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says Jim, displaying a viaL This was
given, to me by Prof. MacStart,' he
says, 'and it's going to solve our
problem. Let's go ro Marian's bouse
and we'll all talk it over together.'
"When we got there Marian wel
comed us like kings. 'Have you de;
cided which of you it's to be?' she
asks. 'I'm sort of getting tired of
waiting and. it's only fair to tell you
that there's a third party just butted
in. Not that I care for him as I do
you boys, but. I can't wait for you
" 'That's all right,' says Jim. 'My
friend, Perfesser MacStart has just
agreed tohelp us out of our. difficul
ties. It s a duel,' he says.
" 'Not for me,' says L 'I've fought
you enough duels, Jim, and you know
we're so evenly matched that neither
of us could best the other, not even
in a spelling bee.'
" 'This is different,' says Jim. 'I
have here a vial. It contains two
doses of stuff. Inside one of these
doses is a single drop of Perfesser
MacStart's famous mixture for turn
ing white people black.'
" 'I never heard of such a, thing,'
says Marian. 'Who wants to turn
white people black?'
"'That's just the point; nobody
does usually,' says Jim. 'However,
this is a case in point This single
drop of Perfesser MacStart's famous
mixture won't mix. It's just a drop,
floating in the center of the bottle.
It can't be seen, heard7 smelled,
touched or tasted. Now, if we divide
the contents of this here vial, "one-of
us must get the drop and one won't
It can't be divided. It's an original
'MT'tyi hoHTmincr n crof rrn -rtrtTrr
says L 'The winner is the one what
turns black and he gets Miss Marian.'
" 'Never!' screamed Marian. Tm
going to marry the loser. No black
fellows for mine.'
" TheNwinner is the loser,' explains
Jim Burley. 'In six to eight hours
the winning loser, what was white,
turns completely black, for keeps. 1
The loser is the winner. He marries
" 'Not before I've had time to see
he doesn't turn black, too,' says
" 'He won't,' says Jim, patient
like . 'You see, he wont swallow the
drop. And he began to uncork the
vial. 'Are you ready, -Theodore?' he
" 'Entirely so,' says I. You see, I
loved the girl well enough to be will
ing to turn black if I couldn't have
" 'Then come on,' says Jim pour
ing out the stuff into two glasses.
How they ' happened to be there
ought to have puzzled me at the time,
but it didn't. 'I think I've divided
fair,' "said Jim, 'and you can take
whichever glass you want.'
" Til fake the one nearest you,
says I. 'Here's health, anyhow.'
And so we drank. You won't make
it another dollar, gentlemen? All
right; just as you please, of course.
"We went home. All that night I
kept feeling myself to see if I was
black," but I felt just the same. I
guessed I'd won then and went to
sleep peaceful. t When I woke in the
morning I went over to my shaving
mirror. I was as black as the ace of
spades, gentlemen. And it -wouldn't
"Well, sir, you can guess how I
felt Jim Burley had got her for sure.
What riled me more than anything
else was my having took the glass
nearest him. If I'd taken the other
one I'd have been white instead of
black. Now I was black instead of
white. I tell you, gentlemen, it made
me sick.- '
"I thought of all the trouble I had
had, geting my face bunged up by
Jim, and then drilled full of holes
and falling 900 feet out pt a blazing
balloon, just as if I'd been a movie
actor instead of an ordinary, decent,
self-respecting citizen, and it got me
"I had a try at alcohol and; brandy
and turpentine, but it seemed to'have.