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The Enchanted Typewriter
by John Kendrick Bangs
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As may be imagined, I did little real work that day, and when I returned home at night I was on tenter-hooks lest something should go wrong; but fortunately Boswell himself came early and relieved me of my worry—in fact, he was at the machine when I entered the house.

"Well," he said, "have you the ten cars?"

"What do you take me for," said I, "a trolley-car trust? Of course I haven't. There are only five cars in town, one of which is kept in the repair-shop for effect. I've hired one."

"Humph!" he cried. "What will the kings do?"

"Kings!" I cried. "What kings?"

"I have nine kings and one car-load of common souls besides for this affair," he explained. "Each king wants a special car."

"Kings be jiggered!" said I. "A trolley-party, my much beloved James, is an essentially democratic institution, and private cars are not de rigueur. If your kings choose to come, let 'em hang on by the straps."

"But I've charged 'em extra!" cried Boswell.

"That's all right," said I, "they receive extra. They have the ride plus the straps, with the privilege of standing out on the platform and ringing the gong if they want to. The great thing about the trolley-party is that there's no private car business about it."

"Well, I don't know," Boswell murmured, reflectively. "If Charles the First and Louis Fourteenth don't kick about being crowded in with all the rest, I can stand anything that Frederick the Great or Nero might say; but those two fellows are great sticklers for the royal prerogative."

"There isn't any such thing as royal prerogative on a trolley-car," I retorted, "and if they don't like what they get they can sit down in the waiting-room and wait until we get back."

But Boswell's fears were not realized. Charles and Louis were perfectly delighted with the trolley-party, and long before we reached home the former had rung up the fare-register to its full capacity, while the latter, a half-a-dozen times, delightedly occupied himself in mastering the intricacies of the overhead wire. The trolley-party was an undoubted success. The same remains to be said of the vaudeville expedition of the following week. The same guests and potentates attended this, to the number of twenty, and the Boswell tours were accounted a great enterprise, and bade fair to redeem the losses of the eminent journalist incurred during Xanthippe's administration of his affairs; but after the bicycle night I had to withdraw from the combination to save my reputation. The fact upon which I had not counted was that my neighbors began to think me insane. I had failed to remember that none of these visiting spirits was visible to us in this material world, and while my fellow-townsmen were disposed to lay up my hiring of a special trolley-car for my own private and particular use against the eccentricity of genius, they marvelled greatly that I should purchase twenty of the best seats at a vaudeville show seemingly for my own exclusive use. When, besides this, they saw me start off apparently alone on one tandem bicycle, followed by twenty-eight other empty wheels, which they could not know were manipulated by some of the most famous legs in the history of the world, from Noah's down to those of Henry Fielding the novelist, they began to regard me as something uncanny.

Nor can I blame them. It seems to me that if I saw one man scorching along a road alone on a tandem bicycle chatting to an empty front-seat, I should think him queer, but if following in his wake I perceived twenty-eight other wheels, scorching up hill and down dale without any visible motive power, I should regard him as one who was in league with the devil himself.

Nevertheless, I judge from what Boswell has told me that I am regarded in Hades as a great benefactor of the people there, for having established a series of excursions from that world into this, a service which has done much to convince the Stygians that after all, if only by contrast, the life below has its redeeming features.



VII. AN IMPORTANT DECISION

For some time after the organization of the Pleasure Tours, the Enchanted Type-Writer appeared to be deserted. Night after night I watched over it with great care lest I should lose any item of interest that might come to me from below, but, much to my sorrow, things in Hades appeared to be dull—so dull that the machine was not called into requisition at all. I little guessed what important matters were transpiring in that wonderful country. Had I done so, I doubt I should have waited so patiently, although my only method of getting there was suicide, for which diversion I have very little liking. On the twenty-fourth night of waiting, however, the welcome sound of the bell dragged me forth from my comfortable couch, whither, expecting nothing, I had retired early.

"Glad to hear your pleasant tinkle again," I said. "I've missed you."

"I'm glad to get back," returned Boswell, for it was he who was manipulating the keys. "I've been so infernally busy, however, over the court news, that I haven't had a minute to spare."

"Court news, eh?" I said. "You are going to open up a society column, are you?"

"Not I," he replied. "It's the other kind of a court. We've been having some pretty hot litigation down in Hades since I was here last. The city of Cimmeria has been suing the State of Hades for ten years back dog-taxes."

"For what?" I cried.

"Unpaid dog-taxes for ten years," Boswell explained. "We have just as much government below in our cities as you have, and I will say for Hades that our cities are better run than yours."

"I suppose that is due to the fact that when a man gets to Hades he immediately becomes a reformer," I suggested, with a wink at the machine, which somehow or other did not seem to appreciate the joke.

"Possibly," observed Boswell. "Whatever the reason, however, the fact remains that Cimmeria is a well-governed city, and, what is more, it isn't afraid to assert its rights even as against old Apollyon himself."

"It's safe enough for a corporation," said I. "Much safer for a corporation which has no soul, than for an individual who has. You can't torture a city—"

"Oh, can't you!" laughed Boswell. "Humph. Apollyon can make it as hot for a city as he can for an individual. It is evident that you never heard of Sodom and Gomorrah—which is surprising to me, since your jokes about Lot's wife being too fresh and getting salted down, would seem to indicate that you had heard something about the punishment those cities underwent."

"You are right, Bozzy," I said. "I had forgotten. But tell me about the dog-tax. Does the State own a dog?"

"Does it?" roared Boswell. "Why, my dear fellow, where were you brought up and educated. Does the State own a dog!"

"That's what I asked you," I put in, meekly. "I may be very ignorant, unless you mean the kind that we have in our legislatures, called the watch-dogs of the treasury, or, perhaps, the dogs of war. But I never thought any city would be crazy enough to make the government take out a license for them."

"Never heard of a beast named Cerberus, I suppose?" said Boswell.

"Yes, I have," I answered. "He guards the gates to the infernal regions."

"Well—he's the bone of contention," said Boswell. "You see, about ten years ago the people of Cimmeria got rather tired of the condition of their streets. They were badly paved. They were full of good intentions, but the citizens thought they ought to have something more lasting, so they voted to appropriate an enormous sum for asphalting. They didn't realize how sloppy asphalt would become in that climate, but after the asphalt was put down they found out, and a Beelzebub of a time of it they had. Pegasus sprained his off hind leg by slipping on it, Bucephalus got into it with all four feet and had to be lifted out with a derrick, and every other fine horse we had was more or less injured, and the damage suits against the city were enormous. To remedy this, the asphalting was taken up and a Nicholson wood pavement was put down. This was worse than the other. It used to catch fire every other night, and, finally, to protect their houses, the people rose up en masse and ripped it all to pieces.

"This necessitated a third new pavement, of Belgian blocks, to pay for which the already overburdened city of Cimmeria had to issue bonds to an enormous amount, all of which necessitated an increase of taxes. Naturally, one of the first taxes to be imposed was a dog-tax, and it was that which led to this lawsuit, which, I regret to say, the city has lost, although Judge Blackstone's decision was eminently fair."

"Wouldn't the State pay?" I asked.

"Yes—on Cerberus as one dog," said Boswell. "The city claimed, however, that Cerberus was more than that, and endeavored to collect on three dogs—one license for each head. This the State declined to pay, and out of this grew further complications of a distressing nature. The city sent its dog-catchers up to abscond with the dog, intending to cut off two of its heads, and return the balance as being as much of the beast as the State was entitled to maintain on a single license. It was an unfortunate move, for when Cerberus himself took the situation in, which he did at a glance, he nabbed the dog-catcher by the coat-tails with one pair of jaws, grabbed hold of his collar with another, and shook him as he would a rat, meanwhile chewing up other portions of the unfortunate official with his third set of teeth. The functionary was then carried home on a stretcher, and subsequently sued the city for damages, which he recovered.

"Another man was sent out to lure the ferocious beast to the pound with a lasso, but it worked no better than the previous attempt. The lasso fell all right tight about one of the animal's necks, but his other two heads immediately set to work and gnawed the rope through, and then set off after the dog-catcher, overtaking him at the very door of the pound. This time he didn't do any biting, but lifting the dog-catcher up with his various sets of teeth, fastened to his collar, coat-tails, and feet respectively, carried him yelling like a trooper to the end of the wharf and dropped him into the Styx. The result of this was nervous prostration for the dog-catcher, another suit for damages for the city, and a great laugh for the State authorities. In fact," Boswell added, confidentially, "I think perhaps the reason why the Prime-minister hasn't got Apollyon to hang the whole city government has been due to the fun they've got out of seeing Cerberus and the city fighting it out together. There's no doubt about it that he is a wonderful dog, and is quite capable of taking care of himself."

"But the outcome of the case?" I asked, much interested.

"Defeat for the city," said Boswell. "Failing to enforce its authority by means of its servants, the city undertook to recover by due process of law. The dog-catchers were powerless; the police declined to act on the advice of the commissioners, since dog-catching was not within their province; and the fire department averred that it was designed for the putting out of fires and not for extinguishing fiery canines like Cerberus. The dog, meanwhile, to show his contempt for the city, chewed the license-tag off the neck upon which it had been placed, and dropped it into a smelting-pot inside the gates of the infernal regions that was reserved to bring political prisoners to their senses, and, worse than all, made a perfect nuisance of himself by barking all day and baying all night, rain or shine."

"Papers in a suit at law were then served on Mazarin and the other members of Apollyon's council, the causes of complaint were recited, and damages for ten years back taxes on two dogs, plus the amounts recovered from the city by the two injured dog-catchers, were demanded. The suit was put upon the calendar, and Apollyon himself sat upon the bench with Judge Blackstone, before whom the case was to be tried.

"On both sides the arguments were exceedingly strong. Coke appeared for the city and Catiline for the State. After the complaint was read, the attorney for the State put in his answer, that the State's contention was that the ordinance had been complied with, that Cerberus was only one dog, and that the license had been paid; that the license having been paid, the dog-catchers had no right to endeavor to abduct the animal, and that having done so they did it at their own peril; that the suit ought to be dismissed, but that for the fun of it the State was perfectly willing to let it go on.

"In rebuttal the plaintiff claimed that Cerberus was three dogs to all intents and purposes, and the first dog-catcher was called to testify. After giving his name and address he was asked a few questions of minor importance, and then Coke asked:

"'Are you familiar with dogs?'

"'Moderately,' was the answer. 'I never got quite so intimate with one as I did with him.'

"'With whom?' asked Coke.

"'Cerberus,' replied the witness.

"'Do you consider him to be one dog, two dogs or three dogs?'

"'I object!' cried Catiline, springing to his feet. 'The question is a leading one.'

"'Sustained,' said Blackstone, with a nervous glance at Apollyon, who smiled reassuringly at him.

"'Ah, you say you know a dog when you see one?' asked Coke.

"'Yes,' said the witness, 'perfectly.'

"'Do you know two dogs when you see them, or even three?' asked Coke.

"'I do,' replied the witness.

"'And how many dogs did you see when you saw Cerberus?' asked Coke, triumphantly.

"'Three, anyhow,' replied the witness, with feeling, 'though afterwards I thought there was a whole bench-show atop of me.'

"'Your witness,' said Coke.

"A murmur of applause went through the court-room, at which Apollyon frowned; but his face cleared in a moment when Catiline rose up.

"'My cross-examination of this witness, your honor, will be confined to one question.' Then turning to the witness he said, blandly: 'My poor friend, if you considered Cerberus to be three dogs anyhow, why did you in your examination a moment since refer to the avalanche of caninity, of which you so affectingly speak, as him?'

"'He is a him,' said the witness.

"'But if there were three, should he not have been a them?'

"Coke swore profanely beneath his breath, and the witness squirmed about in his chair, confused and broken, while both Judge Blackstone and Apollyon smiled broadly. Manifestly the point of the defence had pierced the armor of the plaintiff.

"'Your witness for re-direct,' said Catiline.

"'No thanks,' retorted Coke; 'there are others,' and, motioning to his first witness to step down, he called the second dog-catcher.

"'What is your business?' asked Coke, after the usual preliminary questions.

"'I'm out of business. Livin' on my damages,' said the witness.

"'What damages?' asked Coke.

"'Them I got from the city for injuries did me by that there—I should say them there—dorgs, Cerberus.'

"'Them there what?' persisted Coke, to emphasize the point.

"'Dorgs,' said the witness, convincingly—'D-o-r-g-s.'

"'Why s?' queried Coke. 'We may admit the r, but why the s?'

"'Because it's the pullural of dorg. Cerberus ain't any single-headed commission,' said the witness, who was something of a ward politician.

"'Why do you say that Cerberus is more than one dog?'

"'Because I've had experience,' replied the witness. 'I've seen the time when he was everywhere all at once; that's why I say he's more than one dorg. If he'd been only one dorg he couldn't have been anywhere else than where he was.'

"'When was that?'

"'When I lassoed him.'

"'Him?' remonstrated Coke.

"'Yes,' said the witness. 'I only caught one of him, and then the other two took a hand.'

"'Ah, the other two,' said Coke. 'You know dogs when you see them?'

"'I do, and he was all of 'em in a bunch,' replied the witness.

"'Your witness,' said Coke.

"'My friend,' said Catiline, rising quietly. 'How many men are you?'

"'One, sir,' was the answer.

"'Have you ever been in two places at once?'

"'Yes, sir.'

"'When was that?'

"'When I was in jail and in London all at the same time.'

"'Very good; but were you in two places on the day of this attack upon you by Cerberus?'

"'No, sir. I wish I had been. I'd have stayed in the other place.'

"'Then if you were in but one place yourself, how do you know that Cerberus was in more than one place?'

"'Well, I guess if you—'

"'Answer the question,' said Catiline.

"'Oh, well—of course—'

"'Of course,' echoed Catiline. 'That's it, your honor; it is only "of course,"—and I rest my case. We have no witnesses to call. We have proven by their own witnesses that there is no evidence of Cerberus being more than one dog.'

"You ought to have heard the cheers as Catiline sat down," continued Boswell. "As for poor Coke, he was regularly knocked out, but he rose up to sum up his case as best he could. Blackstone, however, stopped him right at the beginning.

"'The counsel for the plaintiff might as well sit down,' he said, 'and save his breath. I've decided this case in favor of the defendant long ago. It is plain to every one that Cerberus is only one dog, in spite of his many talents and manifest ability to be in several places at once, and inasmuch as the tax which is sued for is merely a dog-tax and not a poll-tax, I must render judgment for the defendants, with costs. Next case.'

"And the city of Cimmeria was thrown out of court," concluded Boswell. "Interesting, eh?"

"Very," said I. "But how will this affect Blackstone? Isn't he a City Judge?"

"No," replied Boswell; "he was, but his term expired this morning, and this afternoon Apollyon appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hades."



VIII. A HAND-BOOK TO HADES

"Boswell," said I, the other night, as the machine began to click nervously. "I have just received a letter from an unknown friend in Hawaii who wants to know how the prize-fight between Samson and Goliath came out that time when Kidd and his pirate crew stole the House-Boat on the Styx."

"Just wait a minute, please," the machine responded. "I am very busy just now mapping out the itinerary of the first series of the Boswell Personally Conducted Tours you suggested some time ago. I laid that whole proposition before the Entertainment Committee of the Associated Shades, and they have resolved unanimously to charter the Ex-Great Eastern from the Styx Navigation Company, and return to the scenes of their former glory, devoting a year to it."

"Going to take their wives?" I asked.

"I don't know," Boswell replied. "That is a matter outside of the jurisdiction of the committee and must be decided by a full vote of the club. I hope they will, however. As manager of the enterprise I need assistance, and there are some of the men who can't be managed by anybody except their wives, or mothers-in-law, anyhow. I'll be through in a few minutes. Meanwhile let me hand you the latest product of the Boswell press."

With this the genial spirit produced from an invisible pocket a red-covered book bearing the delicious title of "Baedeker's Hades: A Hand-book for Travellers," which has entirely superseded, according to the advertisement on the fly-leaves, such books as Virgil and Dante's Inferno as the best guide to the lower regions, as well it might, for it appeared on perusal to have been prepared with as much care as one of the more material guide-books of the same publisher, which so greatly assist travellers on this side of the Stygian River.

Some time, if Boswell will permit, I shall endeavor to have this little volume published in this country since it contains many valuable hints to the man of a roving disposition, or for the stay-at-home, for that matter, for all roads lead to Hades. For instance, we do not find in previous guide-books, like Dante's Inferno, any references whatsoever to the languages it is well to know before taking the Stygian tour; to the kind of money needed, or its quantity per capita; no allusion to the necessity of passports is found in Dante or Virgil; custom-house requirements are ignored by these authors; no statements as to the kind of clothing needed, the quality of the hotels—nor indeed any real information of vital importance to the traveller is to be found in the older books. In Baedeker's Hades, on the other hand, all these subjects are exhaustively treated, together with a very comprehensive series of chapters on "Stygian Wines," "Climate," and "Hellish Art"—the expression is not mine—and other topics of essential interest.

And of what suggestive quality was this little book. Who would ever have guessed from a perusal of Dante that as Hades is the place of departed spirits so also is it the ultimate resting-place of all other departed things. What delightful anticipations are there in the idea of a visit to the Alexandrian library, now suitably housed on the south side of Apollyon Square, Cimmeria, in a building that would drive the trustees of the Boston Public Library into envious despair, even though living Bacchantes are found daily improving their minds in the recesses of its commodious alcoves! What joyous feelings it gives one to think of visiting the navy-yards of Tyre and finding there the ships concerning the whereabouts of which poets have vainly asked questions for ages! Who would ever dream that the question of the balladist, himself an able dreamer concerning classic things, "Where are the Cities of Old Time," could ever find its answer in a simple guide-book telling us where Carthage is, where Troy and all the lost cities of antiquity!

Then the details of amusements in this wonderful country—who could gather aught of these from the Italian poet? The theatres of Gehenna, with "Hamlet" produced under the joint direction of Shakespeare and the Prince of Denmark himself, the great Zoo of Sheolia, with Jumbo, and the famous woolly horse of earlier days, not to mention the long series of menageries which have passed over the dark river in the ages now forgotten; the hanging gardens of Babylon, where the picnicking element of Hades flock week after week, chuting the chutes, and clambering joyously in and out of the Trojan Horse, now set up in all its majesty therein, with bowling-alleys on its roof, elevators in its legs, and the original Ferris-wheel in its head; the freak museums in the densely populated sections of the large cities, where Hop o' my Thumb and Jack the Giant Killer are exhibited day after day alongside of the great ogres they have killed; the opera-house, with Siegfried himself singing, supported by the real Brunhild and the original, bona fide dragon Fafnir, running of his own motive power, and breathing actual fire and smoke without the aid of a steam-engine and a plumber to connect him therewith before he can go out upon the stage to engage Siegfried in deadly combat.

For the information contained in this last item alone, even if the book had no other virtue, it would be worthy of careful perusal from the opening paragraph on language, to the last, dealing with the descent into the Vitriol Reservoir at Gehenna. The account of the feeding of Fafnir, to which admission can be had on payment of ten oboli, beginning with a puree of kerosene, followed by a half-dozen cartridges on the half-shell, an entree of nitro-glycerine, a solid roast of cannel-coal, and a salad of gun-cotton, with a mayonnaise dressing of alcohol and a pinch of powder, topped off with a demi-tasse of benzine and a box of matches to keep the fires of his spirit going, is one of the most moving things I have ever read, and yet it may be said without fear of contradiction that until this guide-book was prepared very few of the Stygian tourists have imagined that there was such a sight to be seen. I have gone carefully over Dante, Virgil, and the works of Andrew Lang, and have found no reference whatsoever in the pages of any of these talented persons to this marvellous spectacle which takes place three times a day, and which I doubt not results in a performance of Siegfried for the delectation of the music lovers of Hades, which is beyond the power of the human mind to conceive.

The hand-book has an added virtue, which distinguishes it from any other that I have ever seen, in that it is anecdotal in style at times where an anecdote is available and appropriate. In connection with this same Fafnir, as showing how necessary it is for the tourist to be careful of his personal safety in Hades, it is related that upon one occasion the keeper of the dragon having taken a grudge against Siegfried for some unintentional slight, fed Fafnir upon Roman-candles and a sky-rocket, with the result that in the fight between the hero and the demon of the wood the Siegfried was seriously injured by the red, white, and blue balls of fire which the dragon breathed out upon him, while the sky-rocket flew out into the audience and struck a young man in the top gallery, knocking him senseless, the stick falling into a grand-tier box and impaling one of the best known social lights of Cimmeria. "Therefore," adds the astute editor of the hand-book, "on Siegfried nights it were well if the tourist were to go provided with an asbestos umbrella for use in case of an emergency of a similar nature."

In that portion of the book devoted to the trip up the river Styx the legends surpass any of the Rhine stories in dramatic interest, because, according to Commodore Charon's excursion system, the tourist can step ashore and see the chief actors in them, who for a consideration will give a full-dress rehearsal of the legendary acts for which they have been famous. The sirens of the Stygian Lorelei, for instance, sit on an eminence not far above the city of Cimmeria, and make a profession of luring people ashore and giving away at so much per head locks of their hair for remembrance' sake, all of which makes of the Stygian trip a thing of far greater interest than that of the Rhine.

It had been my intention to make a few extracts from this portion of the volume showing later developments in the legends of the Drachenfels, and others of more than ordinary interest, but I find that with the departure of Boswell for the night the treasured hand-book disappeared with him; but, as I have already stated, if I can secure his consent to do so I will some day have the book copied off on more material substance than that employed in the original manuscript, so that the useful little tome may be printed and scattered broadcast over a waiting and appreciative world. I may as well state here, too, that I have taken the precaution to have the title "Baedeker's Hades" and its contents copyrighted, so that any pirate who recognizes the value of the scheme will attempt to pirate the work at his peril.

Hardly had I finished the chapter on the legends of the Styx when Boswell broke in upon me with: "Well, how do you like it?"

"It's great," I said. "May I keep it?"

"You may if you can," he laughed. "But I fancy it can't withstand the rigors of this climate any more than an unfireproof copy of one of your books could stand the caniculars of ours."

His words were soon to be verified, for as soon as he left me the book vanished, but whether it went off into thin air or was repocketed by the departing Boswell I am not entirely certain.

"What was it you asked me about Samson and Goliath?" Boswell observed, as he gathered up his manuscript from the floor beside the Enchanted Typewriter. "Whether they'd ever been in Honolulu?"

"No," I replied. "I got a letter from Hawaii the other day asking for the result of the prize-fight the day Kidd ran off with the house-boat."

"Oh," replied Boswell. "That? Why, ah, Samson won hands down, but only because they played according to latter-day rules. If it had been a regular knock-out fight, like the contests in the old days of the ring when it was in its prime, Goliath could have managed him with one hand; but the Samson backers played a sharp game on the Philistine by having the most recently amended Queensbury rules adopted, and Goliath wasn't in it five minutes after Samson opened his mouth."

"I don't think I understand," said I.

"Plain enough," explained Boswell. "Goliath didn't know what the modern rules were, but he thought a fight was a fight under any rules, so, like a decent chap, he agreed, and when he found that it was nothing but a talking-match he'd got into he fainted. He never was good at expressing himself fluently. Samson talked him down in two rounds, just as he did the other Philistines in the early days on earth."

I laughed. "You're slightly off there," I said. "That was a stand-up-and-be-knocked-down fight, wasn't it? He used the jawbone of an ass?"

"Very true," observed Boswell, "but it is evident that it is you who are slightly off. You haven't kept up with the higher criticism. It has been proven scientifically that not only did the whale not swallow Jonah, but that Samson's great feat against the Philistines was comparable only to the achievements of your modern senators. He talked them to death."

"Then why jawbone of an ass?" I cried.

"Samson was an ass," replied Boswell. "They prove that by the temple episode, for you see if he hadn't been one he'd have got out of the building before yanking the foundations from under it. I tell you, old chap, this higher criticism is a great thing, and as logical as death itself."

And with this Boswell left me.

I sincerely hope that the result of the fight will prove as satisfactory to my friend in Hawaii as it was to me; for while I have no particular admiration for Samson, I have always rejoiced to hear of the discomfitures of Goliath, who, so far as I have been able to ascertain, was not only not a gentleman, but, in addition, had no more regard for the rights of others than a member of the New York police force or the editor of a Sunday newspaper with a thirst for sensation.



IX. SHERLOCK HOLMES AGAIN

I had intended asking Boswell what had become of my copy of the Baedeker's Hades when he next returned, but the output of the machine that evening so interested me that the hand-book was entirely forgotten. If there ever was a hero in this world who could compare with D'Artagnan in my estimation for sheer ability in a given line that hero was Sherlock Holmes. With D'Artagnan and Holmes for my companions I think I could pass the balance of my days in absolute contentment, no matter what woful things might befall me. So it was that, when I next heard the tapping keys and dulcet bell of my Enchanted Type-writer, and, after listening intently for a moment, realized that my friend Boswell was making a copy of a Sherlock Holmes Memoir thereon for his next Sunday's paper, all thought of the interesting little red book of the last meeting flew out of my head. I rose quickly from my couch at the first sounding of the gong.

"Got a Holmes story, eh?" I said, walking to his side, and gazing eagerly over the spot where his shoulder should have been.

"I have that, and it's a winner," he replied, enthusiastically. "If you don't believe it, read it. I'll have it copied in about two minutes."

"I'll do both," I said. "I believe all the Sherlock Holmes stories I read. It is so much pleasanter to believe them true. If they weren't true they wouldn't be so wonderful."

With this I picked up the first page of the manuscript and shortly after Boswell presented me with the balance, whereon I read the following extraordinary tale:

A MYSTERY SOLVED

A WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENT IN FERRETING

From Advance Sheets of

MEMOIRS I REMEMBER

BY

SHERLOCK HOLMES, ESQ.

Ferreter Extraordinary by Special Appointment to his Majesty Apollyon

———————-

WHO THE LADY WAS!

It was not many days after my solution of the Missing Diamond of the Nizam of Jigamaree Mystery that I was called upon to take up a case which has baffled at least one person for some ten or eleven centuries. The reader will remember the mystery of the missing diamond—the largest known in all history, which the Nizam of Jigamaree brought from India to present to the Queen of England, on the occasion of her diamond jubilee. I had been dead three years at the time, but, by a special dispensation of his Imperial Highness Apollyon, was permitted to return incog to London for the jubilee season, where it so happened that I put up at the same lodging-house as that occupied by the Nizam and his suite. We sat opposite each other at table d'hote, and for at least three weeks previous to the losing of his treasure the Indian prince was very morose, and it was very difficult to get him to speak. I was not supposed to know, nor, indeed, was any one else, for that matter, at the lodging-house, that the Nizam was so exalted a personage. He like myself was travelling incog and was known to the world as Mr. Wilkins, of Calcutta—a very wise precaution, inasmuch as he had in his possession a gem valued at a million and a half of dollars. I recognized him at once, however, by his unlikeness to a wood-cut that had been appearing in the American Sunday newspapers, labelled with his name, as well as by the extraordinary lantern which he had on his bicycle, a lantern which to the uneducated eye was no more than an ordinary lamp, but which to an eye like mine, familiar with gems, had for its crystal lens nothing more nor less than the famous stone which he had brought for her Majesty the Queen, his imperial sovereign. There are few people who can tell diamonds from plate-glass under any circumstances, and Mr. Wilkins, otherwise the Nizam, realizing this fact, had taken this bold method of secreting his treasure. Of course, the moment I perceived the quality of the man's lamp I knew at once who Mr. Wilkins was, and I determined to have a little innocent diversion at his expense.

"It has been a fine day, Mr. Wilkins," said I one evening over the pate.

"Yes," he replied, wearily. "Very—but somehow or other I'm depressed to-night."

"Too bad," I said, lightly, "but there are others. There's that poor Nizam of Jigamaree, for instance—poor devil, he must be the bluest brown man that ever lived."

Wilkins started nervously as I mentioned the prince by name.

"Wh-why do you think that?" he asked, nervously fingering his butter-knife.

"It's tough luck to have to give away a diamond that's worth three or four times as much as the Koh-i-noor," I said. "Suppose you owned a stone like that. Would you care to give it away?"

"Not by a damn sight!" cried Wilkins, forcibly, and I noticed great tears gathering in his eyes.

"Still, he can't help himself, I suppose," I said, gazing abruptly at his scarf-pin. "That is, he doesn't KNOW that he can. The Queen expects it. It's been announced, and now the poor devil can't get out of it—though I'll tell you, Mr. Wilkins, if I were the Nizam of Jigamaree, I'd get out of it in ten seconds."

I winked at him significantly. He looked at me blankly.

"Yes, sir," I added, merely to arouse him, "in just ten seconds! Ten short, beautiful seconds."

"Mr. Postlethwaite," said the Nizam—Postlethwaite was the name I was travelling under—"Mr. Postlethwaite," said the Nizam—otherwise Wilkins—"your remarks interest me greatly." His face wreathed with a smile that I had never before seen there. "I have thought as you do in regard to this poor Indian prince, but I must confess I don't see how he can get out of giving the Queen that diamond. Have a cigar, Mr. Postlethwaite, and, waiter, bring us a triple magnum of champagne. Do you really think, Mr. Postlethwaite, that there is a way out of it? If you would like a ticket to Westminster for the ceremony, there are a half-dozen."

He tossed six tickets for seats among the crowned heads across the table to me. His eagerness was almost too painful to witness.

"Thank you," said I, calmly pocketing the tickets, for they were of rare value at that time. "The way out of it is very simple."

"Indeed, Mr. Postlethwaite," said he, trying to keep cool. "Ah—are you interested in rubies, sir? There are a few which I should be pleased to have you accept"—and with that over came a handful of precious stones each worth a fortune. These also I pocketed as I replied:

"Why, certainly; if I were the Nizam," said I, "I'd lose that diamond."

A shade of disappointment came over Mr. Wilkins's face.

"Lose it? How? Where?" he asked, with a frown.

"Yes. Lose it. Any way I could. As for the place where it should be lost, any old place will do as long as it is where he can find it again when he gets back home. He might leave it in his other clothes, or—"

"Make that two triple magnums, waiter," cried Mr. Wilkins, excitedly, interrupting me. "Postlethwaite, you're a genius, and if you ever want a house and lot in Calcutta, just let me know and they're yours."

You never saw such a change come over a man in all your life. Where he had been all gloom before, he was now all smiles and jollity, and from that time on to his return to India Mr. Wilkins was as happy as a school-boy at the beginning of vacation. The next day the diamond was lost, and whoever may have it at this moment, the British Crown is not in possession of the Jigamaree gem.

But, as my friend Terence Mulvaney says, that is another story. It is of the mystery immediately following this concerning which I have set out to write.

I was sitting one day in my office on Apollyon Square opposite the Alexandrian library, smoking an absinthe cigarette, which I had rolled myself from my special mixture consisting of two parts tobacco, one part hasheesh, one part of opium dampened with a liqueur glass of absinthe, when an excited knock sounded upon my door.

"Come in," I cried, adopting the usual formula.

The door opened and a beautiful woman stood before me clad in most regal garments, robust of figure, yet extremely pale. It seemed to me that I had seen her somewhere before, yet for a time I could not place her.

"Mr. Sherlock Holmes?" said she, in deliciously musical tones, which, singular to relate, she emitted in a fashion suggestive of a recitative passage in an opera.

"The same," said I, bowing with my accustomed courtesy.

"The ferret?" she sang, in staccato tones which were ravishing to my musical soul.

I laughed. "That term has been applied to me, madame," said I, chanting my answer as best I could. "For myself, however, I prefer to assume the more modest title of detective. I can work with or without clues, and have never yet been baffled. I know who wrote the Junius letters, and upon occasions have been known to see through a stone wall with my naked eye. What can I do for you?"

"Tell me who I am!" she cried, tragically, taking the centre of the room and gesticulating wildly.

"Well—really, madame," I replied. "You didn't send up any card—"

"Ah!" she sneered. "This is what your vaunted prowess amounts to, eh? Ha! Do you suppose if I had a card with my name on it I'd have come to you to inquire who I am? I can read a card as well as you can, Mr. Sherlock Holmes."

"Then, as I understand it, madame," I put in, "you have suddenly forgotten your identity and wish me to—"

"Nothing of the sort. I have forgotten nothing. I never knew for certain who I am. I have an impression, but it is based only on hearsay evidence," she interrupted.

For a moment I was fairly puzzled. Still I did not wish to let her know this, and so going behind my screen and taking a capsule full of cocaine to steady my nerves, I gained a moment to think. Returning, I said:

"This really is child's play for me, madame. It won't take more than a week to find out who you are, and possibly, if you have any clews at all to your identity, I may be able to solve this mystery in a day."

"I have only three," she answered, and taking a piece of swan's-down, a lock of golden hair, and a pair of silver-tinsel tights from her portmanteau she handed them over to me.

My first impulse was to ask the lady if she remembered the name of the asylum from which she had escaped, but I fortunately refrained from doing so, and she shortly left me, promising to return at the end of the week.

For three days I puzzled over the clews. Swan's-down, yellow hair, and a pair of silver-tinsel tights, while very interesting no doubt at times, do not form a very solid basis for a theory establishing the identity of so regal a person as my visitor. My first impression was that she was a vaudeville artist, and that the exhibits she had left me were a part of her make-up. This I was forced to abandon shortly, because no woman with the voice of my visitor would sing in vaudeville. The more ambitious stage was her legitimate field, if not grand opera itself.

At this point she returned to my office, and I of course reported progress. That is one of the most valuable things I learned while on earth—when you have done nothing, report progress.

"I haven't quite succeeded as yet," said I, "but I am getting at it slowly. I do not, however, think it wise to acquaint you with my present notions until they are verified beyond peradventure. It might help me somewhat if you were to tell me who it is you think you are. I could work either forward or backward on that hypothesis, as seemed best, and so arrive at a hypothetical truth anyhow."

"That's just what I don't want to do," said she. "That information might bias your final judgment. If, however, acting on the clews which you have, you confirm my impression that I am such and such a person, as well as the views which other people have, then will my status be well defined and I can institute my suit against my husband for a judicial separation, with back alimony, with some assurance of a successful issue."

I was more puzzled than ever.

"Well," said I, slowly, "I of course can see how a bit of swan's-down and a lock of yellow hair backed up by a pair of silver-tinsel tights might constitute reasonable evidence in a suit for separation, but wouldn't it—ah—be more to your purpose if I should use these data as establishing the identity of—er—somebody else?"

"How very dense you are," she replied, impatiently. "That's precisely what I want you to do."

"But you told me it was your identity you wished proven," I put in, irritably.

"Precisely," said she.

"Then these bits of evidence are—yours?" I asked, hesitatingly. One does not like to accuse a lady of an undue liking for tinsel.

"They are all I have left of my husband," she answered with a sob.

"Hum!" said I, my perplexity increasing. "Was the—ah—the gentleman blown up by dynamite?"

"Excuse me, Mr. Holmes," she retorted, rising and running the scales. "I think, after all, I have come to the wrong shop. Have you Hawkshaw's address handy? You are too obtuse for a detective."

My reputation was at stake, so I said, significantly:

"Good! Good! I was merely trying one of my disguises on you, madame, and you were completely taken in. Of course no one would ever know me for Sherlock Holmes if I manifested such dullness."

"Ah!" she said, her face lighting up. "You were merely deceiving me by appearing to be obtuse?"

"Of course," said I. "I see the whole thing in a nutshell. You married an adventurer; he told you who he was, but you've never been able to prove it; and suddenly you are deserted by him, and on going over his wardrobe you find he has left nothing but these articles: and now you wish to sue him for a separation on the ground of desertion, and secure alimony if possible."

It was a magnificent guess.

"That is it precisely," said the lady. "Except as to the extent of his 'leavings.' In addition to the things you have he gave my small brother a brass bugle and a tin sword."

"We may need to see them later," said I. "At present I will do all I can for you on the evidence in hand. I have got my eye on a gentleman who wears silver-tinsel tights now, but I am afraid he is not the man we are after, because his hair is black, and, as far as I have been able to learn from his valet, he is utterly unacquainted with swan's-down."

We separated again and I went to the club to think. Never in my life before had I had so baffling a case. As I sat in the cafe sipping a cocaine cobbler, who should walk in but Hamlet, strangely enough picking particles of swan's-down from his black doublet, which was literally covered with it.

"Hello, Sherlock!" he said, drawing up a chair and sitting down beside me. "What you up to?"

"Trying to make out where you have been," I replied. "I judge from the swan's-down on your doublet that you have been escorting Ophelia to the opera in the regulation cloak."

"You're mistaken for once," he laughed. "I've been driving with Lohengrin. He's got a pair of swans that can do a mile in 2.10—but it makes them moult like the devil."

"Pair of what?" I cried.

"Swans," said Hamlet. "He's an eccentric sort of a duffer, that Lohengrin. Afraid of horses, I fancy."

"And so drives swans instead?" said I, incredulously.

"The same," replied Hamlet. "Do I look as if he drove squab?"

"He must be queer," said I. "I'd like to meet him. He'd make quite an addition to my collection of freaks."

"Very well," observed Hamlet. "He'll be here to-morrow to take luncheon with me, and if you'll come, too, you'll be most welcome. He's collecting freaks, too, and I haven't a doubt would be pleased to know you."

We parted and I sauntered homeward, cogitating over my strange client, and now and then laughing over the idiosyncrasies of Hamlet's friend the swan-driver. It never occurred to me at the moment however to connect the two, in spite of the link of swan's-down. I regarded it merely as a coincidence. The next day, however, on going to the club and meeting Hamlet's strange guest, I was struck by the further coincidence that his hair was of precisely the same shade of yellow as that in my possession. It was of a hue that I had never seen before except at performances of grand opera, or on the heads of fool detectives in musical burlesques. Here, however, was the real thing growing luxuriantly from the man's head.

"Ho-ho!" thought I to myself. "Here is a fortunate encounter; there may be something in it," and then I tried to lead him on.

"I understand, Mr. Lohengrin," I said, "that you have a fine span of swans."

"Yes," he said, and I was astonished to note that he, like my client, spoke in musical numbers. "Very. They're much finer than horses, in my opinion. More peaceful, quite as rapid, and amphibious. If I go out for a drive and come to a lake they trot quite as well across its surface as on the highways."

"How interesting!" said I. "And so gentle, the swan. Your wife, I presume—"

Hamlet kicked my shins under the table.

"I think it will rain to-morrow," he said, giving me a glance which if it said anything said shut up.

"I think so, too," said Lohengrin, a lowering look on his face. "If it doesn't, it will either snow, or hail, or be clear." And he gazed abstractedly out of the window.

The kick and the man's confusion were sufficient proof. I was on the right track at last. Yet the evidence was unsatisfactory because merely circumstantial. My piece of down might have come from an opera cloak and not from a well-broken swan, the hair might equally clearly have come from some other head than Lohengrin's, and other men have had trouble with their wives. The circumstantial evidence lying in the coincidences was strong but not conclusive, so I resolved to pursue the matter and invite the strange individual to a luncheon with me, at which I proposed to wear the tinsel tights. Seeing them, he might be forced into betraying himself.

This I did, and while my impressions were confirmed by his demeanor, no positive evidence grew out of it.

"I'm hungry as a bear!" he said, as I entered the club, clad in a long, heavy ulster, reaching from my shoulders to the ground, so that the tights were not visible.

"Good," said I. "I like a hearty eater," and I ordered a luncheon of ten courses before removing my overcoat; but not one morsel could the man eat, for on the removal of my coat his eye fell upon my silver garments, and with a gasp he wellnigh fainted. It was clear. He recognized them and was afraid, and in consequence lost his appetite. But he was game, and tried to laugh it off.

"Silver man, I see," he said, nervously, smiling.

"No," said I, taking the lock of golden hair from my pocket and dangling it before him. "Bimetallist."

His jaw dropped in dismay, but recovering himself instantly he put up a fairly good fight.

"It is strange, Mr. Lohengrin," said I, "that in the three years I have been here I've never seen you before."

"I've been very quiet," he said. "Fact is, I have had my reasons, Mr. Holmes, for preferring the life of a hermit. A youthful indiscretion, sir, has made me fear to face the world. There was nothing wrong about it, save that it was a folly, and I have been anxious in these days of newspapers to avoid any possible revival of what might in some eyes seem scandalous."

I felt sorry for him, but my duty was clear. Here was my man—but how to gain direct proof was still beyond me. No further admissions could be got out of him, and we soon parted.

Two days later the lady called and again I reported progress.

"It needs but one thing, madame, to convince me that I have found your husband," said I. "I have found a man who might be connected with swan's-down, from whose luxuriant curls might have come this tow-colored lock, and who might have worn the silver-tinsel tights—yet it is all MIGHT and no certainty."

"I will bring my small brother's bugle and the tin sword," said she. "The sword has certain properties which may induce him to confess. My brother tells me that if he simply shakes it at a cat the cat falls dead."

"Do so," said I, "and I will try it on him. If he recognizes the sword and remembers its properties when I attempt to brandish it at him, he'll be forced to confess, though it would be awkward if he is the wrong man and the sword should work on him as it does on the cat."

The next day I was in possession of the famous toy. It was not very long, and rather more suggestive of a pancake-turner than a sword, but it was a terror. I tested its qualities on a swarm of gnats in my room, and the moment I shook it at them they fluttered to the ground as dead as door-nails.

"I'll have to be careful of this weapon," I thought. "It would be terrible if I should brandish it at a motor-man trying to get one of the Gehenna Traction Company's cable-cars to stop and he should drop dead at his post."

All was now ready for the demonstration. Fortunately the following Saturday night was club night at the House-Boat, and we were all expected to come in costume. For dramatic effect I wore a yellow wig, a helmet, the silver-tinsel tights, and a doublet to match, with the brass bugle and the tin sword properly slung about my person. I looked stunning, even if I do say it, and much to my surprise several people mistook me for the man I was after. Another link in the chain! EVEN THE PUBLIC UNCONSCIOUSLY RECOGNIZED THE VALUE OF MY DEDUCTIONS. THEY CALLED ME LOHENGRIN!

And of course it all happened as I expected. It always does. Lohengrin came into the assembly-room five minutes after I did and was visibly annoyed at my make-up.

"This is a great liberty," said he, grasping the hilt of his sword; but I answered by blowing the bugle at him, at which he turned livid and fell back. He had recognized its soft cadence. I then hauled the sword from my belt, shook it at a fly on the wall, which immediately died, and made as if to do the same at Lohengrin, whereupon he cried for mercy and fell upon his knees.

"Turn that infernal thing the other way!" he shrieked.

"Ah!" said I, lowering my arm. "Then you know its properties?"

"I do—I do!" he cried. "It used to be mine—I confess it!"

"Then," said I, calmly putting the horrid bit of zinc back into my belt, "that's all I wanted to know. If you'll come up to my office some morning next week I'll introduce you to your wife," and I turned from him.

My mission accomplished, I left the festivities and returned to my quarters where my fair client was awaiting me.

"Well?" she said.

"It's all right, Mrs. Lohengrin," I said, and the lady cried aloud with joy at the name, for it was the very one she had hoped it would be. "My man turns out to be your man, and I turn him over therefore to you, only deal gently with him. He's a pretty decent chap and sings like a bird."

Whereon I presented her with my bill for 5000 oboli, which she paid without a murmur, as was entirely proper that she should, for upon the evidence which I had secured the fair plaintiff, in the suit for separation of Elsa vs. Lohengrin on the ground of desertion and non-support, obtained her decree, with back alimony of twenty-five per cent. of Lohengrin's income for a trifle over fifteen hundred years.

How much that amounted to I really do not know, but that it was a large sum I am sure, for Lohengrin must have been very wealthy. He couldn't have afforded to dress in solid silver-tinsel tights if he had been otherwise. I had the tights assayed before returning them to their owner, and even in a country where free coinage of tights is looked upon askance they could not be duplicated for less than $850 at a ratio of 32 to 1.



X. GOLF IN HADES

"Jim," said I to Boswell one morning as the type-writer began to work, "perhaps you can enlighten me on a point concerning which a great many people have questioned me recently. Has golf taken hold of Hades yet? You referred to it some time ago, and I've been wondering ever since if it had become a fad with you."

"Has it?" laughed my visitor; "well, I should rather say it had. The fact is, it has been a great boon to the country. You remember my telling you of the projected revolution led by Cromwell, and Caesar, and the others?"

"I do, very well," said I, "and I have been intending to ask you how it came out."

"Oh, everything's as fine and sweet as can be now," rejoined Boswell, somewhat gleefully, "and all because of golf. We are all quiet along the Styx now. All animosities are buried in the general love of golf, and every one of us, high or low, autocrat and revolutionist, is hobnobbing away in peace and happiness on the links. Why, only six weeks ago, Apollyon was for cooking Bonaparte on a waffle iron, and yesterday the two went out to the Cimmerian links together and played a mixed foursome, Bonaparte and Medusa playing against Apollyon and Delilah."

"Dear me! Really?" I cried. "That must have been an interesting match."

"It was, and up to the very last it was nip-and-tuck between 'em," said Boswell. "Apollyon and Delilah won it with one hole up, and they got that on the put. They'd have halved the hole if Medusa's back hair hadn't wiggled loose and bitten her caddie just as she was holeing out."

"It is a remarkable game," said I. "There is no sensation in the world quite equal to that which comes to a man's soul when he has hit the ball a solid clip and sees it sail off through the air towards the green, whizzing musically along like a very bird."

"True," said Boswell; "but I'm rather of the opinion that it's a safer game for shades than for you purely material persons."

"I don't see why," I answered.

"It is easy to understand," returned Boswell. "For instance, with us there is no resistance when by a mischance we come into unexpected contact with the ball. Take the experience of Diogenes and Solomon at the St. Jonah's Links week before last. The Wiseman's Handicap was on. Diogenes and Simple Simon were playing just ahead of Solomon and Montaigne. Solomon was driving in great form. For the first time in his life he seemed able to keep his eye on the ball, and the way he sent it flying through the air was a caution. Diogenes and Simple Simon had both had their second stroke and Solomon drove off. His ball sailed straight ahead like a missile from a catapult, flew in a bee-line for Diogenes, struck him at the base of his brain, continued on through, and landed on the edge of the green."

"Mercy!" I cried. "Didn't it kill him?"

"Of course not," retorted Boswell. "You can't kill a shade. Diogenes didn't know he'd been hit, but if that had happened to one of you material golfers there'd have been a sickening end to that tournament."

"There would, indeed," said I. "There isn't much fun in being hit by a golf-ball. I can testify to that because I have had the experience," and I called to mind the day at St. Peterkin's when I unconsciously stymied with my material self the celebrated Willie McGuffin, the Demon Driver from the Hootmon Links, Scotland. McGuffin made his mark that day if he never did before, and I bear the evidence thereof even now, although the incident took place two years ago, when I did not know enough to keep out of the way of the player who plays so well that he thinks he has a perpetual right of way everywhere.

"What kind of clubs do you Stygians use?" I asked.

"Oh, very much the same kind that you chaps do," returned Boswell. "Everybody experiments with new fads, too, just as you do. Old Peter Stuyvesant, for instance, always drives with his wooden leg, and never uses anything else unless he gets a lie where he's got to."

"His wooden leg?" I roared, with a laugh. "How on earth does he do that?"

"He screws the small end of it into a square block shod like a brassey," explained Boswell, "tees up his ball, goes back ten yards, makes a run at it and kicks the ball pretty nearly out of sight. He can put with it too, like a dream, swinging it sideways."

"But he doesn't call that golf, does he?" I cried.

"What is it?" demanded Boswell.

"I should call it football," I said.

"Not at all," said Boswell. "Not a bit of it. He hasn't any foot on that leg, and he has a golf-club head with a shaft to it. There isn't any rule which says that the shaft shall not look like an inverted nine-pin, nor do any of the accepted authorities require that the club shall be manipulated by the arms. I admit it's bad form the way he plays, but, as Stuyvesant himself says, he never did travel on his shape."

"Suppose he gets a cuppy lie?" I asked, very much interested at the first news from Hades of the famous old Dutchman.

"Oh, he does one of two things," said Boswell. "He stubs it out with his toe, or goes back and plays two more. Munchausen plays a good game too. He beat the colonel forty-seven straight holes last Wednesday, and all Hades has been talking about it ever since."

"Who is the colonel?" I asked, innocently.

"Bogey," returned Boswell. "Didn't you ever hear of Colonel Bogey?"

"Of course," I replied, "but I always supposed Bogey was an imaginary opponent, not a real one."

"So he is," said Boswell.

"Then you mean—"

"I mean that Munchausen beat him forty-seven up," said Boswell.

"Were there any witnesses?" I demanded, for I had little faith in Munchausen's regard for the eternal verities, among which a golf-card must be numbered if the game is to survive.

"Yes, a hundred," said Boswell. "There was only one trouble with 'em." Here the great biographer laughed. "They were all imaginary, like the colonel."

"And Munchausen's score?" I queried.

"The same, naturally. But it makes him king-pin in golf circles just the same, because nobody can go back on his logic," said Boswell. "Munchausen reasoned it out very logically indeed, and largely, he said, to protect his own reputation. Here is an imaginary warrior, said he, who makes a bully, but wholly imaginary, score at golf. He sends me an imaginary challenge to play him forty-seven holes. I accept, not so much because I consider myself a golfer as because I am an imaginer—if there is such a word."

"Ask Dr. Johnson," said I, a little sarcastically. I always grow sarcastic when golf is mentioned.

"Dr. Johnson be—" began Boswell.

"Boswell!" I remonstrated.

"Dr. Johnson be it, I was about to say," clicked the type-writer, suavely; but the ink was thick and inclined to spread. "Munchausen felt that Bogey was encroaching on his preserve as a man with an imagination."

"I have always considered Colonel Bogey a liar," said I. "He joins all the clubs and puts up an ideal score before he has played over the links."

"That isn't the point at all," said Boswell. "Golfers don't lie. Realists don't lie. Nobody in polite—or say, rather, accepted—society lies. They all imagine. Munchausen realizes that he has only one claim to recognition, and that is based entirely upon his imagination. So when the imaginary Colonel Bogey sent him an imaginary challenge to play him forty-seven holes at golf—"

"Why forty-seven?" I asked.

"An imaginary number," explained Boswell. "Don't interrupt. As I say, when the imaginary colonel—"

"I must interrupt," said I. "What was he colonel of?"

"A regiment of perfect caddies," said Boswell.

"Ah, I see," I replied. "Imaginary in his command. There isn't one perfect caddy, much less a regiment of the little reprobates."

"You are wrong there," said Boswell. "You don't know how to produce a good caddy—but good caddies can be made."

"How?" I cried, for I have suffered. "I'll have the plan patented."

"Take a flexible brassey, and at the ninth hole, if they deserve it, give them eighteen strokes across the legs with all your strength," said Boswell. "But, as I said before, don't interrupt. I haven't much time left to talk with you."

"But I must ask one more question," I put in, for I was growing excited over a new idea. "You say give them eighteen strokes across the legs. Across whose legs?"

"Yours," replied Boswell. "Just take your caddy up, place him across your knees, and spank him with your brassey. Spank isn't a good golf term, but it is good enough for the average caddy; in fact, it will do him good."

"Go on," said I, with a mental resolve to adopt his prescription.

"Well," said Boswell, "Munchausen, having received an imaginary challenge from an imaginary opponent, accepted. He went out to the links with an imaginary ball, an imaginary bagful of fanciful clubs, and licked the imaginary life out of the colonel."

"Still, I don't see," said I, somewhat jealously, perhaps, "how that makes him king-pin in golf circles. Where did he play?"

"On imaginary links," said Boswell.

"Poh!" I ejaculated.

"Don't sneer," said Boswell. "You know yourself that the links you imagine are far better than any others."

"What is Munchausen's strongest point?" I asked, seeing that there was no arguing with the man—"driving, approaching, or putting?"

"None of the three. He cannot put, he foozles every drive, and at approaching he's a consummate ass," said Boswell.

"Then what can he do?" I cried.

"Count," said Boswell. "Haven't you learned that yet? You can spend hours learning how to drive, weeks to approach, and months to put. But if you want to win you must know how to count."

I was silent, and for the first time in my life I realized that Munchausen was not so very different from certain golfers I have met in my short day as a golfiac, and then Boswell put in:

"You see, it isn't lofting or driving that wins," he continued. "Cups aren't won on putting or approaching. It's the man who puts in the best card who becomes the champion."

"I am afraid you are right," I said, sadly, "but I am sorry to find that Hades is as badly off as we mortals in that matter."

"Golf, sir," retorted Boswell, sententiously, "is the same everywhere, and that which is dome in our world is directly in line with what is developed in yours."

"I'm sorry for Hades," said I; "but to continue about golf—do the ladies play much on your links?"

"Well, rather," returned Boswell, "and it's rather amusing to watch them at it, too. Xanthippe with her Greek clothes finds it rather difficult; but for rare sport you ought to see Queen Elizabeth trying to keep her eye on the ball over her ruff! It really is one of the finest spectacles you ever saw."

"But why don't they dress properly?"

"Ah," sighed Boswell, "that is one of the things about Hades that destroys all the charm of life there. We are but shades."

"Granted," said I, "but your garments can—"

"Our garments can't," said Boswell. "Through all eternity we shades of our former selves are doomed to wear the shadows of our former clothes."

"Then what the devil does a poor dress-maker do who goes to Hades?" I cried.

"She makes over the things she made before," said Boswell. "That's why, my dear fellow," the biographer added, becoming confidential—"that's why some people confound Hades with—ah—the other place, don't you know."

"Still, there's golf!" I said; "and that's a panacea for all ills. YOU enjoy it, don't you?"

"Me?" cried Boswell. "Me enjoy it? Not on all the lives in Christendom. It is the direst drudgery for me."

"Drudgery?" I said. "Bah! Nonsense, Boswell!"

"You forget—" he began.

"Forget? It must be you who forget, if you call golf drudgery."

"No," sighed the genial spirit. "No, I don't forget. I remember."

"Remember what?" I demanded.

"That I am Dr. Johnson's caddy!" was the answer. And then came a heart-rending sigh, and from that time on all was silence. I repeatedly put questions to the machine, made observations to it, derided it, insulted it, but there was no response.

It has so continued to this day, and I can only conclude the story of my Enchanted Type-writer by saying that I presume golf has taken the same hold upon Hades that it has upon this world, and that I need not hope to hear more from that attractive region until the game has relaxed its grip, which I know can never be.

Hence let me say to those who have been good enough to follow me through the realms of the Styx that I bid them an affectionate farewell and thank them for their kind attention to my chronicles. They are all truthful; but now that the source of supply is cut off I cannot prove it. I can only hope that for one and all the future may hold as much of pleasure as the place of departed spirits has held for me.

THE END

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