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The Two Old Pals And The Call For Help
by [?]

It came about that one Year the Married Man got Gay and swam out to where it was over his Head. In his keen Anxiety to enlarge his Business he took on about three Tons of Liabilities. Ninety days make but a fleeting Span when Notes are falling due. One day the Married Man found himself hanging on the edge of the Gully, with a Choice of jumping to the Rocks below or waiting to be Scalped. It was not a dignified thing to do, but he had to yell for Assistance and yell plenty.

He hot-footed to the Gusher, friend of his Youth and God-Father to his Children. He explained that his Heels were beating a Tattoo on the Ragged Edge of Insolvency, and unless he could raise the Wind, it meant a Receiver over at the Works, his Credit evaporated and the Pianola to the Hock-Shop.

The Gusher listened with Tears in his Eyes. In a Voice all choked with Sobs he tendered his Sympathy and his Sincere Hope that all would yet be Well. He told him it grieved him to see a Friend go under the Rollers. It tore his Heart. It did for sure. In fact it had so upset him that he would have to go out into the Air. So he did an Olga Nethersole Exit with one Hand over his streaming Eyes, and the life-long Friend sat there with Salt Water spattered all over him and nothing in his Hand.

As soon as he had dried his Clothes he went to the Grouch and candidly owned up that he was on the Waiting List for the Poor House unless he could borrow enough to tide him over.

As might have been expected, the Grouch began to Roast him. He told him that he didn’t have as much Business Gumption as a Belgian Hare and a Chump who would walk into Debt with his Eyes open deserved to get it right in the Collar.

“If you’re looking for Sympathy, you’ve barked up the wrong Tree,” said the Grouch.

“I’m not,” was the Reply. “I’ve just received enough Sympathy to last me all Winter.”

The Grouch snarled and reached for his Check Book.

“You can have whatever you need, but you don’t deserve it,” he said, and he signed it, leaving it Blank above.

“In view of the Fact that you have saved my Life, I will try to forgive you for lacerating my Feelings,” said the Married Man.

They retained the Flat, but the Grouch is just as Unpopular as ever.

* * * * *

MORAL: A Friend who is very Near and Dear may in Time become as useless as a Relative.