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Todos mis cuentos Spanish Edition. Ha cultivado varias facetas de l. Those early works through H. Whistling Past the Graveyard. A lonely, nerdy paperboy encounters historic evil at the shadowy again roads of his domestic city. Sherlock Holmes trips to the US for an come across with the ghost of a murdered girl. A samurai sails to a forgotten island to conflict the residing lifeless. By Sofia Samatar The first number of brief fiction from a emerging famous person whose tales were anthologized within the first volumes of the Best American technology Fiction and Fantasy sequence and nominated for plenty of awards.
Short Fiction by Alfred Hamilton Toadstool Bouquet is a suite of brief tales and notice sketches written for enjoyable. Gabriel isn't seen about as much as he used to be; one hears that an eccentric aunt left him a tidy little sum and the lazy beggar refuses to leave his native haunts. Four of us had cycled down from London together: Snubbers, his face beaming, met us at the keeper's lodge. His eyes were set in deep rolls of fat for our arrival, and I couldn't help thinking how well they looked. I wondered whether it was because his daring farce, Mrs.
Stebbins 9 Step-Ins, had been doing so well at the Hay market. Snubbers, poor fellow, stared at it a bit ruefully, I thought. It was only a plague-spot," sympathized Falcovsky. A splendid fire was already roaring in the middle of the floor to drive out the warmth. I took it to please him, for 'Gabriel's cellar was reputedly excellent. A second later I lavished that I had drunk the cellar instead.
Baking soda is hardly the thing after a three-hour bicycle trip. I was about to re- mark that I had never drunk a little soldier, when I noticed Littlejohn hovering in the doorway. At the end of it Falcovsky grunted. Snubbers surveyed him suspiciously. Nothing's up," snarled Falcovsky.
Just for that— grunt, grunt, grunt," and he grunted several times out of sheer spite. The baking soda was beginning to tell on Snubbers. But as I was saying— I was going through some of my great-grandfather's things the other day. He opened a vein in his bath. With a shout Snubbers threw him- self on Falcovsky. It was the signal for Pandemonium, the upstairs girl, to enter and throw herself with a shout on Couch. The outcome of the necking bee was as follows: Canadians 12, Visitors 9. Krebs and Vronsky played footie, subbing for Gerber and Weinwald, who were disabled by flying antipasto.
We were silent after Snubbers had spoken; men who have wandered in far places have an innate delicacy about their great-grandfathers' bones. Snubbers' face was a mask, his voice a harsh whip of pain in the stillness when he spoke again. A rare giant of a man with quizzical eyes and a great shock of wiry red hair, he had come through the Peninsular Wars without a scratch. Women loved this impetual Irish adventurer who would rather fight than eat and vice versa.
The wars over, he turned toward cookery, planning to devote his failing years to the perfection of the welsh rarebit, a dish he loved. One night he was chafing at The Bit, a tavern in Portsmouth, when he overheard a chance remark from a brawny gunner's mate in his cups. In Calcutta the man had heard native tales of a mysterious idol, whose single eye was a flawless ruby. On her as pas- senger went my great-grandfather, an extra pair of nan- keen pants and a dirk his only baggage.
Fifty-three days later in Poona, he was heading for the interior of one of the Northern states. Living almost entirely on cameo brooches and the few ptarmigan which fell to the ptrigger of his pfowlingpiece, he at last sighted the towers of Ish- peming, the Holy City of the Surds and Cosines, fanatic Mohammedan warrior sects. He disguised himself as a beggar and entered the gates. They were changing the guard one evening when he saw it. One of the native janissaries dropped his knife. My great-grandfather leaped forward with cringing servility and returned it to him, in the small of his back.
Donning the soldier's turban, he quickly slipped into his place. Midnight found him within ten feet of his prize. Now came the final test. He furtively drew from the folds of his robes a plate of curry, a dish much prized by Indians, and set it in a far corner. The guards rushed upon it with bulging squeals of delight.
A twist of his wrist and the gem was his. With an elaborately stifled yawn, my great-grandfather left under pretense of going out for a glass of water. The soldiers winked slyly but when he did not return after two hours, their sus- picions were aroused. They hastily made a canvass of the places where water was served and their worst fears were realized. The ruby in his burnoose, Great-grandfather was escaping by fast elephant over the Khyber Pass. Dockside loungers in Yarmouth forty days later stared curiously at a mammoth of a man with flaming red hair striding toward the Bull and Bloater Tavern.
Under his belt, did they but only know it, lay the Ruby Eye. Smoking by the fireplace, he listened to the roar of the wind and reviewed his campaigns. Suddenly he leaped to his feet— a dark face had vanished from the window. Too late my great-grand- father snatched up powder and ball and sent a charge 23 hurtling into the night. The note pinned to the window drained the blood from his face. Overnight his hair turned from rose-red to snow-white. And finally, when it seemed as though madness were to rob them of their revenge, they came. Falcovsky's hand was trembling as he pressed a pinch of snuff against his gums.
You see," he added very gently, "Great-grandfather had missed the last four instalments. However, newsstands make strange bedfellows, as anyone who has ever slept with a news- stand can testify, and if you think about it at all instead of sitting there in a torpor with your mouth half-open you'd see this proximity is not only alphabetical. Both the Corset and Underwear Review and the American Bee Journal arc concerned with honeys; although I am beast enough to prefer a photograph of a succulent nymph in satin Lastex Girdleiere with Thrill Plus Bra to the most dramatic snapshot of an apiary, each has its place in my scheme.
Whatever else a corset jobber is, he is certainly nobody's fool. The first seventy pages of the magazine comprise an album of superbly formed models posed in various attitudes of sweet surrender and sheathed in cunning artifices of whalebone, steel, and webbing. Some indication of what Milady uses to give herself a piquant front elevation may be had from the following list of goodies displayed at the Hotel McAlpin Corset Show, reported by the March, , Corset and Underwear Review: There are bras for the young, support for the old, Up here for the shy, down to there for the bold.
We'll have lace and nets and fabrics such as Sturdy broadcloths and satins luscious. We'll gladly help your profits transform If you'll come up to our room and watch us perform. Our new numbers are right from the Coast: Snappy and smart, wait! Here Sex is whittled down to a mere nub- bin; everything is as clean as a whistle and as dull as a hoe.
The bee is the petit bourgeois of the insect world, and his keeper is a self-sufficient stooge who needs and will get no introduction to you. Average Beekeeper removes his mask and permits us to peep at the warm, vibrant human be- neath. The plight of the reader who signs himself "Illi- nois" Fve seen that name somewhere is typical: I would like to know the easiest way to get a swarm of bees which are lodged in between the walls of a house.
The walls are of brick and they are in the dead-air space. They have been there for about three years. I would like to know method to use to get the bees, not concerned about the honey. The editor dismisses the question with some claptrap about a "bee smoker" which is too ridiculous to repeat. The best bet I see for "Illinois" is to play upon the weak- ness of all bees. Take a small boy smeared with honey and lower him between the walls.
The bees will fasten themselves to him by the hundreds and can be scraped off when he is pulled up, after which the boy can be thrown away. If no small boy smeared with honey can 27 be found, it may be necessary to take an ordinary small boy and smear him, which should be a pleasure. From the Blue Grass comes an even more perplexed letter: I have been ordering a few queens every year and they are always sent as first-class mail and are thrown off the fast trains that pass here at a speed of 60 miles an hour.
Do you think it does the queens any harm by throwing them off these fast trains? You know they get an awful jolt when they hit the ground. Some of these queens are very slow about doing any- thing after they are put in the hive. I have no desire to poach on George Washington Cable's domain, but if that isn't the furthest North in Southern gallantry known to man, I'll eat his collected works in Macy's window at high noon.
It will interest every lover of chivalry to know that since the above letter was published, queen bees in the Blue Grass have been treated with new consideration by railroad officials. A Turkey-red carpet similar to that used by the Twentieth Century Limited is now unrolled as the train stops, and each queen, blushing to the very roots of her antennae, is escorted to her hive by a uniformed porter. The rousing strains of the Cakewalk, the comical antics of the darkies, the hiss of fried chicken sputtering in the pan, all com- bine to make the scene unforgettable.
But the predicament of both 'Illinois" and "Ken- tucky" pale into insignificance beside the problem pre- sented by another reader: I have been asked to "talk on bees" at a nearby church some evening in the fall. Though I have kept bees for ten years, I 28 am "scared stiff" because not a man in the audience knows a thing about bees and I am afraid of being too technical. I plan to take along specimens of queen, drone and worker, also a glass observatory hive with bees, smoker and tools, an extra hive, and possibly some queen cell cups, etc. Could you suggest any manipulating that might be done for the "edification of the audience"?
I've seen pictures of stunts that have been worked, like making a beard of bees; and I've heard of throwing the bees out in a ball only to have them return to the hive without bothering anyone. But, I don't know how these stunts are done, nor do I know of any that ] could do with safety. I don't mind getting a sting or two my self, but I don't want anyone in the audience to get stung, or 1 might lose my audience.
I've only opened hives a few times at night, but never liked the job as the bees seem to fly up into the light and sting very readily. That makes me wonder whether any manipulating can be done in a room at night. How long before the affair would I need to have the bees in the room to have them settle down to the hive? The only thing wrong with "New York" is that he just doesn't like bees. In one of those unbuttoned moods everybody has, a little giddy with cocoa and crullers, he allowed himself to be cajoled by the vestrymen, and now, face to face with his ordeal, he is sick with loathing for bees and vestrymen alike.
There is one solution, however, and that is for "New York" to wrap himself tightly in muslin the night of the lecture and stay in bed with his hat on. If the vestrymen come for him, let him throw the bees out in a ball. To hell with whether they return or not, and that goes for the vestrymen, too. It certainly goes for me. If I ever see the postman trudging toward SO my house with a copy of the American Bee Journal, Fm going to lodge myself in the dead-air space between the walls and no amount of small boys smeared with honey will ever get me out.
And you be careful, American Bee Journal— I bite. First off, I'd tap the dottle from my pipe by knocking it against the hob. I never smoke a pipe, but I like to keep one with a little dottle in it, and an inexpensive hob to tap it against; when you're in the writing game, there are these little accessories you need. Then Fd slip off my worn old green smoking jacket, which I loathe, and start down Lexington Avenue for home. Sometimes, finding myself in my shirtsleeves, I would have to return to my atelier for my jacket and over- coat, but as I say, when you're in the writing game, its strictly head-in-the-clouds.
Anyway, Fd be head down and scudding along under bare poles by the time I reached the block between Fifty-eighth and Fifty-seventh Streets, and my glance into those three shop windows would be purely automatic. First, the highly varnished Schnecken in the bakery; then the bones of a human foot shimmying slowly on a near- mahogany pedestal in the shoestore; and finally the clock set in the heel of a congress gaiter at the bootblack's.
By now my shabby old reflexes would tell me it was time to 31 buy an evening paper and bury my head in it. A little whim of my wife's; she liked to dig it up, as a puppy does a bone, while I was sipping my cocktail. Later on I taught her to frisk with a ball of yarn, but to get back to what happened Washington's Birthday. I was hurrying homeward that holiday afternoon pretty much in the groove, humming an aria from "Till Tom Special" and wishing I could play the clarinet like a man named Goodman.
Just as it occurred to me that I might drug this individual and torture his secret out of him, I came abreast the window of the shoestore contain- ing the bones of the human foot. My mouth suddenly de- veloped that curious dry feeling when I saw that they were vibrating, as usual, from north to south, every little meta- tarsal working with the blandest contempt for all I hold dear. I pressed my ear against the window and heard the faint clicking of the motor housed in the box beneath. A little scratch here and there on the shellac surface showed where one of the more enterprising toes had tried to do a solo but had quickly rejoined the band.
Not only was the entire arch rolling forward and backward in an oily fashion, but it had evolved an obscene side sway at the same time, a good deal like the danse a ventre. Maybe the foot had belonged to an Ouled-Nail girl, but I felt I didn't care to find out. I was aware immediately of an active de- sire to rush home and lie down attended by my loved ones.
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The only trouble was that when I started to leave the place, I could feel my arches acting according to all the proper orthopedic laws, and I swear people turned to look at me as if they heard a clicking sound. For a moment the implications were so shocking that I started up alarmed. But since my loved ones had gone off to the movies and there was no- body to impress, I turned over and slept like a top, with no assistance except three and a half grains of barbital.
I could have reached my workshop the next morning by walking up Third Avenue, taking a cab up Lexington, or even crawling on my hands and knees past the shoe- store to avoid that indecent window display, but my feet won their unequal struggle with my brain and carried me straight to the spot. Staring hypnotized at the macabre shuffle halfway between a rhumba and a soft-shoe step , I realized that I was receiving a sign from above to take the matter in hand.
I spent the morning shopping lower Third Avenue, and at noon, dressed as an attache of the Department of Sanitation, began to lounge noncha- lantly before the store. My broom was getting nearer and nearer the window when the manager came out noise- lessly. My ducks must have been too snowy, for he gave 33 one of his clerks a signal and a moment later a police- man turned the corner. Fortunately, I had hidden my civvies in the lobby of Proctor's Fifty-eighth Street Thea- tre, and by the time the breathless policeman rushed in, I had approached the wicket as cool as a cucumber, asked for two cucumbers in the balcony, and signed my name for Bank Nite.
I flatter myself that I brought off the affair rather well. My second attempt, however, was as fruitless as the first. I padded my stomach with a pillow, grayed my hair at the temples, and entered the shop fiercely. Pointing to the white piping on my vest, I represented myself as a portly banker from Portland, Maine, and asked the man- ager what he would take for the assets and good will, spot cash.
I was about to make him a firm offer when I found myself being escorted out across the sidewalk, the man- ager's foot serving as fulcrum. And there, precisely, the matter rests. I have given plenty of thought to the problem, and there is only one solution. Are there three young men in this city, with stout hearts and no dependents, who know what I mean? We can clean out that window with two well-directed grenades and get away over the rooftops. Given half a break, we'll stop that grisly pas seul ten seconds after we pull out the pins with our teeth.
If we're caught, there's always the cyanide in our belts. First meeting tonight at nine in front of the Railroad Men's Y. Naturally I can- not violate professional ethics by using real names, but, spelled backward, the legend on the magazine runs "Tsop Gnineve Yadrutas Eht" a catchy enough title for any reader's money , and it was founded Anno Domini by Beljamir Flankler.
I fope I mek misef clirr. The reason for all this dimpling and coloring up to the roots of the hair is something the editors are modest enough to term "Post Luck. For example, a biography of Will Rogers had barely concluded before his death was announced, and similarly General Walter Krivitsky, geboien Schmelka Ginzberg, forecast the Russo-German nuptials at a time when the happy couple was still issuing denials to friends and relatives. Whatever the mysterious pipeline it pos- sesses to the infinite, the Post is constantly hiring the back page of the New York Times to kiss its reflection in the mirror and murmur, "Oo, you pitty sing.
But not long ago, baker-fresh from the editorial oven and as if to confound the skeptics, there came another startling proof of the Post's telepathy. Why, it's enough to make a body's flesh creep. The epistolary form is a mold sanctified in the editorial rooms of the Post y where it is still remembered that George Horace Lorimer, the Great White Father of the Curtis publications, made a sizable bale of scratch out of a little book called Letters of a Self -Made Merchant to His Son. How many editions this early classic attained I do not know, but the last time I wandered down Fourth Avenue it still covered the second-hand bookstores like a mulch.
The tradition was subsequently carried forward in the pages of the Post by William Hazlett Upson with his letters of a tractor salesman, and now, as the torch drops from his nerveless hand, Mrs. To me, it seems a rather roundabout way of telling a child about its mother to write it letters in a magazine which costs a nickel, when you can deal out a few crisp facts right in the kitchen, but I suppose it cuts down the back talk considerably.
As if this whole affair were not spooky enough already, the very week Mrs. Brown began her revelations the pres- ent writer's mother was on the verge of publishing some letters dealing with his career which she had written to her granddaughter. They reveal an astonishing parallel to 36 Mrs.
Brown's letters and one that should prove interesting to all lovers of good clean parallels. In reading them, it is well to remember that many portions are in anapaestic pentameter, as they were intended to be sung through tissue paper stretched over a comb. No attempt has been made to edit the letters other than removing the checks they contained and cashing them.
I am going to write you a lot of letters about your daddy's early life, and you just try and stop me. And that goes for him too. And what's more, I'm going to get them printed if I have to do it on a hand press. Caxton in the next block, who is very clever about such things, has just invented movable type, and he has promised to help me. Enclosed is a little remembrance for your birthday, The green stones are what we call emeralds, the white sparkly ones diamonds.
Lovingly, Grandma Abby Dear: I suppose you often wonder what your daddy was like as a small boy. Well, he was just the most serious and sober little man you can imagine. I don't think he ever really cared much about hi? He was always moping around in a brown study, and when people spoke to him he would listen with only half an ear. To do him justice, that was all he had; the balance had been cropped for thievery, so you can see he had something to mope about.
When he was about eight, he stopped talking alto- gether, and I took him to Italy in an effort to revive his spirits. He spoke only once. We were floating along the Grand Canal in a gondola when a man attired as a Vene- tian nobleman of the fourteenth century lost his footing and toppled off the Bridge of Sighs. Wouldn't we feel awful if Toby dropped dead of pneumonia or something?
I have had Jaeckel's stitch sev- eral chinchilla coats into a warm rug for him, and make sure he takes it off when he comes into the house. Devotedly, Grandma Abby Dear: By the time your daddy was eleven, he had made enough money to retire and give up all his time to trans- lating the works of Elbert Hubbard, the Sage of Aurora, into Armenian, which he claimed would out-sell The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.
Unfortunately, like all successful men, he had made a good many enemies in business, and 8tt when the book came out they went around talking against it, so it didn't do as well as some other books that year. Then his enemies started pounding him on Wall Street and brought on the panic of , and your daddy lost every penny. It is to his credit that he sat down without a whimper and wrote Bleak House, The Gilded Age, and a host of other successful novels which paid off every last creditor. But he was thirteen when he finished, and a man broken in health.
During your father's convalescence at Savin Rock, your Uncle Hosea— you remember, he was a famous oarsman at New Haven— came to visit us. As he alighted from the train, the Yale crew was having its annual banquet there and they recognized him. A cheer went up, and one of their number swung Uncle Hosea over his shoulder and bore him, kicking and screaming, through the streets, I was naturally alarmed at Hosea's tardiness in arriving, and expressed my anxiety.
They are not in very good condition; however, you can knot the four strands together and use them for skipping rope. Always, Grandma Abby Dear: I know that the question uppermost in your mind is where your daddy spent the years between fifteen and 39 twenty-one. The explanation he gives to the world is that although Moriarty lay at the bottom of the Reichenbach Fall, there still remained at large the second most dan- gerous man in London, Colonel Sebastian Moran.
Until such time as Moran would show his hand, your daddy says he amused himself by traveling in Tibet, paying a short but interesting visit to the Khalifa at Khartoum the results of which he communicated to the Foreign Office , and doing some research into the coal-tar deriva- tives at Montpellier.
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I may say that the whole story is a pack of lies. The real facts are these. On his fifteenth birthday I took your daddy to a matinee at the Apollo Burlesk and afterward to Schrafft's, where he had three mint smashes. On our way home we stopped in front of one of those shoddy auction rooms which line West Forty-second Street. The auctioneer exhibited a hideous brown jardi- niere and offered it to the first bidder. Next to us in the crowd stood a lady holding by the hand her child, who chanced to be a Siamese twin.
The crowd immediately rushed him and inflicted such damage that we were six years restoring his face to a condition where dogs no longer howled when they saw him. Do you know where the Tebo Yacht Basin is, dear? Well, the next time you are in New York and find your 49 hotel tiresome, tell the cab driver to take you over to Brooklyn and go aboard the Corsair II. I bought it for you from Mr. Morgan and it might be a lark to spend the night on your very own little boat.
Anybody who happened to be a buffalo last year or was supporting during his taxable year one or more buffalos closely dependent upon him is going to have a pretty hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach when he gets a hinge at the July issue of The Field. In that ex- cellent British sporting magazine, one "Old Harrow Boy" attacks the custom of shouting and waving the arms and hat to break up stampeding buffalos, and actu- ally suggests whistling as a better means of dispersing un- lawful assemblages of bison. I hold no buff for the briefalo— I beg pardon, I should have said "I hold no brief for the buffalo," but I am too choked with rage about this matter to be very coherent.
I have never taken money from any pro-bison organiza- tion and outside of a fatty deposit between the shoulder blades I am no more buffalo than you are. But of all the appalling, repellent, revolting and insupportable bits of Schrecklichkeit ever fobbed off on a lethargic public under the guise of sportsmanship, this is the absolute pay-off.
First, just who is this "Old Harrow Boy" anyway? A man who hasn't even got the nerve to sign his own name to a letter. O'Hara, let's cast an eye over your record and see who it is that goes around lousing up a buffalo's good name. It might in- 4S terest you to know that I sent a friend of mine arounci to Wapping Old Stairs to ask a few questions.
He's one of the most all- around idiots I know, but there's one thing about him. He doesn't spend his day teasing buffalos. He leaves that to a certain pig in Wapping Old Stairs. No need to mention names. O'Hara had been tried and convicted in Rhodesia for acting as agent-provocateur in an uprising of water buffalos in Shortly afterward three buffalos reported to the British High Commissioner at Elandfon- tein that they had been bored by Mr.
The seri- ousness of the charge forced the Commissioner's hand, and an investigation was held. It revealed that O'Hara had approached the buffalos in a kind of hysterical, ex- cited fashion and told them some rambling inconsequen- tial story without any point. The bisons alleged boredom and petitioned for damages. I have been in correspond- ence with Sir Herbert Antinous then Sir Herbert An- tinous who acted as medical officer in the case. He has been kind enough to forward me a transcript of the evi- dence together with a locket containing hair from one of the buffalos as proof.
Here is Sir Herbert's version of the matter: O'Hara had bored them. They still bore the marks of their recent ordeal. One of them had a coated 43 tongue and was feverish. The third, however, had no tongue. I guess the cat got it. What is the difference between a Florida orange and a letter? Well, you'd be a hell of a man to send to mail a letter. The session was adjourned to allow Sir Herbert to examine the prisoner. Here is his version of the case: He still bore the marks of his recent ordeal. He had a coated tongue and was feverish.
This, then, is the man who advocates whistling at stam- peding buffalos. This unctuous traitor, writing on fools- cap in onion juice, who signs fictitious names to his slanders, dares undermine an institution as hallowed as waving one's hat at buffalos. Ever since the days of Buffon, the naturalist, it has gone without saying that the first thing you do on seeing a buffalo is shout and wave your 44 arms and hat But no; that's not good enough for CHara.
He has to put on side. He has to make a holy show out of himself in front of animals, let alone the Kaffir boys. And maybe you don't think the Kaffir boys talk! Only last night old man Kaffir and his youngest boy Morris came into a poolroom in Spion Kop. Morris had two beers and started talking. Well, sir, he talked pretty near two hours before they could stop him. I just mention this to show how the Kaffir boys talk once they get started. Well, O'Hara, Fve said my say. I'm a plain-spoken, grizzled old seadog, none of your French airs for old Peleg Starbuck. Why, bless your heart, boy, I was a pow der monkey aboard the old Guerriere afore you was born.
But don't you heed this old man's talk; you young folks go along and have fl look through my spyglass. Pshaw— a bit of rain, shiver: And coughing to hide his embarrassment, old Peleg hobbled up the shell-decorated path to his cottage as Frederica and I spat reflectively on his peonies ami turned our faces toward Ostable and the setting sun. It must be made clear at the outset that my motives are the purest and my curiosity that of the scientific research worker rather than the sex maniac.
Of course, I can be broken down under cross-examination; I like a trim ankle as well as anyone, but once I start scrub- bing up and adjusting the operative mask, Materia Medica comes in the door and Betty Grable flies out the window. God knows how the convention ever got started, but if it is true that the camera never lies, a foundation gar- ment or a girdle stimulates the fair sex to a point just this side of madness. The little ladies are always represented with their heads thrown back in an attitude of fierce de- sire, arms upflung to an unseen deity as though swept along in some Dionysian revel.
If you hold your ear close enough to the printed page, you can almost hear the throbbing of the temple drums and the chant of the votaries. Those sultry, heavy-lidded glances, those tem- pestuous, Corybantic gestures of abandon— what magic property is there in an ordinary silk-and-Lastex bellyband to cause a housewife to behave like Little Egypt? Perhaps the most curious mutation of the corset adver- 46 tisement is the transformation, or clinical type, consisting of two photographs.
The first shows a rather bedraggled young matron in a gaping, misshapen girdle at least half a dozeS sizes too large for her, cringing under the cool inspection of a trained nurse and several friends. Judging from the flowers and the tea service, the hostess has in- vited her neighbors in to deride her physique, for they are exclaiming in unison, "Ugh, my dear— you Ve got lordosis [unlovely bulge and sagging backline]! It strikes me that, by contrast, the manufacturers of dainty underthings for men have been notably colorless in their advertising.
The best they are able to afford are those static scenes in which four or five grim-jawed industrialists stand about a locker room in their shorts scowling at ticker tape, testing mashie niblicks, and riffling through first edi tions. It may be only sexual chauvinism on my part, but I submit that the opportunities for merchandising male lin- gerie are limitless. I offer at least one of them in crude dramatic form to blaze a trail for future copywriters.
The consulting worn oi Dr. Terence Fitch, an eminent Park Avenue specialist. Miss Mayo into phone — Hello, Dr. This is Miss Mayo at Dr. The Doctor is forwarding you his analysis of Mr. Tichenor's underwear problems; you should have it in the morning. As she hangs up, Dr. Fitch enters, thoughtfully stroking his Vandyke heard. He is followed by Freedley, a hag- gard, middle-aged patient, knotting his tie. Fitch— Sit down, Freedley. Oh, this is Miss Mayo. She's a nier;e of the Mayo brothers, out West.
Freedley warily — How do you do, Miss Mayo? I've read grand things about your uncles. Miss Mayo— Not mine, you haven't. Fitch seating himself — All right now, Freedley, suppose you tell me your symptoms. Freedley— But I just told them to you. Freedley— Sure, not ten minutes ago. Fitch— Well, repeat them. Angrily You don't suppose I have time to listen to every crackpot who comes in here bleating about his troubles, do you? Freedley humbly — No, sir.
Well, it's just that I have this stuffy, uncomfortable sensation all the time. Fitch— That's the way a head cold usually starts. Scribbling You're to take fifteen of these tablets forty 48 times a day, or forty of them fifteen times a day, whichever is more convenient. Freedley— It's not my nose or throat, Doctor. I get it mostly around the hips and the small of my back. Fitch testily — Of course, of course.
That's where it's localized. Now, I also want you to get hold of a tonic. I forgot the name of it, but it's about thirty dollars a bottle. Freedley— Will I feel better after I take it? Fitch coldly — I'm a physician, Freedley, not an astrologer. If you want a horoscope, there's a gypsy tea- room over on Lexington Avenue. Freedley plaintively — Gee, Dr. Fitch, this thing's got me crazy. I can't keep my mind on my work— Dr. Most of my patients have private incomes.
What do you do? Fitch— Getting along pretty well there? Freedley pitifully — I was until this started. Borvis keeps riding me. He says I'm like a person in a fog. Fitch— That bulging, oppressive condition— no- tice it mostly when you're sitting down, don't you? Freedley— Why, how on earth can you tell, Doctor? Fitch— We medical men have ways of knowing these things. Freedley quavering — W-what is it, sir? Fitch— Your union suit is too big for you. Buck up, old man. We mustn't give up hope. Freedley whimpering — But you might be mistaken —it's just a diagnosis.
Fitch sternly — The fluoroscope never lies, Freedley. When I looked at you in there a moment ago, I saw almost five yards of excess fabric bunched around the mid-section. Freedley wildly — It's bound to shrink after I send it to the laundry! Maybe Velma can take a tuck in it! Fitch— That's only an evasion. Pressing a hut- ton It's lucky you came to me in time. If the public only knew the annual toll exacted by ponderous, loosely fitting underwear— Miss Mayo enters Miss Mayo, get me a sterile union suit, size thirty-eight, porous-knit. Freedley licking his lips — What— what are you going to do?
Fitch soothingly — Now, this won't hurt a bit. We'll just slip it on for size— Freedley— I won't! He cowers into a corner, Bailing at Dr. Fitch and Miss Mayo as they close in on him. They pinion his arms tightly y thrust him into an adjoining dressing room, and fling the union suit after him. Miss Mayo in a low voice — Do you think he's got a chance, Doctor? Fitch— Hard to say, poor bugger. Did you feel those enlarged folds of material on his back?
Fitch— You can't tell. They get cunning in the later stages. The door-shaped door of the dressing room opens and Freedley re-enters, a changed man. He is portly, well groomed, a connoisseur oi fine horseflesh and pretty women, but withal a man oi keen business judgment. He wears a pearl gray Homburg, Chesterfield overcoat, and spats, carries a gold-headed cane, a hot bird, and a cold bottle. Freedley booming — Well, Fitch, my boy, can't waste any more time jawing with you.
Fve got to cut along to that board meeting. Fitch— Er— that was rather sudden, wasn't it? Freedley— Can't stand beating about the bush. Think in telegrams, that's my motto. Want to know my secret, Fitch? Fve worked hard and Fve played hard. And Fve drunk a quart of whiskey every day of my life!
Fitch— Well, remember what I said. Freedley roaring — Stuff and nonsense! Why, Fm as sound as a nut. Got the appetite of a boy of twenty, sleep like a top, and Fll outdance a youngster any day! To demonstrate, he catches up Miss Mayo, whirls her around giddily, and, flushed with exertion, drops dead. The Doc- tor and his nurse exchange slow, sidelong glances. Miss Mayo— Well, I guess science still has a lot to learn. Fitch curtly — None of your god-damned lip. Drag him out and show in the next patient.
He turns back to his desk, stroking his Vandyke more thoughtfully than ever. What between amnesia inability to find my rubbers and O'Hara's disease ability to remember all the cunning things I did last night , you might think I'd have sense enough to sit still and mind my own business. But, oh, no, not 1. If a perfectly strange lady came up to you on the street and demanded, "Why don't you travel with a little rasp- berry-colored cashmere blanket to throw over yourself in hotels and trains? Yet that is exactly what has been happening for the past twenty months in the pages of a little raspberry-colored magazine called Harper's Bazaar.
And don't think it does any good to pretend there is no magazine called Harper's Bazaar. I've tried that, too, and all I get is something called "circular insanity. The first time I noticed this "Why Don't You? Without any preamble came the stinging query, "Why don't you rinse your blonde child's hair in dead 53 champagne, as they do in France?
Or pat her face gently with cream before she goes to bed, as they do in Eng- land? Just because the Marquis de Sade wasn't mentioned didn't fool me; you know as well as I do who must have controlled fifty-one per cent of the stock. I slept across the foot of the crib with a loaded horse pistol until the next issue appeared. It appeared, all right, all right, and after a quick gander at the activities of Nicky de Gunzburg, Lady Abdy, and the Vicomtesse de Noailles, which left me right back where I started, I sought out my "Why Don't You?
I was living in my own country retreat at the time, and as it happened to be my day to go to the post office ordinarily the post office comes to me , I welcomed this chance to vary the monotony. Piling my head high with diamond roses and ribbons, I pulled on a pair of my stoutest espadrilles and set off, my cat frisking ahead of me with many a warning cry of "Here comes my master, the Marquis of Carabas! In case you ever get down that way, she is still standing there, slightly chipped but otherwise in very good condition, which is more than I can say for the postmaster.
When I walked in, he was in process of spitting into the top drawer, where he keeps the money-order blanks. One look at Boxholder 14 and he went out the window without bothering to raise the sash. When- ever I got too near a newsstand bearing a current issue of the Bazaar and my head started to swim, I would rush home and bury myself in dress patterns. And then, one inevitable day, the dam burst. Lingering in Brentano's basement over U Illustration and Blanco y Negro, I felt the delicious, shuddery, half-swooning sensation of being drawn into the orbit again.
On a table behind me lay a huge stack of the very latest issue of Harper's Bazaar, smoking hot from the presses. Tiny beads of perspiration stood out on my even tinier forehead as I began to read, "Why don't you build beside the sea, or in the center of your garden, a white summer dining room shaped like a tent, draped with wooden swags, with walls of screen and Venetian blinds, so you will be safe from bugs and drafts?
Why don't you bring back from Central Europe a huge white baroque porcelain stove to stand in your front hall, re- flected in the parquet? Why don't you buy in a hardware store a plain pine knife-basket with two compartments and a handle— mount this on four legs and you will have the ideal little table to sort letters and bills on, and to carry from your bedside to the garden or wherever you happen to be?
I'm sorry I snatched the paper knife out of that desk set, Mr. Brentano, but you can send a boy for it at my expense. And by the way, do you ever have any call for back numbers of fashion magazines? The Plains of Abraham? The Little Big Horn? Steady on, old son; it is Yorktown. Under a blood-red setting sun yon proud crest is Cornwallis. Blood and 'ouns, proud sirrah, dost brush so lightly past an exciseman of the Crown? Lady Rotogravure's powdered shoulders shrank from the highwayman's caress; what, Jermyn, footpads on Houn- slow Heath?
A certain party in the D. There was a silken insolence in his smile as he drew the greatcoat about his face and leveJed his shooting-iron at her dainty puss. Leave go that lady or I'll smear yuh. Me, whose ancestors scuttled stately India merchantmen of their comfits and silken stuffs and careened their piratical craft in the Dry Tortugas to carouse with bumboat women till the cock crew?
Yuh'll buy my booze or I'll give yuh a handful of clouds. Oceans of love, but not one cent for tribute. Make a heel out of a guy whose grandsire, Olaf Hasholem, swapped powder and ball with the murderous Sioux through the wheels of a Conestoga wagon, who mined the yellow dirt with Sutter and slapped nuggets across the rude bars of Leadville and Goldfield?
One side, damn your black hide, suh, or Ah'll send one mo' dirty Litvak 57 to the boneyard. It's right up the exhibitor's alley, Mr. Biberman, and you got to hand it to them on a platter steaming hot. I know, Stanley, but let's look at this thing reasonable; we been showing the public Folly Larrabee's drawers two years and they been cooling off.
Biberman, it'll blow 'em outa the back of the houses, it's the greatest thing in the industry, it's dynamite! Pardon me, officer, is that Gen- eral Washington? Bless yer little heart, mum, and who may yez be, savin' yer prisince? Honest old Brigid the apple-woman of Trinity, is it? How degage he sits on his charger, flicking an infinitesimal speck of ash from his plum-colored waistcoat!
Gentlemen, I give you Martha Custis, hetman of the Don Cossacks, her features etched with the fragile beauty of a cameo. And I walked right in on her before she had a chance to pull the god-damned kimono together. Tired, Roy, I'm tired, I tell you. Tired of the rain, the eternal surge of the breakers on that lagoon, the glitter of the reef in that eternity out there. She laughed contemptuously, her voluptuous throat filling with a rising sob as she faced Davidson like a hounded animal.
You drove me out of Papeete but I'll go to Thursday Island with my banjo on my knee. Yeh, yeh, so what? We made FOUR pictures like that last year. Oh, my God, Mr. Biberman, give me a chance, it's S8 only a flashback to plant that she's a woman with a past. Sixteen hundred a week I pay you to hand me back the plot of Love's Counterfeiters Selig made in ! What's the idea her coming here?
What's she trying to do, turn a production office into a whorehouse? No, Miss Reznick, tell her to wait, I'll be through in five minutes. Now get it, Mr. You establish the messroom and truck with Farns- worth till he faces Charteris. I said Sixth Rajputana Rifles and- 1 don't want a lotta muggs paradin' around in the uni- forms of the Preobazhensky Guard, y' get me?
Yep, he's on a tear, those foreign directors are very temperamental, did I ever tell you about the time Lazlo Nugasi said he'd buy me a brassiere if I let him put it on? Fake it with a transparency of Khyber Pass. Now an overhead shot of the dusty tired column filing into Sidi-bel-Abbes.
Shoulder by shoulder they march in the faded blue of the Legion, fun-loving Dick and serious-minded Tom. Buddies, the greatest word in the French language, flying to the de- fense of each other like a homo pigeon. Greater love hath Onan. Swinging a chair into that mob of lime-juicers in the Mile End Bar in Shanghai. But came a slant-eyed Chinese adventuress, and then? Don't shoot, Butch, for Gossake!
Heave 'em into the prison yard, we'll keep the screws out of the cell-block and wilderness were paradise enow. Stow the swag in Cincy, kid, and go on alone, I'm done for. Too late, old Pogo the clown stopped it in the sweetbreads. They buried him outside the town that night, a motley crew of freaks and circus people. Old man Klingspiel told me he bawled like a baby.
Laugh, you inhuman monster they call the crowd, old Pogo lies dead with only a bareback rider's spangle to mark his grave and a seat for every child in the public schools! When tall ships shook out their plumage and raced from Salem to Hong Kong to bring back tea. Break out the Black Ball ensign, Mr. Exhibitor, there's sweet music in that ole cash register! A double truck in every paper in town and a smashing drawing by the best artist we got, mind you. Take the kiddies to that colossal red- blooded human drama of a boy's love for his dog. This is my hunting lodge, we'll stop here and dry your things, But of course it's all right, cara mia, I'm old enough to be your father.
What are you doing here? I ask you confidentially, Horowitz, can't we get that dame to put on some women's clothes, a skirl or something? The fans are getting wise, all those flat heeled shoes and men's shirts like a lumberjack. Get me Gerber in publicity, he'll dish out some crap about her happy home life. Vorkapich around the room to Dmitri's brother officers as they register consternation at the news. Good chance for some hokey bellies on comedy types. What, sir, you dare mention Alexandra Petrovna's name in a saloon? The kid takes it big and gives Diane the gloves across the pan socko.
The usual satisfaction, I pre- sume? Drawing on his gloves as a thin sneer played across his features. Yeh, a martinet and for Crisakes remember it's not a musical instrument this time. But eet ees mad- ness, Serge! The best swordsman in St. Mary's parish, he weel run you through in a tweenkling! Oh, darling, you can't, you can't.
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Her hair had become undone and he to plunged his face into its fragrance, unbuckling his sabre and flinging it on the bed beside them. Hurry, even now my husband is fried to the ears in a low boozing-den in Pokrovsky Street. Of course it is he, I'd know that lousy busby anywhere in St. Shoot it two ways, you can always dub it in the sound track. She shrieks or she don't shriek, what the hell difference does it make? Told me he was going to night school at the Smolny Institute, the cur. And I believed him, thought Pyotr pityingly, sur- veying her luscious bust with greedy eyes.
Never leave me r my sweet, and then bejeezus an angle shot toward the door of the General leaning against the lintel stroking his mustache. Crouching against the wall terrified yet shin- ing-eyed as women are when men do gallant combat. Throw him your garter, Lady Aspinwall, throw your slip- per, throw your lunch, but for Gawd's sake throw some- thing! Where are they all now, the old familiar faces? What a piece of business! Grabs a string of onions and swings himself up the balcony, fenc ing with the soldiers.
Got you in the groin that time, Gen- eral! Mine host, beaming genially, rubbing his hands and belching. Get Anderson ready with the sleighbells and keep that snow moving. Hotter on eighty- four, Joe Devlin! Are we up to speed? Quiet, please, we're turning! Chicago, hog-butcher to the world, yclept the Windy City. You cut to the back of the Big Fellow, then three lap dissolves of the presses— give 'em that Ufa stuff, then to the street— i newsbody, insert of the front page, the L roaring by— 61 Kerist, it's the gutsiest thing in pictures!
Call you back, chief. Never mind the Hays office, this baby is censor- proof! Well heave the telephone through the glass door and smack her in the kisser with the grapefruit, they liked it once and they'll love it twice.
The Best Short Stories of 1918, and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
The gat in the mesh-bag. A symbol, get me? A bit tight, my sweet? Marrowforth teetered back and forth on his heels, his sensitive artist's fingers caressing the first edition he loved. Item, one Hawes and Curtis dress-suit, one white tie, kindly return to Mister Dreyfus in the wardrobe depart- ment. What color do I remind you of? Purple shot with pleasure, if you ask me. Do I have to work with a lot of pim- ply grips giving me the bird? Papa's in the doghouse and keep up the tempo of the last scene, you looked crummy in yesterday's dailies.
A warm, vivid and human story with just that touch of muff the fans demand. And sad-eyed Grubnitz by the Wailing Wall demands: What will the inde exhibs do? Let 'em eat cake, we're packing 'em in with 29 Garson-Pidgeons in Ask Hyman Gerber of Waco, he can smell a box-office pic- ture a mile away. In the freezing mists of dawn they gath- ered by the fuselages of their planes and gripped hands. But Rex Jennings of the shining eyes and the high heart never came back.
Jerry got him over Chalons. I tell you it's murder to send a mere boy up in a crate like that!