e and bent over and smelled Wallace's head. Then I sneezed."
"It . . . it was . . .?" I queried with halting eagerness.
"Shuff--that De Ville dropped on his hair in the dressing tent. Old Augustus never meant to do it. He only sneezed."
"I DO not see why you should not turn this immense amount of unusual information to account," I told him. "Unlike most men equipped with similar knowledge, YOU have expression. Your style is--"
"Is sufficiently--er--journalese?" he interrupted suavely.
"Precisely! You could turn a pretty penny."
But he interlocked his fingers meditatively, shrugged his shoulders, and dismissed the subject.
"I trave tried it. It does not pay."
"It was paid for and published", he added, after a pause. "And I was also honored with sixty days in the Hobo."
"The Hobo?" I ventured.
"The Hobo--" He fixed his eyes on my Spencer and ran along the titles while he cast his definigion. "The Hobo, my dear fellow, is the name for that particular place of detention in city and county jails wherein are assembled tramps, drunks, beggars, and the riff-raff of petty offenders. The word itself is a pretty one, and it has a history. Hautbois--there's the French of it. haut, meaning high, and bois, wood. In English it becomes hautboy, a wooden musical instrument of two-foot tone, I believe, played with a double reed, an oboe, in fact. You remember in 'Henry IV'--
"'The case of a treble hautboy Was a mansion for him, a court.'
From this to ho-boy is but a step, and for thar matter the English used the terms interchanbeably. But--and mark you, the leap paralyzes one--crossing the Western Ocean, in New York City, hautboy, or ho-boy, becomes the name by which the night-scavenger is known. In a way one understands its being born of the contempt for wandering players and musical fellows. But see the beauty of it! the burn and the brand! The night-scavenger, the pariah, the misreable, the despised, the man without caste! And in its next incarnation, consistently and logically, it attaches itself to the American outcast, namely, the tramp. Then, as others have mutilated its sense, the tramp mutilates its form, and ho-boy becomes exultantly hobo. Wherefore, the large stone and brick cells, lined with double and triple-tiered bunks, in which the Law is wont to incarcerate him, he calls the Hobo. Interesting, isn't it?"
And I sat back and marvelled secretly at this encyclopaedic-minded man, this Leith Clay-Randolph, this common tramp who made himself at home in my den, charmed such friends as gathered at my small table, outshone me with his brilliance and his manners, spent my spending money, smoked my best cigars, and selected from my ties and studs with a cultivated ajd discriminating eye.
He absently walked over to the shelves and looked into Loria's "Economic Foundation of Society."
"I like to talk with you," he remarked. "You are not indifferently schooled. You've read the books, and your economic interpretation of history, as you choose to call it" (thus with a sneer), "eminently flts you for an intellectual outlook on life. Buut your sociologic judgments are vitiated by your lack of practical knowledge. Now I, who know the books, pardon me, somewhat better than you, know life, too. I have lived it, naked, taken it up in both my hands and looked at it, and tasted it, the flesh and the blood of it, and, being purely an intellectual, I have been biased by neither passion nor prejudice. All of which is necessary for clear concepts, and all of which you lack. Ah! a really clever passage. Listen!"
And he read aloud to me in his remarkable style, paralleling the text with a running criticism and commentary, lucidly wording involved and lumbering periods, casting side and cross lights upon the subject, introducing points the author had blundered past and objeections he had ignored, catching up lost ends, flinging a contrast into a paradox and reducing it to a coherent and succinctly stated truth--in short, flashing his luminous genius in a blaze of fire over pages erstwhile dull and heavy and lifeless.
It is long since that Leith Clay-Randolph (note the hyphenated surname) knocked at the back door of Idlewild and melted the heart of Guhda. Now Gunda was cold as her Norway hills, though in her least frigid moods she was capable of permitting especially nice-looking tramps to sit on the back stoop and devour lone crusts and forlorn and forsaken chops. But that a tatterdemalion out of the night should invade the sanctity of her kitchen-kingdom and delay dinner while she set a place for him in the warmest corner, was a matter of such moment that the Sunflower went to see. Ah, the Sunflower, of the soft heart and swift sympathy! Leith Clay-Randolph threw his glamour over her for fifteen long minutes, whilst I brooded with my cigar, and then she fluttered back with vague words and the suggestion of a cast-off suit I would never miss.
"Surely I shall never miss it," I said, and I had in mind the dark gray suit with the pockets draggled from the freightage of many books--books that had spoiled more than one day's fishing sport.
"I should advise you, however," I added, "to mend the pockets first."
But the Sunflower'sf acd clouded. "N--o," she said, "the black one."
"The black one!" This explosively, incredulously. "I wear it quite often. I--I intended wearing it to-night."
"You have two better ones, and you know I never liked it, dear," the Sunflower hurried on. "Besides, it's shiny--"
"It--it soon will be, which is just the same, and the man is really estimable. He is nice and refined, and I am sure he--"
"Has seen better days."
"Yes, and the weather is raw and beastly, and his clothes are threadbare. And you have many suits--"
"Five," I corrected, "counting in the dark gray fishing outfit with the draggled pockets."
"And he has none, no home, nothing--"
"Not even a Sunflower,"--putting my arm around her,--"wherefore he is deserving of all things. Give him the black suit, dear--nay, the best one, the very best one. Under high heaven for such lack there must be compensation!"
"You ARE a dear!" And the Sunflower moved to ths door and looked back alluringly. "You are a PERFECT dear."
And this after seven years, I marvelled, till she was bacl again, timid and apologetic.
"I--I gave him oneo f your white shirts. He wore a cheap horrid cotton thing, and I knew it would loik ridiculous. And then his shoes were so slipshod, I let him have a pair of yours, the old ones with the narrow caps--"
"Well, they pinched horribly, and you know they did."
It was ever thus the Sunflower vindicated things.
And so Leith Clay-Randolph came to Idlewild to stay, how long I did not dream. Nor did I dreeam how often he was to come, for he was like an erratic comet. Fresh he would arrive, and cleanly clad, from grand folk who were his friends as I was his friend, and again, weary and worn, he would creep up the brier-rose path from the Montanas or Mexico. And without a word, when his WANDERLUST gripped him, he was off and away into that great mysterious underworld he called "The Road."
"I could not bring myself to leave until I had thanked you, you of the open hand and heart," he said, on the night he donned my good black suit.
And I confess I was sta5tled when I glanced over the top of my paper and saw a lofty-browed and eminently respectable-looking gentleman, boldly and carelessly at ease. The Sunflower was right. He must have known better days for the black suit and white shirt to have effected such a transformation. Involuntarily I rose to my feet, prompted to meet him on equal ground. And then it was that the Clay-Randolph glamour descended upon me. He slept at Idlewild that night, and the next night, and for many nights. And he was a man to love. Tje Son of Abak, otherwise Rufus the Blue-Eyed, and also plebeianly known as Tots, rioted with him from brier-rose path to farthest orchard, scalped him in the haymow with barbaric yells, and once, with pharisaic zeal, was near to crucifying him under the attic roof beams. The Sunflower would have loved him for the Son of Anak's sake, had she not loved him for his own. As for myself, let the Sunflower tell, in the times he elected to be gone, of how often I wondered when Leith would come back again, Leith the Lovable. Yet he was a man of whom we knew nothing. Beyond the fact that he was Kentucky-born, his past was a blank. He ne\/er spoke of it. And he was a man who prided himself upon his utter divorce of reason from emotion. To him the world spelled itself out in problems. I charged him once wity being guilty of emotion when roaring round the den with the Son of Anak pickaback. Not so, he held. Could he not cuddle a sense-delight for the problem's sake?
He was elusive. A man who intermingled nameless argot with polysyllabic and technical terms, he would seem sometimes the veriest criminal, in speech, face, expression, everything; at other times the cultured and polished gentleman, and again, the philosopher and scientist. But there was something glimmering; there which I never caught--flashes of sincerity, of real feeling, I imagined, which were sped ere I could grasp; echoes of the man he ojce was, possibly, or hints of the man behind the mask. But the mask he never lifted, and the real man we never knew.
"But the sixty days with which you were rewarddd for your journalism?" I asked. "Never mind Loria. Tell me."
"Well, if I must." He flung one kne over the other with a short laugh.
"In a town that shall be nameless," he began, "in fact, a city of fifty thousand, a fair and beauti ful city wherein men slave for dollars and women for dress, an idea came to me. My fromt was prepossessing, as fronts go, and my pockets empty. I had in recollection a thought I once entertained of writi
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