Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb

 -   We had bucked the unbeatable system, and we had lost.

Earlier that same evening we spent a gloom-laden quarter - Page 190
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We Had Bucked The Unbeatable System, And We Had Lost.

Earlier that same evening we spent a gloom-laden quarter of an hour in another cafe - one which owes

Its fame and most of its American customs to the happy circumstance that in a certain famous comic opera produced a few years ago a certain popular leading man sang a song extolling its fascinations. The man who wrote the song must have had a full-flowered and glamorous imagination, for he could see beauty where beauty was not. To us there seemed nothing particularly fanciful about the place except the prices they charged for refreshments. However, something unusual did happen there once. It was not premeditated though; the proprietor had nothing to do with it. Had he known what was about to occur undoubtedly he would have advertised it in advance and sold tickets for it.

By reason of circumstances over which he had no control, but which had mainly to do with a locked-up wardrobe, an American of convivial mentality was in his room at his hotel one evening, fairly consumed with loneliness. Above all things he desired to be abroad amid the life and gayety of the French capital; but unfortunately he had no clothes except boudoir clothes, and no way of getting any, either, Which made the situation worse. He had already tried the telephone in a vain effort to communicate with a ready-made clothing establishment in the Rue St. Honore. Naturally he had failed, as he knew he would before he tried.

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