Vol. 17 No. 1 1950 - page 29

INNOCENTS ABROAD
27
ness and violence of his native plains, Mr. George
T.
Horseprotection.
He was a large brown splendidly-dressed oil-Indian-with many
faults; he had been out all night and was coming home to bed but
presently he was sitting with us, wide awake and trying to pay for the
champagne. I was a little ashamed of him before Major Hengest but to
my surprise Major Hengest was very impressed so I began, weakly, to
like him too. It was quarter of five and Napoleon looked a little formid–
able on top of his column but we went on to the Grand Duc with him.
The Grand Duc had just begun its slow rattling gasp for life in the
inertness of the weakest hour. Discernible near us through the yellow
smoke of dawn were Josephine Baker, the Grand Duc Boris, Eskimo,
Pepy, a manufacturer of dolls voices from Newark, Albert McKiscoe
happily unable to walk and the King of Sweden. In the corner a huge
American negro, with his arms around a lovely French tart, roared a song
to her in a rich beautiful voice and suddenly Melarky's Tennessee in–
stincts remembered and were aroused; ... he began looking at everyone
disagreeably and truculently. Dinah glanced at him and then suddenly
got up to go.
She was a minute too late. As we were going another colored man
was coming in-he had just finished playing in some night club orchestra
for he carried a horn case, and was coming to meet his friends-the
case swung against Francis' knee.
"God damn it, get out of my way!" said Francis savagely, "Or I'll
push your black face in."
"You're not behaving like a gentleman should behave," said the
colored man indignantly, "I cern'ly intended-"
"Put down that case!"
Then, before we could interfere it had·happened-Francis hit him a
smashing blow in the jaw and he crashed up against the door and down
into the caf6--his legs disappearing slowly down the steps.
. . . At that moment Mr. John
T.
Horseprotection came rushing
out and in a moment we were in a cab with him. Major Hengest with
great presence of mind had gotten the two women into another taxi
and called to me that he was taking them h-ome.
"Now then," said John T. Horseprotection in character, "Ah'll take
you gentlemen to the best place on the reservation."
Francis sat there with a haunted face, "God, what a son-of-a-bitch
I am. He was a nice-looking fellow." Tears began to run out of his eyes,
"Sort of dignified-just finished his work. Was Dinah gone?"
"Nobody saw. We're all sons-of bitches sometimes," I assured him
generously....
"Here we are," interrupted Mr. Horseprotection. "Now you see
something-something really funny. They have to know you, but I guess
they know me."
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