I met James Dennis at a nearby café and, after coffee and doughnuts; we walked two blocks to the train station and waited for the train to arrive.
I should take a moment to describe Mr. James Dennis to the reader. He was a tall, well-favored young man, dressed to the nines in tight-fitting dark brown slacks which were pegged at the cuffs in the current fashion favored by the under twenty-five set. He topped them off with an expensive camel's-haired sport jacket. He could easily have passed for a male model in a cigarette ad found in popular magazines or billboards along the highway.
While not a homely man myself, I wore a casual pair of corduroy slacks, along with a tweed sports jacket that had seen better days.
Dennis had purchased first class tickets which caught me off-guard. I hadn't thought of him as a big spender, but here he was picking up the tab, not only for the train ride to New York City, but for World Series tickets, which as one might expect, are very difficult to come by any year. But this year with an inter-city rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers obtaining tickets was almost impossible. Yet he was non-plussed about the whole thing, even though he had yet to come into possession of the ducats.
"I have some influential pals," he said and left it at that.
Moments later we boarded the train and were led into the first class compartment, where we found that we were the only passengers.
Dennis queried the conductor and learned that we would be the only ones in the car until Trenton, and even then there was the possibility we would remain the only ones in the car. This was unheard of in my traveling experiences, but then most of that had been just prior and after the war when traveling by car was difficult since gasoline was rationed.
Just about a minute before the train pulled out, I saw two women scurrying along the platform, trying to board the train. I presumed they were mother and daughter because of the disparity in their respective ages. The younger woman was striking in her beauty and I couldn't keep my eyes off her.
To my surprise, only the younger one boarded the train; this I knew for a fact, for the train began to move and the older woman ran a few steps after the train waving to the younger woman. When I turned to mention it to Dennis, I found that he'd not only seen them, but had left the compartment to seek out the woman.
I was astonished when Dennis opened the door to our compartment with the young woman in tow, prattling on about how we would welcome her company and it was not at all unbecoming for her to join us.
Ushering her into the seat facing us, he presented me to her first and then introduced himself. "James Dennis, at your service, Madam, you may recognize my voice as I am heard on the radio twice weekly announcing the Pall Mall Hour on WQAN out of Scranton."
"Well ... yes, I believe I have heard you, Mr. Dennis, and I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance Mr. Shannon. Oh, but let me introduce myself. I'm Beatrice Stringfellow. Um, that's Miss Stringfellow," she said, and then appeared stricken with shyness as she sat back in her seat and stared at the floor.
"You may want some reassurance that we've not kidnapped you by whisking you out of the common compartment to join us in first class, but I want to assure you, Miss Stringfellow that we have only the purest of motives in doing so."
I chimed in with, "They may appear to be selfish motives, Miss Stringfellow, but I do believe that while Mr. Dennis has acted on impulse, his intentions are honorable."
"Of course my motives are selfish, Miss Stringfellow. I couldn't bear to share your company ... your beauty with the common ilk that sits in the passenger car beyond that door."
Dennis continued along this avenue, with lie following lie and if I were asked to support just one word of his I couldn't venture to say how I would answer as I considered it all drivel. I had to ask myself if he had been plying me with more of the same in talking me into joining him on the foray into the city.
It seemed evident that Miss Stringfellow saw through his charade too, for after a while she said: "I ... I ... really should go back to the general seating. The conductor..."
"The conductor will say nothing to you, Madam," Dennis said smoothly. "It's all taken care of. Consider yourself our guest. Why you're far too pretty to be sitting amongst the rabble."
"Oh they're not rabble, Mr. Dennis, not at all."
"I know, I know," Dennis replied, his oily tongue gliding over her protests with an ease that amazed me. "But we certainly welcome your company, and find the cost of a first class ticket a bargain if it allows us to enjoy your presence for the trip to New York City. You are headed to the city, are you not?"
"Um, yes I am, Mr. Dennis."
"Wonderful! We shall lunch together, then.
And as fate would have it, the conductor made an appearance, Dennis made a show of paying for Miss Stringfellow's first class ticket and gave the man another bill or two to secure lunch for the three of us.
Twenty minutes later we were eating Cobb Salad and drinking a very good white wine. Miss Stringfellow no longer made any protest about moving back among the rabble, as Dennis succinctly phased it, and appeared eager to share her life story with us.
It seemed she was going to visit her sister, who resided in the Bronx. Her sister's name was Lizbeth, and her husband was stationed in Germany and this opened a new stream of conversation dominated by Dennis.
For the record, having defeated Hitler, we occupied Germany, sort of. Actually, the victorious Allies split Germany into four parts: The British got the West, the French got the highly industrialized Ruhr Valley, The Russians got the East and the US got the South, principally Bavaria. Goals for the occupation were varied: those who had been conquered by the Nazis wanted an impotent agrarian Germany; the United States wanted a neutral self-governing democratic version of the dynamic industrialized Germany before the Nazis. Each of the occupying powers was territorial and for the time being each of the four sectors or "zones" was almost a separate country. The only "universal" in the Germany of 1947 was that the American cigarette was accepted everywhere in lieu of currency.
American goals were to de-Nazify and rebuild the country, which we certainly were striving to do, despite the resistance by the Russians every step of the way.
Miss Stringfellow's brother-in-law was a sergeant in the United States Army and had written his wife about the obstructionist policies adopted by the Russians in the Eastern Zone.
Dennis offered his opinion on the matter, and I had to wonder how he had become so well informed. "We'll be at war with the Ruskies before long," he said, startling Miss Stringfellow and myself.
Being a journalist, and having kept abreast of the world situation, I was quick to challenge him. "My God, Dennis, how could you say such a thing? You've caused Miss Stringfellow unnecessary alarm with this preposterous statement."
A bemused expression crossed Dennis' face, but he was quick in his reply, "Unnecessary alarm? I doubt that. We have every reason to mistrust the Reds. We shouldn't underestimate them either. Their goal is fairly obvious. At least it should be to our military men, and of course Harry Truman's seen Stalin's mind work up close."
Miss Stringfellow was nervously nibbling on a corner of her dainty hanky as I objected again. "Where are you getting this ... this drivel, Dennis? I haven't seen anything in the press, or heard Winchell utter a word about it."
"What I'm getting at is the obvious differences we already face with the Ruskies: Currency, German Unification, Soviet War reparations, and mere ideology are among the many differences the two sides have. Of course I'm lumping France and Great Britain in with us. The Russians won't compromise on anything. That, my friend, has been reported in the press and on Winchell's show. They really want us all out of Berlin. They see it as the key to taking control of all of Germany."
His reply left both Miss Stringfellow and me speechless. Seemingly satisfied with himself, Dennis settled back in his seat and lit up a cigarette.
Miss Stringfellow appeared flushed and began to squirm in her chair. Dennis noticed it immediately and said, "But now, you must be exhausted, let me show you where the powder room is. You can freshen up there, my Dear."
"Oh, there's no need, Mr. Dennis," Miss Stringfellow murmured as she peeked out shyly through her lashes at both of us.
"But I insist. Even though the powder room is at the end of the compartment any number of things might befall you if I didn't provide you with assistance."
Miss Stringfellow blushed under his effusive words of gallantry and stood up awaiting his "assistance" in walking the aisle to the powder room some thirty-five feet from where we were sitting.
Dennis shot me a grin that told me many things. Foremost was his mentioning that we might get laid in New York. I suddenly recalled Miss Stringfellow's deliciously innocent eyes, luscious lips, and pure complexion. And as I watched her lithe body traverse the short distance to the powder room on Dennis' arm definite scenarios ran through my mind. But the moment Dennis disappeared in the powder room on her heels; I was up and moving to the powder room myself with a secret smile on my face.
When I opened the door to the powder room, Miss Stringfellow was standing and Dennis was already seated and patting the seat next to him. He saw me enter, but did not acknowledge me.
Miss Stringfellow fussed with her dress and then sat demurely next to him on the settee and fiddled nervously with her white gloves.
Finally, having run out of things to fiddle with, she looked sideways at Dennis, I believe she also saw me standing there, but she didn't acknowledge me either.
"May I call you Beatrice, Miss Stringfellow?" Dennis inquired.
"I suppose you may," she replied.
"I would appreciate it if you would then call me by my first name, James," he said.
"James ... yes, I suppose I could."
They conversed quietly for a few moments, while I puzzled as to why neither of them had deemed to recognize my presence in the room with them.
I heard Dennis say, "So, Beatrice, did you leave a boyfriend, or a special friend back home?"
Beatrice blushed and shook her head, "Oh, no, after my sister got married so young, my mother wouldn't permit me to see anyone, anyone at all."
It occurred to me that Dennis had begun a seduction and was determining how best to approach the extent of Beatrice's sexual experience.
I studied her as he asked his next question.
"I can't believe ... you've no boyfriends, as beautiful as you are?"
"I don't ... no, no ... no boyfriends," she stammered.
"Well perhaps there was a boy who lived nearby that you had a crush on ... someone who caused butterflies in your nether regions, perhaps?"
"Mr. Dennis! I don't appreciate your taking that tone with me."
"It's a simple, honest question, Beatrice. Everyone meets someone who causes such feelings ... down there," he added, pointing at her crotch to emphasize his point.
She responded weakly."Oh, no, no ... nothing like that." Her voice trailed off. Dennis, sensing something, pressed her a little more.
"Surely, my dear, there was some boy that caught your eye? After all, a girl as pretty as you, I'm sure many boys flirted with you." He smiled a cat's smile at Beatrice.
Beatrice didn't understand why Dennis was being so persistent, but a childhood memory had surfaced at his question. "Well, actually..." she stopped for a moment, started to mumble an excuse then jumped up from the settee just as the train hit a curve and caused her to stumble toward the sink just outside the commode. She had no idea that I was also in the room with them, and barreled into me. I managed to catch her before she plunged face first into the large oval mirror behind the sink.
Beatrice looked up at me, stunned. My yes followed hers and saw that I was clutching her right breast with one hand and her derriere with the other.
I was terribly embarrassed and began an apology, but Dennis cut me off, and took her into his arms in more of a hug than an embrace, cooing soft words into her ear. The next thing I knew the three of us were seated on the settee with Beatrice between us. And she began talking as if nothing had happened.
"Well, there was my piano teacher, he was so nice and kind to me, and I think maybe I had a little crush on him." Beatrice admitted finally. Dennis put an arm around her shoulder and winked at me.
"See my dear, that wasn't so difficult, was it?"
Beatrice was still too stunned by what was happening to her to react. Dennis took her hand in his free hand, and said soothingly, "Don't be so bashful, Beatrice, having a crush is perfectly normal. Why, if you didn't have crushes, you'd be abnormal. Everyone has them, it's what you do about them that matters."
His eyes gleamed at Beatrice mischievously, inviting her to laugh along. A moment later they were giggling together. Suddenly, Beatrice turned a delicate shade of rose and announced that she really must allow us to excuse her.
"Whatever for, my dear?" Dennis asked softly, leaving no choice to reveal her reasons to us.
"Um, nature," she said. Then standing up, added, "Nature calls."
"I didn't hear anything," Dennis said, causing me to guffaw and Beatrice to giggle inanely.
"Mr. Dennis, you don't understand, I came into the powder room to ... to take care of business. I didn't expect both you gentlemen to accompany me. Now if you'll please excuse me,"
"Oh, you have to pee," Dennis said, and you could have heard a pin drop.
Beatrice's rosy cheeks brightened into a deep red as she nodded her head and held up a fluttering hand. "Yes."
"Right there, then," he said and shooed her into the stall and actually closed the door before she could.
"Lock it please," he said, taking charge before she summoned up the courage to request we leave the room entirely.
I had never witnessed anything like it. In fact, I was speechless, and remained so another minute. There was the swish of rustling clothing followed by the unmistakable sound of a woman urinating into the water below her hind quarters. Beatrice definitely had to go. Her stream of piss went on unabated for a full sixty seconds, possibly longer. I was beyond counting.
Suddenly, we heard her bleat out, "For heaven's sake, there's no toilet paper in here!"
I pulled a handkerchief from my breast pocket and held it over the partition. "Please, make use of this anyway you see fit."
She plucked it from my hand and I heard a muffled, "Thank you, Mr. Shannon, I appreciate your generosity in my time of need."
"You're welcome, I'm sure," I replied and glanced at Dennis who was trying not to laugh. The toilet flushed and a moment later, Beatrice reappeared, went to the sink, washed her tiny hands and came back to the settee and sat between us again as if nothing unusual had just happened.
Dennis reached into his hip pocket and produced a flask. He opened it with a flick of the wrist and tendered it to Beatrice. "I think we should celebrate our good fortune in meeting one another," he said. "It's really remarkable when you think about it."
To me his words were almost meaningless, but to Beatrice it was as if he'd thrown her a lifeline when she was sinking into the ocean's depths.
Beatrice wasn't even paying attention as she gulped down the finger of brandy. She spluttered as it burned a hole down her throat. "There, there," Dennis patted her back, even reaching around to gently rub her tummy, as though he could take away the sting of the potent alcohol. With a gasp, Beatrice jerked away a little bit, but his hands caged her in.
"It's alright, Beatrice, we're not going to hurt you. You're perfectly safe with us. Rest assured no one will come bursting in on us." That said, he gave me a warning glance that told me to remain quiet for the time being, and I did. But my cock had begun to stir at the possibilities before us.
I must admit that not once during this episode did I ever think of Belva. I am ashamed of that to this day, but I would still have been a willing participant to what followed regardless of my feelings for Belva.
Beatrice turned big, liquid eyes up to him. "Oh, Mr. Dennis ... it's very improper for you to..." For a second I wondered why Beatrice had stopped in mid-sentence then I saw my partner's hands sweeping in widening circles on her back and tummy.
"Now, now," he repeated soothingly, as though his actions were completely normal. "Lean back just a little, my dear, the brandy may have been a little much for you."
I realized that he had mesmerized her to some extent, for his hands kept sweeping in such broad circles that the edge of his palm had just brushed the underside of her breasts. At the same time, the hand on her back swept down to her lower back in counterpoint. Beatrice arched her back slightly in automatic response to the drugging pleasure of his warm hands. She could feel the heat of the massage even through the layers of clothing she wore.
I saw her lick her lips in the same manner as Belva had when I got her aroused, and I understood that Beatrice, unbidden by either of us, was entertaining the most wanton of thoughts.
I couldn't believe my ears when Dennis whispered, "In concert, Roy, in concert," and began a light massaging of Beatrice's left breast. She didn't jerk away, and I adhered to Dennis' instruction and reached over and began to massage her right breast.
I felt her heart flutter and realized it was racing much faster than one's heart does normally. Although encased in a fairly stiff brassiere, my thumb felt her nipple rising up to meet my caress.
Denis was whispering in her ear and I heard every word. "Beatrice, my dear, what's causing your nipples to press so hard against my fingers?"
I should point out that both Dennis and I had our palms pressed against her delicious mounds while our fingers mischievously squeezed her nipples ever so lightly. The combined surge of sensation caused her to arch her back, and wrung a whimpering sigh from her luscious bee-stung lips. "Ohhh ... we shouldn't..."
But that was all the resistance she put forth as we continued to ply her nipples in tandem.
"Beatrice, look at me," he said sternly, and as if expecting some form of punishment, Beatrice obediently opened heavy eyes to look at him. I realized then that the young woman seated between us had a penchant for submission, and that both Dennis and I would have her before the train reached Pennsylvania Station if we wished.
Dennis slowly unbuttoned her dress. There was no protest whatsoever from Beatrice. And when the dress was half open her brasserie and the tops of her swelling breasts were exposed to both of us, Dennis said, "Lift one out, Roy, I'll get the other."
I did just that, scooping a pale globe from its lacey shelter into the slightly cooler air of the room while Dennis did the same with her other breast while the brasserie remained in place. Beatrice's head lolled backward and fell over my left arm, while Dennis continued to support her back to some extent. "We shouldn't," she protested weakly.
"And why not?" I said a beat later, not having heard Dennis respond for the first time.
"It's so naughty, I've never..." Beatrice said after a short silence, and then belied her protest with a groan of pleasure from Dennis lifting her breast to his lips and giving suck to her turgid nipple.
It took a full three seconds for it to register on me then I too swooped in and began suckling the other breast while Beatrice squirmed and whimpered on the settee.
I'm sure it was more reflexive than anything else, but my hand found Beatrice's leg and began traversing its way north over her nylons only to encounter Dennis' hand as I neared her crotch.
"OH – OH – OH!" Beatrice exclaimed in a shuddering moan.
Releasing her nipple with a soft sucking pop, Dennis whispered, "Just wait until I stroke your clit, my dear Beatrice."
"My what?" she said so softly that I had to strain to hear although scant inches from her mouth.
My fingers had already crawled over a garter, brushed against her girdle, and were at the apex of her crotch, and I detected both a strange aroma and wetness emanating from the gusset of her underwear.
"Your clit, Beatrice, every woman has one," Dennis was saying. "One might say it is the key to all pleasure.
"OHHH, WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING?"
"Lean back a bit for me. That's the girl," Dennis cooed seductively while easing her down on the settee. I had already dropped to one knee in order to maintain my place at her dampened crotch.
"That's it," he continued, "spread your legs a bit more."
Beatrice was shaking so badly at this point that I feared she might go into a convulsive state. "Is she..." I started to say, when Dennis interrupted me. "She's fine, Roy, continue with what you're doing."
I was amazed at the lack of resistance on her part, and then it occurred to me that Dennis had probably determined that poor Beatrice was ripe for plucking.
I was amazed that she hadn't called a halt yet. Most of the young ladies of virtue put up at least a token resistance. She must be absolutely ripe for plucking, I thought, and chuckled nervously.
Dennis slowly drew her dress upward. "Beatrice, my dear, hold this for me, please." The seemingly sluggish girl grasped the material in her hand obediently.
"That's a good girl."
Both Dennis and I maneuvered her legs further apart. I could see her pink undies quite clearly, and the center point covering her thickly bushed cunt was quite wet with her excitement.
Keep your eyes closed, Beatrice, my sweet. You'll really appreciate what comes next, I promise you," Dennis crooned into her ear.
Then, before I could react, Dennis' hand brushed mine aside and burrowed under her pink undies to the secret place Beatrice normally touched only when bathing.
Her body jerked convulsively as his hand reached her nether lips. I watched as his hand moved about under the gossamer material covering her cunt. Smiling wolfishly, Dennis withdrew his hand and displayed his wet fingers to me.
His fingers quickly returned to her sex and Beatrice groaned as her hips involuntarily jerked upward.
"Ah, yes, Beatrice. Let me pleasure you," he whispered as her thrusting continued unabated.
I believe she started to scream, but anticipating it, Dennis covered her mouth with his free hand. "No, no, don't scream, try to be quiet. We don't want the conductor joining us, do we now?"
Beatrice moaned softly in acceptance, and he croaked, "Good, that's a good girl. Now open wider for us."
He pushed the loose, drenched material into her slit. "Does that feel good? I think that it does, Beatrice. I can feel you dripping all over my fingers."
Beatrice moaned and I glanced at her breasts, her nipples stood out about a half inch signaling her intense pleasure at our ministrations to her bodies sexual parts.
"Finger her, Roy," Dennis said, and I did, sinking first one digit into her marshmallowy soft folds and then managing a second until I met resistance, probably from her hymen.
Dennis' hand crossed mine as he sought out the tiny nubbin that is known as the clitoris and gently rubbed over it time and time again while the young thing moaned repeatedly.
"I'm touching your clit, Beatrice. The proper name for it is clitoris, it's just a tiny thing really, but super sensitive, don't you agree?"
"Ohhhh!" she moaned.
"That's it," he said, urging her on, "move your hips. Do you like me touching you there? And how about where Roy is fingering you?"
She muttered something unintelligible.
"Cum for us, Beatrice," Dennis said with a rising urgency. "I know you're close. Can you cum for us?"
As I dug into her slippery folds my balls were roiling with the need to ejaculate, and I had to assume Dennis was similarly affected.
Suddenly, Beatrice's breath stopped, her hips arched up off the settee, and she came with small spurts of love juice ejaculating over my fingers and palm as she stared unseeingly at the ceiling.
Dennis held his hand still, waiting for the muscle spasms to stop, feeling the tiny bump of her clit throbbing madly as her sexual apparatus boiled over. I wondered if he would attempt having her accept both our rampant cocks, one by mouth, one by cunt, but perhaps he wanted to take those orifices in a more salubrious surrounding. Then again, perhaps he felt he had pushed her far enough for one day.
While I wasted time wondering about what we would do next, Dennis covered her mouth with his, tonguing her mercilessly while sending his index finger into the hot little cunt I had just left off of.
Then I caught another movement on his part. He was inserting a drenched finger into her anus!
"OH, MY!" Beatrice gasped, as she came out of her climactic stupor. He kissed her again and she quit any attempt at struggling against the constant pressure he was bringing to bear against the entrance to her rectum.
I watched his finger slowly forcing its way into her virginal ass, I heard Beatrice moan her pleasure into his mouth. Unable to resist participating any longer, I lifted her breast to my mouth and nibbled at each of her turgid nipples in turn.
Her moans grew louder.
I couldn't resist seeing how he was faring with his anal attack and glanced down; saw his long finger being swallowed to the first knuckle. I could clearly see the mouth of her anus sucking wildly at the invasive finger.
Unable to stop myself, I hurriedly unbuttoned my trousers and freed my throbbing cock from its confinement.
"You've done very well Beatrice, I had no idea you were so naughty," Dennis said, praising her; keeping his finger in place, but not venturing any further.
Beatrice opened passion-glazed green eyes and stared at him, not really seeing him, her lips slick from his kisses, cheeks flushed. I saw his cock kick against his trousers, demanding attention. Dennis ignored it for the moment.
"You ... you ... the finger..." she moaned weakly. "Yes, Beatrice, my finger is in your bottom. Can you feel how your rosebud is suckling on it? I think you like this, don't you, girl? Hmm?" Dennis watched the impact of his words.
Beatrice's eyes fluttered closed then opened. "Hmmm..." she agreed without actually saying yes.
At this point, Dennis made a decision and removed his finger from her asshole. Beatrice flinched at its loss, but would have blushed fifteen shades of red had she seen him raise the two fingers of his right hand to his mouth and smell them deeply, then slide them slowly, sensuously into his mouth and suck them clean of all her fluids.
I released her breast with one last caress, and after tugging her dress down to its normal level, helped Dennis smooth it out. We helped Beatrice to her feet, and took turns kissing her for several lovely minutes.
She was still somewhat in a daze, and didn't notice me shove my erection back into my trousers. She did take notice of us both standing before her with our dicks thrusting out so forcibly that it must have tested the strength of the trousers material.
."Beatrice?" Dennis cooed seductively, "Do you hear me?"
"Huh? Oh ... yes, I hear you, Mr. Dennis."
"Can you imagine, after all that, you're still a virgin. Isn't that nice?"
"Yes, it is," she replied, although she seemed somewhat disconcerted. Turning to face us, she said, "Mr. Dennis, Mr. Shannon. I'm still intact then?"
"Oh, yes," I said agreeably. While Dennis nodded his head.
Beatrice glanced down at our erections. "Does it hurt to be so stiff down there?"
"A little," Dennis said, but don't fret about it. We'll be fine in a short time. Now, Beatrice, why don't you splash a little cold water on your face?"
And while she splashed some water on her face, Dennis unlocked the door to the powder room and ushered me out, quickly following.
"We'll have her yet, Roy, oh yes, we'll leave her hymen ruptured nine ways from Sunday."
"But we've got the Series game," I said lamely.
""There's life after the game, my good man, and she has a sister."
The train pulled into Pennsylvania Station on time and Beatrice excitedly waved at what I presumed to be her sister through the large window separating her from the platform.
"That's Lizbeth," she fairly shouted excitedly, "My sister!"
Lizbeth was every bit as attractive at Beatrice, only she appeared to be with child.
Dennis picked up on it too, saying, "How far along is she?"
"Almost five months, now. Isn't she pretty?"
Dennis laughed and said, "She is indeed, one can hardly tell she's that far along."
The train came to a stop, and Dennis and I led Beatrice solicitously down the steps of the Pullman car, keeping one hand under each of her elbows. Lizbeth hurried along the platform toward her sister, concern written all over her attractive face at seeing us escorting her younger sibling.
As usual, Dennis was ready with an answer, "Beatrice was feeling a little off-color, so I had her rest a moment before disembarking, but we thought it best..."
He didn't bother finishing the sentence as Lizbeth was already embracing her sister.
"These ... two gentlemen have been so kind to me. I can't begin to tell you how much..."
All this said with a straight face. My respect for a woman's ability to lie went up several notches.
We introduced ourselves to Lizbeth, who shook our hands while thanking us for looking out for Beatrice. "It's so kind of you gentlemen to look after Beatrice. I really do appreciate it," Lizbeth said with a dazzling smile.
"It was our pleasure," Dennis said so smoothly that I almost missed the sarcasm in his choice of words.
"In fact, and I must apologize in advance for being so forward, but we understand your husband is serving our country and..." He paused as if knowing what Lizbeth would say and wanted to let her say it.
"Yes, he's in Germany," for a moment it looked like she was about to cry, but she summoned up the strength to fight off the tears of loneliness that had welled up inside her for the months of separation and ended with, "God help him and all our other troops over there."
"Yes, yes, Indeed," I said.
But Dennis seized the moment, saying: "These are troubling times ... I had thought that after the war..."
Lizbeth finished the sentence for him, with: "The Russians seem to be provoking us at every turn."
"We have the A-Bomb though, Mrs. Hunt, and that should keep them at bay for the foreseeable future," Dennis said as he took hold of her elbow, and turned her toward the interior of Penn Station, urging us by his action to walk toward the street and the taxi that would whisk us to Ebbets Field.
As we emerged from the cavernous main floor of Pennsylvania station we were smitten by the cacophony of sound epitomizing New York City: car horns, screeching brakes, newspaper vendors hawking the daily papers by yelling out the headlines of the moment, and the bustle of pedestrians, seemingly going in every conceivable direction as the swarmed around us. It was impossible to stand in one place for long. Dennis obtained Lizbeth's phone number and told her he insisted on taking them both to dinner later that evening.
I noted the look of surprise that crossed her face at the invitation; saw Beatrice nudge her with an elbow, and saw the surprised expression leave Lizbeth's face to be replaced by a more knowing look.
"We'd be delighted to join you gentlemen. Where shall we meet?"
"We'll be by to pick you two charming ladies up," Dennis said effortlessly, where I would have stumbled and probably fouled everything up.
Lizbeth gave him her address and repeated the phone number and we hailed a cab for them and saw them off before whistling down a cab for ourselves.
"City Hall, driver," Dennis said, sounding awfully official. The driver nodded once and drove like a madman using Broadway as his avenue of choice in heading Downtown to City Hall.
"The games in an hour and ten minutes," I said nervously.
"I know, Roy," he said, allowing more than a little sarcasm to creep into his voice. "We do however; require tickets to get in, don't we?"
I couldn't believe he had yet to purchase the tickets. "But the game..." I began lamely before it occurred to me that this was why we were headed to City Hall, and I shut up.
The cab pulled up at the entrance to New York City's famous City Hall. I saw a nervous looking man in a three piece suit of very expense cut, pacing back and forth near the entrance doors.
Dennis hopped out of the cab, leaving me alone in the backseat and trotted gracefully up the steps to greet the nervous looking gentleman who quickly handed Dennis an envelope.
Without so much as a thank you, Dennis turned away and loped back to the cab and got in.
"Take us to Ebbets Field, driver and don't spare the horses."
"Going to the Series?'
"We are going to the Series, yes." He replied to the driver's question.
"Are youse Dodger or Yankee fans?"
"We're one of each," Dennis answered, "I'm the Dodger fan," he added, knowing this would lead to a conversation on the merits of each team and the hopes of the driver for one or the other to win.
"The Bum's is down two to zip already. It don look to good for us," the driver said, looking over his shoulder at us as he barreled onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
"That Allie Reynolds was tough on us yesterday, but we'll be back today. There ain't no quit in dem Dodgers," the cabby said, obviously enjoying himself as we spun off the bridge and headed toward Flatbush Avenue.
I entered the famed portals of Charlie Ebbets ballpark with Dennis at my side.
We stood on the Italian marble floor under the baseball bat chandelier while the crowd swirled past us.
"Ever been here before?" Dennis inquired as we walked toward our seats.
"No, I've been to Wrigley of course and Comiskey too. Caught a couple games in Detroit once, and both ball parks in St. Louis. But although I've been to New York twice, I've never seen a baseball game here."
We came out into the open and a sea of green greeted us. It was, as it always is with me, a breathtakingly beautiful sight. Before us, on the field, the batting cage was in place, and Pistol Pete Reiser was hitting. The Brooklyn pitchers, except for Hatten, the starter, were running in the outfield. The rest of the team lounged alertly on the field in their immaculate whites with the blue trim. Some infielders were in the outfield shagging the balls hit there and some outfielders and catchers were cavorting in the infield, making behind the back catches of pop flies.
"They seem relaxed after losing two straight," I said.
"That's in the past," Dennis said, "They're professionals; it doesn't matter if the Yankees kicked their asses 18-0 yesterday. Today is a new day and a new ballgame.
"Bobo Newsom's going today. I said.
"Yeah? Well several Dodgers see him real good," he replied.
An usher showed us to our seats behind the Dodgers dugout on the home plate side rather than the first base side. "These are great seats," I told Dennis.
"Yeah, well it's who you know."
"My guess is you know a lot of people."
"I've been around. You get to know people if you're around long enough."
"The fellow gave you the ducats seemed kinda nervous," I said, fishing for more information.
Dennis bit, and told me, "He had every right to be nervous. I caught him with the Mayor's right hand man's dick up his ass."
"Wouldn't that be more of a problem for the Mayor's man?"
"Might be if you weren't the City Comptroller."
"Hmmm, you have a point there."
"I always have a point, Roy. Now Robinson's going to take his turn, let's watch him."
We watched as the first Negro to play in the major leagues in this century hit line drive after line drive to the farthest reaches of the ball park.
"Reminds me of Stan the Man," I said off the top of my head.
"Some, yeah," Dennis smiled. "See how he looks like he's gonna fly apart as he starts his swing and then his bat levels off and meets the ball squarely? That's Musial."
We watched Robinson hit another screaming line drive off the Schaffer Beer sign in deep left-center and then vacate the batting cage.
"Stanky will be gone next year," Dennis said knowingly.
"And you know this ... how?" I asked.
"They got a kid named Hodges needs to play. He'll move from back-up catcher to first. Robby will take over at his natural position. For that to happen Stanky has to go."
I didn't argue with him. His knowledge of baseball and its inner workings far surpassed mine. What he said made sense, Stanky, although one of the better second basemen in the majors was getting old; and if Hodges could hit with power ... well you'd be hard pressed to keep him on the bench. As for first base, Robinson was clearly uncomfortable there. It was entirely possible he would blossom at the four position with his speed and agility.
The crowd continued to file in, and the excitement rose with each passing minute.
"We missed seeing DiMaggio hit didn't we?" I said.
"That must have been about an hour ago," Dennis replied laconically. "Usually its only the kids get here that early. They catch one of his longer shots he might sign the ball after he's finished batting."
"That's nice of him," I said.
"He's a shy guy, but likes the kids. Adults make him uncomfortable. When he goes out its usually with an entourage. They fend off the bothersome types. He's a regular at Toots Shor's although you can't get near him.
We each had a beer bought from a vendor bouncing up and down the steps while a Dodger coach swatted long, lazy fungoes out to the outfield. The crowd, mostly men, many of them with boys, scorecards clutched in their hands, filtered slowly into their seats.
Over the loudspeakers, Buddy Clark was singing "Linda." I sipped my beer as we listened to it. Dennis finished a cigarette and snubbed it carelessly with his foot into the stadium's concrete flooring. I saw that it wasn't completely out, and a small acrid twist of smoke rose from it still. I leaned across him and snuffed the butt until it was completely out.
"What do you think... ?" He started to say, but I interrupted him.