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Skinner's Dress Suit   By:

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First Page:

SKINNER'S DRESS SUIT

by

HENRY IRVING DODGE

With Illustrations

[Frontispiece: "I won't take your order unless you throw in that trout dinner"]

Toronto Thomas Allen Publisher 1916

Copyright, 1916, by the Curtis Publishing Company Copyright, 1916, by Henry Irving Dodge All Rights Reserved

TO

MY WIFE

CONTENTS

I. SKINNER ASKS FOR A RAISE II. HOW SKINNER GOT HIS RAISE III. SKINNER'S DRESS SUIT IV. SKINNER'S DRESS SUIT BEGINS TO GET IN ITS FINE WORK V. THE OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE DRESS SUIT VI. DODGING A MAGNATE AND WHAT CAME OF IT VII. SKINNER AND THE "GOLD BUGS" VIII. CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST IX. SKINNER FISHES WITH A DIPLOMATIC HOOK X. SKINNER LANDS A CURMUDGEON XI. THE OSTRICH FEATHER

ILLUSTRATIONS

"I WON'T TAKE YOUR ORDER UNLESS YOU THROW IN THAT TROUT DINNER" . . . . . . Frontispiece

"IT'S COME AT LAST! SKINNER'S ASKED FOR A RAISE"

"THE GENERAL EFFECT DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT!"

"THERE," SHE CRIED, "YOU CAN CREDIT YOUR DRESS SUIT ACCOUNT WITH THAT!"

"MRS. SKINNER, DAUGHTER OF THE LATE ARCHIBALD RUTHERFORD, OF HASTINGS ON THE HUDSON, ACCOMPANIES HER HUSBAND"

"WHY CAN'T I GO WITH THOSE PEOPLE," SHE SNIFFLED

From Drawings by F. Vaux Wilson

SKINNER'S DRESS SUIT

CHAPTER I

SKINNER ASKS FOR A RAISE

Skinner had inhabited the ironbound enclosure labeled "CASHIER" at McLaughlin & Perkins, Inc., so long, that the messenger boys had dubbed him the "cage man." To them he had become something of a bluff. Skinner's pet abomination was cigarettes, and whenever one of these miniatures in uniform chanced to offend that way, he would turn and frown down upon the culprit. The first time he did this to Mickey, the "littlest" messenger boy of the district, who was burning the stub of a cigarette, Mickey dropped the thing in awe.

But Jimmie of the Postal said, "Don't be scared of him ! He's locked up in his cage. He can't get at you!"

So the sobriquet "cage man" was evolved from this chance remark, and the wit of the thing had spread until everybody had come to think of Skinner as the "cage man" a fact which did not add greatly to his dignity.

But on this particular morning the "cage man" was even more harmless than usual. There was n't a frown in him. He sat at his tall desk and stared abstractedly at the open pages of his cash book. He did n't see the figures on the white page, and he paid no more heed to the messenger boys, whose presence he was made aware of by the stench of burning paper and weed, than he did to the clicking, fluttering, feminine activity in the great square room to his left, over which he was supposed to keep a supervising eye.

Skinner had stage fright! He had resolved to ask McLaughlin for a raise. Skinner was afraid of McLaughlin not physically, for Skinner was not afraid of anybody that way. He was afraid of him in the way that one man fears another man who he has hypnotized himself into believing holds his destiny in his hands. If Skinner had been left to himself, he would never have asked for a raise, for no advance he could hope to get could compensate him for the stage fright he'd suffered for months from thinking about it. No one knew how often he had closed his cash drawer, with resolution to go to McLaughlin, and then had opened it again weakly and gone on with his work. The very fact that he was afraid disgusted Skinner, for he despised the frightened rabbit variety of clerk.

It was his wife! She made him do it! Skinner's wife was both his idol and his idolater. He 'd never been an idol to any one but her. No one but Honey had ever even taken him seriously. Even the salesmen, whom he paid off, looked on him only as a man in a cage. But to his wife he was a hero. When he entered their little house out in Meadevllle, he entered his kingdom. All of which made it imperative with Skinner to do his very utmost to "make good" in Honey's eyes... Continue reading book >>




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