Yollop eBook

George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 95 pages of information about Yollop.

“Oh, just a lot of names.  I’d sooner not repeat ’em if there’s any women in the house.”

“Well, bless my soul, that’s uncommonly thoughtful of you.  My sister and her young daughter are here to spend the holidays with me.  They sleep at the back of the apartment.  Now, if you will just remain as you are,—­I dare say you’d better put up the other hand, too, if you can spare it,—­I will back up to the table here and get my listening apparatus.  Now you won’t have to shout so.  I don’t know much about revolvers, but I assume that all one has to do to make it go off is to press rather firmly on this little contrivance—­”

“Yes!  But don’t!”

“Not so loud!  Not so loud!  I’m not as deaf as all that.  And don’t move!  I give you fair warning.  Watch me closely.  If you see me shut my eyes, you will know I’m going to shoot.  Remember that, will you?  The instant you detect the slightest indication that my eyes are about to close,—­dodge!”

“By thunder,—­I—­I wonder if you’re as much of a blame fool as you seem to be,—­or are you just playing horse with me,” muttered the victim, as he raised his other hand.  “I’d give ten years of my life to know,—­”

“I won’t be a second,” announced Mr. Yollop, backing gingerly toward the table.  With his free hand he felt for and found the rather elaborate contraption that furnished him with the means to counteract his auricular deficiencies.  The hand holding the revolver wobbled a bit; nevertheless, the little black hole at which the dazed robber stared as if fascinated was amazingly steadfast in its regard for the second or perhaps the third button of his coat.  “It’s a rather complicated arrangement,” he went on to explain, “but very simple once you get it adjusted to the ear.  It took me some time to get used to wearing this steel band over the top of my head.  I never have tried to put it on with one hand before.  Amazing how awkward one can be with his left hand, isn’t it?  Now, you see how it goes.  This little receiver business clamps right down to the ear,—­so.  Then this disc hangs over my chest—­and you talk right at it.  For awhile I made a practice of concealing it under my vest, being somewhat sensitive about having strangers see that I am deaf, but one day my niece, a very bright child often, asked me why I did it.  I told her it was because I didn’t want people to know I was deaf.  Have you ever felt so foolish that you wanted to kick yourself all over town?  Well, then you know how I felt when that blessed infant pointed to this thing on my ear and—­What say?”

“I say, that’s the way I’ve been feeling ever since I came to,” repeated the disgusted burglar.

“Of course, I realize that it’s a physical, you might well say, a scientific impossibilty, for one to kick himself all over town, but just the same, I believe you are as nearly in the mood to accomplish it as any man alive to-day.”

“You bet I could,” snapped the thief, with great earnestness.  “When I think how I let a skinny, half-witted boob like you walk right into a clinch with me, and me holdin’ a gun, and weighin’ forty pounds more than you do, I—­Can you hear what I’m saying?”

Project Gutenberg
Yollop from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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