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On the library lawn, four pinpoints of light twinkled. Four of us sat there smoking. Clyde was smoking a Turkish cigarette, Truett was smoking a water pipe, Harold was smoking a meerschaum. I was smoking a herring.

The stars gleamed. Somewhere in the vast gulf of darkness there sounded a dreary drip-drip; some low-lived modernistic louse had left his vile bathtub faucet running. I shivered with repulsion.

“Damn!” said Clyde suddenly. I started.

“Shh!” I reproved. “Think of the readers of The Junto! What would those critics think?”

“I forgot,” he blushed. “But to tell you the truth, I think they-“

I shook my head. “No.”

He nodded and spit on the grass, which instantly took fire.

I nibbled grass roots and wept for the woes of Ireland.

“Would that I could walk among the clouds,” murmured Clyde.

“Applesauce,” said Harold. “I wish I was a millionaire.”

Truett frowned. “As if the beautiful things in life could be bought by money.”

Harold stood his ground. “If I was rich, I could be happy. I would live in the South Seas, stay drunk all the time, and woo the beautiful sirens of the warm ocean islands.”

“You are doomed to success,” said Clyde, shaking his head. “With your practical materialism, you will be a second Sir Phillip Gibbs.” Truett puffed on his pipe.

I recited the seventy-five lost books of the TAIN BO CUALNGE in a dreary voice without a single stop.

“What is there to life?” said Harold.

“Hist,” hissed Truett. “Do not move for your lives!”

A great shadowy bulk glided out of the shrubs and stood sniffing the air.

“Not a word as you value your lives,” muttered Clyde, cold sweat standing on his forehead. “It is a barnswoggle!”

I took out my rosary and counted my beads; forgot how many there were and counted them again to make sure. The barnswoggle followed a trail away.

“Damn Joseph Hergersheimer,” said Harold, taking a drink and lighting a cheroot. “Forever yapping about futility; if I had his money-“

Truett nodded; his eyes gleamed with a feral light.

Clyde said, “There was a girl in El Paso-“

There was a dreary glug-glug as Harold, Truett, and Clyde sated their savage thirst on elixir. I shuddered, thinking of the critics of The Junto, to whose kindly advice I took as to a guiding star; they are-

“The backbone of the nation,” finished Clyde.

“Listen,” said Harold, “and take this to mind, ‘A Heap o’ Livin’-“ He recited seven Eddie Guest poems.

“Too pessimistic,” said Truett.

“And you are an ascetic,” said Harold. “When I rewrite the dictionary I will leave out that word.”

“And I will leave out pagan,” snarled Clyde.

“The fools!” said Truett suddenly.

“Who are the fools?” we asked.

“Whoever read this article!” he howled with horrible laughter.

I dangled from a tree limb and wept for the woes of Bulgaria.