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PAGE 3

Buried Bones
by [?]

“Burns?” suggested Philo Gubb.

“Holmes,” said Chi Foxy, “Shermlock Holmes. Me and him pulled off all them big jobs you maybe have read about in the papers.”

He pronounced the name of the celebrated detective of fiction “Shermlock Hol-lums.”

“Oh, yes,” said the tramp, “me and Shermlock is great chums. And me and the kid!”

“To what kid do you refer to?” asked Philo Gubb.

“Why, my old side partner’s little son, Shermlock Hollums the Twoth,” said Chi Foxy without a blink. “And a cunnin’ little feller he was–took after his father like a cat after fish, he did. Me and old Shermlock we used to hide things–candy and–and oranges–and let little Shermlock go and detect where they was. He was a great little codger, he was.”

He noticed that Mr. Gubb was looking at him sharply. He looked down at his ragged garments.

“Disguise,” he said briefly. “Nobody’d know a swell dresser like I am in this rig, would he? Say, pard, how about giving me a half-dollar to get breakfast? Us detectives ought to have es-spirit dee corpse, hey? We ought to stick by each other, hey?”

The celebrated paper-hanger detective considered Chi Foxy. It was evident that P. Gubb doubted the authenticity of the tramp-detective.

“In times of necessary need,” he said slowly, “I often assume onto me the disguise of a tramp, but I don’t assume it onto me so complete that I go asking for money to buy breakfast.”

“You don’t, hey?” said Chi Foxy scornfully. “Well, you must be a swell detective, you must. When I get into a tramp disguise I’m a tramp all through.”

“Most certainly,” said P. Gubb. “And so am I. But there’s a difference into the way you are doing it now. You ain’t deteckating now. You are coming at me as one deteckative unto another.”

Chi Foxy laughed.

“Say,” he said, “I’d like to see this here Correspondence School you graduated out of, I would. I’d like to see the lessons they learn you, I would. Why, the first thing my old pard Shermlock Hollums told me was never to be anything but what I was disguised to be as long as I was disguised to be it. That’s right. Maybe I’d be disguised as a tramp and I’d meet our old friend and college chum, the Dook of Sluff. He’d want to take me into some swell place and blow me off to a swell dinner. Would I let on? No, sir! I’d sort of whine at him and say, ‘Mister, won’t you give a poor feller a penny for to hire a bed?’ That’s how me and Shermlock stuck to a disguise. And Shermlock! Me and him was like twins, we was, and yet when I was in this tramp disguise and went up to his room to report, I’d knock at the door and say, ‘Mister, give a poor cove a hand-out, won’t you?’ and Shermlock would turn and say, ‘Watson, throw this tramp downstairs.’ And Watson would do it. Yes, sir! I’ve been so sore and bruised from being thrown downstairs when I went to report to Shermlock that sometimes I’d have to go to the hospital to get plastered up. That’s detecting!”

Chi Foxy looked at P. Gubb, but P. Gubb did not seem to have melted.

“That’s livin’ up to your disguise,” continued Chi Foxy. “Me and Shermlock, when we had on tramp disguises we were tramps. Why, I used to go home and my valet would throw me downstairs. I was so thoroughly disguised, and I kept actin’ so trampish while I had the disguise on, that he used to come at me with a golluf stick and whack me on the head. And when I got into my own room I kept right on being a tramp. Took off my clothes–still a tramp. Took off my false whiskers–still a tramp. I’d be there stark naked and I’d still be a tramp. Yes, sir. That’s the kind of detective disguising I did. And then I’d take a bath. Then I was myself again. Yes, sir. When I’d scrubbed myself in the bathtub I figured I’d got rid of the tramp disguise right down into the skin, and I’d be myself again–and not until then.”