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The Bishop's Jaegers


Thorne Smith



AT breakfast the following morning Mr. Jones made an announcement. The nudists greeted it with cheers. Not so Peter and his party. They were considerably alarmed, especially Little Arthur and Bishop Waller.

'Ladies and gentlemen,' began Mr. Jones, rising and standing with one brown, slim hand resting lightly on the table. 'Fellow nudists. It is high time we interrupted our nakedness and returned to the animalism of the conventional life we have abandoned.'

By this time a majority of the nudists in their spontaneous enthusiasm were stamping on the floor and tinkling their glasses with their knives. Mr. Jones waited modestly until the noise subsided.

'Spring is now well advanced,' he continued, 'and in this connection it is generally agreed among poets that spring is the most immoral of the four seasons. Personally I have never found any great difference between them. However, there might be something in it.'

'Mr. Jones,' called out the philosopher, whose name happened to be Horace Sampson, 'spring is perhaps the most suggestive of seasons. It is not as immoral as summer. Summer is notoriously immoral. In the short course of a northern summer the Eskimos go mad with love, I am told.'

'If I had to love an Eskimo,' a slight blonde lady remarked, 'I think I'd go mad myself.'

'The season's so short up there,' stated a lean-looking gentleman, 'I shouldn't think they'd have time to get out of their furs.'

'They manage, nevertheless,' replied Mr. Sampson.

'Perhaps they start to undress somewhere towards the breaking up of winter,' some one suggested.

'I confess,' said Mr. Jones, 'that I do not know the technique of the Eskimo in such matters.'

'You surprise me,' observed Peter. 'It is difficult to believe that the women of any race or clime have quite escaped the liberating influence of your Civilized Occasions.'

'I can't be everywhere at once,' replied Mr. Jones.

Colour was mounting to Yolanda's cheeks. She looked a little frightened.

'Well,' put in Jo, 'when this place is pinched, as eventually it will be, you can hurry right up to Alaska and go mad with the Eskimos.'

'I shall bear that in mind,' replied the leader. 'Thanks for the suggestion.'

'Not at all,' Josephine replied. 'You probably had it in mind already.'

'Spring was always my most difficult season,' announced a still pretty woman with large dark eyes. 'I never did succeed in getting through a spring season without saying yes to some one.'

'It was your generous nature, my dear,' said a lady sitting opposite her. 'I always found summer almost unavoidable.'

'This is scarcely the time for tender confessions,' remarked Mr. Jones. 'If there are no further suggestions, I'll continue.'

'By all means,' rumbled Mr. Sampson. 'Sorry I started the discussion.'

'I have noticed,' resumed Mr. Jones, 'a growing tendency to nervousness and strain and an almost flagrant infraction of the regulations governing the conduct of our members.'

'I just couldn't help it, Mr. Jones,' a young lady called out. 'That man kept on pestering me until—'

'No specific reference was implied, Miss Joyce,' Mr. Jones interrupted hastily. 'But to continue. Quarrels breaking out between the male and female members of the colony have a way of ending up altogether too amicably. Of course, there are a number of you who could still hold out for several months.'

'Indefinitely, sir,' said an elderly gentleman.

'Splendid,' said Mr. Jones. 'However, all things considered, I feel that it would be best to declare a one-week Season of Forgetfulness almost immediately. It will open to-morrow night at dinner and close, for those who have been able to stick it out, just one week later.'

More cheers and thumping. The elderly gentleman who could hold out indefinitely did not join in the applause.

'For those of you who don't know,' continued Mr. Jones, 'everything is tolerated—nay, encouraged—during the Season of Forgetfulness—everything save murder. It is, of course, understood that husbands and wives cannot base divorce proceedings on the grounds of each other's conduct during this season. Nor can any member withdraw from the colony as a result of it. It is hoped, on the other hand, that all members will lend their willing support and do everything in their power to make this orgy a success. If each one of us does his or her bit, if each one of us gives the worst that is in him, if we all band together in a spirit of libidinous abandon, I feel that we cannot fail. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you.'

Mr. Jones, his eyes flashing with the consciousness of duty well done, sat down amid wild applause. Already men and women were beginning to size one another up.

'My dear sir,' said Bishop Waller in a low voice to Peter, 'I never heard anything like it. Why, one would think he was addressing a meeting of Rotarians or the members of a college football team instead of a group of eternally damned souls. Jaegers or no jaegers, accompanied or single-handed, I intend to make my escape to-night. I am determined to shake from my feet the dust of this terrible place.'

The excellent bishop was not alone in this determination. When the small band of castaways foregathered some time later in a secluded part of the lawn, they were joined by the philosopher, who frankly stated his case and asked to be admitted to their number.

'I have finished my investigations here,' he said with a shrug of his fine shoulders. 'All this forgetfulness stuff is an old story to me. And the way they go about it is far too collegiate for one of my temperament. Some still seem to enjoy it, but frankly I don't. I am by nature an unmoral nonconformist. I can't stand mob righteousness any more than mob depravity. I suggest we finish with them before they finish us. I say, clear out naked as we are and take a chance on finding something to drape over our bodies.'

'Listen,' put in Little Arthur. 'I gotter pick up the lawn to-day, and that means sticking trash and papers in a bag. When they're all down at the beach prancing, or in eating dinner, I'll sneak some sheets inter the bag and drag 'em out to the woods. What do you say about that?'

'Merely this,' replied Bishop Waller. 'It strikes me that we must all be saved from Sodom through the stealth of a converted pickpocket. In the light of this I feel that it would be difficult to accuse God of being altogether lacking in a slightly ironical vein of humour.'

'I trust you will use your influence,' remarked Mr. Horace Sampson, 'to see that the situation does not become too funny.'

'If I ever get a sheet over my nakedness,' said Peter, 'you can laugh yourself sick for all I care.'

'No doubt we will,' declared Jo. 'I'm going to make a hole in mine and stick my head through.'

I think I will swathe mine round the upper half of my body,' said the good Bishop reflectively. 'The lower half still seems able to hold its own.'

'Oh, quite,' replied Peter, looking sharply at the Bishop.

'If we ever get back to civilization, Bishop Waller,' Aspirin Liz put in, 'you should send those drawers to the Smithsonian Institution.'

'I wish you would give them their proper name,' Bishop Waller protested. 'This garment is known as jaegers.'

'Don't care whether they're jaegers, jumpers, or jiggers,' the ex-model replied. 'You're wearing whatever they are where most men wear their drawers.'

Of all the party Yolanda alone remained silent. Why should she accompany a number of sheet-clad figures back to civilization? There would surely be a scandal.

'At nine o'clock in the woods,' said Horace Sampson. 'Come singly or in pairs.'

The party then broke up, and for the remainder of the day its members went innocently about their separate ways. At dusk Little Arthur could have been seen, had any one cared to look at Little Arthur, dragging an old potato sack disconsolately in the direction of the woods.

But from a distance the observer would not have known that petty thief was sweating from his efforts to look as if he were not there at all.

At nine o'clock that night Yolanda was a greatly worried young lady. The spirit of the approaching festivities had entered into her blood. She felt that she deserved one Season of Forgetfulness. All her life she had been remembering herself. Now for once she would like to forget and to find out what happened. Yet she hated to admit this fact to the members of the party. She was standing deep in the woods with Peter and Josephine. The others had not yet arrived.

'Listen, Peter,' she began in an agitated voice. 'I can get out at any time I want. Don't you think it would be a good idea for me to return and cover your retreat in case you should be missed?'

'Do you want to go back?' he asked her.

Yolanda nodded her head in the darkness. She could not say it in so many words. When she spoke, her voice no longer carried its old imperious note.

'He comes of a fine old family, Peter,' she said.

'Would you like to increase it?' asked Peter.

'Don't be common,' she retorted with a small show of spirit.

Josephine put her arm round the girl.

'Do you care for the suave Mr. Jones?' asked Jo.

For a moment Yolanda was suspicious, then she capitulated to the red-haired girl.

'You know how it is,' she murmured. 'I—I think so now.'

'Then go back and land him,' said Jo, 'but for the love of Mike keep your head.'

Yolanda squeezed Jo's hand.

'I never knew life was so different,' she offered rather timidly. 'So much better and so much worse. Good-bye, Peter. Do you mind?'

For answer, Peter tilted up her chin and kissed her lightly on the lips.

'It was a nice long engagement,' he said. 'You deserve some compensation. Good luck, Yolanda.'

The next moment his one-time fiancée was slipping among the trees on her way back to Mr. Jones and the Season of Forgetfulness.


On the outer edge of the woods a high wall confronted the escaping party, all members of which were present with the exception of Yolanda, whose absence remained tactfully unobserved. As the six sheet-draped figures stood considering this obstruction, the scolding voice of a duck churning up last year's leaves with its wings fired them into sudden action.

'My God,' said Peter. 'Havelock Ellis is with us.'

'But not for long,' said Horace Sampson, scooping the bird from the leaves. 'I'm going to wring her neck.'

Jo snatched the duck from the philosopher and thrust its jeering head under a wing.

'No bloodshed,' she whispered. 'Get me over the wall, Peter. I'll take care of Ellis.'

'Are there glass or spikes?' asked the Bishop when Jo had reached the top.

'The former,' replied Jo. 'I am trying to sit as lightly as a feather.'

Little Arthur looked at Liz and tittered behind his hand. 'What a break,' he said, 'for a fat lady.'

'If any glass gets into me,' she muttered, 'you're going to pick it out.'

'May my fingers wither first,' Little Arthur said in an awed voice. 'They've picked a lot in their day, but they'll never pick that.'

Aspirin Liz's difficulty was obviated by the employment of a sheet as a buffer between herself and the glass. Soon the party was standing, a trifle torn and dishevelled, on the other side of the wall.

'There is no doubt now,' said the Bishop, 'about there being holes in my jaegers. I can feel them quite distinctly.'

'I wish you wouldn't,' said Mr. Sampson.

'Pardon an old man's curiosity,' replied the Bishop. 'These jaegers have served me well.'

A winding tree-fringed road lay in front of them. An occasional light shining through the branches marked the habitations of man. The moon was not yet risen, and the way was dark. From time to time a sleepy clucking issued from Havelock Ellis resting comfortably in Jo's left arm. She had refused to abandon the duck. In this Peter had supported her.

'I suggest,' said the tall philosopher, 'that we set off at a brisk trot. Mr. Jones's attendants are many, and they are strong, rough men. At any moment we might be yanked back over that wall by a dozen or more ruthless hands.'

Accordingly the party set itself in motion, the philosopher setting the pace. Aspirin Liz and Bishop Waller brought up the rear, the Bishop being slightly in advance. He seemed to be experiencing considerable difficulty with his jaegers. His efforts to keep them from falling off impeded his own as well as his companion's progress. The suspense was beginning to wear on the fat lady's nerves.

'Bishop,' she panted at last, 'you'll have to do something about those drawers. Either take them off or keep them on. I can't stand the strain.'

'After all the turmoil they've been through,' retortedthe Bishop, 'these jaegers stay on. It is the will of God.'

'He doesn't seem to have quite made up His mind,' said Liz, 'from the way those drawers are behaving.'

'Nevertheless,' replied the Bishop, giving the garment a violent tug, 'at this late date you cannot expect me to abandon them.'

'From several views I got,' said Liz, 'they seemed to be abandoning you.'

'Madam,' admonished the Bishop, 'we're in an extremely tough spot, as the saying goes. We have no time to discuss whether I am abandoning my jaegers or they are abandoning me.'

Liz heaved a vast sigh and paddled after the Bishop through the night. Suddenly the headlights of an approaching automobile threw the party into sharp relief. Without a moment's hesitation the philosopher, Sampson, turned off the road and led his followers behind a billboard.

'This is the first time,' he told them, 'I ever saw any good reason for a billboard. Usually I consider them the most insulting form of advertising.'

'It would be pretty,' observed the Bishop, 'if those motorists happened to be among my parishioners. The headlights caught my jaegers at a rather daring angle.'

'One moment,' whispered Peter, holding up an arresting hand. 'Those motorists have stopped to investigate.'

Silence behind the billboard. Voices from the road.

'But if you do find a lot of naked bodies,' the party heard a woman say, 'what on earth are you going to do with them? Can't ask them to take a ride.'

'I can ask them to go home,' came the voice of the woman's companion. 'Don't know what this part of the world is coming to if a man can't go driving without running into a flock of nudes.'

'You're not so upset as you'd have me believe,' sniffed the lady. 'You're looking for that girl.'

'Nonsense,' retorted the man. 'She was nearly wearing a sheet. All of them were, in fact.'

'Sure,' scoffed the lady. 'Nearly but not quite.'

The man disappeared behind the billboard, and in a surprisingly short time reappeared totally naked save for his shoes and socks. The philosopher was a fast worker. With the assistance of Bishop Waller they rapidly stripped the man and distributed his garments among them. To Peter's lot fell a shirt and vest. The philosopher got the trousers, which first had been unsuccessfully attempted by Aspirin Liz. Little Arthur fell heir to a pair of shorts, and Jo to the man's coat. Bishop Waller dragged a sleeveless under-shirt over the upper half of his body. The frail garment came to about his fifth rib before it split up the middle. The Bishop looked disappointed.

'If we had to strip a fellow-creature,' he observed, 'and send him back naked into the world, I wish God had seen fit to make him several sizes larger.'

'He must be quite the smallest man in the world,' replied Mr. Sampson. 'These trousers haven't the slightest intention of meeting in the front. Just take a look at them.'

'If you please,' protested Bishop Waller, 'my eyes have seen enough. The attempts of Liz to squeeze into them took ten years off my life.'

'The seat of those pants is no bigger than a dime,' Aspirin Liz put in. 'Never knew they came so small. Let's take a look at the little shaver.'

The assaulted motorist could not stand for this. He tore off the sheet which had been wrapped round his head by the astute Sampson, and dashed back to the car. A slight scream greeted his appearance.

'Give me the lap robe, quick!' cried the man. 'They've taken all my clothes.'

'You don't have to tell me that,' said the lady. 'If you get in this car, I get out.'

'But I can't stand here naked in the middle of the road,' he protested.

'Neither can I go driving on a public highway with a stark naked man,' came the reasonable reply.

'But aren't we engaged?' the naked man pleaded.

'I wouldn't even do it,' he was firmly assured, 'if we were married by the Pope.'

'Catholics,' reflected the Bishop, finding comfort in the thought. 'Just the same, I hope God in His wisdom will be able to find some slight justification for my ruthless conduct to-night.'

It will never be known how the naked motorist and his fiancée settled their little difficulty. He may be standing there yet trying to persuade her to let him get into the car. The fugitives did not linger to listen to the discussion. Down the road they swarmed in the wake of the sprinting philosopher.

'The way that shirt flares out from your little vest,' observed Jo, 'is a sight to behold. You should be jumping through hoops.'

'Glad you find it amusing,' said Peter. 'You are protruding in various spots yourself, my sweet.'

'Bishop,' remarked Aspirin Liz, 'I'm afraid you are not improved. That shirt does no earthly good.' Little Arthur dropped back behind them.

'What do you think of the drawers, Liz?' he panted.

'Too athletic for words,' said the lady. 'How did you manage to get inside them?'

At that moment they caught up with the grotesque figures ahead of them. Jo, Peter and the philosopher were peering into the back of an empty truck. Peter climbed quickly in and helped Jo to follow him. Darkness swallowed them. The philosopher sprang aboard. Rather than be left behind, the Bishop, Liz, and Little Arthur scrambled into the truck. Two men tramped from the woods and, mounting to the front seat, set the truck in motion.

'This will give us a breathing spell,' Horace Sampson whispered.

'We will need it,' replied the Bishop, 'when those gentlemen ahead discover what they have behind.'

'I have nothing behind,' muttered Peter. 'Forgot my sheet.'

For a quarter of an hour they bumped along in silence. Suddenly and to their great consternation the truck shot through a high gate and they found themselves looking out on a brightly lighted street. The transition was so startling that even the duck awoke and began to squawk a volley of evil language.

'What's wrong with your horn, Bill?' asked the man sitting beside the driver. 'Sounds sort of strange to me.'

'That ain't my horn,' said Bill. 'Must be some guy behind us.'

The squawking continued in a hoarse but muffled voice.

'Damned if that ain't the queerest horn I ever did hear,' remarked Bill's companion.

'I'm going to get out and knock the block off whoever's blowing the thing at me,' declared Bill with determination.

The truck drew up, and the two gentlemen descended to the street. No other car was following. Bill's friend listened intently.

'It's coming from inside,' he said in a low voice.

'From inside who?' asked Bill, somewhat startled.

'From inside us,' replied the other.

'Not from inside me,' declared Bill. 'I couldn't make sounds like that even if I did my best.'

'I mean inside the truck,' said the other man.

'Oh,' replied Bill. 'That won't be hard to find out.' They approached the back of the truck, and Bill thrust in a grasping hand.

'I've got hold of a leg,' he cried in a shocked voice.

'You've got hold of mine,' came the voice of Aspirin Liz. 'Is that any way to act?'

'Golly,' said the friend. 'The whole truck is full of them—a lot of funny people.'

'—Get out of there,' roared Bill, who at heart was not a kind man. 'Get out or I'll call a cop.'

'—If we get out you won't have to call a cop,' said Peter bitterly. 'Any number of cops will come of their own accord.'

'Let us depart in peace,' said the Bishop in a hollow voice, 'and put our trust in God.'

'—I'll never put my trust in a duck again,' Josephine told the world as she followed the others into the light of the street from the comfortable darkness of the truck.

Bill and his friend stood speechless. This moment was one of the really few high spots in their lives, one which they realized at the time would never grow stale or lose its wonder.

'Shouldn't we call the cops anyway?' the friend at length found words to ask.

Bill shook his head.

'That guy without the pants said it,' he replied. 'They'll get plenty of cops without our help.'

As the fugitives, now a compact mass, trotted fearfully down the street, several policemen were already following them unbelievingly. As accustomed as they were to the strange sights of Coney Island, they were nevertheless shocked by this one. Some sideshow had gone mad or was openly defying the law. Whistles sounded, and pedestrians stopped in their tracks. Traffic became snarled, and two automobiles collided owing to the preoccupation of their drivers.

'We are being followed,' gasped the Bishop.

'I'd be amazed if we weren't,' Josephine replied.

'Turn in here,' commanded Mr. Horace Sampson. 'And stick together. We might find some place of concealment.'

But the amusement park into which the party dashed over the prostrate body of the ticket collector offered no place of concealment, although for a moment several of its members disappeared from view down the smooth, steeply slanting sides of a wooden bowl.

'I have never been able to see the fun in this sort of thing,' observed Mr. Horace Sampson as he painfully collected his scattered limbs.

'What sort of thing is it?' groaned the Bishop. 'And how does one ever get out of it?'

'One claws one's way up the sides,' Jo remarked, 'only to be hurled back by some sportive reveller, several of whom are already peering down at us and waiting for the kill. Any one seen a duck, and where might Peter be?'

A long arm with a torn shirt-sleeve reached down as the girl spoke, and pulled her up the side of the pit.

'I was just asking about you,' Jo said coolly to Peter. 'Where's our duck?'

'She's knocking about somewhere,' Peter answered. 'Do you realize we're in one of the most fiendishly playful amusement parks in the world? It's not officially open yet according to the signs.'

'Well, it is now,' said Jo, glancing about her. 'We've opened it officially, although I am not amused. I don't want to play with this park.'

The Bishop looked miserably up at them.

'I very much fear God has withdrawn His protection,' he called to Peter. 'Maybe you could help.'

As Peter drew the Bishop up the side, the philosopher almost bounded out. He had figured out the theory of the thing, then put it to the test. Unfortunately he overshot his mark and was carried by his terrific speed on to a flat surface composed of innumerable large discs spinning in opposite directions. For a moment sheer surprise overcame his philosophical resignation as his feet went up in the air and he found himself revolving in what he felt convinced could be nothing less than five different directions at the same time. Bishop Waller, blindly following the leader, promptly found himself in similar circumstances and breathed an urgent but dizzy prayer for divine intervention.

'This one is even less diverting,' shouted Mr. Sampson as he was whirled into the orbit of the Bishop.

'How does one get off?' called that good man.

'I suppose one eventually gets flung off,' Mr. Sampson called back. 'Either that or one keeps on spinning hither and yon until the park closes for the night or season.'

Bishop Waller did not hear the end of this speech, but he heard enough to remove all doubt concerning God's indifference to his lot. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again he saw a policeman standing at the border of the spinning plane, and this policeman, to the Bishop's horror, had his cynically amused eyes fixed on the lower half of his, the Bishop's, person. Too late he realized that he and his long-suffering jaegers had come to the parting of the ways. Other policemen collected and stood watching the twirling bodies.

'I've seen some strange sights down here,' said one of them, 'but this takes the cake. Naked they are, no less. What Judge Wagger won't do to them!'

As Peter and Jo stood clinging to a rustic bridge gone violently mad in every plank, they had the pleasure of seeing Little Arthur dangling in the air from the crossbar of a flying trolley. Elevated as he was from the ground, the small creature presented neither a picturesque nor modest figure to those below, especially now that he was wearing the stolen shorts upon his feet. As he sped through the night on the trolley, two large uniformed officers sped beneath him. They were waiting for him literally to drop into their hands, which inevitably he would be forced to do.

'Wouldn't like to be in his shoes,' Peter chattered.

'We're not occupying a bed of roses,' Josephine told him. 'There is more than one policeman waiting for us at either end of this infuriated bridge.'

'I suppose we're through,' said Peter.

'I've been through for quite some time,' came Jo's broken words. 'Life goes on inside, but it is a purely mechanical arrangement.'

'I wonder if I could manage a kiss on this bucking span?' said Peter.

'Come over here on my side,' she told him, 'and we'll swing in the same direction. I'd hate to have my teeth knocked out from too violent a contact.'

Peter moved over and took the jouncing figure of Jo in his arms and in so doing succeeded in pulling her with him to the floor of the bridge.

'We're going, Jo!' he cried.

'Then go ahead and kiss me,' she called out in jumping accents as she pressed her lips to his.

'Be God if they're not love-making on that dangerous contraption,' said an officer in an awed voice. 'And in their terrible condition and all.'

Still clinging desperately together, the two bodies rolled and jostled into the arms of the law. A policeman tossed a raincoat over Jo and helped her to arise. For a moment she leaned dizzily against him, and during that moment he became a trifle dizzy himself. Peter rose more slowly and fastidiously readjusted the tails of his flaring shirt.

'Will you look at that, I ask you,' breathed a policeman.

They all did.

The philosopher and the Bishop, having been tossed out of the officers' reach by some caprice of the flying discs, were now doing their utmost to make good their escape. The philosopher was bounding up a high flight of spiral stairs, and the Bishop, clinging to his jaegers, was doing his best to bound after his friend. For a moment they stood poised on the summit of the stairs; then, with two hoarse cries of defiance, they launched themselves down the slide that snaked away from their feet. It was a short slide but an impressive one. Several policemen picked them up, then stood looking at them curiously.

'Well, you're a couple of rare birds,' one of the officers said at last.

'You're wrong there, my man,' replied the Bishop.

'We're a couple of raw birds. Have you by chance a pin?'

'You know, my dear Bishop,' said the philosopher as the policeman hustled them along, 'I could almost grow to like that last thing we did.'

'I very much fear,' said the Bishop, 'that it's the last thing we will ever do of our own free will.'

On their way to the patrol wagon they were joined by the captors of Jo and Peter. At the same moment another diversion claimed the attention of the consolidated party. From the bowels of a frantically revolving barrel came the agonized voice of Aspirin Liz.

'Will one of you cops for God's sake come in here and arrest me?' the ex-model managed to get out between twirls and bounces. 'I'd rather stay in jail for life than in here for another minute.'

An officer reached in the barrel and dragged the lady to safety. She still had her sheet, but it was serving no practical purpose, being wrapped round her head. Another raincoat was called for and tossed over Liz.

'One solid mass of bruises,' she muttered. 'I wonder what black-hearted torturer ever thought out this place.'

While the officers were concentrating on Aspirin Liz, a familiar drowsy clucking issued from a near-by trash receptacle. Swiftly Jo reached down, seized the nodding duck, and concealed it under her coat.

'She's a very adaptable duck, isn't she, Peter?' Jo said with a smile to the man at her side.

'If she'd kept her damn mouth shut,' he replied, 'we wouldn't be where we are now.'

'We might have been in even a worse place,' she answered, 'though I can't think of one at the moment.'

Through two solid walls of humanity they were ushered into the patrol wagon, where Little Arthur sat huddled in the gloom. He brightened up considerably at the appearance of his friends.

'Some night,' was his inclusive greeting. 'What do yer say, folks? Hasn't it been some night?'

'It has indeed been some night,' agreed the Bishop, 'and unfortunately, Little Arthur, it is not at an end.'

'We'll have to come back some time,' said Jo, 'and do it all over again.'

'I'd rather be hung,' put in Aspirin Liz, 'than give that barrel another chance at me.'

'One end at least we've achieved,' declared Horace Sampson, a philosopher to the last. 'By getting ourselvesin the clutches of the law we are safe from those of the over-hospitable Mr. Jones and his minions.'

'It looks like a Season of Total Obscurity to me,' observed Peter, pressed closely against Jo.

'We're far better off where we are,' said the Bishop. 'Far better off, my boy, and that is none too good.'

As the patrol wagon clanged down the street between blaring and brightly lighted show places, Josephine felt around her more than the arms of the Law. With a happy sigh she settled back. She was both loved and in love. The Law did not matter.

'May I kiss my young man?' she asked one of the officers seated near the door.

'Might as well, baby,' he told her. 'You won't be seeing much of each other for a long, long time.'

'Little Arthur,' said Aspirin Liz sadly, 'I think I could almost like you, I feel so sorry for myself.'

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