hotel, to the street that led to jungle town, the big
unpainted frame house with lights and the girls in
the doorway, the mechanical piano going, and a
sailor sitting in the street; and then on back, past the
back of the brick courthouse with its clock luminous
at half-past ten, past the whitewashed jail building
shining in the moonlight, to the embowered entrance
of the Lilac Time where motor cars filled the alley.
The Lilac Time was brightly lighted and full of
people, and as Richard Gordon went in he saw the
gambling room was crowded, the wheel turning and
the little ball clicking brittle against metal partitions
set in the bowl, the wheel turning slowly, the ball
whirring, then clicking jumpily until it settled and
there was only the turning of the wheel and the
rattling of chips. At the bar, the proprietor who was
serving with two bartenders, said "Allo. 'Allo. Mist'
Gordon. What you have?'
'I don't know,' said Richard Gordon.
'You don't look good. Whatsa matter? You don't
'I fix you something just fine. Fix you up hokay.
You ever try a Spanish absinthe, ojeri?9
'Go ahead,' said Gordon.
'You drink him you feel good. Want to fight any-
body in a house,' said the proprietor. 'Make Mistah
Gordon a ojen special/
Standing at the bar, Richard Gordon drank three
ojen specials but he felt no better; the opaque.