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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.

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.

We do NOT keep any e Books in compliance with a particular paper edition. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. Lefferts, with protestations of distinguished pleasure. Elmer and Jim Lefferts retired to a table to nourish the long, rich, chocolate strains suitable to drunken melody. Jim had a resolute tenor, and as to Elmer Gantry, even more than his bulk, his thick black hair, his venturesome black eyes, you remembered that arousing barytone. He never said anything important, and he always said it sonorously. --all that rot about "The world is too much around us, early and soon" from that old fool Wordsworth? Lot easier than pitching hay or carrying two-by-fours anyway. A., for with all the force of his simple and valiant nature he detested piety and admired drunkenness and profanity.

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?

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.

" 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.

In this museum, Jim had a surprising and vigorous youthfulness.

There was a hint of future flabbiness in Elmer's bulk, but there would never be anything flabby about Jim Lefferts.

To elect any one as class-president twice was taboo. Elmer swallowed ideas whole; he was a maelstrom of prejudices; but Jim accurately examined every notion that came to him.

The ardent Eddie Fislinger, now president of the Y. Jim was selfish enough, but it was with the selfishness of a man who thinks and who is coldly unafraid of any destination to which his thoughts may lead him.