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But A Baby Doll—Good Night!

Charles Wesley Sanders
A Toole o' the Trolley Story

THE Cap'n, rounding the corner of the power-house with a snappy, autumn breeze at his back, suddenly stiffened against the breeze and came to a quick stop. He stared at the old trolley-car of which he was skipper. The ancient boat had undergone a transformation.

"Great dogfish!" the Cap'n ejaculated. "To think any man would have the nerve to tackle her with water, soap, and brush."

He walked slowly up to the car and inspected it. Inside and out, from roof to trucks, it had been thoroughly scrubbed. The windows had been polished till they shone in the frosty sunlight. The stove in the corner had been blackened till not a spot of rust showed.

"It's an improvement," the Cap'n said to himself. "Cer'nly, it's an improvement. Anybody would know it would be. Who th' hell said it wouldn't be; but what's the use of it? It was good enough for the gang that rid in it. That's all I'm arguin' about."

His "argument" was cut short by the appearance of Toole from inside the power- house. The Cap'n took one look at Toole, and then his jaw sagged down. If the car had undergone a transformation, so had its motorman. Toole was "cer'nly" dressed up. He was brand-new from shoes to top-piece. Instead of the flannel shirt which had draped his manly chest on the day before, he now wore a shirt with fancy figures, a white collar, and a blue tie. He was shaved clear into the roots of his whiskers.

"Take off your hat," the Cap'n said weakly.

Toole obeyed.

"I knowed it," the Cap'n said. "You've been shaved, massaged, hair-cut, and shampooed. By gosh! you said you had saved a few bones since you come here in the summer, but I bet you, you owe a few simoleons right this minute."

"I bet I do, too," Toole said. "But I got the credit in this man's town. They was glad to trust me at the emporium for anything I wanted. It's something to know you stand well where you live."

"It's roon," the Cap'n said. "They'll jolly you till you run a big bill, and then they'll garnishee you."

"They won't have to garnishee me," Toole said. "I'll pay 'em next pay-day."

"But what's the reason for all this here disturbance?" the Cap'n asked. "Don't you know it's bad business to go into debt with a hard winter comin' on."

"Oh, there ain't any reason for it," Toole said. "I always was a pretty good dresser when I worked on the railroad. I just been gettin' a stake since I come here."

"You needn't explain any more," the Cap'n said. "You're lyin' to me like a horse- thief, and we both know it. No use blackenin' your soul no more. You've lit yourself up like a lighthouse on a rock-bound coast, and I have no doubt you have a reason for it. The reason will out—like murder and other crimes. It's seven o'clock. Let's pull out."

"All right," Toole acquiesced. "By the way, I'm going to stop between twelve and thirteen this morning, and every morning and evening hereafter."

"I said the reason would out," the Cap'n stated; "but I didn't suppose it would out right this minute. It's that little school-teacher with the lovely fluffy hair and the big, gray eyes. Huh?"

"It's her I'm stopping for," Toole agreed. "But there is no connection between her and my being lit up, if that's what you're drivin' at. I only thought I'd save her the walk from her road-crossin' down to Stop Thirteen. It's most a quarter of a mile, and we'll be havin' bad weather before long."

"I hear what you say," the Cap'n said scornfully, "and all I got to say in rebuttal is that you can consider that you got two bells from me, an' you can percede to depart from here. You can pick up your little golden-haired baggage for all I care, and I won't charge he...

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