“By God!” exclaimed Ravenslee, his eyes suddenly very bright, “I never thought of that!”
“Yes, so I’m thinking you’d best skin off t’night, Geoff!” sighed the lad gloomily, whereupon Ravenslee, pocketing his pipe, clapped him joyously upon the shoulder.
“Banish that dejection, my comrade,” said he, “for now, my Arthur-Spike, ’now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer in this brutal Bud’ and—”
“What yer mean, Geoff?”
“I mean that life’s erstwhile dull monotony is like to be forgotten quite in the vigorous, exhilarating air of Hell’s Kitchen. Hell’s Kitchen suits me admirably, consequently in Hell’s Kitchen I’ll stay.”
“Stay? Geoff, are ye crazy? What about Bud M’Ginnis?”
“M’Ginnis, my Arthur? Oh, Bud M’Ginnis may be—hush! Straighten the cloth yonder, Spike; she’s coming at last, by Heaven!”
CONTAINING SOME DESCRIPTION OF A SUPPER PARTY
“Oh!” said Hermione, as she caught sight of Ravenslee’s tall figure, “you’ve come then, Mr. Geoffrey? I’ve been hoping and praying you wouldn’t! I mean—” she added hastily, in answer to his look, “I mean I have only two miserable little chops for supper.”
“S’ all right, Hermy!” cried Spike. “I told you not to worry about the eats. Look what’s here—stand out o’ the light, Geoff, so she can see the table!”
“Why—why—what’s all this?” she exclaimed, staring at the numerous well-filled dishes with blue eyes very wide. “Oh, goodness gracious—me!” and she turned to look at Mr. Ravenslee, who, meeting that wondering glance, actually found himself stammering again.
“The fact is, Miss Hermione—er—I say the fact is we—Arthur and I—are giving a little supper to-night in honour of—of—er—my birthday.”
“You bet we are, Hermy!” added Spike. “Will you pipe the turk’?”
“We have been waiting for you,” continued Ravenslee, placing a chair for her, “you see—er—you are to be our guest of honour—if you will?”
“Sure you are!” nodded Spike, “and I’m head-waiter, eater-in-chief t’ the turk’ while she lasts, an’ chief mourner when she’s gone—so now I’ll go an’ make th’ tea, only don’t begin without me—a fair start an’ all together, see?” and he vanished into the kitchen.
“But—a whole turkey!” said Hermione, viewing it with feminine, knowledgeful eyes, “and then all this ham and tongue and—Mr. Geoffrey, how extravagant of you!” And she shook her shapely head at him reprovingly but with a smile curving her red lips; and lo! there was the shining curl above her eyebrow again, more wantonly alluring than usual. “Whatever made you buy so much?”
“Mr. Pffeffenfifer!” answered Ravenslee, staring at the radiant curl, whereupon she, becoming aware of it, would have sent it into immediate retirement among its many fellows but that he stayed her humbly.