1939 The Gentleman's Companion volume II Beeing an Exotic Drinking Book


their trim, exquisite figures poured into the scabbard-like split dresses of pastel silk that so elegantly suit their type. A brace of snipe-legged little Japanese men with f. 2 Leicas swinging around their necks, half– inch thick eyeglasses, Bat straw hats, muttering urgently at each other without the slightest trace of faci al expression. A Javanese girl-mother with her naked brown babe swi nging in a butterfly tinted sarong tied above her hips and tucked in with a cunning woman's twist. A Bud– dhist priest from far back in the wild hill country back of beyond, in his funny hat and worn robe dyed three centuries ago in a yellow hue which would be mellow and fair a century after its present owner was dust. T wo short, plump, short-skirted French girls giggling, looking us squarely in the eye before continuing other inspection-totally without self-consciousness or inhibition as they audibly speculated on our origin, age, marital state and capitalistic solvency in a machine gun undertone of rapid French. This is just the briefest vignette of Saigon. Before quitting this subject of absinthe perhaps we had better ex– plain that taken in steady doses over a considerable period of time, it does nibble the keen edge off the brain until a man becomes a sorry sort of thing; aimless, listless, and generally-shockingly-lacking. This, and the habit it forms under constant usage, of course accounts for its ban in France. Actually, too, it happens to be one of the few liqueurs which more or less definitely stimulates the cavaliers riding herd about the altar of Aphrodite. An Absinthe Drip isn't one of the black arts at all; nor something confined to Maupassant, and mystery, and low and devious dives all coagulated with apaches, and their grisettes, and sitting around all hours of the night with drooping cigarettes in the corners of their mouths, and long hair drooping in the~r eyes, and long knives up their sleeves.... The cute, almost doll-like Annarnese bar-man took a small thin tumbler, nearly the size and shape of our Old Fashioned Cocktail glass. This he centered up with 2 cubes of sterilized ice, a lump of loaf sugar. Onto this he turned a jigger of absinthe. A tiny pitcher of cold water was supplied, this to be poured in 1 drop at a time, or at guest option, ladled in with a small teaspoon. . . . Under . 9.

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