The Four Million HTML version
The Brief Début Of Tildy
If you do not know Bogle's Chop House and Family Restaurant it is your loss. For if you
are one of the fortunate ones who dine expensively you should be interested to know how
the other half consumes provisions. And if you belong to the half to whom waiters'
checks are things of moment, you should know Bogle's, for there you get your money's
worth—in quantity, at least.
Bogle's is situated in that highway of bourgeoisie, that boulevard of Brown-Jones-and-
Robinson, Eighth Avenue. There are two rows of tables in the room, six in each row. On
each table is a caster-stand, containing cruets of condiments and seasons. From the
pepper cruet you may shake a cloud of something tasteless and melancholy, like volcanic
dust. From the salt cruet you may expect nothing. Though a man should extract a
sanguinary stream from the pallid turnip, yet will his prowess be balked when he comes
to wrest salt from Bogle's cruets. Also upon each table stands the counterfeit of that
benign sauce made "from the recipe of a nobleman in India."
At the cashier's desk sits Bogle, cold, sordid, slow, smouldering, and takes your money.
Behind a mountain of toothpicks he makes your change, files your check, and ejects at
you, like a toad, a word about the weather. Beyond a corroboration of his meteorological
statement you would better not venture. You are not Bogle's friend; you are a fed,
transient customer, and you and he may not meet again until the blowing of Gabriel's
dinner horn. So take your change and go—to the devil if you like. There you have
The needs of Bogle's customers were supplied by two waitresses and a Voice. One of the
waitresses was named Aileen. She was tall, beautiful, lively, gracious and learned in
persiflage. Her other name? There was no more necessity for another name at Bogle's
than there was for finger-bowls.
The name of the other waitress was Tildy. Why do you suggest Matilda? Please listen this
time—Tildy—Tildy. Tildy was dumpy, plain-faced, and too anxious to please to please.
Repeat the last clause to yourself once or twice, and make the acquaintance of the
The Voice at Bogle's was invisible. It came from the kitchen, and did not shine in the way
of originality. It was a heathen Voice, and contented itself with vain repetitions of
exclamations emitted by the waitresses concerning food.
Will it tire you to be told again that Aileen was beautiful? Had she donned a few hundred
dollars' worth of clothes and joined the Easter parade, and had you seen her, you would
have hastened to say so yourself.
The customers at Bogle's were her slaves. Six tables full she could wait upon at once.
They who were in a hurry restrained their impatience for the joy of merely gazing upon