Two Face

Damon Runyon


February 10.

DEAR SIR the other night when my wife Ethel and I were coming home from the movies we passed Minnie Schultz in the street and I ses good evening Minnie and she ses good evening Ethel and Joe but Ethel did not speak back to her but walked on fast.

When I caught up with her I ses see here Ethel did you hear Minnie Schultz tell you good evening? Ethel ses sure I heard her Joe. I ses well then what was the idea of passing her and not speaking to her? Ethel ses Joe the idea is that I have got no use for Minnie Schultz. You know very well I have got no use for her Joe and so does everybody else in this neighborhood. She made remarks about the way I dress.

I ses yes and that reminds me that Anna Krump told me the other day that you did not speak to her when she passed you and Ethel ses thats right Joe. I ses why? Ethel ses because I have got no use for Anna Krump either. She made remarks about the way I make up. I ses make up what? Ethel ses why make up my face when I am going out anywhere with you.

I ses why my goodness Ethel everybody makes remarks about somebody and that is no excuse for not speaking to them. I ses you grew up with those girls and they like you. She ses they like me do they? I ses yes they do and Ethel ses listen Joe if you like somebody you do not make remarks about them except nice remarks and I ses well they were harmless remarks. Ethel ses yes but they were not meant to do me any good.

I ses Ethel pretty soon if you do not watch out you will not be speaking to anybody in Brooklyn and Ethel ses well I do not care if I am not speaking to anybody if they are somebody who makes remarks about me. I am not two face like you are. I ses what do you mean two face like I am? Ethel ses why the other day I saw you talking to Johnny Wolf and I know you never had any use for him.

I ses why Ethel Johnny Wolf is a district captain. I ses he stands all right with Sweeney the leader and I always talk to him because he can do me plenty of good if he wants to. Ethel ses well that is what I meant when I ses you are two face. You came home right afterwards and criticized Johnny Wolf to me.

I ses all I ses about Johnny Wolf to you was that I thought he would take a hot stove if he got the chance and Ethel ses did you tell Johnny that is what you thought? I ses Ethel are you crazy? I ses certainly I did not tell Johnny that. I ses do you think I want him to go to Sweeney the leader and put in a big knock on me? Ethel ses well you are two face all right Joe.

I ses it is a fine thing for somebody to have to listen to their own wife call them names and Ethel ses I am not calling you names Joe. I am just saying you are two face. All fellows are two face Joe. They cannot help it. I saw you shaking hands the other day with Henny Hartzell and I know you never had any use for Henny since you were boys together. That is two face Joe.

I ses now wait a minute Ethel. I ses Henny is a pretty successful fellow and my boss would like to get some of his business so I have to be nice to him. Ethel ses have you got any use for him now? I ses of course I have not got any use for him now. I ses I will never have any use for Henny Hartzell as long as I live. I ses he played me a dirty trick once and that is why I will never have any use for him. I ses hay Ethel I remember now you never had no use for Henny either.

Ethel ses thats right Joe. He tried to get fresh with me a long time ago when we were going to school. Did you tell him when you were shaking hands with him that you still have no use for him Joe? I ses please Ethel. I ses that is just foolishness to ask me if I told a fellow I had no use for him when I was trying to get his business. I ses he seemed favorable to me but you know very well he would have walked right off if I had told him that. I ses you would get nowhere in business being frank with people.

Ethel ses well that proves you are two face Joe. I ses O I suppose you would tell somebody you had no use for them if you were trying to get their business? Ethel ses well I told Henny Hartzell that but of course I was not trying to get anything from him. I ses yes but that was years ago when you were going to school. I ses he has forgotten that long ago.

Ethel ses no Joe it was only a few days ago. I ran into Henny in the street and he wanted to stop and talk to me but I ses no Henny I have got no use for you even after all this time. He ses you were trying to get some business from him Joe and that ought to make me friends with him and I ses no Henny I still have no use for you. That is what I ses Joe.

I ses O my goodness Ethel that was a terrible thing to do. I ses now there is no chance of me getting Hennys business and she ses yes you will get it all right Joe. Henny ses he guessed he would give it to you just on my account because I was honest with him and not two face like you Joe.

Yours truly