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?
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.
He also knew that Jim, as quarter, was far more the soul of the team than himself as tackle and captain.You would not be likely to mistake Terwillinger College for an Old Folks' Home, because on the campus is a large rock painted with class numerals. There is a men's dormitory, but Elmer Gantry and Jim Lefferts lived together in the town, in a mansion once the pride of the Gritzmachers themselves: a square brick bulk with a white cupola.Their room was unchanged from the days of the original August Gritzmacher; a room heavy with a vast bed of carved black walnut, thick and perpetually dusty brocade curtains, and black walnut chairs hung with scarves that dangled gilt balls. There was about the place the anxious propriety and all the dead hopes of a second-hand furniture shop.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.
" muttered one Eddie Fislinger, who, though he was a meager and rusty-haired youth with protruding teeth and an uneasy titter, had attained power in the class by always being present at everything, and by the piety and impressive intimacy of his prayers in the Y. He appointed Jim Lefferts chairman of the ticket committee, and between them, by only the very slightest doctoring of the books, they turned forty dollars to the best of all possible uses. " observed a Judas who three minutes before had been wrestling with God under Eddie's coaching. Thus it happened that he had no friend save Jim Lefferts.