Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/210

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
198
A BEGGAR'S TRICK.

lip and one is able to see how she is constructed inside,—then she slowly closes her cavern, brings down her fists and her heels, conies languidly forward, contemplates you contemptuously, draws you a glass of hot water and sets it down where you can get it by reaching for it. You take it and say,—

"How much?"—and she returns you, with elaborate indifference, a beggar's answer,—

"Nach Beliebe., (what you please.)

This thing of using the common beggar's trick and the common beggar's shibboleth to put you on your liberality when you were expecting a simple straight-forward commercial transaction, adds a little to your prospering sense of irritation. You ignore her reply, and ask again,—

"How much?"—and she calmly, indifferently, repeats,—

"Nach Beliebe."

You are getting angry, but you are trying not to show it; you resolve to keep on asking your question till she changes her answer, or at least her annoyingly indifferent manner. Therefore, if your case be like mine, you two fools stand there, and without perceptible emotion of any kind, or any emphasis on any syllable, you look blandly into each other's eyes, and hold the following idiotic conversation,—

A Tramp Abroad 0210h.jpg
TESTING THE COIN.

"How much?"

"Nach Beliebe."

"How much?"

"Nach Beliebe."

"How much?"

"Nach Beliebe."

"How much?"

"Nach Beliebe."

"How much?"

"Nach Beliebe."

"How much?"