He asked the lady in the train If he might smoke: she smiled consent. So lighting his cigar and fain To talk he puffed away content, Reflecting: how delightful are Fair dame and fine cigar.
Then from his bulging wallet he A photograph with pride displayed, His charming wife and children three, When suddenly he was dismayed To hear her say: 'These notes you've got,-- I want the lot.'
He scarcely could believe his ears. He laughed: 'The money isn't mine. To pay it back would take me years, And so politely I decline. Madame, I think you speak in fun: Have you a gun?'
She smiled. 'No weapon have I got, Only my virtue, but I swear If you don't hand me out the lot I'll rip my blouse, let down my hair, Denounce you as a fiend accurst . . .' He told her: 'Do your worst.'
She did. Her silken gown she tore, Let down her locks and pulled the cord That stopped the train, and from the floor She greeted engineer and guard: 'I fought and fought in vain,' she cried. 'Save me,--I'm terrified!'
The man was calm; he stood aloof. Said he: 'Her game you understand; But if you doubt, behold the proof Of innocence is in my hand.' And as they stared into the car They saw his logic in a flash . . . Aloft he held a lit cigar With two inches of ash.