داستان کوتاه The Coming-out of Maggie صفحه 4
تعداد بازديد : 449
But there would be sundry gentlemen there with large gold fob chains and black cigars; and somebody would tell a funny story, and then Dempsey would go back and work half an hour with the six-pound dumb-bells. So, doing a tight-rope act on a wire stretched across Niagara was a safe terpsichorean performance compared with waltzing twice with Dempsey Donovan's paperbox girl. At ten o'clock the jolly round face of 'Big Mike' O'Sullivan shone at the door for five minutes upon the scene. He always looked in for five minutes, smiled at the girls and handed out real perfectos to the delighted boys. Dempsey Donovan was at his elbow instantly, talking rapidly. 'Big Mike' looked carefully at the dancers, smiled, shook his head and departed. The music stopped. The dancers scattered to the chairs along the walls. Terry O'Sullivan, with his entrancing bow, relinquished a pretty girl in blue to her partner and started back to find Maggie. Dempsey intercepted him in the middle of the floor. Some fine instinct that Rome must have bequeathed to us caused nearly every one to turn and look at them - there was a subtle feeling that two gladiators had met in the arena. Two or three Give and Takes with tight coat-sleeves drew nearer. 'One moment, Mr. O'Sullivan,' said Dempsey. 'I hope you're enjoying yourself. Where did you say you lived? The two gladiators were well matched. Dempsey had, perhaps, ten pounds of weight to give away. The O'Sullivan had breadth with quickness. Dempsey had a glacial eye, a dominating slit of a mouth, an indestructible jaw, a complexion like a belle's and the coolness of a champion. The visitor showed more fire in his contempt and less control over his conspicuous sneer. They were enemies by the law written when the rocks were molten. They were each too splendid, too mighty, too incomparable to divide preeminence. One only must survive. 'I live on Grand,' said O'Sullivan insolently; 'and no trouble to find me at home. Where do you live?' Dempsey ignored the question. 'You say your name's O'Sullivan,' he went on. 'Well, "Big Mike" says he never saw you before.' 'Lots of things he never saw,' said the favourite of the hop. 'As a rule,' went on Dempsey, huskily sweet, 'O'Sullivans in this district know one another. You escorted one of our lady members here, and we want a chance to make good. If you've got a family tree let's see a few historical O'Sullivan buds come out on it. Or do you want us to dig it out of you by the roots?' 'Suppose you mind your own business,' suggested O'Sullivan blandly.