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Ernest Hemingway

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THERE was no one in Harry’s except some early morning drinkers that the Colonel did not know, and two men that were doing business at the back of the bar.

There were hours at Harry’s when it filled with the people that you knew, with the same rushing regularity as the tide coming in at Mont St. Michel. Except, the Colonel thought, the hours of the tides change each day with the moon, and the hours at Harry’s are as the Greenwich Meridian, or the standard meter in Paris, or the good opinion the French military hold of themselves.

“Do you know any of these morning drinkers?” he asked the girl.

“No. I am not a morning drinker so I have never met them.”

“They will be swept out when the tide comes in.”

“No. They will leave, just as it comes, of their own accord.”

“Do you mind being here out of season?”

“Did you think I was a snob because I come from an old family? We’re the ones who are not snobs. The snobs are what you call jerks, and the people with all the new money. Did you ever see so much new money?”

“Yes,” the Colonel said. “I saw it in Kansas City when I used to come in from Ft. Riley to play polo at the Country Club.”

“Was it as bad as here?”

“No, it was quite pleasant. I liked it and that part of Kansas City is very beautiful.”

“Is it really? I wish that we could go there. Do they have the camps there too? The ones that we are going to stay at?”

“Surely. But we’ll stay at the Muehlebach hotel which has the biggest beds in the world and we’ll pretend that we are oil millionaires.”

“Where will we leave the Cadillac?”

“Is it a Cadillac now?”

“Yes. Unless you want to take the big Buick Road-master, with the Dynaflow drive. I’ve driven it all over Europe. It was in that last Vogue you sent me.”

“We’d probably better just use one at a time,” the Colonel said. “Whichever one we decide to use we will park in the garage alongside the Muehlebach.”

“Is the Muehlebach very splendid?”

“Wonderful. You’ll love it. When we leave town we’ll drive north to St. Joe and have a drink in the bar at the Roubidoux, maybe two drinks, and then we will cross the river and go west. You can drive, and we can spell each other.”

“What is that?”

“Take turns driving.”

“I’m driving now.”

“Let’s skip the dull part and get to Chimney Rock and go on to Scott’s Bluff and Torrington and after that you will begin to see it.”

“I have the road maps and the guides and that man who says where to eat, and the A.A.A. guide to the camps and the hotels.”

“Do you work on this much?”

“I work at it in the evenings, with the things you sent me. What kind of a license will we have?”

“Missouri. We’ll buy the car in Kansas City. We fly to Kansas City, don’t you remember? Or we can go on a really good train.”

“I thought we flew to Albuquerque.”

“That was another time.”

“Will we stop early in the afternoons at the best Motel in the A.A.A. book and I make you any drinks you want while you read the paper and Life and Time and News­week, (...)


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