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Newspaper Page Text
elided to visit .his wrath pn Inoffen
, "Such a husband," he said. "You
should have '-tayed with your wife
tonight, even if you lost your posi
tion by doing so. Instead, you are
skipping about like a monkey and
currying favor with the rich. Have
some spirit; imitate me ben you fill
a glass. Do not look as if the act
were a pleasure, but' a condescen
sion."" ' Odeskalki, for all his scowling,
kept a ready eye on opportunity and
had already" drunk enough cham
pagne out of partially emptied bottles
to make his blood boil. Elver since
the afternoon when he had seen
Olenka for the first time, he had been
bjtter with fate. Per girlishness, in
nocence and beauty had exerted a
powerful attraction on the man, and
as the champagne mounted, to his
head he began to imagine scenes In
which he figured as her lover Instead
of his friend. "Only let this silly
Openta have a care!" he thought.
A screen of leather In one corner
shielded from view a table covered
with jemoves and a great tub con
taining ice and champagne. Several
times during the dinner ' OdeskalW
and Openta found themselves alone
behind this screen. On one occasion
Odeskalki filled two glasses with
champagne and said:
"Quick, man to Olenka!"
"Curse you," said Odeskalki in a
fierce whisper. "I will not be friends
with a man who will not drink to bis
Openta had a weak head, and that
one glass stimulated him wonderful
ly. It was not difllcult for Odeskalki
to persuade him to take another.
The third glass Openta drank at
his own instigation.
A few minutes later Openta
dropped an armful of plates, and the
other waiters cursed him.
Champagne had made its appear
ance with the oysters. Signs - of
drunkenness were now beginning to'.
be evident among the diners. )The
waiters were receiving considerable
presents of money and secret direc
tions to keep particular glasses filled.
Men left their places -and carried
their chairs to more alluring neigh
borhoods. Little groups surrounded
the humorists and roared with laugh
ter whenever these spoke. Men whom
the champagne affected 'to seriousness-drew
aside In pairs, and with
heads nodding close together, emp
'tled their hearts of matters which for
the moment seemed of paramount
importance. "Sometimes thejr sniffed
and shed tears.
John Tpmbs snatched a coffee-pot
'from a waiter and poured Its con
tents on the floor. ' Openta, from
whose hands the coffee-pot had been
snatched, giggled. He -was also
The dinner began to break up. The"
young gentlemen left the room by
twos and threes. Downstairs in the
main hall of the restaurant there was
a great putting on of hats and coats;
many of the latter were lined with
expensive fur. Electric hansoms re
ceived drunken cargoes on more
pleasure bent. And, like the geese in
"One flew east and one flew west,
And one flew-over the cuckoo's nest"
But the future" groom came back
to the dining-room. He was a big
man and, with hia immense fur-lined
coat and high silk hat, looked posi
tively mountainous; His face was red
and Bhinywlth'hard drinking, but he
was not drunk.
"Where's the other waiter?' he
said, In a lotfd, assured voice. "I've
got something .for all of you."
A swinging door was pushed open,
and voices began to call for Openta
to come back.
Openta, very'unsteady on his feet
and Bure of only one thing .that he
wanted to go home had just reach
ed the'top of a flight -of stairs. Hear
ing his name tailed, he turned, slip-'
ped and fell to the bottom of. the
stairs. - - '
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