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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


     "I wouldn't mind dying if I thought I'd bump into Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday long enough to tell 'em what I think of 'em," Fatty Lewis declared.

     "What did they do?" Hurrah Smith innocently inquired.

     "They didn't do nothing, I guess," Lewis replied.  "Nothing but spill the beans, upset the inkwell, scramble the eggs and track up the floor.

     "Who was the first guy ever had a servant?" Lewis continued.

     "Search me," Hurrah answered.  "Was it Crusoe?"

     "He's the first one I ever heard of," Lewis replied.  "Everybody had gotten over the panic about Eve eating the apple and the cancellation of all rights to homestead Eden.  Women were doing their regular washings on Monday, weather permitting.  Everyone baking their own bread.  Manicurists, chauffeurs, butlers, hairdressers, ladies' tailors, milliners and other vacuum cleaners never were heard of.  Along comes Crusoe.  Shipwreck.  Bingo!  And the whole solar system is shot to pieces.

     "Crusoe loves the island.  Eleven long years elapse.  No relatives.  No mother-in-law.  Not taxes nor bills from the tailor.  He finds a footprint.  Along comes Friday.  The story should have ended right there.   Friday had been a cannibal up to the time he found Robby.  He'd gone as long as an Arctic explorer without fresh meat.  Lonesomeness of the island had began to pall.  Talking to squirrels and bluejays was getting his nerves.  Instead of making a mulligan out of Crusoe -- adding pepper and salt to suit taste -- Friday pined for human companionship.

     "Friday tears down the 'No Hunting and Fishing on These Premises and Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted' signs.  Right away he heats some water and holds the glass while Crusoe shaves.  Robby decides that Friday is a simp.  After final instructions for Friday to stay awake and swat the mosquitoes, Crusoe left a call for 9:30, ordered his eggs poached for breakfast and retired for the night.  When Friday died the last of the obedient servants was gone.  You got no more chance to find Friday at the present time than you have to find the guy that used to pour his coffee in a saucer and blow it to cool."

     "And what's all this got to do with you?" Hurrah inquired.  "You ain't got no Friday, have you?"

     "I should say I ain't," Lewis replied.  "I've got a female Simon Legree.  And take it from me she's sicking the bloodhounds on you all the time.  I never saw a militant suffragist, and if they're worse than this bird I don't choose to see one."

The Lewis Family's Servant Problem
" 'You're the one to furnish references,' she declared.  'How do I know that your family is a fit place for me to work?"

     "What's she do?" Hurrah inquired.

     "I'd imagine murder was her specialty if it was brutal enough," Lewis said, "but I'm sure that would be too mild.  She's bulldozed me until I am as tame as a performing bear.  She's kept the kid in the cellar for three days and made Mrs. Lewis resign from both her card and embroidery clubs.

     " 'I'm not to be bothered with a lot of extra company,' she told Mrs. Lewis.  'It's all I can do to wait on your regular family without you bringing in a lot of outsiders to muss up the place.' "

     "Right there's where I'd tacked on the hardware," Hurrah declared.

     "You'd get fat firing this Amazon," Lewis replied.  "I've canned her seven times, but it didn't take.  I'm trying to get her sore enough to make her quit.  She pays about as much attention to me as a non-resident would to a notice from the delinquent tax collector.

     "I ain't got on one to blame but myself," Lewis admitted.  "When I asked her for references she bawled me something fierce.

     " 'You're the one to furnish references,' she declared.  'How do I know your family is a fit place for me to work?'

     "If I'd been half bright I'd known right there was someone to duck," Lewis said.  "But she was so fresh I thought I'd hire her and take a few reefs in her sails.

     "That was my last chance right there.  As soon as Nervine landed in the old homestead she issued a new timecard, and drafted some different by-laws.

     "She refused to fry onions, no washing and ironing, one afternoon and a night off each week --  subject to change without notice, would not tend the children or call the neighbors to the telephone.  This hen sure is a czar.  Instead of waiting on us we're performing for her.

     "The other morning she called me once for breakfast.  Mrs. Lewis calls me from three to five times.  I didn't care to engage in another Battle of the Wilderness with General Weyler, so I hurried up and hustled downstairs.

     " 'Whadda you think this is?' she says to me, 'a short order restaurant?  If you think I'm going to stand over this hot stove all day, you're crazy.' "

     "What did you do?" Smith asked.

     "What could I do?" Lewis replied.  "I ordered a hole cut in the ceiling and I'm going to have 'em put in one of those brass sliding poles like they've got in the fire departments.  I'm going to get to breakfast on time."    

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



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