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Whenever Plooie saw the drabbled little worker busy on a doorstep, he would cross over and open the conversation according to an invariable formula. "Annie oombrella for mend? Annie oombrella?" Thereby the little Swiss became known as, and ever will be called locally, "Annie Oombrella." Like most close-knit, centripetal communities, we have a fatal penchant for nicknames in Our Square.

The evil came to a head the week after David and Jonathan broke off all relations. Ordinarily, had Plooie chased a small boy who had tipped a barrel down his basement steps, nothing would have come of it.

And you, Madame, always. So I have come to thank you." "You are interested in Plooie?" I asked. "Plooie?" he repeated doubtfully. I explained to him and he laughed gently. "Profoundly interested," he said. "I have here one of his finest umbrellas which his good wife presented to me. There was also a lady of whom he speaks, a grande dame, of very great authority."

As for the old one, would that some good fairy, possessed of the pigment and secret of perishable youth, might come down and paint his nose green! Whenever Plooie went shuffling by my bench, I used to think of an old and melancholy song that my grandfather sang: "And his skin was so thin You could almost see his bones As he ran, hobble hobble hobble Over the stones."

The Bonnie Lassie told me of it, pausing at my bench with a little furrow between her bright eyes. "Dominie, you know Emile Garin pretty well?" "Not at all," I replied, failing to identify the rickety Plooie by his rightful name. "Of course you do! Never a morning but he stops at your bench and asks if you have an umbrella to mend." "I never have. What of him?" "Have you any influence with him?"

On the day of the great exodus, Plooie put in some extra hours. He was in no danger from his youthful persecutors, because they had all gone up to line Fifth Avenue and help cheer the visiting King of the Belgians. So had such of the rest of Our Square as were not at work. The place was practically deserted.

With a few racial exceptions, Our Square was vehemently pro-Ally. In spirit we fought with valiant France and prayed for heroic Belgium. What a Godspeed we gave to the few sons of Gaul who, in those early days, left us to fight the good fight! How sourly we looked upon Plooie continuing his peaceful rounds.

Plooie was hustled upon it. He fell off. They jammed him back again. He clung, wide-eyed, white-faced, and silent. The mob, for it was that now, bore him with jeers and jokes and ribaldry along the edge of the park. When they came within my ken he was riding high, and the mob was being augmented momentarily from every quarter. I looked about for Terry the Cop. But Terry was elsewhere.

Those of us affluent enough to maintain such non-essentials patch them ourselves until they are beyond reclamation. Why Plooie did not starve is one of the mysteries of Our Square, though by no means the only one of its kind. I have a notion that the Bonnie Lassie, to whom any variety of want or helplessness is its own sufficient recommendation, drummed up trade for him among her uptown friends.

The hospitals are saved. It is a glorious thing to have driven a dump-cart for one's country so." "But what became of our Plooie?" besought the Bonnie Lassie. The big man spread his arms in a wide, Gallic gesture. "They looked for him everywhere. No sign. But by and by some one saw a quite large piece of mud on the hospital roof begin to wriggle. The little Garin was that large piece of mud.

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