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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


     "We've sure got some mystery out our way," Fatty Lewis declared.  "Sure some mystery."

     "Nobody dead is there?" Hurrah Smith inquired. 

     "Not up to the time I left home this morning," Lewis replied. "But it wouldn't surprise me if there was some fatalities by now.  There was about nine women dying."

     "Some kind of an epidemic?" Hurrah continued.

     "Yes," Lewis answered.  "Curiosity."

     "We've got a new neighbor," he added, "and believe me she's got the girl scouts gasping for breath.  Been there two days.  Has worn a different silk kimono each morning.  Looks swell in both of them.  Wears a diamond lavalierre and two hunks of ice in her ears about the size of hazel nuts.  Pays cash for her groceries and --"

     "Who is she?" Hurrah interrupted.

     "You ain't even got brains enough to be called simple minded," Lewis replied.  "If them women can't find out who she is, what chance do you think I've got?

     "All I know is that if Mrs. Newcomer springs a new silk kimono tomorrow morning the neighborhood is wrecked.  It's almost a total loss now.  One woman burned up a quarter's worth of navy beans.

     "Mrs. Lewis neglected her bread and it ran all over the kitchen floor.  Woman next door put two cups of salt instead of sugar in some preserves.  I tell you those hens will need a nerve specialist in about one more day.

     "And I can't sleep mornings anymore," Lewis continued.  "Our house is directly across the alley.  It's the best viewpoint for the range-finders.  The Busy Berthas, Nellies, and Alices all got together in our rear bedroom.  They woke me up the morning Miss Newcomer moved in.  Them bugs were chattering like squirrels. 

     " 'The furniture is almost new,' one dame declared. 

     " 'Yes, and it matches, too,' a second admitted.

     " 'Would you look at that brass bed?' another remarked.

     " 'And those rugs.  Aren't they exquisite?  Did you ever see anything like them rugs?'

     " 'I've seen better,' said the female hammer-thrower, who is continually breaking down and confessing, 'We were well-to-do before coming to Kansas City,' 'They're imitations.'

     " 'What are you pulling off?' I asked Mrs. Lewis, who heard me getting up and had come in the room; 'The mob scene from "The Christian," or a furniture auction?'

     " 'Oh!' she exclaimed all excited, 'There's somebody moving in the old Jenkins house across the alley.'

     " 'I thought maybe they were moving in here from the noise you're making,' I replied.

The New Neighbors
"Oh!" she exclaimed all excited, "There's somebody moving in the old Jenkins house across the alley."

     " 'Well, I'm sorry we woke you up,' she answered, 'but a couple of neighbors just happened to be passing and they dropped in.'

     " 'Happened to drop in,' I replied.  'You couldn't have sent out invitations and drew half that crowd.'

     " 'Ha ha,' exclaimed the official style Solomon of the block, who held an undisputed claim to her title because she had once been in New York and had seen one of the 400 ride by in a machine,' I knew anyone who wore diamonds and silk kimonos in the morning couldn't be proper.'

     " 'What's she done, Dora?' I heard Mrs. Lewis ask.

     " 'She's using a Battenberg scarf on her sideboard,' Dora replied.  'Why, the good stores hardly show Battenberg any more in the basements.'

     "I saw that my chances for breakfast were poor and cloudy so I beats it on downtown for my waffles and java, believing that the dove of peace would be perched on the doorstep by night.  But when I got home it was worse than ever.

     "Mrs. Lewis was acting like she does when she misplaces the pocketbook containing her usual twenty-eight cents.  I know her temperature was at least 106.  The dove of peace didn't even have pinfeathers left.  Supper hadn't been started.  Breakfast dishes unwashed and no beds made up.

     " 'Got any more evidence agsint the prisoner except the Battenberg dresser scarf?' I inquired.

     " 'Not a thing,' she admitted, 'and goodness knows we've been busy all day.  There's been no chance to see into that house since they finished hanging the curtain.'

     " 'Awful thoughtless of the woman to hang the curtains,' I says.  'Maybe I'll be able to sleep tomorrow morning.'

     "The second day's investigation made it still worse for the Allies," Lewis added.  "As near as I can dope it out they gave the mail carrier the third degree, annoyed a plumber's helper, cross-examined the ice an and called up information on both 'phones, and still they couldn't learn Mrs. Newcomer's name.

     " 'She must be swell,' Mrs. Lewis confessed.  'They delivered a load of real anthracite coal there today.  She had fourteen guest towels and real linen napkins on the clothes line and her pillow slips were embroidered with a big "W."  We had an awful argument about whether it was "M" or "W," but we finally settled it by using opera glasses.  I said it was a "W" before they got the glasses,' she added proudly."

     "Well, what good is it going to do 'em to find out what her name is?" Hurrah asked.

     "It looks like I'm wasting my time talking to you," Lewis replied.  "How do you think they're going to find out where she got her money and diamonds and other things until they learn who she is?"

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



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