And you should have seen the jaunty, beamin’ J. Meredith that swings into the Corrugated Monday mornin’. He stops at the gate to give me a fraternal grip.
“It’s all right, Torchy,” says he. “She—she’ll have me—Violet, you know. And we are to live abroad. We sail in less than a month.”
“But what about Pansy?” says I.
“Oh, she’s coming with us, of course,” says he. “Really, they’re both charming girls.”
“Huh!” says I. “That’s where you were when I found you. You’re past that point, remember.”
“Yes, I know,” says he. “It was you helped me too, and I wish in some way I could show my——”
“You can,” says I. “Leave me the cornet. I might need it some day myself.”
THE PASSING BY OF BUNNY
It’s a shame the way some of these popular clubmen is bothered with business. Here was Mr. Robert, only the other day, with an important four-cue match to be played off between four-thirty and dinnertime; and what does the manager of our Chicago branch have to do but go and muss up the schedule by wirin’ in that he might have to call for headquarters’ advice on that Burlington order maybe after closin’ time.
“Oh, pshaw!” remarks Mr. Robert, after he’s read the message.
“The simp!” says I. “Guess he thinks the Corrugated gen’ral offices runs night and day shifts, don’t he?”
“Very well put,” says Mr. Robert. “Still, it means rather a big contract. But, you see, the fellows are counting on me for this match, and if I should—— Oh, but I say, Torchy,” he breaks off sudden, “perhaps you have no very important engagement for the early evening?”
“Me?” says I. “Nothing I couldn’t scratch. I can shoot a little pool too; but when it comes to balk line billiards I expect I’d be a dub among your crowd.”
“Refreshing modesty!” says Mr. Robert. “What I had in mind, however, was that you might wait here for the message from Nixon, while I attend to the match.”
“Oh, any way you choose,” says I. “Sure I’ll stay.”
“Thanks,” says he. “You needn’t wait longer than seven, and if it comes in you can get me on the ’phone and—— No, it will be in code; so you’d best bring it over.”
And it wa’n’t so much of a wait, after all, not more’n an hour; for at six-fifteen I’ve been over to the club, had Mr. Robert called from the billiard room, got him to fix up his answer, and am pikin’ out the front door with it when he holds me up to add just one more word. Maybe we was some conspicuous from Fifth-ave., him bein’ still in his shirt sleeves and the steps bein’ more or less brilliant.
Anyway, I’d made another start and was just gettin’ well under way, when alongside scuffs this hollow-eyed object with the mangy whiskers and the mixed-ale breath.
“Excuse me, young feller,” says he, “but——”