The Vagabond


Oct. 20th. Well, today I says to Mrs. MacIntosh, I says, "I don't like the looks of that boy; no sir, I don't. And if I find his clothes all over the room again or have to sweep up any more gin glasses, I've a very good mind to speak to him. You bet." Macky laughed hard at that (I see she has a new gold tooth); the old for would, since she ain't got any one as bad as Mr. Fathead.

If I had been Mr. Fathead's ma, I would have batted his ears morning and night for seven years to teach him manners. He ain't got the sense the good Lord puts into a weasel. Why, the first day I saw him, he was rude enough to take off his shirt right before me, while I was standing and talking to him. Just so! And another time he offered me a drink. Imagine! Now if it had been Pa or some grown-up gentleman, it would 'a' been all right; but a child!

Mr. Fathead's roommate is a Prince Charming. He has the loveliest blue eyes and curliest brown hair I ever did see; he reminds me more of my poor William, as he was when he was, every time I go into the room. And he sleeps just like William did, on his right side with his mouth open. I know, because one Sunday I walked into his bedroom thinking he was up and gone.

All the other girls are jealous of my having to do for Prince Charming. That awful Mrs. O'Hemingway--I have yet to find out who is her husband--hangs around all the time; comes into the room, yelling, "Is Mrs. Goodman here? Oh, Mrs. Goodman, did you get the pail and mop I forgot to put in the closet? I just wanted to see if . . . " Then she looks around to spot Prince Charming, and if he happens to be there, she flushes and pretends to be embarrassed. The vixen!

From what I can scrape up, Mr. Fathead doesn't get along too well with Prince Charming. In the morning I notice not many words pass between them. But then Mr. Fathead generally has a headache, and he seems to grow gruffer if he sees Prince Charming smiling and joking.

Today I was in the corridor when Mr. Fathead came up the stairs. He went into the room without even looking at me, and in a minute came out very mad. "What did you do with my ribbon?" he stormed. "Why," I said, "I saw no ribbon, Mr. Fathead. Where was it?" He mumbled something about it being on his desk, and while I was wondering what in the Good Lord's name he wanted with a piece of ribbon, Prince Charming pranced up the stairs. Upon hearing about Mr. Fathead's loss, he laughed, sang something about "Mary had a little ribbon," and made Mr. Fathead look sheepish. It's nice boys like him that make ovr work worthwhile. I'll never forget him.