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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, April 04, 1909, Image 28

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1909-04-04/ed-1/seq-28/

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Our Friend Jennison
By Hornor Cotes
■g by Frank Tenncy J.ihnson
D| ■ to know the Cubiculum A'lubr
Few do; but those privileged ones fin<l a cer
tain inn in the little quaint old clubhouse on
a narrow back street where no traffic comes an«l
scarcely a foot passenger goes by. but close to the
throbbing heart of the great city whose roar does not
penetrate this quiet precinct, though little more than
a stone's throw away.
I: you have the right of entrance and go there at
midday, you will find ten or a dozen men eated
round a long black table whose wooden primitive-
Cess is Dot hidden by any show of pery You will
sn<3 a poet or two, an artist or a novelist perhaps it
may be a doctor or a lawyer or a college professor. —
n« of letters, editors, dramatists, or newspaper men.
Perhaps all are regular frequenters of the place, ot
there may be a guest from a distance whose name is
familiar in print, who conies to the club's daily
"cun-iicin," louse an old word that the atmosphere
of th< iiouse suggests. Winstanley, who discovered
that monkeys have a Language and is now studying
its grammar in the African forest, used to come; and
poor old Bellisario the actor was constant when he
was playing in the city. There re some regular
standbys almost daily to be found there, and some
who come and go.
Jennison, the special correspondent, when at home,
coir.es several times a week: but at the outbreak of
war in the East some years ago of course he was off at
once. Life moves swiftly nowadays, and a man you
have not seen for .1 year you have almost forgotten:
so that while at first he was missed, the club >oon
grew accustomed to seeing some one else in the place
at table that belonged by genera! consent to the tall,
spare man with keen, deep set eyes and tnooth
shaven face, topped by the remains of what had once
beer; a good crop of brown hair.
f"\\i: day when he had been gone for about a year.
the usual set was at lunch, when the door opened
and in came a man whose bearing seemed miliar,
but whose flowing gray mustache and bushy white
hair nobody recognized. L'ntil he spoke, nobody
knew Jennison: but then there was a general outcry
of v.vf. ome. The poet, sitting at the head of the
table, whose up brushed mustaches — since he came
back from his summer in Germany — make him look
l&e the Kaiser, rose at once with the ever ready
courtesy that marks him and stretched out his hand,
exclaiming;
"Vi'hv, [ennison! What in the world have you
been doing to yourself?"
N'eUlebv. the young playwright, the top of whose
™*'d is like a "billiard ball, eying the newcomer
tarcnigh his spectacles with a professional stare, broke
£"• "Man alive! What kind of make-up is that?
Warded like a pard, and with a wig that doesn't Hi!"
Jennison laughed. \o wig at all. N'ettleby. It
*0n t come off unless you pull it out by the roots or
shave it. I've grown a new crop, that's all."
»ut you were bal man* And what little fringe
yoa haa was red, and now yon come here with a
thatch like Lear's!"
b- "■ UU n l !iUj'-'.! iU j'-'. h:iir ' had was brown, not red. ray
«~Vti t a " f M '•'""'■ °ut there in Manchuria; and
was iv afterward, which made it grow again; but it
came in as you see it now/;
c^.. "'' °" t " r across the tabk- looked interested A
an,i > lUrr . v " !ls shock sometimes bleaches the hair,
not d,.0V X , stl , ir lul:l ul: ' v - «ts growth if the follicles were
not csiw ,yed, 1 fancy. Hm. yes.V he murmured
foriVw n '> UA VV c listened to him' in the general outcry
tor the story of such a metamorphosis
fellr Üb "n sinilt '' 1 good bumoredly "Well, U you
war t > W i" Wait 1111 I've fed. 11l tell the tale if you
for iV ' tt u l'l'°«- J'y« «"t to account to my friends
iot these whiu- locks until they get used to them."
«c usual round the table talk flagged. Banmng.
We UemtA to Cam <M Our Pursuer,; bat They Came on 3 s Inexorably M Death."
. ■ ;■ ho will write asi ieni m
hheisana ithor
ity. or a novi !. or a • harming book ••! life in a foreign
asthehui him,looked
■ ; md then rubbed
! >id 1 r tell ' j n 1|1"
I Bui
ibald neighboi thi I
■ •,-,! \(1.\ (1. you
-„!<! : ■ ■ ■ .M man'" And Banning,
with unfailing good humor, smiled and topped
Everybody wa for Jennison, who v
litatively 1 began to talk
V' '<' know 1 ■ Kuropatkii
*■ ing my level best «o see whai was going on ii the
:,, througl giving 1 1
■ [ what little they 1 : in Liao
■ he battle, and at ler the retn ai
tkden made up my mind there was no eh
paper fcx I ••.■■• 0 the 1 irder < ■>r
respondent I rear!' and Th<- infernal cold
blooded politeness <>! the pre en ii", \\ h<> with pr<>
fuse apologies suppressed m\ despatche or altered
lil himself This wai in an) son
ilized way" (ii was thru still going on, you
paper man has a might) ; t
• >h"\\ I made up my mind the besi thing I
• hing else. ('oming home I
m d nn hair and
(cited the admiration oi N'ettleby here
[em ■ pped and drummed lightly on thi
■ of one hand, while hi on an
rutabk far aw a \ look, as if he v ■• >mc
i ih-- walls (A the dining m The
room ■ ■ ' and Jennisi >i \a\ firi >r a minut<
,blivi Then Hi rdi 1
fellow
bed a match to lighi a 1 igar, and .!■ 1
pulled himself up with a
You see,' be explaine
I've told 1 I got
or two things shakes me .. bit
benl 1 • ■ ci "' some pi< ■
burned into on I
shall never forgei that fellow's face, I fancy - and a
barely perceptible shudder gave a quick little down
ward'jerk ■ dd< r Then b< ;>! iced v
m
■ i !>.. railroad north was pretty well blocked up
carrying wounded and with military traffic, and it
„.,-,,!<■•! thi iy to strike the Siberian railway
on horsebai k, ai Harbin or some point ;i l>it west of
il 'ii big, hea y Englishman named Bick
erdyke, fifty yea:- old and nv><:r, who had been in
Mukden a week oi so and had got a pretty plain hint
that H would be healthier for him t" get back
be came from He represented a London paper and
rode a slashing big chestnut he called a Water Then
there was LefeVre, a French half-pay officer out for
The Journal <les Deoats," \>.h'> wanted t<» i!<. home
Both were a very good sort, and we three arranged to
5
• hei . •• 1! h a couple of < hine <■ coolie
„ , guide ■ md a couple ol pa< k p
rying 1 he luggagi
Wrl from my • ['■:.■.
the lt.iv of the morning when there rode up ai
nter a man and a closely veiled woman who
iai her horse well, was smartly gowned, and made a
striking figure. The fellow was a Russian and c i
dent ly a gentleman ; bui [ didn't like hi looks, wme
ind was inclined to demur when in excelleni
h he asked thai they might join our party as
Harbin It was a bit awkward taking two
;ers, and one of them a woman; bul the Rus
;ian mci all my objections with an c per
](■(■• ly i • »urte< hi bui hai dto shake i ■''
While we were chaffering about it, the girl pul up
. i! to arrange her headgear, showing one ol the
lovelie t faa I ■ • er «en Thai was too much for
re, >■>!!" joined sides with the Russian .1! once
and, as Bickerdyke never said a word, bul „1! there
looking bored, as usual, the thing seemed up to me,
and I had t-> give in 1 I houghi boi h <•! the si ranger
looked back once or twice after we started, » 11 h whai
struck me as an air of apprehen ion; bui nobody was
ing us, and ii was none of my business anyhow
whether thi ■•■ two were skipping out, or ivhv
"Wegol on pretty smartly, and made fifty miles
day, putting up for the nighi .1! a Man
in illage where we managed t<> s^ct accommo
dations for man and beasi , and started on .tt daylight
the nexl morning withoul anything having hap
;,.-:,,-! It, fact, everything weni smoothly until
about noon the fifth .'lav out, perhaps forty miles
I larbin.
I he road was a bil lonely al< >ng this |>art , and we
had noi pa- <.l any Russian troops since morning;
when, .i^ we came to the cresi of a hill, ■ >ne of the
coolie ■ rode up ! ■ > me and pointed to a body of h< >rse
men awaj ofl in the plain to the northeast. "Well,
what " ; them?' I asked The fellow was plainly un
easy, and said he thought 1 hey were bandits, a Ru;
sian troops would not be likely to be coming from
thai direction It seemed pretty far north for a gang
but we had heard some rumor ■•(
them a 1 the place we had lasi st< ipped overnighi . and
it did not seem impossible One can take little for
.m mted oui there Bickerdyke whipped oui his
binoi ulars and studied these strangers carefully for a
iVu minute
What do you make of them?' asked l.et< re
'There are a.boul a score altogether, ' said Bicker
dyke, 'and they don'l look like regular troops. Hah!
They've seen us and changed direction t<> gel in on
the road ahead Russians would hardly boi her aboul
tint. 1 fancy they arc Chinese outlaws '
I SUGGESTED that we should run for it li we
* were spry, we ought to slip past before they could
reach the road ahead of us; but we had no time to
lose. Just then there was an exclamation from the
Russian, and he pointed to the road behind Per
haps a couple hi miles back we could sec a 1

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