en-de  Tobin’s Palm - A short story by O. Henry (1862 -1910) Medium
Tobins Handfläche

Tobin und ich, wir beide, gingen einmal runter nach Coney, weil wir zusammen vier Dollar hatten und Tobin Ablenkungen brauchte. Denn es ging um Katie Mahorner, seine Liebste, aus County Slig, von der man nichts mehr gehört hatte, seit sie sich vor drei Monaten mit zweihundert Dollar, ihre eigene Ersparnisse, und einhundert Dollar von Verkauf von Tobins ererbtem Grundbesitz, einer großartigen Hütte und einem Schwein im Sumpfgebiet des Shannaugh, auf den Weg nach Amerika gemacht hatte. Und seit dem Brief, den Tobin erhalten hatte, in dem es hieß, sie wäre auf dem Weg zu ihm, hatte er nichts von Katie Mahorner gehört oder gesehen. Tobin inserierte in den Zeitungen, aber von dem Mädchen konnte nicht gefunden werden.

Deshalb gingen Tobin und ich nach Coney, und dachten uns, dass ein Runde auf den Rutschbahnen und der Geruch von Popcorn seine Stimmung verbessern könnte. Aber Tobin war ein sturer Mann, und die Traurigkeit steckte tief in ihm drin. He ground his teeth at the crying balloons; he cursed the moving pictures; and, though he would drink whenever asked, he scorned Punch and Judy, and was for licking the tintype men as they came.

Also bringe ich ihn auf einem Nebenweg auf eine Strandpromenade, wo die Attraktionen etwas weniger heftig sind.... At a little six by eight stall Tobin halts, with a more human look in his eye.

"Hier" sagte er, "werde ich abgelenkt werden." Ich werde mir die Hand von der wundervollen Handleserin vom Nil lesen lassen, und sehen, ob was sein soll, sein wird."

Tobin glaubte an Zeichen und das Unnatürliche in der Natur. Sein Kopf war voll falscher Überzeugungen wie etwa über schwarze Katzen, Glücksnummern und Wettervorhersagen in den Zeitungen.

Wir gingen in den verzauberten Hühnerstall, der auf mysteriöse Weise mit rotem Stoff und Bildern von Händen mit Linien, wie ein Hauptbahnhof, zusammengehalten wurde. Das Schild über der Tür besagt, dass es Madame Zozo, die ägyptische Handleserin sei. Im Inneren war eine fette Frau in einem roten Pullover, der mit Feuerhaken und kleinen Untieren bestickt war. Tobin gibt ihr zehn Cent und streckt eine seiner Hände aus.... She lifts Tobin's hand, which is own brother to the hoof of a drayhorse, and examines it to see whether 'tis a stone in the frog or a cast shoe he has come for.

"Mann," sagte Madame Zozo, "deine Schicksalslinie zeigt -" "Das ist überhaupt nicht mein Fuß," sagte Tobin, sie unterbrechend. "Sicher, sie ist keine Schönheit, aber du hältst die Handfläche meiner Hand."

"Die Linie zeigt", sagt die Madame,"dass Sie nicht ohne Pech durchs Leben gekommen sind. Und es wird noch mehr kommen. Der Venusring - oder ist das eine Verletzung durch einen Stein? - zeigt, dass du verliebt warst. Es hat Ärger in deinem Leben gegeben wegen deiner Liebsten."

"Es ist diese Katie Mahorner, auf die sie sich bezieht," flüsterte mir Tobin von einer Seite laut zu.

"Ich sehe", sagte die Handleserin, "eine Menge Leid und Kummer mit Jemandem, den du nicht vergessen kannst. ... Ich sehe, dass die Schicksalslinien zu dem Buchstaben K und dem Buchstaben M in ihrem Namen deuten."

"Pst! sagt Tobin zu mir: "hörst du das?"...

"Halt Ausschau", fährt die Handleserin fort, " nach einem dunklen Mann und einer hellen Frau; denn sie bringen dir beide Ärger. Du wirst sehr bald eine Reise über das Wasser machen und einen finanziellen Verlust erleiden.... Ich sehe eine Handlinie, die dir Glück bringt. Ein Mann wird in dein Leben treten, der dir Glück bringt. Wenn du ihn siehst, wirst du ihn an seiner schiefen Nase erkennen."

"Steht sein Name fest?"... fragt Tobin. "' Es wird praktisch sein, dass er grüßt, wenn er auftaucht, um das Glück abzuladen."

"Sein Name", sagte die Handleserin und sah nachdenklich aus, "steht nicht in den Linien geschrieben, aber sie deuten an, dass es ein langer ist, und der Buchstabe "o" sollte dabei sein. Mehr lässt sich nicht sagen. Schönen Abend noch. Steht nicht in der Tür."

"Es ist toll, wie sie das weiß", sagt Toby als wir zum Pier gehen.

Als wir uns durch die Tore zwängen, drückt ein Neger seine angezündete Zigarre gegen Tobins Ohr, und dann gibt es Ärger. Tobin hämmert auf seinen Nacken ein, und die Frauen kreischen, und geistesgegenwärtig ziehe ich den kleinen Mann weg, bevor die Polizei kommt. Tobin ist immer immer übel drauf, wenn er Spaß hat.

Auf dem Boot, als wir zurückfahren, als der Mann ruft "Wer will den gut aussehenden Kellner?" Tobin tried to plead guilty, feeling the desire to blow the foam off a crock of suds, but when he felt in his pocket he found himself discharged for lack of evidence. Somebody had disturbed his change during the commotion. Wir saßen also trocken auf den Hocker und hörten den Südländer an Deck fiedeln. Wenn überhaupt, dann war Tobin weniger temperamentvoll und weniger sympathisch mit seinen Missgeschicken als zu Beginn.

Auf einem Sitz an der Reling war eine junge Frau, die passend zu roten Automobilen gekleidet war, mit Haaren, die in der Farbe von nicht gerauchtem Meerschaum waren.... Im Vorbeigehen stößt Tobin unbeabsichtigt gegen ihren Fuß, und da er höflich zu den Damen ist, wenn er trinkt, hebt er seinen Hut an, während er sich entschuldigt.... Aber er stößt ihn herunter, und der Wind trägt ihn über Bord.

Tobin kam zurück und setzte sich, und ich begann auf ihn aufzupassen, denn die Missgeschicke des Mannes wurden häufiger. Er war in der Lage, dem bestgekleideten Mann, den er sehen konnte, einen Stoß zu geben und zu versuchen, das Kommando über das Boot zu übernehmen.

Jetzt packt Tobin meinen Arm und sagt aufgeregt: "Jawn", sagt er,"weißt du denn, was wir tun? Wir machen eine Reise aufs Wasser."

"Da jetzt", sage ich,"zähme dich selbst. Das Boot wird in den nächsten zehn Minuten landen."

"Schau", sagte er, "zu der hellen Frau auf der Bank hin. Und hast du den schwarzen Mann, der mir das Ohr verbrannt hat, vergessen? Und ist nicht auch das Geld, das ich hatte, weg - ein Dollar fünfundsechzig, nicht wahr?"

Ich dachte, dass er gerade nur seine Katastrophen zusammenfasste, um mit guter Ausrede gewaltitätig zu werden, wie Männer tun, und ich versuchte, ihm verständlich zu machen, dass solche Dinge Kleinigkeiten waren.

"Hör zu", sagte Tobin. "Du hast kein Ohr für die Kunst des Wahrsagens oder den Wunderkräften der Erleuchteten. Was hat dir die Handleserin über meine Handlinien gesagt? 'Tis coming true before your eyes. Halt Ausschau", sagt sie, "nach einem dunklen Mann und einer hellen Frau; sie werden dir Ärger bringen." Hast du den schwarzen Mann vergessen, obwohl er als Antwort ein wenig meine Faust zu spüren bekommen hat?... Kannst du mir eine hellhäutigere Frau, als die blonde Dame zeigen, die der Grund war, dass mein Hut ins Wasser gefallen ist?... Und wo sind die ein Dollar fünfundsechzig, die ich in meiner Weste hatte, als wir die Schießbude verließen?"

The way Tobin put it, it did seem to corroborate the art of prediction, though it looked to me that these accidents could happen to any one at Coney without the implication of palmistry.

Tobin stand auf und lief auf dem Deck herum und schaute sich genau die Passagiere mit seinen kleinen roten Augen an. Ich fragte ihn, was er mit seinem Herumlaufen im Sinn hatte. Du weißt nie, was Tobin vorhat, bis er es durchführt.

"Du solltest es wissen", sagte er, "ich bin dabei die Lösung herauszufinden, die mir durch die Linien in meiner Handfläche versprochen worden sind. Ich suche den Mann mit der krummen Nase, der mir Glück bringen soll. 'Tis all that will save us. Jawn, did ye ever see a straighter-nosed gang of hellions in the days of your life?"

Es war das neun Uhr dreißig Boot, und wir landeten und gingen durch die zweiundzwanzigste Straße in Richtung Manhattan, Tobin ohne seinen Hut.

An einer Straßenecke war ein Mann, der gerade unter einer Gasbeleuchtung stand und über die Hochstraße auf den Mond ansah. Ein großer Mann war er, anständig gekleidet, mit einer Zigarre zwischen seinen Zähnen, und ich sah, dass da zwei Drehungen entlang seine Nase zwischen dem Nasenrücken und der Nasenspitze waren, wie die schlängelnde Bewegung einer Schlange. Tobin sah sie zur gleichen Zeit, und ich hörte ihn schwer atmen, wie ein Pferd wenn man den Sattel abnimmt. Er ging geradewegs zu dem Mann, und ich ging mit ihm.

"Ihnen einen schönen Abend", sagte Tobin zu dem Mann. Der Mann nimmt seine Zigarre aus dem Mund und erwidert umgänglich die Begrüßung.

"Would ye hand us your name," asks Tobin, "and let us look at the size of it? It may be our duty to become acquainted with ye."

"Mein Name" sagt der Mann höflich, "ist Friedenhausman - Maximus G. Friedenhausman."

"Es ist die richtige Länge", sagte Tobin. "Buchstabieren Sie ihn mit einem "o" an irgendeiner Stelle seiner Länge?"

"Das tue ich nicht", sagte der Mann.

"kann man ihn mit einem "o" schreiben?" fragt Tobin, und wird besorgt.

"Wenn ihr Gewissen", sagte der Mann mit der Nase, "etwas gegen fremde Sprachen hat, könnten Sie, wenn es Ihnen Spaß macht, den Buchstaben in die vorletzte Silbe einschmuggeln."

"Es ist in Ordnung", sagte Tobin. "Sie befinden sich in der Gegenwart vn Jawn Malone und Daniel Tobin".

"Sehr erfreut", sagte der Mann mit einer Verbeugung. "And now since I cannot conceive that ye would hold a spelling bee upon the street corner, will ye name some reasonable excuse for being at large?"

"By the two signs," answers Tobin, trying to explain, "which ye display according to the reading of the Egyptian palmist from the sole of me hand, ye've been nominated to offset with good luck the lines of trouble leading to the nigger man and the blonde lady with her feet crossed in the boat, besides the financial loss of a dollar sixty-five, all so far fulfilled according to Hoyle."

Der Mann hörte auf zu rauchen und schaute mich an.

"Have ye any amendments," he asks, "to offer to that statement, or are ye one too? I thought by the looks of ye ye might have him in charge."

"None," says I to him, "except that as one horseshoe resembles another so are ye the picture of good luck as predicted by the hand of me friend. If not, then the lines of Danny's hand may have been crossed, I don't know."

"There's two of ye," says the man with the nose, looking up and down for the sight of a policeman. "I've enjoyed your company immense. Good-night."

With that he shoves his segar in his mouth and moves across the street, stepping fast. But Tobin sticks close to one side of him and me at the other.

"What!" says he, stopping on the opposite sidewalk and pushing back his hat; "do ye follow me? I tell ye," he says, very loud, "I'm proud to have met ye. But it is my desire to be rid of ye. I am off to me home."

"Do," says Tobin, leaning against his sleeve. "Do be off to your home. And I will sit at the door of it till ye come out in the morning. For the dependence is upon ye to obviate the curse of the nigger man and the blonde lady and the financial loss of the one-sixty-five."

"'Tis a strange hallucination," says the man, turning to me as a more reasonable lunatic. "Hadn't ye better get him home?"

"Listen, man," says I to him. "Daniel Tobin is as sensible as he ever was. Maybe he is a bit deranged on account of having drink enough to disturb but not enough to settle his wits, but he is no more than following out the legitimate path of his superstitions and predicaments, which I will explain to you." With that I relates the facts about the palmist lady and how the finger of suspicion points to him as an instrument of good fortune. "Now, understand," I concludes, "my position in this riot. I am the friend of me friend Tobin, according to me interpretations. 'Tis easy to be a friend to the prosperous, for it pays; 'tis not hard to be a friend to the poor, for ye get puffed up by gratitude and have your picture printed standing in front of a tenement with a scuttle of coal and an orphan in each hand. But it strains the art of friendship to be true friend to a born fool. And that's what I'm doing," says I, "for, in my opinion, there's no fortune to be read from the palm of me hand that wasn't printed there with the handle of a pick. And, though ye've got the crookedest nose in New York City, I misdoubt that all the fortune-tellers doing business could milk good luck from ye. But the lines of Danny's hand pointed to ye fair, and I'll assist him to experiment with ye until he's convinced ye're dry."

After that the man turns, sudden, to laughing. He leans against a corner and laughs considerable. Then he claps me and Tobin on the backs of us and takes us by an arm apiece.

"'Tis my mistake," says he. "How could I be expecting anything so fine and wonderful to be turning the corner upon me? I came near being found unworthy. Hard by," says he, "is a café, snug and suitable for the entertainment of idiosyncrasies. Let us go there and have drink while we discuss the unavailability of the categorical."

So saying, he marched me and Tobin to the back room of a saloon, and ordered the drinks, and laid the money on the table. He looks at me and Tobin like brothers of his, and we have the segars.

"Ye must know," says the man of destiny, "that me walk in life is one that is called the literary. I wander abroad be night seeking idiosyncrasies in the masses and truth in the heavens above. When ye came upon me I was in contemplation of the elevated road in conjunction with the chief luminary of night. The rapid transit is poetry and art: the moon but a tedious, dry body, moving by rote. But these are private opinions, for, in the business of literature, the conditions are reversed. 'Tis me hope to be writing a book to explain the strange things I have discovered in life."

"Ye will put me in a book," says Tobin, disgusted; "will ye put me in a book?"

"I will not," says the man, "for the covers will not hold ye. Not yet. The best I can do is to enjoy ye meself, for the time is not ripe for destroying the limitations of print. Ye would look fantastic in type. All alone by meself must I drink this cup of joy. But, I thank ye, boys; I am truly grateful."

"The talk of ye," says Tobin, blowing through his moustache and pounding the table with his fist, "is an eyesore to me patience. There was good luck promised out of the crook of your nose, but ye bear fruit like the bang of a drum. Ye resemble, with your noise of books, the wind blowing through a crack. Sure, now, I would be thinking the palm of me hand lied but for the coming true of the nigger man and the blonde lady and—" "Whist!" says the long man; "would ye be led astray by physiognomy? Me nose will do what it can within bounds. Let us have these glasses filled again, for 'tis good to keep idiosyncrasies well moistened, they being subject to deterioration in a dry moral atmosphere."

So, the man of literature makes good, to my notion, for he pays, cheerful, for everything, the capital of me and Tobin being exhausted by prediction. But Tobin is sore, and drinks quiet, with the red showing in his eye.

By and by we moved out, for 'twas eleven o'clock, and stands a bit upon the sidewalk. And then the man says he must be going home, and invites me and Tobin to walk that way. We arrives on a side street two blocks away where there is a stretch of brick houses with high stoops and iron fences. The man stops at one of them and looks up at the top windows which he finds dark.

"'Tis me humble dwelling," says he, "and I begin to perceive by the signs that me wife has retired to slumber. Therefore I will venture a bit in the way of hospitality. 'Tis me wish that ye enter the basement room, where we dine, and partake of a reasonable refreshment. There will be some fine cold fowl and cheese and a bottle or two of ale. Ye will be welcome to enter and eat, for I am indebted to ye for diversions."

The appetite and conscience of me and Tobin was congenial to the proposition, though 'twas sticking hard in Danny's superstitions to think that a few drinks and a cold lunch should represent the good fortune promised by the palm of his hand.

"Step down the steps," says the man with the crooked nose, "and I will enter by the door above and let ye in. I will ask the new girl we have in the kitchen," says he, "to make ye a pot of coffee to drink before ye go. 'Tis fine coffee Katie Mahorner makes for a green girl just landed three months. Step in," says the man, "and I'll send her down to ye."
unit 1
Tobin's Palm.
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unit 5
Tobin advertised in the papers, but nothing could be found of the colleen.
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But Tobin was a hardheaded man, and the sadness stuck in his skin.
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So I gets him down a side way on a board walk where the attractions were some less violent.
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"'Tis here," says he, "I will be diverted.
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Tobin was a believer in signs and the unnatural in nature.
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The sign over the door says it is Madame Zozo the Egyptian Palmist.
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There was a fat woman inside in a red jumper with pothooks and beasties embroidered upon it.
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Tobin gives her ten cents and extends one of his hands.
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"Sure, 'tis no beauty, but ye hold the palm of me hand."
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"The line shows," says the Madame, "that ye've not arrived at your time of life without bad luck.
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And there's more to come.
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The mount of Venus—or is that a stone bruise?—shows that ye've been in love.
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There's been trouble in your life on account of your sweetheart."
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"'Tis Katie Mahorner she has references with," whispers Tobin to me in a loud voice to one side.
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"I see," says the palmist, "a great deal of sorrow and tribulation with one whom ye cannot forget.
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I see the lines of designation point to the letter K and the letter M in her name."
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"Whist!"
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says Tobin to me, "do ye hear that?"
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Ye'll make a voyage upon the water very soon, and have a financial loss.
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I see one line that brings good luck.
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There's a man coming into your life who will fetch ye good fortune.
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Ye'll know him when ye see him by his crooked nose."
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"Is his name set down?"
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asks Tobin.
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"'Twill be convenient in the way of greeting when he backs up to dump off the good luck."
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There's no more to tell.
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Good-evening.
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unit 42
Don't block up the door."
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unit 43
"'Tis wonderful how she knows," says Tobin as we walk to the pier.
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unit 46
Tobin is always in an ugly mood when enjoying himself.
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unit 47
On the boat going back, when the man calls "Who wants the good-looking waiter?"
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Somebody had disturbed his change during the commotion.
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So we sat, dry, upon the stools, listening to the Dagoes fiddling on deck.
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But he knocks it off, and the wind carries it overboard.
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Presently Tobin grabs my arm and says, excited: "Jawn," says he, "do ye know what we're doing?
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We're taking a voyage upon the water."
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"There now," says I; "subdue yeself.
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The boat'll land in ten minutes more."
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"Look," says he, "at the light lady upon the bench.
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And have ye forgotten the nigger man that burned me ear?
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And isn't the money I had gone—a dollar sixty-five it was?"
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"Listen," says Tobin.
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"Ye've no ear for the gift of prophecy or the miracles of the inspired.
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What did the palmist lady tell ye out of me hand?
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'Tis coming true before your eyes.
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'Look out,' says she, 'for a dark man and a light woman; they'll bring ye trouble.'
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Have ye forgot the nigger man, though he got some of it back from me fist?
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And where's the dollar sixty-five I had in me vest when we left the shooting gallery?"
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Tobin got up and walked around on deck, looking close at the passengers out of his little red eyes.
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I asked him the interpretation of his movements.
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Ye never know what Tobin has in his mind until he begins to carry it out.
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"Ye should know," says he, "I'm working out the salvation promised by the lines in me palm.
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I'm looking for the crooked-nose man that's to bring the good luck.
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'Tis all that will save us.
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He went straight up to the man, and I went with him.
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"Good-night to ye," Tobin says to the man.
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The man takes out his segar and passes the compliments, sociable.
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It may be our duty to become acquainted with ye."
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"My name" says the man, polite, "is Friedenhausman—Maximus G.
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Friedenhausman."
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unit 92
"'Tis the right length," says Tobin.
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"Do you spell it with an 'o' anywhere down the stretch of it?"
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"I do not," says the man.
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"Can ye spell it with an 'o'?"
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inquires Tobin, turning anxious.
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"'Tis well," says Tobin.
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unit 99
"Ye're in the presence of Jawn Malone and Daniel Tobin."
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"Tis highly appreciated," says the man, with a bow.
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The man stopped smoking and looked at me.
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I thought by the looks of ye ye might have him in charge."
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"I've enjoyed your company immense.
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Good-night."
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But Tobin sticks close to one side of him and me at the other.
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"What!"
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I tell ye," he says, very loud, "I'm proud to have met ye.
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But it is my desire to be rid of ye.
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I am off to me home."
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"Do," says Tobin, leaning against his sleeve.
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"Do be off to your home.
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And I will sit at the door of it till ye come out in the morning.
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"Hadn't ye better get him home?"
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"Listen, man," says I to him.
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unit 125
"Daniel Tobin is as sensible as he ever was.
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"Now, understand," I concludes, "my position in this riot.
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unit 129
I am the friend of me friend Tobin, according to me interpretations.
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unit 131
But it strains the art of friendship to be true friend to a born fool.
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unit 135
After that the man turns, sudden, to laughing.
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unit 136
He leans against a corner and laughs considerable.
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unit 137
unit 138
"'Tis my mistake," says he.
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unit 140
I came near being found unworthy.
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unit 144
He looks at me and Tobin like brothers of his, and we have the segars.
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unit 151
unit 152
"I will not," says the man, "for the covers will not hold ye.
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unit 153
Not yet.
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unit 155
Ye would look fantastic in type.
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unit 156
All alone by meself must I drink this cup of joy.
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unit 157
But, I thank ye, boys; I am truly grateful."
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unit 160
Ye resemble, with your noise of books, the wind blowing through a crack.
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unit 162
says the long man; "would ye be led astray by physiognomy?
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unit 163
Me nose will do what it can within bounds.
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unit 166
But Tobin is sore, and drinks quiet, with the red showing in his eye.
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unit 172
Therefore I will venture a bit in the way of hospitality.
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unit 174
There will be some fine cold fowl and cheese and a bottle or two of ale.
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unit 175
unit 180
Step in," says the man, "and I'll send her down to ye."
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bf2010 • 10873  commented  1 year, 2 months ago
Merlin57 • 6234  commented  1 year, 2 months ago
Merlin57 • 6234  commented  1 year, 2 months ago
lollo1a • 9516  translated  unit 29  1 year, 2 months ago
bf2010 • 10873  commented on  unit 18  1 year, 2 months ago

Since nobody gets upvs for looking at it, hardly anyone will look at it:(

by bf2010 1 year, 2 months ago

My goodness - this is a difficult text to translate!!!

by Merlin57 1 year, 2 months ago

I wonder if anyone ever looks at this 'Discussion' tab to see if anything is written here! ??

by Merlin57 1 year, 2 months ago

Tobin's Palm.

Tobin and me, the two of us, went down to Coney one day, for there was four dollars between us, and Tobin had need of distractions. For there was Katie Mahorner, his sweetheart, of County Sligo, lost since she started for America three months before with two hundred dollars, her own savings, and one hundred dollars from the sale of Tobin's inherited estate, a fine cottage and pig on the Bog Shannaugh. And since the letter that Tobin got saying that she had started to come to him not a bit of news had he heard or seen of Katie Mahorner. Tobin advertised in the papers, but nothing could be found of the colleen.

So, to Coney me and Tobin went, thinking that a turn at the chutes and the smell of the popcorn might raise the heart in his bosom. But Tobin was a hardheaded man, and the sadness stuck in his skin. He ground his teeth at the crying balloons; he cursed the moving pictures; and, though he would drink whenever asked, he scorned Punch and Judy, and was for licking the tintype men as they came.

So I gets him down a side way on a board walk where the attractions were some less violent. At a little six by eight stall Tobin halts, with a more human look in his eye.

"'Tis here," says he, "I will be diverted. I'll have the palm of me hand investigated by the wonderful palmist of the Nile, and see if what is to be will be."

Tobin was a believer in signs and the unnatural in nature. He possessed illegal convictions in his mind along the subjects of black cats, lucky numbers, and the weather predictions in the papers.

We went into the enchanted chicken coop, which was fixed mysterious with red cloth and pictures of hands with lines crossing 'em like a railroad centre. The sign over the door says it is Madame Zozo the Egyptian Palmist. There was a fat woman inside in a red jumper with pothooks and beasties embroidered upon it. Tobin gives her ten cents and extends one of his hands. She lifts Tobin's hand, which is own brother to the hoof of a drayhorse, and examines it to see whether 'tis a stone in the frog or a cast shoe he has come for.

"Man," says this Madame Zozo, "the line of your fate shows—"

"Tis not me foot at all," says Tobin, interrupting. "Sure, 'tis no beauty, but ye hold the palm of me hand."

"The line shows," says the Madame, "that ye've not arrived at your time of life without bad luck. And there's more to come. The mount of Venus—or is that a stone bruise?—shows that ye've been in love. There's been trouble in your life on account of your sweetheart."

"'Tis Katie Mahorner she has references with," whispers Tobin to me in a loud voice to one side.

"I see," says the palmist, "a great deal of sorrow and tribulation with one whom ye cannot forget. I see the lines of designation point to the letter K and the letter M in her name."

"Whist!" says Tobin to me, "do ye hear that?"

"Look out," goes on the palmist, "for a dark man and a light woman; for they'll both bring ye trouble. Ye'll make a voyage upon the water very soon, and have a financial loss. I see one line that brings good luck. There's a man coming into your life who will fetch ye good fortune. Ye'll know him when ye see him by his crooked nose."

"Is his name set down?" asks Tobin. "'Twill be convenient in the way of greeting when he backs up to dump off the good luck."

"His name," says the palmist, thoughtful looking, "is not spelled out by the lines, but they indicate 'tis a long one, and the letter 'o' should be in it. There's no more to tell. Good-evening. Don't block up the door."

"'Tis wonderful how she knows," says Tobin as we walk to the pier.

As we squeezed through the gates a nigger man sticks his lighted segar against Tobin's ear, and there is trouble. Tobin hammers his neck, and the women squeal, and by presence of mind I drag the little man out of the way before the police comes. Tobin is always in an ugly mood when enjoying himself.

On the boat going back, when the man calls "Who wants the good-looking waiter?" Tobin tried to plead guilty, feeling the desire to blow the foam off a crock of suds, but when he felt in his pocket he found himself discharged for lack of evidence. Somebody had disturbed his change during the commotion. So we sat, dry, upon the stools, listening to the Dagoes fiddling on deck. If anything, Tobin was lower in spirits and less congenial with his misfortunes than when we started.

On a seat against the railing was a young woman dressed suitable for red automobiles, with hair the colour of an unsmoked meerschaum. In passing by, Tobin kicks her foot without intentions, and, being polite to ladies when in drink, he tries to give his hat a twist while apologising. But he knocks it off, and the wind carries it overboard.

Tobin came back and sat down, and I began to look out for him, for the man's adversities were becoming frequent. He was apt, when pushed so close by hard luck, to kick the best dressed man he could see, and try to take command of the boat.

Presently Tobin grabs my arm and says, excited: "Jawn," says he, "do ye know what we're doing? We're taking a voyage upon the water."

"There now," says I; "subdue yeself. The boat'll land in ten minutes more."

"Look," says he, "at the light lady upon the bench. And have ye forgotten the nigger man that burned me ear? And isn't the money I had gone—a dollar sixty-five it was?"

I thought he was no more than summing up his catastrophes so as to get violent with good excuse, as men will do, and I tried to make him understand such things was trifles.

"Listen," says Tobin. "Ye've no ear for the gift of prophecy or the miracles of the inspired. What did the palmist lady tell ye out of me hand? 'Tis coming true before your eyes. 'Look out,' says she, 'for a dark man and a light woman; they'll bring ye trouble.' Have ye forgot the nigger man, though he got some of it back from me fist? Can ye show me a lighter woman than the blonde lady that was the cause of me hat falling in the water? And where's the dollar sixty-five I had in me vest when we left the shooting gallery?"

The way Tobin put it, it did seem to corroborate the art of prediction, though it looked to me that these accidents could happen to any one at Coney without the implication of palmistry.

Tobin got up and walked around on deck, looking close at the passengers out of his little red eyes. I asked him the interpretation of his movements. Ye never know what Tobin has in his mind until he begins to carry it out.

"Ye should know," says he, "I'm working out the salvation promised by the lines in me palm. I'm looking for the crooked-nose man that's to bring the good luck. 'Tis all that will save us. Jawn, did ye ever see a straighter-nosed gang of hellions in the days of your life?"

'Twas the nine-thirty boat, and we landed and walked up-town through Twenty-second Street, Tobin being without his hat.

On a street corner, standing under a gas-light and looking over the elevated road at the moon, was a man. A long man he was, dressed decent, with a segar between his teeth, and I saw that his nose made two twists from bridge to end, like the wriggle of a snake. Tobin saw it at the same time, and I heard him breathe hard like a horse when you take the saddle off. He went straight up to the man, and I went with him.

"Good-night to ye," Tobin says to the man. The man takes out his segar and passes the compliments, sociable.

"Would ye hand us your name," asks Tobin, "and let us look at the size of it? It may be our duty to become acquainted with ye."

"My name" says the man, polite, "is Friedenhausman—Maximus G. Friedenhausman."

"'Tis the right length," says Tobin. "Do you spell it with an 'o' anywhere down the stretch of it?"

"I do not," says the man.

"Can ye spell it with an 'o'?" inquires Tobin, turning anxious.

"If your conscience," says the man with the nose, "is indisposed toward foreign idioms ye might, to please yourself, smuggle the letter into the penultimate syllable."

"'Tis well," says Tobin. "Ye're in the presence of Jawn Malone and Daniel Tobin."

"Tis highly appreciated," says the man, with a bow. "And now since I cannot conceive that ye would hold a spelling bee upon the street corner, will ye name some reasonable excuse for being at large?"

"By the two signs," answers Tobin, trying to explain, "which ye display according to the reading of the Egyptian palmist from the sole of me hand, ye've been nominated to offset with good luck the lines of trouble leading to the nigger man and the blonde lady with her feet crossed in the boat, besides the financial loss of a dollar sixty-five, all so far fulfilled according to Hoyle."

The man stopped smoking and looked at me.

"Have ye any amendments," he asks, "to offer to that statement, or are ye one too? I thought by the looks of ye ye might have him in charge."

"None," says I to him, "except that as one horseshoe resembles another so are ye the picture of good luck as predicted by the hand of me friend. If not, then the lines of Danny's hand may have been crossed, I don't know."

"There's two of ye," says the man with the nose, looking up and down for the sight of a policeman. "I've enjoyed your company immense. Good-night."

With that he shoves his segar in his mouth and moves across the street, stepping fast. But Tobin sticks close to one side of him and me at the other.

"What!" says he, stopping on the opposite sidewalk and pushing back his hat; "do ye follow me? I tell ye," he says, very loud, "I'm proud to have met ye. But it is my desire to be rid of ye. I am off to me home."

"Do," says Tobin, leaning against his sleeve. "Do be off to your home. And I will sit at the door of it till ye come out in the morning. For the dependence is upon ye to obviate the curse of the nigger man and the blonde lady and the financial loss of the one-sixty-five."

"'Tis a strange hallucination," says the man, turning to me as a more reasonable lunatic. "Hadn't ye better get him home?"

"Listen, man," says I to him. "Daniel Tobin is as sensible as he ever was. Maybe he is a bit deranged on account of having drink enough to disturb but not enough to settle his wits, but he is no more than following out the legitimate path of his superstitions and predicaments, which I will explain to you." With that I relates the facts about the palmist lady and how the finger of suspicion points to him as an instrument of good fortune. "Now, understand," I concludes, "my position in this riot. I am the friend of me friend Tobin, according to me interpretations. 'Tis easy to be a friend to the prosperous, for it pays; 'tis not hard to be a friend to the poor, for ye get puffed up by gratitude and have your picture printed standing in front of a tenement with a scuttle of coal and an orphan in each hand. But it strains the art of friendship to be true friend to a born fool. And that's what I'm doing," says I, "for, in my opinion, there's no fortune to be read from the palm of me hand that wasn't printed there with the handle of a pick. And, though ye've got the crookedest nose in New York City, I misdoubt that all the fortune-tellers doing business could milk good luck from ye. But the lines of Danny's hand pointed to ye fair, and I'll assist him to experiment with ye until he's convinced ye're dry."

After that the man turns, sudden, to laughing. He leans against a corner and laughs considerable. Then he claps me and Tobin on the backs of us and takes us by an arm apiece.

"'Tis my mistake," says he. "How could I be expecting anything so fine and wonderful to be turning the corner upon me? I came near being found unworthy. Hard by," says he, "is a café, snug and suitable for the entertainment of idiosyncrasies. Let us go there and have drink while we discuss the unavailability of the categorical."

So saying, he marched me and Tobin to the back room of a saloon, and ordered the drinks, and laid the money on the table. He looks at me and Tobin like brothers of his, and we have the segars.

"Ye must know," says the man of destiny, "that me walk in life is one that is called the literary. I wander abroad be night seeking idiosyncrasies in the masses and truth in the heavens above. When ye came upon me I was in contemplation of the elevated road in conjunction with the chief luminary of night. The rapid transit is poetry and art: the moon but a tedious, dry body, moving by rote. But these are private opinions, for, in the business of literature, the conditions are reversed. 'Tis me hope to be writing a book to explain the strange things I have discovered in life."

"Ye will put me in a book," says Tobin, disgusted; "will ye put me in a book?"

"I will not," says the man, "for the covers will not hold ye. Not yet. The best I can do is to enjoy ye meself, for the time is not ripe for destroying the limitations of print. Ye would look fantastic in type. All alone by meself must I drink this cup of joy. But, I thank ye, boys; I am truly grateful."

"The talk of ye," says Tobin, blowing through his moustache and pounding the table with his fist, "is an eyesore to me patience. There was good luck promised out of the crook of your nose, but ye bear fruit like the bang of a drum. Ye resemble, with your noise of books, the wind blowing through a crack. Sure, now, I would be thinking the palm of me hand lied but for the coming true of the nigger man and the blonde lady and—"

"Whist!" says the long man; "would ye be led astray by physiognomy? Me nose will do what it can within bounds. Let us have these glasses filled again, for 'tis good to keep idiosyncrasies well moistened, they being subject to deterioration in a dry moral atmosphere."

So, the man of literature makes good, to my notion, for he pays, cheerful, for everything, the capital of me and Tobin being exhausted by prediction. But Tobin is sore, and drinks quiet, with the red showing in his eye.

By and by we moved out, for 'twas eleven o'clock, and stands a bit upon the sidewalk. And then the man says he must be going home, and invites me and Tobin to walk that way. We arrives on a side street two blocks away where there is a stretch of brick houses with high stoops and iron fences. The man stops at one of them and looks up at the top windows which he finds dark.

"'Tis me humble dwelling," says he, "and I begin to perceive by the signs that me wife has retired to slumber. Therefore I will venture a bit in the way of hospitality. 'Tis me wish that ye enter the basement room, where we dine, and partake of a reasonable refreshment. There will be some fine cold fowl and cheese and a bottle or two of ale. Ye will be welcome to enter and eat, for I am indebted to ye for diversions."

The appetite and conscience of me and Tobin was congenial to the proposition, though 'twas sticking hard in Danny's superstitions to think that a few drinks and a cold lunch should represent the good fortune promised by the palm of his hand.

"Step down the steps," says the man with the crooked nose, "and I will enter by the door above and let ye in. I will ask the new girl we have in the kitchen," says he, "to make ye a pot of coffee to drink before ye go. 'Tis fine coffee Katie Mahorner makes for a green girl just landed three months. Step in," says the man, "and I'll send her down to ye."