Once there was a provincial Tradesman who gave his Yokemate a Christmas Present. It was a kind of Dingus formerly exhibited on the What-Not in almost every polite Home.
By peering through at the twin Photographs and working it like a Slide Trombone, one could get ravishing glimpses of Trafalgar Square, Lake Como, and the Birthplace of Bobby Burns.
Nearly every evening the Tradesman would back up to the Student Lamp and put in a delirious half-hour with the Views.
While gazing up the Rue de Rivoli or across the rice paddies at the snowy cap of Fuji, his Blood would become het by the old boyhood Desire to sail across the Blue to Foreign Parts.
Those who saw him mowing the Lawn little suspected that he was being inwardly eaten by the Wanderlust.
The Tradesman, Edwin by name, and his Managing Director, Selena, formed the magic-lantern Habit away back in the days of Stoddard. They never missed a chance to take in Burton Holmes. Sitting in the darkness, they would hold hands and simply eat those Colored Slides.
Selena belonged to a Club that was trying to get a side-hold on the Art and Architecture of the Old World. She had a smouldering Ambition to ride a Camel in the Orient and then come home and put it all over a certain proud Hen who had spent six weeks in Europe.
One visit to Niagara Falls and a glorious week of Saengerfest at Cincinnati had simply whetted her desire to take Edwin by the hand and beat it all the way around the Globe, via Singapore. To prepare herself for the Grand Tour, she took 12 lessons in French and read up on the Taj Mahal.
She had to wait patiently until Edwin was threatened with a Nervous Break-Down. At last the Happy Day arrived when the Specialist told him he must make his choice between a long Sea Voyage and a slow ride to the Family Lot.
Selena used Hydraulic Pressure in packing her Wardrobe Trunks. She took all her circus Duds and a slew of Hats so that she could make the proper Front, while being entertained Abroad.
Edwin had secured a Passport which identified him as a male white Person, entitled to all the Courtesies and Privileges usually extended to an American Citizen holding a Passport.
They were on the verge of the Jumps when they boarded the Train, but they hoped to Relax and get a lot of Sleep on the Ocean Greyhound.
A few days later they were curled up in a Cabin de Luxe about the size of a Telephone Booth, waiting for the Ocean Greyhound to recover from an attack of Hydrophobia.
When they tottered down the Gang-Plank, after six days on the playful North Atlantic, their only Comfort was derived from the knowledge that, as soon as they had rested up, they could write home and quote the Second Officer as saying it was the roughest Passage he had ever Known.
After spending a few days in London, trying to get warm, they moved on to Paris, which they remembered long afterward on account of Napoleon’s Tomb and the price of Strawberries.
Selena pulled her tall-grass French on a Hackman, but there was nothing doing. He had taken it from a different Teacher.
So they employed a Guide who knew all the Shops. If Selena happened to admire a Trinket or some outre Confection with Lace slathered on it, a perfumed Apache in a Frock Coat would take Edwin into a side room, give him the sleeve across the Wind-Pipe, and bite a piece out of his Letter of Credit.
Edwin did a little quick work with the Pencil and said they could either hurry on or else hie back to the Home Town and begin Life all over again.
Three weeks after saying good-bye to Griddle Cakes they were in Naples, which they had seen pictured on so many Calendars.