« PreviousContinue »
a visitor in the shape of no less than the Bone Crusher's charmin' young wife. She has came all the ways from dear old Chickasha unknown to her bitter half, and if it wasn't fer the cute trick she had of scrunchin' up her o nose I doubt if I would of knew er. They was half moons under the honest brown eyes and she's a bit pale and drawn. Sniffin' scornfully at the bespangled, short-skirted ladies of the trapeze and the etc., she made her way over to where we was standin’ on the lot. She'd seen me, of course, before, but not the Kid, and she's standin’ right in front of him when she asks where she can find the champion. Roberts has his hat off and is bowin' at her before I can stall her and Mrs. Hurricane Kenney's eyes registers surprise as they sweep the smilin' Kid from stem to stern. No doubt she expected to see some cauliflower-eared, red-faced, snaggle-toothed, hairy cave man instead of this handsome young blond which looked almost slight alongside of her gigantic helpmeet. Although I kept both ears wide open and both eyes glued on hers whilst she talked, I could find nothin’ suspicious about her story—told in a haltin', moist voice which had the sympathetic Kid for her, and me waverin' before she had said six words. It seemed that Joe Kenney had now gone cuckoo on the subject of box fightin', and his idea that he would be the next world's heavyweight champion had been greatly strengthened by the fact that the Kid hadn't flattened him to date. So he has turned his ranch over to a dumb-bell brother to run and, accordin' to Mrs. Kenney, said brother is runnin’ it right into the ground. At this point Mrs. Kenney resorts to the use of props. She extracts a gram of lace from her pocketbook and with a occasional touch of it to the eyes she says she and the Bone Crusher was happy and everything was jake till the circus and the Kid come to town. She don't accuse the Kid in words of havin’ gummed things up, but she does it with her eyes, whilst she's half sobbin' that she don't want her husband to be no pugeylist and that him chasin’ all over the country after the circus is bustin' up her home. She claims if the Kid don't send the wanderin' Bone Crusher back to Chickasha, Kenney won't have no wife, ranch, or jack left. “It might sound funny to you, Mister Kid,” she winds up, with a quiverin' of lip that was sure fire on Roberts. “But it's a tragedy to me!” Well, the Kid spent the best part of fifteen minutes tellin' her to go home and cheer up, leavin' everything else to us. He says if Hurricane Kenney shows up in this burg he will have a long
and that the strike has served a Catholic girl by enabling her to win his son away from him and his faith. At the time of the discovery Rainey was upon his way to a meeting of Orangemen to answer an out-of-town agitator who had come to stir up all the old religious bitterness. Now he announces that he will go and make quite a different speech than the one he had originally planned. Michael O’Hara, the Catholic leader, comes to plead with him, but old Rainey will not be persuaded. O'Hara then tries to get young Hugh Rainey to abandon his plan of marrying Nora, and when he meets refusal there he endeavors to persuade Nora that she ought to give the boy up for the sake of the cause of labor, for the sake of Ireland itself. She answers that her love for Hugh is more important to her than anything else in the world. Rainey goes out to speak against the Catholics, Hugh is told that he has been disowned, and Mrs. Rainey sits down to darn socks. In the fourth and last act we find
talk with him and do all he can to lay him off the art of box fightin’. He also adds that Kenney is the luckiest guy since Columbus to have discovered a wife like she, which brings a healthy blush and a pleasant smile to the rapidly brightenin’ face of Mrs. K. Then I crammed into her hands a lot of balloons to be blowed up and other souvenirs of the circus for the kids, and we took her to the station in the Kid's bus, so's the Bone Crusher wouldn't run across her was he in our midst.
HESE frequent settos with the goodnatured world's champion wasn't makin' Kenney no worse, and he has now advanced to the point where he's hittin' straight from the shoulder and the Kid is extended to keep him off without droppin’ him this time. After the bout we go into the dressin’ room off the ring to interview Kenney as advertised to his wife. As a success, the interview was a failure. Kid Roberts, with a brotherly air, advises the Chickasha Bone Crusher to quit followin' us hithers and yon and go back to his charmin' consort. He tells Kenney what a tough game boxin' is, how he personally dislikes it himself and that he's goin' to leave the ring flat on its back in another year. Windin' up, the Kid pats the Bone Crusher on the back and remarks that with his wonderful family and prosperous ranch, Kenney’s a sultan compared to the average prize fighter. The Chickasha Bone Crusher, pullin' on his citizen's clothes, has heard Kid Roberts through without a word, but with a sneer on his face which would of caused anybody else in the world outside of the Kid to knock him dead as he sat on the stool. Now, he looks up from tyin' his shoe and one swollen lip curls to the tip of his beak. “Sho' is noble of yuh to look after me,” he snarls, “but yuh can't buck jump me thataway. I aims to stay on yore back till I’m champeen, which same I'll be as sure as my name's Joe Kenney ! Reckon I'm gettin' too rougho. for yuh, hey? Come mighty near ropin' yuh there for a minute to-night, didn't I? Yeh, and I would have, only they rung the bell when they seen yuh was hurt. Good thing I had them pillows on my hands or I'd have sure mussed up that baby face of yourn, pardner! I'd admire to take yuh on in a finish fight with bare knuckles—without no bells and without that cotton paddin' on my hands!” He give a nasty laugh. “But I don't reckon yuh hanker for no manhandlin'. Takes a fighter for that, not a boxer, hey?” “You big—” I begins, but the hard
glitter only stayed a second in the Kid's eyes. He pulled me to the door. “Kenney,” he laughs shortly, “you're an insulting and aggravating fool! For your own information, let me say that I could have knocked you out at any time you were in the ring with me. I don't want deliberately to hurt you, and evidently nothing but a thorough beating will reach your asinine egotism. Well, I'm human, Kenney—in the future, keep away from me!” " We didn't wait for the Bone Crusher's answer. From New Orleans to Washington Kenney followed the circus, but he had no more bouts with the Kid. Instead in every town he publicly challenged my title holder to a finish fight for the world's championship, which got us beaucoup publicity gratis in the sticks. In most of the big burgs the wisecrackin' newspaper guys had the Bone Crusher pegged as a plant and wouldn't give him a tumble. In Washington, however, one of the sport writers fell for him and after a interview, printed under Kenney's photo a two-column blah of romantical hooch about him bein’ a dashin' cowboy from the ferocious West and the etc., and demandin' that he be gave a crack at the title immediately. Well, boys and girls, he got it!
HE minute we blowed into the nation's capital, Kid Roberts fled out to Senator Brewster's palace to pass the time of day with his comin' bride, the delicious Dolores. He cut his act down to twenty minutes that night,
leavin' the sparrin' out entirely, and I
followed him into the dressin' room to find his Jap valet layin' out a dress suit and packin' a bathrobe, fightin' trunks, and bandages into a grip. He grins at the expression which must of been on my face. “Just in time!” he says. “I was going to send. Kogi after you. I've got to be downtown by ten-fifteen—see that the car's ready, will you, old man? I've promised Dolores I’d box two rounds with some one at the Red Cross benefit to-night. She's one of the patronesses, you know, and it will be rather a feather in her cap to have a world's champion there. They have a big card of theatrical stars, movie people, and a lot of prominent boxers. You know how these things are, one has to help. I want you to handle me yourself—this will be nothing, just an exhibition, and I'm afraid Dynamite Jackson and Knockout Burns might scare the ladies away!” “Well—all right,” I grumbled. “I guess they's no harm in helpin' the Red
What a Woman Believes
Continued from page 19
that rioting has broken out in Belfast and that Catholic workmen are stoning the houses of the Protestants. Rocks come through the windows of Rainey's home, which is one of the centers of attack. Hugh and Nora seek refuge in the house, but old Rainey will not speak to them. Presently the police come and then the soldiers. Michael O’Hara is heard outside the house urging his coreligionists to go home peacefully, but they stone him. Nora feels that her stubborn refusal to give up Hugh is the cause of the whole catastrophe, and she opens the door to rush out and save O'Hara from his danger. At that moment the soldiers fire, and Nora, struck by a chance bullet, staggers back dying. Old Rainey, horrified by everything that has happened, is still stubbornly trying to justify himself and keeps mumbling
to himself: “I was right. I know I was
right.” And as the curtain falls we find Mrs. Rainey, the one person who has kept her head throughout, coming to him in a flood of compassion for him in spite of the tragic wreck which has
come to them all through his stubbornness, and saying: “My poor man, my poor man.” Mrs. Rainey is Ervine's most successful characterization in the play. The playwright has made her the embodiment of the persistent and enduring maternal instinct of woman. “Your child,” she tells Nora, “hurts you from the minute it's born until the minute it dies.” To her Rainey, her husband, is also a child, as indeed are all men. “They’re just like big childher,” she says. “When Hughie was a child he wus quare and strong, and there wus times afore he cud walk whin I cud hardly houl’ him, he wud twist about in me arms that much, and sometimes I thought the child imagined he was more nor me match; but ye know, dear, I wus takin' care o' him all the time. It wus sore work sometimes, and his dad nivir seemed to ondherstan’ that I got tired out; but sure I jus’ did it all right. It's the same wi' my man. He twists about and thinks he's the quare big strong man, but I'm jus’ takin' care o'
Cross, Kid, but this here's kind of sudden. I don't like these short-notice affairs. Who you goin' to box and—”
Kid Roberts throws back his head and laughs. “Hurricane Kenney, the Chickasha Bone Crusher!” he chortles. “He’s apparently impressed this sporting writer who wrote that article about him, and I really believe the pair of them think they’re slipping one over on me. Of course Kenney's challenging me has smoked the thing up so that—”
“Knock him dead the minute he puts up his hands,” I butts in. “We'll get that baby all settled to-night!”
“I’m afraid I may have to stop him this time,” says the Kid grimly, shakin' his head. “The poor fool. Well— come on 1’’
HE last-minute announcement that Kid Roberts was goin' to step two rounds with Hurricane Kenney, the cowboy challenger for the championship, brought two-thirds of Washington out to the big auditorium where the Red Cross benefit was bein’ had. By the time we had shouldered our way through the mob down into the basement where the men's dressin' room was, congressmen was out in the street fightin' with less known millionaires for the privilege of payin' two hundred bucks to stand up inside. We could plainly hear Kenney's voice in the room opposite the one we took whilst I was bandagin' the Kid's hands. I hadn’t bothered to lock the door, and suddenly it opens and closes gently and when I glance quickly around at the Kid's startled exclamation, I see no less than Mrs. Kenney is inside' She's tremblin' like a shaken jelly and on the brinks of weeps. Her cute little face is the color of cream, but her eyes is feverish. The Kid jumps up frownin’ly and throws a bathrobe around his shoulders. “Forgive me—I—I—had to come !” pants Mrs. Kenney in a chokin' whisper. “I–Joe has sold the ranch and bet every pemmy we have in the world that he will knock you out to-night!” “Oh, the infernal ass!” gasps the Kid. “Good Heavens, what a mess! You poor girl!” “Who did he bet with—quick!” I says. “Maybe I can—” “It's too late!” moans Mrs. Kenney, collapsin' into a chair and hidin’ her face in her hands. “I saw the man— Big Bill Henderson, they call him— who's holding the stakes. I told him everything, but it was no use. He said he would not give Joe back the money unless there wasn't any bout. There must not be a bout, do you hear?” She jumps up off the chair and faces the Kid like she was willin' to take him on herself" (Continued on page 25)
HE rôle of Mrs. Rainey is magnifi
cently acted by Margaret Wycherly.
As may be judged from one or two speeches here quoted, the part might easily degenerate into the conventional oversweet stage mother. Miss Wycherly plays quietly, sincerely, and with enough humor to keep the part from spoiling. It is one of the finest performances of the season. Miss Wycherly's stage career has taken her into such varied rôles as the Yeats verse plays, into “Within the Law,” and later in the melodramatic “The Thirteenth Chair,” then to quieter plays such as “Jane Clegg,” and now “Mixed Marriage.” But in all this variety her artistry has been uniform. Excellent work is also done by Augustin Duncan as Rainey and by Rollo Peters as Hugh, his son.
The Leather Pushers
Continued from page 24
“My dear girl,” says the Kid, “I would do anything in the world to help you, but if I refuse to meet your husband now I-why—I’d be the laughingstock of the country! The ridicule would prevent me from—” “I don’t want you to refuse to meet him!” interrupts Mrs. Kenney, excitedly. “That wouldn’t cure him. Joe would still think he could whip you then and he'd keep after you until you so him! You don't know him like 0.” The Kid, pacin' up and down the room, has been castin' nervous glances at the hall. Now he stops and bends over her with a finger on his lip. “Sssh!” he says in a low voice. “Mrs. Kenney, you will have to leave my dressing room. I’ll delay the bout and try to think of some way out of this muddle for you, but you must go immediately and be careful not to be seen leaving here. You have been very indiscreet in coming here at all! Your husband is dressing in a room across the corridor, and if he heard your voice —found out you were in here—well, it is quite possible with his quick temper that he might—eh—misinterpret your visit. Please go at once!”
RS. KENNEY caught her breath in a half sob that sent my Adam's apple bobbin’ around like a cork in the ocean, and the Kid's drawn face showed how deeply he was moved. She looked so little and helpless standin' there beside us two big stiffs that—oh, dammit, you know! I turned away, but out of the corner of my eye I see her edgin' slowly for the door. “If–if Joe couldn't appear—out there—the bets would be off, wouldn't they?” she breathes. I nodded. Then—Sweet Mamma, listen! The soft brown eyes turns hard and glitterin’. She suddenly bangs the door
shut, turns the key, amd lets out a earsplittin’ shriek / Almost on the instant, it seemed to me, a bull's beller boomed in the hall, the door rattles, and— smash! Flounderin', sprawlin', hysterically cursin”, Joe Kenney crashed through the crumbled door into the room. Like the Kid, Kenney was in .# togs minus the gloves, a roll of soft bandage still danglin' from one hand. For a second he peered around the dressin’ room like a guy walkin' from the dark into a brilliantly lighted hall. His little, flamin’ red eyes passed over me on to his chalk-faced wife which stood silent against the wall, her face turned away from the amazed stare of the Kid. I grabbed her arm and shook it, pointin' frantically to Kenney—tryin' to show her by signs to say somethin’, explain the thing to her husband. For some reason, I couldn't talk, though my lips worked enough She hung her head and said nothin'. With a roarin' curse, the Bone Crusher got me by the waist and throwed me the length of the room. I fell sprawlin’ in a corner and then, whilst the mob waited impatiently upstairs for the world's champion and his cowboy challenger to climb through the ropes for a two-round, gentlemanly sparrin' exhibition, they fought in the dressin' room the bloodiest, most. sensational battle that I, you, or anybody else ever was privileged to see and they went at it the way Kenney always wanted it— with bare knuckles!
If Silence is Golden, A Cougher is Made of Brass
Philosophy, romance, essay,
Are drowned by the barks of the jay Whose manners need violence To teach him that “silence”
In public 'tis best to obey.
Arap that Cough
SMITH BROTHER5 of Pough/egasse
battler, which was absolutely fightin' for his life! Over the busted door peered a half dozen scared faces, but if they did or said anything, nobody noticed.
HEY was no stallin' this time, no pullin' wallops to let Kenney stay. Kid Roberts was puttin' everything he had into each punch, for the | Chickasha Bone Crusher had turned killer and twice had bent the Kid over his giant's knee with both hands sunk in his white throat. Each time the gaspin' Kid had wriggled free and pounded Kenney's face to a purple jelly | before the Bone Crusher bulled his way in close to grab the champ around the body with one arm and pound his ribs with the other. A wild swing caught Roberts fair on the chin and he crashed against the opposite wall, his head hit| tin' with a crack that wrung a scream from me. In a flash, Kenney was on him, bangin' him back and forth against the wall with little, sickenin', snarlin' grunts like a wild animal over its kill. Half cuckoo, I jumped to my feet and pawed at the Bone Crusher's wet and strainin’ back. “Fight fair—you big yellah bum!” I shrieked, and it was the Kid, with a tooth-barin’ snarl that equaled Kenney's own, which shoved me away with a free arm. Kenney, havin exhausted every foul means of fightin’—fair enough to him, I guess, accordin’ to the rules of what brawls he'd been in-decided to butt the Kid and as he lowered his head, Roberts straightened him up with a terrific left and right, danced away from the wall and broke the Bone Crusher's nose with a solid right smash. The ensuin’ gore covered them both, and I have no doubt that by this time Kenney had went clean crazy, for he grabbed at a chair and brung it down on the Kid's shoulders, crashin' him to the floor. Had I a gat, I would of cooked Monsieur Kenney then and there! I done the best I could, by shovin’ out a foot and trippin’ him as he rushed to give the prostrate Kid the boots. They both got up at the same time and stood pantin', facin’ each other— a sight for a movie director. Kenney's face was a shapeless mass from which features could only be picked by guess work. The Kid, drenched with the Bone Crusher's gore, looked almost as bad, and they was a expression on his face I had seldom seen there when he was in a ring. Forced into this mill, Roberts had took more punishment than he ; ever had before in his life, and his ability to take it amazed even me. He'd been manhandled, fouled and hurt, and, shakin' his blond head, he plunged into Kenney like a lean, savage wolf against a ragin' bear. For a full minute now they stood toe to toe and slugged, and few wallops went wild, though none had #. steam behind them they had at rst. They'd both taken enough solid smashes to of licked a dozen heavies!
FUNNY look of awed wonderment begin to spread over Kenney's crimson map. Slowly he begin to give | ground, his one good eye blinkin’ in fear and amazement. Almost twice the size of the slender Kid, he had gave him everything he had—buried his fists to the wrist in that corded steel body a dozen times and the Kid was still there, givin' wallop for wallop. I forgot the fight almost in watchin’ Kenney's face, and I knew I read his thoughts correct, when without hardly knowin’ it, I bawled: “Now you know why he's champion, you big tramp!” I could of swore Kenney nodded. Anyhow, he begin to back pedal desperately, and now the Kid was cool and grinnin’ for the first time since the murder started. He feinted the Bone Crusher into a openin’ and drove through his right to the jaw. The groggy Kenney swayed back and forth, both arms clumsily raised before his battered face, and settin' himself, Kid Roberts banged one of Kenney's own fists against his chin with another
torrid right. The man mountain toppled forward into a perfectly timed uppercut, seemed to hang in the air a instant, and suddenly toppled over on his back—knocked stiff' Gaspin', the Kid stood over him, glarin’ down at the lifeless hulk. He actually seemed sorry it was over! Mrs. Kenney pulls the Bone Crusher's head into her lap and, weepin' softly, is tryin' to wipe off the gore with a one-inch handkerchief. The Kid bends down to her, his own voice shakin'. “Mrs. Kenney,” he says, “this is a terrible thing—but it had to be! There was no way—” “I’m glad he was whipped,” butts in the remarkable Mrs. Kenney, meetin’ the Kid's eye. “Now maybe-he'll— stay—home—with—me!” Yet when Roberts reaches down to sponge Kenney's face, she knocks his arm away. “Let him alone!” she says fiercely and covers the Bone Crusher's face with her arms. “Go away and leave him with me. You’ve done enough 1” Girls is a bit odd, hey? A announcement is made to the mob that the Kid Roberts-Hurricane Kenney bout is off—on account of Kenney havin’ hurt his arm in trainin’. So that was that.
Boš terrible tough, the Bone Crusher is in shape to start back to dear old Chickasha with the Missus in a hour. By usin' her nut, his charmin’ wife has saved him his dough, the humiliation of gettin' a proper pastin' before the crowd, and likewise convinced him that ranchin' is a better game than fightin’. The deepest regret Kenney seemed to have when he come to was that the only time his wife had ever seen him fight was the holocaust just finished in which he run second and he remarks half mournfully to Roberts: “She must think I'm a hell of a fighter, now !” The Kid shook his hand warmly and told him he had gave him the hardest battle he'd had or ever hoped to have in his life. Then he turns to Mrs. Kenney. “And now,” he says, grimly, “perhaps you’ll explain to your husband just why you came to my dressing room this evening—and screamed !” At this the Bone Crusher, which seemed to have forgot the cause of the muss, straightens up again and growls, !. grin freezin’ into a scowl at the 101. “Why—of course,” says Mrs. Kenney, brightly, lookin' straight into the Kid's face and speakin' to her husband. “I came down here looking for your dressing room and—er—I-entered Mister Roberts's by mistake. When I saw that I was in the wrong room it gave me such a start that—I —I just—screamed from—eh—fright— that was all! I would have explained at once, but you began fighting and I had no chance.” Woof! “Oh–aheh–I see!” grins Kenney, with a sheepish look at the Kid. But the Kid ain't lookin' at him. Roberts is regardin’ Mrs. Kenney with open admiration. She gets a slow crimson and turns her head. Kenney looks from one to the other with a puzzled frown. “Come on 1’’ says the Kid to me. “I’ve got to do some explaining myself. Throw my stuff in the grip and we'll use Kenney's room to dress.” He went out and Kenney stands lookin' at his wife for a minute. It struck me that he seemed half pleased that she had drawed that glance from the champion, though of course the poor boob didn't know what had caused it. “He’s not a bad hombre,” remarks the Bone Crusher, “and he licked me fair enough—but he ain't fooled me none with his slick talk. That feller was stuck on yuh, Bess. I could see it in his eyes when he looked at yuh ! Guess I better get yuh home to the ranch, or I'll be losin' yuh, eh? All the punchin' I'm goin’ to do hereafter, Bess, will be in connection with cows'."
Continued from page 15
“An unwelcome customer, Jarvis?” inquired the voice of the man in the fitting room. “Quite unwelcome,” said Jarvis. “I don’t want him. I have more work than I know how to turn out. I wish he would go elsewhere. I wish—” He paused. He had seen the page boy. The latter, having undone his parcel, was holding out a pair of elegant, fawn-colored shoes. “Great Moses!” breathed Jarvis. “He’s had the cheek to send them back again!” “His excellency—” began the page, when Jarvis snatched the shoes from his hand and hurled them to the other end of the shop. His white beard positively bristled. “Tell his excellency,” he shouted, “to go to the devil, with my compliments!” So positively ferocious was his aspect that the boy, with upraised arm, backed hastily out into the street. Safety won. “Blimey!” exclaimed the youth. “He’s the warm goods, he is!” He paused for several moments, staring in a kind of stupefied admiration at the closed door of Mr. Jarvis's establishment. He whistled again, softly, and then began to run—for the formidable Mr. Jarvis suddenly"opened the door. “Hi, boy!” he called to the page. The page hesitated, glancing back doubtfully. “Tell his excellency that I will send round in about half an hour to remeasure his foot.” “D'you, mean it?” inquired the bo impudently—“or is there a catch in it?” *I'll tan your hide, my lad!" cried the bootmaker—“and I mean that! Take my message and keep your mouth shut.”
HE boy departed, grinning, and little more than half an hour later a respectable-looking man presented himself at Savoy Court, inquiring of the attendant near the elevator for the apartments of “his excellency,” followed by an unintelligible word which presumably represented “Ormuz Khan.” The visitor wore a well-brushed but threadbare tweed suit, although his soft collar was by no means clean. He had a short, reddish-brown beard, and very thick, curling hair of the same hue protruded from beneath a bowler hat which had seen long service. Like Mr. Jarvis, he was bespectacled, and his teeth were much discolored and apparently broken in front, as is usual with cobblers. His hands, too, were toil-stained and his nails very black. He carried a cardboard box. He seemed to be extremely nervous, and this nervousness palpably increased when the impudent page, who was standing in the lobby, giggled on hearing his inquiry. “He’s second floor,” said the youth. “Are you from Hot-Stuff Jarvis?” ... “That's right, lad,” replied the visitor, speaking with a marked Manchester accent; “from Mr. Jarvis.” “And are you really going up?” inquiod the boy with mock solicitude. I'm going up right enough That's what I'm here for.”
try and stop you and her husband from entering the ring to-night. I phoned all over town and couldn't find you and I felt horrid. I wish you could have seen her, Kane, she was so tragic! Well, I finally hit upon the scheme of sending a wire to your dressing room warning you not to enter the ring to-night, as the police were going to stop the exhibition on the ground that it was a prize fight. Wasn't, I clever? That's what prevented the bout, wasn’t it?” “Yes!” I almost hollered, kickin' the Kid right in the ankle. The Kid is still chokin', when a page sticks his head in the room. “Telegram for Mister Roberts!” chants the boy. “Telegram for Mister Roberts!” Curtain'
Round 10 will be reported in an early issue of Collier's.
“Shut up, Chivers,” snapped the hall porter. “Ring the bell.” He glanced at the cobbler. “Second floor,” he said tersely, and resumed his study of a newspaper which he had been reading. The representative of Mr. Jarvis was carried up to the second floor, and the lift man, having indicated at which door he should knock, descended again. The cobbler's nervousness thereupon became more marked than ever, so that a waiter, seeing him looking helplessly from door to door, took pity on him and inquired for whom he was searching. “His excellency,” was the reply; “but I'm hanged if I can remember the number or how to pronounce his name.”
“Ormuz Khan,” he said, and rang the bell beside a door. As he hurried away, “Good luck!” he called back. There was a short interval, and then the door was opened by a man who looked like a Hindu. He wore correct morning dress and through gold-rimmed
pince-nez he stared inquiringly at the |
caller. “Is his excellency at home?” asked the latter. “I’m from Mr. Jarvis, the bootmaker.” “Oh!” said the other, smiling slightly. “Come in. What is your name?” “Parker, sir. From Mr. Jarvis.” As the door closed, Parker found himself in a small lobby. Beside an umbrella rack a high-backed chair was placed. “Sit down,” he was directed. “I will tell his excellency that you are here.” | A door was opened and closed again, and Parker found himself alone. He twirled his bowler hat, which he held in his hand, and stared about the place vacantly. Once he began to whistle, but checked himself and coughed nervously. Finally the Hindu gentleman reappeared, beckoning to him to enter. Parker stood up very quickly and advanced, hat in hand. Then he remembered the box which he had left on the floor, and, stooping to recover it, he dropped his hat. But at last, leaving his hat upon the chair and carrying the box under his arm, he entered a room which had been converted into a very businesslike office.
HERE was a typewriter upon a table
near the window at which some one
had evidently been at work quite recently, and upon a larger table in the center of the room were dispatch boxes, neat parcels of documents, ledgers, works of reference, and all the evidence of keen commercial activity. Crossing the room, the Hindu rapped upon an inner door, opened it, and, standing aside, “The man from the bootmaker,” he said in a low voice.
Parker advanced, peering about him as one unfamiliar with his surroundings. As he crossed the threshold the door was closed behind him, and he found himself in a superheated atmosphere heavy with the perfume of hyacinths. The place was furnished as a sitting
room, but some of its appointments
Jilted—she Married For Spite
And Wrecked A Good Man's Life
FIATEREP. capricious butterfly, reared to a life of ease, she never loved Amos. And he, whimsical dreamer, his great heart at her feet, weaves his skeins of golden romance. . But with misfortune comes her ultimatum, and torn between two passions—his love and his honor—Amos is tangled in a web of desperate tragedy. And Butterfly—what is her part? In “The Golden Answer,” Sylvia Chatfield Bates has wrought her greatest dramatic achievement. Read this masterful new serial, starting in the February issue of Woman’s Home Companion.
Does Your Face Give You Away?
When you're cross, tired, bored or sour—does your expression show it 2 Yet, you know that a pleasant expression is accepted as the outward sign of inner grace. You can control that expression of yours just as you can your tongue. The frown, the mouth-to-nose lines, the twitchings and wrinkles can all be ironed out. Your eye-lashes, lips and teeth—Miss Gould tells you just how to give them the attention they crave. The price of beauty is eternal vigilance, so you'd better get your sentries posted.
“I’m Bringing You Up As
were obviously importations. Its keynote was Orientalism, not of that sensuous yet grossly masculine character which surrounds the wealthy Eastern esthete but quite markedly feminine. There were an extraordinary number of cushions, and many bowls and vases containing hyacinths. What other strange appointments were present Parker was far too nervous to observe. He stood dumbly before a man who lolled back in a deep, cushioned chair and whose almond-shaped eyes, black as night, were set immovably upon him. This man was apparently young. He wore a rich, brocaded robe, trimmed with marten fur, and out of it his long ivory throat rose statuesquely. His complexion was likewise of this uniform ivory color, and from his low smooth brow his hair was brushed back in a series of glossy black waves.
IS lips were full and very red. As a woman he might have been considered handsome—even beautiful; in a man this beauty was unnatural and repellent. He wore Oriental slippers, furlined, and his feet rested on a small ottoman. One long, slender hand lay upon a cushion placed on the chair arm, and a pretty girl was busily engaged in manicuring his excellency's nails. Although the day held every promise of being uncomfortably hot, already a huge fire was burning in the grate. As Parker stood before him, the languid, handsome Oriental did not stir a muscle, merely keeping the gaze of his strange black eyes fixed upon the nervous cobbler. The manicurist, after one quick upward glance, continued her work. But in this moment of distrac| tion she had hurt the cuticle of one of those delicate, slender fingers. Ormuz Khan withdrew his hand sharply from the cushion, glanced aside at the girl, and then, extending his hand again, pushed her away from him. Because of her half-kneeling posture, she almost fell, but managed to recover herself by clutching at the edge of a little table upon which the implements of her trade were spread. The table rocked and a bowl of water fell crashing on the carpet. His excellency spoke. His voice was very musical. “Clumsy fool,” he said. hurt me. Go.” The girl became very white and began to gather up the articles upon the table. “I am sorry,” she said, “but—” “I do not wish you to speak,” continued the musical voice, “only to go.” Hurriedly collecting the remainder of the implements and placing them in an attache case, the manicurist hurried from the room. Her eyes were overbright and her lips pathetically tremulous. Ormuz Khan never glanced in her direction again, but resumed his disconcerting survey of Parker. “Yes?” he said. Parker fumblingly began to remove the lid of the cardboard box which he had brought with him.
“I was great. The fireman and the soldiers on the tender, they looked at me, admiring, the way you did just now, and then set to work pulling to pieces the cab of the locomotive right over my head, and I–I never flinched. I folded my arms, and—“Chuck it in l’ I yelled.
“Honest, I have never been so admired and so admirable in my life. My plan, my hope, was to get up over the
§ grade that, you know, lifts the road to
Vera Cruz, over the rim of the mountains, and then lets it roll down again to the very bottom. Remember? Once over the top, it is one steady down grade straight to—only it isn’t steady at all, and it isn't straight. It's crooked. There isn’t a straight rail in it, I think. It twists and turns, doubles and crooks like a successful American career in Mexico, and a train going down it fast travels like a Mexican going to“I knew if the wood held out so’s we could get over the summit, we–well, we
Fire-Tongue Continued from page 27
“I do not wish you to alter the shoes you have made,” said his excellency. “I instructed you to remeasure my foot in order that you might make a pair to fit.” “Yes, sir,” said Parker. “Quite - so, your excellency.” And he dropped the box and the shoes upon the floor. “Just a moment, sir.” From an inner pocket he drew out a large sheet of white paper, a pencil, and a tape measure. “Will you place your foot upon this sheet of paper, sir?” Ormuz Khan raised his right foot listlessly. “Slipper off, please, sir.” “I am waiting,” replied the other, never removing his gaze from Parker's face. “Oh, I beg your pardon, sir, your excellency,” muttered the bootmaker. Dropping upon one knee, he removed the furred slipper from a slender, arched foot, bare, of the delicate color of ivory, and as small as a woman's. “Now, sir.” The ivory foot was placed upon the sheet of paper, and very clumsily Parker drew its outline. He then took certain measurements and made a number of notes with a stub of thick pencil. Whenever his none too cleanly hands touched Ormuz Khan's delicate skin the Oriental perceptibly shuddered. “Of course, sir,” said Parker at last, “I should really have taken your measurement with the sock on.” “I wear only the finest silk.” “Very well, sir. As you wish.” Parker replaced paper, pencil, and measure, and, packing up the rejected shoes, made for the door. “Oh, bootmaker!” came the musical voice. Parker turned. “Yes, sir?” “They will be ready by Monday?” “If possible, your excellency.” “Otherwise I shall not accept them.” Ormuz Khan drew a hyacinth from a vase close beside him and languidly waved it in dismissal. In the outer room the courteous secretary awaited Parker, and there was apparently no one else in the place, for the Hindu conducted him to the lobby and opened the door. Parker said “Good morning, sir,” and would have departed without his hat had not the secretary smilingly handed it to him.
HEN, presently, the cobbler emerged from the elevator, below, he paused before leaving the hotel to mop his perspiring brow with a large, soiled handkerchief. The perfume of hyacinths seemed to have pursued him, bringing with it a memory of the handsome, effeminate ivory face of the man above. He was recalled to
The White Streak
Continued from page 7
wouldn't need no more fuel. See? All we'd need would be brakes. Brakes! “Where is the brake on a locomotive? I didn't know. I don't now. Do you? Gee! That was a situation' Even a grafting American reporter would pay an honest Mexican author a measly five for a situation like that if—” I did, and he jeered. “‘Chuck in the wood,' I ordered. I wanted to be sure to get it all burned up before we started down. And it was. The wood was gone, every stick, and the cab was gone, every stick. And gone with them was every excuse to play the hero down that hill. That was my burning motive. “We were traveling, light, like a stripped racing automobile when we went over the top, and I was still working my head off on that brake problem with my life and—your money at stake. v. ' “The first drops were not stiff and
his senses by the voice of the impudent page. “Been kicked out, gov'nor?” the youth inquired. “You’re the third this morning.’ “Is that so?” answered Parker. “Who were the other two, lad?” “The girl wot comes to do his nails. A stunnin' bird, too. She came down cryin' a few minutes ago. Then—” “Shut up, Chivers!” cried the hall porter. “You’re asking for the sack, and I'm the man to get it for you.” Chivers did not appear to be vastly perturbed by this prospect, and he grinned agreeably at Parker as the latter made his way out into the courtyard. Anyone sufficiently interested to have done so might have found matter for surprise had he followed that conscientious bootmaker as he left the hotel. He did not proceed to the shop of Mr. Jarvis, but, crossing the Strand, mounted a city-bound motor bus and proceeded eastward upon it as far as the Law Courts. Here he dismounted and plunged into that maze of tortuous lanes which dissects the triangle formed by Chancery Lane and Holborn. His step was leisurely, and once he stopped to light his pipe, peering with interest into the shop window of a law stationer. Finally he came to another little shop which had once formed part of a private house. It was of the lockup variety, and upon the gauze blind which concealed the interior appeared the words: “The Chancery Agency.” Whether the Chancery Agency was a press agency, a literary or a dramatic agency, was not specified, but Mr. Parker was evidently well acquainted with the establishment, for he unlocked the door with a key which he carried and, entering a tiny shop, closed and locked the door behind him again. The place was not more than ten yards square and the ceiling was very low. It was barely furnished as an office, but evidently Mr. Parker's business was not of a nature to detain him here. There was a second door to be unlocked; and beyond it appeared a flight of narrow stairs—at some time the servants’ stair of the partially demolished house which had occupied that site in former days. Relocking this door in turn, Mr. Parker mounted the stair and presently found himself in a spacious and well-furnished bedroom. This bedroom contained an extraordinary number of wardrobes, and a big dressing table with wing mirrors lent a theatrical touch to the apartment. This was still further enhanced by the presence of all sorts of wigs, boxes of false hair, and other items of make-up. At the table Mr. Parker seated himself, and when, half an hour later, the bedroom door was opened, it was not Mr. Parker who crossed the book-lined study within and walked through to the private office where Innes was seated writing. It was Mr. Paul Harley. (To be continued)
not long; mere dips. There were rises beyond, to jolly you along, and I had a chance to practice a bit. I ordered the crews on the flat car and tender to man their brakes, and I monkeyed with things in the locomotive. No use there. I had to be too careful, 'fraid I’d stop her entirely. “We came to the big grade at dark with what you would call a cold engine. I wouldn't. It wasn't cold. It was hot, but the fire was falling, and I guess the steam was about all in, as you say in America when you - mean all out. So we started down as gentle as a girl. Oh, it was pretty, but it was pretty like a pretty girl is pretty: pretty dangerous. There was a threat in it. But I—I like girls, and so I let her go: on and on, a little faster and a little faster, and a lot faster. The curves began to feel like corners again. We didn’t turn around them; we seemed to hit 'em, whirl in the air, and bounce back. And