“An’t’ing yehs wants, damn it,” repeated he, waving his hands with beneficent recklessness. “I’m good f’ler, girls, an’ if an’body treats me right I—here,” called he through an open door to a waiter, “bring girls drinks, damn it. What ’ill yehs have, girls? An’t’ing yehs wants, damn it!”
The waiter glanced in with the disgusted look of the man who serves intoxicants for the man who takes too much of them. He nodded his head shortly at the order from each individual, and went.
“Damn it,” said the man, “we’re havin’ heluva time. I like you girls! Damn’d if I don’t! Yer right sort! See?”
He spoke at length and with feeling, concerning the excellencies of his assembled friends.
“Don’ try pull man’s leg, but have a heluva time! Das right! Das way teh do! Now, if I sawght yehs tryin’ work me fer drinks, wouldn’ buy damn t’ing! But yer right sort, damn it! Yehs know how ter treat a f’ler, an’ I stays by yehs ’til spen’ las’ cent! Das right! I’m good f’ler an’ I knows when an’body treats me right!”
Between the times of the arrival and departure of the waiter, the man discoursed to the women on the tender regard he felt for all living things. He laid stress upon the purity of his motives in all dealings with men in the world and spoke of the fervor of his friendship for those who were amiable. Tears welled slowly from his eyes. His voice quavered when he spoke to them.
Once when the waiter was about to depart with an empty tray, the man drew a coin from his pocket and held it forth.
“Here,” said he, quite magnificently, “here’s quar’.”
The waiter kept his hands on his tray.
“I don’ want yer money,” he said.
The other put forth the coin with tearful insistence.
“Here, damn it,” cried he, “tak’t! Yer damn goo’ f’ler an’ I wan’ yehs tak’t!”
“Come, come, now,” said the waiter, with the sullen air of a man who is forced into giving advice. “Put yer mon in yer pocket! Yer loaded an’ yehs on’y makes a damn fool of yerself.”
As the latter passed out of the door the man turned pathetically to the women.
“He don’ know I’m damn goo’ f’ler,” cried he, dismally.
“Never you mind, Pete, dear,” said a woman of brilliance and audacity, laying her hand with great affection upon his arm. “Never you mind, old boy! We’ll stay by you, dear!”
“Das ri’,” cried the man, his face lighting up at the soothing tones of the woman’s voice. “Das ri’, I’m damn goo’ f’ler an’ w’en anyone trea’s me ri’, I treats zem ri’! Shee!”
“Sure!” cried the women. “And we’re not goin’ back on you, old man.”
The man turned appealing eyes to the woman of brilliance and audacity. He felt that if he could be convicted of a contemptible action he would die.
“Shay, Nell, damn it, I allus trea’s yehs shquare, didn’ I? I allus been goo’ f’ler wi’ yehs, ain’t I, Nell?”