George Ade.

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

. (page 6 of 6)
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Music at the Studio, or maybe she just
couldn't Sing without some one to Accom*
pany her. But after they had Pleaded hard
enough, and everybody was Embarrassed and
sorry they had come, she would approach the
Piano timidly and sort of Trifle with it for
««,u:i^ —.J - .w, ax.^^ »,^..i^ have to make



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LUTIE, THE FALSE ALARM

Allowances, and then she would Cut Loose
and worry the whole Block. The Company
would sit there, every one showing the Par-
lor Face and pretending to be entranced,
and after she got through they would Come
To and tell how Gk>od she was.

She made so many of these Parlor Tri-
umphs that there was no Holding her. She
had herself Billed as a Nightingale. Often
she went to Soirees and Club Entertainments,
volunteering her Services, and nowhere did
she meet a Well- Wisher who took her aside
and told her she was a Shine — ^in fact, the
Champion Pest.

No, Lutie never got out of her Dream
until she made a bold Sashay with a Concert
Company. It was her Professional D^but.

Father fixed it. The Idea of any one
paying Real Money to hear Lutie sing struck
him as being almost Gk)od enough to Print.
But she wouldn't be Happy until she got it,
and so she Grot It right where the Newport
Lady wears the Rope of Pearls.

On the First Night the mean old Critics,
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LUTIE, THE FALSE ALARM

who didn't know her Father or Mother, and
had never been entertained at the House,
came and got in the Front Row, and defied
Lutie to come on and Make Good. Next
Morning they said that Lutie had Blow-
Holes in her Voice ; that she hit the Key only
once during^ the Evening, and then fell off
backward; that she was a Ham, and her
Dress didn't fit her, and she lacked Stage
Presence. They expressed Surprise that she
should be attempting to Sing when any
bright Girl could learn to pound a Type-
Writer in Four Weeks. They wanted to
know who was responsible for her Appear-
ance, and said it was a Shame to String these
Jay Amateurs. Lutie read the Criticisms,
and went into Nervous Collapse. Her
Mother was all Wrought Up, and said some-
body ought to go and kill the Editors.
Father bore up grimly.

Before Lutie was Convalescent he had the

Difficult Italian Arias carted out of the house.

The 'Cello Player came to call one Day, and

he was given Minutes to get out of the Ward.

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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

By the tiine Oliver looked in again Lutie
was more than ready to pay some Attention
to him. She is now doing a few quiet Vo-
calizations for her Friends. When some one
who hasn't Heard tells her she is good enough
for Opera, they have to open the Windows
and give her more Air.

Moral: When in Doubt, try it on the
Box-Office.



[178]



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The Fable of the Two Mandolin

Players and the Willing

Performer

^^

AVERY attractive Debutante knew
two Young Men who called on
her every Thursday Evening, and
brought their Mandolins along. They would
double over and tickle the Instruments nearly
to Death and then she would say that she
ioved Music.

One was named Fred and the other was
Eustace.

The Mothers of the Neighborhood often
remarked, ** What Perfect Manners Fred and
Eustace have!" It may be added, on the
Side, that Fred and Eustace were more pop-
ular with the Mothers than they were with
the Younger Set, although no one could say
a Word against either of them. Only it was
rumored in Keen Society that they didn't
Belong. The Fact that they went Calling
in a Crowd, and took their Mandolins along,
may give the Acute Reader some idea of the
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THE TWO MANDOLIN PLAYERS

Life that Fred and Eustace held out to the
Young Women of their Acquaintance,'

The Debutante's name was Myrtle. Her
Parents were very Watchful, and did not
encourage her to receive Callers, except such
as were known to be Exemplary Young Men.
Fred and Eustace were a few of those who
escaped the Black List. Myrtle always ap-
peared to be glad to see them, and they re-
garded her as a Terrible Swell Girl.

Fred's Cousin came from St. Paul on a
Visit; and one Day, in the Street, he saw
Myrtle, and noticed that Fred tipped his
Hat, and gave her a Stage Smile.

"Oh, Queen of Sheba!" exclaimed the
Cousin from St. Paul, whose name was 6us,
as he stood stock still and watched her Shep-
herd's Plaid disappear around a Comer.
" She's a Bird. Do you know her well? "

" I know her Quite Well," repKed Fred,
coldly. " She is a Charming Girl."

" She is all of that. You're a great De-
scriber. And now what Night are you going
to take me around to Call on her? "
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

Fred very naturally Hemmed and Hawed.
It must be remembered that Myrtle was a
member of an Excellent Family, and had
been schooled in the Proprieties, and it was
not to be supposed that she would crave the
Society of slangy old 6us, who had an
Abounding Nerve, and furthermore was as
Fresh as the Mountain Air.

He was the Kind of Fellow who would see
a Girl twice, and then, upon meeting her the
Third lime, he would go up and straighten
her Cravat for her, and call her by her First
Name.

Put him into a Strange Company — en
route to a Picnic — and by the time the Bas-
kets were unpacked he would have a Blonde
all to himself, and she would have traded her
Fan for his College Pin.

If a Fair-Looker on the Street happened
to glance at him Hard he would run up and
seize her by the Hand, and convince her that
they had Met. And he always Gk>t Away
with it, too.

In a Department Store, while waiting for
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THE TWO MANDOLIN PLAYERS

the Cash Boy to come back with the Change,
he would find out the Girl's Name, her Fa-
vorite Flower, and where a Letter would
reach her.

Upon entering a Parlor Car at St. Paul,
he would select a Chair next to the Most
Promising One in Sight, and ask her if she
cared to have the Shade lowered.

Before the Train cleared the Yards he
would have the Porter bringing a Foot Stool
for the Lady.

At Hastings he would be asking her if she
wanted Something to Read.

At Red Wing he would be telling her that
she resembled Maxine Elliott, and showing
her his Watch, left to him by his Grand-
father, a Prominent Virginian.

At La Crosse he would be reading the
Menu Card to her, and telling her how dif-
ferent it is when you have Some One to join
you in a Bite.

At Milwaukee he would go out and buy a
Bouquet for her, and when they rode into
Chicago they would be looking out of the
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

same Window, and he would be arranging
for her Baggage with the Transfer Man.
After that they would be Old Friends.

Now Fred and Eustace had been at School
with Gus, and they had seen his Work, and
they were not disposed to Introduce him into
One of the most Exclusive Homes in the City.

They had known Myrtle for many Years;
but they did not dare to Address her by her
First Name, and they were Positive that if
Gus attempted^any of his usual Tactics with
her she would be Offended; and, naturally
enough, they would be Blamed for bringing
him to the House.

But Gus insisted. He said he had seen
Myrtle, and she Suited him from the Ground
up, and he proposed to have Friendly Doings
with her. At last they told him they would
take him if he promised to Behave. Fred
warned him that Myrtle would frown down
any Attempt to be Familiar on Short Ac-
quaintance, and Eustace said that as long as
he had known Myrtle he had never Presumed
to be Free and Forward with her. He had
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THE TWO MANDOLIN PLAYERS

simply played the Mandolin. That was as
Far Along as he had ever got.

Gus told them not to Worry about him.
All he asked was a Start. He said he was
a Willing Performer, but as yet he had never
been Disqualified for Crowding. Fred and
Eustace took this to mean that he would not
Overplay his Attentions, so they escorted him
to the House.

As soon as he had been Presented, Gus
showed her where to sit on the Sofa, then he
placed himself about Six Inches away and
began to Buzz, looking her straight in the
Eye. He said that when he first saw her he
mistook her for Miss Prentice, who was said
to be the Most Beautiful Girl in St. Paul,
only, when he came closer, he saw that it
couldn't be Miss Prentice, because Miss Pren-
tice didn't have such Lovely Hair. Then he
asked her the Month of her Birth and told
her Fortune, thereby coming nearer to Hold-
ing her Hand within Eight Minutes than
Eustace had come in a Lifetime.

" Play something, Boys," he Ordered, just
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The Willing Performer.



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THE TWO MANDOLIN PLAYERS

as if he had paid them Money to come along
and make Music for him.

They unlimbered their Mandolins and be-
gan to play a Sousa March. He asked
Myrtle if she had seen the New Moon. She
replied that she had not, so they went Out-
side.

When Fred and Eustace finished the First
Piece, 6us appeared at the open Window,
and asked them to play **The Crood Old
Summer Time," which had always been one
of his Favorites.

So they played that, and when they had
Concluded there came a Voice from the Outer
Darkness, and it was the Voice of Myrtle.
She said : " I'll tell you what to Play ; play
the Intermezzo."

Fred and Eustace exchanged Glances.
They began to Perceive that they had been
backed into a Siding. With a few Potted
Palms in front of them, and two Cards from
the Union, they would have been just the
same as a Hired Orchestra.

But they played the Intermezzo and fdt
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

Peevish. Then they went to the Window and
looked out. 6us and Myrtle were sitting in
the Hammock, which had quite a Pitch tow-
ards the Center. Gus had braced himself by
Holding to the Back of the Hammock. He
did not have his Arm around Myrtle, but he
had it Extended in a Line parallel with her
Back. What he had done wouldn't Justify
a Girl in saying, ^^ Sir ! " but it started a Real
Scandal with Fred and Eustace. They saw
that the only Way to Get Even with her was
to go Home without saying ** Grood Night.'*
So they slipped out of the Side Door, shiv-
ering with Indignation.

After that, for several Weeks, Gus kept
Myrtle so Busy that she had no Time to
think of considering other Candidates. He
sent Books to her Mother, and allowed the
Old Gentleman to take Chips away from him
at Poker.

They were Married in the Autumn, and
Father-in-Law took Gus into the Firm, say-
ing that he had needed a good Pusher for a
Long Time.

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THE TWO MANDOLIN PLAYERS

At the Wedding the two Mandolin Players
were permitted to act as Ushers.

Mobal: To get a fair Trial of Speed,
use a Pace-Maker.



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The Fahle of the Brash Drummer and

the Teach who Learned that

there were Others

^^

A WELL-FIXED Mortgage Shark,
residing at a Way Station, had a
Daughter whose Experience was not
as large as her prospective Bank Roll. She
had all the component Parts of a Peach, but
she didn't know how to make a Showing, and
there was nobody in Town qualified to give
her a quiet Hunch.

She got her Fashion Hints from a Trade
Catalogue, and took her Tips on Etiquette
and Behavior from the Questions and
Answers Department of an Agricultural
Monthly.

The Girl and her Father lived in a big
White House, with Evergreen Trees and
whitewashed Domicks in front of it, and a
Wind-Pump at the rear. Father was a good
deal the same kind of a man as David Ha-
rum, except that he didn't let go of any
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THE BRASH DRUMMER

Christm€is Presents, or work the Soft Pedal
when he had a chance to apply a Crimp te
some Widow who had seen Better Days. In
fact, Daughter was the only one on Earth
who could induce him to Loosen Up.

Now it happened that there came to this
Town every Thirty Days a hr&sh Drummer,
who represented a Tobacco House. He was
a Gabby Young Man and he could Articulate
at all Times, whether he had anything to
Say or not.

One night, at a Lawn Fete given by the
Ladies of the Methodist Congregation, he
met Daughter. She noticed that his Trousers
did not bag at the Knees ; also that he wore
a superb Ring. They strolled under the
Maples, and he talked what is technically
known as Hot Air. He made an Impression
considerably deeper than Himself. She
promised to Correspond.

On the occasion of his next Visit to the

Way Station, he let her wear his Ring, and

made a Wish, while she took him riding in

the Phaeton. He began to carry her Photo-

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Gabhy WHL



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THE BRASH DRUMMER

graph in his Watch, and show it to the Boys
employed at the House. Sometimes he would
fold over one of her Letters so they could
see how it started out. He said the Old Man
had Nothing But, and he proposed to make
it a case of Marry. Truly, it seemed that
he was the principal Cake in the Pantry, and
little did he suspect that he could be Frosted.

But Daughter, after much Pleading, in-
duced Father to send her to a Finishing
School in the East. (A Finishing School is
a Place at which Young Ladies are taught
how to give the Quick Finish to all Persons
who won't do.)

At School, the Daughter tied up with a
Chum, who seldom overlooked a Wednesday
Matinee, and she learned more in Three
Weeks than her Childhood Home could have
shown her in three Centuries.

Now she began to see the other TQnd ; the
Kind that wears a Cutaway, with a White
Flower, in the Morning, a Frock, with Vio-
lets in the Afternoon, and a jimmy little
Tuxedo at Night.

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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

For the first time she began to listen to
Harness that had Chains to it, and she rode
in Vehicles that permitted her to glance in
at the Second Stories.

She stopped wearing Hats, and began to
choose Confections. She selected them Lan-
guidly, three at a time.

Then the Bill to the Way Station, and
Father down with Heart Failure.

She kept Mr. Sothem's Picture on her
Dresser, with two Red Candles burning in
front of it, and every time she thought of
Gabby Will, the Cracker jack Salesman, she
reached for the Peau d'Espagne and sprayed
herself.



One Day when the Tobacco Salesman
came up Main Street with his Grips, on his
way to visit the Trade, he met the Drug
Clerk, who told him that She was Home
on a Visit. So he hurried through with
his Work, got a Shave, changed ends on
his Cuffs, pared his Nails, bought a
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In the East.



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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

box of Marshmallows, and went out to the
House.

Daughter was on the Lawn seated under
a Canopy that had set Father back thirty-
two Dollars. There was a Hired Hand
sprinkling the Grass with a Hose, and as
Will, the Conversational Drummer, came up
the Long Walk, Daughter called to the
Hired Hand, and said: ^^ Johnson, there is a
Strange Man coming up the Walk; change
the Direction of the Stream somewhat, else
you may Dampen him."

The Drummer approached her, feeling of
his Necktie, and wondered if She would
up and Kiss him, right in broad daylight.
She didn't. Daughter allowed a rose-col-
ored Booklet, by Guy de Maupassant, to
sink among the Folds of her French
Gk)wn, and then she Looked at him and
said: "All Goods must be delivered at the
Rear.''

" Don't you Know me? " he asked.

"RuUy, it seems to me I have seen you.
Somewhere," she replied, " but I cahn't place
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THE BRASH DRUMMER

you. Are you' the Man who tunes the
Piano? "

" Don't you remember the night I met you
at the Lawn Fete?" he asked; and then,
Chump that he was, and all Rattled, he told
her his Name, instead of giving her the
scorching Come-Back that he composed Next
Day, when it was Too Late.

" I meet so many People traveling about,"
she said ; ^* I cahn't remember all of them,
you know. I dare say you called to see Pu-
pah; he will be here Presently."

Then she gave him " Some one's else,"
" Neyether," " Savoir-Faire," and a few
other Crisp Ones, hot from the Finishing
School, after which she asked him how the
Dear Villagers were coming on. He re-
minded her that he did not live in the Town.
She said : " Only Fahncy ! " and he said he
guessed he'd have to be Going, as he had
promised a Man to meet him at Jordan's
Store before the Bank closed.

As he moved toward the St. Nicholas
Hotel he kept his hand on his Solar Plexus.
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THE GIRL PROPOSITION

At five o'clock he rode out of Town on a
Local.

Moral: Anybody can Win unless there
happens to be a Second Entry.



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