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Olbrich, M. B. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. 1, No. 4 (March 1904)

Jordan, E. S.
The policy of Sammy Smithers,   pp. 154-157


Page 154


   THE POLICY OF SAMMY SMITHERS
   There was something dramatic about Smithers or else it
was the cultivated atmosphere with which he had surrounded
himself in order to keep men whom he did not like at a dis-
tance. As he searched through the folds of his bath robe for
a cigarette paper his eyes wandered from the row of sorority
girls on the dresser to the demimonde, dancing creation in red
and black on the wall, and then back to the sorority girls.
The manner of the man as he sat in negligee was character-
ized by the grace, poise and deliberation with which he lifted
the match to light the mishapen cigarette between his lips.
The flame caught the crumpled end and he leaned back, ig-
nored the dresser group and stared out into the mist.
  Up in Danville they called Smithers a genius, and it had
told on him. He had written articles for the weekly papers
that were read hungrily around the grocery store molasses
barrel, and he had tended a booth at the annual rummage
sale of the Woman's Club. This was in public and under
the surveillance of a doting mother. Sammy Smithers was
the model pictured to the insurgent young American of Dan-
viyle, after his spirit had taken him on rampage. However,
after the rummage sales were over Sammy made an impres-
sion on the husbands of these same mothers in such a way
as to make them respect his ability to tell a straight from a
royal flush when in process of formation. Danville was down
at the depot when Smithers left for college, and all the fel-
lows who had played marbles with him in the mud of the
village street envied Sammy. Their fathers were not so
sorry to see him go.
  Two years at college and several interviews with the faculty
had convinced him that good credits and good poker hands
do not associate together, so he had decided to go into so-
ciety. Most of the fellows in the house did not hesitate to
wear blue shirts when they went on the hill. Some of them
wore high boots and slouch hats. Sammy had his cravenette
                           154


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