Part 2 out of 2
"I suppose that is due to the fact that when a man gets to
Hades he immediately becomes a reformer," I suggested, with
a wink at the machine, which somehow or other did not seem to
appreciate the joke.
"Possibly," observed Boswell. "Whatever the reason, however,
the fact remains that Cimmeria is a well-governed city, and,
what is more, it isn't afraid to assert its rights even as
against old Apollyon himself."
"It's safe enough for a corporation," said I. "Much safer for a
corporation which has no soul, than for an individual who has.
You can't torture a city--"
"Oh, can't you!" laughed Boswell. "Humph. Apollyon can make it
as hot for a city as he can for an individual. It is evident
that you never heard of Sodom and Gomorrah--which is surprising
to me, since your jokes about Lot's wife being too fresh and
getting salted down, would seem to indicate that you had heard
something about the punishment those cities underwent."
"You are right, Bozzy," I said. "I had forgotten. But tell me
about the dog-tax. Does the State own a dog?"
"Does it?" roared Boswell. "Why, my dear fellow, where were
you brought up and educated. Does the State own a dog!"
"That's what I asked you," I put in, meekly. "I may be very
ignorant, unless you mean the kind that we have in our
legislatures, called the watch-dogs of the treasury, or,
perhaps, the dogs of war. But I never thought any city would
be crazy enough to make the government take out a license
"Never heard of a beast named Cerberus, I suppose?" said
"Yes, I have," I answered. "He guards the gates to the infernal
"Well--he's the bone of contention," said Boswell. "You see,
about ten years ago the people of Cimmeria got rather tired of
the condition of their streets. They were badly paved. They were
full of good intentions, but the citizens thought they ought
to have something more lasting, so they voted to appropriate
an enormous sum for asphalting. They didn't realize how sloppy
asphalt would become in that climate, but after the asphalt
was put down they found out, and a Beelzebub of a time of it
they had. Pegasus sprained his off hind leg by slipping on
it, Bucephalus got into it with all four feet and had to be
lifted out with a derrick, and every other fine horse we had
was more or less injured, and the damage suits against the
city were enormous. To remedy this, the asphalting was taken
up and a Nicholson wood pavement was put down. This was worse
than the other. It used to catch fire every other night, and,
finally, to protect their houses, the people rose up en masse
and ripped it all to pieces.
"This necessitated a third new pavement, of Belgian blocks, to
pay for which the already overburdened city of Cimmeria had to
issue bonds to an enormous amount, all of which necessitated
an increase of taxes. Naturally, one of the first taxes to
be imposed was a dog-tax, and it was that which led to this
lawsuit, which, I regret to say, the city has lost, although
Judge Blackstone's decision was eminently fair."
"Wouldn't the State pay?" I asked.
"Yes--on Cerberus as one dog," said Boswell. "The city claimed,
however, that Cerberus was more than that, and endeavored to
collect on three dogs--one license for each head. This the State
declined to pay, and out of this grew further complications
of a distressing nature. The city sent its dog-catchers up to
abscond with the dog, intending to cut off two of its heads,
and return the balance as being as much of the beast as the
State was entitled to maintain on a single license. It was an
unfortunate move, for when Cerberus himself took the situation
in, which he did at a glance, he nabbed the dog-catcher by the
coat-tails with one pair of jaws, grabbed hold of his collar
with another, and shook him as he would a rat, meanwhile chewing
up other portions of the unfortunate official with his third set
of teeth. The functionary was then carried home on a stretcher,
and subsequently sued the city for damages, which he recovered.
"Another man was sent out to lure the ferocious beast to
the pound with a lasso, but it worked no better than the
previous attempt. The lasso fell all right tight about one
of the animal's necks, but his other two heads immediately
set to work and gnawed the rope through, and then set off
after the dog-catcher, overtaking him at the very door of the
pound. This time he didn't do any biting, but lifting the
dog-catcher up with his various sets of teeth, fastened to
his collar, coat-tails, and feet respectively, carried him
yelling like a trooper to the end of the wharf and dropped
him into the Styx. The result of this was nervous prostration
for the dog-catcher, another suit for damages for the city,
and a great laugh for the State authorities. In fact," Boswell
added, confidentially, "I think perhaps the reason why the
Prime-minister hasn't got Apollyon to hang the whole city
government has been due to the fun they've got out of seeing
Cerberus and the city fighting it out together. There's no doubt
about it that he is a wonderful dog, and is quite capable of
taking care of himself."
"But the outcome of the case?" I asked, much interested.
"Defeat for the city," said Boswell. "Failing to enforce
its authority by means of its servants, the city undertook to
recover by due process of law. The dog-catchers were powerless;
the police declined to act on the advice of the commissioners,
since dog-catching was not within their province; and the fire
department averred that it was designed for the putting out of
fires and not for extinguishing fiery canines like Cerberus. The
dog, meanwhile, to show his contempt for the city, chewed
the license-tag off the neck upon which it had been placed,
and dropped it into a smelting-pot inside the gates of the
infernal regions that was reserved to bring political prisoners
to their senses, and, worse than all, made a perfect nuisance of
himself by barking all day and baying all night, rain or shine."
"Papers in a suit at law were then served on Mazarin and the
other members of Apollyon's council, the causes of complaint
were recited, and damages for ten years back taxes on two dogs,
plus the amounts recovered from the city by the two injured
dog-catchers, were demanded. The suit was put upon the calendar,
and Apollyon himself sat upon the bench with Judge Blackstone,
before whom the case was to be tried.
"On both sides the arguments were exceedingly strong. Coke
appeared for the city and Catiline for the State. After the
complaint was read, the attorney for the State put in his
answer, that the State's contention was that the ordinance had
been complied with, that Cerberus was only one dog, and that
the license had been paid; that the license having been paid,
the dog-catchers had no right to endeavor to abduct the animal,
and that having done so they did it at their own peril; that
the suit ought to be dismissed, but that for the fun of the
the State was perfectly willing to let it go on.
"In rebuttal the plaintiff claimed that Cerberus was three
dogs to all intents and purposes, and the first dog-catcher
was called to testify. After giving his name and address he was
asked a few questions of minor importance, and then Coke asked:
"'Are you familiar with dogs?'
"'Moderately,' was the answer. 'I never got quite so intimate
with one as I did with him.'
"'With whom?' asked Coke.
"'Cerberus,' replied the witness.
"'Do you consider him to be one dog, two dogs or three dogs?'
"'I object!' cried Catiline, springing to his feet. 'The
question is a leading one.'
"'Sustained,' said Blackstone, with a nervous glance at
Apollyon, who smiled reassuringly at him.
"'Ah, you say you know a dog when you see one?' asked Coke.
"'Yes,' said the witness, 'perfectly.'
"'Do you know two dogs when you see them, or even three?' asked
"'I do,' replied the witness.
"'And how many dogs did you see when you saw Cerberus?' asked
"'Three, anyhow,' replied the witness, with feeling, 'though
afterwards I thought there was a whole bench-show atop of me.'
"'Your witness,' said Coke.
"A murmur of applause went through the court-room, at which
Apollyon frowned; but his face cleared in a moment when Catiline
"'My cross-examination of this witness, your honor, will be
confined to one question.' Then turning to the witness he said,
blandly: 'My poor friend, if you considered Cerberus to be
three dogs anyhow, why did you in your examination a moment
since refer to the avalanche of caninity, of which you so
affectingly speak, as him?'
"'He is a him,' said the witness.
"'But if there were three, should he not have been a them?'
"Coke swore profanely beneath his breath, and the witness
squirmed about in his chair, confused and broken, while both
Judge Blackstone and Apollyon smiled broadly. Manifestly the
point of the defence had pierced the armor of the plaintiff.
"'Your witness for re-direct,' said Catiline.
"'No thanks,' retorted Coke; 'there are others,' and,
motioning to his first witness to step down, he called the
"'What is your business?' asked Coke, after the usual
"'I'm out of business. Livin' on my damages,' said the witness.
"'What damages?' asked Coke.
"'Them I got from the city for injuries did me by that there--I
should say them there--dorgs, Cerberus.'
"'Them there what?' persisted Coke, to emphasize the point.
"'Dorgs,' said the witness, convincingly--'D-o-r-g-s.'
"'Why s?' queried Coke. 'We may admit the r, but why the s?'
"'Because it's the pullural of dorg. Cerberus ain't any
single-headed commission,' said the witness, who was something
of a ward politician.
"'Why do you say that Cerberus is more than one dog?'
"Because I've had experience,' replied the witness. 'I've
seen the time when he was everywhere all at once; that's why
I say he's more than one dorg. If he'd been only one dorg he
couldn't have been anywhere else than where he was.'
"'When was that?'
"'When I lassoed him.'
"'Him?' remonstrated Coke.
"'Yes,' said the witness. 'I only caught one of him, and then
the other two took a hand.'
"'Ah, the other two,' said Coke. 'You know dogs when you
"'I do, and he was all of 'em in a bunch,' replied the witness.
"'Your witness,' said Coke.
"'My friend,' said Catiline, rising quietly. 'How many men
"'One, sir,' was the answer.
"'Have you ever been in two places at once?'
"'When was that?'
"'When I was in jail and in London all at the same time.'
"'Very good; but were you in two places on the day of this
attack upon you by Cerberus?'
"'No, sir. I wish I had been. I'd have stayed in the other
"'Then if you were in but one place yourself, how do you know
that Cerberus was in more than one place?'
"'Well, I guess if you--'
"'Answer the question,' said Catiline.
"'Oh, well--of course--'
"'Of course,' echoed Catiline. 'That's it, your honor; it is
only "of course,"--and I rest my case. We have no witnesses
to call. We have proven by their own witnesses that there is
no evidence of Cerberus being more than one dog.'
"You ought to have heard the cheers as Catiline sat down,"
continued Boswell. "As for poor Coke, he was regularly
knocked out, but he rose up to sum up his case as best he
could. Blackstone, however, stopped him right at the beginning.
"'The counsel for the plaintiff might as well sit down,' he
said, 'and save his breath. I've decided this case in favor of
the defendant long ago. It is plain to every one that Cerberus
is only one dog, in spite of his many talents and manifest
ability to be in several places at once, and inasmuch as the
tax which is sued for is merely a dog-tax and not a poll-tax, I
must render judgment for the defendants, with costs. Next case.'
"And the city of Cimmeria was thrown out of court," concluded
Boswell. "Interesting, eh?"
"Very," said I. "But how will this affect Blackstone? Isn't
he a City Judge?"
"No," replied Boswell; "he was, but his term expired this
morning, and this afternoon Apollyon appointed him Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of Hades."
A HAND-BOOK TO HADES
"Boswell," said I, the other night, as the machine began to
click nervously. "I have just received a letter from an unknown
friend in Hawaii who wants to know how the prize-fight between
Samson and Goliath came out that time when Kidd and his pirate
crew stole the House-Boat on the Styx."
"Just wait a minute, please," the machine responded. "I am very
busy just now mapping out the itinerary of the first series of
the Boswell Personally Conducted Tours you suggested some time
ago. I laid that whole proposition before the Entertainment
Committee of the Associated Shades, and they have resolved
unanimously to charter the Ex-Great Eastern from the Styx
Navigation Company, and return to the scenes of their former
glory, devoting a year to it."
"Going to take their wives?" I asked.
"I don't know," Boswell replied. "That is a matter outside
of the jurisdiction of the committee and must be decided
by a full vote of the club. I hope they will, however. As
manager of the enterprise I need assistance, and there are
some of the men who can't be managed by anybody except their
wives, or mothers-in-law, anyhow. I'll be through in a few
minutes. Meanwhile let me hand you the latest product of the
With this the genial spirit produced from an invisible
pocket a red-covered book bearing the delicious title of
"Baedeker's Hades: A Hand-book for Travellers," which has
entirely superseded, according to the advertisement on the
fly-leaves, such books as Virgil and Dante's Inferno as the best
guide to the lower regions, as well it might, for it appeared
on perusal to have been prepared with as much care as one of
the more material guide-books of the same publisher, which so
greatly assist travellers on this side of the Stygian River.
Some time, if Boswell will permit, I shall endeavor to have
this little volume published in this country since it contains
many valuable hints to the man of a roving disposition, or
for the stay-at-home, for that matter, for all roads lead to
Hades. For instance, we do not find in previous guide-books,
like Dante's Inferno, any references whatsoever to the languages
it is well to know before taking the Stygian tour; to the
kind of money needed, or its quantity per capita; no allusion
to the necessity of passports is found in Dante or Virgil;
custom-house requirements are ignored by these authors; no
statements as to the kind of clothing needed, the quality of the
hotels--nor indeed any real information of vital importance to
the traveller is to be found in the older books. In Baedeker's
Hades, on the other hand, all these subjects are exhaustively
treated, together with a very comprehensive series of chapters
on "Stygian Wines," "Climate," and "Hellish Art"--the expression
is not mine--and other topics of essential interest.
And of what suggestive quality was this little book. Who
would ever have guessed from a perusal of Dante that as
Hades is the place of departed spirits so also is it the
ultimate resting-place of all other departed things. What
delightful anticipations are there in the idea of a visit to
the Alexandrian library, now suitably housed on the south side
of Apollyon Square, Cimmeria, in a building that would drive
the trustees of the Boston Public Library into envious despair,
even though living Bacchantes are found daily improving their
minds in the recesses of its commodious alcoves! What joyous
feelings it gives one to think of visiting the navy-yards of
Tyre and finding there the ships concerning the whereabouts
of which poets have vainly asked questions for ages! Who would
ever dream that the question of the balladist, himself an able
dreamer concerning classic things, "Where are the Cities of
Old Time," could ever find its answer in a simple guide-book
telling us where Carthage is, where Troy and all the lost
cities of antiquity!
Then the details of amusements in this wonderful country--who
could gather aught of these from the Italian poet? The theatres
of Gehenna, with "Hamlet" produced under the joint direction
of Shakespeare and the Prince of Denmark himself, the great
Zoo of Sheolia, with Jumbo, and the famous woolly horse of
earlier days, not to mention the long series of menageries
which have passed over the dark river in the ages now forgotten;
the hanging gardens of Babylon, where the picnicking element of
Hades flock week after week, chuting the chutes, and clambering
joyously in and out of the Trojan Horse, now set up in all its
majesty therein, with bowling-alleys on its roof, elevators in
its legs, and the original Ferris-wheel in its head; the freak
museums in the densely populated sections of the large cities,
where Hop o' my Thumb and Jack the Giant Killer are exhibited
day after day alongside of the great ogres they have killed;
the opera-house, with Siegfried himself singing, supported by
the real Brunhild and the original, bona fide dragon Fafnir,
running of his own motive power, and breathing actual fire
and smoke without the aid of a steam-engine and a plumber to
connect him therewith before he can go out upon the stage to
engage Siegfried in deadly combat.
For the information contained in this last item alone, even if
the book had no other virtue, it would be worthy of careful
perusal from the opening paragraph on language, to the last,
dealing with the descent into the Vitriol Reservoir at Gehenna.
The account of the feeding of Fafnir, to which admission can be
had on payment of ten oboli, beginning with a puree of kerosene,
followed by a half-dozen cartridges on the half-shell, an entree
of nitro-glycerine, a solid roast of cannel-coal, and a salad
of gun-cotton, with a mayonnaise dressing of alcohol and a pinch
of powder, topped off with a demi-tasse of benzine and a box of
matches to keep the fires of his spirit going, is one of the
most moving things I have ever read, and yet it may be said
without fear of contradiction that until this guide-book was
prepared very few of the Stygian tourists have imagined that
there was such a sight to be seen. I have gone carefully over
Dante, Virgil, and the works of Andrew Lang, and have found
no reference whatsoever in the pages of any of these talented
persons to this marvellous spectacle which takes place three
times a day, and which I doubt not results in a performance
of Siegfried for the delectation of the music lovers of Hades,
which is beyond the power of the human mind to conceive.
The hand-book has an added virtue, which distinguishes it from
any other that I have ever seen, in that it is anecdotal in
style at times where an anecdote is available and appropriate.
In connection with this same Fafnir, as showing how necessary
it is for the tourist to be careful of his personal safety
in Hades, it is related that upon one occasion the keeper of
the dragon having taken a grudge against Siegfried for some
unintentional slight, fed Fafnir upon Roman-candles and a
sky-rocket, with the result that in the fight between the hero
and the demon of the wood the Siegfried was seriously injured
by the red, white, and blue balls of fire which the dragon
breathed out upon him, while the sky-rocket flew out into the
audience and struck a young man in the top gallery, knocking him
senseless, the stick falling into a grand-tier box and impaling
one of the best known social lights of Cimmeria. "Therefore,"
adds the astute editor of the hand-book, "on Siegfried nights
it were well if the tourist were to go provided with an asbestos
umbrella for use in case of an emergency of a similar nature."
In that portion of the book devoted to the trip up the river
Styx the legends surpass any of the Rhine stories in dramatic
interest, because, according to Commodore Charon's excursion
system, the tourist can step ashore and see the chief actors
in them, who for a consideration will give a full-dress
rehearsal of the legendary acts for which they have been
famous. The sirens of the Stygian Lorelei, for instance,
sit on an eminence not far above the city of Cimmeria, and
make a profession of luring people ashore and giving away at
so much per head locks of their hair for remembrance' sake,
all of which makes of the Stygian trip a thing of far greater
interest than that of the Rhine.
It had been my intention to make a few extracts from this
portion of the volume showing later developments in the legends
of the Drachenfels, and others of more than ordinary interest,
but I find that with the departure of Boswell for the night
the treasured hand-book disappeared with him; but, as I have
already stated, if I can secure his consent to do so I will
some day have the book copied off on more material substance
than that employed in the original manuscript, so that the
useful little tome may be printed and scattered broadcast
over a waiting and appreciative world. I may as well state
here, too, that I have taken the precaution to have the title
"Baedeker's Hades" and its contents copyrighted, so that any
pirate who recognizes the value of the scheme will attempt to
pirate the work at his peril.
Hardly had I finished the chapter on the legends of the Styx
when Boswell broke in upon me with: "Well, how do you like it?"
"It's great," I said. "May I keep it?"
"You may if you can," he laughed. "But I fancy it can't
withstand the rigors of this climate any more than an
unfireproof copy of one of your books could stand the caniculars
His words were soon to be verified, for as soon as he left me
the book vanished, but whether it went off into thin air or was
repocketed by the departing Boswell I am not entirely certain.
"What was it you asked me about Samson and Goliath?" Boswell
observed, as he gathered up his manuscript from the floor
beside the Enchanted Typewriter. "Whether they'd ever been
"No," I replied. "I got a letter from Hawaii the other day
asking for the result of the prize-fight the day Kidd ran off
with the house-boat."
"Oh," replied Boswell. "That? Why, ah, Samson won hands down,
but only because they played according to latter-day rules. If
it had been a regular knock-out fight, like the contests in the
old days of the ring when it was in its prime, Goliath could
have managed him with one hand; but the Samson backers played
a sharp game on the Philistine by having the most recently
amended Queensbury rules adopted, and Goliath wasn't in it
five minutes after Samson opened his mouth."
"I don't think I understand," said I.
"Plain enough," explained Boswell. "Goliath didn't know what
the modern rules were, but he thought a fight was a fight
under any rules, so, like a decent chap, he agreed, and when
he found that it was nothing but a talking-match he'd got
into he fainted. He never was good at expressing himself
fluently. Samson talked him down in two rounds, just as he
did the other Philistines in the early days on earth."
I laughed. "You're slightly off there," I said. "That was a
stand-up-and-be-knocked-down fight, wasn't it? He used the
jawbone of an ass?"
"Very true," observed Boswell, "but it is evident that it is
you who are slightly off. You haven't kept up with the higher
criticism. It has been proven scientifically that not only
did the whale not swallow Jonah, but that Samson's great feat
against the Philistines was comparable only to the achievements
of your modern senators. He talked them to death."
"Then why jawbone of an ass?" I cried.
"Samson was an ass," replied Boswell. "They prove that by the
temple episode, for you see if he hadn't been one he'd have
got out of the building before yanking the foundations from
under it. I tell you, old chap, this higher criticism is a
great thing, and as logical as death itself."
And with this Boswell left me.
I sincerely hope that the result of the fight will prove as
satisfactory to my friend in Hawaii as it was to me; for while
I have no particular admiration for Samson, I have always
rejoiced to hear of the discomfitures of Goliath, who, so far
as I have been able to ascertain, was not only not a gentleman,
but, in addition, had no more regard for the rights of others
than a member of the New York police force or the editor of
a Sunday newspaper with a thirst for sensation.
SHERLOCK HOLMES AGAIN
I had intended asking Boswell what had become of my copy of
the Baedeker's Hades when he next returned, but the output of
the machine that evening so interested me that the hand-book
was entirely forgotten. If there ever was a hero in this world
who could compare with D'Artagnan in my estimation for sheer
ability in a given line that hero was Sherlock Holmes. With
D'Artagnan and Holmes for my companions I think I could pass the
balance of my days in absolute contentment, no matter what woful
things might befall me. So it was that, when I next heard the
tapping keys and dulcet bell of my Enchanted Type-writer, and,
after listening intently for a moment, realized that my friend
Boswell was making a copy of a Sherlock Holmes Memoir thereon
for his next Sunday's paper, all thought of the interesting
little red book of the last meeting flew out of my head. I
rose quickly from my couch at the first sounding of the gong.
"Got a Holmes story, eh?" I said, walking to his side,
and gazing eagerly over the spot where his shoulder should
"I have that, and it's a winner," he replied, enthusiastically.
"If you don't believe it, read it. I'll have it copied in
about two minutes."
"I'll do both," I said. "I believe all the Sherlock Holmes
stories I read. It is so much pleasanter to believe them true.
If they weren't true they wouldn't be so wonderful."
With this I picked up the first page of the manuscript and
shortly after Boswell presented me with the balance, whereon
I read the following extraordinary tale:
A MYSTERY SOLVED
A WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENT IN FERRETING
From Advance Sheets of
MEMOIRS I REMEMBER
SHERLOCK HOLMES, ESQ.
Ferreter Extraordinary by Special Appointment to his Majesty
WHO THE LADY WAS!
It was not many days after my solution of the Missing Diamond
of the Nizam of Jigamaree Mystery that I was called upon to take
up a case which has baffled at least one person for some ten or
eleven centuries. The reader will remember the mystery of the
missing diamond--the largest known in all history, which the
Nizam of Jigamaree brought from India to present to the Queen
of England, on the occasion of her diamond jubilee. I had been
dead three years at the time, but, by a special dispensation of
his Imperial Highness Apollyon, was permitted to return incog
to London for the jubilee season, where it so happened that I
put up at the same lodging-house as that occupied by the Nizam
and his suite. We sat opposite each other at table d'hote, and
for at least three weeks previous to the losing of his treasure
the Indian prince was very morose, and it was very difficult to
get him to speak. I was not supposed to know, nor, indeed, was
any one else, for that matter, at the lodging-house, that the
Nizam was so exalted a personage. He like myself was travelling
incog and was known to the world as Mr. Wilkins, of Calcutta--a
very wise precaution, inasmuch as he had in his possession a
gem valued at a million and a half of dollars. I recognized
him at once, however, by his unlikeness to a wood-cut that
had been appearing in the American Sunday newspapers, labelled
with his name, as well as by the extraordinary lantern which he
had on his bicycle, a lantern which to the uneducated eye was
no more than an ordinary lamp, but which to an eye like mine,
familiar with gems, had for its crystal lens nothing more nor
less than the famous stone which he had brought for her Majesty
the Queen, his imperial sovereign. There are few people who
can tell diamonds from plate-glass under any circumstances,
and Mr. Wilkins, otherwise the Nizam, realizing this fact, had
taken this bold method of secreting his treasure. Of course,
the moment I perceived the quality of the man's lamp I knew
at once who Mr. Wilkins was, and I determined to have a little
innocent diversion at his expense.
"It has been a fine day, Mr. Wilkins," said I one evening over
"Yes," he replied, wearily. "Very--but somehow or other I'm
"Too bad," I said, lightly, "but there are others. There's
that poor Nizam of Jigamaree, for instance--poor devil, he
must be the bluest brown man that ever lived."
Wilkins started nervously as I mentioned the prince by name.
"Wh-why do you think that?" he asked, nervously fingering
"It's tough luck to have to give away a diamond that's worth
three or four times as much as the Koh-i-noor," I said. "Suppose
you owned a stone like that. Would you care to give it away?"
"Not by a damn sight!" cried Wilkins, forcibly, and I noticed
great tears gathering in his eyes.
"Still, he can't help himself, I suppose," I said, gazing
abruptly at his scarf-pin. "That is, he doesn't KNOW that he
can. The Queen expects it. It's been announced, and now the
poor devil can't get out of it--though I'll tell you, Mr.
Wilkins, if I were the Nizam of Jigamaree, I'd get out of it
in ten seconds."
I winked at him significantly. He looked at me blankly.
"Yes, sir," I added, merely to arouse him, "in just ten
seconds! Ten short, beautiful seconds."
"Mr. Postlethwaite," said the Nizam--Postlethwaite was the
name I was travelling under--"Mr. Postlethwaite," said the
Nizam--otherwise Wilkins--"your remarks interest me greatly."
His face wreathed with a smile that I had never before seen
there. "I have thought as you do in regard to this poor Indian
prince, but I must confess I don't see how he can get out of
giving the Queen that diamond. Have a cigar, Mr. Postlethwaite,
and, waiter, bring us a triple magnum of champagne. Do you
really think, Mr. Postlethwaite, that there is a way out of
it? If you would like a ticket to Westminster for the ceremony,
there are a half-dozen."
He tossed six tickets for seats among the crowned heads
across the table to me. His eagerness was almost too painful
"Thank you," said I, calmly pocketing the tickets, for they were
of rare value at that time. "The way out of it is very simple."
"Indeed, Mr. Postlethwaite," said he, trying to keep cool.
"Ah--are you interested in rubies, sir? There are a few which
I should be pleased to have you accept"--and with that over
came a handful of precious stones each worth a fortune. These
also I pocketed as I replied:
"Why, certainly; if I were the Nizam," said I, "I'd lose
A shade of disappointment came over Mr. Wilkins's face.
"Lose it? How? Where?" he asked, with a frown.
"Yes. Lose it. Any way I could. As for the place where it
should be lost, any old place will do as long as it is where
he can find it again when he gets back home. He might leave
it in his other clothes, or--"
"Make that two triple magnums, waiter," cried Mr. Wilkins,
excitedly, interrupting me. "Postlethwaite, you're a genius,
and if you ever want a house and lot in Calcutta, just let me
know and they're yours."
You never saw such a change come over a man in all your life.
Where he had been all gloom before, he was now all smiles
and jollity, and from that time on to his return to India
Mr. Wilkins was as happy as a school-boy at the beginning of
vacation. The next day the diamond was lost, and whoever may
have it at this moment, the British Crown is not in possession
of the Jigamaree gem.
But, as my friend Terence Mulvaney says, that is another
story. It is of the mystery immediately following this
concerning which I have set out to write.
I was sitting one day in my office on Apollyon Square opposite
the Alexandrian library, smoking an absinthe cigarette, which
I had rolled myself from my special mixture consisting of two
parts tobacco, one part hasheesh, one part of opium dampened
with a liqueur glass of absinthe, when an excited knock sounded
upon my door.
"Come in," I cried, adopting the usual formula.
The door opened and a beautiful woman stood before me clad in
most regal garments, robust of figure, yet extremely pale. It
seemed to me that I had seen her somewhere before, yet for a
time I could not place her.
"Mr. Sherlock Holmes?" said she, in deliciously musical tones,
which, singular to relate, she emitted in a fashion suggestive
of a recitative passage in an opera.
"The same," said I, bowing with my accustomed courtesy.
"The ferret?" she sang, in staccato tones which were ravishing
to my musical soul.
I laughed. "That term has been applied to me, madame," said
I, chanting my answer as best I could. "For myself, however,
I prefer to assume the more modest title of detective. I can
work with or without clues, and have never yet been baffled.
I know who wrote the Junius letters, and upon occasions have
been known to see through a stone wall with my naked eye. What
can I do for you?"
"Tell me who I am!" she cried, tragically, taking the centre
of the room and gesticulating wildly.
"Well--really, madame," I replied. "You didn't send up any
"Ah!" she sneered. "This is what your vaunted prowess amounts
to, eh? Ha! Do you suppose if I had a card with my name on it
I'd have come to you to inquire who I am? I can read a card
as well as you can, Mr. Sherlock Holmes."
"Then, as I understand it, madame," I put in, "you have suddenly
forgotten your identity and wish me to--"
"Nothing of the sort. I have forgotten nothing. I never knew
for certain who I am. I have an impression, but it is based
only on hearsay evidence," she interrupted.
For a moment I was fairly puzzled. Still I did not wish to
let her know this, and so going behind my screen and taking a
capsule full of cocaine to steady my nerves, I gained a moment
to think. Returning, I said:
"This really is child's play for me, madame. It won't take
more than a week to find out who you are, and possibly, if
you have any clews at all to your identity, I may be able to
solve this mystery in a day."
"I have only three," she answered, and taking a piece of
swan's-down, a lock of golden hair, and a pair of silver-tinsel
tights from her portmanteau she handed them over to me.
My first impulse was to ask the lady if she remembered the name
of the asylum from which she had escaped, but I fortunately
refrained from doing so, and she shortly left me, promising
to return at the end of the week.
For three days I puzzled over the clews. Swan's-down, yellow
hair, and a pair of silver-tinsel tights, while very interesting
no doubt at times, do not form a very solid basis for a theory
establishing the identity of so regal a person as my visitor.
My first impression was that she was a vaudeville artist, and
that the exhibits she had left me were a part of her make-up.
This I was forced to abandon shortly, because no woman with the
voice of my visitor would sing in vaudeville. The more ambitious
stage was her legitimate field, if not grand opera itself.
At this point she returned to my office, and I of course
reported progress. That is one of the most valuable things
I learned while on earth--when you have done nothing, report
"I haven't quite succeeded as yet," said I, "but I am getting at
it slowly. I do not, however, think it wise to acquaint you with
my present notions until they are verified beyond peradventure.
It might help me somewhat if you were to tell me who it is you
think you are. I could work either forward or backward on that
hypothesis, as seemed best, and so arrive at a hypothetical
"That's just what I don't want to do," said she. "That
information might bias your final judgment. If, however, acting
on the clews which you have, you confirm my impression that I
am such and such a person, as well as the views which other
people have, then will my status be well defined and I can
institute my suit against my husband for a judicial separation,
with back alimony, with some assurance of a successful issue."
I was more puzzled than ever.
"Well," said I, slowly, "I of course can see how a bit of
swan's-down and a lock of yellow hair backed up by a pair of
silver-tinsel tights might constitute reasonable evidence in
a suit for separation, but wouldn't it--ah--be more to your
purpose if I should use these data as establishing the identity
"How very dense you are," she replied, impatiently. "That's
precisely what I want you to do."
"But you told me it was your identity you wished proven,"
I put in, irritably.
"Precisely," said she.
"Then these bits of evidence are--yours?" I asked,
hesitatingly. One does not like to accuse a lady of an undue
liking for tinsel.
"They are all I have left of my husband," she answered with
"Hum!" said I, my perplexity increasing. "Was the--ah--the
gentleman blown up by dynamite?"
"Excuse me, Mr. Holmes," she retorted, rising and running
the scales. "I think, after all, I have come to the wrong
shop. Have you Hawkshaw's address handy? You are too obtuse
for a detective."
My reputation was at stake, so I said, significantly:
"Good! Good! I was merely trying one of my disguises on you,
madame, and you were completely taken in. Of course no one would
ever know me for Sherlock Holmes if I manifested such dullness."
"Ah!" she said, her face lighting up. "You were merely deceiving
me by appearing to be obtuse?"
"Of course," said I. "I see the whole thing in a nutshell. You
married an adventurer; he told you who he was, but you've never
been able to prove it; and suddenly you are deserted by him,
and on going over his wardrobe you find he has left nothing but
these articles: and now you wish to sue him for a separation
on the ground of desertion, and secure alimony if possible."
It was a magnificent guess.
"That is it precisely," said the lady. "Except as to the extent
of his 'leavings.' In addition to the things you have he gave
my small brother a brass bugle and a tin sword."
"We may need to see them later," said I. "At present I will
do all I can for you on the evidence in hand. I have got my
eye on a gentleman who wears silver-tinsel tights now, but I
am afraid he is not the man we are after, because his hair is
black, and, as far as I have been able to learn from his valet,
he is utterly unacquainted with swan's-down."
We separated again and I went to the club to think. Never in
my life before had I had so baffling a case. As I sat in the
cafe sipping a cocaine cobbler, who should walk in but Hamlet,
strangely enough picking particles of swan's-down from his
black doublet, which was literally covered with it.
"Hello, Sherlock!" he said, drawing up a chair and sitting
down beside me. "What you up to?"
"Trying to make out where you have been," I replied. "I
judge from the swan's-down on your doublet that you have been
escorting Ophelia to the opera in the regulation cloak."
"You're mistaken for once," he laughed. "I've been driving
with Lohengrin. He's got a pair of swans that can do a mile
in 2.10-- but it makes them moult like the devil."
"Pair of what?" I cried.
"Swans," said Hamlet. "He's an eccentric sort of a duffer,
that Lohengrin. Afraid of horses, I fancy."
"And so drives swans instead?" said I, incredulously.
"The same," replied Hamlet. "Do I look as if he drove squab?"
"He must be queer," said I. "I'd like to meet him. He'd make
quite an addition to my collection of freaks."
"Very well," observed Hamlet. "He'll be here to-morrow to take
luncheon with me, and if you'll come, too, you'll be most
welcome. He's collecting freaks, too, and I haven't a doubt
would be pleased to know you."
We parted and I sauntered homeward, cogitating over my strange
client, and now and then laughing over the idiosyncrasies of
Hamlet's friend the swan-driver. It never occurred to me at
the moment however to connect the two, in spite of the link
of swan's-down. I regarded it merely as a coincidence. The
next day, however, on going to the club and meeting Hamlet's
strange guest, I was struck by the further coincidence that
his hair was of precisely the same shade of yellow as that in
my possession. It was of a hue that I had never seen before
except at performances of grand opera, or on the heads of fool
detectives in musical burlesques. Here, however, was the real
thing growing luxuriantly from the man's head.
"Ho-ho!" thought I to myself. "Here is a fortunate encounter;
there may be something in it," and then I tried to lead him on.
"I understand, Mr. Lohengrin," I said, "that you have a fine
span of swans."
"Yes," he said, and I was astonished to note that he, like my
client, spoke in musical numbers. "Very. They're much finer
than horses, in my opinion. More peaceful, quite as rapid,
and amphibious. If I go out for a drive and come to a lake
they trot quite as well across its surface as on the highways."
"How interesting!" said I. "And so gentle, the swan. Your wife,
Hamlet kicked my shins under the table.
"I think it will rain to-morrow," he said, giving me a glance
which if it said anything said shut up.
"I think so, too," said Lohengrin, a lowering look on his
face. "If it doesn't, it will either snow, or hail, or be
clear." And he gazed abstractedly out of the window.
The kick and the man's confusion were sufficient proof. I was
on the right track at last. Yet the evidence was unsatisfactory
because merely circumstantial. My piece of down might have
come from an opera cloak and not from a well-broken swan,
the hair might equally clearly have come from some other head
than Lohengrin's, and other men have had trouble with their
wives. The circumstantial evidence lying in the coincidences
was strong but not conclusive, so I resolved to pursue the
matter and invite the strange individual to a luncheon with me,
at which I proposed to wear the tinsel tights. Seeing them,
he might be forced into betraying himself.
This I did, and while my impressions were confirmed by his
demeanor, no positive evidence grew out of it.
"I'm hungry as a bear!" he said, as I entered the club, clad in
a long, heavy ulster, reaching from my shoulders to the ground,
so that the tights were not visible.
"Good," said I. "I like a hearty eater," and I ordered a
luncheon of ten courses before removing my overcoat; but
not one morsel could the man eat, for on the removal of my
coat his eye fell upon my silver garments, and with a gasp
he wellnigh fainted. It was clear. He recognized them and was
afraid, and in consequence lost his appetite. But he was game,
and tried to laugh it off.
"Silver man, I see," he said, nervously, smiling.
"No," said I, taking the lock of golden hair from my pocket
and dangling it before him. "Bimetallist."
His jaw dropped in dismay, but recovering himself instantly
he put up a fairly good fight.
"It is strange, Mr. Lohengrin," said I, "that in the three
years I have been here I've never seen you before."
"I've been very quiet," he said. "Fact is, I have had my
reasons, Mr. Holmes, for preferring the life of a hermit.
A youthful indiscretion, sir, has made me fear to face the
world. There was nothing wrong about it, save that it was a
folly, and I have been anxious in these days of newspapers
to avoid any possible revival of what might in some eyes
I felt sorry for him, but my duty was clear. Here was my man--
but how to gain direct proof was still beyond me. No further
admissions could be got out of him, and we soon parted.
Two days later the lady called and again I reported progress.
"It needs but one thing, madame, to convince me that I have
found your husband," said I. "I have found a man who might be
connected with swan's-down, from whose luxuriant curls might
have come this tow-colored lock, and who might have worn the
silver-tinsel tights--yet it is all MIGHT and no certainty."
"I will bring my small brother's bugle and the tin sword,"
said she. "The sword has certain properties which may induce
him to confess. My brother tells me that if he simply shakes
it at a cat the cat falls dead."
"Do so," said I, "and I will try it on him. If he recognizes
the sword and remembers its properties when I attempt to
brandish it at him, he'll be forced to confess, though it
would be awkward if he is the wrong man and the sword should
work on him as it does on the cat."
The next day I was in possession of the famous toy. It was
not very long, and rather more suggestive of a pancake-turner
than a sword, but it was a terror. I tested its qualities on
a swarm of gnats in my room, and the moment I shook it at
them they fluttered to the ground as dead as door-nails.
"I'll have to be careful of this weapon," I thought. "It
would be terrible if I should brandish it at a motor-man
trying to get one of the Gehenna Traction Company's cable-cars
to stop and he should drop dead at his post."
All was now ready for the demonstration. Fortunately the
following Saturday night was club night at the House-Boat,
and we were all expected to come in costume. For dramatic
effect I wore a yellow wig, a helmet, the silver-tinsel
tights, and a doublet to match, with the brass bugle and the
tin sword properly slung about my person. I looked stunning,
even if I do say it, and much to my surprise several people
mistook me for the man I was after. Another link in the chain!
EVEN THE PUBLIC UNCONSCIOUSLY RECOGNIZED THE VALUE OF MY
DEDUCTIONS. THEY CALLED ME LOHENGRIN!
And of course it all happened as I expected. It always does.
Lohengrin came into the assembly-room five minutes after I
did and was visibly annoyed at my make-up.
"This is a great liberty," said he, grasping the hilt of his
sword; but I answered by blowing the bugle at him, at which
he turned livid and fell back. He had recognized its soft
cadence. I then hauled the sword from my belt, shook it at
a fly on the wall, which immediately died, and made as if to
do the same at Lohengrin, whereupon he cried for mercy and
fell upon his knees.
"Turn that infernal thing the other way!" he shrieked.
"Ah!" said I, lowering my arm. "Then you know its properties?"
"I do--I do!" he cried. "It used to be mine--I confess it!"
"Then," said I, calmly putting the horrid bit of zinc back
into my belt, "that's all I wanted to know. If you'll come
up to my office some morning next week I'll introduce you to
your wife," and I turned from him.
My mission accomplished, I left the festivities and returned
to my quarters where my fair client was awaiting me.
"Well?" she said.
"It's all right, Mrs. Lohengrin," I said, and the lady cried
aloud with joy at the name, for it was the very one she had
hoped it would be. "My man turns out to be your man, and I
turn him over therefore to you, only deal gently with him.
He's a pretty decent chap and sings like a bird."
Whereon I presented her with my bill for 5000 oboli, which
she paid without a murmur, as was entirely proper that she
should, for upon the evidence which I had secured the fair
plaintiff, in the suit for separation of Elsa vs. Lohengrin
on the ground of desertion and non-support, obtained her
decree, with back alimony of twenty-five per cent. of
Lohengrin's income for a trifle over fifteen hundred years.
How much that amounted to I really do not know, but that it
was a large sum I am sure, for Lohengrin must have been very
wealthy. He couldn't have afforded to dress in solid silver-tinsel
tights if he had been otherwise. I had the tights assayed
before returning them to their owner, and even in a country
where free coinage of tights is looked upon askance they
could not be duplicated for less than $850 at a ratio of
32 to 1.
GOLF IN HADES
"Jim," said I to Boswell one morning as the type-writer began
to work, "perhaps you can enlighten me on a point concerning
which a great many people have questioned me recently. Has
golf taken hold of Hades yet? You referred to it some time
ago, and I've been wondering ever since if it had become a
fad with you."
"Has it?" laughed my visitor; "well, I should rather say it
had. The fact is, it has been a great boon to the country.
You remember my telling you of the projected revolution led
by Cromwell, and Caesar, and the others?"
"I do, very well," said I, "and I have been intending to ask
you how it came out."
"Oh, everything's as fine and sweet as can be now," rejoined
Boswell, somewhat gleefully, "and all because of golf. We are
all quiet along the Styx now. All animosities are buried in
the general love of golf, and every one of us, high or low,
autocrat and revolutionist, is hobnobbing away in peace and
happiness on the links. Why, only six weeks ago, Apollyon was
for cooking Bonaparte on a waffle iron, and yesterday the two
went out to the Cimmerian links together and played a mixed
foursome, Bonaparte and Medusa playing against Apollyon and
"Dear me! Really?" I cried. "That must have been an interesting
"It was, and up to the very last it was nip-and-tuck between
'em," said Boswell. "Apollyon and Delilah won it with one
hole up, and they got that on the put. They'd have halved the
hole if Medusa's back hair hadn't wiggled loose and bitten her
caddie just as she was holeing out."
"It is a remarkable game," said I. "There is no sensation in
the world quite equal to that which comes to a man's soul when
he has hit the ball a solid clip and sees it sail off through
the air towards the green, whizzing musically along like a very
"True," said Boswell; "but I'm rather of the opinion that it's
a safer game for shades than for you purely material persons."
"I don't see why," I answered.
"It is easy to understand," returned Boswell. "For instance,
with us there is no resistance when by a mischance we come
into unexpected contact with the ball. Take the experience of
Diogenes and Solomon at the St. Jonah's Links week before
last. The Wiseman's Handicap was on. Diogenes and Simple
Simon were playing just ahead of Solomon and Montaigne.
Solomon was driving in great form. For the first time in
his life he seemed able to keep his eye on the ball, and the
way he sent it flying through the air was a caution. Diogenes
and Simple Simon had both had their second stroke and Solomon
drove off. His ball sailed straight ahead like a missile from
a catapult, flew in a bee-line for Diogenes, struck him at the
base of his brain, continued on through, and landed on the edge
of the green."
"Mercy!" I cried. "Didn't it kill him?"
"Of course not," retorted Boswell. "You can't kill a shade.
Diogenes didn't know he'd been hit, but if that had happened
to one of you material golfers there'd have been a sickening
end to that tournament."
"There would, indeed," said I. "There isn't much fun in being
hit by a golf-ball. I can testify to that because I have had
the experience," and I called to mind the day at St. Peterkin's
when I unconsciously stymied with my material self the
celebrated Willie McGuffin, the Demon Driver from the Hootmon
Links, Scotland. McGuffin made his mark that day if he never
did before, and I bear the evidence thereof even now, although
the incident took place two years ago, when I did not know
enough to keep out of the way of the player who plays so well
that he thinks he has a perpetual right of way everywhere.
"What kind of clubs do you Stygians use?" I asked.
"Oh, very much the same kind that you chaps do," returned
Boswell. "Everybody experiments with new fads, too, just as
you do. Old Peter Stuyvesant, for instance, always drives with
his wooden leg, and never uses anything else unless he gets a
lie where he's got to."
"His wooden leg?" I roared, with a laugh. "How on earth does
he do that?"
"He screws the small end of it into a square block shod like a
brassey," explained Boswell, "tees up his ball, goes back ten
yards, makes a run at it and kicks the ball pretty nearly out
of sight. He can put with it too, like a dream, swinging it
"But he doesn't call that golf, does he?" I cried.
"What is it?" demanded Boswell.
"I should call it football," I said.
"Not at all," said Boswell. "Not a bit of it. He hasn't any foot
on that leg, and he has a golf-club head with a shaft to it. There
isn't any rule which says that the shaft shall not look like an
inverted nine-pin, nor do any of the accepted authorities require
that the club shall be manipulated by the arms. I admit it's bad
form the way he plays, but, as Stuyvesant himself says, he never
did travel on his shape."
"Suppose he gets a cuppy lie?" I asked, very much interested at
the first news from Hades of the famous old Dutchman.
"Oh, he does one of two things," said Boswell. "He stubs it out
with his toe, or goes back and plays two more. Munchausen plays
a good game too. He beat the colonel forty-seven straight holes
last Wednesday, and all Hades has been talking about it ever since."
"Who is the colonel?" I asked, innocently.
"Bogey," returned Boswell. "Didn't you ever hear of Colonel Bogey?"
"Of course," I replied, "but I always supposed Bogey was an
imaginary opponent, not a real one."
"So he is," said Boswell.
"Then you mean--"
"I mean that Munchausen beat him forty-seven up," said Boswell.
"Were there any witnesses?" I demanded, for I had little faith in
Munchausen's regard for the eternal verities, among which a
golf-card must be numbered if the game is to survive.
"Yes, a hundred," said Boswell. "There was only one trouble with
'em." Here the great biographer laughed. "They were all imaginary,
like the colonel."
"And Munchausen's score?" I queried.
"The same, naturally. But it makes him king-pin in golf circles
just the same, because nobody can go back on his logic," said
Boswell. "Munchausen reasoned it out very logically indeed, and
largely, he said, to protect his own reputation. Here is an
imaginary warrior, said he, who makes a bully, but wholly
imaginary, score at golf. He sends me an imaginary challenge to
play him forty-seven holes. I accept, not so much because I
consider myself a golfer as because I am an imaginer--if there
is such a word."
"Ask Dr. Johnson," said I, a little sarcastically. I always grow
sarcastic when golf is mentioned.
"Dr. Johnson be--" began Boswell.
"Boswell!" I remonstrated.
"Dr. Johnson be it, I was about to say," clicked the type-writer,
suavely; but the ink was thick and inclined to spread. "Munchausen
felt that Bogey was encroaching on his preserve as a man with an
"I have always considered Colonel Bogey a liar," said I. "He joins
all the clubs and puts up an ideal score before he has played over
"That isn't the point at all," said Boswell. "Golfers don't lie.
Realists don't lie. Nobody in polite--or say, rather, accepted--
society lies. They all imagine. Munchausen realizes that he has
only one claim to recognition, and that is based entirely upon
his imagination. So when the imaginary Colonel Bogey sent him an
imaginary challenge to play him forty-seven holes at golf--"
"Why forty-seven?" I asked.
"An imaginary number," explained Boswell. "Don't interrupt. As I
say, when the imaginary colonel--"
"I must interrupt," said I. "What was he colonel of?"
"A regiment of perfect caddies," said Boswell.
"Ah, I see," I replied. "Imaginary in his command. There isn't
one perfect caddy, much less a regiment of the little reprobates."
"You are wrong there," said Boswell. "You don't know how to
produce a good caddy--but good caddies can be made."
"How?" I cried, for I have suffered. "I'll have the plan patented."
"Take a flexible brassey, and at the ninth hole, if they deserve
it, give them eighteen strokes across the legs with all your
strength," said Boswell. "But, as I said before, don't interrupt.
I haven't much time left to talk with you."
"But I must ask one more question," I put in, for I was growing
excited over a new idea. "You say give them eighteen strokes
across the legs. Across whose legs?"
"Yours," replied Boswell. "Just take your caddy up, place him
across your knees, and spank him with your brassey. Spank isn't
a good golf term, but it is good enough for the average caddy;
in fact, it will do him good."
"Go on," said I, with a mental resolve to adopt his prescription.
"Well," said Boswell, "Munchausen, having received an imaginary
challenge from an imaginary opponent, accepted. He went out to
the links with an imaginary ball, an imaginary bagful of fanciful
clubs, and licked the imaginary life out of the colonel."
"Still, I don't see," said I, somewhat jealously, perhaps, "how
that makes him king-pin in golf circles. Where did he play?"
"On imaginary links," said Boswell.
"Poh!" I ejaculated.
"Don't sneer," said Boswell. "You know yourself that the links
you imagine are far better than any others."
"What is Munchausen's strongest point?" I asked, seeing that
there was no arguing with the man--"driving, approaching, or
"None of the three. He cannot put, he foozles every drive, and at
approaching he's a consummate ass," said Boswell.
"Then what can he do?" I cried.
"Count," said Boswell. "Haven't you learned that yet? You can
spend hours learning how to drive, weeks to approach, and months
to put. But if you want to win you must know how to count."
I was silent, and for the first time in my life I realized that
Munchausen was not so very different from certain golfers I have
met in my short day as a golfiac, and then Boswell put in:
"You see, it isn't lofting or driving that wins," he continued.
"Cups aren't won on putting or approaching. It's the man who puts
in the best card who becomes the champion."
"I am afraid you are right," I said, sadly, "but I am sorry to
find that Hades is as badly off as we mortals in that matter."
"Golf, sir," retorted Boswell, sententiously, "is the same
everywhere, and that which is dome in our world is directly in
line with what is developed in yours."
"I'm sorry for Hades," said I; "but to continue about golf--
do the ladies play much on your links?"
"Well, rather," returned Boswell, "and it's rather amusing to
watch them at it, too. Xanthippe with her Greek clothes finds it
rather difficult; but for rare sport you ought to see Queen
Elizabeth trying to keep her eye on the ball over her ruff! It
really is one of the finest spectacles you ever saw."
"But why don't they dress properly?"
"Ah," sighed Boswell, "that is one of the things about Hades that
destroys all the charm of life there. We are but shades."
"Granted," said I, "but your garments can--"
"Our garments can't," said Boswell. "Through all eternity we
shades of our former selves are doomed to wear the shadows of our
"Then what the devil does a poor dress-maker do who goes to Hades?"
"She makes over the things she made before," said Boswell. "That's
why, my dear fellow," the biographer added, becoming confidential--
"that's why some people confound Hades with--ah--the other place,
don't you know."
"Still, there's golf!" I said; "and that's a panacea for all ills.
YOU enjoy it, don't you?"
"Me?" cried Boswell. "Me enjoy it? Not on all the lives in
Christendom. It is the direst drudgery for me."
"Drudgery?" I said. "Bah! Nonsense, Boswell!"
"You forget--" he began.
"Forget? It must be you who forget, if you call golf drudgery."
"No," sighed the genial spirit. "No, *I* don't forget. I remember."
"Remember what?" I demanded.
"That I am Dr. Johnson's caddy!" was the answer. And then came a
heart-rending sigh, and from that time on all was silence. I
repeatedly put questions to the machine, made observations to it,
derided it, insulted it, but there was no response.
It has so continued to this day, and I can only conclude the story
of my Enchanted Type-writer by saying that I presume golf has taken
the same hold upon Hades that it has upon this world, and that I
need not hope to hear more from that attractive region until the
game has relaxed its grip, which I know can never be.
Hence let me say to those who have been good enough to follow me
through the realms of the Styx that I bid them an affectionate
farewell and thank them for their kind attention to my chronicles.
They are all truthful; but now that the source of supply is cut
off I cannot prove it. I can only hope that for one and all the
future may hold as much of pleasure as the place of departed
spirits has held for me.