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The Life of the Party   By: (1876-1944)

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The Life of the Party

BY IRVIN S. COBB

FICTION

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY THOSE TIMES AND THESE LOCAL COLOR OLD JUDGE PRIEST FIBBLE, D. D. BACK HOME THE THUNDERS OF SILENCE THE ESCAPE OF MR. TRIMM

WIT AND HUMOR

EATING IN TWO OR THREE LANGUAGES "SPEAKING OF OPERATIONS " EUROPE REVISED ROUGHING IT DE LUXE COBB'S BILL OF FARE COBB'S ANATOMY

MISCELLANY

THE GLORY OF THE COMING PATHS OF GLORY "SPEAKING OF PRUSSIANS "

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY NEW YORK

[Illustration: "ARE YOU PAYIN' AN ELECTION BET THREE WEEKS AFTER THE ELECTION'S OVER? OR IS IT THAT YOU'RE JEST A PLAIN BEDADDLED IJIET?"]

The Life of the Party

By

Irvin S. Cobb

Author of "Back Home," "Old Judge Priest," etc., etc.

Illustrated By James M. Preston

[Illustration: Publisher's logo]

New York George H. Doran Company

Copyright, 1919, By George H. Doran Company

Copyright, 1919, by the Curtis Publishing Company Printed in the United States of America

TO

MISTRESS MAY WILSON PRESTON

A LADY OF GREAT DRAWING QUALITIES

ILLUSTRATIONS

"Are you payin' an election bet three weeks after the election's over? Or is it that you're jest a plain bedaddled ijiet?" Frontispiece

PAGE "That's nice," spake the fearsome stranger. "Now stay jest the way you are and don't make no peep or I'll have to plug you wit' this here gat" 24

Mr. Leary's gait became a desperate gallop, and as he galloped he shouted: "Wait, please, here I am. Here's your passenger" 32

The Life of the Party

I

It had been a successful party, most successful. Mrs. Carroway's parties always were successes, but this one nearing its conclusion stood out notably from a long and unbroken Carrowayian record. It had been a children's party; that is to say, everybody came in costume with intent to represent children of any age between one year and a dozen years. But twelve years was the limit; positively nobody, either in dress or deportment, could be more than twelve years old. Mrs. Carroway had made this point explicit in sending out the invitations, and so it had been, down to the last hair ribbon and the last shoe buckle. And between dances they had played at the games of childhood, such as drop the handkerchief, and King William was King James' son and prisoner's base and the rest of them.

The novelty of the notion had been a main contributory factor to its success; that, plus the fact that nine healthy adults out of ten dearly love to put on freakish garbings and go somewhere. To be exactly truthful, the basic idea itself could hardly be called new, since long before some gifted mind thought out the scheme of giving children's parties for grown ups, but with her customary brilliancy Mrs. Carroway had seized upon the issues of the day to serve her social purposes, weaving timeliness and patriotism into the fabric of her plan by making it a war party as well. Each individual attending was under pledge to keep a full and accurate tally of the moneys expended upon his or her costume and upon arrival at the place of festivities to deposit a like amount in a repository put in a conspicuous spot to receive these contributions, the entire sum to be handed over later to the guardians of a military charity in which Mrs. Carroway was active.

It was somehow felt that this fostered a worthy spirit of wartime economy, since the donation of a person who wore an expensive costume would be relatively so much larger than the donation of one who went in for the simpler things. Moreover, books of thrift stamps were attached to the favours, the same being children's toys of guaranteed American manufacture.

In the matter of refreshments Mrs... Continue reading book >>




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