A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others eBook

Francis Hopkinson Smith
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 136 pages of information about A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others.
so much as an outing, and no member of any such junketing party, be it said, was more popular every hour of the journey.  He could be host, servant, cook, chambermaid, errand-boy, and grand seigneur again in the same hour, adapting himself to every emergency that arose.  His good-humor was perennial, unceasing, one constant flow, and never checked.  He took care of the dogs, unpacked the bags, laid out everybody’s linen, saw that the sheets were dry, received all callers so that the boys might sleep in the afternoon, did all the disagreeable and uncomfortable things himself, and let everybody else have all the fun.  He did all this unconsciously, graciously, and simply because he could not help it.  When the outing ended, you parted from him with all the regret that you would from some chum of your college days.  As for him, he never wanted it to end.  There was no office, nor law case, nor sick patient, nor ugly partner, nor complication of any kind, commercial, social, or professional, which could affect the major.  For him life was one prolonged drift:  so long as the last man remained he could stay.  When he left, if there was enough in the larder to last over, the major always made another day of it.


The major was standing on the steamboat wharf in Baltimore, nervously consulting his watch, when Jack and I stepped from a cab next day.

“Well, by gravy! is this all?  Where are the other gentlemen?”

“They’ll be down in the morning, major,” said Jack.  “Where shall we send this baggage?”

“Here, just give it to me!  Po’ter, po’ter!” in a stentorian voice.  “Take these bags and guns, and put ’em on the upper deck alongside of my luggage.  Now, gentlemen, just a sip of somethin’ befo’ they haul the gang-plank,—­we’ve six minutes yet.”

The bar was across the street.  On the way over, the major confided to Jack full information regarding the state-rooms, remarking that he had selected the “fo’ best on the upper deck,” and adding that he would have paid for them himself only a friend had disappointed him.

It was evident that the barkeeper knew his peculiarities, for a tall, black bottle with a wabbly cork—­consisting of a porcelain marble confined in a miniature bird-cage—­was passed to the major before he had opened his mouth.  When he did open it—­the mouth—­there was no audible protest as regards the selection.  When he closed it again the flow line had fallen some three fingers.  It is, however, fair to the major to say that only one third of this amount was tucked away under his own waistcoat.

The trip down the bay was particularly enjoyable, brightened outside on the water by the most brilliant of sunsets, the afternoon sky a glory of purple and gold, and made gay and delightful inside the after-cabin by the charm of the major’s talk,—­the whole passenger-list entranced as he skipped from politics and the fine arts to literature, tarrying a moment in his flight to discuss a yellow-backed book that had just been published, and coming to a full stop with the remark:—­

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A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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