She smiles at that. “Hardly,” says she. “He had attended to that, or he wouldn’t be in here. This is the alcoholic ward, you know.”
“Huh!” says I. “Pickled, was he? But is he hurt bad?”
“Not at all,” says she. “He will be all right as soon as he’s sober.”
Did I smoke it back to the station house? Well, some! And Mr. Robert was there, talkin’ to two volunteer witnesses who was ready to swear the faker was drivin’ on the wrong side of the street and not lookin’ where he was goin’.
“How could he,” says I, “when he was soused to the ears?”
Course, it took some time to convince the Sergeant; but after he’d had word from the hospital he concludes to accept a hundred cash, let Dudley go until mornin’, and scratch Marjorie’s name off the book. Goin’ back to the house we four rides inside, with Henry at the wheel.
“I’m awfully sorry, Dud,” says Marjorie, snugglin’ up to Brother, “but—but it was almost worth it. I didn’t know you could be so—so splendid!”
“Stow it, Peggy,” says Dudley. “You’re a regular brick!”
“No, I’m not,” says she. “And think what Mr. Ellins will say!
“There, there!” says Mr. Robert soothin’. “You were not to blame. I will have someone see the fellow in the morning and settle the damage, however. There’s no need to trouble Father about it, none in the least.”
“Besides, Peggy,” adds Dudley, “I’m the one the charge is made against. So butt out.”
Looked like it was all settled that way too, and that Old Hickory’s faith in his model wards wa’n’t to be disturbed. But when we pulls up at the house there he is, just goin’ up the front steps.
“Ah!” says he, beamin’. “There you are, eh? And how has my little Peggy been enjoying herself today?”
“Mr. Ellins,” says she, lookin’ him square in the eye, “you mustn’t call me your Peggy any more. I’ve just hit a man. He’s in the hospital.”
“You—you hit someone!” gasps Old Hickory, starin’ puzzled at her. “What with?”
“Why, with the car,” says she. “I was driving. Dudley tried to stop me; but I was horrid about it. We had a regular fight over it. Then I coaxed Henry to let me, and—and this happened. Don’t listen to Dudley. It was all my fault.”
“Wow!” I whispers to Mr. Robert. “Now she’s spilled the beans!”
Did she? Say, I wa’n’t in on the fam’ly conference that follows, but I gets the result from Mr. Robert next day, after he’s been to court and seen Dudley’s case dismissed.
“No, the young folks haven’t been sent away,” says he. “In fact, Father thinks more of them than ever. He’s going to take ’em both abroad with him next summer.”
Wouldn’t that smear you, though? Say, I wish someone would turn me loose with a limousine!
GLOOM SHUNTING FOR THE BOSS