• 1
  • 2

war whoop to show them just how it was done.

People turned and stared at him. A girl down in front of him turned about and looked into his eyes. They both gave a start, then he cried:


'Jack!' she answered, and the tone of her voice made him think that she had missed him almost as much as he had missed her, and that was a whole lot. 'Where have you been all these years?' she asked, and there was reproach in her voice.

He wanted to tell her all about it, as a man does when he is in love but she stopped him with a gesture. It was not because she didn't want to hear him, but she didn't want to be rude to the man who was escorting her.

So she said: 'Come around to the house and tell me about it this evening.' She spoke like she would be breathless in anticipation until they met that night?at least that was the way she sounded to him.

Jack went around to the Kappa house or the Omega house, or whatever house it was, that evening about eight o'clock. A girl met him in the foyer and took his hat and coat, and when he mentioned Violet, she said 'Oh yes,' and took him into a dimly lit reception room.

There were several girls and a couple of young men grouped in a circle on the carpeted floor. Violet got up from the davenport where she had been sitting and took him by the arm.

She said, 'The matron is away and we were planning to play some stud poker on the floor. Come on, it's great fun.'

But Jack hesitated. He was slightly embarrassed, for he only had a dollar and ten cents to his name and he didn't want to win, but he couldn't afford to lose for that dollar and ten cents was his meal ticket. One of the girls went out for a deck of cards and Jack took advantage of the delay to edge Violet over to a settee in a corner where there wasn't much light.

He tried to kiss her but she told him to wait until some of the gang cleared. And then suddenly, before either one of them was really aware of it, she was in his arms and their lips were sealed together. He had been away six weeks and six weeks is a long time when you are young and in love. Jack realized then that he loved her a lot more than he had any business loving anyone with his capital amounting to only a dollar and ten cents.

A girl came into the room then and called Jack's name, jarring him out of the ethereal loveland of Violet's arms back to the cold concreteness of reality. The girl told Jack that there was someone at the door to see him and Jack got up reluctantly and went out into the foyer.

A huge policeman with a hard bronze face and slitted eyes awaited Jack. The policeman wore a high blue helmet pulled down over his forehead and the brass buttons of his leather-belted overcoat gleamed like lobster eyes in the softened light of the foyer. The policeman held a three foot nightstick in his right hand and a dull black service revolver in his left. The round muzzle of the gun was pointing at Jack's stomach, and Jack felt goosefleshy about the nape of his neck.

The policeman commanded Jack to stick up his hands. Jack stretched his arms ceilingward. Then the policeman asked Jack if he knew how to pray. Jack nodded, wondering what it was all about, and getting kind of angry at the policeman's bulldozing methods.

The policeman told Jack to get on his knees and pray. Jack frowned, beginning to get a little frightened. He dropped to his knees, still holding his hands above his head. The policeman pushed the revolver straight into Jack's face and Jack sat up in his bed yelling bloody murder.

The guy across the darkened cell turned over in his bunk and said 'Aw, pipe down, mugg, and let a guy sleep, will ya?'

And then suddenly Jack realized that he wasn't a freshman in a nice old college, and he wasn't in love with a pretty girl called Violet, that he didn't even know such a girl, that he was just convict number 10012 in a dark, chilly cell, and he had eaten too many beans at supper. But for hours afterward he lay there silently cursing the huge policeman who had made him realize this.

Вы читаете The meanest cop in the World
  • 1
  • 2
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату