That Ever-Loving Wife of Hymie’s

Damon Runyon

September 1931

If anybody ever tells me I will wake up some morning to find myself sleeping with a horse, I will consider them very daffy indeed, especially if they tell me it will be with such a horse as old Mahogany, for Mahogany is really not much horse. In fact, Mahogany is nothing but an old bum, and you can say it again, and many horse players wish he is dead ten thousand times over.

But I will think anybody is daffier still if they tell me I will wake up some morning to find myself sleeping with Hymie Banjo Eyes, because as between Mahogany and Hymie Banjo Eyes to sleep with, I will take Mahogany every time, even though Mahogany snores more than somewhat when he is sleeping. But Mahogany is by no means as offensive to sleep with as Hymie Banjo Eyes, as Hymie not only snores when he is sleeping, but he hollers and kicks around and takes on generally.

He is a short, pudgy little guy who is called Hymie Banjo Eyes because his eyes bulge out as big and round as banjos, although his right name is Weinstein, or some such, and he is somewhat untidylooking in spots, for Hymie Banjo Eyes is a guy who does not care if his breakfast gets on his vest, or what. Furthermore, he gabs a lot and thinks he is very smart, and many citizens consider him a pest, in spades. But personally I figure Hymie Banjo Eyes as very harmless, although he is not such a guy as I will ordinarily care to have much truck with.

But there I am one morning waking up to find myself sleeping with both Mahogany and Hymie, and what are we sleeping in but a horse car bound for Miami, and we are passing through North Carolina in a small-time blizzard when I wake up, and Mahogany is snoring and shivering, because it seems Hymie cops the poor horse’s blanket to wrap around himself, and I am half frozen and wishing I am back in Mindy’s Restaurant on Broadway, where all is bright and warm, and that I never see either Mahogany or Hymie in my life.

Of course it is not Mahogany’s fault that I am sleeping with him and Hymie, and in fact, for all I know, Mahogany may not consider me any bargain whatever to sleep with. It is Hymie’s fault for digging me up in Mindy’s one night and explaining to me how wonderful the weather is in Miami in the winter-time, and how we can go there for the races with his stable and make plenty of potatoes for ourselves, although of course I know when Hymie is speaking of his stable he means Mahogany, for Hymie never has more than one horse at anyone time in his stable.

Generally it is some broken-down lizard that he buys for about the price of an old wool hat and patches up the best he can, as Hymie Banjo Eyes is a horse trainer by trade, and considering the kind of horses he trains he is not a bad trainer, at that. He is very good indeed at patching up cripples and sometimes winning races with them until somebody claims them on him or they fall down dead, and then he goes and gets himself another cripple and starts all over again.

I hear he buys Mahogany off a guy by the name of O’Shea for a hundred bucks, although the chances are if Hymie waits a while the guy will pay him at least two hundred to take Mahogany away and hide him, for Mahogany has bad legs and bum feet, and is maybe nine years old, and does not win a race since the summer of 1924, and then it is an accident. But anyway, Mahogany is the stable Hymie Banjo Eyes is speaking of taking to Miami when he digs me up in Mindy’s.

“And just think,” Hymie says, “all we need to get there is the price of a drawing-room on the Florida Special.”

Well, I am much surprised by this statement, because it is the first time I ever hear of a horse needing a drawing-room, especially such a horse as Mahogany, but it seems the drawing-room is not to be for Mahogany, or even for Hymie or me. It seems it is to be for Hymie’s ever-loving wife, a blonde doll by the name of ’Lasses, which he marries out of some night-club where she is what is called an adagio dancer.

It seems that when ’Lasses is very young somebody once says she is just as sweet as Molasses, and this is how she comes to get the name of ’Lasses, although her right name is Maggie Something, and I figure she must change quite a lot since they begin calling her ’Lasses because at the time I meet her she is sweet just the same as green grapefruit.

She has a partner in the adagio business by the name of Donaldo, who picks her up and heaves her around the night-club as if she is nothing but a baseball, and it is very thrilling indeed to see Donaldo giving ’Lasses a sling as if he is going to throw her plumb away, which many citizens say may not be a bad idea, at that, and then catching her by the foot in mid-air and hauling her back to him.

But one night it seems that Donaldo takes a few slugs of gin before going into this adagio business, and he muffs ’Lasses’ foot, although nobody can see how this is possible, because ’Lasses’ foot is no more invisible than a box car, and ’Lasses keeps on sailing through the air. She finally sails into Hymie Banjo Eyes’ stomach as he is sitting at a table pretty well back, and this is the way Hymie and ’Lasses meet, and a romance starts, although it is nearly a week before Hymie recovers enough from the body beating he takes off ’Lasses to go around and see her.

The upshot of the romance is ’Lasses and Hymie get married, although up to the time Donaldo slings her into Hymie’s stomach, ’Lasses is going around with Brick McCloskey, the bookmaker, and is very loving with him indeed, but they have a row about something and are carrying the old torch for each other when Hymie happens along.

Some citizens say the reason ’Lasses marries Hymie is because she is all sored up on Brick and that she acts without thinking, as dolls often do, especially blonde dolls, although personally I figure Hymie takes all the worst of the situation, as ’Lasses is not such a doll as any guy shall marry without talking it over with his lawyer. ’Lasses is one of these little blondes who is full of short answers, and personally I will just as soon marry a porcupine. But Hymie loves her more than somewhat, and there is no doubt Brick McCloskey is all busted up because ’Lasses takes this run-out powder on him, so maybe after all ’Lasses has some kind of appeal which I cannot notice offhand.

“But,” Hymie explains to me when he is speaking to me about this trip to Miami, “’Lasses is not well, what with nerves and one thing and another, and she will have to travel to Miami along with her Pekingese dog, Sooey-pow, because,” Hymie says, “it will make her more nervous than somewhat if she has to travel with anybody else. And of course,” Hymie says, “no one can expect ’Lasses to travel in anything but a drawing-room on account of her health.”

Well, the last time I see ’Lasses she is making a sucker of a big sirloin in Bobby’s Restaurant, and she strikes me as a pretty healthy doll, but of course I never examine her close, and anyway, her health is none of my business.

“Now,” Hymie says, “I get washed out at Empire, and I am pretty much in hock here and there and have no dough to ship my stable to Miami, but,” he says, “a friend of mine is shipping several horses there and he has a whole car, and he will kindly let me have room in one end of the car for my stable, and you and I can ride in there, too.

“That is,” Hymie says, “we can ride in there if you will dig up the price of a drawing-room and the two tickets that go with it so ’Lasses’ nerves will not be disturbed. You see,” Hymie says, “I happen to know you have two hundred and fifty bucks in the jug over here on the corner, because one of the tellers in the jug is a friend of mine, and he tips me off you have this sugar, even though,” Hymie says, “you have it in there under another name.”

Well, a guy goes up against many daffy propositions as he goes along through life, and the first thing I know I am waking up, like I tell you, to find myself sleeping with Mahogany and Hymie, and as I lay there in the horse car slowly freezing to death, I get to thinking of ’Lasses in a drawing-room on the Florida Special, and I hope and trust that she and the Peke are sleeping nice and warm.

The train finally runs out of the blizzard and the weather heats up somewhat, so it is not so bad riding in the horse car, and Hymie and I pass the time away playing two-handed pinochle. Furthermore, I get pretty well acquainted with Mahogany, and I find he is personally not such a bad old pelter as many thousands of citizens think.

Finally we get to Miami, and at first it looks as if Hymie is going to have a tough time finding a place to keep Mahogany, as all the stable room at the Hialeah track is taken by cash customers, and Hymie certainly is not a cash customer and neither is Mahogany. Personally, I am not worried so much about stable room for Mahogany as I am about stable room for myself, because I am now down to a very few bobs and will need same to eat on.

Naturally, I figure Hymie Banjo Eyes will be joining his ever-loving wife ’Lasses, as I always suppose a husband and wife are an entry, but Hymie tells me ’Lasses is parked in the Roney Plaza over on Miami Beach, and that he is going to stay with Mahogany, because it will make her very nervous to have people around her, especially people who are training horses every day, and who may not smell so good.

Well, it looks as if we will wind up camping out with Mahogany under. a palm-tree, although many of the palm-trees are already taken by other guys camping out with horses, but finally Hymie finds a guy who has a garage back of his house right near the race track, and having no use for this garage since his car blows away in the hurricane of 1926, the guy is willing to let Hymie keep Mahogany in the garage. Furthermore, he is willing to let Hymie sleep in the garage with Mahogany, and pay him now and then.

So Hymie borrows a little hay and grain, such as horses love to eat, off a friend who has a big string at the track, and moves into the garage with Mahogany, and about the same time I run into a guy by the name of Pottsville Legs, out of Pottsville, Pa., and he has a room in a joint downtown, and I move in with him, and it is no worse than sleeping with Hymie Banjo Eyes and Mahogany, at that.

I do not see Hymie for some time after this, but I hear of him getting Mahogany ready for a race. He has the old guy out galloping on the track every morning, and who is galloping him but Hymie himself, because he cannot get any stable-boys to do the galloping for him, as they do not wish to waste their time. However, Hymie rides himself when he is a young squirt, so galloping Mahogany is not such a tough job for him, except that it gives him a terrible appetite, and it is very hard for him to find anything to satisfy this appetite with, and there are rumors around that Hymie is eating most of Mahogany’s hay and grain.

In the meantime, I am going here and there doing the best I can, and this is not so very good, at that, because never is there such a terrible winter in Miami or so much suffering among the horse players. In the afternoon I go out to the race track, and in the evening I go to the dog tracks, and later to the gambling joints trying to pick up a few honest bobs, and wherever I go I seem to see Hymie’s ever-loving wife ’Lasses, and she is always dressed up more than somewhat, and generally she is with Brick McCloskey, for Brick shows up in Miami figuring to do a little business in bookmaking at the track.

When they turn off the books there and put in the mutuels, Brick still does a little booking to big betters who do not wish to put their dough in the mutuels for fear of ruining a price, for Brick is a very large operator at all times. He is not only a large operator, but he is a big, good-looking guy, and how ’Lasses can ever give him the heave-o for such a looking guy as Hymie Banjo Eyes is always a great mystery to me. But then this is the way blondes are.

Of course Hymie probably does not know ’Lasses is running around with Brick McCloskey, because Hymie is too busy getting Mahogany ready for a race to make such spots as ’Lasses and Brick are apt to be, and nobody is going to bother to tell him, because so many ever-loving wives are running around with guys who are not their ever-loving husbands in Miami this winter that nobody considers it any news.

Personally, I figure ’Lasses’ running around with Brick is a pretty fair break for Hymie, at that, as it takes plenty of weight off him in the way of dinners, and maybe breakfasts for all I know, although it seems to me ’Lasses cannot love Hymie as much as Hymie thinks to be running around with another guy. In fact, I am commencing to figure ’Lasses does not care for Hymie Banjo Eyes whatever.

Well, one day I am looking over the entries, and I see where Hymie has old Mahogany in a claiming race at a mile and an eighth, and while it is a cheap race, there are some pretty fair hides in it. In fact, I can figure at least eight out of the nine that are entered to beat Mahogany by fourteen lengths.

Well, I go out to Hialeah very early, and I step around to the garage where Mahogany and Hymie are living, and Hymie is sitting out in front of the garage on a bucket looking very sad, and Mahogany has his beezer stuck out through the door of the garage, and he is looking even sadder than Hymie.

“Well,” I say to Hymie Banjo Eyes, “I see the big horse goes today.”

“Yes,” Hymie says, “the big horse goes today if I can get ten bucks for the jockey fee, and if I can get a jock after I get the fee. It is a terrible situation,” Hymie says. “Here I get Mahogany all readied up for the race of his life in a spot where he can win by as far as from here to Palm Beach and grab a purse worth six hundred fish, and me without as much as a sawbuck to hire one of these hop-toads that are putting themselves away as jocks around here.”

“Well,” I say, “why do you not speak to ’Lasses, your ever-loving wife, about this situation? I see ’Lasses playing the wheel out at Hollywood last night,” I say, “and she has a stack of checks in front of her a greyhound cannot hurdle, and,” I say, “it is not like ’Lasses to go away from there without a few bobs off such a start.”

“Now there you go again,” Hymie says, very impatient indeed. “You are always making cracks about ’Lasses, and you know very well it will make the poor little doll very nervous if I speak to her about such matters as a sawbuck, because ’Lasses needs all the sawbucks she can get hold of to keep herself and Sooey-pow at the Roney Plaza. By the way,” Hymie says, “how much scratch do you have on your body at this time?”

Well, I am never any hand for telling lies, especially to an old friend such as Hymie Banjo Eyes, so I admit I have a ten-dollar note, although naturally I do not mention another tenner which I also have in my pocket, as I know Hymie will wish both of them. He will wish one of my tenners to pay the jockey fee, and he will wish the other to bet on Mahogany, and I am certainly not going to let Hymie throw my dough away betting it on such an old crocodile as Mahogany, especially in a race which a horse by the name of Side Burns is a sure thing to win.

In fact, I am waiting patiently for several days for a chance to bet on Side Burns. So I hold out one sawbuck on Hymie, and then I go over to the track and forget all about him and Mahogany until the sixth race is coming up, and I see by the jockey board that Hymie has a jock by the name of Scroon riding Mahogany, and while Mahogany is carrying only one hundred pounds, which is the light-weight of the race, I will personally just as soon have Paul Whiteman up as Scroon. Personally I do not think Scroon can spell “horse,” for he is nothing but a dizzy little guy who gets a mount about once every pancake Tuesday. But of course Hymie is not a guy who can pick and choose his jocks, and the chances are he is pretty lucky to get anybody to ride Mahogany.

I see by the board where it tells you the approximate odds that Mahogany is 40 to 1, and naturally nobody is paying any attention to such a horse, because it will not be good sense to pay any attention to Mahogany in this race, what with it being his first start in months, and Mahogany not figuring with these horses, or with any horses, as far as this is concerned. In fact, many citizens think Hymie Banjo Eyes is either crazy, or is running Mahogany in this race for exercise, although nobody who knows Hymie will figure him to be spending dough on a horse just to exercise him.

The favorite in the race is this horse named Side Burns, and from the way they are playing him right from taw you will think he is Twenty Grand. He is even money on the board, and I hope and trust that he will finally pay as much as this, because at even money I consider him a very sound investment, indeed. In fact, I am willing to take 4 to 5 for my dough, and will consider it money well found, because I figure this will give me about eighteen bobs to bet on Tony Joe in the last race, and anybody will tell you that you can go to sleep on Tony Joe winning, unless something happens.

There is a little action on several other horses in the race, but of course there is none whatever for Mahogany and the last time I look he is up to fifty. So I buy my ticket on Side Burns, and go out to the paddock to take a peek at the horses, and I see Hymie Banjo Eyes in there saddling Mahogany with his jockey, this dizzy Scroon, standing alongside him in Hymie’s colors of red, pink and yellow, and making wise-cracks to the guys in the next stall about Mahogany.

Hymie Banjo Eyes sees me and motions me to come into the paddock, so I go in and give Mahogany a pat on the snoot, and the old guy seems to remember me right away, because he rubs his beezer up and down my arm and lets out a little snicker. But it seems to me the old plug looks a bit peaked, and I can see his ribs very plain indeed, so I figure maybe there is some truth in the rumor about Hymie sharing Mahogany’s hay and grain, after all.

Well, as I am standing there, Hymie gives this dizzy Scroon his riding instructions, and they are very short, for all Hymie says is as follows:

“Listen,” Hymie says, “get off with this horse and hurry right home.”

And Scroon looks a little dizzier than somewhat and nods his head, and then turns and tips a wink to Kurtsinger, who is riding the horse in the next stall.

Well, finally the post bugle goes, and Hymie walks back with me to the lawn as the horses are coming out on the track, and Hymie is speaking about nothing but Mahogany.

“It is just my luck,” Hymie says, “not to have a bob or two to bet on him. He will win this race as far as you can shoot a rifle, and the reason he will win this far,” Hymie says, “is because the track is just soft enough to feel nice and soothing to his sore feet. Furthermore,” Hymie says, “after lugging my one hundred and forty pounds around every morning for two weeks, Mahogany will think it is Christmas when he finds nothing but this Scroon’s one hundred pounds on his back.

“In fact,” Hymie says, “if I do not need the purse money, I will not let him run today, but will hide him for a bet. But,” he says, ’Lasses must have five yards at once, and you know how nervous she will be if she does not get the five yards. So I am letting Mahogany run,” Hymie says, “and it is a pity.”

“Well,” I say, “why do you not promote somebody to bet on him for you?”

“Why,” Hymie says, “if I ask one guy I ask fifty. But they all think I am out of my mind to think Mahogany can beat such horses as Side Burns and the rest. Well,” he says, “they will be sorry. By the way,” he says, “do you have a bet down of any kind?”

Well, now, I do not wish to hurt Hymie’s feelings by letting him know I bet on something else in the race, so I tell him I do not play this race at all, and he probably figures it is because I have nothing to bet with after giving him the sawbuck. But he keeps on talking as we walk over in front of the grandstand, and all he is talking about is what a tough break it is for him not to have any dough to bet on Mahogany. By this time the horses are at the post a little way up the track, and as we are standing there watching them, Hymie Banjo Eyes goes on talking, half to me and half to himself, but out loud.

“Yes,” he says, “I am the unluckiest guy in all the world. Here I am,” he says, “with a race that is a kick in the pants for my horse at fifty to one, and me without a quarter to bet. It is certainly a terrible thing to be poor,” Hymie says. “Why,” he says, “I will bet my life on my horse in this race, I am so sure of winning. I will bet my clothes. I will bet all I ever hope to have. In fact,” he says, “I will even bet my ever-loving wife, this is how sure I am.”

Now of course this is only the way horse players rave when they are good and heated up about the chances of a horse, and I hear such conversations as this maybe a million times, and never pay any attention to it whatever, but as Hymie makes this crack about betting his ever-loving wife, a voice behind us says as follows:

“Against how much?”

Naturally, Hymie and I look around at once, and who does the voice belong to but Brick McCloskey. Of course I figure Brick is kidding Hymie Banjo Eyes, but Brick’s voice is as cold as ice as he says to Hymie like this:

“Against how much will you bet your wife your horse wins this race?” he says. “I hear you saying you are sure this old buzzard meat you are running will win,” Brick says, “so let me see how sure you are. Personally,” Brick says, “I think they ought to prosecute you for running a broken-down hound like Mahogany on the ground of cruelty to animals, and furthermore,” Brick says, “I think they ought to put you in an insane asylum if you really believe your old dog has a chance. But I will give you a bet,” he says. “How much do you wish me to lay against your wife?”

Well, this is very harsh language indeed, and I can see that Brick is getting something off his chest he is packing there for some time. The chances are he is putting the blast on poor Hymie Banjo Eyes on account of Hymie grabbing ’Lasses from him, and of course Brick McCloskey never figures for a minute that Hymie will take his question seriously. But Hymie answers like this:

“You are a price-maker,” he says. “What do you lay?”

Now this is a most astonishing reply, indeed, when you figure that Hymie is asking what Brick will bet against Hymie’s ever-loving wife ’Lasses, and I am very sorry to hear Hymie ask, especially as I happen to turn around and find that nobody but ’Lasses herself is listening in on the conversation, and the chances are her face will be very white, if it is not for her make-up, ’Lasses being a doll who goes in for make-up more than somewhat.

“Yes,” Brick McCloskey says, “I am a price-maker, all right, and I will lay you a price. I will lay you five C’s against your wife that your plug does not win,” he says.

Brick looks at ’Lasses as he says this, and ’Lasses looks at Brick, and personally I will probably take a pop at a guy who looks at my ever-loving wife in such a way, if I happen to have any ever-loving wife, and maybe I will take a pop at my ever-loving wife, too, if she looks back at a guy in such a way, but of course Hymie is not noticing such things as looks at this time, and in fact he does not see ’Lasses as yet. But he does not hesitate in answering Brick.

“You are a bet,” says Hymie. “Five hundred bucks against my ever-loving wife ’Lasses. It is a chiseler’s price such as you always lay,” he says, “and the chances are I can do better if I have time to go shopping around but as it is,” he says, “it is like finding money and I will not let you get away. But be ready to pay cash right after the race, because I will not accept your paper.”

Well, I hear of many a strange bet on horse races, but never before do I hear of a guy betting his ever-loving wife, although to tell you the truth I never before hear of a guy getting the opportunity to bet his wife on a race. For all I know, if bookmakers take wives as a steady thing there will be much action in such matters at every track.

But I can see that both Brick McCloskey and Hymie Banjo Eyes are in dead earnest, and about this time ’Lasses tries to cop a quiet sneak, and Hymie sees her and speaks to her as follows:

“Hello, Baby,” Hymie says. “I will have your five yards for you in a few minutes and five more to go with it, as I am just about to clip a sucker. Wait here with me, Baby,” Hymie says.

“No,” ’Lasses says, “I am too nervous to wait here. I am going down by the fence to root your horse in,” she says, but as she goes away I see another look pass between her and Brick McCloskey.

Well, all of a sudden Cassidy gets the horses in a nice line and lets them go, and as they come busting down past the stand the first time who is right there on top but old Mahogany, with this dizzy Scroon kicking at his skinny sides and yelling in his ears. As they make the first turn, Scroon has Mahogany a length in front, and he moves him out another length as they hit the back side.

Now I always like to watch the races from a spot away up the lawn, as I do not care to have anybody much around me when the tough finishes come along in case I wish to bust out crying, so I leave Hymie Banjo Eyes and Brick McCloskey still glaring at each other and go to my usual place, and who is standing there, too, all by herself but ’Lasses. And about this time the horses are making the turn into the stretch and Mahogany is still on top, but something is coming very fast on the outside. It looks as if Mahogany is in a tough spot, because halfway down the stretch the outside horse nails him and looks him right in the eye, and who is it but the favorite, Side Burns.

They come on like a team, and I am personally giving Side Burns a great ride from where I am standing, when I hear a doll yelling out loud, and who is the doll but ’Lasses, and what is she yelling but the following:

“Come on with him, jock!”

Furthermore, as she yells, ’Lasses snaps her fingers like a crap shooter and runs a couple of yards one way and then turns and runs a couple of yards back the other way, so I can see that ’Lasses is indeed of a nervous temperament, just as Hymie Banjo Eyes is always telling me, although up to this time I figure her nerves are the old alzo.

“Come on!” ’Lasses yells again. “Let him roll!” she yells. “Ride him, boy!” she yells. “Come on with him, Frankie!”

Well, I wish to say that ’Lasses’ voice may be all right if she is selling tomatoes from door to door, but I will not care to have her using it around me every day for any purpose whatever, because she yells so loud I have to move off a piece to keep my ear-drums from being busted wide open. She is still yelling when the horses go past the finish line, the snozzles of old Mahogany and Side Burns so close together that nobody can hardly tell which is which.

In fact, there is quite a wait before the numbers go up, and I can see ’Lasses standing there with her program all wadded up in her fist as she watches the board, and I can see she is under a very terrible nervous strain indeed, and I am very sorry I go around thinking her nerves are the old alzo. Pretty soon the guy hangs out No.9, and No. 9 is nobody but old Mahogany, and at this I hear ’Lasses screech, and all of a sudden she flops over in a faint, and somebody carries her under the grandstand to revive her, and I figure her nerves bog down entirely, and I am sorrier than ever for thinking bad thoughts of her.

I am also very, very sorry I do not bet my sawbuck on Mahogany, especially when the board shows he pays $102, and I can see where Hymie Banjo Eyes is right about the weight and all, but I am glad Hymie wins the purse and also the five C’s off of Brick McCloskey and that he saves his ever-loving wife, because I figure Hymie may now pay me back a few bobs.

I do not see Hymie or Brick or ’Lasses again until the races are over, and then I hear of a big row going on under the stand, and go to see what is doing, and who is having the row but Hymie Banjo Eyes and Brick McCloskey. It seems that Hymie hits Brick a clout on the beezer that stretches Brick out, and it seems that Hymie hits Brick this blow because as Brick is paying Hymie the five C’s he makes the following crack:

“I do not mind losing the dough to you, Banjo Eyes,” Brick says, “but I am sore at myself for overlaying the price. It is the first time in all the years I am booking that I make such an overlay. The right price against your wife,” Brick says, “is maybe two dollars and a half.”

Well, as Brick goes down with a busted beezer from Hymie’s punch, and everybody is much excited, who steps out of the crowd around them and throws her arms around Hymie Banjo Eyes but his ever-loving wife ’Lasses, and as she kisses Hymie smack-dab in the mush, ’Lasses says as follows:

“My darling Hymie,” she says, “I hear what this big flannel-mouth says about the price on me, and,” she says, “I am only sorry you do not cripple him for life. I know now I love you, and only you, Hymie,” she says, “and I will never love anybody else. In fact,” ’Lasses says, “I just prove my love for you by almost wrecking my nerves in rooting Mahogany home. I am still weak,” she says, “but I have strength enough left to go with you to the Sunset Inn for a nice dinner, and you can give me my money then. Furthermore,” ’Lasses says, “now that we have a few bobs, I think you better find another place for Mahogany to stay, as it does not look nice for my husband to be living with a horse.”

Well, I am going by the jockey house on my way home, thinking how nice it is that Hymie Banjo Eyes will no longer have to live with Mahogany, and what a fine thing it is to have a loyal, ever-loving wife such as ’Lasses, who risks her nerves rooting for her husband’s horse, when I run into this dizzy Scroon in his street clothes, and wishing to be friendly, I say to him like this:

“Hello, Frankie,” I say. “You put up a nice ride today.”

“Where do you get this ‘Frankie’?” Scroon says. “My name is Gus.”

“Why,” I say, commencing to think of this and that, “so it is, but is there a jock called Frankie in the sixth race with you this afternoon?”

“Sure,” Scroon says. “Frankie Madeley. He rides Side Burns, the favorite; and I make a sucker of him in the stretch run.”

But of course I never mention to Hymie Banjo Eyes that I figure his ever-loving wife roots herself into a dead faint for the horse that will give her to Brick McCloskey, because for all I know she may think Scroon’s name is Frankie, at that.