The Ne'er-Do-Well eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 463 pages of information about The Ne'er-Do-Well.

“You are joking, are you not?”

“No indeed.  I never needed a shirt so badly in my life.  You see, I didn’t intend to take this trip; I didn’t even know I had sailed.  When I woke up I thought this was a hotel.  I’ve got no more baggage than a robin.”

“Really?” The woman by now had closed her book and was giving him her full attention, responding to some respectful quality in his tone that robbed his frankness of offence.  “How did it happen?”

“Well, to be perfectly honest, I got drunk—­just plain drunk.  I didn’t think so at the time, understand, for I’d never been the least bit that way before.  Hope I don’t shock you?”

His new acquaintance shrugged her shoulders.  “I have seen something of the world; I’m not easily shocked.”

“Well, I was perfectly sober the last I remember, and then I woke up on the Santa Cruz.  I’d never even heard the name before.”

“And hadn’t you intended taking an ocean trip?”

“Good Lord, no!  I had just bought a new French car and was going to drive it up to New Haven yesterday.  It’s standing out on Forty-fifth Street now, if somebody hasn’t stolen it.  Gee!  I can see the news-boys cutting their monograms in those tires.”

“How remarkable!”

“You see, it was a big night—­football game, supper, and all that.  I remember everything up to a certain point, then—­curtain!  I was ‘out’ for twelve hours, and sick!—­that’s the funny part; I’m still sick.”  He shook his head as if at a loss what to make of this phenomenon.  He noted how the woman’s countenance lighted at even a passing interest, as he continued:  “What I can’t understand is this:  It took all my money to pay for the supper, and yet I wake up with a first-class ticket to Panama and in possession of one of the best suites on the ship.  It’s a problem play.”

“You say you were sick afterward?”

Was I?” Kirk turned his eyes upon the speaker, mournfully.  “My head isn’t right yet.”

“You were drugged,” said the woman.

“By Jove!” He straightened up in his chair.  “Knockouts!”

“Exactly.  Some one drugged you and bought a ticket—­”

“Wait!  I’m beginning to see.  It was Locke.  That’s how I got his name.  This is his ticket.  Oh!  There’s going to be something doing when I get back.”


“I don’t know yet, but I’m going to sit right here and brood upon some fitting revenge.  After that chap gets out of the hospital—­”

“You did not impress me as a college student,” said the stranger.

“I’m not.  I graduated four years ago.  I barely made it, but I did get through.”

“And you have never been to the tropics?”

“Not since I had my last row with the governor.  Have you?”

“Many times.  It will prove an interesting trip for you.  At least you have that consolation.”

“What is it like?”

Project Gutenberg
The Ne'er-Do-Well from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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