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Abe and Mawruss by Montague Glass

Schenkmann is inclined to be extravagant


He

seized Abe's right hand in a soft, warm grip, slightly moist, and continued to hold it for the better part of five minutes.

"I come to see you about Schenkmann," Abe replied. "We decide we would have him come to work by us as a shipping clerk."

"I'm glad to hear it," said Linkheimer, "As I told you the other day, I've just been asked by a lodge I belong to if I could help out a young feller just out of an orphan asylum. He's a big, strong, healthy boy, and he's willing to come to work for half what I'm paying Schenkmann. So naturally I've got to get rid of Schenkmann."

"I wonder you got time to bother yourself breaking in a new beginner," Abe commented.

Linkheimer waggled his head solemnly.

"I can't help it, Abe," he said. "I let my business suffer, but nevertheless I'm constantly giving the helping hand to these poor inexperienced fellows. I assure you it costs me thousands of dollars in a year, but that's my nature, Abe. I'm all heart. When would you want Schenkmann to come to work?"

"Right away, Mr. Linkheimer."

"Very good, I'll go and call him."

He rose to his feet and started for the door.

"Oh, by the way, Abe," he said, as he paused at the threshold, "you know Schenkmann

is a married man with a wife and child, and I understand Mrs. Schenkmann is inclined to be extravagant. For that reason I let him live in a house I own on Park Avenue, and I take out the rent each week from his pay. It's really a charity to do so. The amount is--er--sixteen dollars a month. I suppose you have no objection to sending me four dollars a week out of his wages?"

"Well, I ain't exactly a collecting agency, y'understand," Abe said; "but I'll see what my partner says, and if he's agreeable, I am. Only one thing though, Mr. Linkheimer, my partner bothers the life out of me I should get from you a recommendation."

"I'll give you one with pleasure, Abe," Linkheimer replied; "but it isn't necessary."

He returned to the front of the office and went to the safe.

"Why just look here, Abe," he said. "I have here in the safe five hundred dollars and some small bills which I put in there last night after I come back from Newark. It was money I received the day before yesterday as chairman of the entertainment committee of a lodge I belong to. The safe was unlocked from five to seven last night and Schenkmann was in and out here all that time."

He opened the middle compartment and pulled out a roll of bills.

"You see, Abe," he said, counting out the money, "here it is: one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred and----"

Here Mr. Linkheimer paused and examined the last bill carefully, for instead of a hundred-dollar bill it was only a ten-dollar bill.

"Well, what d'ye think of that dirty thief?" he cried at last. "That Schenkmann has taken a hundred-dollar bill out of there."

"What?" Abe exclaimed.

"Just as sure as you are sitting there," Linkheimer went on excitedly. "That feller Schenkmann has pinched a hundred-dollar bill on me."


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