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The Sickly Dream And How It Was Doctored Up
by [?]

“I have recently prepared a One-Act Play, but I am not sure that it will meet your Requirements,” said the Author. “It is called ‘The Language of Flowers.’ There are three Characters in the Play–a young Shepherd named Ethelbert, the Lady Gwendolin and a Waiting Maid.”

“We couldn’t carry three People,” said the Artist. “You’d better use a Dummy instead of the Hired Girl. I do an awful funny Wrassle with a Dummy. Go ahead and slip me the Plot.”

“It is an idyllic Thing,” said the Author. “Ethelbert is in love with Gwendolin, but he is not certain that his Love is reciprocated. So he sends her the Flowers. The waiting-maid brings them into the Bower where Lady Gwendolin is seated and with them a Scroll of Verses from Ethelbert. The Lady Gwendolin unrolls the Scroll and reads:

“‘Traced in the Veins of the Petals
Are the Lines I fain would speak
And breathing low in the perfumed Leaves
Is the Name–‘”

“Hold on,” said the Artist. “That’s a Cinch. Have a Stage-Hand come on with the Flowers. Lottie says, ‘I know who sent these,’ and so on and so on, and his Nobs gets off. Then her alone with the big arm-load of Hollyhawks, that I’m supposed to be sendin’ her–savvy? She says, ‘Well, there’s no three ways about it, I’ve got this Gazabo dead to Rights.’ She goes on to talk about Me, leading up to her song, ‘John L. will be our Champion once again.’ Bing! The Door-Bell rings. Then, me on quick, see? I’ve thought out a Make-Up that’s sure to get a Holler the Minute I come on. I wear a pair of Pants made out of Tin Foil, a Fur Coat with Lace around the Bottom and on my Head I wear a Coal-scuttle with some Sleigh-Bells fastened to it. As I come down Stage I make some crack about just escapin’ from a Business College. When I see the Doll, I go over and slap her on the Back, pull out a Sprinklin’ Can and water the Flowers. You’ll have to fix me up a Line to introduce the Sprinkler. As soon as she sees me, she gets stuck, so she hands me one of the Flowers. I say, ‘Ah, a night-blooming Pazizum’–then I take a Salt-Cellar out of my Vest and shake some Salt on the Flower and eat it. I done that with a Piece called ‘A Boiled Dinner,’ and it always went big. When she sees me eat the Flower, that makes her sore, understand? She comes at me with a right-hand Pass. I fall over a Chair and do a Head Spin. You fix up a strong Line for me just as I go over the Chair. Then–What’s the matter, Cull? Here, Bud, open your Eyes!”

The Author had fallen in a Heap on the Antique Writing Desk. “Hully Chee!” exclaimed the Artist. “He’s Croaked.”

* * * * *

MORAL: A Classic is never Safe Except in the Church Parlor.