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TIIE ARIZONA REPUBLICAN, SUNDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 29, 1908.
9 A Comedy for BY GEORGE R. CHESTER Two X'r. George (Randolph Chester is one of the younger authors whose phenomenal rise and growth in the magazine and book publishing world are still the subject of almost incredulous comment. Five years ago Mr. Chester's name was com paratively unknown. To-day every magazine that can get a story from Mr. Chester is to be congratulated. One of M r. Chester's most popu lar characters is the "Manicure Girl." She is a well defined type and is drawn with that human touch which makes Mr. Cluster's characters, r.o matter who they are, so thoroughly likable. Mr. Chester is one of the authors who keep well away from the rush of Metropolitan activity. His home is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he spends most of his time in his big studio workshop under a tremen dous pressure of contracts with books and magazines. Copjright I jOS by Thomcj II. MiKce. thjumb nail that eet him jumping all over. That Jab was for the 'little dear. t. '' "Wouldn't you think he'd guess his line had been disconnected after that? He didn't. He was punc ture proof, and when he got upto go he leaned over the table to me and said: " 'What do you think of a nice evening at the fbeatre to-night, and maybe a bird and a bottle that this was an extra special Her of the very best brand, the choice and pick of the whole Her flock eo far as he was concerned. " 'It won't take me but a little bit to get through, with you,' I said, keeping my smile for In the ele vator, f t " No, I can wait," he Insisted. 'I'd rather wait. To tell you the truth, I want to see you after you come f a back down,' and he stammered and stuttered like a after! int' T .Vlnnuil ' T III. A v.. JUUS UUU UUIUK SIB WHO B UrBl SBOPP1QK hut if vow hnntlne some nonr Kiit hvnir .nrkm. clerks. Finally he blurted out: girl f fatal beauty to share It you'd better hurry, f " for the hour is growing late. For me, not I! I'm going to spend this evening with my own grand- Would you mind taking a little note up there for me?' a note: i saia, putting on my toppiest air, don't think the house would permit it Tou can. to the bath room for first aid to the weepers, scared purple, for fear her eyes would show red at lunch. "By that time your Aunt Bessy had her mind made up good and plenty what to do. " "This Mr. Hardy," I guessed, putting a dab of rogue on the prettiest little finger nail I ever saw, If he's a young man with two shoulders and,several white teeth, I think he's dawn In the barber shop right this minute, spoiling his flngsr nails waiting till I come back. See if his name's an this,' and I - slipped her the note. 1 i& "SaT- sae 111 D Uke a Belasco sunrise! m -C "'Id! didn't know he was here,' she said, but it father.' . Si , ' t -f "I hadn't supposed it could be done, but the red began to creep under his make-up, and then I felt can a De.IDoy irom nere. ana ne u tate up." wasn't to me she said it. and she just fairly ate that y - - - " note witnout salt or pepper. the redder he got the more I liked him. -f -you may tell Mr. Hardy that I cannot write a UJt- "'Yon ep It's this war.' Ti eTnlalnMl- Ther' 'rnf nnn, ..h . , a little bit sorry. It's wrong to hit a cripple anyhow. J, " ' ' ' ' uul w l"eb" Benu up DIS w. juUe vuo ui uiuiuer ana me ngnt alter luncheon. Ill get the note without the older one seeing it.' Then see that he is received. -.-.. tiA mt as TaA T r-tOP'O n fr foal Aat fnntrirl wa t . him. He readied In his pocket and pulled out a 4T roll of bills big enough 10 stuff a Teddy bear. j0m "Y OU don't have to ring 'em to tell all the counterfeits," observed the" Hotel Belveigh manicure girl, as she opened a bundle of emery paper. Only last week I had one In here that was so - rank an imitation you'd think he sit up nights to make fun of himself; anyway, you'd be gin to understand how Cas sie Cbadwick took up collec- lections. He was old ', enough to have fed Methuselah his fennel tea, but - the help an old man can get from ugliness, doctors and tailors, that ought to have been taxidermists. : ssy. The minute I caught sight of that saucy lit l,tJe freshman hat and the college-cut clothes, I knew the whole play berore the curtain went up, and I wouldn't look in Billy's direction. He was already joshing more than was good for him.' Tou know ; Billy. He's the boss barber and wants to buy me A nlafn pinv anil a niflnn.nl9Vop knt TStllv qv... . . o L " f J 1 J Isn't a man of his word. Hepromised he'd do any. thing in the world for me. and renewed on the only request I made5 He wouldn't change his face. "Of course the first thing Mr. Neverdle did when " he kittened down into my chair was to squeeze my nana, mat was a temDie shock to me, I guess, since it only happened from nine to twenty times a day, and I hardly knew what to do only just how to stop it. 1 shifted bis hands into and out of the ninety-eight- cent near-cut glass bowl so often he fell to it that the programme had. been changed without notice, and then he took the number. Billy snickered out loud and I shot a glance at him that ought to have shrunk him to the size of a one-lunged peanut: but it didn't. He only swelled up and v.atched for more. He's a regular put-up, Billy is, anl of course he knew there was more coming. 'These past-due flirty boys get so callous to turn downs that nothing short of a brick makes a dent' in them, and pretty soon I saw him watching my hair and my eyes, and I got ready. t " 'Do you know,' said he, "you look exactly like " llaxine Elliott?' -t6" 4&. J. ' " 'Of course I know It,' I handed him back. 'Max- ' ine comes in here nearly every day and asks me to quit it, but I won't.' -4i8W5' "That made him pause for the crossing, anyhow, - ; and I got three minutes farther on the way. " 'What a lonesome city this is!' he pit in next, . and I knew it was so use trying to save bite a chill. and as he went out I sunshined at him just so I wouldn't feel so much like a grouch myself. I thought I could take a chance on that much with out putting out the 'Welcome' mat, but say! when I die, put on my tombstone, will you, 'She was a good gy-url but she couldn't learn.' .. 4? "That very evening as I passed out through the parlors, I saw my Methuselah's uncle, about five years younger in his silk tile and open-faced vest, talking to a real toppy mother and daughter who wore enough happy harness to stock a new Tiffany's. The younnger one was such a picture that I swung up close to see if it was hand painted or only a chromo, but that's once I had to send a wireless apology, for her complexion was put on from the Inside and would stand scrubbing. She looked per fectly happy except for one thing; all she wanted was something interesting to happen. She was real willing to go right away from there to find It, too, but the other two had their chins on pivots and smiled continuously without pain. 'Anyhow, I thought, 'Father Time is now back in his own pre cinct and they'll take care of him if he gets to wan dering In his mind.' to me, and my, but I was the giddy young thing! It only cost me two glances and another smile to have a theatre invitation for that night and at five o'clock I hiked home and put on all my kill-'em-deads from the plumes down. When Uncle Antique saw me in the uniform I felt sorry for his respectable family, but I will say he knew bow to do the honors, and the way he tucked me into my seat you'd have thought I was the Queen of Sheba. "I enjoyed the show while I was there, too everything in this world looks so good to me now adays that I could almost enjoy the toothache but just before the get-busy chorus at the end I got real peevish and made him leave. Of course th next move was the bird and the bottle, and without letting htm know that I was doing the driving, I guided him right across to Churley's. The head rusher over there is one of my best trained pets, and as we went inside I dropped behind and spoke to him. -The next morning, bright and earlyr - before I even had my wraps off, who should come prancing into the barber shop but my Mr. Sear-and-yellow to have his face ironed, and with a nerve tall enough to make the Singer Building look like a hitching post he lifted the roof off his toupee to me and smiled as pleasantly as a mummy that had died dippy. I escaped him when he went out, though, because I was busy with one of the worst kind a merchant from Darkest Indiana who had come to New York to buy last year's latest styles, and who was explaining how much he missed his wife so I would go to the theatre with him and let him tell me about her. . " 'Smother that, young man, I said. 'Once in a while I like to do a personal favor just to jolly my- self along that me heart's in the right place. I tell you what you do. You scratch off your note and give it to me and I'll think about what I ought to ' do on the way up. I'll be gone from three-quarters , of an hour to an hour. Will you be here?' J "Would he! If I felt as certain of going to heav- ' en as I was that this young man would be right there when I got back, I'd never worry about my conduct as long as I live. "My! I do love to see a plot thicken, and when I got up to two-o-two you couldn't scratch this one with an installment solitaire; for there was the girl with the complexion that wouldn't come off, and she was prettier in a kimono than she had been tn her grand opera stunners! Hy mother was there, too, and when I came in they were in a gab-rest up to their pompadours, and blowing and pawing for shore so hard they never noticed me but went right on. Anyhow, you're supposed to wear blinkers and ear cotton around a hotel, so I went dead and got busy. The girl stopped long enough to give me a real human smile as she gave me her nails to do, and then she said: 3 V 'But mother, just think! Mr. Passey is older than father would have been at this time!" r " 'Mr. Passay is young in everything but years,' her mother came back, in that dead level tone of voioe the hard-hearted father uses In the Bowery thrillers. 'He Is reaping the reward of his spen did preservation, of a clean, Christian life. He is a i:-'.' ta-i T 1 i.u'M' r a. F:i.vvv. t 1 ,1 1 aB? ?iH w V net -.-k gentleman, he is wealtbr. and can rive tou social ec'Ifi3fc' position. Why, child, he Is the leading member of "It helped some that afternoon to have a real one drop In. He was a tall, living-picture built young man, and looked so solid he could have had his clothes pressed right on him without hurting. His hands were not a bit pretty; they were better than that; they were good to look at. They were a man's hands, big and strong and brown, but well shaped enough, too; the kind that can hold a high you could stand that for a few years." . .. -you are an ungrateful the famous Passay family, first cousin to the Van dercashes, connected by marriage with the Whiten t ers. He's devoted to you, and all his daughters s are grown up and out of the way." f jfiil "Yes, and they'd all take great pleasure In call-in g me mother!" objected the girl. 'They wouldn't dare show their faces near yours r THE TABLEAU WAS PEACHE3 AND CREAM TO THEM. " 'You'll win," I told her. 'I've got a bet on you. "When I told young Hardy the stunt that was cut out for him be turned the color of his collar and got perfectly limp. " 'Cheer up,' I said. 'The returns are not all In yet, and If there's any way your Aunt Bessie can help stuff the ballot boxes, all her other engage ments are off." "That night he was waiting to walk out to the car with me, and beaming like a custard p'e. He simply had to recite it all to somebody, and I was the only audience he could nail. " 'I saw her,' he said, 'and I'm to see her once " 'Frank,' I ordered, . get us two tables next to the wall and when there's a certain party of three comes In a looking young couple and an old lady 111 give you the nod and you give thom the oth er table.' "Frank was en In a minute. We took the far-table and I man aged so grandpa would have his back to tho other one. Say! I munt be awful slow to learn, for I'd rather have foam than bub bles any day; but this time it wes me for the chlMy quart 1 sipped m'.no slowly, though, and by touching glass es ever so oricn, 1 coax ed graadpa lo be the real human sponge. When my special au dience came in the sec ond qusrt was frosting the diver rail, while stepper down to an even trot through ten miles of f 1 Fit t it - yL -t-. ' V A .V7 ', ,' "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF A NICE EVENING AT THE THEATRE ?" SAID MR. NEVERDIE. s child. ' You'd fireworks. It was a nice, firm, warm hand,' but it didn't know I held it, and that Interested me right away. You know, I suppose I'm like other girl3. It makes me mad if they do, and I'm disappointed If they don't He just sat as quiet as a half dozen raw and looked a hole In my pompaduor till Billy bjung up the receiver cf the telephone and came over w-j wot-jao't be satisfied uota be got frow stiff. '-Vil 10 me wun- , -wilt did vo.iin.T rm ,'f ,!,,. r 3t "'Two-o-two wants you as eoon as you can come." ksked. - 9jnJ' jrroia - be began, and then ha stopped. - He - wasn't so slow after all. He'd been going to ask 'from whom,' but he'd had a flash of second sight rad knew I'd hint that It was either his guardian I never in my life saw anybody light up the way that young fellow did. All at once he looked like - Coney on opening night. w S " 'Two hundred and two!' he said. - 'Go right up to her. Don't mind me. I can wait.' ' his keeper. "V I glanced np at him and he looked awfully good to your Aunt Bes&ie. His face had turned little 7 "'What a cross little dear you are!' be said, and- bit pink and bis eyes had lost that far-away look patted my hand. JtCaiSttUi''r in a luirry. " 'Just see what I have to put up with, though,' , 1 explained, and then I jabbed him one under the r "Her! Of course it was a Her In two-o-two! But from the way this young fellow acted I could tell Grace!' walled the mother. rather have that young adventurer that I forbade to bother us any more. You have no proper pride at all.' 'Adventurer!' said Grace, and I liked the' way her eyes snapped. "Mr. Hardy has a fifty-thousacd dollar ranch, and a nice little house in a -nice little city nearby, and money in the bank. And he made it all him self. His social position is good enough for me. Its better itan father's was when you married.' ' "Well, the old lady began to drip at the eyes right away. Her daughter was cngrateful again. " 'That'i the trouble," said the girl. 'He'd never die. He's proved that already. I won't have him, -mother, and that settles It!' 'You're an ungrateful child, Grace!' wailed the mother. 'You'd rather hav that younc adventurer that I forbade to bother us any more. You have no proper pride at all.' - "'Adventurer!' said Grace, and I liked the way her eyes snapped. 'Mr. Hardy has a fifty-thousand dollar ranch, and a nice little house In a nice little city aearby, and money in the bank. And he made -it all himself. His social position Is good enough for me. It's better than father's was when you -married.' "Well, the old lady began to drip at the eyes right away. Her daughter was ungrateful again. She had no proper pride again. She was forget ting a solemn obligation. Her father on his very death-bed had told Grace to mind her mother, and that's what I was given to understand, and rather plainly. There's no chance for me.' " 'Don't tare up your ticket before the bell rings," I told him. 'Everything comes out in the wash, for while's there life there's soap. When does this eying interview come off?' " 'To-morrow night,' he said, 'I'm to take them to the theatre.' "That's, when I decided to wedge In. I can't keep out of it. It all comes from my East Side bringing up, where, whenever there wa3 a midnight fight, every man In the block yelled out of the win dow for them to wait till he got his shoes on. If there was anything doing we all wanted to be in It, and I suppose I'll be tickled to death with my own funeral, just because I'll be there and have tne best part In the cast. I had a fine plot, standing right where 1 was, too. 1 get 'em often that way. Ain't I the little Bessie Bright? Tell you what you do I said. 'Aftfr the thea tre you bring your crowd over to Churley's tor a Mte of supper and I'll get up a little play for you that'll beat any show on Broadway. Don't get there to quick. Mosey out of the theatre slow, and be sure your the last ones out. Go back to your seat for something to kill more time. When you get In to Churley's I'll 'have a table saved for you. That's all you have to do except sit with your back to me." "Of course he was crazy to know what was com ing off, but I wouldn't tell blm. I wasn't quit sure myself, yet, but the next morning I was, for my passe Mr. Passay waltzes In as usual to have his wrinkles pressed out, and the smile I gave him would have melted this whetstone brick Ice cream that they put up for picnics. H was so tickled I thought he would do a headsplu, and by the way Billy frowned I knew I'd done a perfectly scrump tious job on grandpa. x After he had his morning what was she doing now? And the old lady retired face put on of course he came toddling right over grandpa was 0T1I7 tTrenty-Sva, and getting younger every second. From where I sa I could keep my eye on the door, and as Fra-.iX started back with Mr. Hardy and Grace and Ma he caught my nod. I kept grandpa busy just then to that he never turn ed around, but they saw us. Some, they did! Tho two young ones were wiso In a second, and the tab leau was peaches and cream to thera; but Mother had the shock of her life, for jurt as Frank seated her at the end or the table where the whole ptnto mlne was in full view, I had grandpa pavrlag for my hand and cackling, plenty loud enough for Mother to hear, that I was positively the ouly origi nal package of genuine joy. , "Of course Mother lorgnetted mo for keeps, and If there was a basting thread about mo that hadn't been pulled out, she saw through to it. If I'd been Innocent I'd have shriveled np "under that search light, but I wasn't. I was perfectly wicked and proud of it, and having the time of my life. So was grandpa. I let htm wabble on and on, getting farther and farther away from an alibi all the time with Mr. Hardy and his Grace, all but stuffing napkins !nto their mouths to keep from screamnig. G.-ncdpa got more kittenish every minute. He didn't notice any more whether I was drinking or not, nd every ! glass of the foolish-water he took, made tho lights turn rosier, until at last he got too confectionery'; and then I a-rose in o-ffended dignity. " 'Sir.' said I, 'with you at your age I thought I. should be sufficiently chaperoned, but as It is I must go home alone! Good evening.' "I paused just at tho end of the other table to say that 'Good evening,' and of .course the long lost old man turned ardund to look at me. Instead, he round himself looking square into the blazing : eyes of Mother, and the curtain was down. The. last I saw as Frank sent our waiter over to him with; the check, was grandpa huddled in his chair, blink ing his eyes, and trying to figure out what had hit him. I "Maybe they wasn't the grateful ones, yonnfc Hardy and his girl. They made me come to the wedding, and Mother was quite chocolate creams; She recognized me as the poor embarrassed girl at Churley's, but not as the manicure girl of the Bel veigh, and she seemed quite anxious about my family. , ( "Williams?" she repeated, as she shook my hand. Williams? Are you by any chance connected with the Wlllfamses of Narragansett?" " 'No; the Williamses of Park Row, I said, and the dear old soul was perfectly satisfied. She didn't know New York nor the names on the lamp . posts down Bowery way and Park Row sounded real aristocratic to her, I guess."