THREE GOOD TURNS
“Give him the money,” laughed Mr. Bartlett.
“I will do no such thing,” said his wife. “I thought you were a poor little starving urchin, Walter. Wherever did you get that sweater?”
“I don’t believe he’s had anything to eat for half an hour,” said Mr. Bartlett. “Well, how is my old college chum, Pee-wee? You make her give you the twenty-five cents, Pee-wee.”
“A scout can’t accept money like that,” said Mrs. Bartlett reprovingly, “it’s against their rules. Don’t you know that?”
Pee-wee cast a longing glance back at the window of Pfiffel’s Bakery and then proceeded to set Mrs. Bartlett right on the subject of the scout law.
“It—it depends on what you call rides; see?’” he said.
“And on what you call hungry,” added Mr. Bartlett.
“If—if you—kind of—want to do a good turn, I haven’t got any right to stop you, have I?” Pee-wee said. “Because good turns are the main things. Gee whiz, I haven’t got any right to interfere with those. I haven’t got any right to accept money for a service, but suppose—suppose there’s a jelly roll—”
“There is,” said Mr. Bartlett, “but in two minutes there isn’t going to be. You go in and get that jelly roll as a favor to Mrs. Bartlett And hurry up back and we’ll take you to the Lyric.”
“I was going there anyway,” Pee-wee said, “I want to see The Bandit of Harrowing Highway, it’s in five reels.”
“Well, you come along with us,” said Mr. Bartlett, “and then you’ll be doing two good turns. You’ll be doing a favor to Mrs. Bartlett by buying a jelly roll and you’ll be doing a favor to me by making a party of three to see The Bandit of Harrowing Highway. What do you say?”
“Three’s my lucky number,” said Pee-wee. Then, suddenly bethinking himself he added, “but I don’t mean I want to get three jelly rolls—you understand.”
“Yes, we understand,” said Mrs. Bartlett.
So it befell that Pee-wee, alias Walter Harris, scout of the first class (in quality if not in quantity) found himself riding luxuriously down Main Street in the rear seat of Mr. Bartlett’s big Hunkajunk touring car, eating a jelly roll with true scout relish, for it was now close to eight o’clock and Pee-wee had not eaten anything since supper-time. Having completed this good turn to Mrs. Bartlett he proceeded to do a good turn to himself by bringing forth two sandwiches out of the pocket usually associated with a far more dangerous weapon. This was his emergency kit which he always carried. Morning, noon, or night, he always carried a couple of sandwiches the same as motorists carry extra tires.
And while he ate he talked. “Gee whiz, I’m crazy to see that picture,” he said.
“We usually go for the educational films,” said Mrs. Bartlett.
“I don’t like anything that’s got education in it,” Pee-wee said. “Even when I go to vaudeville I don’t like educated monkeys and cats and things. I like bandits and things like that. What’s your favorite thing?”