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and the dentist. I ate a heavy dinner, for Here I confronted several alternatives. breakfast looked very, very far away. First, there is the Romanesque style, in Then I played three-handed auction with which one hangs the netting on a hoop and Jones and his wife. I was as merry as then projects the face precisely under the ever. No one should say that I had blanched hoop, keeping it there all night. This with fear. At nine-forty, Jones yawned. style is somewhat like sleeping with an
"Why, it 's nearly ten,” said Mrs. inverted waste-basket on the face, and is Jones. “I had no idea it was so late.” based on the fallacious notion that insects “I was just go
bite only the head. ing to suggest turn
Now I could show ing in,” Jones ob
you-but never served. "I'll get
mind. your blankets and
Then there is the netting, if you
Renaissance style. like."
You suspend the I rose, and with
netting gracefully a steady voice bade
by one or two points my hostess good
from a branch or night. The time
some such supposed had come.
fixture, and let it Jones got the
depend in elegant things, and
the went out on the
floor, securing the sleeping-porch,
corners by lamps, where he dumped
vases, pitchers, or them on my cot.
shoes. This methThe temperature
od adequately anhad gone down a
swers the question, degree or two, but
“What shall we do the air was still a
with the weddinglong way from cool.
present Aunt Alice The winds were still slumbering. A
There is also mosquito was medi
the Perpendicular “YOU SUSPEND THE NETTING GRACEFULLY tatively volplaning
Gothic style — four IN ELEGANT FESTOONS" about.
posts erected at the "Is there any
corners of the cot, thing else you want?" said Jones as he left with netting draped over them. This, I me in what, in reasonable circumstances, decided, required too much construction, would have been my bedroom, but was and I swung back to the Renaissance. now merely the world at large.
Securing some string, after a short, dark, "Nothing,” I said, with fortitude. and eventful journey in the house, I “Good night.”
hitched the string to the netting, tied it I went into the house and ten minutes to a branch, made a beautiful pyramidal later I emerged, attired in a neat, but tent, and squirmed inside with all the deligaudy, pair of pajamas. A lamp lighted
cate deliberation of a jackstraw-player. my labors.
The game was on; the mos- At last I was on the creaking cot, and my quitos and I were alone.
tent still stood! I shall withhold the tedious details of The laws of physics tell us that breezes bed-making. Suffice it to say that I fol- pass through netting. This merely goes lowed the golden rule of the art: don't let to show that physics has a big future. I the feet escape; sacrifice everything else. had distinctly felt a slight zephyr outside; If a single toe projects, the blankets will but now, as I balanced on my shoulderbe up and about your neck before you blades on a Spartan blanket, I thought know it. Then I folded a spare blanket that the heat had become even more into a pillow. Next came the magnum breathless; I felt that I was being suffoopus-hanging the mosquito-netting. cated.
Is n't there some wild animal that At dawn, which in summer occurs builds itself a house and then crawls in to shortly after bedtime and lasts for several die?
hours, I was awakened by the birds, which But I was not going to give up; I forced were making a dreadful din above me in myself to draw a long sigh of relief, and the trees.
the trees. I found that four mosquitos said to myself: "Oh, what wonderful air! were perched on the netting about fourHow I shall sleep!” Yes, how?
teen inches from my face-great, hungry I humped about a few times-creaking fellows, regular eagles. They stared at
as I have never creaked before- till I me till I could have hidden myself for thought I was more comfortable, pulled embarrassment. Presently a friend of up a blanket cautiously, kicked it off theirs, bloated with drink, sailed down warmly, rolled back into my original po- and sat beside them, singing a triumphant sition, moved down six inches, so that my blood-lust song in a harsh, drunken tenor. head just reached the pillow, thought He was plainly a degenerate going the about mosquitos awhile, moved up four pace that kills.
, inches, thought about pillows, and then They say that if you look a wild animal suddenly, with a great start, realized that in the eye he will turn away uneasily. I I was n't asleep. The fact stood out in tried this on Macbeth, the new arrival, my brain in huge, staring capitals: YOU I called him Macbeth because he murARE WIDE AWAKE; YOU ARE dered sleep, - but he was unabashed. I NOT EVEN SLEEPY. It was clear even spoke to him sternly, told him to go that my nerves needed soothing if I was home and take his friends away with him, to get any sleep at all.
asked him what sort of place this was for People recommend many ways of sooth- a chap with a family; I appealed to his ing the nerves, but at times they are all better self. Macbeth's only reply was to disappointing. I thought of sheep jumping crawl insolently through a tear in the netover a fence until all the sheep in my head ting and come straight at me. had gone lame. I counted up to three of triumph rose in sharp crescendo till he hundred and seventy-four, which must be struck my nose ; then it ceased. I was just pretty nearly the world's record, but I reaching to kill him, even at the risk of noted no good results. At the end of an disfiguring myself for life, when suddenly hour I was wider awake than ever and and without warning the netting gave way considerably more uncomfortable.
completely and fell about my ears. About this time I began discovering you imagine a worse predicament than to laws of physics.
be pinned under so 1. When a man lies
much wreckage with
a mosquito that you on his side on a cot, his weight is evenly dis
Well, I climbed tributed between his
out, rearranged my ear and his hip-bone.
tent (while MacII. For every dead
beth's friends got at mosquito in the hand there are two live ones
my ankles), sneaked
in under the edge in the bush that will be along presently.
again, lay down once more,
and looked III. The use of net
about warily for Mac. ting rests on the theory
He was that it offers an ob
where to be seen. I struction to mosquitos. This was first proved
suspected some treachfalse in 1066, but peo
ery, and on the off " HE WAS PLAINLY A DEGENERATE
chance slapped the ple still GOING THE PACE THAT KILLS"
back of my neck quickWell, to tell the
ly and with trementruth, that's as far as I got. I inadvertently dous force, but with no corpse to show fell asleep in the middle of law number three. for it. Physics is the loser. I blame only myself. From that moment to this I have never
seen Macbeth. It is all very sad. I al- die of sunstroke. They only fainted and most wish now that I had n't been so lost their minds. harsh with him.
Shortly after this I must have fainted, After I had given him up for lost, I for I woke up to find I had been uncontook count of the insect life about me, and scious for at least two hours! discovered a delightful game, called In- The last thing I remembered, before sides versus Outsides. At 4 A.M. the score the coma set in, was killing a spider on my stood as follows: Insides, three mosquitos, stomach at five forty-five. one spider ; Outsides, one ant, one daddy- It was now eight o'clock. The sun had long-legs, two mosquitos. A vigorous cam- moved round and I could hear the kitchenpaign then began, the Insides trying to pump going, and see the housemaid, inget out, and the Outsides trying to get in. doors, hiding matches, and sweeping the At 4:30 A.M., owing
dust under the rugs. largely to my efforts, the
I felt sleepy, but otheraspect of things was some
wise moderately well.1 what changed, the score
Presently Jones came standing: Insides, one mos
out in his bath-robe, and quito; Outsides, one wasp,
asked me how I had slept. six mosquitos, two
I told him that that was classified. (Mind you,
just what I d been wonI'm no etymologist; I
dering myself, and he don't pretend to know
wanted to know whether these eight-legged, hairy
the mosquitos had been lads by name.)
thick. The list of dead and
I said no, not too thick “I COULD SEE THE HOUSEMAID, injured was simply appall
to get through the netting, INDOORS, SWEEPING THE DUST ing.
and we both laughed and
UNDER THE RUGS” After awhile I tired of
joked about the night as this game, but the mos
though it were the funniquitos were all for keeping
est thing in the world, it up indefinitely. Only when a breeze That 's the way in such crises, when sprang up did they begin to reel home in the terrible strain is over. twos and threes to sleep off their jag. I avoided another night's excitement by Then, once again, I shut my eyes in the telegraphing myself to come home at once hope that sleep would knit the “rave!l'd on the most urgent business. sleave of care." It seemed, however, that Mr. and Mrs. Jones were awfully corthe elements were all against knitting. dial, and laid emphasis on the fact that in The sun at that moment came up through the future my cot would always be waitthe trees and shone straight into my eyes. ing for me on the porch. I explained that
This worried me not so much on my my business would be very exacting for a own account as on Jones's; I hated the few years, and I doubted if I would ever thought of his coming out with his wife be able to get away again. at breakfast-time and finding me dead of I still cling to the old-fashioned idea a sunstroke on his porch.
that night is the time for sleeping, and not Then I remembered that people don't for hunting and recreation.
i Law of physics : sunstrokes are not necessarily fatal.
THE SENIOR WRANGLER
INDIVIDUALISM - AND CAR CONDUCTORS The heavy passenger on the rear platform who looks deep into your eyes while you are running, and shouting to the conductor to stop the car, must often guess your meaning, but, though he stands within whispering range of the abstracted conductor he very seldom drops any hint to him about you. This is noticeable in suburban purlieus where cars are rare and swift as life's great joys. Of what use to hail or whistle or fing the arms about? It is not the business of that stout, contented person to intervene. No gleam of recognition lights up the leaden gaze. He is no mediator for man or woman but a strict partizan of lais
sez-faire, a fat survival of the fittest, made haughty by
success. Hope nothing from his mercy. Wait for another
fifteen minutes. Wait for a car with a motorman or a
conductor who, perhaps, like Annie Laurie, may have a
rolling eye; and study how to hold him. Dance on the
crossing as the car heaves in sight. That sometimes in
terests him and unless you can interest the suburban
conductor in you personally, individually, there is little
hope. He is blasé, as far as all the usual forms of shout
ing go, and a stern chase only makes him regard you
as a competitor in speeding: and he shows you what his
car can do. But a little dance all by yourself on the cross
ing, a quiet dance, yet full of a gay abandonment, may “A QUIET LITTLE DANCE attract him, and he will pull the bell-rope to see more of ALL BY YOURSELF" it; and then is your chance.
A LITERARY GRANDEUR THAT IS PASSING WHERE be the spoken and printed sonorities of yester-year? Gone with the death-bed steel-engravings; gone with the haircloth and the Rogers groups. Yet here and there Kentucky colonels may still be found in print. I treasure all their priceless sayings.
“I am in receipt,” said one of them during the last political campaign, “of Governor Wilson's averment to the contrary.”
In this day of clipped and jerked-out speech we do not say "averment to the contrary." Yet it is a style that is bound up with our country's history. Back in the eighteen fifties there were many colonels writing busily in this vein.
Such writers are rarely found at present. Something American has been lost. Once they were as natural as nasality; as indigenous as the rolling r's of the rolling prairie. And where is the bold free use of metaphor that could in a single sentence call up a dozen pictures to the eye? The writings of Colonel Henry Watterson are to-day almost the only source of catachrestic inspiration. Here are a few examples:
Suggested title: "Anvil Cakes" "He seized hackneyed truths, dressed them in fresh language, and dealt them out as
though they were hot from his intellectual anvil.”
Suggested title: "A Strange Accident in a Fool's Paradise" “POLITICALLY at least, he was living in a fool's paradise, because that which he considered to be his duty brought the house down upon his head, and, of a sudden, he saw what seemed to him incredible, the working of a deal by which the very fabric was to be pulled up by the roots, and this at the hands of those he had served and whom he thought his friends."
Suggested title: "A Senator as an Earthquake on Horseback that Lives in a Tent" “It is scarcely probable, however, that the Senator, having pitched his canvas for the Republican nomination for reëlection to the Senate, or for riding into the Presidency, if he
can create a tidal wave of sufficient volume to secure that end, etc."