The little man treated Elmer like a large damp dog, and Elmer licked his shoes and followed.
" The bartender was shuffling toward them, amiably ready for homicide. Instantly, by some tricky sort of magic, there were two glasses in front of him. With a smirk of self-admiration he sucked in the raw Bourbon. But since the last night of the football season, with the glorious bonfire in which the young gentlemen had burned up nine tar barrels, the sign of the Jew tailor, and the president's tabby-cat, Elmer had been tortured by boredom.Blowing on a glass, polishing it and glancing at Elmer through its flashing rotundity, the bartender remarked that he wasn't much of a hand at this here singing business. No bartender could have done other than smile on Elmer, so inspired and full of gallantry and hell-raising was he, and so dominating was his beefy grin. "Me and my room-mate'll show you some singing as is singing! But he could not afford liquor very often and the co-eds were mostly ugly and earnest. The bar was one long shimmer of beauty--glowing mahogany, exquisite marble rail, dazzling glasses, curiously shaped bottles of unknown liqueurs, piled with a craftiness which made him very happy. When he had come to college, he had supposed he would pick up learnings of cash-value to a lawyer or doctor or insurance man--he had not known which he would become, and in his senior year, aged twenty-two this November, he still was doubtful. What good would it be in the courtroom, or at the operating table, to understand trigonometry, or to know (as last spring, up to the examination on European History, he remembered having known) the date of Charlemagne?Terwillinger College, founded and preserved by the more zealous Baptists, is on the outskirts of Gritzmacher Springs, Kansas.
(The springs have dried up and the Gritzmachers have gone to Los Angeles, to sell bungalows and delicatessen.) It huddles on the prairie, which is storm-racked in winter, frying and dusty in summer, lovely only in the grass-rustling spring or drowsy autumn.
Title: Elmer Gantry (1927) Author: Sinclair Lewis * A Project Gutenberg of Australia e Book * e Book No.: 0300851Edition: 1 Language: English Character set encoding: HTML--Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bit Date first posted: May 2003 Date most recently updated: May 2003 This e Book was produced by: Don Lainson [email protected] Gutenberg of Australia e Books are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. The light was dim, completely soothing, coming through fantastic windows such as are found only in churches, saloons, jewelry shops, and other retreats from reality. How much cash would it bring in to quote all that stuff--what the dickens was it now? But still, if his mother claimed she was doing so well with her millinery business and wanted him to be a college graduate, he'd stick by it.