He had the general outwardness of a vast and lumpy child. His chin had so distanced his other features that his eyes, nose, and brow seemed almost baby-like in comparison, while his mountainous legs were the great part of the rest of him. He was one of those huge, bottle-shaped boys who are always in motion in spite of their cumbersomeness. His gestures were continuous, though difficult to interpret as bearing upon the subject of his equally continuous conversation; and under all circumstances he kept his conspicuous legs incessantly moving, whether he was going anywhere or remaining in comparatively one spot.
His expression was pathetically offensive, the result of his bland confidence in the audible opinions of a small town whereof his father was the richest inhabitant—and the one thing about him, even more obvious than his chin, his legs, and his spectacular taste in flannels, was his perfect trust that he was as welcome to every one as he was to his mother. This might some day lead him in the direction of great pain, but on the occasion of the “subscription party” for Miss Pratt it gave him an advantage.
“When do I get to meet that cutie?” he insisted, as Johnnie Watson moved backward from the cousinly arm, which threatened further flailing. “You intradooced me to about seven I can’t do much for, but I want to get the howdy business over with this Miss Pratt, so I and she can get things started. I’m goin’ to keep her busy all day!”
“Well, don’t be in such a hurry,” said Johnnie, uneasily. “You can meet her when we get out in the country—if I get a chance, George.”
“No, sir!” George protested, jovially. “I guess you’re sad birds over in this town, but look out! When I hit a town it don’t take long till they all hear there’s something doin’! You know how I am when I get started, Johnnie!” Here he turned upon William, tucking his fat arm affectionately through William’s thin one. “Hi, sport! Ole Johnnie’s so slow, you toddle me over and get me fixed up with this Miss Pratt, and I’ll tell her you’re the real stuff—after we get engaged!”
He was evidently a true cloud-compeller, this horrible George.
“I dunno why it is”
William extricated his arm, huskily muttering words which were lost in the general outcry, “Car’s coming!” The young people poured out through the gate, and, as the car stopped, scrambled aboard. For a moment everything was hurried and confused. William struggled anxiously to push through to Miss Pratt and climb up beside her, but Mr. George Crooper made his way into the crowd in a beaming, though bull-like manner, and a fat back in a purple-and-white “blazer” flattened William’s nose, while ponderous heels damaged William’s toes; he was shoved back, and just managed to clamber upon the foot-board as the car started. The friendly hand of Joe Bullitt pulled him to a seat, and William found himself rubbing his nose and sitting between Joe and Johnnie Watson, directly behind the dashing Crooper and Miss Pratt. Mr. Crooper had already taken Flopit upon his lap.