Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/211

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
199
COOL IMPUDENCE.

"Nach Beliebe."

I do not know what another person would have done, but at this point I gave it up; that cast-iron indifference, that tranquil contemptuousness, conquered me, and I struck my colors. Now I knew she was used to receiving about a penny from manly people who care nothing about the opinions of scullery maids, and about tuppence from moral cowards; but I laid a silver twenty-five cent piece within her reach and tried to shrivel her up with this sarcastic speech,—

"If it isn't enough, will you stoop sufficiently from your official dignity to say so?"

A Tramp Abroad 0211h.jpg
BEAUTY AT THE BATH.

She did not shrivel. Without deigning to look at me at all, she languidly lifted the coin and bit it!—to see if it was good. Then she turned her back and placidly waddled to her former roost again, tossing the money into an open till as she went along. She was victor to the last, you see.

I have enlarged upon the ways of this girl because they are typical; her manners are the manners of a goodly number of the Baden-Baden shop keepers. The shop keeper there swindles you if he can, and insults you whether he succeeds in swindling you or not. The keepers of baths also take great and patient pains to insult you. The frowsy woman who sat at the desk in the lobby of the great Friēderichsbad and sold bath tickets, not only