by Jake Barnes

We were packed into the musician's tiny apartment. My date had sparkles in her hair. The musician's wife had a roving eye. He didn't care. He liked being married to a wild and crazy woman. The psychologist had married a woman with a sharp tongue. She was sort of a rival of mine when we were in school. We both majored in journalism. She told my date not to worry about the twinkling adornments. It would wash out, she said.


The musician fell asleep on the bed, and Harpo made off with his Mrs. I picked up the musician's saxophone and tootled a tune or two. I could only play in one key.


Later there was a heavy knock on the door. I threw open the door. Two large policemen were standing in the hallway. Between them was the musician's wife. “This belong to anyone here?” one of the cops asked. I nodded and stepped back. The girl fell into the room. Her eyes were as big as saucers.


After that I went looking for Harpo. It was getting light outside. I spotted my friend down the street. The street was lined with apartment houses. They all looked alike. Harpo would stop, look up, shake his head, move on. He was grinning from ear to ear.