The unspeakable perk

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheUnspeakablePerk,bySamuelHopkinsAdams ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:TheUnspeakablePerk Author:SamuelHopkinsAdams ReleaseDate:February,2004 [EBook#5009] [ThisfilewasfirstpostedonApril9,2002] LastUpdated:March12,2018 Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEUNSPEAKABLEPERK*** TextfileproducedbyRobertRowe,CharlesFranksandtheOnline DistributedProofreadingTeam HTMLfileproducedbyDavidWidger THEUNSPEAKABLEPERK BySamuelHopkinsAdams CONTENTS THEUNSPEAKABLEPERK I —MR BEETLEMAN II —ATTHEKAST III —THEBETTERPARTOFVALOR IV —TWOONAMOUNTAIN-SIDE V —ANUPHOLDEROFTRADITIONS VI —FORKEDTONGUES VII —“THATWHICHTHYSERVANTIS—” VIII —LOSYANKIS IX —THEBLACKWARNING X —THEFOLLYOFPERK XI —PRESTOCHANGE XII —THEWOMANATTHEQUINTA XIII —LEFTBEHIND XIV —THEYELLOWFLAG THEUNSPEAKABLEPERK I —MR BEETLEMAN The man sat in a niche of the mountain, busily hating the Caribbean Sea It was quite a contract that he had undertaken, for there was a large expanse of Caribbean Sea in sight to hate; very blue, and still, and indifferent to human emotions However, the young man was a good steadfast hater, and he came thereeverydaytositintheshadeoftheoverhangingboulder,wheretherewasa littletrickleofcoolairdowntheslopeandalittletrickleofcoolwaterfroma crevicebeneaththerock,todespisethatplacid,unimpressionableoceanandall itsworksandtowishthatitwoulddryupforthwith,sothathemightwalkback totheblessedUnitedStatesofAmerica IngoodplainAmerican,theyoungman wasprettyhomesick Two-man's-lengthsupthemountain,onthecrestofthesturdyhater'srock,the girlsat,lovingtheCaribbeanSea Hers,also,wasalargecontract,andshewas muchnewertoitthanwasthemantohis,forshehadonlyjustdiscoveredthis vantage-ground by turning accidentally into a side trail—quite a private little sidetrailmadebyherunsuspectedneighborbelow—whenceoneemergesfroma seaofverdureintofullviewoftheseaofazure Forthetime,shewascontentto rest there in the flow of the breeze and feast her eyes on that broad, unending blue which blessedly separated her from the United States of America and certain perplexities and complications comprised therein Presently she would resumethetrailandreturntothecityofCaracuna,somewherebehindher That is,shewouldifshecouldfindit,whichwasbynomeanscertain Notthatshe greatlycared Ifshewerereallylost,they'dcomeoutandgether Meantime,all shewishedwastorestmindandbodyinthecontemplationofthatrestfulplain ofcoolsapphire,fourthousandfeetbelow But there was a spirit of mischief abroad upon that mountain slope It embodieditselfinapuffofwindthatstirredgratefullythecurlsabovethegirl's brow Also,itfannedtheneckofthewatcherbelowandcunninglymovedhishat fromhisside;notmorethanafewfeet,indeed,butstillfarenoughtotransferit from the shade into the glaring sun and into the view of the girl above The owner made no move If the wind wanted to blow his new panama into some lowertreetop,compellinghimtothrowstones,perhapstoitspermanentdamage, inordertodislodgeit,why,thatwasjustonemorecauseofoffensetopintohis indictmentofirritationagainstthegreatislandrepublicofCaracuna Suchisthe temperonegetsintoafterayearinthetropics Like as peas are panama hats to the eyes of the inexpert; far more like than menwholiveunderthem Forthegirl,itwasadirectinferencethatthiswasa hat which she knew intimately; which, indeed, she had rather maliciously eluded,riothalfanhourbefore Therefore,sheaddresseditfamiliarly:“Boo!” The result of this simple monosyllable exceeded her fondest expectations There was a sharp exclamation of surprise, followed by a cry that might have meantdismayorwrathorboth,assomethingmetallictinkledandslid,presently comingtoastopbesidethehat,whereitrevealeditselfasapairofenormous, aluminum-mountedbrown-greenspectacles Afterit,onallfours,scrambledthe owner Shock number one: It wasn't the man at all! Instead of the black-haired, flanneled,slenderAdoniswhomthetrouble-makerconfidentlyassumedtohave beenunderthathat,shebeheldabrownish-clad,stockyfigurewithaveryblond head Shock number two: The figure was groping lamentably and blindly in the undergrowth,andwhen,foraninstant,thefacewasturnedhalftowardher,she sawthattheeyesweresquintedtight-closed,withapainfulextremeofmuscular tensionaboutthem Presently one of the ranging hands encountered the spectacles, and settled uponthem Withcarefultouches,itfeltthemallover Amildgrunt,presumably of satisfaction, made itself heard, and the figure got to its feet But before the faceturnedagain,thegirlhadsteppedback,outofrange Silence,aboveandbelow;asilencethelongpersistenceofwhichcamenear toconstitutingshocknumberthree Whatsortofhermithadsheintrudedupon? Into what manner of remote Brahministic contemplation had she injected that impertinent“Boo!”?Who,what,how,why— “Say it again.” The request came from under the rock Evidently the spectacledownerhadresumedhisoriginalsituation “SayWHATagain?”sheinquired “Anything,”returnedthevoice,withchild-likecontent “Oh,I—Ihopeyoudidn'tbreakyourglasses.” “No;youdidn't.” On consideration, she decided to ignore this prompt countering of the pronoun “Ithoughtyouweresomeoneelse,”sheobserved “Well,soIam,amInot?” “Soyouarewhat?” “Someoneelsethanyouthought.” “Why,yes,Isuppose—ButImeantsomeoneelsebesidesyourself.” “IonlywishIwere.” “Why?”sheasked,intriguedbythefervidinflectionofthewish “BecausethenI'dbesomewhereelsethaninthisinfernalhell-holeofablackand-tannurseryofrevolution,fever,andtrouble!” “IthinkitoneoftheloveliestspotsI'veeverseen,”saidsheloftily “Howlonghaveyoubeenhere?” “Onthisrock?Perhapsfiveminutes.” “Notontherock InCaracuna?” “Quitealongtime Nearlyafortnight.” Thecommentaryonthiswassoindefinitethatshewasmovedtoinquire:— “Isthatalocaldialectyou'respeaking?” “No;thatwasagrunt.” “Idon'tthinkitwasaverypolitegrunt,evenasgruntsgo.” “Perhapsnot I'mafraidI'moutofthehabit.” “Ofgrunting?Youseemexpertenoughtosatisfy—” “No;ofbeingpolite I'llapologizeif—ifyou'llonlygoontalking.” Shelaughedaloud “Orlaughing,”heamendedpromptly “Doitagain.” “Onecan'tlaughtoorder!”sheprotested;“oreventalktoorder Butwhydo you stay 'way out here in the mountains if you're so eager to hear the human voice?” “Thehumanvoicebe—choked!It'sYOURhumanvoiceIwanttohear—your kindofhumanvoice,Imean.” “I don't know that my kind of human voice is particularly different from plenty of other human voices,” she observed, with an effect of fine impartial judgment “It'swidelydifferentfromthekindthatafflictsthesufferingearinthispartof the world Fourteen months ago I heard the last American girl speak the last American-girl language that's come within reach of me Oh, no,—there WAS one, since, but she rasped like a rheumatic phonograph and had brick-colored freckles Haveyougotbrick-coloredfreckles?” “Standupandsee.” “No,SIR!—thatis,ma'am Toomuchrisk.” “Risk!Ofwhat?” “Freckles Idon'tlikefreckles NotonYOURvoice,anyway.” “OnmyVOICE?Areyou—” “OfcourseIam—alittle Anyoneiswhostaysdownheremorethanayear But that about the voice and the freckles was sane enough What I'm trying to say—andyoumightknowitwithoutadiagram—is that,fromyour voice,you ought to be all that a man dreams of when—well, when he hasn't seen a real American girl for an eternity Now I can sit here and dream of you as the loveliestprincessthatevercameandwentandleftamemoryofgoldandbluein theheartof—” “I'mnotgoldandblue!” “Ofcourseyou'renot Butyourspeechis I'llbewise,andcontentmyselfwith that Onelookmightpulldown,Inirrevocableruin,allthelovelyfabricofmy dream Bytheway,areyouaCookie?” “AWHAT?” “Cookie Tourist No,ofcourseyou'renot Notourwouldbeimbecileenough totouchhere Thequestionis:Howdidyougethere?” “Ah,that'smysecret.” “Or, rather, are you here at all? Perhaps you're just a figment of the overstrainedear AndifIundertooktolook,therewouldn'tbeanythingthereat all.” “Ofcourse,ifyoudon'tbelieveinme,I'llflyawayonasunbeam.” “Oh,please!Don'tsaythat!I'mdoingmybest.” Sopanic-strickenwastheappealthatshelaughedagain,inspiteofherself “Ah,that'sbetter!Now,come,behonestwithme You'renotpretty,areyou?” “Me?I'maslovelyasthedawn.” “Sofar,sogood Andhaveyougotlonggolden—thatistosay,silkenhairthat floatsalmosttoyourknees?” “Certainly,”shereplied,withspirit “Isitplentifulenoughsothatyoucouldsparealittle?” “Areyouaskingmeforalockofmyhair?”shequeried,onanoteofmirth “Forastranger,yougofast.” “No;oh,no!”heprotested “Nothingsofamiliar I'mofferingyouabribefor conversationatthepriceof,say,fivehairs,ifyoucansacrificesomany.” “It sounds delightfully like voodoo,” she observed “What must I with them?” “First,catchyourhair Welluptowardthehead,please Nowpullitout One, two,three—yank!” “Ouch!”saidthevoiceabove “Doitagain Nowhaveyougottwo?” “Yes.” “Knotthemtogether.” Therewasaperiodofsilence “It'sverydifficult,”complainedthegirl “Because you're doing it in silence There must be sprightly conversation or thecharmwon'twork Talk!” “Whatabout?” “TellmewhoyouthoughtIwaswhenyousaid,'Boo!'atme.” “Agoose.” “A—aGOOSE!Why—what—” “Doesn'toneproverbiallysay'Boo!'toagoose?”sheremarkeddemurely “Ifonehasthecourage Now,Ihaven't I'mshy.” “Shy!You?”Againthedelicioustrillofhermirthranginhisears “Ishould imaginethattobetheleastofyourtroubles.” “No! Truly.” There was real and anxious earnestness in his assurance “It's becauseIdon'tseeyou IfIwerefacetofacewithyou,I'dstammerandgetred and make a regular imbecile of myself Another reason why I stick down here anddeclinetoyieldtotemptation.” “Owiseyoungman!AREyouyoung?Ouch!” “Reasonably Wasthatthelasthair?” “Positively!I'mscalped You'rearedIndian.” “Tieiton Now,fastenahairpinontheendandletitdown Allright I'vegot it Wait!”Thefragilelineofcommunicationtwitchedforamoment “Haul,now Gently!” businesswhenheoughttohavebeeninbed Andso,nottokeepanyreaderin unendurablesuspense,itwas WhiletheUnspeakablePerkwasmakinghiswaydownthedimandnarrow trail, another equally weary figure shambled out from the main road upon the flats and made for the landing The apparel of Mr Preston Fairfax Fitzhugh Carrollwasinaconditionthathewouldhavedeemedquiteunfitforoneofhis station,hadhebeeninaframeofmindtoconsidersuchmattersatall Hewas not Affairsvastly moreweightyandhuman occupiedhis mind Whathemost wishedwastofindMissPollyBrewsterandunburdenhimselfofthem At the entrance to the pier, he was detained by the American Consul Cluff camerunningdownthelongstructureingreatstrides “Moses,Carroll!I'mgladtoseeyou!Where'veyoubeen?” A week earlier, the scion of all the Virginias would have resented this familiarity from a professional athlete But neither Mr Carroll's mind nor his heartwasasealedinclosure Hehadlearnedmuchinthelastfewdays “Uponthemountain,”hesaid “ForHeaven'ssake,givemeadrink,Cluff!” Theotherproducedaflask “Youdolookshottopieces,”hecommented “FindPerk—Pruyn?” “Yes I'lltellyoulater Where'sMissBrewster?” “Inherstateroom Asleep,Iguess Saidshewantedrest,andnobodywasto disturbhertillwesail.” “Whendowestart?” “Eighto'clock,theysay Thatmeansten WillDr Pruyngethere?” “Heisn'tgoingwithus.” “Oh,no IforgothisDutchpermit Well,he'dbetteruseitquick,orhe'llgoin a box when he does go I wouldn't insure his life for a two-cent stamp in this country.” “Youwouldn'tifyou'dseenwhatIsawlastnight,”saidtheSoutherner,very low Wisner, the busy, efficient little consul, who had been arranging with the officialsforCarroll'sembarkation,nowreturned,bringingwithhimavikingofa man whom he introduced as Dr Stark, of the United States Public Health Service “EitherofyouknowanythingaboutDr Pruyn?”heinquiredanxiously “He'sonhiswaydownthemountainnow,”saidCarroll “Good!He'sorderedaway,I'mgladtosay Justgotthemessage.” “Thenperhapshewillgooutwithus,”saidCluff,withobviousrelief “Isure didhatetothinkofleavingthatboyhere,withthegamelawsforgoggle-eyed Americansentirelysuspended.” “No He'sorderedtoCuracaotostayandwatch We'vegottogethimoutto theDutchshipsomehow.” “Couldn'ttheyachttakehimandtransferhimoutside?”askedCarroll “Mr Carroll,”saidDr Starkearnestly,“beforethisyachtismanyminutesout from the dock, you'll see a yellow flag go up from the end of the corporation pier Afterthat,iftheyachtturnsasideorcomesbackforapackagethatsome onehasleft,ordoesanythingbutholdthestraightestcourseonthecompassfor the blue and open sea—well, she'll be about the foolishest craft that ever ploughedsaltwater.” “Isupposeso,”admittedCarroll “Well,Ihavematterstolookafteronboard.” Into Mr Carroll's cabin it is nobody's business to follow him A man has a righttosomeprivacyofroomandofmind,andiftheSoutherner'sstrugglewith himselfwassevere,atleastitwasofbriefduration Withinhalfanhour,hewas knockingatPollyBrewster'sdoor “PLEASEgo'way,whoeveritis,”answeredapatheticallywearyvoice “MissPolly,it'sFitzhugh Ihaveanoteforyou.” “Leaveitinthesaloon.” “It'simportantthatyouseeitrightaway.” “Fromwhomisit?”queriedthespentvoice “FromDr Pruyn.” “I—Idon'twanttoseeit.” “Youmust!”insistedhersuitor “DidhesayImust?” “No Isay youmust Forgiveme,MissPolly,butI'm going towaitheretill yousayyou'llreadit.” “Pushitunderthedoor,”saidthegirlresignedly Heobeyed Pollytooktheenvelope,summonedupallherspirit,andopened it Itcontainedonepenciledlineandthesignature:— Good-bye Allmyheartgoeswithyouforever L P Somethingflutteredfromtheenvelopetoherfeet Shestoopedandpickedit up Itwasthetiniestandmostdelicateoforchids,purple,withaglowofgoldat its heart To her inflamed pride, it seemed the final insult that he should send suchamessageandsuchareminder,withoutawordofexplanationorpleafor pardon Pardonsheneverwouldhavegranted,butatleasthemighthavehadthe graceofshame “Haveyoureadit?”askedthepatientvoicefromwithout “Yes Thereisnoanswer.” “Dr Pruynsaidtherewouldn'tbe.” “Thenwhyareyouwaiting?” “Toseeyou.” “Oh,Fitz,I'mtoowornout,andI'veasplittingheadache Won'titwait?” “No.”Thevoicewasgentlyinflexible “Moremessages?” “No;somethingImusttellyou Willyoucomeout?” “Isupposeso.” Her tone was utterly listless and limp Utterly listless and limp, she looked, too,assheopenedthedoorandstoodwaiting “MissPolly,it'saboutthewomanatPerkins's—atDr Pruyn'shouse.” Hereyesdilatedwithanger “Iwon'thear!Howdareyoucometome—” “Youmust!Don'tmakeitharderformethanitis.” Shelookedup,startled,andnotedthehaggardlinesinhisface “I'llhearitifyouthinkIshould,Fitz.” “Sheisdead.” “Dead?His—hiswife?” “She wasn't his wife She was a helpless leper, whom he was trying to cure withsomenewserum Hehadtodoitsecretlybecausethereisalawforbidding anyonetoharboraleper.” “Oh,Fitz!”shecried “Andshediedofit?” “No Theykilledher Lastnight.” “They?Who?” “Governmentagents,probably TheywereafterPruyn.” “Howhorrible!And—andMrs Pruyn Wherewasshe?” “Thereisn'tanyMrs Pruyn Thereneverwas.” “ButtheDutchpermit!ItwasforDr Pruynandhiswife.” “Sherwenmisreadtheform SodidI ItreadforDr Pruynandawoman He hopedtotakehertoCuracaoandcompletehisexperiment.” “That'swhathemeantwhenhespokeofbeinglawless,andI'vebeenthinking the basest things of him for it!” The girl, dazed by a flash of complete enlightenment, caught at Carroll's arm with beseeching hands “Where is he, Fitz?” “Onhiswaydownthemountain Perhapsdownherebynow.” “He'scomingtotheship?”sheasked “No;hedoesn'texpecttoseeyouagain Hewascomingdowntomakesure thatwegotoffsafely.” “Fitz,dearFitz,Imustseehim!” “MissPolly,”hesaidmiserably,“I'lldoanythingIcan.” “Oh, poor Fitz!” she cried pityingly, her eyes filling with tears “I wish for yoursakeitwasn'tso Andyouhavebeensosplendidaboutit!” “I'vetriedtomakeamends,andplayfair Ithasn'tbeeneasy ShallIgoback andlookforhim?It'sasmalltown,andIcanfindhim.” “Yes I'll write a note No; I won't Never mind I'll manage it Fitz, go and rest You'rewornout,”shesaidgently BackintoherstateroomwentMissPolly Fromthattimeforthnomansawher nor woman, either, except perhaps her maid, and maids are dark and discreet personsonoccasion Ifthisparticularonekeptherowncounselwhenshesawa trim but tremulous figure drop lightly over the starboard rail of the Polly far forward,pickupasmalltraveling-bagfromthepier,stepbehindtheopportune screen of a load of coffee on a flat car, and reappear to view only as a momentaryswishofskirtfarawayattheshoreend;ifthissamemaidtoldMr Thatcher Brewster, half an hour later, that Miss Polly was asleep in her stateroom, and begged that she be disturbed on no account, as she was utterly wornout,whoshallblameherforhersilenceontheoneoccasionorherspeech on the other? She was but obeying, albeit with tearful misgivings, duly constitutedauthority Eighto'clockstruckonthebellofthelittleProtestantmissionchurchonthe tinyplaza;struckandwaswelcomedbytheechoes,andpassedalongtoeventual silence Withintwominutesafter,therewasaspecialstirandmovementonthe pier, acorrespondingstirand movementonboardthetrimcraft,aswishingof great ropes, and a tooting of whistles White foam churned astern of her A comic-supplement-lookingpelicanonabuoyofftoportflappedherafantastic farewell The blockade-defying yacht Polly was off for blue waters and the freedomoftheseas Ontheshore,feelingwoefullyhelplessandalone,shewhohadbeenthejewel and joy of the Polly bit her lips and closed her eyes, in a tremulous struggle againstthedismalfear:— “Supposehedoesn'tloveme,afterall!” XIV —THEYELLOWFLAG The departing whistle of the yacht Polly struck sharply to the heart of a desolatefigureseatedonabenchintheblazing,dusty,publicsquareofPuerto del Norte, waiting out his first day of pain A kiskadee bird, the only other creaturefoolishenoughtoriskthehotbleaknessoftheplazaatthathour,flitted intoadust-coatedpalm,inspectedhim,putatentativequeryortwo,decidedthat he was of no possible interest, and left the Unspeakable Perk to his own cogitations So deep in wretchedness were the cogitations that he did not hear the light, hesitantfootstep Buthefeltineveryveinandfibertheappealingtouchonhis shoulder “GoodGod!WhatareYOUdoinghere?”hecried,leapingtohisfeet There wasnoawkwardnessorshynessinhisspeechnow;onlywonder-strickenjoy “Icamebacktoseeyou.” “Buttheyacht!Yourship!” “Shehasleft.” “No!Shemustn't!Notwithoutyou!Youcan'tstayhere It'stoodangerous.” “I must They think I'm aboard I left a note for papa He won't get it until they'reatsea Andtheycan'tcomebackforme,canthey?” “No—yes—theymust!ImustseeStarkandWisneratonce.” “Tosendmeaway?” “Yes.” “Withoutforgivingme?” “Forgiving?There'snoquestionofthatbetweenyouandme.” “Thereis Fitzhughtoldmeeverything—allaboutthepoordeadwoman.” “Ah,heshouldn'thavedonethat.” “Heshould!”Shestampedalittlewillfulfoot “Whatelsecouldhedo?” “Why,yes,”heagreedthoughtfully “Isupposethat'sso Afterall,amancan't bearthenamesthatCarrolldoesandgowrongonthebiginnerthings Hehas methistest,andstoodit Forhecaresverydeeplyforyou.” “PoorFitz!”shesighed “Butherewe'rewastingtime!”hecriedinapanic “WherecanIleaveyou?” “Doyouwanttoleaveme?” “Wantto!”hegroaned “Can'tyouunderstandthatI'vegottogetyoutothe yacht!” “Oh, beetle man, beetle man, don't you WANT me?” she cried dolorously “Didn'tyoumeanyournote?” “Meanit?ImeantitasI'venevermeantanythingintheworld Butyou—what youmean?Doyoumeanthat you'll—you'lllettheyachtgo without you— and—and—andstayhere,andm-m-marryme?” “Ifyoushouldaskme,”shesaid,half-laughing,half-crying,“whatelsecould Ido?I'maloneanddeserted Andthere'sonlyyouintheworld.” “MissP-P-Polly,”hebegan,“I—Ican'tbelieve—” “It's true!” she cried, and held out two yearning hands to him “And if you stammerandstutterand—and—andactliketheUnspeakablePerkNOW,I'll— I'llhowl!” Ifshehadanysuchproject,thechancewaslostontheinstantofthewarning, ashecaughthertohimandheldherclose “Oh!” she cried, trying to push him away “Do you know, sir, that this is a publicsquare?” “Well,Ididn'tchooseit,”heremindedher,laughinginpurejoy,withaboyish notenewtoherear “Anyway,thereareonlyustwounderthesun.”Andhedrew hercloseagain,whisperinginherear “Oh—oh,isthatthelanguageofmedicalscience?”shereproved At this point, generic curiosity overcame the feathered eavesdropper in the treeabove “Qu'est-cequ'ildit?”—“What'shesay?” Thegirlturnedaflushedandadorablefaceupward “Iwon'ttellyou It'sformealone,”shedeclaredjoyously “Butyou'llnever stopsayingit,willyou,dear?” “Never,aslongaswebothshalllive Andthatremindsme,”hesaidsoberly “Wemustarrangeaboutbeingmarried.” “Oh,thatremindsyou,doesit?”shemocked “Justincidentally,likethat.” Boom! Boom! Boom! The mission clock kept patiently at it until its suggestionstruckin “Of course!” he cried “Mr Lake, the missionary, will marry us And we'll haveStarkandWisnerforwitnesses Howlongdoesittakeabridetogetready? Wouldhalfanhourbeenough?” “It's rather a short engagement,” she remarked demurely “But if it's all the timewe'vegot—” “It is But, darling, we'll have to ride for it afterward, and get across to the mainland I'venorighttoletyouinforsucharisk,”hecriedremorsefully “Youcouldn'thelpyourself,”sheteasedsaucily “Iranyoudownlikeoneof yourownbeetles Besides,whatdoesthatpermitfortheDutchshipsay?” “That's for myself and a woman—the leper woman Not for myself and my wife.” “Well,I'mawoman,aren'tI?Anditdoesn'tsaythatthewomanMUSTN'Tbe yourwife.”Sheblusheddistractingly “Caesar! Of course it doesn't! What luck! We'll be in Curacao to-morrow I mustseeWisneraboutgettingusoff But,Polly,dearestone,you'resure?You haven'tletyourselfbecarriedawaybythatfoolishnessofmineyesterday?” “Sure?Oh,beetleman!”Sheputherhands onhisshouldersandbenttohis ear The sulphur-colored winged Paul Pry stuck an impertinent head out from behindapalmleaf “Qu'est-cequ'elledit?Qu'est-cequ'elledit?” Forthesecondandlasttimeinhisadultlifethebeetlemanthrewastoneata bird Four hours later six powerful black oarsmen rowed a boat containing two passengers and practically no luggage out across the huge lazy swells of the Caribbeantowardasmudgeofblacksmoke “Look!”criedthatoneofthepassengerswhoworehugegoggles “Theregoes theflag!” A square of yellow bunting slid slowly up the pierhead staff of the dock corporation,andspreadinthelightshorebreeze “That'sthemodernflamingsword,”hecontinued “Thecolorstirssomething insideme Ugly,isn'tit?” “Itisugly,”sheconfessedthoughtfully “Yetit'stheflagwefightunder,too, isn'tit?Andwe'dfightforitifwehadto,justaswefoughtfortheother—our own.” “Iloveyour'we,'”helaughedhappily Shenestledclosertohim “AreyoustillhatingtheCaribbean?” “I?I'mlovingitthesecond-bestthingintheworld.” “ButIloveditfirst,”sheremindedhimjealously “Dearest,”sheadded,with one of her swift swoops of thought, “what was that funny title the British SecretaryofLegationhad?” “What?Oh,CaptaintheHonorableCareyKnowles?” “Yes Well, I shall have a much nicer, more picturesque title than that when we come back to Caracuna—dear, dirty, dangerous, queer, riotous, plaguestrickenoldCaracuna!” “Thenmyliegeladyloveintendstocomeback?”heasked “Of course Some time And in Caracuna I shall insist on being Mrs the UnspeakablePerk.” THEEND EndofProjectGutenberg'sTheUnspeakablePerk,bySamuelHopkinsAdams ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEUNSPEAKABLEPERK*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed5009-h.htmor5009-h.zip***** Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/5/0/0/5009/ 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ArchiveFoundation,howtohelpproduceourneweBooks,andhowto subscribetoouremailnewslettertohearaboutneweBooks ... —LOSYANKIS IX — THE BLACKWARNING X — THE FOLLYOF PERK XI —PRESTOCHANGE XII — THE WOMANAT THE QUINTA XIII —LEFTBEHIND XIV — THE YELLOWFLAG THE UNSPEAKABLE PERK I —MR BEETLEMAN The man sat... “SoundsSouthern,”commented the manbelow “Southern!He'smoreSouthernthan the SouthPole Hisancestorsfoughtall the warsandownedall the negroes—hecallsthem'niggers'—andmarriedinto all the. .. and the sides,toadmit the rainin the wetseasonand the fliesin the dry Three balconiesrunupfrom the dining-roomwelltothisroof,anduponthese,asnear to the railings as they choose, the rather conglomerate patronage of the place
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