“I don’t need your sympathy,” said the boy, quickly, drawing himself up proudly. “It can’t last, this competition. Man and god kind will soon see the difference in the permanence of our respective output. This is only a temporary success they are having, and it often happens that the spurious articles put forth by Mammon & Company are brought over to me to be repaired. My sun will dawn again. You can’t put out the fires in my furnaces as long as men and women are made from the old receipt.”
Here the elevator stopped, and a rather attractive young woman appeared at the door.
“Here is where you get out, sir,” said the elevator boy.
“You are Mr.——” began the girl.
“I am,” I replied.
“I have orders to show you to number 609,” she said. “The proprietor will see you to-morrow at eleven.”
“Thank you very much,” I replied, somewhat overcome by the cordiality of my reception. It is not often that mere beggars are so hospitably received.
“Good-night, Cupid,” I added, turning to the little chap in the elevator. “I trust we shall meet again.”
“Oh, I guess we will,” he replied, with a wink at the maid. “I generally do meet most men two or three times in their lives. So au revoir to you. Treat the gentleman well, Hebe,” he concluded, pulling the rope to send the elevator back. “He doesn’t know much, but he is sympathetic.”
“I will, Danny, for your sake,” said the little maid, archly.
The boy laughed and the car faded from sight. Hebe, even more lovely than has been claimed, with a charmingly demure glance at my costume, which was wofully bedraggled and wet, said:
“This way, sir. I will have your luggage sent to your room at once.”
“But I haven’t any luggage, my dear,” said I. “I have only what is on my back.”
“Ah, but you have,” she replied, sweetly. “The proprietor has attended to that. There are five trunks, a hat-box, and a Gladstone bag already on their way up.”
And with this she showed me into a magnificent apartment, and, even as she had said, within five minutes my luggage arrived, a valet appeared, unpacked the trunks and bag, brushed off the hat that had lain in the hat-box, and vanished, leaving me to my own reflections.
Surely Olympus was a great place, where one who appeared in the guise of a beggar was treated like a regiment of prodigal sons, furnished with a gorgeous apartment, and supplied with a wardrobe that would have aroused the envy of a reigning sovereign.
I Summon a Valet