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hit me an' made me wish I hadn't sold me coat. De windows of de restaurant was covered wid steam. It was warm inside an' I could see de blue flame under de big coffee urn an' smell all sorts of smells of cookin'. I bumped up against a slot machine-one o' dese here penny gum gadgets, an' de ting rattled wid coin. I tried it; it was heavy an' anchored too. I began to figure how many little pennies de ting could hold. It was a big drop, professionally, from a second-story man to a sneak thief, but I needed coin.
"Before I knew it me jimmy was behind de ting, a little twist an' off she came in me arms. Dere wasn't a soul in sight, I taught, an' I made a get-away down de alley. I saw a little square of light at de odder en', an' a dark form stepped out in front of me an' said quiet-like, 'Put it down an' don't drop it eider.' A gun was poked in me face an' anodder bird put a light on me.
"What's de idea?' de first guy asked.
""Tryin' to crab us, are yuh?'
"He ain't a bull,' de other guy put in.
"Bull?' I cries, surprised like. 'I ain't no bull; I'm on me uppers with de wife and kid sick at home, an' I needs some cash an' quick.'
""Take dis den, an' get to hell out of here-be quick.' A crisp new bill was shoved in me hand—and at de odder en' of de alley a whistle blew. I knew dat whistle an' so did de odder birds; for dey was gone. Some one cut loose with a forty-two an' I heard de lead drill de brick work an' cement fly near me. I picked up de machine an' ran for it-right into de arms of a cop.
"Got cha,' he gulped, as he grabbed me.
"Keep yer face closed an' get in.'
"De green chariot was waitin' an' two bulls put me inside. One guy took de machine gentle-like out o' me arms an' held it like he was carryin' a kid.
"Easy wid dat ting Grogan,' said a familiar voice.
"Do you want to blow us all to de devil?'
'Better give it over to de bomb squad,' anodder voice piped
“An' den all of a sudden-like de big idea hit me. De machine wasn't a slot machine at all; it was full of soup-nitro-glycerine. Right across from Borough Hall, too! Dat's what dey was after: blowing up de heart of Brooklyn.
"De patrol started an' as we swung under a arc light I saw de guy wid de voice I had heard. It was me father-in-law, Terrence Donahue, Sergeant.
"Well, de old man looks at me sorta queer-like an' all of a sudden he jerks his head back an' his eyes open wide an' he calls me name like he wasn't sure as it was me or not.
"Me mind was workin' pretty well an' before I had gone anodder block I had a swell story to pass out to de judge. It wasn't long before the old boy gave me de once over.
"What's de charge, officer?' he asks quiet-like.
"An' a bull says, 'Yer honor, we found dis guy runnin' wid a fake slot machine in his arms. We turned it over to de bomb squad an' it was full o' soup, I mean, nitroglycerine. We caught him runnin' down de alley between Nicopallo's restaurant an' de bank on de corner.'
"De judge turns his lamps on me an' gives me de double O again an' says, 'What have ye got to say for yorself? You don't have to talk unless ye want to, and you have de privilege of consultin' an attorney if ye wish.'
"I don't want no lawyer, judge, yer honor,' I says, 'an' I want to talk; I want to get dis ting off of me chest.' He leans back in his chair an' tells me to proceed, an' I does.
''Judge, yer got me all wrong. I ain't no Bulshevik, nor I ain't no Red. I overhears some guys plannin' to blow up de
bank acrost from Borough Hall, so I am all years. I hears 'em say de soup's in a slot machine an' dat dey're gonno pull de trick about two o'clock. Well, I locates de joint an' puts me jimmy behin' de ting. It was a pipe, judge, an' I starts down de alley. I was gonna drop it in de river when a bull grabs me an' here I am.'
"'Is dat all?' asks the judge.
Well, de odder guy
"I tells him it is an' he closes his eyes for a secon'. De door opens an' a bull comes in an' says, 'Yer honor, we've got anodder man out here who is one of de gang.' An' de judge tells 'em to take me out an' bring in de odder bird. sees me as I'm goin' out an' he spills de beans. He tells de judge I ain't one of 'em, but that I was stealin' de machine for de cash der was in it; an' how I pulled a lot of sof' stuff an' how dey gives me five berries to help out de wife an' kid I was talkin' about.
"De judge calls me in an' he tells me he is sorry. He says he was about to believe me when dis odder guy pulls his story. Dey search me an' find de five berries de guys gives me in de alley, an' also de eighty cents.
“I'm hard up, judge, I tells ye; me wife an' kid are home waitin' for me now.'
"The judge raps on his desk, 'I find you guilty of petty larceny as well as perjury,' he says, but he got no furder. De door was thrown open an' a bull rushes in wild-like an' yells, ‘Run for yer life; she's goin' off.' An' just dat minute der was a roar an' a flash an' I saw a whole wall open up an' de floor go down in front of me. I pushes de judge back an' he falls against a door an' into anodder room, but it got me. Dey say I fell two stories, but I don't know nutin' about it.
"When I woke up, a nurse was givin' me someting in a spoon. She smiles an' says, 'D'ye feel well enough to see comp'ny?'
"I nods me head an' she tells 'em to come in; an' who was it but me father-in-law, de wife an' kid, an' his honor, de judge hisself.
"Jimmy, me boy, I'm proud o' ye,' me father-in-law begins. De judge comes up quiet-like an' takes me hand an' tells me there's a job on de force waitin' for me when I gets on me feet agin, an' a Carnegie medal to boot. Mazie says nutin', but cries a little an' kisses me.
"An' de best of it all is de kid calls me name, 'Da, Da, Daddie,' he says like a little angel, an' when he gets ol' enough, I'll put him on de force wid de best of 'em."
Reginald G. Davis.
THE GUITAR AND THE GONDOLA
INGING and a-winging on an orange-wood guitar,
Upon a winding river, wound around the palace's height.
Thrumming and a-strumming to the wandering of the wave;
Gliding in a gondola with softly plashing pole,
On the wings of a kiss,
You pity all the poverty of those who rapture miss.
And your eyes awake to beauty, and your lips awake to
And life is love and laughter while the gondola leaps along.
Thrumming and a-strumming to the wandering of the wave;