“Son,” says Old Hickory, as he pads into the office about noon next day, “I believe I forgot the usual caddie fee. There you are.”
“Z-z-z-zing!” says I, starin’ after him. Cute little strips of Treasury kale, them with the C’s in the corners, aren’t they? Well, I should worry!
COMING IN ON THE DRAW
Nothin’ like bein’ a handy man around the shop. Here at the Corrugated I’m worked in for almost any old thing, from seein’ that Mr. Ellins takes his gout tablets regular, to arrangin’ the directors’ room for the annual meeting and when it comes to subbin’ for Mr. Robert—say, what do you guess is the latest act he bills me for? Art expert! Yep, A-r-t, with a big A!
Sounds foolish, don’t it? But at that it wa’n’t such a bad hunch on his part. He’s a rash promiser, Mr. Robert is; but a shifty proposition when you try to push a programme on him, for the first thing you know he’s slid from under. I suspicioned some play like that was comin’ here the other afternoon when Sister Marjorie shows up at the general offices and asks pouty, “Where’s Robert?”
“On the job,” says I. “Session of the general sales agents today, you know.”
“But he was to meet me at the Broadway entrance half an hour ago,” says she, “and I’ve been sitting in the car waiting for him. Call him out, won’t you, Torchy?”
“Won’t do any good,” says I. “He’s booked up for the rest of the day.”
“The idea!” says Marjorie. “And he promised faithfully he would go up with me to see those pictures! You just tell him I’m here, that’s all.”
There’s more or less light of battle in them bright brown eyes of Marjorie’s, and that Ellins chin of hers is set some solid. So when I tiptoes in where they’re dividin’ the map of the world into sellin’ areas, and whispers in Mr. Robert’s ear that Sister Marjorie is waitin’ outside, I adds a word of warnin’.
“It’s a case of pictures, you remember,” says I.
“Oh, the deuce!” says Mr. Robert. “Hang Brooks Bladen and his paintings! I can’t go, positively. Just explain, will you, Torchy?”
“Sure; but I’d go hoarse over it,” says I. “You know Marjorie, and if you don’t want the meetin’ broke up I expect you’d better come out and face the music.”
“Oh, well, then I suppose I must,” says he, leadin’ the way.
And Marjorie wa’n’t in the mood to stand for any smooth excuses. She didn’t care if he had forgotten, and she guessed his old business affairs could be put off an hour or so. Besides, this meant so much to poor Brooks. His very first exhibit, too. Ferdy couldn’t go, either. Another one of his sick headaches. But he had promised to buy a picture, and Marjorie had hoped that Robert would like one of them well enough to——
“Oh, if that’s all,” puts in Mr. Robert, “then tell him I’ll take one, too.”