GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS
A Chapter Concerning Drusilla, Pa-pah and a
Capital had now been furnished for
The Green Mouse, Limited; a great central station of white marble
was being built, facing Madison Avenue and occupying the entire
block front between Eighty-second and Eighty- third streets.
The building promised
to be magnificent; the plans provided for a thousand private operating
rooms, each beautifully furnished in Louis XVI style, a restaurant,
a tea room, a marriage licence bureau, and an emergency chapel where
first aid clergymen were to be always in attendance.
In each of the thousand
Louis XVI operating rooms a Destyn-Carr wireless instrument was
to stand upon a rococo table. A maid to every two rooms, a physician
to every ten, and smelling salts to each room, were provided for
in this gigantic enterprise.
Millions of circulars
were being prepared to send broadcast over the United States. They
read as follows:
ARE YOU IN LOVE?
IF NOT, WHY NOT?
Wedlock by Wireless. Marriage by Machinery. A Wondrous
Wooer Without Words! No more doubt; no more hesitation; no more
uncertainty. The Destyn-Carr Wireless Apparatus does it all for
you. Happy Marriage Guaranteed or money eagerly refunded!
Psychical Science says that for every man and woman on earth there
is a predestined mate!
That mate can be discovered for you by The Green
Why waste time with costly courtship? Why frivol?
There is only ONE mate created for YOU. You pay us; We find that
ONE, thereby preventing mistakes, lawsuits, elopements, regrets,
Divorce Absolutely Eliminated
By Our Infallible Wireless Method
It is now known the world over that Professor William
Augustus Destyn has discovered that the earth we live on is enveloped
in Psychical Currents. By the Destyn-Carr instrument these currents
may be tapped, controlled and used to communicate between two
people of opposite sex whose subconscious and psychic personalities
are predestined to affinity and amorous accord. In other words,
when psychic waves from any individual are collected or telegraphed
along these wireless psychical currents, only that one affinity
attuned to receive them can properly respond.
We catch your psychic waves for you. We send
them out into the world.
WATCH THAT SPARK!
When you see a tiny bluish-white spark tip the
tentacle of the Destyn- Carr transmitter,
THE WORLD IS YOURS!
Our method is quick, painless, merciful and certain.
Fee, twenty-five dollars in advance. Certified checks accepted.
GREEN MOUSE, Limited.
President . . . . . .
PROF. WM. AUGUSTUS DESTYN.
Vice-Presidents . .
THE HON. KILLIAN VAN K. ANDERDYNK.
THE HON. GEORGE GRAY, 3D.
Treasurer . . . . . .
THE HON. BUSHWYCK CARR.
circulars were composed, illuminated and printed upon vellum by
what was known as an "Art" community in West Borealis, N.J. Several
tons were expected for delivery early in June.
Meanwhile, the Carr
family and its affiliations had invested every cent they possessed
in Green Mouse, Limited; and those who controlled the stock were
Bushwyck Carr; William Augustus Destyn and Mrs. Destyn, née
Ethelinda Carr; Mr. Killian Van K. Vanderdynk and Mrs. Vanderdynk,
née Sacharissa Carr; George Gray and Mrs. Gray, very lately
Sybilla Carr; and the unmarried triplets, Flavilla and Drusilla
Remembering with a
shudder how Bell Telephone and Standard Oil might once have been
bought for a song, Bushwyck Carr determined that in this case his
pudgy fingers should not miss the forelock of Time and the divided
skirts of Chance.
Squinting at the viewless
ether through his monocle he beheld millions in it; so did William
Augustus Destyn and the other sons-in-law.
Only the unmarried
triplets, Flavilla and Drusilla, remained amiably indifferent in
the midst of all these family financial scurryings and preparations
to secure world patents in a monopoly which promised the social
regeneration of the globe.
The considerable independent
fortunes that their mother had left them they invested in Green
Mouse, at their father's suggestion; but further than that they
took no part in the affair.
For a while the hurry
and bustle and secret family conferences mildly interested them.
Very soon, however, the talk of psychic waves and millions bored
them; and as soon as the villa at Oyster Bay was opened they were
glad enough to go.
Here, at Oyster Bay,
there was some chance of escaping their money-mad and wave-intoxicated
family; they could entertain and be entertained by both of the younger
sets in that dignified summer resort; they could wander about their
own vast estate alone; they could play tennis, sail, swim, ride,
and drive their tandem.
But best of all--for
they were rather seriously inclined at the age of eighteen, or,
rather, on the verge of nineteen--they adored sketching, in water
colors, out of doors.
Scrubby forelands set
with cedars, shadow-flecked paths under the scrub oak, meadows where
water glimmered, white sails off Center Island and Cooper's Bluff--Cooper's
Bluff from the north, northeast, east, southeast, south--this they
painted with never-tiring, Pecksniffian patience, boxing the compass
around it as enthusiastically as that immortal architect circumnavigated
And one delicious morning
in early June, when the dew sparkled on the poison ivy and the air
was vibrant with the soft monotone of mosquitoes and the public
road exhaled a delicate aroma of crude oil, Drusilla and Flavilla,
laden with sketching-blocks, color-boxes, camp-stools, white umbrellas
and bonbons, descended to the great hall, on sketching bent.
Mr. Carr also stood
there, just outside on the porch, red, explosive, determined legs
planted wide apart, defying several courtly reporters, who for a
month had patiently and politely appeared every hour to learn whether
Mr. Carr had anything to say about the new invention, rumors of
which were flying thick about Park Row.
"No, I haven't!" he
shouted in his mellow and sonorously musical bellow. "I have told
you one hundred times that when I have anything to say I'll send
for you. Now, permit me to inform you, for the hundred and first
consecutive time, that I have nothing to say--which won't prevent
you from coming back in an hour and standing in exactly the same
ridiculous position you now occupy, and asking me exactly the same
unmannerly questions, and taking the same impertinent snapshots
at my house and my person!"
He executed a ferocious
facial contortion, clapped the monocle into his left eye, and squinted
"I'm getting tired
of this!" he continued. "When I wake in the morning and look out
of my window there are always anywhere from one to twenty reporters
decorating my lawn! That young man over there is the worst and most
persistent offender!"--scowling at a good-looking youth in white
flannels, who immediately blushed distressingly. "Yes, you are,
young man! I'm amazed that you have the decency to blush! Your insolent
sheet, the Evening Star, refers to my Trust Company as a Green Mouse
Trap and a Mouseleum. It also publishes preposterous
pictures of myself and family. Dammit, sir, they even produce a
photograph of Orlando, the family cat! You did it, I am told. Did
"I am trying to do
what I can for my paper, Mr. Carr," said the young man. "The public
Mr. Carr regarded him
with peculiar hatred.
"Come here," he said;
"I have got something to say to you."
The young man cautiously
left the ranks of his fellows and came up on the porch. Behind Mr.
Carr, in the doorway, stood Drusilla and Flavilla. The young man
tried not to see them; he pretended not to. But he flushed deeply.
"I want to know," demanded
Mr. Carr, "why the devil you are always around here blushing. You've
been around here blushing for a month, and I want to know why you
The youth stood speechless,
features afire to the tips of his glowing ears.
"At first," continued
Mr. Carr, mercilessly, "I had a vague hope that you might perhaps
be blushing for shame at your profession; I heard that you were
young at it, and I was inclined to be sorry for you. But I'm not
sorry any more!"
The young man remained
crimson and dumb.
"Confound it," resumed
Mr. Carr, "I want to know why the deuce you come and blush all over
my lawn. I won't stand it! I'll not allow anybody to come blushing
him; he turned on his heel to enter the house and beheld Flavilla
and Drusilla regarding him, wide-eyed.
He went in, waving
them away before him.
"I've taught that young
pup a lesson," he said with savage satisfaction. "I'll teach him
to blush at me! I'll----"
"But why," asked Drusilla,
"are you so cruel to Mr. Yates? We like him."
repeated her father, astonished. "Is that his name? And who told
"He did," said Drusilla,
Please don't say that about Mr. Yates. He is really exceedingly
kind and civil to us. Every time you go to town on business he comes
and sketches with us at----"
"Oh," said Mr. Carr,
with the calm of deadly fury, "so he goes to Cooper's Bluff with
you when I'm away, does he?"
Flavilla said: "He
doesn't exactly go with us; but he usually comes there to sketch.
He makes sketches for his newspaper."
"Does he?" asked her
father, grinding his teeth.
"Yes," said Drusilla;
"and he sketches so beautifully. He made such perfectly charming
drawings of Flavilla and of me, and he drew pictures of the house
and gardens, and of all the servants, and"--she laughed--"I once
caught a glimpse in his sketch-book of the funniest caricature of
The expression on her
father's face was so misleading in its terrible calm that she laughed
"It was not at all
an offensive caricature, you know--really it was not a caricature
at all--it was you--just the way you stand and look
at people when you are--slightly--annoyed----"
"Oh, he is so clever,"
chimed in Flavilla, "and is so perfectly well-bred and so delightful
to us--to Drusilla particularly. He wrote the prettiest set of verses--To
Drusilla in June--just dashed them off while he was watching her
sketch Cooper's Bluff from the southwest----"
"He is really quite
wonderful," added Drusilla, sincerely, "and so generous and helpful
when my drawing becomes weak and wobbly----"
"Mr. Yates shows Drusilla
how to hold her pencil," said Flavilla, becoming warmly earnest
in her appreciation of this self-sacrificing young man. "He often
lays aside his own sketching and guides Drusilla's hand while she
holds the pencil----"
"And when I'm tired,"
said Drusilla, "and the water colors get into a dreadful mess, Mr.
Yates will drop his own work and come and talk to me about art--and
"He is so
kind!" cried Flavilla in generous enthusiasm.
vitally interesting," said Drusilla.
"And so talented!"
"And so--" Drusilla
glanced up, beheld something in the fixed stare of her parent that
frightened her, and rose in confusion. "Have I said-- done--anything?"
With an awful spasm
Mr. Carr jerked his congested features into the ghastly semblance
of a smile.
"Not at all," he managed
to say. "This is very interesting--what you tell me about this p-pu--this
talented young man. Does he--does he seem-- attracted toward you--unusually
"Yes," said Drusilla,
"How do you know?"
"Because he once said
"Why, he said quite
frankly that he thought me the most delightful girl he had ever
"What--else?" Mr. Carr's
voice was scarcely audible.
"Nothing," said Drusilla;
"except that he said he cared for me very much and wished to know
whether I ever could care very much for him.... I told him I thought
I could. Flavilla told him so, too.... And we all felt rather happy,
I think; at least I did."
Her parent emitted
a low, melodious sort of sound, a kind of mellifluous howl.
"Pa-pah!" they exclaimed
in gentle consternation.
He beat at the empty
air for a moment like a rotund fowl about to seek its roost. Suddenly
he ran distractedly at an armchair and kicked it.
They watched him in
"If we are going to
sketch Cooper's Bluff this morning," observed Drusilla to Flavilla,
"I think we had better go--quietly--by way of the kitchen garden.
Evidently Pa-pah does not care for Mr. Yates."
Orlando, the family
cat, strolled in, conciliatory tail hoisted. Mr. Carr hurled a cushion
at Orlando, then beat madly upon his own head with both hands. Servants
respectfully gave him room; some furniture was overturned--a chair
or two--as he bounced upward and locked and bolted himself in his
What transports of
fury he lived through there nobody else can know; what terrible
visions of vengeance lit up his outraged intellect, what cold intervals
of quivering hate, what stealthy schemes of reprisal, what awful
retribution for young Mr. Yates were hatched in those dreadful moments,
he alone could tell. And as he never did tell, how can I know?
However, in about half
an hour his expression of stony malignity changed to a smile so
cunningly devilish that, as he caught sight of himself in the mirror,
his corrugated countenance really startled him.
"I must smooth out--smooth
out!" he muttered. "Smoothness does it!" And he rang for a servant
and bade him seek out a certain Mr. Yates among the throng of young
men who had been taking snapshots.