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Full Online Book HomeShort StoriesThe Young Napoleon Who Went Back To The Store On Monday Morning
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The Young Napoleon Who Went Back To The Store On Monday Morning Post by :Edsyd Category :Short Stories Author :George Ade Date :July 2011 Read :2345

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The Young Napoleon Who Went Back To The Store On Monday Morning

Once there was a feverish Sure-Thinger who started for the Track with a Roll about the size of a Lady's Pencil. He wanted to parlee a $2 Silver Certificate and bring home enough to pay the National Debt. When he stayed at home and marked the Card and made Mind Bets he could beat five out of six. He estimated that he was losing a Thousand a Month by fooling around the Store when he might be out at the Merry-Go-Round showing the Ikeys how to take a Joke.

And now Saturday Afternoon had come and Percy M. Piker was hanging on the rear end of the Choo-Choo with $7 sewed up in the inside Pocket of his Vest, while in his Hand there fluttered a batch of Clippings, written by the Smoke Brothers, showing which ones were sure to win unless something happened.

Mr. Piker, the amateur Gam, closed his Eyes and saw himself buying a real Panama and a dozen or so George H. Primrose Shirts. He had a Vision of riding in a Machine called the Pink Demon, with Claire at his side and an imported Chiffonier working the Jigger and mowing down the Common People.

Percy had two or three Good Things that were guaranteed to go through. They had been slipped to him by a Cigar Salesman who knew an Owner. They looked to be the real Candy.

When he arrived at the Track he gave up for a Badge and a Dope-Sheet and a couple of Perfectos, and this left him with 5 and a little something on the side for Red Hots. He fought his way to the Black-Board and demanded $2 worth of Bright Eyes at 9 to 1. While he was struggling to get to the Fence he heard some one say that Appendicitis was right and would win by a City Block. A Low Moan escaped him. He climbed over a large mass of Colored People so as to get $3 down on Appendicitis. The Odds were 7 to 5. He got balled up in his Arithmetic, and while he was waiting for the Figures to shift so that he could butt in with his 3, a Bell rang and the Mob tore for the Fresh Air. He climbed a Pole and saw Bright Eyes doing a Solo. He let go and fell in a Faint. Bright Eyes had beaten the Gate and spread-eagled his Field. It was a Case of winning on the Chin Strap. Mr. Piker was first in the Line, shaking like a Corn-Starch Pudding. He wanted to cash before the Book failed.

A few Moments later he went out behind the Grand Stand and counted up and found that he had $23. He had the Panama and one Shirt. The still, small Voice said, "Duck!" but he thought of Claire and his coming Vacation. There grew within him a high resolve to clean up the Betting Ring and quit the Mercantile Life.

In the Second Race there was a Brown Mare by High-Low-Dreamy Eyes at 97 with Fogarty up, whatever that meant. He heard a Hickey in a Striped Sweater tell a red-headed Man that Josie Jinks would roll in. Accordingly he gnawed his way up to the Workman with the Pencil and laid Twenty at 31/2 to 1. Then he wished that he hadn't, for he met a Friend who whispered "Sassafras" to him. Also he heard some one say that Josie Jinks was three-legged and a bad Actress. After which he went and put Cold Water on his Head and died several Deaths.

Josie Jinks carried on her Back something just out of the Cradle that had number 3 marked on it. Mr. Piker had his Chin over the Fence and was wondering if any one would gather up his Body and put it on the Train. His Pulse was up to 180 and he couldn't hear the Band play.

He saw them come past the first time. Sassafras had a piece of Daylight between himself and the Bunch. The Boy was going along under Double Wraps with a lot up his Sleeve. Away back in the Pocket there was something with a 3 on it. Percy clung to the Fence and he felt the Chill come up his Legs. Sassafras had them smothered. He heard the Roar behind him and knew that an Awful Thing was being pulled off, but he did not have the Heart to look. As they pounded up the Stretch he lifted a dying Gaze and saw a figure 3 move out of the horrible Mix-Up and it was all over but the Cashing.

A bug-eyed Maniac with his Collar to the bad was found wandering hither and thither with $90 in his Left Hand. The Tout had to shake him a couple of times before he came to. The Tout had some Goods of a very superior Quality. In the next Race there was a Collie that had enough Hop in him to convert a Selling Plater into a Reina. It was like making change with a Blind Man. Rinkaboo was the Name. Breathe it softly, as very few were Next.

The Tout said to play it across the Board, forward and back, up and down. He said that Rinkaboo would breeze in, that he would win on the Bit, doing Buck and Wing Steps, that all the others would seem to be Hitched.

So, Mr. Piker allowed the Tout to take him by the Hand, for he was too weak to resist, and together they wandered off into Dreamland. Piece by Piece the happy Sesterces went up. Rinkaboo was played in all the Books, straight, place and to peep. Mr. Piker found himself up in the Grand Stand holding his Head with one Hand while in the other Hand was a Pinochle Deck, suitable for framing. If Rinkaboo finished at all, Mr. Piker was a Wealthy Person. If he happened in toward the head of the Procession, Mr. Piker would have to send for a Furniture Van. If he came First, it would be a case of Hoboken for every Book inside of the Fence.

After it was all over and Mr. Percy M. Piker was riding homeward with his Head out of a Trolley Window, he recalled dimly that a large number of long-legged Ponies came out on the Track. One of them was the color of an Old Glove and was doing a Two-Step. There was about twenty minutes of Fussing around at the Bend in the Track and then they all kited away like a flight of Swallows and there was one Horse in front and Mr. Piker had a Convulsion and frothed at the mouth. Presently the Tonic seemed to die away and something Blew and Rinkaboo fell down and stepped on his Lip. He came in about the time they were blowing the Horn for the next Race.

And now Mr. Piker can take Callers up to his Room and tell them how he stood to win $1,340.

* * * * *

MORAL: Even the Best cannot pick them every Whirl out of the Box.

(The end)
George Ade's short story: Young Napoleon Who Went Back To The Store On Monday Morning

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