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"Mascot" from Saturday Evening Post

by Ellis Parker Butler
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from Saturday Evening Post
by Ellis Parker Butler

The first time Guffy said anything to, me about Katy I said to him "Yes," because what he said to me was "Gee, boy, your sister sure is a wonder!" That was the first night he came up to the house after he came back from trying his luck in the West, and in those five years Katy had grown up. She was just the age when hunting a husband is life's greatest joy game. A little later in a girl's life husband hunting may get to be a serious business, but at the age Katy was then it is all happiness and have a good time. The husband-to-be is a by-product of the merriment.

"Honest, Bill," Guffy said to me as we stood out there on the porch, "I never would have thought it. I've known you steen years, thick and thin, and if you had ever told me you had a sister that was the peach of the world I would have laughed at you. I wouldn't have thought it possible for a low-browed black-haired skinny little sawed-off gum-chewing runt like you to have a sister like Kate."

"No," I said. "I guess she takes after Noah's wife, or Eve, or one of her other far-back ancestors."

"Well, she sure is a wonder!" Guffy said.

"Anyway she thinks she is," I agreed, because you know how a fellow feels about a sister.

"And, say," Guffy said. "Listen, Bill! You won't be sore if I set out to make her mine, will you? Not that I care a hang what you have to say about it, you know. But you won't, will you? What I mean is, I'm going to win that girl, but you'll say a good word for me now and again, won't you?"

"What do you want to win her for?" I asked. "You're all right as you are, ain't you? What do you want to go and get all married up for? Here you are, back from the West, and I was counting on having some swell old times with you; and now you want to go and get married to my sister. I know how it will be -- she'll tie you to her apron strings and have you locked in the house all the time, and when I ask you to come out for a little old party she'll say, 'No! Never! I know Bill -- he's my brother and I know all his habits -- you stay home with me!' Listen, Guffy -- if you want to marry somebody go and marry somebody that ain't my sister."

"No, Bill," he said; "I'm going to marry Kate -- if she'll have me. She's my mate, Bill. Say, Bill --"

"Yes?" I said sort of hopeless, for I knew he was going to get mushy.

"You don't understand how it is with me, Bill," he said. "It's not only that she's such a wonder girl, Bill. It's not only that I fell in love over my ears the minute I set my eyes on her. Bill, there's something in my soul -- if that's where it is -- that tells me that girl is my mascot. She's my little good-luck witch, Bill. I feel it in my bones, Bill. Ever feel that way, Bill? Ever feel, when you were near a person, that everything was all right? You know what I mean -- that as long as that person was near, you couldn't lose? Mascot! You know what I mean. Say, Bill, I know a place down on Main Street where we can get a snifter of prewar. How about it? It's early yet."

"I might go down and take a piece of gum," I said.

"Oh, pshaw!" Bill said. "You and your gum! Say, this is a time to take a real liquor. The night I met the queen of the world. Well, all right, then -- come along and have a stick of tutti-frutti. I've just got to lift a glass to the star of womanhood with somebody. Bill, I love that girl! I sure do love that girl!"

Well, I said I'd go down to this Jerry's place with him, but I couldn't see anything but a mean sort of evening ahead, because he would be mushing about Kate all the while, but before I had a chance to go in for my hat the door opened and Kate came out with my hat. It was old stuff, and it made me sickish to hear her pipe up, "Oh, Mr. Guffy! I thought you had gone! Bill, you ought to have your hat on if you're going to stand out here in the cold!"

I knew what it meant -- getting her chance to throw a few more hooks into Guffy and make him think she was one of these nice thoughtful ladies that don't want their dear brothers to catch cold. Swell chance that she would have brought me my hat if Guffy hadn't been there! But the minute Guffy heard her voice he turned around to face her, and that was when his heel hit the place where the end of a board in the porch is broken. He pawed in the air to catch his balance and didn't get it, and he went down the five steps backward and hit his head on the cement walk and went out. Kate screamed and went rushing down after him and gathered him in her arms as if she was doing a motion-picture act.

"Water, Bill, water!" she told me, but when I came back she was sitting on the cold cement with his head in her lap and he was back in the land of the living.

"My mascot!" he was saying. "My little good-luck mascot! My little four-leaf clover!"

Honest, he called her everything but his little horseshoe, and I guess he would have called her that if he had thought of it.

Honest, he called her everything but his little horseshoe, and I guess he would have called her that if he had thought of it.

"You saved my life," he said. "If it hadn't been for you --"

I don't know what would have happened if it hadn't been for her. I suppose he would never have come to again. If it hadn't been for the soft touch of her gentle hand on his cheek I suppose he would have remained unconscious until he passed out, huh? But what can you do with a man when he gets that way?

"Oh, for cat's sake!" I said. "Tear loose! Get up, you big elephant, and come out of the clinch if you're going down to Jerry's with me. What do you think you are, a lap dog?"

"He's wounded," Kate said, pawing his hair.

"You mean the cement walk is wounded," I said. "He didn't hit it with nothing but his head."

"This is where the pain is," Guffy said, picking up her hand and putting it on the back of his head.

"Ah, your poor head!" Kate said.

"Just having your hand on it drives the pain away," Guffy said. "Rub it some more."

So I went down to this Jerry fellow's place and waited an hour or so, and then I gave it up for a bad job and went home again, and I expected to find those two mushies still sitting on that cold cement, but they had moved up to the top step.

"Does your head feel better now?" I heard Kate say.

"A little better," Guffy said. "Rub it again."

So I walked around the house to the back door and went on in and up to bed.

"And I've got to listen to that sort of stuff for six months or a year," I said to myself as I stuck my gum on the bedpost and got into bed. It was bad enough to lose a chum the first week he got back from the West, but to have to live in a house where that love stuff was being billed and cooed back and forth was a little too much. I lay awake awhile thinking it over. I saw that Guffy was as good as gone, and the only thing I saw for me to do was to hustle and help him get a job as soon as I could, so he could get married and get it over with and take his lovey-dovey stuff out of the house.

I spoke to the boss down at the garage where I work and he said he did need a man right then. The boss had got a notion that there might be money in running the ten-ton truck he took from Tom Casey for that unpaid gas and oil and repair and tire bill, and he said he would put Guffy on the truck. I didn't have to hunt Guffy up -- he came in about 9:30 A.M. to tell me what a wonder girl Kate was, and I shifted him over to the boss before he was able to tell me more than ten times that Kate was the mascot of his life.

"Didn't I tell you? " he said when I told him the boss had a job for him. "I might have pounded the pavement in this man's town for a month and not have found a job, and here I meet Kate last night and there is a job waiting for me this morning. Bill, that girl is going to bring me all the luck in the world."

"I hope so," I said. "You can see the boss right now; don't let me keep you."

He went into the office and ten minutes later he was on the big truck and driving out of the garage to get a load of crushed bluestone at Herty's yard. Two minutes later, as he was driving up Main Street, he saw Kate on the sidewalk and gave her a wave of the hand, and the big ten-tonner did a skid and ran across the street, knocked down an electric-light pole and broke a gaslight post off at the base. Guffy did three turns in the air and landed with his face against the stub of the gaslight post. They had to get the pulmotor from the gas works to pump the gas out of him, and my boss was standing over him, waiting to fire him, when he opened his eyes. He opened them and looked up and saw Kate.

"My mascot!" he said. He was mighty weak, but he put a lot of feeling into it for a man as weak as he was.

"And I don't want you to put foot in my place ever again," my boss was saying to him at the same time; and the pulmotor man was saying, "You ought to go to the hospital until you're all right again."

"He'll not go to a hospital," Kate said. "Not while I have a home! Come, Mr. Guffy."

Guffy got to his feet. He staggered a little at first, but Kate got him by the arm and led him toward the other side of the street, and they were about in the middle of the street when the runabout came around the corner and got him. Luckily it was a light car and going slow, but it tossed him ten or twelve feet before it ran over his legs, only one of which was broken and, as the doc from the hospital said, as nice and clean a simple fracture as any man could want to see.

He was out of the hospital in two weeks and I will say he looked fine. He came around to the garage and I went outside to talk with him, the boss having given strict orders about Guffy.

"Kate home?" Guffy asked me.

"Not if there's anywhere to go," I said, "but she might be if all the picture houses are closed. You ain't going up there, are you?"

"Well, I thought I might," he said. "I feel as if I ought to thank her, Bill."

"Thank her? What for?" I asked him.

"Saving my life," he said. "Twice, if it comes to that. I told you she was my mascot, Bill, didn't I? Well, look how she happened to be right there when I let that truck get loose from me and ran it into that pole and all. I might have been killed, Bill. I was right in line to be killed, Bill, hitting a post like that and getting all filled full of gas, but Kate showed up just in time. Just in time to save my life, Bill. And look at that light runabout, 1918 model, that jammed into me when I was crossing the street. It might have been a ten-ton truck, Bill. It would have been if Kate hadn't had me by the arm. Look where I would be now if that had been a ten-ton truck hitting me and then running over me."

"Yes; or a steam roller; or a railroad train," I said.

"Well, not a railroad train. Not on Main Street," Guffy said. "But it might just as well have been a steam roller, like you say. Only it wasn't. It never would be, not with Kate around. I can feel that, Bill. In my bones. The luck is always going to be with me when Kate's standing by me. You think she's up at the house?"

"Well," I said, "the picture houses don't open in the forenoon and about now is when she does her facial wash, or whatever you call it, and maybe she might be at home. Only, Bill, if a storm comes up try to get out of the house. I don't want her to save you from being struck by lightning and have the house burned down. I've got a good pair of Sunday pants up in my room I don't want to lose."

"Always the bright little kidder, ain't you?" Bill said, and went his way.

When I went home to lunch it was set in the kitchen as usual, but Kate wasn't there.

"What's the matter?" I said. "Didn't Guffy come up here? How come he didn't stay to the eats?"

"The chandelier fell on him," ma said.

"What chandelier?" I asked her.

"The parlor one; what other one have we got?" ma said.

"What was he doing?" I asked. "Was he chinning himself on it or hanging by his knees?"

"He wasn't doing anything on it," ma said. "He was standing under it, looking at the snapshot album and waiting for Kate to come down, and when she came in the room it fell on him."

"What hospital did they take him to?" I asked her.

"The same one," ma said. "He wasn't injured much, but the ambulance man said they could sew up his scalp wound better there. If he had been losing much blood they would have sewed it up here. It was lucky Kate came down just when she did, because he turned when she came to the door. If he hadn't turned, the point on the bottom of the chandelier would have pierced his brain."

"Yes," I said, "Kate is his mascot." "That's what he said," ma said. Well, frankly, this love business is all right in a way and I'm not a man to throw a monkey wrench into any sort of machinery, and I'm not crazy to try to upset any happiness of my chum and my sister unless I see it is all for the best to do so, but I did say a few words to Guffy the second day after he got out of the chandelier affair so easy. I went up to the hospital to say them too. It seems they took the stitches in his skull cover and bandaged him up so that he looked like a Turk or something and then turned him out on the street, and he went to the first telephone he could find and called Kate up to thank her for saving his life again.

I guess he said some merry words about the bandages on his head and how they made him look, and Kate said he would look like a million dollars to her no matter how he was bandaged -- or something like that. Anyway he said he was glad she felt that way because he had been planning, before the chandelier fell on him, to ask her to go to a show in the city, and now he still had the nerve to ask her if she did feel that way. So Kate said she certainly would be pleased to accept the kind invitation.

The next evening they got on the 7:15 train at Upper Westcote station and the train started, and three seconds later the train jumped the track and jammed into a freight on the siding, the first wreck on our line in fifteen years. It was as neat a sideswipe as you ever saw, and only one passenger was hurt -- the end of a two-by-four on a flat car came through a window and jabbed Guffy in the shoulder, just breaking his shoulder blade neatly, and then the whole damage was done and over with. So they took Guffy back to the hospital, and I suppose when he came out of ether he was weeping because he couldn't be holding Kate's hand and telling her how lucky it was she was with him and had saved his life again.

So the next morning I went up to the hospital and had a serious talk with Guffy.

"I don't want to butt into your affairs, Guffy," I said, "but I feel it is only fair to Kate to do so on this occasion." I went at him that way because I knew that was the only way to start if I wanted him to listen to reason. "I want to ask you if you think all this is fair to Kate," I said. "Are you playing fair with the girl? Are you acting as a real man should?"

"I hope so, Bill," he said, turning white. "The only thing in the world I care a hang for is her happiness. What do you mean? "

"Well, Guffy," I said, "I'm Kate's brother and she hasn't any father and I sort of feel my duty to her is to speak out on this subject. I don't think you're giving this business the thought you ought to give it. The way you are acting you are going to ruin that girl's life."

"I'd die first," he said.

"Well, ruin it is what you're going to do," I said. "What sort of husband do you think a man would make when he is in the hospital all the time?"

"Well, not so good," Guffy admitted.

"I'll say so!" I said. "A girl who is married to a hospital hound like that would have no life at all. She wouldn't have her husband at home where he ought to be, and she'd have to work and slave to pay his hospital bills, and she'd have a miserable life -- bawling her eyes out and going without the movies and everything! What I mean to say, Guffy, is that you've got Kate all wrong. You say she's your mascot, but you can see for yourself she's your jinx. She's your hoodoo. Every time you've gone near her you've got one kind of a wallop or another. Has it failed yet?"

"I've had a streak of bad luck, if that's what you mean," Guffy said, "and I've had some accidents."

"Yes," I said, "and how many did you ever have before you met Kate?"

"These things run in sets," Guffy said. "They start in on a man and they keep coming for a while, and then they stop. Unless a man has a mascot. Then they ain't ever as bad as they might be. If that two-by-four had hit me in the face, or a little lower down, where my heart is --"

"Guffy," I said, "I don't want to pester you about this, but you've got the wrong slant entirely. I tell you here and now that for you -- whatever she might be for another man -- Kate is a jinx. She's a born jinx for you. I knew it in the beginning. You're not cut out for each other. You're not made to be married, you and Kate. There's nothing in either of you that, joined together, would make happiness. I know you both, Guffy, and I know what I'm talking about. I've known you since you and I were babes, and I've known Kate since she was born, and you're the last man I would have picked for her, and she's the last girl I would have picked for you. Just now you're neither of you sane -- you're love crazy and you can't see straight. Folks get that way. But they ought to listen, then, to folks that know the facts."

"Meaning you," Guffy said in a way I did not like.

"Yes," I said, sticking out my chin at him, "meaning me!"

"Bill," he said, "I'd hate to quarrel with you, but if you come between me and Kate, you can go to the devil."

"All right, if that's the way you take me, I'll go to the devil," I said, "and as for me I'm through with you. I want no more to do with any man as blind as you are. And when it comes to going to the devil, you go to the devil yourself!"

With that I went out of his room and if it hadn't been a hospital I would have slammed the door, and I thought -- as I left the room -- "Here's another nice thing his precious mascot has done, lost him the best friend he ever had or ever will have!"

But I thought no more along that line because just outside the door I came face to face with Kate. She had a big bunch of flowers and a bag I could see had oranges in it, and she said, "Oh, I'm so late! I've only three minutes to spend with him before visiting hours are over!"

She went into Guffy's room, and immediately I heard her scream and a big racket in the room. I turned and rushed in, of course.

Nothing had happened except that a big section of the plaster ceiling had fallen on Guffy, knocking him cold again. I caught a nurse in the corridor and she grabbed an intern somewhere and they worked over Guffy and brought him back to life, but he was mighty near the edges of things, and they put Kate out into the corridor.

On the way home I talked to her in straight plain language. I told her just what she was doing to Guffy, and I showed her case by case how she was hoodooing him every time they met.

"Have sense," I begged her. "Think it over. Every time you've met him he has got his, hasn't he? And you know it, now I've told you. I dare you to go back there and walk in on him. Something will happen as sure as fate -- the hospital will fall down or a bottle of vinegar will explode and kill him or a safety pin will leap out of his bandage and stab him to death as sure as you are alive!"

"Accidents will --" she began.

"Say, listen!" I said. "I've known that lad all my life, and accidents never happened to him before. He's been the luckiest guy on earth. And now look what you're doing to him. You're his jinx. Leave him alone, Kate, for cat's sake! Keep away from him. Send him off. You know you're not built to be Guffy's wife. If you stop and think it over you'll know there's no man in the world less suited for you. You'll fight like cats and dogs as soon as you're married."

She walked along beside me for a whole block, thinking it over.

"I don't see that it's any of your business, anyway, Bill," she said then. "Who I marry is my own affair."

I saw it was no use. You can't pound sense into a girl's head when she is in love.

"All right, then," I said; "I wash my hands of it. If you want to ruin him and break all his bones and kill him, have it your own way. But don't ask me to come to your wedding; the church steeple will fall on the lot of you. You can do as you like and I can't stop you, but I did think you had some sense."

So I waited to see what would happen next. If I had been in Guffy's place I would have skipped the town the minute I got out of that hospital. I would have put a thousand miles between myself and Kate the soonest I could, and I would have steered clear of her all my life.

But the very day Guffy got out of the hospital he came down to the garage and hunted me up.

"Well, Bill," he said, "here I am again. They can't keep a good man dead. Kate up at the house?"

"You keep away from Kate," I said.

"I couldn't do that, Bill," Guffy said. "If they chained me to the post office I'd go right ahead up to see Kate and I'd drag the post office along with me, unless the chain broke."

"You keep away from Kate," I said.

"Now, Bill, be reasonable!" Guffy said. "There's nothing in this fool idea you've got. You just let a few little accidents get your goat. Now I feel in my bones --"

"Yeh! You feel in your bones she's your mascot," I said. "And I tell you to keep away from my sister. And keep away from me. And you keep away from that house. I own that house and I tell you here and now to keep out of it and away from it, and away from me. I don't want to have anything more to do with you, and if you set foot in my house again I'll have the law on you."

"Oh, if you feel that way about it --" he said.

And he went away. When I got home I asked ma if Guffy had been to the house and she said he had not.

"I didn't know he was out of the hospital," ma said.

"Well, I've ordered him to stay away from here," I said. "Let him go his way and we'll go ours. The world is big enough for all of us if he keeps far enough away. If he don't it ain't. I'm not going to have him meeting Kate."

"You're the head of the family, Bill," ma said, "but I sort of liked Mr. Guffy."

"I'm not as big as he is," I said, "but when we were kids I licked him as often as he licked me, and I'm not afraid to try it again if he comes hanging around Kate, and you can tell him so. And you can tell her so too,"

"You grow more like your father every day," ma said.

"And, at that," I said, "my father had enough sense in him to know the difference between a jinx and a mascot."

The next I heard of Guffy he had got him a job over at the Red Star Garage, and I went over and told him straight out that he was through with Kate.

"And furthermore," I said, "you may think I'm a black-browed runt and not such a much because I choose to chew gum instead of sopping up this prewar stuff that Jerry mixes in his own cellar, but I've licked you before and I can lick you again, and if you come fooling around Kate you'll get yours. You'll get it good and plenty too. My father was a little man, but in his day he could walk from one end of town to the other with a chip on his shoulder and there was not a man in town dared knock it off. That's all I've got to say to you, Guffy. If Kate's a fool I'm not, and I'm not going to have her marry a man so besotted he thinks a jinx is a mascot. I've seen a plenty of these marriages where the minute a man is married the hard fortune piles onto him twenty story thick, and it's nothing but sickness and trouble, and some poor man like me has to support the whole family for him."

Guffy said nothing. He tapped idly on a tire with a wrench and looked at the floor.

"I'm speaking for your own good," I said, "and for Kate's good and for the good of all of us."

"I think she's a mascot to me," he said.

"There you go again!" I said.

"I'll always think so," he said.

"Then think and be cursed to you!" I said. "But keep away from her! This is fair warning."

I went back to the garage. A machinist in a garage has plenty of time to think and I thought a lot about Guffy, but I knew I had done the right thing. It was not as if Guffy was the only man in the world; there had always been plenty of men about Kate and there would be plenty again, and Guffy would be none the worse for having no ceilings fall on him, as I well knew.

You only need a firm hand in these affairs. I've figured the thing out for myself pretty carefully, and at the time of life where Kate and Guffy were the person is not so important as the thing itself. Love is what folks of that age fall in love with, and if one goes another comes. All the young men are princes if they come prancing, and all the young girls are queens if they come smiling. The love-until-death business that is eternal one evening will end the next in a tiff over nothing, and the one-and-only of evening before last is forgotten for the one-and-only of the present evening, and no harm done. It was hardly a day before Kate was gadding around with this Mary Dorgan chum of hers, rushing off to the pictures, stopping the night with each other and everything the same as before Guffy showed up, back from the West. And I could not see that Guffy was weeping his eyes out either. The Red Star Garage is a good garage and a busy place, and a good man has a chance there to show how good he is. I kept a keen eye on Guffy. No more ceilings fell on him after I told him to keep away from Kate.

As a matter of fact the boss came to me one day and asked me what I had done to O'Leary's five-ton truck the last time it was in the garage for repairs.

"I did what a man could," I told him. "That truck should have been junked three years ago."

"You ought to know," he said, "for you've been doing the repair work on it all the while, but O'Leary don't know it, and that man Guffy over at the Red Star don't know it, it seems, for O'Leary took it there, and Guffy has made it like new. The whole twenty of the O'Leary fleet has gone there now, and that's one customer lost because you know about as much about a machinist's business as a cat knows about radio."

"We've got all we can handle anyway boss," I said.

"All the work, but not all the money," he said. "Have you ever heard of Wintermute Oil?"

"What is it?" I asked him. "A new heavy gravity?"

"It's a new gold mine," the boss said. "Do you remember that little red car that we put the balloon rims on? Man named Ransom? He's been selling O'Leary some stock in this Wintermute Oil Well Company, out in Texas or somewhere, but he shifted his car to the Red Star when O'Leary went there. All he did, Bill, was sell Harrity, of the Red Star, a bunch of oil stock as big as a house at a dollar a share."

"There's a new sucker born every minute," I said.

"Only," the boss said, "this time the oil stuff went up to seventeen dollars a share in one week after Harrity bought it. He put four thousand dollars in it, and four times six is twenty-four, carry the two; four times one is four, and two is six. Harrity has made sixty-four thousand dollars because you don't know a scored cylinder from a cord tire, that's all! And, if it gives you any joy, that man Guffy put four hundred dollars in the stuff himself and has made above six thousand."

"It'll not last him long," I said. "I know Guffy of old."

"Well," said the boss, "the Red Star Garage may bust, but it's not a habit it has. If it does bust, Guffy's money will be gone, for he bought an eighth interest with his six thousand dollars."

I said nothing to that.

"Harrity is going to Florida," the boss said, "and Guffy is to be manager of the garage. They tell me he's to pull down five thousand a year for that, and the garage paid thirty per cent last year."

I could figure that for myself; it would be eighteen hundred. That would mean Guffy was good for sixty-eight hundred dollars a year.

"If you knew a cotter pin from a wheel spoke I might be the man that's going to Florida," the boss said.

I said nothing to that either.

"What we need around this place," the boss said, "is a mascot"; and he went back to the office.

For a few minutes I was pretty sore. It is all right to say that a man don't dislike another man's getting ahead in the world, but when two start even, as may be, there are thoughts when one has a big wad of luck and the other hasn't.

"And but for me," I said to myself, "that man Guffy would by now be torn to shreds by a flywheel or shot to the moon in fragments by a can of gas. And that's the way it goes! One tells a man to beware a hole in the road, and he steps on the gas and shoots by you and wins out by ten miles' margin."

I wasn't so happy.

"The next thing," I said, "Guffy will be one of these self-made millionaires, and sore at me all his life because I threatened to beat him up. Oh, well!"

I turned back to the job I had in hand, which was a sweet black one mussing with cracked gear case, and the wrench had just slipped, skinning my knuckles, when I heard someone say my name. I looked up and it was Guffy.

"Hello, Bill!" he said.

"All right -- hello!" I said.

"How'd you like a real job?" he asked me.

"Over at the Red Star, I mean. I'm going to be boss over there and I'd like you there with me."

"Yeh!" I said. "I heard all about it. Some luck, I'll say."

"I'll say it was luck -- pig-headed luck," Guffy said. "You know that talk we had about mascots and jinxes, don't you, Bill? "

"Yeh!" I said.

"You know what you said about not getting a jinx instead of a mascot, don't you, Bill?"

"Yeh!" I said.

"Well, you were right, Bill," he said. "What a man wants in this life is a mascot. And I got one, Bill."

"Yeh?" I said.

"I sure did!" Guffy said. "You know that day you came over to the Red Star and bawled me out?

"Kate and I went out and got married that night, Bill."

"Yeh?" I said.

"I told you she was my mascot," he said.

My knuckles were bleeding pretty free, so I squirted some gas on them -- it's a good thing to stop any poison. Then I put the can on the floor and felt in my pocket for a piece of gum.

"All right," I said, "have it your own way. If she is she is, and if she ain't she ain't. It's nothing in my young life. But how do you account for all those accidents, hey?"

"Luck!" he said. "Bull-headed good luck, Bill. If I hadn't had Kate I wouldn't have got slammed into the hospital and I'd be working where you are. I told you she was my mascot."

"Yeh, you told me," I said. "Let it go at that. What'll you pay me over there at the Red Star, if I go over to you?"

I wasn't going to give him any satisfaction; you can't talk sense to a man like Guffy when he's in love and all. No use trying.



Saturday, October 07 at 1:20:00am USA Central
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