Galusha the Magnificent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 576 pages of information about Galusha the Magnificent.

Galusha admitted the fact.  His landlady regarded him with an odd expression.

“Do you know,” she said, suddenly, “you are the most surprisin’ person I ever met, Mr. Bangs? . . .  There!  I didn’t mean to say that,” she added.  “I was thinkin’ it and it sort of spoke itself, as you might say.  I beg your pardon.”

“Oh, that’s quite all right, quite, Miss Phipps,” Galusha assured her.  “I have no doubt you are perfectly correct.  No doubt I am surprising; at least most people seem to find a peculiar quality in most of my—­ah—­actions.”  He smiled his gentle smile, and added, “I presume it must be a part of my profession.  In books, you know—­ in novels—­the few I have read—­the archaeologist or the scientific man or the college professor is always peculiar.”

She shook her head.  “That isn’t just what I meant,” she said.  “So far as that goes I’ve generally noticed that folks with little brains are fond of criticizin’ those with bigger ones.  Part of such criticisms is ‘don’t understand’ and the rest is plain jealousy.  But what I meant by callin’ you surprisin’ was—­was—­ Well,” with a half laugh, “I might just as well say it plain.  Ever since you’ve been here, Mr. Bangs, the feelin’ has been growin’ on me that you were probably the wisest man in the world about some things and the most simple and impractical about others.  Over there in Egypt you know everything, I do believe.  And yet right down here on Cape Cod you need somebody to keep Ras Beebe and Raish Pulcifer from cheatin’ you out of your last cent.  That’s what I thought.  ‘Mr. Bangs is wonderful,’ I said to myself, ’but I’m afraid he isn’t practical.’  And yet to-night, over there, you were the only practical one amongst us.”

Galusha protested.  “Oh, no, Miss Phipps,” he said.  “Dear me, no.  My claiming to be the small, dark man was, as I said, merely a silly notion which came to me.  I acted on the spur of the moment.  It was nothing.”

“It was about everything,” stoutly.  “It was your notion, as you call it, that saved Cap’n Jethro from findin’ Nelson Howard in that front hall; and savin’ him from that saved us from havin’ a crazy man on our hands, I truly believe.  And you did it so right on the instant, so matter of fact and common sense.  Really, Mr. Bangs, I—­I don’t know what to say to you.”

Galusha smiled.  “You said it before,” he observed, “when you said you were surprised.  I am surprised myself.  Dear me, yes.”

“Don’t!  That was a foolish thing for me to say and you mustn’t take it the wrong way.  And your bringing Nelson’s hat over here instead of leavin’ it in that entry for more of Marietta’s crowd to notice and, ten to one, recognize!  We all knew it was hangin’ there.  I saw Nelson hang it there, myself, when he came in.  But did I think to take it out of sight?  Did I—­ Why, what is it?  What’s the matter?”

Her lodger was protesting violently.  “Don’t, don’t, don’t, Miss Phipps,” he begged.  “Please don’t!  You see, that hat—­that cap of Mr. Howard’s—­”

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Galusha the Magnificent from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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