When the Town Hack followed a Wagon-Load of Trunks to the Depot, Claudine leaned out and said: “Fare thee well, O you Indian Village! This is the Parting of the Ways for little Sunshine.”
Next we see them in the gaudy Diner, eating Sweetbreads.
Next day thousands of warm-hearted New Yorkers were packed along the Water Front all the Way from the Battery to Grant’s Tomb, giving royal Welcome to the Corn-fed Pilgrims. At any rate, they were Packed.
When Elam and Claudine entered the Hotel, the discerning Bell-hops had them stand back until the others had registered.
They were Important but they did not carry any Signs.
Elam should have worn the Letter of Credit on the outside.
After they had taken the Imperial Suite and invited all the Servants on the Twelfth Floor to a Silver Shower, they found that the Call-Bells worked fine. If Elam moved in the general direction of a Button, a handsome West Pointer would flit in with a pitcher of Iced Water and then hover around for his Bit.
Both realized that the first requisite was a lot of new Scenery.
Even when they rapped sharply with a Spoon and ordered Garcon to hurry up the Little Birds with a Flagon of St. Regis Bubbles to come along as a Drench, they realized that they did not look the Parts.
Elam still combed his Hair in the style approved by the “Barbers’ Guide and Manual” for 1887.
Claudine was fully clothed as far up as her Neck and didn’t have the Nerve to hoist the Lorgnette.
Elam went out and had himself draped by a swagger Tailor who was said to do a lot of Work for the Vanderbilt Boys.
In his Afternoon Wear he resembled the Manager of a Black-Goods Department.
After donning the complete Soup and Fish, known in swozzey circles as Thirteen and the Odd, he didn’t look as much like a Waiter as one might have supposed. He looked more like the ‘Bus who takes away the Dishes.
Claudine yielded herself up to a Modiste. The Good Woman from out of Town was a trifle Long in the Tooth at this stage of our Narrative, but Mme. Bunk convinced her that she was about half way between the Trundle Bed and her First Party.
She ordered all the Chic Novelties recommended for Flappers, so that Elam began to walk about ten feet behind her, wondering vaguely if his Family was still respectable.
The new Harness and a careless habit of counting Money in Public soon gave them an enviable Reputation in the principal Cafes, although they could not observe that they were moving any nearer to the Newport Colony.
The shift from Pig’s Knuckles to Ambrosia and Nectar had been a little sudden for Elam, and sometimes, when they were darting hither and thither, from Road-House to Play-House and thence to the Louis XIV Sitting-Room by way of the Tango-Joint, he would moan a little and act like a Quitter.
Whereupon Claudine would jack him up and tell him to pull out his Cuffs and push back the Forelock and try to be Human.
No use. He was strictly Ritz-Carlton from the Pumps to the Topper, but the word “Boob” was plainly stenciled on the glossy Front.
When they had conquered all the Eating-Places in the Tenderloin they moved on to Europe, where they were just as welcome as Influenza.
It was great to sit in the Savoy at the Supper Hour, surrounded by the best known people mentioned in the Court Circulars.
It was indeed a privilege for Elam and Claudine to be among the British Cousins, even if the British Cousins did not seem to place Elam and Claudine.
Looking in any direction they could see naught but frosty and forbidding Shoulder Blades.
After partaking of their Sole and Grouse and winning a pleasant “Good-Night” from the Chevalier in the Check-Room, they would escape to their Apartments and talk to the Dog.
In Paris they did better.
They learned that by going out on the Boulevard and whistling, they could summon a whole Regiment of high-born and patrician Down-and-Outers.