Marigold and Maidie So

Damon Runyon

Marigold and Maidie So left Our Town three years ago. That is their name. An S, an O—SO. You pronounce it So.

Maidie did not want to go to New York, but Marigold said Our Town was too confining.

Many people did not like Marigold because she took that attitude. They liked Maidie much better. But Maidie was a devoted sister and went to New York with Marigold.

Marigold is twenty-two years old and very beautiful. She knows it. She is employed in a large department store. She is in beauty preparations. Cosmetics. Perfumes. Things like that. She works there all day long. Once in a while she finds time to wait on the customers.

Marigold So loves the movies. She used to go every night with some one of the boys up our street. They are nice boys. They were proud to take a girl as beautiful as Marigold So to the movies. Then it got around that she would not play hands. She only wanted to look at the pictures.

This hurt her standing up our street.

Willie Feener heard the reports and said, Oh that’s what you guys say. Wait until you hear from the old master.

Willie Feener meant himself.

He took Marigold to the movies and then to a chop suey joint and spent three six-bits on her and reported her a real pain in the Adam’s Apple. We do not know what Marigold So reported about Willie, but her brother, Zack, looked Willie up the next day. You should have seen Willie’s eye.

Marigold’s sister Maidie is all right. She is a year younger than Marigold and not so beautiful but all right. She said the trouble with Marigold was that she was too romantic. Maidie said Marigold was waiting for a dream prince to come along and claim her and that she hoped he would look like Franchot Tone.

Maidie said Franchot Tone was Marigold’s idea of a dream prince, but that she would probably settle for Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., or Tyrone Power. Maidie said Marigold read all the movie fan magazines and knew plenty about the actors and actresses of the screen but what did that get her?

Maidie said. Give me one of the boys from up our street any time, even Willie Feener. Maidie is all right. She is 100 per cent.

One afternoon Marigold So was working in the department store when a quiet young man came to her beauty preparations counter. Cosmetics. Perfumes. Things like that. He said he wanted to buy some perfume for an old lady.

Marigold’s mind was miles away. She was dreaming of her dream prince. She was dreaming of Franchot Tone. She heard the quiet young man’s request as in a dream and set out a bottle of high-powered scent for him to sniff at.

The quiet young man said that might be all right for the flashier Harlem trade but would hardly do for an old lady. Marigold came out of her dream and got right snippy with the young man. She thought it was most inconsiderate of him interrupting her dream of Franchot Tone.

She put him in his place in no time. She made that quiet young man slink away. He did not buy any perfume. Marigold was about to return to dreaming of Franchot Tone when she noticed that a floorwalker was talking to the young man and showing so much politeness to him that she knew the young man must be some pumpkins.

She waited until the young man had departed and then she called the floorwalker over and asked him who he was. The floorwalker said, Why, that was Mr. Franchot Tone, the actor.

Marigold then remembered that she had sensed something vaguely familiar about the quiet young man when she was putting him in his place. She fainted dead away. The floorwalker’s name was Honeycott.

When Marigold got home that evening, her sister Maidie was just leaving the house. She said she was going to a movie with Willie Feener. Marigold said Willie Feener was a roughneck and that Maidie ought to have more self respect than to go anywhere with him. Marigold said remember how Brother Zack had to give Willie an eye.

Maidie said well he may be a roughneck but he has just learned that his Uncle Fred up in Maine died leaving him a million and a half. Maidie said, Willie and I are going to be married, but Brother Zack will never be permitted to visit us.

Marigold fainted dead away again. Her mother said it was probably the heat. Her father said no, she must have eaten something that did not agree with her. Her brother Zack said, I don’t care what it was. She has put me in Dutch with Willie Feener the rest of my life.

Maidie played hands so hard with Willie Feener in the movies that she broke the third finger of his right hand for him. Maidie is all right. She is 100 per cent.