E-text prepared by Al Haines
BY HUGH McHUGH
"JOHN HENRY," "DOWN THE LINE WITH JOHN HENRY,"
"IT'S UP TO YOU," "BACK TO THE WOODS,"
"OUT FOR THE COIN" "I NEED THE MONEY,"
"I'M FROM MISSOURI," "YOU CAN SEARCH ME," ETC.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY GORDON H. GRANT
JOHN HENRY ON RACE TIPSTERS
JOHN HENRY ON BRIDGE WHIST
JOHN HENRY ON AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY
JOHN HENRY ON THE GRIP
JOHN HENRY ON COURTING
JOHN HENRY ON SUMMER RESORTS
JOHN HENRY ON GREAT MEN
JOHN HENRY ON RACE TIPSTERS
One day last week I was beating the ballast up Broadway when Pete,
the Piker, declared himself in and began to chatter about cinches
at the track.
"Get the saw, Pete, and cut it," I said; "it's many a long day
since I've been a Patsy for the ponies. Once they stung me so hard
that for months my bank account looked like a porous plaster, so I
took the chloroform treatment and now you and your tips to the
discards, my boy, to the discards!"
Pete isn't really a native of Dopeville-on-the-Fence, but he likes
to have people think he knows the racing game backwards.
And he does--backwards. In real life he's a theatrical manager and
his name on the three-sheets is Peter J. Badtime, the Human Salary
In theatrical circles they call him the impresario with the sawdust
koko and the split-second appetite.
Every time Pete poses as an angel for a troupe if you listen hard
you can hear the fuse blow out somewhere between Albany and
From time to time over 2,197 actors have had to walk home on
account of Pete's cold feet.
Pete can develop a severe case of frosted pave pounders quicker
than any angel that ever had to dig for the oatmeal money.
Pete is an Ace all right--the Ace of Chumps!
His long suit when he isn't dishing out his autobiography is to
stand around a race track and bark at the bookmakers.
Pete is what I would call a plunger with the lid on.
He never bets more than two dollars on a race and even then he
keeps wishing he had it back.
Pete had me nailed to the corner of Broadway and 42d Street for
about ten minutes when fortunately Bunch Jefferson rolled up in his
new kerosene cart and I needed no second invitation to hop aboard
and give Pete the happy day-day!
"Whither away, Bunch?" I asked, as the Bubble began to do a Togo
through the fattest streets in the town.
"I thought I'd run up and get the girls and take 'em for a spin out
to the Belmont Park races," Bunch came back.
"Did you telephone them?" I inquired.
"No, but I told Alice this morning that if I got through at the
office in time I'd take her to the track. We can call for Peaches
on the way across town," was Bunch's program.
"Whisper, Bunch!" I suggested; "let's do the selfish gag for once
and leave the wives at home. I haven't bet a nickle on a skate for
two years, but my little black man has the steering wheel to-day
and I'm going to fall off the sense wagon and break a five dollar
"I'm with you, John," chuckled Bunch, and half an hour later we
were on our way | to the track, after having sent notes to our
wives that important business kept us chained to the post of duty,
but if they would meet us at the Hotel Astor at 7 p.m. we'd all
Bunch had just tied his Bubble to a tree at the track and was in
the act of giving it a long cool drink of gasolene and some cracked
oats, when Flash Harvey bore down on us and made a touch for the
"Say, Bunch!" chirped Flash, "lend me the choo-choo for half an
hour, will you? I have my sister and a dream cousin of ours from
Hartford here this aft. and I'm eager to show them how I can pound
a public road with a rowdy-cart. I'll take good care of the
machine and be back in two hours, honest, Bunch!"
Flash being an old friend of ours Bunch had to fall for the spiel
and loaned him the Bubble forthwith.
Ten minutes later we were so busy listening to the sure-things
falling from the eager tongues of the various friends we met that
we quite forgot all about Flash and the busy barouche.
The first cinch-builder we fell over was Harry McDonough, the
inventor of the stingless mosquito now in use on his Jersey farm.
Harry has the mosquito game down so fine that he's going to take a
double sextette of them into vaudeville next season.
He has trained these twelve skeets to sing "Zobia Grassa," and Al
Holbrook has promised to teach them a Venetian dances.
Harry offered us four winners in the first race and two cigars. He
told us if we lost to smoke the cigars carefully and we'd forget
our troubles and our names; but if we won we could use the cigars
Then we ran across Jeff D'Angelis, the composer of the new tune now
played on the automobile horns.
Jeff hadn't picked out a horse to win any race because his loyalty
to sneeze-wagons is so intense that he won't even drink a horse's
He explained that he only came to the race track to show the horses
his smoke-buggy and make them shiver.
George Yates, the inventor of the machinery for removing sunburn
from pickles, was there and he tried to present us with a sure
winner in the third race.
A little later on we discovered that the horse Yates was doing a
rave over had been dead for four years and that the card from which
he was lifting his dope was the program of the meet at Sheepshead
Some kind and thoughtful stranger had lifted fifty cent| from
George's surplus and in return had stung him with an ancient echo
of the pittypats.
Our next adventure was with Joe Miron, the famous horse trainer and
inventor of the only blue mare in captivity at Elmhurst.
"Say, why didn't I see you guys before the first race; I had a
plush-covered pipe!" yelled Joe.
"I had that race beat to a stage wait," Joe went on,
enthusiastically. "Why, all you had to do was play 'The Goblin
Man' to win and 'Murderallo' for a place--it was just like getting
money from the patent medicine business."
"How much did you win, Joe?" I inquired.
"Who, me!" Joe came back. "Why I didn't get here in time to place
a bet. I drove over from Elmhurst and the blue mare burst a tire.
But, say, I've got a mother's darling in the third race! Oh, it's
a ladybug for certain! You guys play 'Perhaps' to win and you'll
go home looking like Pierp Morgan after a busy day. It can't lose,
this clam can't! Say, that horse 'Perhaps' wears gold-plated
overshoes and it can kick more track behind it than any ostrich you
ever see! Why,| it's got ball-bearing castors on the feet and it
wears a naphtha engine in the forward turret. Get reckless with
the coin, boys, and go the limit, and if the track happens to cave
in and it does lose, I'll drag you down to Elmhurst behind the blue
mare and make the suction pump in the backyard do an imitation of
Walter Jones singing 'Captain Kidd' with the bum pipes."
Joe was so much in earnest about it that Bunch and I put up fifty
on "Perhaps" and waited.
We are still waiting.
"Perhaps" may have been a good horse but he had a bad memory and
never could recollect which end of the track was the proper place
Joe must have left for Elmhurst immediately after the race because
he failed to answer roll call.
Then we ran across Dave Torrence, the famous inventor of the
disappearing trump so much used by pinochle players.
When Dave began to dope 'em out for us Bunch and I hid our
pocketbooks in our shoes.
"Here's a good one," Dave suggested; "listen to this 'Easy Money'
out of 'Life Insurance' by 'Director.' And here's a good one,
'Chauffeur' out of 'Automobile' by 'Policeman!' Do you care for
There were tears in Bunch's eyes, but I was busy looking for a rock.
"Here are some more peacherinos," Dave went on, relentlessly, "here
is 'Golf Player' out of 'Business' by 'Mosquito,' and here's
another good one, 'Eternal Daylights' out of 'Russia' by
Bunch and I handed Dave the reproachful face and fled for our lives.
Then we got down to business and began to lose our money with more
system and less noise.
At the end of the fifth race we hadn't the price of a leather
sandwich between us.
Every dog we had mentioned to the Bookies proved to be a false
Every turtle we plunged on carried our money to the bonfire and
dumped it in.
"My little black man is whimpering, Bunch," I said. "I'm cured."
"One hundred and sixty bucks to the bad for mine," laughed Bunch.
"I guess that will hold me temporarily. Come on, John; let's hop
in the Bubble and dash back to the Hotel Astor; the girls will be
waiting for us."
We hurried to the spot where Flash Harvey was to leave the
gas-hopper but there was no sign of Flash or the machine.
Seven o'clock came and still no sign of Flash or the Bubble, and
there we sat, two sad boys without a baubee in the jeans, hungry to
the limit and with an ever present vision of our two worried wives
displacing a bunch of expensive space in a restaurant while they
waited for us to show.
It was pitiful.
Eight o'clock came, no Flash, no machine, while there we waited and
watched our hair as it slowly turned gray.
I had gone through my pockets till I wore holes in them without
locating anything in the shape money, but finally on about the
919th lap Bunch discovered dollar bill tucked away in a corner,
whereupon we turned our faces to every point of the compass and
called down maledictions on the head of Flash Harvey, wherever he
might be, and then ducked for the trolley.
When we finally reached the Hotel Astor it was a quarter past ten,
so we decided it was too late for dinner and we didn't go in.
At home--but what's the use?
The war is over now and a treaty of peace has been signed.
We are even with Flash Harvey, though.
He got speed-foolish in the Bubble and tried to give an imitation
of a torpedo destroyer, with the result that a Reub constable
pinched him and the whole outfit and threw him in a rural Bastile
for the night.
That's what delayed him.
JOHN HENRY ON BRIDGE WHIST
I received a letter the other day that put me over the ropes.
I'll paste it up here just to show you that it's on the level:
PHILADELPHIA, This Week.
Dear John:--I have never met you personally, but I've heard my
brother, Teddy, speak of you so often that you really seem to be
one of the family.
(Teddy talks slang something fierce.)
Dear John, will you please pardon the liberty I take in grabbing a
two-cent stamp and jumping so unceremoniously at one who is, after
all, a perfect stranger?
Dear John, if you look around you can see on every hand that the
glad season of the year is here, and if you listen attentively you
may hear the hoarse cry of the summer resort beckoning us to that
burn from which no traveller returns without getting his pocketbook
Dear John, could you please tell me how to play bridge whist, so
that when I go to the seashore I will be armed for defraying
Dear John, I am sure that if I could play bridge whist loud enough
to win four dollars every once in a while I could spend a large
bunch of the summer at the seashore.
Dear John, would you tell a loving but perfect stranger how to play
the game without having to wear a mask?
Dear John, I played a couple of games recently with a wide faced
young man who grew very playful and threw the parlor furniture at
me because I trumpeted his ace. I fancy I must have did wrong.
The fifth time I trumpeted his ace the young man arose, put on his
gum shoes, and skeedaddled out of the house. Is it not considered
a breach of etiquette to put on gum shoes in the presence of a lady?
If you please, dear John, tell me how to play bridge whist.
P.S.--The furniture which he threw was not his property to dispose
When my wife got a flash of this letter she made a kick to the
effect that it was some kind of a cypher, possibly the beginning of
a secret correspondence.
It was up to me to hand Gladys the frosty get-back, so this is what
Respected Madam:--I'm a slob on that bridge whist thing, plain
poker being the only game with cards that ever coaxes my dough from
the stocking, but I'll do the advice gag if it chokes me:
Bridge whist is played with, cards, just like pinochle, with the
exception of the beer.
Not enough cards is a misdeal; too many cards is a mistake; and
cards up the sleeve is a slap on the front piazza if they catch you
You shouldn't get up and dance the snakentine dance every time you
take a trick. It looks more genteel and picturesque to do the
When your opponent has not followed suit it is not wise to pick out
a loud tone of voice and tell him about it. Reach under the table
and kick him on the shins. If it hurts him he is a cheater; if it
doesn't hurt him always remember that you are a lady.
Don't forget what is trumps more than eighteen times during one
hand. The limit used to be twenty-six times, but since the
insurance people have been playing Hyde and seek the best bridge
whist authorities have put the limit down to eighteen.
It isn't wise to have a conniption fit every time you lose a trick.
Nothing looks so bad as a conniption fit when it doesn't match the
complexion, and generally it delays the game.
When the game is close don't get excited and climb up on the table.
It shows a want of refinement, especially if you are not a quick
Never whistle while waiting for someone to play. Whistling is not
in good taste. Go over and bite out a couple of tunes on the piano.
When your opponent trumps an ace don't ever hit him carelessly
across the forehead with the bric-a-brac. Always remember when you
are in Society that bric-a-brac is expensive.
Don't lead the ten of clubs by mistake for the ace of trumps and
then get mad and jump seventeen feet in the air because they refuse
to let you pull it back.
In order to jump seventeen feet in the air you would have to go
through the room upstairs, and how do you know whose room it is?
There, Gladys, if you follow these rules I think you can play the
game of bridge whist without putting a bruise on the Monroe
P.S.--When you play for money always bite the coin to see if it
means as much as it looks.
The next day, in order to square myself with my wife for getting a
letter I hadn't any use for, I went to one of those New York
department stores to get her a birthday present.
Say! did you ever get tangled up in one of those department store
mobs and have a crowd of perfect ladies use you for a door mat?
I got mine!
They certainly taught me the Rojestvensky glide, all right!
At the door of the department; store a nice young man with a pink
necktie and a quick forehead bowed to me.
"What do you wish?" he asked.
"Well," I said; "I'm down here to get a birthday present for my
wife. I would like something which would afford her great pleasure
when I give it to her and which I could use afterwards as a
pen-wiper or a fishing-rod."
"Second floor; to the right; take the elevator," said the man.
Did you ever try to take an elevator in a department store and find
that 3,943 other American citizens and citizenettes were also
trying to take the same elevator?
How sweet it is to mingle in the arms of utter strangers and to
feel the gentle pressure of a foot we never hope to meet again!
I was standing by one of the counters on the second floor when a
shrill voice crept up over a few bales of dry goods and said, "Are
you a buyer or a handler?"
"I am looking for a birthday present for my wife," I answered. "I
want to get something that will look swell on the parlor table and
may, be used later on as a tobacco jar or a trouser stretcher!"
"Fourth floor; to the left; take the elevator!" said the lady's
With bowed bead I walked away.
I began to feel sorry for my wife.
Nobody seemed to be very much interested whether she got a birthday
present or not.
On the fourth floor I stopped at a counter where a lot of eager
dames were pawing over some chinchilla ribbon and chiffon
It reminded me of the way our dog digs up the vegetables in the
I enjoyed the excitement of the game for about ten minutes and then
I said to the clerk behind the counter who was refereeing the
match, "Can you tell me where I can buy a sterling silver birthday
present for my wife which I could use afterwards as a night key or
a bath sponge?"
"Fifth floor; to the rear; take the elevator!" said the clerk.
On the fifth floor I went over to a table where a young lady was
selling "The Life and Libraries of Andrew Carnegie" at four dollars
a month and fifty cents a week, and in three years it is yours if
you don't lose the receipts.
She gave me a glad smile and I felt a thrill of encouragement.
"Excuse me," I said, "but I am looking for a birthday present for
my wife which will make all the neighbors jealous, and which I can
use afterwards as an ash-receiver or a pocket flask."
The young lady cut out the giggles and pointed to the northwest.
I went over there.
To my surprise I found another counter.
A pale young woman was behind it.
I was just about to ask her the fatal question when a young man
wearing a ragtime expression on his face rushed up and said to the
young lady behind the counter, "I am looking for a suitable present
for a young lady friend of mine with golden brown hair. Could you
please suggest something?"
The saleslady showed her teeth and answered him in a low, rumbling
voice, and the man went away.
Then came an old lady who said, "I bought some organdie dress goods
for a shirt-waist last Tuesday and I would like to exchange them
for a music box for my daughter's little boy, Freddie, if you
The saleslady again showed her teeth and the old lady ducked for
After about fifty people had rushed up to the saleslady and then
rushed away again, I went over and spoke to her.
"I am looking," I said, "for a birthday present for my wife. I
want to get something that will give her a great amount of pleasure
and which I can use later on as a pipe cleaner or a pair of
The saleslady fainted, so I moved over.
At another counter another young lady said to me, "Have you been
"No," I replied; "I have been stepped on, sat on and walked on, but
I have not yet been waited on."
"What do you wish?" inquired the young woman.
"I am looking for a birthday present for my wife," I said. "I want
to buy her something that will bring great joy to her heart and
which I might use afterwards as a pair of slippers or a shaving
The young lady caught me with her dreamy eyes and held me up
against the wall.
"You," she screamed; "you complete a total of 23,493 people who
have been in this department store to-day without knowing what they
are doing here, and I refuse to be a human encyclopaedia for the
sake of eight dollars a week. On your way for yours!"
I began to apologize, but she reached down under the counter and
pulled out a club.
"This," she said, with a wild look in her side lamps; "this is the
happy summer season, but, nevertheless, the next guy that leaves
his brains at home and tries to make me tell him what is a good
birthday present for his wife will get a bitter swipe across the
It was up to me, so I went home without a present.
JOHN HENRY ON AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY
Peaches, my wife, acquired the amateur photography bug last week,
and it was really surprising how quickly she laid the foundation of
a domestic Rogue's Gallery.
She bought a camera and went after everybody and everything in the
She took about eight million views of our country home before she
discovered that the camera wasn't loaded properly, which was tough
on Peaches but good for the bungalow.
Like everything else in this world picture pinching from still life
depends entirely on the point of view.
If your point of view is all right it's an easy matter to make a
four dollar dog-house look like the villa of a Wall Street broker
Ten minutes after my wife had brought the camera home she had me
set up as a statue all over the lawn, and she was snapping at me
like a Spitz doggie at a peddler.
I sat for two hundred and nineteen pictures that forenoon, so I
suppose if she snapped like a Spitz I must have looked like a
Anyway, before I was through setting I felt like a hen, but when
she tried to coax me to climb up on a limb of a tree and stay there
till she got a picture of me looking like an owl, I swore softly in
three languages, fell over the back fence, and ran for my life.
When I rubbershoed it back that afternoon my wife was busy
developing her crimes.
The proper and up-to-date caper in connection with taking snap
shots these days is to buy a developing outfit and upset the
household from pit to dome while you are squeezing out pictures of
every dearly beloved friend that crosses your pathway.
My wife selected a spare room on the top floor where she could
A half hour later ghostly noises; began to come from that room and
mysterious whisperings fell out of the window and bumped over the
When I reached the front door I found that the gardener had left,
the waitress was leaving, the baby had discharged the nurses and
the nurse was telephoning for a policeman.
"Where is Mrs. Henry?" I asked Mary, the nurse.
"She is still developing," said Mary.
"What has she developed?" I inquired.
"Up to the present time she has developed the cook's temper and she
has developed the baby's appetite, and a couple of bill collectors
developed a pain in the neck when they couldn't see her; and if
things go on in this way I think this will soon develop into a
foolish house!" said Mary, the nurse.
A half hour later while I was hiding under the hammock on the front
porch, not daring to breathe above a whisper for fear I would get
my picture taken again, my wife rushed out exclaiming, "Oh, joy!
Oh, joy! John, I have developed two pictures!"
[Illustration: "Oh, joy! John, I have developed two pictures"]
I wish you could have seen the expression on Peaches' face.
In order to develop the films a picturesque assortment of drugs and
chemicals have to be used.
Well, my wife had used them.
A silent little stream of wood alcohol was trickling down over her
left ear into her Psyche knot, and on the end of her nose about six
grains of bichloride of potash was sending out signals of distress
to some spirits of turpentine which was burning on the top of her
Something dark and lingering like iodine had given her chin the
double cross and her apron looked like the remnants of a porous
Her right hand had red, white, green, purple and magenta marks all
over it, and her left hand looked like the Fourth of July.
"John!" she yelled; "here it is! My goodness, I am so excited!
See what a fine picture of you I took!"
She handed me the picture, but all I could see was a wood-shed with
the door wide open.
"A good picture of the woodshed," I said; "but whose woodshed is
"A wood-shed!" exclaimed my wife; "why, that is your face, John.
And where you think the door is open is only your mouth!"
I looked crestfallen and then I looked at the picture again, but my
better nature asserted itself and I made no attempt to strike this
Then she handed me another picture and said, "John, here is one I
took of you and little Peaches!"
Little Peaches is the name of our baby.
We call her Little Peaches because that's what she is.
I looked at the picture and then I said to big Peaches, "All I can
see is Theodore, our colored gardener, walking across lots with a
sack of flour on his back!"
"John, you are so stupid," said my wife. "How can you expect to
see what it is when you are holding the picture upside down?"
I turned the picture around, and then I was quite agreeably
"It's immense!" I shouted. "It's the real thing, all right! Why
this is aces! I suppose it is called 'Moonlight On Lake
Champlain?' Did this one come with the camera or did you draw it
"The idea of such a thing," my wife snapped; "can't you see that
you're holding the picture the wrong way. Turn it around and you
will see yourself and Little Peaches!"
I gave the thing another turn. "Gee whiz!" I said, "now I have it!
Oh, the limit! You wished to surprise me with a picture of the
sunset at Governor's Island. How lovely it is. See, over here in
this corner there's a bunch of soldiers listening to what's cooking
for supper, and over here is the smoke from the gun that sets the
sun--I like it!"
Then my wife grabbed the picture out of my hands and burst into
When the exercises were over I inquired casually, "Where, my dear,
where are the other 21,219 pictures you snapped to-day?"
"Only these two came out good because, don't you see, I'm an
amateur yet," was her come back.
Then she looked lovingly at the result of her days work and began
to peel some bicarbonate of magnesia off her knuckles with the nut
"Only two out of 21,219--I think you ought to call it a long shot
instead of a snap shot," I whispered, after I had dodged behind a
tree on the lawn.
She went in the house without saying a word and I took out my
pocketbook and looked at it wistfully.
JOHN HENRY ON THE GRIP
Say, did you ever spar a few hot rounds with a real attack of grip?
When it comes right down to a case of being a Bad Boy the grip has
every other disease slapped to a sit-down.
I had the grip some weeks ago and ever since my system has felt
like eight cents worth of cheese.
The medicine sharps tell us that the grip is caused by a little
germ which emigrated to this country originally from Russia.
If that's the case I'm glad the Japs put the boots to the Czar. I
wish they would go after him again and kick his crown off.
I'll bet even money that the father of the first grip germ must
have been a bombshell and his mother was some relation to one of
It's dollars to pretzels that the grip germ is the busiest idea
that was ever chased by a doctor.
Nobody knows just how or when the grip germs break into the system,
but once they get a foothold in the epiglottis nothing can remove
them except inward applications of dynamite.
The grip germ hates the idea of race suicide.
From one small germ there will arise and go forth a family the size
of which was never dreamed of in the philosophy of our wise and
I don't know just exactly how they happened to warm wise to me, but
a newly married couple of grip germs took a notion to build a nest
somewhere on the outskirts of my solar plexus, and two hours later
they had about 233 children attending the public school in my
medusa oblongata; and every time school would let out for recess I
would go up in the air and hit the ceiling with my top-knot.
Before the next morning came all these grip children had graduated
from school and after tearing down the school-house the whole bunch
had married and had large families of their own, and all hands were
out paddling their canoes on my alimentary canal.
By nine o'clock that morning there must have been eighty-five
million grip germs armed with self-loading revolvers all trying to
shoot their initials over the walls of my interior department.
It was fierce!
When the doctor arrived on the scene I was carrying enough
concealed weapons to exterminate the entire Japanese army.
I'm up to one thing and that is that the Russians couldn't beat the
Japs because all the national energy and vitality emigrated from
St. Petersburg and came over here with the first grip germs.
If the Czar of all the Russians had been a wise Little Father he
would have encouraged the grip germs to remain loyal to their
native land and then he could have sent them out to Manchuria to
bite the ramparts out of General Oyama instead of chasing
inoffensive American citizens into the drug stores.
"Well, anyway the medicine mixer blew in, threw his saws behind the
sofa, put his dip net on the mantlepiece, and took a fall out of my
"Ah!" he said, after he had noted that my tongue looked like a
"The same to you, Doc," I said.
"Ah!" he said, looking hard at the wall.
"Say, Doc!" I whispered; "there's no use to cut off my leg because
the germs will hide in my elbow."
"Do you feel shooting pains in the cerebellum near the apex of the
cosmopolitan?" inquired the doctor.
"Surest thing you know," I said.
"Have you a buzzing in the ears, and a confused sound like distant
laughter in the panatella?" he asked.
"It's a cinch, Doc," I said.
"Do you feel a roaring in the cornucopia with a tickling sensation
in the diaphragm?" he asked.
"Right again," I whispered.
"Do the joints feel sore and pinched like a pool-room?" he said.
"Does your tongue feel rare and high-priced like a porterhouse
steak at a summer resort?"
"Do you feel a spasmodic fluttering in the concertina?"
"Have you a sort of nervous hesitation in your hunger and does
everything you eat taste like an impossible sandwich?"
"Does your nerve centre tinkle-tinkle like a breakfast bell?"
"Have you a feeling that the germs have attacked your Adam's apple
and that there won't be any core?"
"When you look at the wall paper does your brain do a sort of
loop-the-loop and cause you to meld 100 aces or double pinochle?"
"Yes, and 80 kings, too!"
"Do you feel a slight palpitation of the membrane of the Colorado
madura and is there a confused murmur in your brain like the sound
of a hard working gas meter?"
"You've got me sized good and plenty, Doc!"
"Do you have insomnia, nightmare, loss of appetite, chills and
fever and concealed respiration in the carolina perfecto?"
"That's the idea, Doc."
"When you lie on your right side do you have an impulse to turn
over on your left side, and when you turn over on your left side do
you feel an impulse to jump out of bed and throw stones at a
"There isn't anything you can mention, Doc, that I haven't got!"
"Ah!" said the doctor; "then that settles it."
"Tell me the truth, Doctor!" I groaned; "what is it, bubonic
"You have something worse--you have the grip," he whispered gently.
"You see I tried hard to mention some symptom which you didn't
have, but you had them all, and the grip is the only disease in the
world which makes a specialty of having every symptom known to
Then the doctor got busy with the pencil gag and left me enough
prescriptions to keep the druggist in pocket money throughout the
[Illustration: Enough prescriptions to keep the druggist in pocket
money throughout the summer.]
Later my wife came in and asked me how I felt, and when I began to
discourse amiably about undertakers she put up a howl that brought
the rest of the family around the bedside on a hurry call.
When I told them I had the grip each and every member of the
household from Uncle Peter down to the cook began to suggest
remedies, and if I had taken half they suggested they could have
sold me to a junk dealer and got good money.
That evening our next door neighbor, Bud Taylor, came in and
advised me to take quinine and whiskey every time I felt a shooting
I took his advice, but at the end of the first hour the score was
98 to 37 in favor of the shooting pains, and the whiskey had such
an effect on the quinine that it made the germs jealous, so between
them they cooked up a little black man who advised me to chase Bud
out of the house, which I did by throwing medicine bottles at him.
That night the whiskey and quinine held a director's meeting with
the germs and then they wound up with a sort of Mardi Gras parade
through my system.
I was the goat!
When daylight broke I was a total wreck, and I swore that the next
person that said whiskey and quinine to me would get all his.
After breakfast another friend of ours, Jack Gibson, blew in, and
after he looked me over his weary eye fell on the decanter.
Then Jack smacked his lips and whispered that the best cure for the
grip was a glass of whiskey and quinine every time I felt chills
and fever, and he'd be glad to join me.
When loving hands picked Jack up at the bottom of the stairs he was
almost insulted, but he quieted down when my wife explained to him
that I was suffering not only from the grip but that I had also a
slight attack of jiu jitsu.
After weeks of study devoted to the subject I have come to the
conclusion that the only way to cure the grip is to stay sick until
you get better.
That's what I did!
JOHN HENRY ON COURTING
Are you wise to the fact that everything is changing in this old
world of ours, and that since the advent of fuss-wagons even the
old-fashioned idea of courtship has been chased to the woods?
It used to be that on a Saturday evening the young gent would draw
down his six dollars worth of salary and chase himself to the
barber shop, where the Dago lawn trimmer would put a crimp in his
moustache and plaster his forehead with three cents worth of hair
and a dollar's worth of axle-grease.
Then the young gent would go out and spread 40 cents around among
the tradesmen for a mess of water-lilies and a bag of peanut
The lilies of the valley were to put on the dining-room table so
mother would be pleased, and with the peanut brittle he intended to
fill in the weary moments when he and his little geisha girl were
not making googoo eyes at each other.
But nowadays it is different, and Dan Cupid spends most of his time
on the hot foot between the coroner's office and the divorce court.
I've got a hunch that young people these days are more emotional
and like to see their pictures in the newspapers.
Nowadays when a clever young man goes to visit his sweetheart he
hikes over the streets in a benzine buggy, and when he pulls the
bell-rope at the front door he has a rapid fire revolver in one
pocket and a bottle of carbolic acid in the other.
His intentions are honorable and he wishes to prove them so by
shooting his lady love if she renigs when he makes a play for her
I think the old style was the best, because when young people
quarreled they didn't need an ambulance and a hospital surgeon to
help them make up.
In the old days Oscar Dobson would draw the stove brush cheerfully
across his dog-skin shoes and rush with eager feet to see Lena
Jones, the girl he wished to make the wife of his bosom.
"Darling!" Oscar would say, "I am sure to the bad for love of you.
Pipe the downcast droop in this eye of mine and notice the way my
heart is bubbling over like a bottle of sarsaparilla on a hot day!
Be mine, Lena! be mine!"
Then Lena would giggle. Not once, but seven giggles, something
like those used in a spasm.
Then she would reply, "No, Oscar; it cannot be. Fate wills it
Then Oscar would bite his finger nails, pick his hat up out of the
coal-scuttle and say to Lena, "False one! You love Conrad, the
floorwalker in the butcher shop. Curses on Conrad, and see what
you have missed, Lena. I have tickets for a swell chowder party
next Tuesday. Ah! farewell forever!"
Then Oscar would walk out and hunt up one of those places that
Carrie Nation missed in the shuffle and there, with one arm glued
tight around the bar rail, he would fasten his system to a jag
which would last for a week.
Despair would grab him and he'd be Oscar with the souse thing for
When he would recover strength enough to walk down town without
attracting the attention of the other side of the street, he would
call on Lena and say, "Lena, forgive me for what I done, but love
is blind--and, besides, I mixed my drinks. Lena, I was on the
downward path and I nearly went to hell."
Then Lena would say, "Why, Oscar, I saw you and your bundle when
you fell in the well, but I didn't know it was as deep as you
Then they would kiss and make up, and the wedding bells would ring
just as soon as Oscar's salary grew large enough to tease a
But these days the idea is altogether different.
Children are hardly out of the cradle before they are arrested for
butting into the speed limit with a smoke wagon.
Even when they go courting they have to play to the gallery.
Nowadays Gonsalvo H. Puffenlotz walks into the parlor to see Miss
Imogene Cordelia Hoffbrew.
"Wie gehts, Imogene!" says Gonsalvo.
"Simlich!" says Imogene, standing at right angles near the piano
because she thinks she is a Gibson girl.
"Imogene, dearest," Gonsalvo continues; "I called on your papa in
Wall Street yesterday to find out how much money you have, but he
refused to name the sum, therefore you have untold wealth!"
Gonsalvo pauses to let the Parisian clock on the mantle tick, tick,
He is making the bluff of his life you see, and he has to do even
that on tick.
Besides, this furnishes the local color.
Then Gonsalvo bursts forth again, "Imogene! Oh! Imogene! Will you
be mine and I will be thine without money and without the price."
Gonsalvo pauses to let this idea get noised about a little.
Then he goes on, "Be mine, Imogene! You will be minus the money
while I will have the price!"
Gonsalvo trembles with the passion which is consuming his
pocketbook, and then Imogene turns languidly from a right angle
triangle into more of a straight front, and hands Gonsalvo a bitter
look of scorn.
Then Gonsalvo grabs his revolver and, aiming it at her marble brow,
exclaims, "Marry me this minute or I will shoot you in the
top-knot, because I love you."
Then papa rushes into the room and Gonsalvo politely requests the
old gentleman to hold two or three bullets for him for a few
Gonsalvo then bites deeply into a bottle of carbolic acid and just
as the Coroner climbs into the house the pictures of the modern
lover and loveress appear in the newspapers, and fashionable
Society receives a jolt.
This is the new and up-to-date way of making love.
However, I think the old style of courting is the best, because you
can generally stop a jag before it gets to the undertaker.
What do you think?
JOHN HENRY ON SUMMER RESORTS
Me for that summer resort gag--Oh! fine!
I fell for a Saratoga set-back this summer but never no more for
At night I used to sit up with the rest of the social push and
drink highballs to make me sick, so I could drink Saratoga water in
the morning to make me well.
That's what is called reciprocity, because it works both ways
against the middle.
Isn't it the limit the way people from all over the country will
rush to these fashionable summer resorts with wide open pocketbooks
and with their bank accounts frothing at the mouth!
The most popular fad at every summer resort I've ever climbed into
is to watch the landlord reaching out for the coin.
Husbands make bets with their wives whether the landlord of the
hotel will get all their money in an hour or an hour and a half.
Both husband and wife loose; because the landlord generally gets it
in ten minutes.
At some of the hotel diningrooms it costs six dollars to peep in,
eight dollars to walk in, and fifteen dollars to get near enough to
a waiter to talk soup.
You can see lots of swell guys in the dining-rooms who are now
using a fork in public for the first time.
This reminds me of an experience I had in a certain summer resort
dining-room not long ago.
At a table near me sat Ike Gooseheimer.
Ike is a self-made man and he made a quick job of it.
Ike was eating with his knife and doing it so recklessly that I
felt like yelling for the sticking plaster.
After I had watched him for about five minutes trying to juggle the
new peas on a knife, it got on my nerves, so I spoke to him.
"Ike," I said, thinking possibly I might cure him with a bit of
sarcasm, "aren't you afraid you will cut yourself with the sword?"
[Illustration: "Aren't you afraid you will cut yourself with the
"Oh! no, no," Ike answered, looking at the knife with contempt;
"there is no danger at all. But at the Palmer House in
Chicago--Ah! there they have sharp knives!"
Ike is beyond the breakers for mine.
The races at Saratoga were extremely exciting.
A friend of mine volunteered to pick out the winners for me, but
after I lost eight dollars I decided that it would be cheaper to
pick out a new friend.
But I do love to mingle with Society at the summer resorts.
It isn't generally known, but one of my great-grandfathers was
present when the original 400 landed at Plymouth Rock.
My great-grandfather owned the Rock.
A couple of nights after the original 400 landed on Plymouth Rock
the leader of the smart set, Mrs. Von Tweedledum, gave a full dress
My great-grandfather looked in at the full dress ball and was so
shocked that he went and opened a clothing store next day.
Society never forgave him for this insinuation.
But, say, isn't it immense the way the doings of these Society dubs
are chronicled in the Society papers?
In case you haven't noticed them I would like to put you wise to a
Social Glints From the Summer Resorts
Among the Smart Setters now present at Saratoga is John J.
Sousebuilder, the well-known millionaire from Cincinnati. He is
here to follow the races but he seems to have an idea that the
horses live in the hotel bar-room, because that is where he does
most of his following.
Cornelius Sudslifter, the well-known inventor of the patent
chowless chow chow, is paying deep attention to Esmeralda
Ganderface, the brilliant daughter of old man Tightfist Ganderface,
the millionaire inventor of a system of opening clams by steam.
Cornelius and Esmeralda make a sweet and beautiful picture as they
stroll arm in arm to the post-office, where Cornelius mails a check
for the week's alimony to his former wife, who is visiting lawyers
in South Dakota.
Hector J. Roobernik, well known in Society, is spending the summer
at Atlantic City. Hector was formerly a Bohemian glass blower, but
he is now rich enough to leave off the last part of his occupation,
so he calls himself just a Bohemian--which is different. Hector is
paying deep attention to Phyllis Kurdsheimer, the daughter of Mike
Kurdsheimer, the millionaire inventor of the slippery elm shoe horn.
Gus Beanhoister, the widely known bunion broker and Society man of
South Newark, is summering at Cape May, where he mingles with the
other pets of fashion. Gus finds it very hard to refrain from
looking at people's feet during the bathing hours, but otherwise he
is doing quite well.
Hank Schmitpickle and his latest wife from Chicago sailed on the
steamship _Minnehaha_ last week to spend the season in the British
capital. The Schmitpickles will occupy the villa at No. 714
Cottagecheese Place, Blitheringham Park, near Speakeasy Towers, on
the Old Kent Road, Bayswater, across from Shoreditch--God save the
Mercedes Cauliflower is summering at Narragansett Pier, and her
_fiance_, Mr. Peter Cuckoobird, is dancing attendance upon her. It
will be remembered that Mercedes is the daughter and heiress of
Jacob Cauliflower, the millionaire manufacturer of boneless tripe,
which has become quite a fad in Society since the Beef Trust got
chesty. Peter Cuckoobird is a rising young brick-layer on his
father's side, but on account of the fortune left him by his
mother, he is now butterflying through life in a gasolene barouche
with diamond settings in the tires.
Hank Dobbs and his daughter, Crystaline, sailed on the Oceanic
yesterday for the Riviera. Before the steamship pulled out Hank
admitted that he didn't know whether the Riviera was a city or a
new kind of cheese, but if money could do the trick he intended to
know the truth.
Mr. and Mrs. James Shine von Shine were divorced yesterday at the
home of the bride's parents in Newport. The ceremony was very
simple but expensive to the ex-husband. Considerable alimony
The private cottage of Mrs. Offulrich Swellswell at Bar Harbor has
been beautifully decorated in honor of the approaching divorce of
their daughter, Gladys, from her husband, Percy Skiddoo. Percy is
the well-known manufacturer of the reversible two-step so much used
Cards are all out for a divorce in the family of the Von Guzzles,
but owing to a typographical error in the cards it is impossible to
say whether it is the old man or the son. Both employ blonde
JOHN HENEY ON GREAT MEN
Uncle Peter is one of the gamest little chunks of humanity that
ever looked the world in the eye, but when he heard the edict put
forth by Doctor Osler the old man went overboard with a splash.
He was under water a long time.
He thought the Bogey Man had him for sure.
Uncle Peter felt that it would no longer be possible for him to
pass a drug store without some young fellow rushing out with a
handkerchief full of chloroform and yelling, "Here, you old
chestnut! here's where you get it in the nose!"
In the dark watches of the night Uncle Peter used to wake up
covered with cold perspiration, because he had dreamed that Doc
Osler was pounding him on the bald spot with a baseball bat after
having poured hair dye all over his breakfast food.
At last Uncle Peter got so nervous I advised him to write to the
"Ask him if he won't commute your sentence because you live in the
country and are a commuter," I suggested.
The doctor replied to Uncle Peter at once and I will try to
translate his letter from Johns Hopkins into pure English, as near
as I can remember:
JOHNS HOPKINS, To-day.
Dear Uncle Peter:--When I cut loose with the observation that men
were all in at 40 and _rauss mittim_ at 60 I kept several
exceptions up my sleeve.
The exceptions include you, Uncle Peter, and myself also.
It could not apply in your case, Uncle Peter, because I have known
you since we lived together in Baltimore many moons ago, and I
realize that the years have only improved you, Uncle Peter, and
that to-day you are a bigger shine than you ever were.
One point about my observation which seems to have escaped the eyes
of the general public, but which you suggest so delicately in your
letter, Uncle Peter, will be found in the beautiful words of the
poet who says:
Some advertisement now and then
Is needed by the greatest men!
Don't mention it, Uncle Peter, for what I tell you is confidential,
but do you know that my little bunch of remarks, which cost me
nothing anyway because I was invited to the banquet, have given me
more widespread advertisement than Andy Carnegie can get for
eighteen public libraries?
You know, Uncle Peter, there is nothing in the world so easy to
make stand up on its hind legs as the general public if you just go
after it right.
But the trick is, Uncle Peter, to know what to say and when to say
Look at my case and then tell me if it wasn't up to me to emit a
There I was, just about to leave my native land to go to Oxford and
become the squeegee professor in the Knowledge Factory and be all
swallowed up in the London fog, but nobody seemed to miss me before
I went away.
I began to feel lost, lonely and forgotten like a vice-president of
the United States.
Then came the banquet, Uncle Peter, and like a flash the inspiration
came to me and I arose in my seat and said, "Ladies and gentlemen,
after a man reaches the age of 40 he is a seldom-happener, and after
he gets to the age of 60 he is a dead rabbit and it's the woods for
What was the result, Uncle Peter?
Every man in the world felt that I was his personal insult.
Every man _over_ 40 listened to what I said and began to yell for
the police; and every man _under_ 40 realized that he would be
_over_ 40 some day, so he began to look for a rock to throw at me.
I had them, going and coming.
Then the newspapers heard about it and where formerly in their
columns was nothing but dull and harmless war news my picture
began, to blossom forth like the flowers that bloom in the spring,
Pretty soon, Uncle Peter, every man, woman and child in the world
began to know me and I couldn't walk out in the public streets
without being snap-shotted or bowed to, or barked at, according to
the age of those present.
Of course, we all know, Uncle Peter, that my theory has wormholes
all over it, but didn't I make good?
We do not need a book or history to tell us that Julius Caesar was
over forty before he ever saw the base of Pompey's statue; that
Brutus and Cassius were over forty before they saw a chance to
carve their initials on Caesar's wishbone; that Cleopatra was over
forty before she saw snakes; that Carrie Nation was over forty
before she could hatchet a barroom and put the boots to the rum
demon; that Mrs. Chadwick was over forty before she opened a bank
account; that Jonah was over forty before he saw a whale; that
President Roosevelt was over forty before he saw a self-folding
lion; that Kuropatkin was over forty before he learned to make five
retreats grow where only one retreat grew before; that George
Washington was over forty before he was struck with the idea of
making Valley Forge a winter resort; and so forth, and so forth,
world without end.
But these suggestions only prove the rule, Uncle Peter, and the
rule is this:
Some advertisement now and then
Is relished by the greatest men!
Don't worry, Uncle Peter, because you are getting to be a has-was.
You may do something in your old age which will make people think
less of you than they do now--you never can tell.
With these few words I will leave you, Uncle Peter; wishing you as
much age in the future as you have had in the past.
Yours with love,
After getting this letter Uncle Peter began to breathe easier and
two days later he was quite able to resist the desire to crawl
under the bed every time a bottle of soothing syrup arrived from
the drug store.
Uncle Peter got very gay the day after Admiral Togo won the battle
of the Sea of Japan.
Fifteen minutes after the last Russian battleship had been slapped
on the cross-trees Uncle Peter had a letter written to Togo.
I am going to show you a copy of it, if I get pinched in the act:
NEW YORK, This Morning.
To Admiral William Duffy Togo,
the Japanese crackerjack.
Dear Togie:--Please forgive me for writing you these few lines, but
I have been through several wars myself and I have witnessed how
easy it is for a hero to take the wrong road and walk unexpectedly
into the cold storage department of the public's estimation. That
is the reason I wish to give you a few points on the etiquette of
being a hero, which I have studied from observation in this country.
Brave Togie:--When you get home in Tokio or Yokohama, or
Communipaw, or wherever it is, keep the face closed, more
especially in the region of the mouth, because the moment a hero
begins to speak somebody will misconstrue what he says and get him
talking politics when he only meant to say, "Drink hearty!"
Clever Togie:--Don't ever talk with an ambitious reporter unless
you have a baseball mask over the face and a mosquito netting over
the vocabulary; because if you only say to him, "How's the health?"
you will find in the morning paper a column interview, in which you
have decided to run for Mikado on the Democratic ticket.
Good Togie:--When you arrive at the depot in your home town you
will find lined up in front of the baggage-room about sixty-seven
young ladies, all with their lips puckered up in the most
kissifactory manner--but don't do it, Togie.
Friend Togie:---Resist the awful temptation to go down the line and
plant burning kisses on the front teeth of these beautiful maidens,
because after planting these kisses the harvest will be the long
grass of oblivion, and you will find yourself rushing madly through
the comic papers trying to bite all the fair ladies therein.
Fine Togie:--When you meet this awful situation, as meet it you
will, sneer gently at the puckered lips and repeat over and over
that old proverb, _Osculation is the thief of reputation_.
Then with a haughty glance at the lady kissing bugs jump quickly
into your ginrickeyshaw and gallop swiftly home to the loving arms
of your wife.
If the kissing buggettas should follow you to the sacred precincts
of the home circle send your mother-in-law out with the broomstick,
and may a kind Heaven help those who cannot run fast enough.
Beloved Togie:--Now listen with all your ears. This advise I give
you from the heart. _Don't let any committee present you with a
Handsome Togie:--Avoid this house proposition as you would a
Remember, Togie, that the public likes to honor a hero by giving
him something expensive, and then dishonor him afterwards by
watching what he does with it.
Noble Togie:--There are only two ways a hero can remain a hero in
this strange world of ours. One way is to die just after he has
heroed, and the other way is to get in a glass case and stay
there--but he must buy the glass case himself.
Unbeatable Togie:--When the public gets a jag of joy from the
intoxication of your success they will surely rush up to you with
the plans and specifications of a fine bungalow with hot and cold
gas and running servants, but when they do so just place the left
hand in the apex of the waistcoat and say to them with a cold
glitter in the lamps, "I thank you, public, for this display of
generosity, but I would prefer that you keep the bungalow and I
will keep my own little flat on 109th Street, because I know the
janitor there and he never steals the milk."
Nice Togie:--Republics and any old kind of publics are always
grateful while the jag of joy lasts. They are dead anxious to give
a hero more than is coming to him, but after the jag of joy wears
off then comes the bitter morning after, when they wake up with the
head full of third-rail microbes and the tongue like a bridge with
the draw open, and they keep saying to themselves, "Why did I give
that hero such a nice house, because, to save my soul, I can't
remember just what kind of heroing he did to deserve it."
My dear Togie:--Avoid the kissing buggettas and don't pay any
attention to the house committee and possibly you will be able to
keep on your heroesque way to the bitter end.
I have never been a hero myself, Togie, with the exception of one
afternoon when I sunk an armored cruiser cook in our kitchen after
she had swallowed a bottle of vodka and was bombarding the gas
stove with our best set of china dishes, but I love all the heroes,
and if any little advise of mine could help a hero to keep busy at
the job of heroing I would be pleased and tickled internally.
Yours with love,
Togo hasn't replied as yet, but Uncle Peter expects a postal card
or a hand-painted fan in every mail.