XIX

 

  1. Sabotage? Yes, he took it up to Manhattan,

  2. To the big company, and they said: Impossible.

  3. And he said: I gawt ten thousand dollars, tew mak 'em,

  4. And I am a goin' tew mak 'em, and you'll damn well

  5. Have to install 'em, awl over the place.

  6. And they said: Oh, we can't have it.

  7. So he settled for one-half of one million.

  8. And he has a very nice place on the Hudson,

  9. And that invention, patent, is still in their desk.

  10. And the answer to that is: Wa'al he had the ten thousand.

  11. And old Spinder, that put up the 1870 gothick memorial,

  12. He tried to pull me on Marx, and he told me

  13. About the "romance of his business":

  14. How he came to England with something or other,

  15.                                                      and sold it.

  16. Only he wanted to talk about Marx, so I sez:

  17. Waal haow is it you're over here, right off the

  18.                                                 Champz Elyza?

  19. And how can yew be here? Why don't the fellers at home

  20. Take it all off you? How can you leave your big business?

  21. "Oh," he sez, "I ain't had to rent any money ...

  22. "It's a long time since I ain't had tew rent any money."

  23. Nawthin' more about Das Kapital,

  24. Or credit, or distribution.

  25. And he "never finished the book,"

  26. That was the other chap, the slender diplomatdentist

  27. Qui se faisait si beau.



  28. So we sat there, with the old kindly professor,

  29. And the stubby little man was up-stairs.

  30. And there was the slick guy in the other

  31. corner reading The Tatler,

  32. Not upside down, but never turning the pages,

  33. And then I went up to the bed-room, and he said,

  34. The stubby fellow: Perfectly true,

  35. "But it's a question of feeling,

  36. "Can't move 'em with a cold thing, like economics."

  37. And so we came down stairs and went out,

  38. And the slick guy looked out of the window,

  39. And in came the street "Lemme-at-'em"

  40.                          like a bull-dog in a mackintosh.

  41.                          O my Clio!

  42. Then the telephone didn't work for a week.



  43. Ever seen Prishnip, little hunchback,

  44. Couldn't take him for any army.

  45. And he said: I haf a messache from dh' professor,

  46. "There's lots of 'em want to go over,

  47. "But when they try to go over,

  48. "Dh' hRussian boys shoot 'em, and they want to know

  49. "How to go over."



  50. Vlettmann?... was out there, and that was,

  51. Say, two months later, and he said:

  52. "Jolly chaps," he said; "they used to go by

  53. "Under my window, at two o'clock in the morning,

  54. "All singing, all singing the Hé Sloveny!"



  55. Yes, Vlettmann, and the Russian boys didn't shoot'em.

  56.          Short story, entitled, the Birth of a Nation.

  57. And there was that squirt of an Ausstrrian

  58.                     with a rose in his button-hole,

  59. And how the hell he stayed on here,

  60.                   right through the whole bhloody business,

  61. Cocky as Khristnoze, and enjoying every Boche victory.

  62. Naphtha, or some damn thing for the submarines,

  63. Like they had, just had, to have the hemp

  64.                            via Rotterdam.

  65. Das thust du nicht, Albert?

  66. That was in the old days, all sitting around in arm-chairs,

  67. And that's gone, like the cake shops in the Nevsky.

  68. "No use telling 'em anything, revolutionaries,

  69. Till they're at the end,

  70. Oh, absolootly, AT the end of their tether.

  71. Governed.    Governed the place from a train,

  72. Or rather from three trains, on a railway,

  73. And he'd keep about three days ahead of the lobby,

  74. I mean he had his government on the trains,

  75. And the lobby had to get there on horseback;

  76. And he said: Bigod it's damn funny,

  77. Own half the oil in the world, and can't get enough

  78. To run a government engine!"

  79. And then they jawed for two hours,

  80. And finally Steff said: Will you fellows show me a map?

  81. And they brought one, and Steff said:

  82. "Waal what are those lines?"     "Yes, those straight lines."

  83. "Those are roads." And   "what are those lines,

  84. "The wiggly ones?"     "Rivers."

  85. And Steff said:     "Government property?"



  86. So two hours later an engine went off with the order:

  87. How to dig without confiscation.



  88. And Tommy Baymont said to Steff one day:

  89. "You think we run it, lemme tell you,

  90. "We bought a coalmine, I mean the mortgage fell in,

  91. "And you'd a' thought we could run it.



  92. "Well I had to go down there meself, and the manager

  93. "Said: "Run it, of course we can run it,

  94. "We can't sell the damn coal."

  95. So I said to the X. and B. Central,

  96. — you'd say we boss the X. and B. Central? —

  97. I said: You buy your damn coal from our mine.

  98. And a year later they hadn't; so I had up the directors,

  99. And they said: ... well anyhow, they couldn't

  100.                                                buy the damn coal.

  101. And next week ole Jim came, the big fat one

  102. With the diamonds, and he said:     "Mr. Baymont,

  103. You just must charge two dollars more

  104. A ton fer that coal.       And the X. and B. will

  105. Take it through us."



  106. "So there was my ole man sitting,

  107. They were in arm-chairs, according to protocol,

  108. And next him his nephew Mr. Wurmsdorf,

  109. And old Ptierstoff, for purely family reasons,

  110. Personal reasons, was held in great esteem

  111.                                         by his relatives,

  112. And he had his despatches from St. Petersburg,

  113. And Wurmsdorf had his from Vienna,

  114. And he knew, and they knew, and each knew

  115. That the other knew that the other knew he knew,

  116. And Wurmsdorf was just reaching into his pocket,

  117. That was to start things, and then my ole man

  118. Said it:

  119.              Albert, and the rest of it.

  120. Those days are gone by for ever."



  121. "Ten years gone, ten years of my life,

  122. Never get those ten years back again:

  123. Ten years of my life, ten years in the Indian army;

  124. But anyhow, there was that time in Yash (Jassy):

  125. That was something, 14 girls in a fortnight."

  126. "Healthy but verminous?"  "That's it, healthy but verminous.

  127.                                           And one time in Kashmir,

  128. In the houseboats, with the turquoise,

  129. A pile three feet high on the boat floor,

  130. And they'd be there all day at a bargain

  131. For ten bobs' worth of turquoise."