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The Adventures of Fatty Lewis by Arthur Killick


By Arthur Killick

Copyright, 1915, by A. F. Killick and W. P. Harvey


     "So the man tamers already have been telling your wife how to manage you, have they?" Fatty Lewis repeated.  I knew  they would be giving her an earfull of dope sooner or later, and that's the reason I tried to help you out.

     "I suppose it was a lot of old maids that never had a husband," Lewis continued.

     "Well, they wasn't all old maids," Hurrah Smith replied.  "Your wife dealt out a little first aid to the injured, too."

     "Oh, yes," Lewis replied, "Mrs. Lewis told me about meeting your wife.  I believe I could truthfully state that she overtold me about it.

     " 'You're not nearly as foxy as you thing you are,' Mrs. Lewis says to me after she'd been over to visit your wife.  'The idea of you trying to create the impression that the reason you don't work around the house is because you're putting something over on me,' she continued.   'Why, your own mother told me that when you was a boy that you never even made a kite that would fly.

     " 'As for your pet theory that the Indians had the right idea in making their women do all the work,' she continued, 'it wouldn't be so bad if you stopped at letting the women do the work.  But when you carry it out to the point of thinking the women should also dress like squaws it's going a little too far.  I don't choose blankets for my wardrobe, and I'm not to wear beads like G. Hoffman.

     " 'You should tell Hurrah Smith that all women imagine that their husbands own a couple of lamps like the one Aladdin had and all that it is necessary to do is to rub the lamp and the money appears.  If you've got a lamp,' she added, 'it not only needs filling, but you also better trim the wick.  It's a cinch it ain't burning.'

     " 'I guess you think I find money?' I told her.  'Didn't I give you five bucks yesterday morning.  Here you are again asking for more today.'

     " 'Well, if you do find any money you lose it before you get home,' she retorted.  'It's a chinch I never see it.

     " 'Yes,' she went on, sarcastically, 'you gave me $5 yesterday morning, and if you'd waited five minutes you'd have seen where it went.  You hadn't got out of the house before your laundry came.  Only $1.27.  The laundry man just left and the boy came from the cleaners.  Bing!  $1 more.  Then the insurance collector with a double assessment, and I wasted the rest of it buying lunch for that collection of owls you had out last night for your favorite pastime of looking for the third ace.'

     " 'Well, you know those boys keep me in car fare and loose change,' I told her.

     " 'I know that's what you've been telling me,' she replied, 'but the other night while you were out on the back porch after some refreshments I heard them talking,' she replied.

     " ' "We'll have to change the water on this fish," one of them said, "he'll come to the top one of these days if we don't let him win before long, and then we'll have to find a new fishing resort."

     " ' "Oh, no," another one remarked, "We got the sucker hooked now, and he's trying to get even.  We might spoil him if we let him win." '

     " 'They wasn't talking about me,' I said.

     " ' Maybe not,' she replied, 'but they were talking about someone who wasn't present, and you were the only one out of the room.  However, I'm glad to know you always win.  From now on you can furnish your own lunches.

     " 'It's all right if you give a party every night,' she continued.  'That massive brain of yours needs relaxation from your business worries.  Yet if I entertain my bridge club once in two months you start yelling about unnecessary expenses.

Fatty Lewis and the Man Tamers
"Why not play like I'm a customer sometime and take me to eat in a place where the dining room is far enough away from the kitchen that I won't come out smelling like a fried potato?"

     " 'Of course, you being the only and original meal ticket must have plenty of clothes.  You have to meet people every day in your business.  I don't,' she declared, 'but that ain't no sight I wouldn't like to --  at least somebody besides the ice man, delivery boys and the men who read the gas and water meters.  They're not necessary just to go to nickel operas.  You've taken me to flickering tape shows until I actually don't recollect seeing a man  or woman on the stage that really talks or makes sounds.

     " 'Why is it that business always gets so bad the minute you hit the front walk?  It seems like the present panic has been on for a long time, yet you dress about the same as you did when things were breaking good.  You're still smoking the same brand of cigars and you haven't shaved yourself for so long that your razor is covered with rust.  Let's get off of what I do and talk about you for awhile.

     " 'What about all those hotel meals you eat,' she inquired.  'Surely, everybody don't' have birthday celebrations except you, do they?  You must be the  chairman of the entertainment committee once in a while.  Don't you ever jar?'

     " 'Now and then I have to take some customer out to lunch,' I admitted, 'but we always eat in the grill.  You don't expect me to take 'em to one of them catch-as-catch-can-help-yourself joints, do you?  Perhaps you think I ought to take 'em some place and sit on stools and have a chile banquet.  You women sure got some swell ideas about business.'

     " 'There you go with  that grill stuff again,' she replies.  'I suppose they give away the food in the grill,' she added.  'Probably pay you to eat there, don't they?  What is a grill?'

     " 'I don't know what it is,' I told her, 'but I do know why it is.  It's so men can eat without being annoyed' it's ----'

     " 'I know,' she interrupted, 'it's also the official alibi.  Why not play like I'm a customer some time and take me a place where they don't have to raise the ceiling if some one lights a cigar?  At least take me some place where a dining room is far enough from the kitchen that I won't come out smelling like fried potatoes.  I'll promise not to get the habit.  The Smiths were down to the new hotel the other night.  Imagine how I felt when she asked me what I thought of the decorations?"

     " 'I've been planning to take you down there some night,' I told her, ' but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.'

     " 'Ha, ha,' she replied.  'Planning to take me, are you?  I'm afraid I'll be too old to see it or eat anything but soup by the time you make up your mind to take me.  You're good, you are.  Planning to take me.  Why, say, I haven't seen the new Union Station, and it's been open a year and a half.  What are you saving that treat for?  I suppose that'll be in my tenth wedding anniversary celebration -- seeing the Union Station!"

     " 'As for my ideas about business,' she added, 'just because I haven't sprung them on you is no sign that I haven' got any.  Furthermore, from now on you're going to get a few of  my ideas.  I've been letting you down so easy that you're spoiled  And if you or your friends think anybody but a business woman could run a household on the allowance I get from you I'd certainly like to stand trial before a jury on the charge of not knowing anything about business.  They'd acquit me without ever leaving the jury box.

" 'I'm also pleased to learn that you told Hurrah that he had a partner,' she added, 'that marriage is a partnership must be a recent discovery of yours.  From the way you've always acted I was under the impression that you thought marriage was a close corporation and that you not only owned 98 per cent of the stock but was also the board of directors, president and vice-president, general manager and secretary and treasurer.  From now on it is to be a partnership and you and me are going to split fifty-fifty.  Just try that on your piano and getting familiar with it, because that's kind of what's going to happen.

     "The ol' lady kinda stepped on your contract, didn't she?" Hurrah said, laughingly.

     "Stepped on it?" Lewis replied.  "She did a barn dance on it.   You can take it from me that if she  put all the poison in Mrs. Smith's system that she claims she did, you better live right up to the rules or you're going to be benched before the game gets past the second inning.  However, she admitted that I was write on one thing."

     "What was that?' Smith inquired.

     "About women's intuition," Lewis replied. "She pleaded not guilty to having any intuition.

     " 'If I'd had,' she declared, I'd never have quit the good job I had to make room for the one you gave me.

The Adventures of Fatty Lewis ~ A Serial ~ by Arthur F. Killick



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