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Abe and Mawruss by Montague Glass

Max Koblin wants to talk to you


"All

right, Koblin," he said. "I heard enough from you. I wash myself of the entire matter. For my part you and your son could go to the devil; and take it from me, it won't be your fault if he don't."

When Abe entered the firm's showroom that morning it was nearly half-past eleven and Morris Perlmutter sat behind the pages of the _Daily Cloak and Suit Record_ in a sulky perusal of the Arrival of Buyers column. Before he looked up he permitted Abe to discard his coat for an office jacket.

"You was taking a sea bath, Abe?" he said at length. "Ain't it? I suppose we would pretty soon got to close up the store so's you could take all the sea baths you want. What?"

Abe refrained from uttering a suitable rejoinder and made straight for the office.

"Mawruss!" he yelled; "ain't the safe open yet?"

"Never mind is the safe open _oder_ not, Abe," Morris replied. "So long as you are attending to business the way you are, Abe, it ain't necessary the safe should be opened."

Abe grunted and squatted down in front of the combination. At length the big doors swung open and he drew the box of cigars out of the middle compartment.

Morris looked on with ill-concealed curiosity while Abe took a banded Invincible from his waistcoat pocket and restored it to the

box whence it originally came.

"What's all that for?" Morris asked.

"That's a souvenir from a pleasant morning," Abe replied as he thrust the box of cigars back into the safe and slammed the doors. He was about to return to the showroom, when the telephone bell rang and Morris took the receiver from the hook.

"Hello!" he said. "Yes, this is Potash & Perlmutter. He's right here. Abe, Max Koblin wants to talk to you."

"He does, hey?" Abe replied. "Well, I don't want to talk to him."

"You should tell him that yourself," Morris said as he walked away from the telephone. "I ain't got nothing to do with your quarrels."

Abe watched Morris disappear into the showroom and then he ran to the telephone and slammed the receiver on to the hook with force sufficient almost to wreck the instrument. At intervals of a few seconds the telephone rang for more than half an hour. Fifteen minutes after it had ceased the elevator door opened and Max Koblin entered.

"Cut-throat!" Koblin exclaimed. "I rung up my son and he wouldn't come back. You are turning him against me--you and them two other crooks. You think you would get my money out of me. Very well. I'll show you. I ain't through with you yet. I'll put you fellers where you belong."

"Don't make me no threats, Koblin," Abe said calmly, "because, in the first place, you couldn't scare me any, and, in the second place, if you think I am trying to keep your boy away from you, you are mistaken--that's all. I already wasted a whole morning on him and, just to show you I ain't such a crook as you think I am, I would go right down there now; and if I got to do it I would drag that young loafer out of there by the hair of his head."

Twenty minutes later Abe burst into Katzberg & Schapp's business premises and asked in loud tones for Sidney Koblin. Before the astonished Shapolnik could reply, Max Koblin, who had followed Abe on the next car, arrived all breathless and panted a similar demand.

"He ain't in now," Shapolnik replied; "he is just going to his lunch."


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