The Bentz Stanley combination gets into a row in a Brooklyn boarding house.[more]
“Those theatre people have turned everything upside down in my house,” said Mrs. Lennon, the keeper of a lodging house at No. 178 South Fourth street, Brooklyn, the other evening. For the past week Mrs. Lennon entertained five members of the Rentz-Stanley variety company, who are playing an engagement at an Eastern District theatre.
The theatrical people were quietly eating their supper when the question of burlesque acting came up for discussion along with the roast beef and olives. “I think that burlesque is played out,” said a pretty little blonde at the end of the table.
“You are not old enough to think anything,” said a light comedian of the troupe, bolting half a hot potato and suddenly making a dash for the ice-pitcher.
“Well, I’m not such an old barn-stormer as you are,” said the little blonde, throwing a Judie wink at the handsome leading man.
“Barn-stormer!” cried the comedian. “Did I understand you, miss, to say barn-stormer to me?”
“That’s about the size of it,” said the little blonde.
“You haven’t any right to address an old gentleman in such language.” Said the leading lady.
“Old gentleman!” cried the comedian, whirling round and glaring at the leading lady. “If I was half your age I’d have applied for lodgings in the Forrest Home long ago.”
“Sir!” ejaculated the leading lady. “You forget that you dandled me on your knee when I was a mere kid—; should say child.”
“Not such a child either,” said the comedian bringing up one of his old-time sawdust smiles.
“This is too much!” cried the leading lady, bringing up a heavy coffee-pot and throwing it at the comedian’s head. The up tipped the left ear of the comedian and smashed into a thousand fragments against the wall. The petite blonde disappeared under the table.
“I have been insulted, and by an ex-ballet girl!” cried the tenor, picking up a pickle dish and giving it an underhand Chicago B. B. C. twist toward the blonde hair of the leading lady. A moment later the air was filled with sugar-bowls glasses, cups, plates and milk-pitchers.
In the midst of the battle the landlady, Mrs. Lennon, appeared in the doorway, but quickly retreated in the direction of the station-house. On the way she met two gallant officers of the peace, who returned with her to th house. As the officers rushed into the dining-room they found the battle at its height.
The comedian had entrenched himself behind the heavy villain, and from this secure position was pouring a raking fire of tumblers, oil lamps, butter-dishes, pepper boxes and tea-cups into the ranks of the party led by the leading lady, while the latter was returning fire with interest.
“Here’s a state of things!” shouted the officers, and shoulder to shoulder they advanced upon the rioters. The moment the contending armies caught sight of the “cops,” however, their valor forsook them and they attempted to play the baby act.
In the meantime a large crowd had gathered in front of the house, but were disappointed, as the late contestants refused to make any complaints against each other.
“You will all leave my house forever!” cried the disgusted landlady, and she turned her histrionic pugilistic boarders out bag and baggage after collecting the heavy damages for the breakage occasioned by the skirmish.
“He who steals my purse steals trash,” cried the comedian, as he came up cheerfully with his share of the damages.
“‘Twas mine, ‘tis yours,” said the tenor, planking down his share.
“We must needs hie us to an inn,” murmured the heavy man, and they marched for the nearest hotel.
Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 24, 1885