“Why didn’t you tell me what it was made of?” she asked in annoyance. “I feel just as if I’d swallowed a marsh—a green one!”
“That’s a shame!” said Clover indignantly. “I’ll get you something that will take that taste out of your mouth double quick. Here!” he called to a waiter, and then he gave the man certain careful directions.
The latter nodded wisely, and a few minutes later brought in a tiny glass containing a pousse-cafe in three different colors.
“It’s a cocktail. Drink it quick,” Clover directed.
Aunt Mary demurred.
“I never drank a cocktail,” she began.
“No time like the present to begin,” said Clover, “you’ll have to learn some day.”
“Cocktails,” said Mitchell, “are the advance guard of a newer and brighter civilization. They—”
“If she’s going to take it at all she must take it now,” said Clover authoritatively. “The green and the yellow are beginning to run together. Quick now!”
His confiding guest drank quick and became the three different colors quicker yet.
“What’s the matter?” Jack asked anxiously.
Aunt Mary was speechless.
“He mixed it wrong,” said Clover in a sad, discouraged tone. “What she ought to have got first she got last, that’s all. The cocktail is upside down inside of her, and the effect of it is upside down on the outside of her.”
“Feel any better now, Aunt Mary?” Jack yelled.
“I can’t seem to keep the purple swallowed,” said the poor old lady. “I want to go home. I’ve always been a great believer in going home when you feel like I do now. In general—as a rule.”
“I would strongly recommend your obeying her wishes,” said Mitchell, with great earnestness. “There’s a time for all things, and, in my opinion, she’s had about all the queer tastes that she can absorb for to-day. Things being as they are and mainly as they shouldn’t be, I cast my vote in with what looks as if it would soon become the losing side, and vote to bubble back for all we’re worth.”
There was a general acquiescence in his view of the case, which led them all to pile into “The Threshing Machine” with unaffected haste and rush Aunt Mary bedward as rapidly as was possible considering the hour and the policemen.
Janice received her mistress with the tender welcome that every prodigal may count on and was especially expeditious with tea and toast and a robe de nuit. Aunt Mary sighed luxuriously when she felt herself finally tucked up.
“After all, Granite,” she said dreamily, “there’s nothin’ like gettin’ stretched out to think it over—is there?”
But Janice was turning out the lights.
Jack’s aunt slept long and dreamlessly again. That thrice-blessed sleep which follows nights abroad in the metropolis.