WERE YOU EVER SO DRUNK you didn't dare get sober? That is the condition I found myself in, and I made up my mind I'd try a trip in the country and see if I couldn't get down to bedrock again.
There I discovered a hotel, where the bar had some of the finest old rye I ever drank. I took a couple of cocktails and a half a tumbler of brandy, and then went into supper. However, I couldn't eat a mouthful; my appetite all gone.
I got up from the table--making some excuse about having the headache--bought a bottle of whiskey and a bunch of cigars, and went to my room. Here I sat, drinking and smoking until I got calmed down. Then I went to bed, and fell into a profound slumber.
In an hour I woke, active and alert. It was a moonlit night, and my room was as light as day. Hearing a rustling on my pillow, I turned my head and saw a most curious lizard peering at me.
It was six inches long, half green and half purple. Its head was snow white, and one eye yellow, and the other red as fire. Instantly the lizard ran into my mouth and down my throat. It was followed by hundreds, yea, thousands, of other lizards. Some were hardly a half-inch long, others were ten inches. Some were black, some red; one had yellow side-whiskers.
I leaped out of bed, hardly suppressing the shriek, and making to the bottles of whiskey, filled a goblet and drank it at one draught.
No more bed for me that night. I sat until morning, ordered my horse and buggy before breakfast, and by 9 am was back in the city. I at once took a bath, ate some anchovy sandwiches and felt like a new man.
For a week I kept up a prodigious drinking but couldn't eat a mouthful of food. Strangely, liquor had no intoxicating effect; a glass of the strongest brandy was no more than so much water.
Saturday afternoon I started out with a chum for a walk. We had gone about a square when I noticed a bug on my cuff. I brushed at it but missed, and it crawled up my shoulder. I whirled around at it with a tremendous slap, and nearly jostled my chum off his feet.
"Didn't you see that bug?" I said angrily. "It was right on my shoulder--there it is again," I said, making a frantic blow at it.
"For heavens sake Bill, be quiet," said my companion. "See how the people are looking at us."
Sure enough, two or three persons had stopped and were looking curiously, and a policeman was crossing the street toward us.
My friend hurried me into a nearby saloon. I took a huge drink of brandy, and in a few moments was all right again. While ordering I glanced in the glass behind the bar and saw a white face with wild, staring eyes.
To cut a long story short, we got back to my quarters, and as my chum bade me goodbye he said: "Go to bed and sober up."
Telling my servant not to let me be disturbed, I went to bed depressed and unhappy. I was lying on the bed, perspiration pouring off in streams, when the door slowly opened and in came the most savage animal I ever saw.
It was a mad dog with eyes red and glaring, every hair on its body bristling with rage. I kept still as death, almost breathless, hoping the dog would not see me, but it did, and crouching down, leaped straight at my throat. I grasped it by the neck, and ensued a most fearful struggle. The beast's eyes shone right in my own, and my hands and the bed were spattered with bloody foam.
Summoning all my strength, I hurled the dog through the open window, and with a yell of triumph, fell half-fainting on the floor.
My door burst open with a crash, and four men, led by my perfidious servant--whom I tried in vain to reach and kill--rushed in, grasped and put me back in bed. The last thing I remember was someone saying: "Put the morphine into him, doctor."
When I came to I found myself with shaven head, strangely weak, and the good old doctor gazing complacently down at me.
"How long have I been sick, doctor?" I asked, in a thin voice.
"Two weeks ago today. You've had a hard pull for it, but are all right now. Promise me you'll give up whiskey, William."
Boys, right then and there I made a solemn vow to never again touch the stuff, and I have kept the vow inviolate. Since the time not a drop of whiskey has passed my lips.
What'll I take? Oh, you can make me a gin cocktail, bartender. Gin is good enough for me.