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The Dog and the Playlet

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

Usually it is a cold day in July when you can stroll up Broadway
in that month and get a story out of the drama. I found one a few
breathless, parboiling days ago, and it seems to decide a serious
question in art.

There was not a soul left in the city except Hollis and me--and two
or three million sunworshippers who remained at desks and counters.
The elect had fled to seashore, lake, and mountain, and had already
begun to draw for additional funds. Every evening Hollis and I
prowled about the deserted town searching for coolness in empty
cafes, dining-rooms, and roofgardens. We knew to the tenth part of a
revolution the speed of every electric fan in Gotham, and we followed
the swiftest as they varied. Hollis's fiancee. Miss Loris Sherman,
had been in the Adirondacks, at Lower Saranac Lake, for a month. In
another week he would join her party there. In the meantime, he
cursed the city cheerfully and optimistically, and sought my society
because I suffered him to show me her photograph during the black
coffee every time we dined together.

My revenge was to read to him my one-act play.

It was one insufferable evening when the overplus of the day's heat
was being hurled quiveringly back to the heavens by every surcharged
brick and stone and inch of iron in the panting town. But with the
cunning of the two-legged beasts we had found an oasis where the
hoofs of Apollo's steed had not been allowed to strike. Our seats
were on an ocean of cool, polished oak; the white linen of fifty
deserted tables flapped like seagulls in the artificial breeze; a
mile away a waiter lingered for a heliographic signal--we might have
roared songs there or fought a duel without molestation.

Out came Miss Loris's photo with the coffee, and I once more praised
the elegant poise of the neck, the extremely low-coiled mass of heavy
hair, and the eyes that followed one, like those in an oil painting.

"She's the greatest ever," said Hollis, with enthusiasm. "Good as
Great Northern Preferred, and a disposition built like a watch. One
week more and I'll be happy Jonny-on-the-spot. Old Tom Tolliver, my
best college chum, went up there two weeks ago. He writes me that
Loris doesn't talk about anything but me. Oh, I guess Rip Van Winkle
didn't have all the good luck!"

"Yes, yes," said I, hurriedly, pulling out my typewritten play.
"She's no doubt a charming girl. Now, here's that little curtain-
raiser you promised to listen to."

"Ever been tried on the stage?" asked Hollis.

"Not exactly," I answered. "I read half of it the other day to a
fellow whose brother knows Robert Edeson; but he had to catch a train
before I finished."

"Go on," said Hollis, sliding back in his chair like a good fellow.
"I'm no stage carpenter, but I'll tell you what I think of it from a
first-row balcony standpoint. I'm a theatre bug during the season,
and I can size up a fake play almost as quick as the gallery can.
Flag the waiter once more, and then go ahead as hard as you like with
it. I'll be the dog."

I read my little play lovingly, and, I fear, not without some
elocution. There was one scene in it that I believed in greatly.
The comedy swiftly rises into thrilling and unexpectedly developed
drama. Capt. Marchmont suddenly becomes cognizant that his wife is
an unscrupulous adventuress, who has deceived him from the day of
their first meeting. The rapid and mortal duel between them from that
moment--she with her magnificent lies and siren charm, winding about
him like a serpent, trying to recover her lost ground; he with his
man's agony and scorn and lost faith, trying to tear her from his
heart. That scene I always thought was a crackerjack. When Capt.
Marchmont discovers her duplicity by reading on a blotter in a mirror
the impression of a note that she has written to the Count, he raises
his hand to heaven and exclaims: "O God, who created woman while Adam
slept, and gave her to him for a companion, take back Thy gift and
return instead the sleep, though it last forever!"

"Rot," said Hollis, rudely, when I had given those lines with proper

"I beg your pardon!" I said, as sweetly as I could.

"Come now," went on Hollis, "don't be an idiot. You know very well
that nobody spouts any stuff like that these days. That sketch went
along all right until you rang in the skyrockets. Cut out that
right-arm exercise and the Adam and Eve stunt, and make your captain
talk as you or I or Bill Jones would."

"I'll admit," said I, earnestly (for my theory was being touched
upon), "that on all ordinary occasions all of us use commonplace
language to convey our thoughts. You will rememberthat up to the
moment when the captain makes his terrible discovery all the
characters on the stage talk pretty much as they would, in real life.
But I believe that I am right in allowing him lines suitable to the
strong and tragic situation into which he falls."

"Tragic, my eye!" said my friend, irreverently. "In Shakespeare's
day he might have sputtered out some high-cockalorum nonsense of
that sort, because in those days they ordered ham and eggs in blank
verse and discharged the cook with an epic. But not for B'way in
the summer of 1905!"

"It is my opinion," said I, "that great human emotions shake up our
vocabulary and leave the words best suited to express them on top. A
sudden violent grief or loss or disappointment will bring expressions
out of an ordinary man as strong and solemn and dramatic as those used
in fiction or on the stage to portray those emotions."

"That's where you fellows are wrong," said Hollis. "Plain, every-day
talk is what goes. Your captain would very likely have kicked the
cat, lit a cigar, stirred up a highball, and telephoned for a lawyer,
instead of getting off those Robert Mantell pyrotechnics."

"Possibly, a little later," I continued. "But just at the time--just
as the blow is delivered, if something Scriptural or theatrical and
deep-tongued isn't wrung from a man in spite of his modern and
practical way of speaking, then I'm wrong."

"Of course," said Hollis, kindly, "you've got to whoop her up some
degrees for the stage. The audience expects it. When the villain
kidnaps little Effie you have to make her mother claw some chunks out
of the atmosphere, and scream: "Me chee-ild, me chee-ild!" What she
would actually do would be to call up the police by 'phone, ring for
some strong tea, and get the little darling's photo out, ready for
the reporters. When you get your villain in a corner--a stage corner
--it's all right for him to clap his hand to his forehead and hiss:
"All is lost!" Off the stage he would remark: "This is a conspiracy
against me-- I refer you to my lawyers.'"

"I get no consolation," said I, gloomily, "from your concession of an
accentuated stage treatment. In my play I fondly hoped that I was
following life. If people in real life meet great crises in a
commonplace way, they should do the same on the stage."

And then we drifted, like two trout, out of our cool pool in the great
hotel and began to nibble languidly at the gay flies in the swift
current of Broadway. And our question of dramatic art was unsettled.

We nibbled at the flies, and avoided the hooks, as wise trout do; but
soon the weariness of Manhattan in summer overcame us. Nine stories
up, facing the south, was Hollis's apartment, and we soon stepped into
an elevator bound for that cooler haven.

I was familiar in those quarters, and quickly my play was forgotten,
and I stood at a sideboard mixing things, with cracked ice and
glasses all about me. A breeze from the bay came in the windows not
altogether blighted by the asphalt furnace over which it had passed.
Hollis, whistling softly, turned over a late-arrived letter or two
on his table, and drew around the coolest wicker armchairs.

I was just measuring the Vermouth carefully when I heard a sound.
Some man's voice groaned hoarsely: "False, oh, God!--false, and
Love is a lie and friendship but the byword of devils!"

I looked around quickly. Hollis lay across the table with his head
down upon his outstretched arms. And then he looked up at me and
laughed in his ordinary manner.

I knew him--he was poking fun at me about my theory. And it did seem
so unnatural, those swelling words during our quiet gossip, that I
half began to believe I had been mistaken--that my theory was wrong.

Hollis raised himself slowly from the table.

"You were right about that theatrical business, old man," he said,
quietly, as he tossed a note to me.

I read it.

Loris had run away with Tom Tolliver.

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