Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- The Unspeakable Perk - 1/39 -


THE UNSPEAKABLE PERK

BY SAMUEL HOPKINS ADAMS

CONTENTS

I. MR. BEETLE MAN II. AT THE KAST III. THE BETTER PART OF VALOR IV. TWO ON A MOUNTAIN-SIDE V. AN UPHOLDER OF TRADITIONS VI. FORKED TONGUES VII. "THAT WHICH THY SERVANT IS--" VIII. LOS YANKIS IX. THE BLACK WARNING X. THE FOLLY OF PERK XI. PRESTO CHANGE! XII. THE WOMAN AT THE QUINTA XIII. LEFT BEHIND XIV. THE YELLOW FLAG

THE UNSPEAKABLE PERK

I

MR. BEETLE MAN

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 there every day to sit in the shade of the overhanging boulder, where there was a little trickle of cool air down the slope and a little trickle of cool water from a crevice beneath the rock, to despise that placid, unimpressionable ocean and all its works and to wish that it would dry up forthwith, so that he might walk back to the blessed United States of America. In good plain American, the young man was pretty homesick.

Two-man's-lengths up the mountain, on the crest of the sturdy hater's rock, the girl sat, loving the Caribbean Sea. Hers, also, was a large contract, and she was much newer to it than was the man to his, for she had only just discovered this vantage-ground by turning accidentally into a side trail--quite a private little side trail made by her unsuspected neighbor below--whence one emerges from a sea of verdure into full view of the sea of azure. For the time, she was content to 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 resume the trail and return to the city of Caracuna, somewhere behind her. That is, she would if she could find it, which was by no means certain. Not that she greatly cared. If she were really lost, they'd come out and get her. Meantime, all she wished was to rest mind and body in the contemplation of that restful plain of cool sapphire, four thousand feet below.

But there was a spirit of mischief abroad upon that mountain slope. It embodied itself in a puff of wind that stirred gratefully the curls above the girl's brow. Also, it fanned the neck of the watcher below and cunningly moved his hat from his side; not more than a few feet, indeed, but still far enough to transfer it 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 lower treetop, compelling him to throw stones, perhaps to its permanent damage, in order to dislodge it, why, that was just one more cause of offense to pin to his indictment of irritation against the great island republic of Caracuna. Such is the temper one gets into after a year in the tropics.

Like as peas are panama hats to the eyes of the inexpert; far more like than men who live under them. For the girl, it was a direct inference that this was a hat which she knew intimately; which, indeed, she had rather maliciously eluded, riot half an hour before. Therefore, she addressed it familiarly: "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 meant dismay or wrath or both, as something metallic tinkled and slid, presently coming to a stop beside the hat, where it revealed itself as a pair of enormous, aluminum-mounted brown-green spectacles. After it, on all fours, scrambled the owner.

Shock number one: It wasn't the man at all! Instead of the black- haired, flanneled, slender Adonis whom the trouble-maker confidently assumed to have been under that hat, she beheld a brownish-clad, stocky figure with a very blond head.

Shock number two: The figure was groping lamentably and blindly in the undergrowth, and when, for an instant, the face was turned half toward her, she saw that the eyes were squinted tight-closed, with a painful extreme of muscular tension about them.

Presently one of the ranging hands encountered the spectacles, and settled upon them. With careful touches, it felt them all over. A mild grunt, presumably of satisfaction, made itself heard, and the figure got to its feet. But before the face turned again, the girl had stepped back, out of range.

Silence, above and below; a silence the long persistence of which came near to constituting shock number three. What sort of hermit had she intruded upon? 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 spectacled owner had resumed his original situation.

"Say WHAT again?" she inquired.

"Anything," returned the voice, with child-like content.

"Oh, I--I hope you didn't break your glasses."

"No; you didn't."

On consideration, she decided to ignore this prompt countering of the pronoun.

"I thought you were some one else," she observed.

"Well, so I am, am I not?"

"So you are what?"

"Some one else than you thought."

"Why, yes, I suppose--But I meant some one else besides yourself."

"I only wish I were."

"Why?" she asked, intrigued by the fervid inflection of the wish.

"Because then I'd be somewhere else than in this infernal hell- hole of a black-and-tan nursery of revolution, fever, and trouble!"

"I think it one of the loveliest spots I've ever seen," said she loftily.

"How long have you been here?"

"On this rock? Perhaps five minutes."

"Not on the rock. In Caracuna?"

"Quite a long time. Nearly a fortnight."

The commentary on this was so indefinite that she was moved to inquire:--

"Is that a local dialect you're speaking?"

"No; that was a grunt."

"I don't think it was a very polite grunt, even as grunts go."

"Perhaps not. I'm afraid I'm out of the habit."

"Of grunting? You seem expert enough to satisfy--"

"No; of being polite. I'll apologize if--if you'll only go on talking."

She laughed aloud.

"Or laughing," he amended promptly. "Do it again."

"One can't laugh to order!" she protested; "or even talk to order. But why do you stay 'way out here in the mountains if you're so eager to hear the human voice?"

"The human voice be--choked! It's YOUR human voice I want to hear --your kind of human voice, I mean." "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's widely different from the kind that afflicts the suffering ear in this part of 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


The Unspeakable Perk - 1/39

    Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6   10   20   30   39 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything