A general stir of interest and a coming close together of heads. "What! Izzy!" "Sure, Izzy." "Well!" "He's just landed the hat-check privilege at the St Aurea!" "You don't say!" "He told me so last night and promised me the sunburst. He was," admitted the willowy girl regretfully, "a good bit tanked at the time, but I guess he'll make good."
He wore his big black hat that had cost him a hundred dollars including the hat-check tips at the Waldorf and his pistol was always at his hip. Every step of their case was carefully framed up in the long councils that took place, but at the end Rimrock lost his nerve. For the first time in his life, and with all eyes upon him, he weakened and lowered his proud head. He had a hunch he would lose.
When a burglar marries a hat-check girl, their offspring goes into the theatrical business automatically, and he can't shake off the early teaching which he imbibed at his father's knee. But morals . . ." Wally broke off to allow the waiter to place a fried sole before him. Waiters always select the moment when we are talking our best to intrude themselves.
And instead of the customary picture of shivering subjects of George III held up by a highwayman on Hampstead Heath, why not a deftly delineated sketch of victims in a steam-heated lobby submitting to the plunder of the hat-check bandit? Come, let us be honest! The romance of to-day is as good as any!
Yes, even the manicure girls in the barber shop give him the out-and-out sneer and the hat-check girls and even the floor girls the chambermaids all of whom he has tried to date up they all respond with an identical raspberry to his invitations. But he asks for translation this determined little caricature of the hotel lobby.
A few minutes later, a hat-check boy, untipped for the first time in his predatory career, was staring at Jimmy with equal intensity, but with far different feelings. Speechless concern was limned on his young face.
And, when I showed him I was upset, all he said was that he was a pitcher and not a hatstand!" Archie was paralysed. He paid no attention to the hat-check boy, who was trying to induce him to accept treasure-trove to the amount of forty-five cents. His whole being was concentrated on this frightful tragedy which had burst upon him like a tidal wave. No possible room for doubt remained.
The commissionaire stared after him as intently as the waiter and the hat-check boy. He had sometimes known Mr. Crocker like this after supper, but never before during the luncheon hour. Jimmy made his way to his club in Northumberland Avenue. For perhaps half an hour he sat in a condition of coma in the smoking-room; then, his mind made up, he went to one of the writing-tables.
Yet their victory is brief and fallacious, for if hours spin too fast by night they will move grindingly on the axle the next morning. None of us can beat you in the end. Even the hat-check boy grows old, becomes gray and dies at last babbling of greenbacks. To my own taste, old Time, it is more agreeable to make this evening a season of gruesome brooding.
In her white linen dress and apron and white cap, her little pink face looked to Petticoat's appraising glance like a postage stamp on an expanse of white linen envelope. Little did he think, as he took his custard pie that he was about to put his foot in it. Yet he did. "May I see you again sometime?" he said, ignoring the hat-check girl's ogling and the iceman's cold stare.