did not proceed to the Public Library, or the Metallurgical Institute, or the Historical Museum. They proceeded to the Railroad Exchange Saloon, where they loitered and loitered and loitered before the bar, at Herman’s expense, telling how much they thought of each other and eating of salt fish from time to time, which is intended by the proprietor to make even sheep herders more thirsty than normal.
Herman sipped only a little beer; but Manuel thought of many new beverages that had heretofore been beyond his humble purse, and every new one he took made him think of another new one. It was a grand moment for Manuel—having anything he could think of set before him in this beautiful cafe or saloon, crowded with other men who were also having grand moments.
After a while Herman says to Manuel to come outside, because he wants to tell him something good he has thought of. So he leads him outside by an arm and can hardly tell what he has to say because it’s so funny he has to laugh when he thinks of it. They go up an alley where they won’t be overheard, and Herman at last manages to keep his laughter down long enough to tell it. It’s a comical antic he wants Manuel to commit.
Manuel don’t get the idea, at first, but Herman laughs so hard that at last Manuel thinks it’s just got to be funny and pretty soon he’s laughing at it as hard as Herman is.
So they go back to the saloon to do this funny thing, which is to be a joke on the big crowd of men in there. Herman says he won’t be able to do it good himself, because he’s got a bad cold and can’t yell loud; but Manuel’s voice is getting better with every new drink. Manuel is just busting with mirth, thinking of this good joke he’s going to play on the Americans.
They have one more drink, Manuel taking peach brandy with honey, which Herman says costs thirty cents; then he looks over the men standing there and he yells good and loud:
“To hell with the President! Hurrah for the Kaiser!”
You know, when Herman told me that, I wondered right off if he hadn’t been educated in some school for German secret agents. Didn’t it show guile of their kind? I’ll never be amazed if he does turn out to be a spy that’s simply went wrong on detail.
Of course he was safe out of town long before Manuel limped from the hospital looking for him with a knife. And yet Herman seemed so silly! First thing when he got on the place he wanted to know where the engine was that pumped the windmill.
Furthermore, if you ask me, that there wine won’t be made safe for democracy until Uncle Henry has been years and years laid away to rest.