“An unpleasant post, that?”
“Well,” he said, “I don’t exactly know how to compare it so that you would understand precisely. I should say, however, it would be about as agreeable as being United States ambassador to Borneo.”
“I’ll never tell, Adonis,” said I, “and I’m very much obliged to you for our pleasant chat. Your description of the links has interested me hugely. If I could afford a game at your prices, I think I’d play.”
“Oh, as for that,” said Adonis, laughing, “don’t let that bother you. Whenever you want to pay a bill here all you have to do is to press the cash button on the teleseme over there, and they’ll send the money up from the office.”
“But how shall I ever repay the office?” I cried.
“Press the button to the left of it, and they’ll send you up a receipt in full,” he replied.
“You mean to say that this hotel is run—” I began.
“On the Olympian plan,” interrupted the valet with a low bow. “All bills here are of that pleasing variety known as ‘Self-paying.’”
With which comforting assurance Adonis left me, and I started for the dining-room, my appetite considerably whetted by the idea of a game of golf over links four thousand miles in length with balls that could be driven fifty or sixty miles, and cherubs for caddies, at no cost to myself whatsoever.
In the Dining-Room
As I emerged from the door of my room into the hall, I found a small sedan-chair, of highly ornamental make, awaiting my convenience, carried upon the shoulders of two diminutive boys, who were as black, and shone as lustrously, as a bit of highly polished ebony. I had never seen their like before, save in an occasional bit of statuary in Italy, wherein marbles of differing hue and shade had been ingeniously used by the sculptor to give color to his work. The boys themselves, as I have said, were of polished ebony hue, while the breech-cloths which formed their sole garment were of purest alabaster white. Upon their heads were turbans of pink. They grinned broadly as I came out, and opened the door of the chair for me.
“Dis way fo’ de dinin’-room, sah,” said one of them, showing a set of ivory teeth that dazzled my eyes.
I thanked him and entered the chair. When I was seated, I turned to the little chap.
“What particular god do you happen to be, Sambo?” I asked. It was probably not the most reverent way to put it, but in a community like Olympus gods are really at a discount, and the black particle was so like a small pickaninny I used to know in Savannah that I could not address him as if he were Jupiter himself.
“Massy me, massa,” he returned, his smile nearly cutting the top of his head off, reaching as it did around to the back of his ears. “I ain’ no gord. I’se jess one o’ dese low-down or’nary toters. Me an’ him totes folks roun’ de hotel.”