“When I was comin’ away,” concluded “Bill,” “I pulled this off’n the bush by the front steps. I thought maybe I might see you in the city, and I knowed you’d like somethin’ from the old home.”
He took from his coat pocket a rose—a drooping, yellow, velvet, odorous rose, that hung its head in the foul atmosphere of that tainted rathskeller like a virgin bowing before the hot breath of the lions in a Roman arena.
Miss Carrington’s penetrating but musical laugh rose above the orchestra’s rendering of “Bluebells.”
“Oh, say!” she cried, with glee, “ain’t those poky places the limit? I just know that two hours at Cranberry Corners would give me the horrors now. Well, I’m awful glad to have seen you, Mr. Summers. Guess I’ll bustle around to the hotel now and get my beauty sleep.”
She thrust the yellow rose into the bosom of her wonderful, dainty, silken garments, stood up and nodded imperiously at Herr Goldstein.
Her three companions and “Bill Summers” attended her to her cab. When her flounces and streamers were all safely tucked inside she dazzled them with au revoirs from her shining eyes and teeth.
“Come around to the hotel and see me, Bill, before you leave the city,” she called as the glittering cab rolled away.
Highsmith, still in his make-up, went with Herr Goldstein to a cafe booth.
“Bright idea, eh?” asked the smiling actor. “Ought to land ’Sol Haytosser’ for me, don’t you think? The little lady never once tumbled.”
“I didn’t hear your conversation,” said Goldstein, “but your make-up and acting was O. K. Here’s to your success. You’d better call on Miss Carrington early to-morrow and strike her for the part. I don’t see how she can keep from being satisfied with your exhibition of ability.”
At 11.45 A. M. on the next day Highsmith, handsome, dressed in the latest mode, confident, with a fuchsia in his button-hole, sent up his card to Miss Carrington in her select apartment hotel.
He was shown up and received by the actress’s French maid.
“I am sorree,” said Mlle. Hortense, “but I am to say this to all. It is with great regret. Mees Carrington have cancelled all engagements on the stage and have returned to live in that—how you call that town? Cranberry Cornaire!”
THE CLARION CALL
Half of this story can be found in the records of the Police Department; the other half belongs behind the business counter of a newspaper office.
One afternoon two weeks after Millionaire Norcross was found in his apartment murdered by a burglar, the murderer, while strolling serenely down Broadway ran plump against Detective Barney Woods.
“Is that you, Johnny Kernan?” asked Woods, who had been near-sighted in public for five years.
“No less,” cried Kernan, heartily. “If it isn’t Barney Woods, late and early of old Saint Jo! You’ll have to show me! What are you doing East? Do the green-goods circulars get out that far?”