“Yes,” said ‘Sliding Billy’ Turner.
“Yes, what?” William Campbell looked at him. “You were saying.”
“No,” said William Campbell. “I wasn’t saying. It must have been a mistake.”
“You were saying about sliding.”
“No. It couldn’t have been about sliding. But listen, Billy, and I’ll tell you a secret. Stick to sheets, Billy. Keep away from women and horses and, and—” he stopped “—eagles, Billy. If you love horses you’ll get horse-s— and if you love eagles you’ll get eagle-s—” He stopped and put his head under the sheet.
“I got to go,” said ‘Sliding Billy’ Turner.
“If you love women you’ll get a dose,” William Campbell said. “If you love horses—”
“Yes, you said that.”
“About horses and eagles.”
“Oh, yes. And if you love sheets.” He breathed on the sheet and stroked his nose against it. “I don’t know about sheets,” he said. “I just started to love this sheet.”
“I have to go,” Mr. Turner said. “I got a lot to do.”
“That’s all right,” William Campbell said. “Everybody’s got to go.”
“I better go.”
“All right, you go.”
“Are you all right, Billy?”
“I was never so happy in my life.”
“And you’re all right?”
“I’m fine. You go along. I’ll just lie here for a little while. Around noon I’ll get up.”
But when Mr. Turner came up to William Campbell’s room at noon William Campbell was sleeping and as Mr. Turner was a man who knew what things in life were very valuable he did not wake him.
TODAY IS FRIDAY
Three Roman soldiers are in a drinking place at eleven o’clock at night. There are barrels around the wall. Behind the wooden counter is a Hebrew wine-seller. The three Roman soldiers are a little cock-eyed.
1st Soldier—You tried the red?
2nd Soldier—No, I ain’t tried it.
1st Soldier—You better try it.
2nd Soldier—All right, George, we’ll have a round of the red.
Hebrew Wine-seller—Here you are, gentlemen. You’ll like that. [He sets down an earthenware pitcher that he has filled from one of the casks.] That’s a nice little wine.
1st Soldier—Have a drink of it yourself. [He turns to the third Roman soldier who is leaning on a barrel.] What’s the matter with you?”
3rd Soldier—I got a gut-ache.
2nd Soldier—You’ve been drinking water.
1st Soldier—Try some of the red.
3rd Soldier—I can’t drink the damn stuff. It makes my gut sour.
1st Soldier—You been out here too long.
3rd Soldier—Hell, don’t I know it?”
1st Soldier—Say, George, can’t you give this gentleman something to fix his stomach?”
Hebrew Wine-seller—I got it right here.
[The third Roman soldier tastes the cup that the wine-seller has mixed for him.]
3rd Soldier—Hey, what you put in that, camel chips?
Wine-seller—You drink that right down, Lootenant. That’ll fix you up right.
3rd Soldier—Well, I couldn’t feel any worse.
1st Soldier—Take a chance on it. George fixed me up fine the other day.
Wine-seller—You were in bad shape, Lootenant. I know what fixes up a bad stomach.
[The third Roman soldier drinks the cup down.]
3rd Soldier—Jesus Christ. [He makes a face.]
2nd Soldier—That false alarm!
1st Soldier—Oh, I don’t know. He was pretty good in there to-day.
2nd Soldier—Why didn’t he come down off the cross?
1st Soldier—He didn’t want to come down off the cross. That’s not his play.
2nd Soldier—Show me a guy that doesn’t want to come down off the cross.
1st Soldier—Aw, hell, you don’t know anything about it. Ask George there. Did he want to come down off the cross, George?”
Wine-seller—I’ll tell you, gentlemen, I wasn’t out there. It’s a thing I haven’t taken any interest in.
2nd Soldier—Listen, I seen a lot of them—here and plenty of other places. Any time you show me one that doesn’t want to get down off the cross when the time comes—when the time comes, I mean—I’ll climb right up with him.
1st Soldier—I thought he was pretty good in there to-day.
3rd Soldier—He was all right.
2nd Soldier—You guys don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not saying whether he was good or not. What I mean is, when the time comes. When they first start nailing him, there isn’t none of them wouldn’t stop it if they could.