“Sure you have, Pete,” assented the woman. She delivered an oration to her companions. “Yessir, that’s a fact. Pete’s a square fellah, he is. He never goes back on a friend. He’s the right kind an’ we stay by him, don’t we, girls?”
“Sure,” they exclaimed. Looking lovingly at him they raised their glasses and drank his health.
“Girlsh,” said the man, beseechingly, “I allus trea’s yehs ri’, didn’ I? I’m goo’ f’ler, ain’ I, girlsh?”
“Sure,” again they chorused.
“Well,” said he finally, “le’s have nozzer drink, zen.”
“That’s right,” hailed a woman, “that’s right. Yer no bloomin’ jay! Yer spends yer money like a man. Dat’s right.”
The man pounded the table with his quivering fists.
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“Yessir,” he cried, with deep earnestness, as if someone disputed him. “I’m damn goo’ f’ler, an’ w’en anyone trea’s me ri’, I allus trea’s—le’s have nozzer drink.”
He began to beat the wood with his glass.
“Shay,” howled he, growing suddenly impatient. As the waiter did not then come, the man swelled with wrath.
“Shay,” howled he again.
The waiter appeared at the door.
“Bringsh drinksh,” said the man.
The waiter disappeared with the orders.
“Zat f’ler damn fool,” cried the man. “He insul’ me! I’m ge’man! Can’ stan’ be insul’! I’m goin’ lickim when comes!”
“No, no,” cried the women, crowding about and trying to subdue him. “He’s all right! He didn’t mean anything! Let it go! He’s a good fellah!”
“Din’ he insul’ me?” asked the man earnestly.
In a partitioned-off section of a saloon sat a man with a half dozen women, gleefully laughing, hovering about him. The man had arrived at that stage of drunkenness where affection is felt for the universe.
“I’m good f’ler, girls,” he said, convincingly. “I’m damn good f’ler. An’body treats me right, I allus trea’s zem right! See?”
The women nodded their heads approvingly. “To be sure,” they cried out in hearty chorus. “You’re the kind of a man we like, Pete. You’re outa sight! What yeh goin’ to buy this time, dear?”
“An’t’ing yehs wants, damn it,” said the man in an abandonment of good will. His countenance shone with the true spirit of benevolence. He was in the proper mode of missionaries. He would have fraternized with obscure Hottentots. And above all, he was overwhelmed in tenderness for his friends, who were all illustrious.
“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!”