This e Book is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. He could make "Good morning" seem profound as Kant, welcoming as a brass band, and uplifting as a cathedral organ. He arched his paws with longing to grasp the non-existent scoundrel. Despite his invaluable voice, Elmer had not gone out for debating because of the irritating library-grinding, nor had he taken to prayer and moral eloquence in the Y. Once or twice in the class in Public Speaking, when he had repeated the splendors of other great thinkers, Dan'l Webster and Henry Ward Beecher and Chauncey M.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at Elmer Gantry was drunk. It was a 'cello, his voice, and in the enchantment of it you did not hear his slang, his boasting, his smut, and the dreadful violence which (at this period) he performed on singulars and plurals. Depew, he had known the intoxication of holding an audience with his voice as with his closed hand, holding it, shaking it, lifting it.
Though Elmer was the athletic idol of the college, though his occult passion, his heavy good looks, caused the college girls to breathe quickly, though his manly laughter was as fetching as his resonant speech, Elmer was never really liked.
He was eloquently drunk, lovingly and pugnaciously drunk. Luxuriously as a wayfarer drinking cool beer they caressed the phrases in linked sweetness long drawn out: Elmer wept a little, and blubbered, "Lez go out and start a scrap. You get somebody to pick on you, and I'll come along and knock his block off. The debating set urged him to join them, but they were rabbit-faced and spectacled young men, and he viewed as obscene the notion of digging statistics about immigration and the products of San Domingo out of dusty spotted books in the dusty spotted library. He liked to know things about people dead these thousand years, and he liked doing canned miracles in chemistry. He'd get out and finish law school and never open another book--kid the juries along and hire some old coot to do the briefs.
He leaned against the bar of the Old Home Sample Room, the most gilded and urbane saloon in Cato, Missouri, and requested the bartender to join him in "The Good Old Summer Time," the waltz of the day. He kept from flunking only because Jim Lefferts drove him to his books. Elmer was astounded that so capable a drinker, a man so deft at "handing a girl a swell spiel and getting her going" should find entertainment in Roman chariots and the unenterprising amours of sweet-peas. To keep him from absolutely breaking under the burden of hearing the professors squeak, he did have the joy of loafing with Jim, illegally smoking the while; he did have researches into the lovability of co-eds and the baker's daughter; he did revere becoming drunk and world-striding.
I'll get 'nother drink," soothed Jim, and Elmer slid into tears, weeping over the ancient tragic sorrows of one whom he remembered as Jim Lefferts. He was conscious of a voice which he had been hearing for centuries, echoing from a distant point of light and flashing through ever-widening corridors of a dream. They had won the championship of the East-middle Kansas Conference, which consisted of ten denominational colleges, all of them with buildings and presidents and chapel services and yells and colors and a standard of scholarship equal to the best high-schools.
That was a very funny incident, and he laughed greatly. You might as well go find a nice little fight and get it out of your system! Elmer Gantry, best known to classmates as Hell-cat, had, this autumn of 1902, been football captain and led the best team Terwillinger College had known in ten years.
He tasted one, and murmured foolishly, "'Scuse me." It was the chase, the water. The whisky would certainly be in that other lil sawed-off glass. It tickled his throat and made him feel powerful, and at peace with every one save that fellow--he could not recall who, but it was some one whom he would shortly chastise, and after that float into an Elysium of benevolence. The sour invigorating stench of beer made him feel healthy. He regarded basket-ball and gymnasium antics as light-minded for a football gladiator.
" 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. They did a comic thing once--they got twisted and the right leg leaped in front of the left when, so far as he could make out, it should have been behind.It was lamentable to see this broad young man, who would have been so happy in the prize-ring, the fish-market, or the stock exchange, poking through the cobwebbed corridors of Terwillinger.There was a romantic flare to his upturned overcoat collar; the darned bottoms of his trousers did not suggest poverty but a careless and amused ease; and his thoroughly commonplace ties hinted of clubs and regiments. You saw only its youthful freshness first, then behind the brightness a taut determination, and his brown eyes were amiably scornful.Jim Lefferts was Elmer's only friend; the only authentic friend he had ever had." He collected the class-fund by demanding subscriptions as arbitrarily as a Catholic priest assessing his parishoners for a new church. There was a custom that the manager of the Athletic Association should not be a member of any team. He halted, and spoke of football, quantitative chemistry, and the Arkansas spinster who taught German. Desperately, his voice shrill with desire to change the world, Eddie stammered: "Say--say, Hell-cat, you hadn't ought to run for president again. " "Somebody's going to be." "Ah, gee, Elmer, don't run for it. Course all the fellows are crazy about you but--Nobody's ever been president twice. " Eddie remembered how Elmer and Jim had shown a Freshman his place in society by removing all his clothes and leaving him five miles in the country.