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The Pendulum

Short Stories


A Bird of Bagdad

A Blackjack Bargainer

A Call Loan

A Chaparral Christmas Gift

A Chaparral Prince

A Comedy in Rubber

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe

A Departmental Case

A Dinner at--------*

A Double-Dyed Deceiver

A Fog in Santone

A Harlem Tragedy

A Lickpenny Lover

A Little Local Colour

A Little Talk about Mobs

A Madison Square Arabian Night

A Matter of Mean Elevation

A Midsummer Knight's Dream

A Midsummer Masquerade

A Municipal Report

A Newspaper Story

A Night in New Arabia

A Philistine in Bohemia

A Poor Rule

A Ramble in Aphasia

A Retrieved Reformation

A Ruler of Men

A Sacrifice Hit

A Service of Love

A Snapshot at the President

A Strange Story

A Technical Error

A Tempered Wind

According to Their Lights

After Twenty Years

An Adjustment of Nature

An Afternoon Miracle

An Apology

An Unfinished Christmas Story

An Unfinished Story

Aristocracy Versus Hash

Art and the Bronco

At Arms With Morpheus

Babes in the Jungle


Between Rounds

Bexar Scrip No. 2692

Blind Man's Holiday

Brickdust Row

Buried Treasure

By Courier

Calloway's Code


Cherchez La Femme

Christmas by Injunction

Compliments of the Season

Confessions of a Humorist

Conscience in Art

Cupid a La Carte

Cupid's Exile Number Two


Dougherty's Eye-Opener

Elsie in New York

Extradited from Bohemia

Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled

Friends in San Rosario

From Each According to His Ability

From the Cabby's Seat

Georgia's Ruling


He Also Serves

Hearts and Crosses

Hearts and Hands

Helping the Other Fellow

Holding Up a Train

Hostages to Momus

Hygeia at the Solito

Innocents of Broadway

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Jimmy Hayes and Muriel

Law and Order

Let Me Feel Your Pulse

Little Speck in Garnered Fruit

Lord Oakhurst's Curse

Lost on Dress Parade

Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches

Makes the Whole World Kin

Mammon and the Archer

Man About Town

Masters of Arts

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog

Modern Rural Sports

Money Maze

Nemesis and the Candy Man

New York by Camp Fire Light

Next to Reading Matter

No Story

October and June

On Behalf of the Management

One Dollar's Worth

One Thousand Dollars

Out of Nazareth

Past One at Rooney's


Proof of the Pudding

Psyche and the Pskyscraper

Queries and Answers

Roads of Destiny

Roses, Ruses and Romance

Rouge et Noir

Round the Circle

Rus in Urbe

Schools and Schools

Seats of the Haughty

Shearing the Wolf



Sisters of the Golden Circle


Sociology in Serge and Straw

Sound and Fury

Springtime a La Carte

Squaring the Circle

Strictly Business

Strictly Business

Suite Homes and Their Romance

Telemachus, Friend

The Admiral

The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes

The Assessor of Success

The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear

The Badge of Policeman O'Roon

The Brief Debut of Tildy

The Buyer From Cactus City

The Caballero's Way

The Cactus

The Caliph and the Cad

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock

The Call of the Tame

The Chair of Philanthromathematics

The Champion of the Weather

The Church with an Overshot-Wheel

The City of Dreadful Night

The Clarion Call

The Coming-Out of Maggie

The Complete Life of John Hopkins

The Cop and the Anthem

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Country of Elusion

The Day Resurgent

The Day We Celebrate

The Defeat of the City

The Detective Detector

The Diamond of Kali

The Discounters of Money

The Dog and the Playlet

The Door of Unrest

The Dream

The Duel

The Duplicity of Hargraves

The Easter of the Soul

The Emancipation of Billy

The Enchanted Kiss

The Enchanted Profile

The Ethics of Pig

The Exact Science of Matrimony

The Ferry of Unfulfilment

The Fifth Wheel

The Flag Paramount

The Fool-Killer

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Fourth in Salvador

The Friendly Call

The Furnished Room

The Gift of the Magi

The Girl and the Graft

The Girl and the Habit

The Gold That Glittered

The Greater Coney

The Green Door

The Guardian of the Accolade

The Guilty Party - An East Side Tragedy

The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss

The Hand that Riles the World

The Handbook of Hymen

The Harbinger

The Head-Hunter

The Hiding of Black Bill

The Higher Abdication

The Higher Pragmatism

The Hypotheses of Failure

The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson

The Lady Higher Up

The Last Leaf

The Last of the Troubadours

The Lonesome Road

The Lost Blend

The Lotus And The Bottle

The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein

The Making of a New Yorker

The Man Higher Up

The Marionettes

The Marquis and Miss Sally

The Marry Month of May

The Memento

The Missing Chord

The Moment of Victory

The Octopus Marooned

The Passing of Black Eagle

The Pendulum

The Phonograph and the Graft

The Pimienta Pancakes

The Plutonian Fire

The Poet and the Peasant

The Pride of the Cities

The Princess and the Puma

The Prisoner of Zembla

The Proem

The Purple Dress

The Ransom of Mack

The Ransom of Red Chief

The Rathskeller and the Rose

The Red Roses of Tonia

The Reformation of Calliope

The Remnants of the Code

The Renaissance at Charleroi

The Roads We Take

The Robe of Peace

The Romance of a Busy Broker

The Rose of Dixie

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

The Rubber Plant's Story

The Shamrock and the Palm

The Shocks of Doom

The Skylight Room

The Sleuths

The Snow Man

The Social Triangle

The Song and the Sergeant

The Sparrows in Madison Square

The Sphinx Apple

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner

The Theory and the Hound

The Thing's the Play

The Third Ingredient

The Trimmed Lamp

The Unknown Quantity

The Unprofitable Servant

The Venturers

The Vitagraphoscope

The Voice of the City

The Whirligig of Life

The World and the Door

Thimble, Thimble


To Him Who Waits

Tobin's Palm

Tommy's Burglar

Tracked to Doom

Transformation of Martin Burney

Transients in Arcadia

Two Recalls

Two Renegades

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Ulysses and the Dogman

Vanity and Some Sables

What You Want

While the Auto Waits

Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking

Witches' Loaves

"Eighty-first street--let 'em out, please," yelled the shepherd in

A flock of citizen sheep scrambled out and another flock scrambled
aboard. Ding-ding! The cattle cars of the Manhattan Elevated rattled
away, and John Perkins drifted down the stairway of the station with
the released flock.

John walked slowly toward his flat. Slowly, because in the lexicon
of his daily life there was no such word as "perhaps." There are no
surprises awaiting a man who has been married two years and lives in
a flat. As he walked John Perkins prophesied to himself with gloomy
and downtrodden cynicism the foregone conclusions of the monotonous

Katy would meet him at the door with a kiss flavored with cold cream
and butter-scotch. He would remove his coat, sit upon a macadamized
lounge and read, in the evening paper, of Russians and Japs
slaughtered by the deadly linotype. For dinner there would be pot
roast, a salad flavored with a dressing warranted not to crack or
injure the leather, stewed rhubarb and the bottle of strawberry
marmalade blushing at the certificate of chemical purity on its
label. After dinner Katy would show him the new patch in her crazy
quilt that the iceman had cut for her off the end of his four-in-hand.
At half-past seven they would spread newspapers over the furniture
to catch the pieces of plastering that fell when the fat man in the
flat overhead began to take his physical culture exercises. Exactly
at eight Hickey & Mooney, of the vaudeville team (unbooked) in the
flat across the hall, would yield to the gentle influence of delirium
tremens and begin to overturn chairs under the delusion that
Hammerstein was pursuing them with a five-hundred-dollar-a-week
contract. Then the gent at the window across the air-shaft would get
out his flute; the nightly gas leak would steal forth to frolic in
the highways; the dumbwaiter would slip off its trolley; the janitor
would drive Mrs. Zanowitski's five children once more across the
Yalu, the lady with the champagne shoes and the Skye terrier would
trip downstairs and paste her Thursday name over her bell and
letter-box--and the evening routine of the Frogmore flats would be
under way.

John Perkins knew these things would happen. And he knew that at a
quarter past eight he would summon his nerve and reach for his hat,
and that his wife would deliver this speech in a querulous tone:

"Now, where are you going, I'd like to know, John Perkins?"

"Thought I'd drop up to McCloskey's," he would answer, "and play a
game or two of pool with the fellows."

Of late such had been John Perkins's habit. At ten or eleven he
would return. Sometimes Katy would be asleep; sometimes waiting up,
ready to melt in the crucible of her ire a little more gold plating
from the wrought steel chains of matrimony. For these things Cupid
will have to answer when he stands at the bar of justice with his
victims from the Frogmore flats.

To-night John Perkins encountered a tremendous upheaval of the
commonplace when he reached his door. No Katy was there with her
affectionate, confectionate kiss. The three rooms seemed in
portentous disorder. All about lay her things in confusion. Shoes in
the middle of the floor, curling tongs, hair bows, kimonos, powder
box, jumbled together on dresser and chairs--this was not Katy's
way. With a sinking heart John saw the comb with a curling cloud of
her brown hair among its teeth. Some unusual hurry and perturbation
must have possessed her, for she always carefully placed these
combings in the little blue vase on the mantel to be some day formed
into the coveted feminine "rat."

Hanging conspicuously to the gas jet by a string was a folded paper.
John seized it. It was a note from his wife running thus:

"Dear John: I just had a telegram saying mother is very sick.
I am going to take the 4.30 train. Brother Sam is going to meet
me at the depot there. There is cold mutton in the ice box. I
hope it isn't her quinzy again. Pay the milkman 50 cents. She
had it bad last spring. Don't forget to write to the company
about the gas meter, and your good socks are in the top drawer.
I will write to-morrow.
Hastily, KATY."

Never during their two years of matrimony had he and Katy been
separated for a night. John read the note over and over in a
dumbfounded way. Here was a break in a routine that had never
varied, and it left him dazed.

There on the back of a chair hung, pathetically empty and formless,
the red wrapper with black dots that she always wore while getting
the meals. Her week-day clothes had been tossed here and there in
her haste. A little paper bag of her favorite butter-scotch lay with
its string yet unwound. A daily paper sprawled on the floor, gaping
rectangularly where a railroad time-table had been clipped from it.
Everything in the room spoke of a loss, of an essence gone, of its
soul and life departed. John Perkins stood among the dead remains
with a queer feeling of desolation in his heart.

He began to set the rooms tidy as well as he could. When he touched
her clothes a thrill of something like terror went through him. He
had never thought what existence would be without Katy. She had
become so thoroughly annealed into his life that she was like the
air he breathed--necessary but scarcely noticed. Now, without
warning, she was gone, vanished, as completely absent as if she had
never existed. Of course it would be only for a few days, or at most
a week or two, but it seemed to him as if the very hand of death had
pointed a finger at his secure and uneventful home.

John dragged the cold mutton from the ice-box, made coffee and sat
down to a lonely meal face to face with the strawberry marmalade's
shameless certificate of purity. Bright among withdrawn blessings
now appeared to him the ghosts of pot roasts and the salad with tan
polish dressing. His home was dismantled. A quinzied mother-in-law
had knocked his lares and penates sky-high. After his solitary meal
John sat at a front window.

He did not care to smoke. Outside the city roared to him to come
join in its dance of folly and pleasure. The night was his. He might
go forth unquestioned and thrum the strings of jollity as free as
any gay bachelor there. He might carouse and wander and have his
fling until dawn if he liked; and there would be no wrathful Katy
waiting for him, bearing the chalice that held the dregs of his joy.
He might play pool at McCloskey's with his roistering friends until
Aurora dimmed the electric bulbs if he chose. The hymeneal strings
that had curbed him always when the Frogmore flats had palled upon
him were loosened. Katy was gone.

John Perkins was not accustomed to analyzing his emotions. But as
he sat in his Katy-bereft 10x12 parlor he hit unerringly upon the
keynote of his discomfort. He knew now that Katy was necessary to
his happiness. His feeling for her, lulled into unconsciousness by
the dull round of domesticity, had been sharply stirred by the loss
of her presence. Has it not been dinned into us by proverb and
sermon and fable that we never prize the music till the sweet-voiced
bird has flown--or in other no less florid and true utterances?

"I'm a double-dyed dub," mused John Perkins, "the way I've been
treating Katy. Off every night playing pool and bumming with the
boys instead of staying home with her. The poor girl here all alone
with nothing to amuse her, and me acting that way! John Perkins,
you're the worst kind of a shine. I'm going to make it up for the
little girl. I'll take her out and let her see some amusement. And
I'll cut out the McCloskey gang right from this minute."

Yes, there was the city roaring outside for John Perkins to come
dance in the train of Momus. And at McCloskey's the boys were
knocking the balls idly into the pockets against the hour for the
nightly game. But no primrose way nor clicking cue could woo the
remorseful soul of Perkins the bereft. The thing that was his,
lightly held and half scorned, had been taken away from him, and he
wanted it. Backward to a certain man named Adam, whom the cherubim
bounced from the orchard, could Perkins, the remorseful, trace his

Near the right hand of John Perkins stood a chair. On the back of
it stood Katy's blue shirtwaist. It still retained something of
her contour. Midway of the sleeves were fine, individual wrinkles
made by the movements of her arms in working for his comfort and
pleasure. A delicate but impelling odor of bluebells came from
it. John took it and looked long and soberly at the unresponsive
grenadine. Katy had never been unresponsive. Tears:--yes,
tears--came into John Perkins's eyes. When she came back things
would be different. He would make up for all his neglect. What
was life without her?

The door opened. Katy walked in carrying a little hand satchel. John
stared at her stupidly.

"My! I'm glad to get back," said Katy. "Ma wasn't sick to amount
to anything. Sam was at the depot, and said she just had a little
spell, and got all right soon after they telegraphed. So I took the
next train back. I'm just dying for a cup of coffee."

Nobody heard the click and rattle of the cog-wheels as the third-floor
front of the Frogmore flats buzzed its machinery back into the Order
of Things. A band slipped, a spring was touched, the gear was adjusted
and the wheels revolve in their old orbit.

John Perkins looked at the clock. It was 8.15. He reached for his
hat and walked to the door.

"Now, where are you going, I'd like to know, John Perkins?" asked
Katy, in a querulous tone.

"Thought I'd drop up to McCloskey's," said John, "and play a game or
two of pool with the fellows."

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