“Now, now,” Miss Blatz gently chided Jenner to get his attention. “You’ll absolutely ruin your nice white suit if you do that.” Jenner straightened up at the sight of Miss Blatz, and tried to look tough again, as if he didn’t care about having been shooed away from the party.
“What can I do for you, old sports?” he asked them in his best Gatsby voice. “The little dog wants to fight after all?”
“No,” said Sadie Lynn, firmly but not aggressively, and then, more gently, asked, “Jenner, is it really that fun for you to start fights all the time?” “Of course!” replied Jenner. “I love it more than anything!”
“You didn’t look like you were having fun just now,” Sam pointed out from behind Miss Blatz, and Jenner looked down, dirty paws hanging at his sides. His whiskers drooped a bit.
“Look here,” said Miss Blatz, stepping towards him and handing him a handkerchief from her purse so he could clean his paws off. “Why don’t you come on back with us to the party? We’ll have a grand time, if only, if only…”
“If only you don’t take any wooden nickels,” said Sam, which was 1920s parlance for not doing anything silly. “And I’m sure everyone will understand if only you just apologize,” continued Miss Blatz.
“But… but what if I want to fight again?” asked Jenner, wringing his paws and then adding weakly, “I just can’t help it, old sport.”
“We’ll keep an eye on you,” Sadie Lynn promised, “and help you learn to keep an eye on yourself.” “Alright,” said Jenner, walking over and joining them, “I’ll try.”
“Now you’re on the trolley!” Justin congratulated him around a mouthful of baked ham and roasted nuts.
They returned to the garden party, where Jenner made up with the hounds, who then played out a harrowing police chase with him and Justin, ending in the ‘gangsters’ being caught without a fight… or at least only a fake one! After that, they all made Art Deco jewelry and danced the Charleston and had miniature Mint Juleps and did all sorts of lovely fun Jazz Age things.
And, as they said in the twenties to mean all was well, everything was Jake.
Story and Illustration by Mary Grace Mauney