George Ade.

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

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been wanting all the time.

Moral : A Woman never Clings until some
one starts to Pull in the Opposite Direction.


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The Fable of Eugene who Walked the

Length of the Counter Before

Making His Selection

ONCE there was a Boy named Eu-
About the tune that he shodc the
Sailor Collar and began to wear Galluses in-
stead of buttoning them to the Waist, he had
his first Attack.

He went off his Feed and moaned in his
Sleep. His Mother, not suspecting that the
Divine Passion could find room to operate in a
90-Pounder, thought he had Cholera Infan-
tum. She began to shoot the Fain-KiUer into
him but it failed to touch the Spot.

Little Eugene had gone Mushy on the Lady
who taught his Sunday-School Class. She
was doing her SSth Lap and had a Husband
who led the Choir, but these Trifles did not
bother the Kid. He had it all cribbed up to
kill the Husband in a Duel and carry Loved
One off to a lonely Island where they could live
Crusoe Fashion. He used to send Teacher an

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The First One.

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occasional Card showing a couple of fat Pig-
eons nestling under a Mess of Spinach and also
a little Couplet to the Effect that as sure as
the Vine grows round the Stump she was his
little Sugar Lump. He picked her Currants
for her and wouldn't take Money for it and
he loafed around the Kitchen when she was
making her Apple Butter until at last she sent
him Home with a little Note to his Maw, advis-
ing her to put him in heavier Flannels and
make him drink Sassafras Tea each Night.

Eugene pined away for a couple of Days
and then transferred his PoUywog Affections
to an Old Maid who stood at the General De-
livery Window at the Post-Office. He wrote
for Seed Catalogues and Terms to Agents so as
to have an Excuse to speak to Angel. She up
and married the Station Agent. Eugene had
to go out and forget his Sorrow in Base-Ball
and Pull-Away.

In due Time he went to a Fresh-Water Col-
lege and here he began to yearn for another
Kind. It happened that he went out Botan-
izing with a slender Co-Ed who wore Nose-

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Glasses and had an Intellect that made a Noise
like a Dynamo. Frequently they did their
Algebra together and he wrote Notes to her in
Latin telling her that she was All Right.

Along about this time his Idea of Paradise
come down to Earth was to own a snug little
Library and sit in it every Evening reading
aloud to a tall-browed Helpmeet. He wrote
several Essays on Women and sprung them on
the Pythagorean Literary Society. He said
that every Maverick who was cow-trailing
around over the Sand-Lots of this dreary Life
had an Affinity concealed somewhere in the
Brush and the Game was to hunt her up and
then stick to her like Spalding's Glue. He al-
lowed that the real Girline Charms did not de-
pend upon Frizzes and Make-Up. Eugene
was strong for the Beauty of Soul which would
wear for Years and look just as well on one
Side as on the Other.

When he graduated he was keen to do the

Library Act with the cogitative Co-Ed. Upon

searching himself he found that his Assets

consisted of a hand-worked Diploma, a few


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CMege Dream.

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Dance Programmes and a Badge of the Oota
Bazoota Frat. He decided to cut out the
Private Reading Circle until he could see his
Way clear to get enough to pay for the Li-

Having settled in the City he gave a busy
Imitation of a Bright Young Fellow who is
trying to side-step the Potter's Field. At the
Boarding House where he coaled there was a
Head Waitress who carried a Remarkable
Shape for one who had to be on her Feet all
day. She never had been beyond the 3rd
Grade in the Grammar School but when they
had Chicken she always slipped Gene the Sec-
ond Joint and she had his Paper propped up
for him when he came to Breakfast. He gave
her several long Rides on the Cars and there
might have been something doing if Eugene
had not had his Salary whooped. He moved
into a first-class, pruneless Family Hotel and
got into the Habit of carrying Money in his
Clothes. In the meantime the Co-Ed was off
in Minnesota somewhere, teaching School.

Around the Hotel there were all Kinds and

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Eugene, who was now 80 and had mislaid hto
Diploma, found that he no longer had an un-
controllable Desire to buckle up with those
who wore Specs and could tear the lining out
of Synthetic Philosophy.

When he ambled around after Dinner he
had his Port Eye out for a larksome Looloo
who would pin Flowers on him and tease him to
take her to a Lively Show. He began to buy
Jack Roses for all who were under SS. He
framed his Dresser with Carbon Photos of
Mazies and Lilians and Madges. One of the
upper Drawers smelled like the front part of
a Drug Store and was filled with Square En-
velopes addressed in the scraggly, dislocated
Writing that looks like a Profile Drawing of
the Sierra Nevadas.

Eugene was now too Busy to think of Mat-
rimony. He had eight or nine on his Books at
one time and the main Joy of his Life was to
bum up his Income in such a way that it would
give a fleetisg Hour of Happiness to a dimpled
Bud weighing anywhere from 85 to 115


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The Library which he had planned in the
Cloisters of Learning consisted of a Date-Book
and a Volume telling how to cook Things in a

By and by it came about that Eugene had
a thin Spot on top of his Head. The little
Snips who hopped out of the Nursery into
Sassiety every Fall started in to call him
Papa and Nunky. He began to count the
Years and decided that he was due to take the
High Jump.

But he did not choose any Lady who taught
in the Sunday School. Neither did he swing
on any Old Maid at the Greneral Delivery. His
Heart did not hone and hanker for any Female
Emerson or any stately and superior Head
Waitress. Even the Society Queen who had
been worked out for a couple of Seasons did
not appeal to Eugene. He put his Tag on
a blonde Canary 17 Years of Age who spelled
Sure with an H and had from 7 to 9 Thoughts
every 24 Hours. But she was very Easy to
Look at. And the only call that he made on

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The Finith.

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her Intellect was to please regard him as The

Moral : The only Cinch Method of avoid-
ing Misplays is to wait until one knows his


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


A YOUNG Couple sat and looked de-
vouringly at each other for the first
six months of the Life Sentence and
finally it became rather trying on the Eyes.
Therefore he was glad to be called away for a
couple of Days. It was his first Vacation
since leasing the Flat, and he sent word to
some of his former Running Mates to meet him
at the Train, as he could transact his Business
in about SO Minutes, after which he would re-
move his Bridle and begin to bum Holes in the

They knew just what would appeal to a
quiet Home Body, 400 miles from his own
Fireside. They took him in Tow and gave
him a Square Meal every Hour. Then they
stood him under a Shower Bath and turned
the whole Wine Card on him. He played Golf
Pool until he was chalked all over and then
he played Poker until he had to feel to see if
the Ante was there. The Clerk at the Hotel

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Young Couple.

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saw him twice — once when he Registered and
once when he came to get his Baggage. He
fell into a Sleeper and told the Porter to make
up Berths until ordered to stop. In the morn-
ing when he awoke with a Head of Seven
Gables and reached for his Bromo, he realized
that he had Enjoyed himself.

While he was away, working a combine of
Business and Recreation, the Wife went on a
regular Lark. She called in a former Chum
and they scdlied out in their Circus Gowns
and ordered up Pine Apple Soda regardless
and took in a Matinee where the Leading Man
looked right at them occasionally and then
they ate Marshmallows all the way Home.
They put on Old Wrappers and cooked some-
thing in a Chafing-Dish, and the Wife
brought out some of her Preserved Letters
and read them and then they turned in to-
gether and giggled half the Night.

But, fortunately, the Husband never found
out how she had carried on.

Moral : The Reaction is something Terri-


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The Fable of the Cut-up who Came

very Near Losing His Ticket^

but who Turned Defeat

into Victory

IN a Prairie Hamlet, far from the mad-
ding Department Store, where arrogant
Wealth did not flaunt itself before the
Humble, and where the People were so Prim-
itive that they did not know how to get Money
except by Working for it, they were making
large Preparations to tear Things wide open
at Christmas.

All through the abbreviated Community,
the Women Folks were feverishly popping
Com, and cracking Hickory-Nuts on a Flat-
iron and making home-made Candy. The
Unmarried Kind were secretively working on
Yam Mittens.

There was to be a Tree at the Church and

preceding the Distribution of Presents there

was to be a Show, alias a Methodist Vaudeville,

which consists of Pieces, Responsive Readings


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and the best that the Choir can do. The
Druggist in this Village had laid in what he
called an Elegant Assortment of Holiday
Groods. He had all of Will Carleton's Poems
and a Counter covered with fragile Toys that
smelled of the Paint, also an attractive Line of
Perfumeries and some Toilet Sets. One of
these Toilet Sets was the Prize Exhibit. The
Comb and Brushes were of Celluloid, the Am-
ber and White being scrambled in a very ef-
fective Manner. The Druggist was willing
to give a Guarantee that the Bristles were Real.
This Toilet Set reposed in a puckered Nest of
Yellow Satin. The Box was of Blue Plush
with a neat Clasp and on the Lid was the Fol-
lowing, in Silver Letters : " Merry X-Mas."

Every Girl in Town came into the Drug
Store and leaned on the Show-Case and gazed
longingly at the Work of Art. It was evi-
dent that the local Beau who loosened up for
$6.50 would win in a Canter. But there was
general Doubt as to whether any one would be
so Reckless as to fork over $6.50, just for
Foolishness. All who went into the Drug


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The Work of Art.

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Store and Stood in Solemn Silence, admiring
the Blue Plush, the Yellow Satin and the
gleaming Celluloid, conceded that the Outfit
was Purty , but they allowed it was too Fine for
Actual Use. It was supposed that the Box
alone would come to $3. Some said the Let-
ters on the Lid were genuine Silver. Others
contended that they were merely Plated.

In every Household the Toilet Set was a
fruitful Topic. The general Verdict ap-
peared to be that, in all probability, the Drug-
gist would either have to knock off something
on the Price or else be Stuck. There had been
one or two Offers of $6 for the Piece de Ri-
sistance^ but the Druggist claimed that he
had paid more than that for it. Wholesale.

Three Days before Christmas there ap-
peared on the Yellow Satin a Card marked
** Sold.'' The News spread like Wild-Fire
that some one had blown himself to the Limit.
There was but one Question agitating the
whole Village for the next two Days. " Who
win get the Toilet Set for Christmas?"
Speculation ran rife and every Girl who kept

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Company was hoping against Hope, even
though her cold Judgment told her that, in
all likelihood, her Fellow had not seen $6.50
in six long Months.

The Druggist had been pledged to Secrecy
and it became evident that the Populace would
have to wait until Christmas to have its Curios-
ity appeased. So it waited with a lot of Im-

The Village Wag, whose name was Amos,
had been one of Several who looked at the Toi-
let Set and counted their Money and passed
out. He loved a Girl named Luella, but he
had a Frugal Mind. It seemed to him that it
would be more Sensible to save his Money and
make a First Payment on a Home. Besides,
the Poultry Business had been a little Slack
and he couldn't see himself giving up $6.60
for a dosh-bumed Gimcrack that was no Ac-
count except to look at. So he gave up 60
Cents for an Autograph Album and let it go
at that. He would have gone ahead and
bought something for a Dollar, only Amos
thought he had a Cinch. His only Rival for

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the Hand of Luella was Tallmad^e N. Crock-
ett, proprietor of the Livery and Feed Stable.
Amos was so much more Comic and Conversa-
tional than Tallmadge and had such a Taking
Way that he wasn't for a Minute afraid of
being Cut Out by Tallmadge.

Being the recognized Village Wag, Amos
was called upon to impersonate Santa Claus
at the Christmas Tree Entertainment. Amos
was a bom Romp, and the Congregation was
sure of many a Hearty Laugh when he came in
as Santy and began to cut Didoes.

Amos borrowed a Buffalo Robe, a Strand of
Bells and a Fur Cap. He rigged up a Set of
Cotton Whiskers and prepared to be even
Funnier than usual.

On Christmas Eve the Church put them in
the Aisles, so great was the Interest in the
Tree. The Superintendent of the Sunday
School, looking unusually pale and scrubbed-
up and smelling of Bay Rum, stood up in front
of the Tree and made an Address that was
Facetious, from his Point of View. The Choir
sang one of its hardest Anthems and after two

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The Supermtendent.

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or three other Inflictions, Amos, the Merry An-
drew, came in as Santa Claus and did some of
his best Comedy Acting. He galloped up and
down the Aisles and scared several Children in
Arms into Convulsions. Then he went up to
the Tree to assist the droll Superintendent in
distributing Presents. As a Team they were
expected to spring a great many timely Quips,
right on the Spur of the Moment.

While standing by the Tree, waiting for the
Infant Class to conclude a Carol, Amos saw
on a Table the magnificent Toilet Set, with the
$6.50 Mark still on it. He drew nearer to
read the attached Card and almost fainted with
Horror when he saw the Name of Luella in
the well-known Hand-Writing of Tallmadge
N. Crockett. The Shock was so great that
everything Swam before his Gaze, the same as
in a Natatorium. He could not see anything
except his own Finish. When Luella came to
compare the superb Toilet Set and the 60-cent
Autograph Album, he knew that he would not
be One-Two-Seven. He was inspired to a Des-
perate Action. He happened to remember that

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Celluloid contains Gun Cottim and Camphor
and other high Explosives. The Infant Class
stood between him and the Congregation.
Stealthily he plucked a lighted Candle from
the Tree and dropped it on the Toilet Set.
Then he leaped over the Rail. There was
a terrific Report, a flash of Fire, an
odor of Camphor and the Air was full of In-
fant Class. A Panic ensued. Throwing off
his Disguise of White Cotton Whiskers, Amos
gathered Luella in his Arms and carried her to
a Place of Safety. She called him " Pre-
server '' and refused to let go of him. When
Quiet was restored, there was nothing left of
the Toilet Set except the Clasp and the letters
spelling " Merry X-Mas."

Moral : True Love will prevail against the
Vulgar Bank Roll, even at Christmas-Time.


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The Fable of the Shxmer of Blmos
that Came Down on Paw

TILLIE had been away for Three
Months attending Madame Skagiac's
School for teaching Young Ladies
how to wither their Parents. She came home
with a tan-colored Automobile and a good deal
of Hat, looking as flip as a real Actress. The
antique Hay-Maker who had been sending the
Money greeted her with Open Arms.

" Gal, I'm tarnation tickled to see you Hum
again," he said. " How be ye? "

" Oh, Papa ! " she exclaimed, turning
deathly Pale. " You haye no Collar or Cra-
vat and you are addressing me while in your
Shirt Sleeves. Your Hair is parted on the
wrong side. Your Vest is three years to the
way-back, and to look at the Bag in your
Trousers one would think that you were get-
ting ready to make a Jump. You ought to
wear Link Cuffs instead of the kind you have
on, and, for mercy goodness sake, get yourself
a pair of Button Shoes instead of those Scows.

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And if you expect to meet any of my Friends
who are coming to see me during the Holidays,
you will have to ring a few Changes on your
Grammar, Pronunciation and Accent. When
you saw me just now, you should have said,
^ Matilde, I am indeed delighted to welcome
you Home. I trust that you are enjoying
good Health.' Brace up. Papa, Your Exe-
cution is very Lumpy."

" Matilde ! " he repeated. " Matilde ! ''
She had buncoed the Family Bible and
brought home a new Name.

Moral: The Change may be effected in
from six to nine Weeks.


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The Fable of how one Brave Patsy
Worked Himself into the Kinff-Raw

A YOUNG Man who was JImming
around in Society learned that among
the Women of his Acquaintance the
Olive stuffed with Red Peppers was more popu-
lar than the Gum-Drop. Up to that time he
had been dealing in Gum-Drops. He had
worked along on the Theory that my Lady
Isabelle hankered for nothing but sugar-
coated Compliments. All the other Young
Fellows followed the same Method. If their
Conversation had been set to Music, they could
have done it as a Chorus.

He broke away and played the Candid
Friend game. He told their Fortunes and
showed up their Defects. Instead of praising
the Costume of a Lady Friend, he would tell
her, on the Q. T., that some other Color was
more becoming. He would deliberately pick
a Quarrel so as to have a warm little Tiff and a
Reconciliation. They began to be afraid of
him and they paid more Attention to him.

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Candid Friend.

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When he did yield a Point and bestow a Smile
of Praise, thie Lady knew it was Sincere. In
the meantime all the Boys in the Second Di-
vision could not understand why the Women
took such an Interest in the Professional Cynic.
They never seemed to grasp the Fact that the
Olive stuffed with Red Peppers is an Antidote
for Gum Drops.

MoBAi.: Even Sincerity becomes monot(K
nous when made a regular Diet.


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The Fable of Lutie^ the False Alarm^

and How She Finished About the

lime that She Started

LUTIE was an Only Child. When
Lutie was eighteen her Mother said
they ought to do something with Lu-
tie's Voice. The Neighbors thought so, too.
Some recommended killing the Nerve. Others
allowed that it ought to be Pulled.

But what Mamma meant was that Lutie
ought to have it cultivated by a Professor.
She suspected that Lutie had a Career await-
ing her, and would travel with an Elocu-
tionist some day and have her Picture on the

Lutie's Father did not warm up to the
Suggestion. He was rather Near when it
came to frivoling away the National Bank
Lithographs. But pshaw! The Astute
Reader knows what happens in a Family
when Mother and the Only Child put their
Heads together to whipsaw the Producer.



by Google


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One day they shouldered hun into a Comer
and extorted a Promise. Next Day Lutie
started to Take.

She bought a red leather Cylinder marked
*^ Music," so that people would not take it
to be Lunch. Every morning about 9 o'clock
she would wave the Housework to one side
and tear for a Trolley. Her Lessons cost the
Family about twenty cents a Minute. She
took them in a large Building full of Vocal
Studios. People who didn't know used to
stop in front of the Place and listen, and
think it was a Surgical Institute.

There were enough Soprani in this one
Plant to keep Maurice Grau stocked up for
a Hundred Years. Every One thought she
was the Particular One who would sooner or
later send Melba back to Australia and drive
Sembrich into the Continuous. Lutie was
just about as Nifty as the Next One.

When she was at Home she would suck

Lemons and complain about Draughts and

tell why she didn't like the Other Girls'

Voices. She began to act like a Prima Don-


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na, and her Mother was encouraged a Lot.
Lutie certainly had the Artistic Tempera-
ment bigger than a Church Debt.

Now before Lutie started in to do Things
to her Voice she occasionally Held Hands
with a Young Man in the Insurance Business,
named Oliver. This Young Man thought
that Lutie was all the Merchandise, and she
regarded him as Permanent Car-Fare.

But when Lutie began to hang out at the
Studios she took up with the Musical Set
that couldn't talk about anything but Tech-
nique and Shading and the Motif and the
Vibrato. She began to fill up the Parlor
with her new Friends, and the first thing
Oliver knew he was in the Side Pocket and
out of the Game.

In his own Line this Oliver was as neat and
easy-running as a Red Buggy, but when you
started him on the topic of Music he was
about as light and speedy as a Steam Roller.
Ordinarily he knew how to behave himself in
a Flat, and with a good Feeder to work back
at him he could talk about Shows and Foot*

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Ball Games and Things to Eat, but when
any one tried to draw him out on the Classics,
he was unable to Qualify. In short, he was
a Crab.

When Lutie and her Musical Acquaint-
ances told about Shopan and Batoven he
would sit back so quiet that often he got
numb below the Hips. He was afraid to
move his Feet for fear some one would notice
he was still in the Parlor and ask him how
he liked Fugue No. 11, by Bock. He had
never heard of any of these People, because
they did not carry Tontine Policies with his

Oliver saw that he would have to scratch
the Musical Set or else begin to Read Up,
so he changed his Route. He cancelled all
Time with Lutie, and made other Bookings.

Lutie then selected for her Steady a Young
Man with Hair who played the 'Cello. He
was so wrapped up in his Art that he acted
Dopey most of the time, and often forgot
to send out the Laundry so as to get it back
the same Week. Furthermore he didn't fly

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to the Suds any too often. He never saw
more than $3 at one time ; but when he snug-
gled up alongside of a 'Cello and began to
tease the long, sad Notes out of it, you could
tell that he had a Soul for Music. Lutie
thought he was Great, but what Lutie's
Father thought of him could never get past
the Censor. Lutie's Father regarded the
whole Musical Set as a Fuzzy Bunch. He
began to think that in making any Outlay
for Lutie's Vocal Training he had bought a
Gold Brick. When he first consented to her
taking Lessons his Belief had been that after
she had practiced for about one Term she
would be able to sit up to the Instrument
along in the Dusk before the Lamps were lit,
and sing " When the Com is Waving, Annie
Dear," " One Sweetly Solemn Thought," or
else " Juanita." These were the Songs linked
in his Memory with some Purple Evenings
of the Happy Long Ago. He knew they
were Chestnuts, and had been called in, but
they suited him, and he thought that inas-
much as he had put up the Wherewith for

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Lutle's Lessons he ought to have some kind
of a Small Run for his Money.

Would Lutie sing such Trash? Not she.
She was looking for Difficult Arias from the
Italian, and she found many a one that was
Difficult to sing, and probably a little more
Difficult to Listen To.

Tlie Voice began to be Erratic, also.
When Father wanted to sit by the Student's
Lamp and read his Scrtbner*s, she would de-
cide to hammer the Piano and do the whole

But when Mother had Callers and wanted
Lutie to Show Off, then she would hang
back and have to be Coaxed. If she didn't
have a Sore Throat, then the Piano was out
of Tune, or else she had left all of her Grood

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Online LibraryGeorge AdeThe girl proposition: a bunch of he and she fables → online text (page 5 of 6)