A certain affluent Bachelor happened to be the only Grandson of a rugged Early Settler who wore a Coon-Skip Cap and drank Corn Juice out of a Jug. Away back in the Days when every Poor Man had Bacon in the Smoke House, this Pioneer had been soaked in a Trade and found himself loaded up with a Swamp Subdivision in the Edge of Town.
Fifty years later the City had spread two miles beyond the Swamp and Grandson was submerged beneath so much Unearned Increment that he began to speak with what sounded to him like an English Accent and his Shirts were ordered from Paris.
On the 1st of every Month the Agents would crawl into the Presence of the Grandson of the mighty Muskrat Hunter and dump before him a Wagon- load of Paper Money which had been snatched away from the struggling Shop-Keepers, who, in turn, had wheedled it from the people who paid a Nickel apiece for Sunday Papers so as to look at the Pictures of the Decorations in the Supper Room at the Assembly Ball graced by the Presence of the aforesaid Bachelor whose Grandfather had lifted the original Catfish out of the Chicago River.
Then the Representative of the Old Family would take a Garden Rake and pattern all this hateful Currency into a neat Mound, after which a milk-fed Secretary would iron it out and disinfect it and sprinkle it with Lilac Water and tie it into artistic Packets using Old Gold Ribbon.
After that, it was Hard Lines for the Bachelor, because he had to sit by a window at the Club and dope out some new Way of getting all that Coin back into Circulation.
As a result of these Herculean Efforts to vaporize his Income, he found himself at the age of 40 afflicted with Social Gastritis. He had gorged himself with the Pleasures of this World until the sight of a Menu Card gave him the Willies and the mere mention of Musical Comedy would cause him to break down and Cry like a Child.
He had crossed the Atlantic so often that he no longer wished to sit at the Captain’s Table. He had rolled them high at Monte Carlo and watched the Durbar at Delhi and taken Tea on the Terrace at Shepheard’s in Cairo and rickshawed through Japan and ridden the surf in Honolulu, while his Name was a Household Word among the Barmaids of the Ice Palace in London, otherwise known as the Savoy.
Occasionally he would return to his provincial Home to raise the Rents on the Shop-Keepers and give out an Interview criticising the New School of Politicians for trifling with Vested Interests and seeking to disturb Existing Conditions.
Any time his Rake-Off was reduced from $10 a Minute to $9.98 he would let out a Howl like a Prairie Wolf and call upon Mortimer, his Man, for Sympathy.
After Twenty Years of getting up at Twilight to throw aside the Pyjamas and take a Tub and ease himself into the Costume made famous by John Drew, the Routine of buying Golden Pheasants and Special Cuvee Vintages for almost-Ladies, preserved by Benzoate of Soda and other Chemical Mysteries, began to lose its Sharp Zest.
In other Words, he was All In.
He was Track-Sore and Blase and full of Ongway. He had played the whole String and found there was nothing to it and now he was ready to retire to a Monastery and wear a Gunny-Sack Smoking Jacket and live on Spinach.
The Vanities of the Night-World had got on his Nerves at last. Instead of sitting 8 Feet away from an Imported Orchestra at 2 A. M. and taunting his poor old Alimentary System with Sea Food, he began to prefer to take a 10-Grain Sleeping Powder and fall back in the Alfalfa.
About Noon the next Day he would come up for Air, and in order to kill the rest of the Day he would have to hunt up a Game of Auction Bridge with three or four other gouty old Mavericks.