Frankly, I did not know, but under the impulse of the moment I handed out the card which the stranger had thrown to me.
“I forget the gentleman’s name,” said I, “but here is his card. He asked me to call.”
The elevator boy glanced at it, and his manner immediately changed.
“Oh, indeed. Very well, sir,” he said. “I’ll take you up right away. Step lively, please.”
I stepped into the elevator, and the lad turned a wheel which set us upon our upward journey at once.
“I am sorry to have been so rude to you, sir,” said the boy. “I didn’t really know you were a friend of his.”
“Of whom?” I demanded.
“The old man himself,” he replied, with which he handed me back the card I had given him, upon reading which I ascertained the name of the individual who had rushed past me so unceremoniously.
The card was this:
+--------------------------------+ | | | | | | | Mr. Jupiter Jove Zeus | | | | Mount Olympus | | Greece | +--------------------------------+
“Top floor, sir,” said the elevator boy, obsequiously.
The Elevator Boy
“Known the old man long, sir?” queried the boy as we ascended.
“By reputation,” said I.
“Humph!” said the lad. “Can’t have a very good opinion of him, then. It’s a good thing you are going to have a little personal experience with him. He’s not a bad lot, after all. Rotten things said of him, but then—you know, eh?”
“Oh, as for that,” said I, “I don’t think his reputation is so dreadful. To be sure, there have been one or two little indiscretions connected with his past, and at times he has seemed a bit vindictive in chucking thunder-bolts at his enemies, but, on the whole, I fancy he’s behaved himself pretty well.”
“True,” said the boy. “And then you’ve got to take his bringing-up into consideration. Things which would be altogether wrong in the son of a Presbyterian clergyman would not be unbecoming in a descendant of old Father Time. Jupiter is, after all, a self-made immortal, and the fact that his parents, old Mr. and Mrs. Cronos, let him grow up sort of wild, naturally left its impress on his character.”
“Of course,” said I, somewhat amused to hear the Thunderer’s character analyzed by a mere infant. “But how about yourself, my laddie? Are you anybody in particular? You look like a cherub.”
“Some folks call me Dan,” said the boy, “and I am somebody in particular. Fact is, sir, if it hadn’t been for me there wouldn’t have been anybody in particular anywhere. I’m Cupid, sir, God of Love, favorite son of Venus, at your service.”