George Ade.

The girl proposition: a bunch of he and she fables online

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THE GIRL PROPOSITION



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IriE NEW YO! K
PUBLIC I. RAB^'



ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS:

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by Google



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION



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IriE NEW Y0!:K
PUBLIC I. RABY



ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS:

R L



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dsA-si^



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THE NE'..V
PUBLIC !



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ASTOR. lend;; AND

TILD^N FOUNDATIONS



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^




THU GIRL
^^ ^ PROPOSITION

A Bunch of He and She
Fables

By
GEORGE ADE



NEW YORK AND LONDON

HARPER h BROTHERS

PUBLISHERS






a^



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X HE UltistrationSf in imiiation of the old*
thfle zoood-ciUs^ are by John T. McCtUcheon^
Frank Holme^ Carl Wemtz, and Clyde J.
Newman.

The three Fables condvding this volume are
reprinied by permission qf H. S. Stone <$• Co.^
publishers qf ** Fables in SUmg^ and ^^More
FablesT



THB WW YOKk

PU»L1C LIBIARY



97»XbOA

AOTOB, LBNOX AND t
I TILDBN FULMDAT10N8 I



Copyright^ 190S, hy
Robert Howard Russell



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CO



- i



Preface

THE GIRL PROPOSITION involves
so many kinds of Human Endeavor
that it has been fomid inadvisable to
treat the Subject exhaustively in a mere Pocket
Guide. The Purpose of this Volimie shall have
been accomplished if Students are aroused to a
keener Interest in the sprightly Topic and feel
encouraged to undertake Original Research,
verifying by Experiment the Conclusions here-
with set down. It has been suggested to the
Author that there is no piercing demand for a
Work of this character, inasmuch as several
millions of Investigators are already devoting
the greater portion of their Time to a sincere
consideration of the Girl Proposition, and the
number of Experts is increasing hourly. In
reply it may be urged that a Treatise of this
Description cannot possibly discourage their
Efforts and it may help a lot.

THE AUTHOR.



O ,^



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/



/"



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Contents

VHP

The Fable of the Long-Range Lover,
the Lollypaloozer and the Line of
Talk 1

The Fable of the Crafty Love-Maker
who Needed a Lady Manager 11

The Fable of how Aggie had Spells that
the Home Remedies could not Touch 16

The Fable of the Parlor Blacksmith who
was Unable to put it Right Over the
Plate 85

The Fable of the Veteran aul>^irl
who had no Theories to Offer 85

The Fable of the Syndicate Lover, the
Pickled Papa and the Rest of the
Bunch 45

Tlie Fable of the Misfit who Lost His
Ticket Because He got the Wrong
Hold 64

[ix]



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I^



CONTENTS

The Fable of the Balky Boy who Kept
Her Marking Time 65

The Fable of how Wisenstein did not
Lose out to Buttinsky 69

The Fable of the Fatal Album and the
Leap for Life 78

The Fable of the Young Woman who
had to have Everything Just So 81

The Fable of What Befell the Design-
ing Chauncey who Walked Right Up
and Spoke to Her 85

The Fable of the He-Flirt who was very
Jimpsy in the Hotel Office but a
Phoney Piece of Work when Turned
Loose in a Flat 94

The Fable of how Economical Edward
got His Quietus 104

The Fable of the Married Girl who Ran
The Eating Station for Liuninariev 108



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CONTENTS

Pige
The Fable of the Girl who had Her Rea-
soning Powers with Her 117

The Fable of the Fellow who had a
Friend who Knew a Girl who had a
Friend 121

The Fable of the Roundabout Way in
which Gilbert Made Himself Strong
with Alice 130

The Fable of Eugene who Walked the
Length of the Counter Before Mak-
ing His Selection 134

The Fable of the Reckless Wife who had
no One to Watch Her 144

The Fable of the Cut-up who Came very
Near Losing His Ticket, but who
Turned Defeat into Victory 147

The Fable of the Shower of Blows that
Came Down on Paw 166

The Fable of how one Brave Patsy
Worked Himself into the King-Row 169



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CONTENTS

The Fable of Lutie, the False Alattil, and
How She Finished About the Time
that She Started 162

The Fable of the Two Mandolin Players
and the Willing Performer 173

The Fable of the Brash Drummer and
the Peach who Learned that there
were Others 184



[xH]



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The Fabh of the Long-Range Lauer^

the LoUypaloozer and the

Line of Talk

ONE evening while at a Dramatic En-
tertainment consisting of 9S, Coon
Songs, a Rising Young Lawyer
looked across the Parquette and nearly blinded
himself. He thought he had seen some S4i-
carat Tizums when he had attended College
and hung around the Fem Sem, but the Girl
that he now beheld was in a class by herself.
She made Cleopatra look like Martha the Sew-
ing Girl. And Venus arising from the Sea
was a squizzly old Soap Advertisement in three
elementary Colors.

The fair Unknown had a pair of IncandesK
cent Headlights, a Complexion like the Sunset
Blush on a Snow-Bank, and enough Hair ris-
ing above her to fit out two Girls of her size.
She was somewhat attired in a Whipped-
Cream delicatessen Delirium with mauve-col-
ored Galluses. When she fanned herself it

£1]



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The Drama.



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THE LONG-RANGE LOVER

could be seen that she had put some Jeweller
out of the Business.

It is very seldom that one sees anything of
that kind except in the back part of a Maga-
zine.

Of course, she did not know that the Opera
Glasses were being pointed at her, even by
those who sat two Rows in front. If she had
known that, it would have annoyed her a lot.
It always annoys a Young Woman who has
put on $1S00 worth of Hurrah Clothes to
have a lot of Strange Men do the Waldorf-
Astoria Inspection. The only thing that an-
noys her more than that is to have these same
Goodyear Specialists overlook her entirely.

When some 47 would-be Lady-Stealers are
giving a Circus Maiden the Grand-Stand Eye,
she has to be in fine Condition if she can sit
through it and not let on. The Unknown was
still a Bud, and yet she was thoroughly up in
the Part. She was unconscious of her own
Hit, and she was determined to keep on being
unconscious.

Among the other Tilings she wore that
[8]



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

Evening was a featherweight Escort who had
Percy written all over him. The Men were
wondering why any Peacherette with a Ken-
tucky Shape, who could take her pick of all
Mankind, should want to carry such a sad
Specimen of Incubus. He was one of these
90-pound Wrap-Holders who showed his
Teeth when he was pleased. He belonged out
at Mother's Place, in the Country, feeding the
White Rabbits. Every Man who saw him
snuggling up to the Unknown hoped that he
would fall down and break his Leg.

The Rising Young Attorney caromed on
both sides of the Aisle when he went out, for
he was still looking at the Dream. He hid
behind a Bill-Board and saw her come out with
the Human Weasel.

On his way to the Boarding House he
walked two Blocks past the Place. The Un-
known had him trancified. He imagined him-
self riding with her in a Golden Automobile
through a Grove of Violets. There was a
Music Box Attachment under the Seat and she
was fighting to hold his Hand. He came to
[4]



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The LoUypcioourm



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THE GntL PROPOSITION

just in time to save himself from walking into
the River.

This Attorney was an emotional Young
FeUow. He had a high John C. Calhoun
Forehead and the yearning Look of a Grenius
who would like to trade a College Education
for something to eat. From the Moment
when the Groddess flashed across his Pathway,
he was Stung in eight different Places. AU
during Business Hours he looked off into
Space without seeing anything in Particular
and he was thinking of Her.

One Day he saw her on the Other side of the
Street. It made him google-eyed and he
walked off the Curb. Another time she
zipped past him on a Trolley. Every time he
spotted her, she looked at least 40 per cent,
better than the time before.

" Pm for her," he told himself.

Once he sawhercoming out of aDepartment
Store and she made the others look like the Odds
and Ends of a Rummage Sale. He heard her
Rippling Laugh and noted the Gibson Shirt-
Waist, and then he was worse off than ever. A

[6]



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Thinking of Her.



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THE GntL PROPOSITION

Friend who was with him said that her name
was Clarice. So he told his Friend: "Any
time that you read about Clarice being en-
gaged, start in to drag the River.''

When he heard that she had gone to a Sum-
mer Hotel, he trailed her and continued his
long-distance Worship. He was afraid to
get too near for fear that he would curl up
and have a Spasm.

Who was he^ a Legal Worm, that he should
dare to crave a Word from those Rosebud Lips
or hope for a melting Glance from those star-
lit Lamps? As for executing a Clutch and
swinging into the Slow and Dreamy, that
seemed only a vague and far-away Hope of
Paradise, and it was a Sin to waste time on it.

The best he could ask for was to send her a
Box of long-stemmed Roses and then go and
let a Train run over him and maybe she would
condescend to attend the Funeral. That, or
else he could save her life in a Runaway and
die with his Head in her Lap. All he wanted
was a Romantic Finish that would leave a
sad, sweet Memory behind. He wanted a
[8]



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THE LONG-RANGE LOVER

Guarantee that she would think of him a
couple of times and he would be satisfied to
play Village Dog and die any kind of a Death*

While in this desperate Frame of Mind, he
met Mr. Buzzer, the moving Graphophone and
He- Vampire. When the unspeakable Buzzer
said that he knew Clarice and stood right wi^h
her, the soulful Attorney wanted to throttle
him, for he could not believe that a real Diana
would trifle with a blue Cat-Fish.

However, he accepted the Opportunity to
hold Converse with the Star of his Soul.
Buzzer led him around the long Veranda and
at last he stood in that radiant Presence.

** Sis, I want you to know a Friend of Mine,''
said the well-known Safe Blower and Social
Outcast known as Buzzer.

He stood enthralled for at least one-twen-
tieth of a Second. Then Clarice got under
way.

** Oh Crickets ! I seen you at the The-ay ter

one Night,*' she said. ** I was there with OUie

Fozozzle of Minneapolis. Me and him come

out just behind you. Say^ wuzn't that a

£9]



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

Grand Show? Pm just crazy about that
* Mamie, Mamie, Aint it a Shamie?' When
did you land here? Huh? Oh sure! This is
a Swell Joint all right, but they stick you for
everything. Gree! but Pm glad Mr. Buzzer
come out. He's awful good Company. Pm
goin' out ridin' to-night with He and a Friend
of his. Come along ! PU stake you to a Girl.''

When they found the Sentimental Attorney
in the Woods an hour later, he was barking
like a Sea-Lion and butting his Head against
the Trees.

MoEAii! Don't go round Cutting In and
then you won't know any Different.



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The Fable of the Crafty Love-Maker
who Needed a Lady Manager

AT a Summer Resort two Boarders
were after a Blonde.
One was an all-round James-
Dandy and the other was a plain Varnish.

Number One could pla^ 18 Holes in Bogey
and ride any Jiunper that ever wore a Girth.
He was built like an Ox and asked People to
feel of him, for he was as hard as Nails. If
any Argument came up on the Veranda or at
the Dinner Table he made the others look like
Grophers, for he was Posted and was very handy
with the Sub-Maxillary. He wore his Chest
a few Inches in front of himself and no one
could tell him where to get off. Inasmuch as
he was a big, husky Grood-Looker with all the
Manly Accomplishments, he had a Panel Pict-
ure of himself leading Miss Blonde into a
Flat.

Niunber Two belonged in the Sub-Duffer
Class, no matter what Game he tackled. When
he swimg at a Golf Ball he usuaUy hit himself

[11]



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The Manager.



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THE CRAFTY LOVE-MAKER

in the Ankle. In sailing a Boat he did not
know a Sheet from a Sail. He ducked all
kinds of Athletic Sports. In Company he be-
came balled up and often had to be Rescued.
He was no Ring Performer and he knew it.
Therefore, to avoid making too many Breaks
he would go to the Blonde and confidentially
ask her to be his True Friend and steer him
through the Shoals.

Number One would be out on the Links,
hammering away to win a $S Cup, but Number
Two would remain under Cover and complain
of feeling a trifle Knocked Out and permit the
Blonde to put Cold Cloths on his Head. Then
he would give her a couple of those long yearn-
ing Looks and tell her that no one else had
ever been quite so Good to him.

Number One was trying to demonstrate that
he was a Deuce of a Fellow and Number Two
was trying to convince her that she was an
Ace of a Girl.

When both of them had come to Taw, she
did not hesitate for any great length of Time.

** That poor Boy needs a bright and clever
[IS]



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

Woman to take care of him," said she. ** He
has learned to depend upon me and it would
be Cruel to turn him Adrift."

Niunber Two won by a City Block.

MoKAi.: Star Her and she will discover
your Good Points.



[14]



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Jlie Fable of how Aggie had Spells

that the Home Remedies could

not Tofoch

^^

A MAN and Wife had on hand a
Daughter named Aggie. When she
was 17 they put her into Training
for her coming-out Party.

The Parents were much relieved to know
that she had been Brought Up so successfully.
They thought that inasmuch as she had passed
through the Perils of Childhood and survived
the Miunps, Measles, Scarlet Rash, Whooping
Cough, etc., etc,, she was safely out of the
Woods. They had guided her through the
Grammar and High Schools and sent her to a
Dancing Academy and the Music Teacher
came to the House twice a week. Now that
Aggie had theoretically arrived at the Age of
Discretion and the final coat of Shellac had
been put on her List of Accomplishments, they
looked upon her as a Completed Job.

But as Time passed on, they learned that
there are many serious Ailments that may
[16]



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Ag^



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HOW AGGIE HAD SPELLS

overtake a Girl after she flutters out of Short
Dresses. About the time that Aggie formed
the Chocolate-Cream Habit and began to wear
her Hair in the Anna Held Style, she caught
the Matinee Fever, complicated with Actoritis
and Fhotomania. She would go to the Thea-
tre as often as she could muster the Price, and
there she would sit in a pensive Attitude and
gaze yearningly at the pale Leading Man with
the Black Ringlets. After returning Home
she would mope around in her blue Kimona and
say that she didn't care for any Dinner. Then
Mother would give her some Camomile Tea
and a hot Foot-Bath and tell her that she had
caught Cold. When it came to Diagnosis,
Mother was a Shine.

While she was still subject to these recur-
ring Attacks of Actoritis, another Malady laid
hold on her.

One day when Father came home he was met
by Aggie's Mother, who was pale and worried.

" Something terrible has happened," she
said. ^^ Aggie has Art on the Brain."

It was too true. She had attended m
[17]



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Ag^^8 Mother.



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HOW AGGIE HAD SPELLS

Studio Tea in a large Smelly Place all done in
passionate Red with pasteboard Armor on the
Walls. There she had met an Artist. Any
one could tell that he was the real Latin Quar-
ter Article, for he wore the corn-silk Tassels
and never combed his Hair, and smoked a Pipe
even when he had Callers. He was made up in
Velveteen and a Fauntleroy Collar and his Cra-
vat would have done for a Sash. Aggie was
pining for Bohemia. So she decided that she
would marry the Genius who never had been
Shaved, and they could live together in the
Paint-Shop and cook all their Meals over an
Oil Stove. ' She began to comb her Hair down
over her Ear? and moved her Waist-Line up
until it was stopped by her Arms, and she wore
long clinging Raiment and tried to be exactly
like the Slim Sisters that show up in a Bume-
Jones Panel. All this made Father very Ex-
hausted. Father was in the Pig-iron Busi-
ness and he didn't think that Art was such a
Much. He said that a Man with silky Jo- Jos
who painted Dying Sunsets that no one wanted
to buy, was not his pick for a Son-in-Law. He

[19]



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

wanted Aggie to select a Practical Man — ^a
Brewer, if possible.

There is no telling what would have hap-
pened, if a new Disease had not attacked Ag-
gie. For one Day, as Father entered the
Drawing-Room he heard u strange Thumping
and Pounding overhead, which caused the
whole Building to Vibrate.

^^ Somebody is tearing out the Second
Story,'' he said, in Alarm.

" No,'' replied his Faithful Wife, " but the
Worst has come. Daughter is having an At-
tack of Physical Culture.''

They went up and looked through the Key-
Hole. Aggie had on a scanty Suit of Blue
Flannel and she was trying to beat the Soul
out of a Punching-Bag.

** Is there anything we oan do?" asked her
distracted Pop.

" Nothing," was the Reply. " We must let
Nature take its Course. She will get over it
in about Three Weeks. In the meantime we
must watch her carefully or she may dope with
some Weight-Lifter."

[20]



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HOW AGGIE HAD SPELLS

Truly enough, the Spasm of Muscular De^
vdopment lasted only 21 Days, after which
she took a good Rest and slowly regained her
Health. Her Parents felt hopef uL The
Violent Exercise seemed to have worked all
the Art and^ctoritis out of her system.

Just as leather and Mother were beginning
to feel easy in their Minds an awful Thing
came off. Aggie wandered out one Afternoon
and happened to stumUe on a Club Meeting
at which an Authoress with Gold Spectacles
did a Balancing Act on a high PedestaL Ag-
gie came h<xne with the Literary Bacillus Int-
ing her at every Step. She decided to write
an Historical Novel and she thought she had
better hurry and get at it before she was too
Old. So she began to wear her Clothes loose
and had Pencils stuck in her Back Hair and
Ink-Stains on her Fingers. She succeeded in
getting acquainted with some of the Literati.
Now and then she would bring them up to the
House and Feed them. Father couldn't see
them at aU. Aggie said it was a great Privi-
lege to meet People who do Things* Father



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The Literati.



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HOW AGGIE HAD SPELLS

said that some of them ought to do Time. The
Dealer m Pig-iron was not very Bookish.

Just about the time that Aggie was con-
valescing from the severe Case of Literature,
she was seized with Social Reform. She dis-
covered that she had a Mission. She was going
out among the Working Classes to show them
how to be Intellectual. Mother suggested that
she remain at Home and Show Father how to
be Intellectual. For nearly 10 Days she was
out uplifting the Lower Classes. Then one
day she bounced into the House and said:
** Mommer, I am going in for Photography."

Mother groaned, but she was not greatly
surprised. She was getting used to the Fads
and Foibles.

Aggie began to blow up the House with
Flash-Lights and she converted the Clothes-
Press into a Dark-Room. The Premises had
a Chemical Odor. The Pictures would have
been all right if the Light had been better, or
if they had been given Time Exposure, or the
Camera hadn't waggled, W Something. As
it was, they were full of Fog and Moth-Balls.
[28]



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

One afternoon Aggie W€ui swiftly tran»-
f ormed from a Kodaker into a Menticulturist.
She brought home a Book so Deep that Mother
couldn't make Head or Tail of it.

Next Day a Young Man walked into the
Office and said to Aggie's Father, ^* Sir, I
should like to marry your Daughter."

" I don't know who you are," was the Reply,
" but you can have her."

MoBAi«: The Quick-Change Artist is too
much for the Old-Style Parait.



£«4]



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\



The Fable of the Parlor Blacksmith

who was Unable to put it Right

Over the Plate

^^

ONCE there was a left-handed Society
Selling-Plater who never landed in
the Money.
Of all the Sexes that roam the Earth his
pick was the Feminine. He was very partial
to the Women Folks. Even the Blondines
who work the Tooth-Picks in the Rotunda, and
the Fat Ones who talk Baby Talk, and the
Chickadees who chew Gum on the Trolley,
and the dark-eyed Duennas who forget to do
up their Back Hair, and the Lumpy Ones who
never go all the way around with the Powder
Puff, and the Flitty Ones who give the Sou-
brette Zip when they turn the Comer, and
the Mopey Ones who wear Wrappers and eat
Pickles, and the little Maudie Freshes who turn
, out on Saturday Night looking for Drummers,
^d the Spindly Ones in Rainy Day Skirts
J Itad Dogs, and a good many others who
[25]



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The Blacksmith.



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THE PARLOR BLACKSMITH

never get Into the Christy Pictures — ^they may
have had their Failings but they looked Purty
Fair to him.

The last one out was always Number One
with Philo, for such was the Name of Our


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