The time was in the early hours of a new day; the place was the lobby of a hotel; the principal character was a well-dressed gentleman in an alcoholic fog, who had come in and registered for the night a few minutes earlier. Now, half dressed, he descended the stairway from the second floor and stood swaying slightly in front of the desk.
"Mish' Night Clerk," he said politely but thickly, "I'll 'ave requesh you gimme 'nozzer room."
"Well, sir," stated the clerk, "we're a little bit crowded. I don't know whether I could shift you immediately. It's pretty late, you know."
"Mish' Night Clerk," said the guest in a courteous but firm voice, "I repeat – mush gimme 'nozzer room."
"Isn't the room I gave you comfortable?" parleyed the functionary.
"Sheems be perf'y so," admitted the transient. "Nev'less, mush ash be moved 'mediately."
"Well, what's the matter with your room?" demanded the pestered clerk.
The stranger bent forward, and with the air of one imparting a secret addressed the clerk in a husky half whisper:
"If you mush know, my room's on fire!"