A very attractive Debutante knew two Young Men who called on her every Thursday Evening, and brought their Mandolins along.
They were Conventional Young Men, of the Kind that you see wearing Spring Overcoats in the Clothing Advertisements. One was named Fred, and the other was Eustace.
The Mothers of the Neighborhood often remarked, “What Perfect Manners Fred and Eustace have!” Merely as an aside it may be added that Fred and Eustace were more Popular with the Mothers than they were with the Younger Set, although no one could say a Word against either of them. Only it was rumored in Keen Society that they didn’t Belong. The Fact that they went Calling in a Crowd, and took their Mandolins along, may give the Acute Reader some Idea of the Life that Fred and Eustace held out to the Young Women of their Acquaintance.
The Debutante’s name was Myrtle. Her Parents were very Watchful, and did not encourage her to receive Callers, except such as were known to be Exemplary Young Men. Fred and Eustace were a few of those who escaped the Black List. Myrtle always appeared to be glad to see them, and they regarded her as a Darned Swell Girl.
Fred’s Cousin came from St. Paul on a Visit; and one Day, in the Street, he saw Myrtle, and noticed that Fred tipped his Hat, and gave her a Stage Smile.
“Oh, Queen of Sheba!” exclaimed the Cousin from St. Paul, whose name was Gus, as he stood stock still, and watched Myrtle’s Reversible Plaid disappear around a Corner. “She’s a Bird, Do you know her well?”
“I know her Quite Well,” replied Fred, coldly. “She is a Charming Girl.”
“She is all of that. You’re a great Describer. And now what Night are you going to take me around to Call on her?”
Fred very naturally Hemmed and Hawed. It must be remembered that Myrtle was a member of an Excellent Family, and had been schooled in the Proprieties, and it was not to be supposed that she would crave the Society of slangy old Gus, who had an abounding Nerve, and furthermore was as Fresh as the Mountain Air.
He was the Kind of Fellow who would see a Girl twice, and then, upon meeting her the Third Time, he would go up and straighten her Cravat for her, and call her by her First Name.
Put him into a Strange Company–en route to a Picnic–and by the time the Baskets were unpacked he would have a Blonde all to himself, and she would have traded her Fan for his College Pin.
If a Fair-Looker on the Street happened to glance at him Hard he would run up and seize her by the Hand, and convince her that they had Met. And he always Got Away with it, too.
In a Department Store, while waiting for the Cash Boy to come back with the Change, he would find out the Girl’s Name, her Favorite Flower, and where a Letter would reach her.
Upon entering a Parlor Car at St. Paul he would select a Chair next to the Most Promising One in Sight, and ask her if she cared to have the Shade lowered.
Before the Train cleared the Yards he would have the Porter bringing a Foot-Stool for the Lady.
At Hastings he would be asking her if she wanted Something to Read.
At Red Wing he would be telling her that she resembled Maxine Elliott, and showing her his Watch, left to him by his Grandfather, a Prominent Virginian.
At La Crosse he would be reading the Menu Card to her, and telling her how different it is when you have Some One to join you in a Bite.
At Milwaukee he would go out and buy a Bouquet for her, and when they rode into Chicago they would be looking out of the same Window, and he would be arranging for her Baggage with the Transfer Man. After that they would be Old Friends.