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The New Fable Of The Intermittent Fusser
by [?]

He became endowed with the divine Right to hit himself on the Leg with a Walking Stick and sit on a hallowed Fence.

Simultaneous-like, he became conscious of the fact that the Footlight Favorites were no longer worthy of him. He began to hold long and serious Conversaziones with the Sister of a Prof.

She was an aerial Performer who wore powerful Spectacles, in which any one standing before her could see an Image of himself, greatly reduced.

She looked as if she had been sitting up all night, writing a History of Civilization.

Walter found himself uplifted every time they were left together in the Library. Sometimes she took him up so high that he became dizzy.

He now began to prog as follows: He and the Lady Emerson would be legally welded just after Commencement and spend the Honeymoon at some lively Chautauqua.

The grinding Wheels and raucous buying and selling of the Marts of Trade seemed faint and far away when he roamed through the Cloisters with Elfreda. He was in the moulting Stage, and it seemed to him that Success in Life would consist of going about reeking of Culture.

A Degree looked bigger than a Dividend.

He never had heard tell of such a thing as a Coal-Bill or a Special Assessment for a Sewer.

The vision of Elfreda floated out through a Transom three days after he drew a Desk in the extensive Works owned by the Governor.

He was too busy keeping his Head above the Churning Waves to bother with Speculative Philosophy or write Letters studded with Latin Phrases, like Currants in an English Cake.

All the cringing Peons in the big Stockade hated him because he had a Drag. It was up to him to deliver the Merchandise and demonstrate that he was a Human Being rather than a College Graduate.

In the meantime, the Spectators were hoping that he would Skid and go into the Fence.

He began to wear his Frat pin on his undershirt, and he had no time to frivol away on the fluffy Gender, because he expected to be sitting in the Directors’ Room in a couple of years, talking it over with Henry C. Frick.

So he waved aside the Square Envelopes and allowed himself to be billed all over the Macaroon Circuit as a Woman-Hater.

Of course he girled in a conservative way, but he merely trailed. He did not buzz, or throw himself at the fallen Handkerchief, or run to get the Wraps, or do any of the Stuff that marks the true and bounden Captive.

When he found himself in the cushioned Lair of a Feline, he would lean back in perfect Security, knowing that even if she exercised her entire repertoire of Wiles, she could not warm the Dead Heart nor stir into life the fallen Rose Leaves of Romance.

All the time she was spilling her familiar line of Chatter, he would look at her with an arid and patronizing Smile, such as the Harvard Man produces when he finds himself in immediate juxtaposition to some human Caterpillar from west of Pittsburgh.

Very often, when the registered Dolly Grays got together for a Bon-Bon Orgy, some one would say, “Oh, Crickey, ain’t he the regular Cynic?”

Another might suggest that he was hiding a great Sorrow, his whole Existence having been embittered by the faithlessness of some Creature.

Then they would take a Vote and decide that he was a plain Mutt.

The Chauncey who refuses to reciprocate will excite more Conversation than a regular Union Lover, but it is Lucky for him that he does not hear all the Conversation.

Walter at the age of twenty-five thought he was too old and sedate to be a Diner-Out and a Dancing Devil.

When he was 28, however, he had become Hep to the large and luminous Truth that the man who sits in his Lodgings reading Dumas may overlook many a Bet.

He noted on every Hand the nice-looking Boys who turned in about 10.40 and avoided the Pitfalls of Society, and most of them were pulling down as much as $14 a week.