George Ade.

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

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made Cruel Sport of the trusting Affections of
a Railway President's only Child. They
thought they were good and lucky if they
could sally out after Nightfall and while away
a careless Hour with a few nice Stenographers
and Music Teachers. All they expected was a
little 'Coon Stuff on the Piano and then some
Dutch Lunch.

It happened that they told the Girls about
Rainbow Bill who lived down at the Hotel and
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

was receiving come-back-to-me Letters every
Minute or two from the Leaders of Kansas
City's 400 and the Prize Beauties of Lexing-
ton, Ky., to say nothing of the Hot-
Looker whose Old Man had just built a $S50,-
000 Hut outside of Philadelphia.

The Girls said they should like to meet one
who had got in right with so many of the
First Families, but they were afraid that he
wouldn't pause to dally with them, seeing that
they were on Salary. Perhaps one accus-
tomed to show off in a spacious Drawing-Room
would find his Style more or less cramped when
thrown into the 6x9 Parlor of a $22 Flat.
However, the Boys said they would try lo in-
veigle Rainbow Bill. Only, they gave Fair
Warning that he claimed to be a Sorcerer and
that after he looked a Soubrette in the Eye
and made a couple of Passes, she was His, and
took Orders from no one else. The Girls said
they were ready to take a Chance. Besides,
they had been Vaccinated.

The Boy with the Wardrobe of many Colors
did not show any Eagerness when told that he
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THE HE-FLIRT

was wanted up at the flat. He began to
back water and fake up Excuses. They had
to tell him that the Girls had seen him on the
Street and were dying for an Introduction.
At last he fixed himself up until he smelled
like a box of Cashmere Bouquet, and they took
him in Tow.

He began to lose out from the Minute that
he came up the front Steps. His Reputation
had preceded him and it was the kind that
would sink a Ship. The nifty tailor-made
Damsel of Nineteen Hundred and Something
doesn't ask any better Sport than to walk up
and down on the tonsorial Wretch who fancies
that he is Irresistible. As soon as a Man
Bills himself as a Girl-Tamer, the whole
Sorority wants to get out and stab him to
death with Hat-Fins. For some Reason, the
latest yariety of New Woman resents the Sug-
gestion that she is a Soft Mark for the curb-
stone Masher who stands in front of Cigar
Stores and Works the Banjo Eye.

It may have been True that Rainbow Bill
cut a wide Swath in Kansas City and visited
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BUI in a Flat.



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THE HE-FLIRT

all the warm Tamales in St. Paul, but up in
the dinky Flat he was one cold Portion of
Lobster k la Newburgh. The Girls sparred
him back into a Comer and kidded him to a
Frazzle. They passed the Sarcastic Shots at
the Rate of one per Second with no Return,
although frequently he had told that he was
a great Hand for Repartee, They hurled the
Javelins into him until he curled like a Rub-
ber Band. The fascinating Wiles that had
played such Havoc among the Society Belles
at other Points somehow refused to come to
the Surface. All he could do was shift his
Legs and look Sheepish. In the whole course
of the Evening he found his Voice 8 times,
but he didn't say anything that would have
induced a Girl to leave her comfortable Home.
After the first half hour they wouldn't have
known he was there at all, if he hadn't got in
the Way occasionally.

Moral: Copper all Confessions*
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The Fable of how Economical Edward
got His QuiettLS

ONCE there was a young fellow named
Edward who could make a Dollar go
as far as the next one. He wore
Hand-me-Downs that looked as if they had
been made by a Swell TaUor. He kept his
Trousers on Hangers and took such good care
of his Wardrobe that a Suit would last him
from 3 to 5 Years. He shaved himself and
blacked his own Shoes and borrowed a Paper
to read.

So that although his Salary didn't make him
round-shouldered taking it Home, he was en-
abled to soak a couple of Frog Skins each
Month and was contemplating Matrimony.

Edward estimated that two of them could
get along comfortably on his Pay without
cracking the Nest Egg. In Fact, he had it all
figured out. The House Rent would be so
much and the Groceries would stand him
something, and then he allowed $200 a year
for Clothing. He knew that he could wcwry
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ECONOMICAL EDWARD

along on half of that Amount and he had
heard that Dresses were cheaper than Suits o£
Clothes.

One Evening, just about the time when he
was waiting for a Chance to nab the Girl, he
was at the House with other Callers, among
them several Women.

They were asking the Real Thing about
some Finery she had just purchased. She
said she knew it must be an awful Bore to Men,
but she supposed she would have to show it.
So she went upstairs and came back with
enough Merchandise to fill one of Wanamak-
er's Windows,

The Women Callers went into Convulsions
and the Men looked at it solemnly and said
" Yes, it's Purty.''

" Aint that a Dream?" asked the Real
Thing, holding up a Picture Hat. " I got
that for next to Nothing. He wanted 60 but
I jewed him down to 55."

" How much did your Tailor-Made set you
back? " asked one of the Callers.

" Only 150," repKed the Real Thmg.
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Ordy 65 Bucks.



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ECONOMICAL EDWARD

** My ! that's awful Cheap,'' said the Caller.

*^ Yes, and I think it's just as good as the
Expensive Kind. O, by the way, Francesca,
I saw a Boa yesterday, that was a Looloo. I'm
going to have it, too. The Man wants SOO
for it."

They were so busy looking at the new
Duds they did not notice that Edward had
fallen back with the Lock-Jaw. He recovered
sufficiently to find his way to the Boarding
House but he destroyed the $100-a-Year Es-
timate, and the Real Thing was never again
annoyed by having him call her up on the
Phone.

MoBAii : There is always one Way of get-
ting rid of him.



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The Fable of the Married Girl who

Ran the Eating Station for

Lumnaries

ONCE there was a Patient Man wKo
had one kind of a Wife. Scnnething
hurt her all the time but she couldn't
tell just what it was. She was afflicted with
Soul-Hunger. She was a New Woman. In
fact she was one of the Newest Women that
eyer came out of a Book Store and she was
Fresh eyery Hour.

When the Latest Fad struck Town she ap-
pointed herself a Reception Committee and
hurried out as far as the Railroad Bridge to
welcome it. She loved to mess around with
little Clubs that went on Young Hyson Jags
and then groped after the Whatness of some-
thing. If she could land in with a dreamy
Bunch and sit in a Front Room with all the
Curtains pulled down and the Candles shaded,
while a Lady who never had ruined her Shape
read a Puzzle Paper that got past every one
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THE MARRIED GIRL

who heard it, then the Wife of the Plain
Man thought she was having the Time of her
Life.

She loved to flirt with the Unknowable and
occasionally take a Fall out of the Occult.

But she had no Time for anything she could
Understand. She preferred to sail through
the Ethereal Regions of the Bamboo Dreams,
hanging by one Toe and having a Rush of
Blood to the Head.

As suggested at the Beginning of the Fable,
the Poor Woman did not know what hurt her
but she proceeded on the Theory that the
Higher Intellectual Life consisted of Equal
Parts of Vertigo and Guess-Work.

All this meant Fine Business for the Boy
who in a Careless Moment had promised to
Love, Honor and Obey. She sprang a new
Series of Curves on him every Week or two.
Sometimes he suspected that she had gone aft
to the Wheel-House but he didn't like to say
so on account of the Children. So he contin-
ued to play Angel to her Continuous Perform-
ance.

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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

The Wife, whose name was Azalea, used to
go out and dig up all kinds of Greniuses and
take them up to the House and Feed them.
She considered it a great honor to have some
melancholy Person with an unusual kind of
Hair come up to their Number and eat about
$2 worth of Chow.

She and the Grenius would sit at opposite
ends of the Table and ping-pong a line of in-
spired Conversation that never touched Hus-
band at all. He couldn't even keep Score.

Azalea never could find time for a straight-
away Business Man who wore a Sack Suit and
an ordinary Collar and talked about what had
been in the Morning Paper. No indeed, for
she was on the lodc-out for Rare Birds.

She went to a Paderewski Concert once and
when the Artist with the crinkly Mop leaned
over the Gee Side of the Key-Board and began
to tear off the Quarter-Notes ¥rith his Eyes
closed, it was then that Azalea tried to climb
over the Foot-Lights and steal a Kiss.

Azalea always had a number of Musical
Mokes on her Staff. When she had a Soiree^

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Azalea.



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

the Plain Husband would go away back and
sit down behind a Rubber Plant or an Orange
Tree where no one could see him. He knew
that the Music was Good but it did not sound
right to him.

Azalea did not put in all of her time with
the Musickers, One day she came home and
said that she had discovered the greatest Lit-
erary Grenius ever bom in Captivity — one who
would sooner or later make Hall Caine look like
8 cents worth of Saleratus.

" How do you know he is a Genius? '* asked
the Plain Husband, who was becoming Leery
of her Finds.

" He told me so," she replied. ** And he
has consented to Dine here."

"That will be sweet Billiards," said the
Plain Husband. "When I come home at
Night all tuckered, there is nothing cheers me
more than to listen to an incipient Author with
a 16 Collar on a 14i Neck."

" But this one is a Remarkable Character,"
said 5&alea. " He is so Erratic that every
one is talking about him. He has worn the
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'AzaUa^s Htisband.



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

same Hat for nine years and sometimes he sits
for Hours at a time without speaking to any
one. He has made a great Rep for himself by
throwing down People who are trying to be
kind to him. His favorite Specialty is mak-
ing Cracks about those who Entertain him. I
have no doubt that he will go away and say
the most Sarcastic Things about us, but then
you must expect that from a Genius."

" I'll bet that he won't say any worse things
about us than I say about him," said the Plain
Husband. " What time does the Gknius ar-
rive?"

" You never can tell,** was the Reply. " He
is so Great that he scorns to keep his Appoint-
ments, but if he comes at all, it will be some-
where between five and nine."

" I will go and stock up the Side-Board,"
said the Plain Husband.

The Genius arrived at 9.30 and said all he
wanted for Dinner was four Bowls of Soup
and an Orange. Azalea thought he was
charmingly Eccentric. It would be wrong
to tell what the Plain Husband thought.
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THE MARRIED GIRL

Azalea had a way of uncovering Lady Re-
formers who were above the Fripperies of
Dress. Every week or so the Plain Husband
would arrive at the House to find everything
upset in Honor of some longitudinal Empress
in the World of Thought who glared at him
through Steel Specs and wore her Wens in the
most unexpected Places. Any time that the
Plain Husband bumped against a Proposition
of this kind, he folded up like a Pocket Cam-
era. When it came time to Carve he would
be so Nervous that every Slice looked as if it
had been put through a Fluting Machine.

This went on for Years. He used to tell on
the Outside, when he was in his Cups, that he
was conducting a first-class Boarding House
for Freaks. Azalea put it differently. She
said that she had entertained more Whales
than any other Woman along the Street.

But the Dorsal Vertebwe of the long-suffer-
ing Camel may be weighted to the Point of
Fracture and there came a Day when the Plain
Husband riz up. He invited a few Friends
to Dinner and then notified Azalea. She
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

scanned the List and then threw a couple of
Throes.

" Nobody ever heard of these Folks," she
said.

" That is why it will be such a blamed Re-
lief to have them around," said the Plain Hus-
band. " I long for the sight of those who
Comh it in the Ordinary Way and talk about
something besides Themselves. I have got
good and tired of looking at Grenius through
Smoked Glasses. Before I die I should like to
attend just one Dinner Party at which the
Host would cut a little Ice. And to-morrow
this Sign goes up at the Front Portal : * No
Tramps, Beggars, Peddlers or Geniuses need
apply.' "

Mobal: It gives one a Crick in the Neck to
look up all the Time.



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The Fable of the Girl who had Her
Reasomng Powers with Her

A CERTAIN hard-working Butterfly
who met a Girl in the Afternoon and
called on her that Evening, had a little
System of his own. He believed that the cor-
rect Method was to tell each New One all about
how the Others were crazy to Land him* This
would show that he was a Popular Young Fel-
low and would make the New One a little more
eager to cut the others out.

The System worked so well that he used it
all the time. He kept his Pockets full of Let-
ters and Photographs to prove that he wa»
No. 1 with at least a Dozen of them, and in
order to make it very Strong he had a few
Presents of Jewelry that he would show, under
his Coat, when he became very Confidential.

Said he to himself: ^^The short-sighted
Lothario sits alongside of his Lovey-Dove and
tells her that she is the only one in the whole
Patch, but I let her know that I am more than
Friendly with at least five or six. C(»npetitioa



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

is the life of Courtship. I play one against
another. It's a Shame the Way I String
them."

It chanced that this Circulating Suitor one
day met a sweet and shapely Venus and im*
mediately flashed his Date-Book.

** Have you any Open Time? " he asked.

**Come up to-morrow Evening," she re-
plied. ^^ I have another Booking but I will
cancel it."

He arrived before she had her Make-Up on.
He started early, because he had so much to
tell her. She didn't know him very well, so it
was necessary to give her a Line on his Record
as a Girl-Subduer.

She came down and he got Busy. He
showed her a Ring that had been given to him
one Night in a Boat, and he let her read part
of the Letters to prove that they called him
Darling Boy and he told how several Wed-
dings had been postponed in the Hope that he,
the Idol of the Ladies and the Envy of the
Men, might change his Mind.

The Girl was intensely interested. For a
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" ScatI "



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

Woman to be a Man's C(mfidante in a throb-
bing Love AfTair is unadulterated feminine
Luxury.

Along about 11 o'clock he thought he had
her suffidentlj Enthralled, so he placed him-
self on the Sofa and attempted to take her
Hand.

" Scat, You Trifler ! " exclaimed the Beau-
tiful Maiden, repulsing him, " No Member of
the Tell Club can do the Fondle around
This House. When you get ready to publish
your Book on the Confessions of a Male Co-
quette, you will have to oadt the Chapter about
Me, because I am not going to give you any
Souvenirs, or write you any give-away Let-
ters or send my Photo. I have learned to put
a Nixey Label on the Man who tells all he
Knows."

Moral: The Man who tells you about the
Last One, will tell the Next One about you.



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The Fable of the Felhw who had a

Friend who Knett a Girl who

had a Friend

^^

ONCE there was a Utility Man who
drew whatever was left.
His regular Assignment was to
take care of the Discard. Whenever an Extra
Man was needed at the last Moment some one
called up the Mark and told him to hurry over.
Then when he arrived he could take his Pick
of the One that was left in the Bone- Yard after
all the rest had drawn Cards.

One of his regular Specialties was to keep
the Chaperon busy. After he had worked
at this for a few Seasons he could not figure
that he was anything to the good except a few
Panel Pictures of Elderly Married Ladies. It
is lovely Sport to be Esteemed by the Mothers'
Club but once in a while he would secretly pine
for something that scaled under 35. His
Heart had been on Short Rations for so long
that it was about the size of a Golf BalL He
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

was getting good and sore on the Patsy Boli-
var Job. As soon as any one began to give
him the old come-on about being one Man shy
he would start in to back up and try to think of
another Date.

He cut out his Position as First Aid to the
Chaperons and began to hint around that he
was willing to meet an attractive and refined
Young Lady; object, Matrimony. He had
some Acquaintances who started in to help
him.

Said one of them : ^^ I have a Dream planted
up the Street here and she has a Friend. I
will get her on the Phone and have her send for
the Friend. We will drop in about 9 o'clock
and everything will be Grand. I want you to
see this Nectarine that I'm tied up with. When
she walks down the street they jump out of the
Windows."

" I am not worrying so much about her,"
said the Mark. " Tell me something about
the Friend."

" She can certainly teach a Piano how to
take a Joke," was the Reply.
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The Nectarine,



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

^ So can a Pianola," said the Mark, ^^ Is
she a Looker? That's what I want to
know."

«rU teU you how it is," said the SheU-
Worker, "When you take the first Flash
you don't care so much for her. But after
you get to Talking to her you forget all about
it, especially if you don't look at her."

" It might help some if I wore Blinders,"
said the Mark. " I think Fm due to be Stung
but I'll take a Chance."

In the meantime the Nectarine had torn
over to see Friend.

" Oh Irene ! " she exclaimed, " Wilfred just
called me up and said he knew a Man that
was crazy to meet you. He's going to bring
him up to-night."

** Would it be Nice to meet a Stranger as
if by Appointment? " asked Irene, as she
reached for the Curling-Iron and got ready
to Primp.

" Oh, what do we care? " said the Nectarine.
•* Let's raise the Dickens. Wilfred said they
would blow in about 9 o'clock."
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ITHE FELLOW WHO HAD A FRIEND

« All right," said the Friend. " I will be
there a little before 8.'*

VHien the Mark was Presented there hap-
pened to be a large Japanese Screen between
him and the Window, so that gave him no
chance to Jump. Friend shoved him back
into a Window Seat and asked him to put a
Cushion behind her. Then she started in to
twist the Buttons off his Coat and tell him
how much she had heard about him. She
said he had an Interesting Face. He had a
Notion to come back but he didn't think it
would be right.

She said that very few People understood
her — ^that she was not Bad at Heart but
merely out for a Grood Time. Then she said
about 4,000,000 other Things along the same
Lines that he did not recall afterward because
he was trying to figure out some Scheme to
Break Away.

The Bunko Man had the Nectarine on the
other side of the Screen. He was in no Rush
because they were telling each other the His-
tories of their Rings.

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Irew.



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THE FELLOW WHO HAD A FRIEND

After the Boys had gone Irene said that Wil-
fred's Friend seemed to be a Perfect Gentle-
man but he was very Quiet.

" How was she? " asked Wilfred, when he
and the Mark stopped to light up.

" I don't know," was the Reply. ** I didn't
hear her play the Piano."

" They are expecting us again To-morrow
Night," remarked Wilfred.

" Not for my Money," said the Mark.

So Wilfred had to go back and give them
the Old One about his Friend being called out
of Town. Soon after that another Profes-
sional Caller tackled the Mark and asked him,
** Are you hooked up for To-night? If not,
I am going up to frivol with a Corker who
thinks the World of me and I want you to go
along and take care of a Friend."

"Why is it that I get the Excess Bag-
gage?" asked the Mark. "Before I start,
tell me what I am going against."

" I have never seen her," said the Capper.
" She is here on a Visit. But I have it right
that she is very Well Read."



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

^ I am not running around in the Night Air
to improve my Mind," said the Mark. " Some-
thing tells me that this is another T^me when
I get it in the Collar-Button, but I may be
wrong, so I will go.'*

That Evening he was handed a Large One
whose particular Lay was that Men did not
seem to know what Women suffered. She said
they were Oh, so Indifferent and soon Forgot.
The Mark hoped that it might be so. He
had a very yellow Evening but the one who
had taken him along had a Time, so it was all
right.

After being landed twice, the Mark was so
Leery that he refused to allow anybody to
stake him to a Crood Thing.

He began to take Observations and discov*
ered that every Hot-Looker had a Friend that
she carried along as a Background and also to
find out what People were saying. In order
to prevent Competition, the Hot-Looker usu-
ally selected a Pal who did not stack up to any
extent as a Beauty Queen but was easy to
get along with.

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I



THE FELLOW WHO HAD A PRlEND

The Mark saw that he could not make Love
on the Personally Conducted Plan, so he went
out on a Still Hunt all by himself. He found
a Girl who had a Friend but he cut a wide
Circle around Friend and nailed Girl.

Then he got into the Confidence Game him-
self and hunted around for some one who
would go along and talk to the Chromo and
keep her out of the Way.

Mobal: The Birds of Paradise very seldom
fly into the Trap.



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The Fable of the Boundabout Way in

whkh CHlbert Made Himself

Strong with Alice

^^

GILBERT was engaged to marry Re-
fined Alice, Daughter of the Com-
mission Merchant.
He was on the List of Eligibles that every
Mother in Town had in her Writing Desk.
The Parents on both sides of the Fence had
given their Consent. All Preliminaries had
been arranged. There was not a Cloud in the
Sky. It was a tame everyday, colorless kind
of Courtship and that is why it did not suit
Alice.

She wanted to be Engaged to some one who
would send a Secret Message by the Faithful
Servant and then climb a Rope-Ladder and
try to Kiss her through a Screen Window. Her
Idea of meeting a Lover was to slip out on a
Dark Night and find him at the Trysting*
Place, muffled in a Ooak. There was no par-
ticular Excitement in being under Contract to
one who came in the Front Way. So she
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\



GILBERT AND ALICE

wearied of the Alliance and Gilbert began t^
have Visions of himself on a Siding and get*
ting the Red Light.

He knew that she wanted a Love Affair with
a few streaks of Melodrama in it and rather
than pass up a Good Thing he fixed it for her.

He got her Father into a Poker Party and
bluffed him out of his Money and then joshed
him. Alice's Father went home and said that
he had been mistaken in the Young Man and
perhaps she had better call the Deal off. Then
a lot of Gilbert's Friends went around to see
her and they began to Rap. They told her
that Gilbert was an all-night Bat and a Sport
and that he had a Past.

" They are trying to Separate us," said
Alice, with her Hand on her Heart. " But
Courage, Sweetheart! I will be True."

Gilbert wrote and said he dared not come to
the House, for fear her Father would take a
Shot at him, but if she loved him, to put a
Lamp in the Window and he would b^ outside
in the Rain, waiting to learn his Fate. It
was a happy Night for Alice.
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SmmftML



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GILBERT AND ALICE

Next day she told her Parents that unless
they permitted her to marry the Man of her
Heart, she would abjure the World and enter
a Convent. They yielded and when Gilbert
returned she made a running Leap for him and
gave him the kind of Reception that he had


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