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Skin And Bones


Thorne Smith


The Convivial Corpse

IN the midst of death and appurtenances pertaining to death the skeleton of Mr. Bland was taking life easy. It was quiet and restful in the decorously subdued atmosphere of Mr. Brown's funeral parlour. It made one feel good to be alive. Seated in a comfortable armchair in front of a large, imposing coffin, Quintus Bland was mildly amused by the thought that he could be just as much at home in the one as in the other. He could sprawl sociably in the armchair or take a turn in that splendid coffin according to his inclinations.

Appreciating the fact that he was dealing with no ordinary, commonplace corpse, Mr. Brown was extending himself to be bright and entertaining. He spoke glowingly of death and interment as if both were ends in themselves greatly to be desired. One of the reasons for the mortician's enthusiasm was a formidable jug of applejack attractively placed on the coffin. Between the jug and the coffin were several thicknesses of last Sunday's newspaper, the thrifty mortician not being so sure as to the quality of the applejack. Both the skeleton and the man who hoped to bury him had copiously partaken of the contents of the jug. Mr. Brown was speaking, and in his present expansive mood he was definitely convinced he meant every word he said.

"It's a fact," he was saying with robust earnestness. "It's God's own truth. It actually hurts me to sell some of these coffins, I've grown so fond of them. Know what I mean?"

"Sort of," hedged Mr. Bland. "You've got some swell-looking coffins here—lovely things."

"Bang up," said the gratified mortician. "Couldn't find a slicker line of coffins even in the city. Take model 1007-A there—that's your coffin, my boy—when I think of you stretched out in that I'm actually burned up with envy. I'd like that coffin myself. I'd nip into it right now if I only felt sick enough."

"If you feel as strongly as that about it," suggested Quintus Bland, "we might get buried together."

"It's an idea," agreed Mr. Brown, taking a hasty gulp from his glass. "There's something in it. We went to school together. Why should we be separated by death?"

"Why, indeed?" said Mr. Bland.

"Death is a splendid institution," continued Mr. Brown. "I don't blame you at all for wanting to go to earth, so to speak." He rose and refilled the glasses. "In death man recaptures the dignity life has taken from him. You'll make a most impressive corpse, my dear Bland."

"Think so?" said Mr. Bland, greatly pleased.

"Know it," replied the mortician. "There's little I don't know about corpses. And when I say a corpse is good that corpse is good, believe me, Charon."

"Believe you who?" asked Mr. Bland.

"Charon," repeated Brown. "A mythical reference. He ferried corpses across the river Styx."

"Guess they have a tunnel nowadays," said Mr. Bland.

"No doubt," replied Mr. Brown. "One-way traffic."

"Tell me this," said Mr. Bland, as if struck by a new problem. "Can a skeleton like me rightly be called a corpse?"

"Sure as you're alive," the mortician hastened to assure him. "You rate a coffin as much as any other stiff. Of course, if you wear that beard I'll have to be careful it doesn't get tangled up in your ribs."

This time it was Mr. Bland who took a hasty gulp from his glass.

"Many wise and comforting things have been said about death," he observed, "but in spite of them all, Brown, we don't seem to like it."

"Prejudice," said Mr. Brown with an explosive snap of his fingers. "Sheer, unenlightened prejudice, my dear Bland. That's what we morticians are up against all the time. We can't sell the idea of death as a thing to do, such as going to Europe or Bermuda or spending the winter in glorious Southern California."

"I know," said Mr. Bland. "But you can come back from these places."

"Ah!" exclaimed Mr. Brown. "My boy, there I have you. People always come back from those places, as you say, but who ever heard of a corpse coming back? Obviously corpses are satisfied to stay where they are—they like it." He paused to replenish the glasses. "Oh, dear me, yes," he continued. "They love it. These people who object to dying haven't a leg to stand on. If more of them popped off in this town I'd go to Bermuda myself."

Too bemused by applejack to notice the inconsistency of this remark, Mr. Bland accepted it at its face value.

"We could both nip into a couple of coffins," he suggested, "and be shipped to Bermuda."

"There's an idea in that," agreed Brown. "The only trouble is, it's mighty hard to go swimming in a coffin."

"Couldn't we float about?" asked Mr. Bland. "With paddles?"

The mortician shook his head.

"No," he said, moodily. "We'd sink like a couple of rocks. And then we'd drown. That wouldn't be any fun."

"But I thought you wanted to be a corpse," said Mr. Bland.

"Not in Bermuda I don't," replied Mr. Brown. "A corpse should stick to his own country and not go barging about in foreign lands. And besides," added Brown, irrelevantly, "I'm very fond of swimming. A coffin makes it harder than a bathing suit or a pair of trunks."

"I guess you're right," Mr. Bland admitted. "Do you wear trunks or a bathing suit?"

"I usually wear trunks," replied Mr. Brown. "There's nothing like sunlight to keep a man alive."

"So do I," said Mr. Bland. "Would it be all right to be buried in a pair of trunks?"

"Sure it would," declared the mortician. "Just the beard and a pair of trunks. Then your wife could sell your best suit or save it for your successor."

"God!" exclaimed Mr. Bland. "You think of everything."

Mr. Brown laughed merrily at the discomfited skeleton.

"Must have my little joke," he said. "Don't mind me. Drink up and have a fresh one."

"That woman would sell my best suit," reflected Mr. Bland, relinquishing his glass. "If I know her at all, she'd sell everything I owned and make my successor buy his own clothes. She's a hard, violent woman, that wife of mine."

"Then she won't miss you so much," the mortician observed consolingly. "That's something for which to be thankful."

"But not much," replied Mr. Bland. "My dog will miss me a lot." He stopped and thought of his dog, remembering that enterprising beast for the first time since he had left the barber's shop. "My dog," he continued. "I had him at Tony's. Did you see anything of a dog called Busy?"

"If you mean," said Mr. Brown, "a square object consisting almost entirely of white wool, then your dog is well named. I caught one glimpse of him, and he was the busiest animal I ever saw."

"What was he busy doing?" asked Mr. Bland.

"He was busy getting out of the store," said Brown. "He had his tail between his legs, and there was a wild look about his eyes."

"Never thought that dog was able to get his tail between his legs," muttered Mr. Bland. "He must have been scared silly."

"He looked silly enough," said the mortician, "but that didn't interfere with his running after he'd taken a look at you."

"Before or after the beard?" asked Quintus Bland.

"Before," replied Mr. Brown. "He didn't wait for the beard."

"Perhaps it's just as well," said Mr. Bland, reflectively. "The shock might have proved too much for the poor animal. He might have gone mad or collapsed."

"I almost did myself," Mr. Brown admitted in a confidential voice. "Even now I don't know how you do it, but I'm not asking any questions. It's your own damn' business. However, there's no getting away from the fact that you should be buried either with or without that beard. And," concluded Mr. Brown with an air of deep satisfaction, "I'm the man to handle the job from soup to nuts. You're in luck. Model 1007-A is the ideal box for you, my boy. How would you like to try it?"

"Suppose you try it first," said Mr. Bland. "Then I'd be able to get some idea."

"Okay," agreed Mr. Brown, rising and putting his empty glass on the vacated chair. "Anything to please a customer. Here goes for a shot at good old 1007-A."

He took the jug from the coffin and with the help of Mr. Bland removed the lid. Then, stepping on a chair, he crawled into model 1007-A and sat in it with a pleased expression on his somewhat flushed face.

"My boy," he declared, "this is the first time I've ever tried a coffin on for a corpse, and let me tell you it's worth all the trouble. This is a magnificent coffin. I couldn't be better pleased if I were being buried in it myself."

Something of the mortician's enthusiasm was communicated to Mr. Bland.

"Lie down in the thing," he said, "and put on the beard. That will give me a good idea of how I will look to Lorna."

"Mark my words," replied the mortician, "you'll look so nice she'll never want to let you go."

"Oh, I've got to be buried," insisted Mr. Bland.

"Certainly you have," replied the other. "If only for my sake. Anyway, you deserve to be buried, and I'm going to see you get what you deserve."

"You're awfully good to me, Brown," said Quintus Bland. "One of the best friends I have, if not the best. Now just lie down in my coffin and try on this beard."

Mr. Brown took the proffered beard, adjusted it over his ears, then stretched himself in the coffin.

"How do I look?" he asked.

"If I look half as well," said Mr. Bland, peering down at his friend, "I'll be more than satisfied. You were made for that coffin, Brown, simply made for it. Climb out and let me have a go at good old 1007-A."

Charlie, Mr. Brown's assistant, had not witnessed the arrival of his employer and Mr. Bland. As he quietly came into the funeral parlour now, however, he was privileged to see them both, but in the dim light of the place he did not at first appreciate the full horror of the scene he was witnessing. Gradually, as his eyes grew accustomed to the modified light, it was borne in on him that he was seeing a strange corpse assisting his boss either in or out of a coffin. And as if to make the whole ghastly affair more difficult of comprehension, his boss had grown a long beard in a remarkably short time. This quaint reversal of procedure Charlie found strangely depressing. Had it not been for his loyalty to the establishment the young man would have withdrawn at once and in great disorder. However, there were a couple of customers waiting, and to lose a possible sale was to Charlie even worse than watching Mr. Brown being prematurely put in a coffin by one of his own corpses. Repressing a natural impulse to rush screaming from the room, Charlie stood in the shadows and awaited further developments. Those were not at all pleasant.

He saw the corpse divest himself of practically all his garments. He saw his newly bearded employer scramble from the coffin to the floor. He saw both his boss and what could be nothing other than a skeleton drink long and deep from a jug, and Charlie wished he could do the same. Finally he saw the skeleton crawl into the coffin where he properly belonged. Although to Charlie's way of thinking the situation in the funeral parlour was still far from normal, a step in the right direction had been taken when the shocking figure of the skeleton had disappeared into model 1007-A, the smartest coffin in the shop. He decided it was comparatively safe to make his mission known. Accordingly he addressed Mr. Brown in a voice that struck even Charlie as being far from normal.

"What sort of a corpse is that, Mr. Brown?" Charlie wanted to know.

Momentarily startled by this unexpected question, Mr. Brown took an extra swig from the bottle, then rallied with reassuring casualness.

"Charlie," he said thickly, but quite naturally, "damned if I know myself, but you need have no fear. Mr. Bland is one of the most entertaining corpses I've ever met, which of course isn't saying a lot. Moreover, he is going to purchase the most expensive coffin in the shop. Charlie, my boy, it is our business to provide corpses with coffins, not to inquire into their conduct."

"Yes, sir," replied Charlie. "What I wanted to say was that Mr. and Mrs. Wilks are out there. They want to select a coffin."

"Show them in, my boy, show them in," said Mr. Brown. "The more the merrier, say I. It must be for their uncle. I've had my eyes on the old fellow for some time. I'm delighted he made up his mind to shove off at last."

When Mr. and Mrs. Wilks were ushered into the room, both were visibly shocked by the beard which Mr. Brown had forgotten to remove.

"Why, Mr. Brown," exclaimed Mrs. Wilks, "I didn't know you had grown a beard."

"I haven't, Mrs. Wilks," replied the mortician. "This belongs to one of my most prominent corpses. I'm just wearing it around so that it won't get misplaced."

"What's that?" demanded Wilks, a powerful and aggressive creature. "What are you doing that for?"

"Well, Mr. Wilks," explained Mr. Brown with admirable sang-froid, "there's so much sorrow in this vale of tears that I thought it would be a good idea to make myself look a bit funny. Comic relief, you know."

"You don't see either of us laughing," rumbled Mr. Wilks. "You look anything but funny to me."

"Then I've failed," said the mortician, regret fully. "I'll remove the beard and return it to its rightful owner. He is right over there in his coffin. You must inspect the model. It would be just the thing for your husband or your uncle, Mrs. Wilks, although at the moment your husband doesn't need one. However, to-morrow or the next day——who can tell?"

Supporting himself cleverly between his two clients, he led them unresistingly over to Mr. Bland, lying completely relaxed in his coffin. As if the sight of skeleton dressed only in a pair of orange-striped shorts were not sufficiently arresting, Mr. Brown removed the beard from his own chin and deftly affixed it to that of Mr. Bland, who, as a result of the tickling hairs, sneezed loudly and began to giggle as drunkards occasionally do and always at the wrong time.

"I forgot to mention," said Mr. Brown, quickly, "that this is rather an unusual corpse. Do you think he looks better with or without beard? I'll leave the choice entirely to you."

Slowly Mrs. Wilks sank to the floor, dragging Mr. Brown with her. Finding it impossible to regain his feet without disclosing his condition, Mr. Brown decided to remain where he was.

"Keep your seat, Mrs. Wilks," he said cordially to the lady, patting the thick carpet beside him. "I'll give your husband a drink if you can persuade him to join us."

Rather shamefacedly Mr. Wilks emerged from a closet in which he had taken refuge. In his present state of nerves the man would have joined anything for the solace of a drink. He sank down by his wife and accepted a glass of applejack from Mr. Brown's hand.

"Pass me the jug," said a voice from the coffin, "or I'll snap down there and get it myself."

The three persons seated on the floor glanced up and beheld the bearded skull of Mr. Bland peering down at them over the edge of the coffin.

"Why don't you behave like a decent, self-respecting corpse?" Mr. Brown demanded in a bored voice. "Lie down like a good fellow and stop showing off in front of my customers. It's most annoying."

"Take a look at your customers now," chuckled the skull, one bony finger pointing.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilks, as if endeavouring to recapture the old, lost thrill of their nursery days, were crawling ponderously towards the door on their hands and knees. Upon seeing the efforts of his customers to escape, Mr. Brown emulated their example and began to crawl resolutely after them. Thus, like the Three Bears of happy memory, they lumbered over the carpet. The Rev. T. Whittier Watts, accompanied by a parishioner, stepped quietly into the room and stood regarding this playful little procession with cold, studious eyes, his long cold nose sniffing the while the applejack-tainted air. Finally the Rev. T. Whittier Watts, finding that his presence alone was not sufficient to arrest this exceedingly puerile performance, gave utterance to words in a voice as cold as the rest of his person.

"Mr. Brown," he said, "have you taken leave of your senses?"

"No," replied Brown, thickly, "but Wilks and his wife are about to take leave of my shop, and they haven't picked out their coffin yet. Stand in front of the door and don't let them pass."

"I'll do nothing of the sort," said heaven's gift to a wicked world. "Stand up, sir, and explain your extraordinary conduct."

Totally disregarding the minister, Mr. Brown threw his limbs into high gear and succeeded in decreasing the distance separating him from Mrs. Wilks. With a desperate lunge he threw himself forward and seized the fleeing lady by the leg. The lady uttered a shriek and fell on her face, her free leg waving wildly.

"He's got me by the leg," she managed to inform her husband. "And he's hanging on like grim death."

"Which one?" asked Mr. Wilks, accelerating his pace. "The corpse or Mr. Brown?"

"I don't know," gasped the woman. "I'm afraid to look back."

"So am I," admitted her husband. "But you'd better find out, because if it's the corpse he can have you, leg and all."

"Mrs. Wilks," cried the Rev. Watts, "your skirt is around your neck. Kindly cover your limbs."

"If my skirt is around my neck," declared the floundering woman, "there's lots more to be covered than my limbs."

"Madam, that will do," commanded the Rev. Watts. "This is no place for vulgarity."

"It's no place for man or corpse to be holding me by the leg, either," retorted Mrs. Wilks.

"Mr. Brown," said the minister in his sternest manner, "I order you to remove your hand from that woman's leg."

"Oh," exclaimed Mr. Wilks, "so it's Brown who's after my wife's leg, is it? That's different."

"I'm not after your wife's leg," Mr. Brown disclaimed. "I'm after your wife's business."

"What!" cried Mr. Wilks, twisting his head over one powerful shoulder. "What do you mean by my wife's business?"

"She hasn't selected her coffin yet," said Mr. Brown.

"I'll take any old coffin," moaned Mrs. Wilks, "if you'll only let me out of here."

"Will the three of you get up from the floor," demanded the Rev. Watts, "and stand erect like God-fearing human beings?"

"If he doesn't take his hand from my wife's leg," said Mr. Wilks in an ugly voice, "he'll never stand erect again."

Realising the utter futility of further effort, Mr. Brown got unsteadily to his feet, philosophically thanking heaven that the situation was not further complicated by the presence of that beard on his chin. He glanced nervously over his shoulder in the direction of model 1007-A. Quiet seemed to reign within the coffin. Mr. Brown fervently hoped that its demoralising inmate had fallen asleep.

"A pretty way for a mortician to act," Mrs. Wilks was saying indignantly to the Rev. Watts, who did not want to hear her. "Not content with holding my leg, he was actually going after my business, whatever that may be."

"I'm sure he meant no harm." said the Rev. Watts.

"I'm sure he meant no good," the lady retorted with a sniff of feminine scorn.

"What do you mean by that?" came a hollow voice from 1007-A.

All eyes were turned in that direction. Under the concerted scrutiny of so many spectators Mr. Bland snapped back in the coffin with such celerity that all the eyes blinked.

"What's that?" cried the Rev. Watts, his sallow face now paper white. "Am I going mad or did I see a terrible beard on an even more terrible face?"

"You must be going mad," lied Mr. Brown. "I looked and I didn't see a thing."

The minister turned to his companion for further confirmation of his suspicions, but that silent gentleman had beaten both Mr. and Mrs. Wilks to the door by at least three feet and was now increasing the distance as he sped through the outer shop.

Pressing a cold white hand wearily to his temples, the Rev. Watts strove to collect his scattered faculties.

"I have come," he said at last, "to view the remains."

"What remains?" asked Brown, stupidly.

"The remains of Mr. Jessup," said the minister. "You should know at least that much."

"Jessup," repeated the mortician. "Jessup. Don't seem to place that corpse, but I guess he's knocking about somewhere or other."

"Mr. Jessup knocking about?" cried the scandalised man of God. "Is that the way you treat the bodies entrusted to your keeping?"

"Sure," said the drunken mortician, growing a little tired of the Rev. Watts. "We give them the run of the house."

He was about to raise his voice in an impassioned cry for Charlie when a wilder cry than any he could utter issued from coffin 1007-A.

"Calling Mr. Jessup!" came the hollow voice of Mr. Bland, who had arrived at a facetious stage of inebriety. "Paging Mr. Jessup!"

"Charlie," roared Mr. Brown, endeavouring to drown out the sound of Bland's voice. "I say there, Charlie, my boy."

His boy, looking unusually pale and wan, appeared from the outer shop.

"What is it, Mr. Brown?" he asked.

"Ah, there you are, Charlie!" cried therelieved mortician. "What did we do with Jessup? The Rev. Watts here wants to view his remains, but damn me—begging your pardon, sir—if I can remember what we did with the jolly old corpse."

"We shipped a Jessup out to Chicago the first thing this morning," Charlie said, hoping to impress the Rev. Watts favourably by his alertness.

"Dear me!" exclaimed the Rev. Watts, now looking thoroughly startled. "What in the world did you do that for?"

"He insisted on seeing the World's Fair," sang out the coffin. "You know, the Century of Progress."

"Shouldn't Mr. Jessup's remains have gone to the World's Fair?" asked the confused mortician. "I don't mean that, either." Here Mr. Brown raised his voice significantly. "I hope someone," he said, "will learn to mind his own business." Then, addressing the dazed minister, once more he asked, "Shouldn't we have shipped Mr. Jessup to Chicago?"

"No, you shouldn't have shipped Mr. Jessup to Chicago," retorted the minister, who was rapidly losing both his temper and his dignity. "Mr. Jessup was to be buried right here at home. He has never been to Chicago."

"Then it's high time he went," asserted the coffin. "It will do the poor stiff a world of good."

"Who is the godless person speaking from that coffin?" demanded the Rev. Watts in a shaken voice.

"He's a new arrival," answered Mr. Brown. "Guess he hasn't got used to the place yet. He's always gabbing and chattering away just as if he were at a party."

Once more the Rev. Watts pressed a hand to his temple.

"There is something decidedly wrong here," he said in his coldest voice. "And there's something decidedly wrong with you, Mr. Brown. Also, there is something most irregular in the conduct of that coffin."

"Bah!" shrilled the coffin. "One thousand thunders! There's nothing wrong with either of us." The voice broke into a high-pitched, quavering song. "Pals, always pals," it wailed, then stopped abruptly. "It's too good for him," it concluded. "Far too good."

"Who's in that coffin?" demanded the Rev. Watts.

"I'm not sure," said Mr. Brown. "I'm not sure."

"No wonder you shipped poor Jessup to Chicago," the minister observed with a nasty smile. "Not only are you intoxicated yourself, but also you've managed in some way to get one of your inebriated friends into that coffin. I'm going to investigate this and then take steps to see that your licence is revoked, Mr. Brown."

Thus speaking, the minister squared his narrow shoulders and walked over to the coffin,

Interested Mr. Brown followed him. Charlie contented himself with waiting in the background. As the Rev. Watts peered down at the skeleton of Mr. Bland, partially concealed behind his formidable beard, one fleshless hand shot up and seized the minister by the lapel of his coat. With a sharp intake of breath the Rev. Watts leaped back and collapsed into a chair.

"Be calm," said the skeleton, sitting up in the coffin. "Pull yourself together. Mr. Brown, give the parson a drink."

Scarcely realising what he was doing, the Rev. Watts accepted a stiff shot of applejack, which he poured into his shaken and still quivering body.

"Have another?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Pour it out," gasped the Rev. Watts, wiping the tears from his eyes. "I'll take it when I stop burning. What is it, embalming fluid?"

Mr. Brown nodded.

"My own preparation," he said.

"Did it bring that skeleton back from hell?" the minister inquired.

"Listen to me, Watts," the skeleton began, furiously. "You've got away with that stuff about hell altogether too long. I've looked all over for such a place, and damn me if I can find it."

With a hand that trembled, the minister raised the glass to his lips and drained his second drink. Fortified by this, he addressed himself to the skeleton.

"I don't know who you are," he said. "I don't even know what you are, but would you mind telling me how you expect anyone to give you a Christian burial if you keep on talking and singing and popping out of your coffin like a veritable jack-in-the-box?"

"I'm going to bury myself," declared Mr. Bland. "I'm perfectly competent to do so, and it will be much less expensive."

"Perhaps that would be wiser after all," said the minister, holding his glass to Mr. Brown. "I'm sure I could never bury you if you kept interrupting the service and joining in the hymns. Would you mind telling me what you have found on the other side?"

"On the other side of what?" asked Mr. Bland.

"On the other side of the grave," replied the minister.

"I haven't even been buried yet," said Mr. Bland, "but after I'm once planted I'll come back and slip you the dope."

"Don't trouble yourself," the Rev. Watt said, hurriedly. "I'm not as anxious to know as all that." He turned to Mr. Brown. "This embalming fluid is excellent stuff. It's far too good for your patrons. Ha, ha! Must have my little quip even in the face of that god-forsaken-looking object. Just a dash this time."

"Then you don't think I'm drunk?" asked the mortician.

"Far from it," replied the minister. "You're mad. We're both mad. That creature in there cannot be real. It's a figment of our crazed imaginations. I hope the seizure passes, or we'll have to be put away. Oh, look!"

The figment of their imaginations was crawling out of its coffin. When it reached the floor it walked noiselessly to the jug and helped itself to a long drink, then calmly sat down in the other chair.

"Why," asked the Rev. Watts, "are you clad only in your drawers? That's no way to get buried. I can understand the drawers, of course, and I'm gratified you still have some sense of decency left."

"A man is born naked into this world," replied Mr. Bland. "I see no reason why he shouldn't leave it in much the same condition."

"Then why don't you shave that beard off?" the Rev. Watts asked on a note of drunken triumph. "I hope for your mother's sake you weren't born into the world with that."

"If you don't like my beard," said Mr. Bland, "I'll take the damn' thing off."

To the horror of the Rev. Watts the skeleton tugged at his beard and passed it to Mr. Brown, who playfully affixed it to his own chin and stood frowning down at the minister.

"I can't stand it," gasped that gentleman. "Already I've stood too much."

Rising feebly from his chair, he made a zigzag passage for the door. Here he halted and looked back.

"When a mortician and a skeleton start wearing one and the same beard," he said, "it's high time for a mere minister to make himself scarce."

"How about another drink?" asked Mr. Brown.

"Not while you have that beard on," said the Rev. Watts. "Take it off like a good chap and bring me just a dash. My legs are acting in the strangest manner."

A few minutes later Officer Donovan, who was still misdirecting traffic, was the recipient of another shock.

"Holy mackerel," he muttered to himself. "What's come over this burg, anyway? There goes the Rev. Watts, and he's crocked to the eyes."

Although crocked to the eyes, as Donovan had expressed it, the Rev. Watts was feeling better than he had felt in years.

"Want to know what they did with old Jessup?" he asked a passing stranger, clutching the man by the arm. "They shipped old Jessup to the World's Fair, remains and all. Extraordinary piece of carelessness. Has its amusing side, however. Old Jessup at the World's Fair —think of it! What a way to be."

Dismissing the man with a wave of his hand, the Rev. Watts continued on his way. As he lurched round the corner he lifted his hoarse voice in a plaintive song having to do with the continuous loyalty of pals. Those who were privileged to hear the singing of the Rev. Watts were more astonished than entertained.

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