Photoplay (Jul-Dec 1928)

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Illustrated by Russell Patterson Why BENNY OSTERMAN was carrying the Torch. If you know your Broadway as well as your Park Avenue, you would realize that carrying the Torch means only one thing— a state of being without benefit of femininity. And if you had a flair for etymology you might trace themetaphor to Diogenes' nocturnal search for an honest man and by metonymy, asyndeton or what have you? find it on Broadway translated into the quest of a foolish virgin. But Broadway never questions. Sufficient unto the crack is the wisdom thereof. Benny took up the Torch when he read in the pale lavender edition of The Daily Tomorrow that Hattie Humphreys had married his old pal, Lou Schultz. Benny had not seen Hattie for two months, nor had he seen Lou for ten. But now it seemed that it was onlv yesterday that he had held her in his arms, shameless and unafraid, in the Pennsylvania Station. And as for Lou— he and Lou had been buddies! Benny filled the Torch with fusel oil in Tony's speakeasv and as the flame mounted, Benny's spirit descended— and he smiled sardonically as he thought of the possible wheeze therein. So now Hattie was married and living in Joplin, Mo., with Lou Schultz! Well, there alvyays was something snide about Lou — just like that time he sold Benny his Dagmar Sportifette full of airplane gas, and cork dust in the oil. Lou would cross a pal. It wasn't Hattie's fault — she was a sweet kid and Benny had always meant to marry her. If he had ever known he loved her like this, it never would have happened. But love is like that! Just like pain— you don't feel it until after the blow. BENNY carried the Torch into Gil Beal's office in the Poultry Exchange Building and threw it on his desk. "Hi, Benneh, " greeted Gil with all the benevolence of his ten years as Broadway's favorite host. "Why the dead pan?" "Hattie's gone and gotten married," announced Benny, in the sobbing voice that had made him famous. " Well, what's it to you, Benneh? Let's see, there was Tilly and Mabel and Pearl and — oh yes, Jacqueline Rupferschmidt. You're just playin' your W Benny could sing only and that's Broadway usual horse, Benneh. Forget it, onedame'sasgoodasanother.' "No, they ain't, Gil. Hattie was different and what's more I ain't gonna sing tonight." "Whaddya mean you ain't gonna sing tonight? You're gonna sing tonight if it's the last turn you do. Say, I lost fit teen grand on the Klub Kismet when she was padlocked and I've spent eight hundred advertising the re-opening. I've got you down as the wind-up and you're going on. Besides, I got you under contract till next week. " "Please, Gil, I can't sing tonight. You don't know how broke up I am about Hattie." "Now listen to me, Benneh," cooed Gil, soothingly, "I know how it is. These janes is all alike. Either they gets'you or you gets them. Why, Benneh, you don't know how lucky you are. Supposeyoumarriedoneof them. Where'dyoubeth'en?" j