Leprechaun Tales: The Fantastic Adventures of Tink, Jing and Nastee
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by William P. McGivern
Description: Tink, a leprechaun with the belief in goodness of people, is ever optimistic. He never fails in sharing his beliefs and even making bets on the goodness of people, despite Nastee's persistent pessimism. Nastee never misses a trick to undo whatever goodness that can be undone. Along with Jing the beautiful elfin music sprite, the three of them battle Nazis, lions, and gremlins, as they make their way unseen in the world of humans. Originally published in the 1940s, these five stories by William P. McGivern, offer joyful escapist fun for kids and adults alike.
eBook Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks, LLC/Wonder eBooks, Fantastic Adventures
eBookwise Release Date: March 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [173 KB]
Reading time: 105-147 min.
Tink Takes A Hand
Tink and Nastee were leprechauns: little Irish elves. Tink made people happy, Nastee made them miserable. So they made a bet ... and the fun began
The argument started on the corner of Forty-second and Broadway on a very hot morning in late August. Like many intense arguments it was precipitated by a chance remark.
Tinkle and Nastee, were sprawled on top of the broad shoulders of the red-faced Irish cop who directed traffic at the intersection. They were sunning themselves lazily, paying little attention to the surging crowds and noisy trucks and cars.
Of course the Irish cop didn't know that his shoulders were serving as a resting place for Tink and Nastee. In fact he didn't even see them.
For Tink and Nastee were Leprechauns, not quite the size of the Irish copper's index finger and quite invisible to human eyes. Forty-second Street was a favorite spot for them. They liked the noise and the bustle and the neverending crowds of people. Practically every morning they climbed onto the top of a refuse can or the copper's shoulders and basked contentedly in the warm sun and the exciting street noises.
On this particular morning, the morning the argument started, Nastee turned on his side grumpily and said,
"I feel miserable. I feel terrible. Usually I can stand the sight of all these cheerful looking people going to work, but today it has got me down. I feel acutely, horribly unhappy."
Tinkle--Tink for short--chuckled. His laughter was a merry gusty bubble of gayety that tickled the Irish copper's ear.
"What's wrong with cheerful people?" he asked. "I like 'em. They make me feel fine, too. That's why I do what I can to make people happier. If you'd try that occasionally you'd feel the same way I do."
"Bah!" Nastee snorted. "I feel like a king when I'm making people unhappy. That's the only fun I get out of life these days."
"That's why you have such little fun," Tink replied. "It's a hard job making people unhappy, because they've got too much sense to make themselves unhappy over unimportant things. I'll bet you couldn't get anyone in trouble if you tried."
"What?" Nastee cried eagerly. "You think I can't mess people up and make them unhappy anymore?"
"Well," Tink hedged uneasily. , "I didn't mean exactly that. But I will say it's easier to make people happy than it is to make them unhappy."
"I think you're crazy," Nastee said sourly. "If I want to cause trouble it's the simplest thing in the world. And nobody can stop me either."
"Causing, trouble may be simple," Tink said, "when you don't have any opposition. But did you ever stop to think of what would happen if someone decided to spike your guns? Stopped your mischief before it did any harm?"
Nastee peered at Tink through his narrow little eyes.
"It wouldn't make any difference," he said flatly.
"I think it would," Tink said, just as flatly.
"Hummph," Nastee grunted.
"I say I think it would," Tink persisted. "In fact I'm willing to bet that if I had anything to say about the matter you wouldn't get to first base with your trouble making."
Nastee indulged in one of his rare, mirthless laughs.
"You're pretty cocky this morning, aren't you?" he said derisively. "If you're challenging me, you're on. We'll pick out one of these people going by here and make a real contest out of it. Just to show you how little worried I am, I'll let you have the first chance at whoever we pick."
"How long do we keep it up?" Tink asked gleefully.
"As long as you want," Nastee said sourly.
"Make it midnight tonight," Tink decided. "We'll both do what we can until then. At the stroke of twelve we both quit and decide who wins. All right?"
"Okay;" Nastee agreed. "Now let's pick the victim."
For several minutes they eyed the swollen parade of people surging past the intersection, "unable to make up their minds. Finally, however, Tink jumped to his feet and pointed to a tall, dark-haired young man 'standing indecisively on the curb.
"He looks interesting," he chirped. "Is he okay with you?"
Nastee surveyed the young man with a jaundiced eye. Finally he grunted and nodded his head.
"Okay," he muttered.
"Let's go then," Tink cried. "Don't forget I try my hand first on him."
With eyes dancing with merry excitement, Tink ran down the brass buttons on the Officer's coat and leaped to the street in a graceful bound.
Jonathon Blake stood on the corner of Forty-second and Broadway wrestling with a rather interesting problem. He was trying to decide whether he should spend his last dollar and then leap into the Hudson River or just step in front of a truck now and be done with it.
He was a tall, dark-haired young man, and his serge suit could have doubled for a mirror any time, any place. He was a playwright. Ordinarily playwrights do not spend their time contemplating self-extinction. Only hungry playwrights who have been forcibly ejected from every manager's office on Broadway are subject to this peculiar form of mental doldrums. Jonathon fitted into this last group and that was reason enough, it seemed to him, for stepping recklessly into the street into the path of a huge, rumbling van.
He actually did it without thinking. One instant he was pondering the problem and the next split second he was waiting for the inevitable and crushing impact of the heavy truck.
A horrible tortured squeal tore from brake drums and the truck came to a shuddering, jerky stop, bumper grazing the leg of Jonathon's trousers. It was a miraculous, almost incredible escape, and the milling pedestrians were breathlessly horrified.
Jonathon struggled through them as swiftly as he could and hurried down the street. Just his luck, he decided miserably. Couldn't even do a decent job of committing suicide. Every other bloke could, if he wanted, dispatch himself with neatness and vigor, but not Jonathon Blake. He strode dejectedly along, completely unaware of the two Leprechauns perched on his shoulder.
"First blood," Tink said jubilantly to the glowering Nastee. "I saved him from the truck. Now let's see what you can do."
"You'll see," Nastee promised grimly.
At Forty-first street Jonathon decided to have a cup of coffee. He might as well spend his dollar, he realized, before jumping into the river. He was no hoarder.
He entered a smart restaurant, catering to the show business crowd, and slumped into a seat next to a young girl. He didn't bother to look at her, just mumbled his order to the waitress and continued to think his gloomy thoughts.
When the coffee arrived, he reached for the cup, but before he could touch it, something jigged his elbow and the cup tipped its contents into the lap of the girl seated next to him.
She cried out instinctively, and then they were both on their feet and he was trying vainly to mop up the mess with his handkerchief. The waitress and the manager hurried over and Jonathon felt like an awkward, clumsy oaf, with ten thumbs.
"I'm terribly sorry," he said miserably, dabbing ineffectually at her skirt with his handkerchief. "Awfully clumsy of me."
"Yes, wasn't it?" the girl said frostily.
Jonathon took a good look at her then for the first time. The top of her smooth blonde head came up just even with his shoulder, and she was put together very neatly, with just the right curves in the right places. Her large blue eyes were frosted with anger now and there were twin spots of color in the creamy white of her cheeks.
Jonathon felt his spirits lifting at the sight of this girl. Suddenly it seemed awfully important that she didn't think him an impossible clown.
"Please," he said humbly, "I know I don't deserve it but won't you smile just once so I'll know you're not too angry with me."
The girl hesitated for an instant, and then she noticed Jonathon's clean, dark, good looks and wide shoulders. She smiled then. Not a big smile but just enough to let Jonathon know she wasn't really mad.
He sat down next to her feeling very happy and very reckless.
"Since I've messed up things so terribly," he said, "won't you let me buy breakfast?" He slipped his hand covertly into his pocket and reassured himself that the dollar was still there.
For a fraction of a second the girl deliberated. Then she smiled, a big smile this time.
"I think that would be very nice," she said gaily.
Breakfast while it lasted, was one of the most delightful meals he had ever eaten. They talked of everything and anything and time slipped by rapidly. Finally the girl glanced at her watch and sighed regretfully. Jonathon called for a check and reached for his dollar bill. It wasn't in the pocket he thought it was. He tried his other side pocket. It wasn't there. Something like panic crawled into his throat and stuck there.
Hurriedly he went through his other pockets. His vest, even his watch pocket he turned inside out. A cold clammy sweat broke out on his brow. What would she think? Naturally, that he was just some cheap cadger who was trying to sponge her for a meal. Or else just a blustering fourflusher. His heart began to pound against his ribs like a frightened bullfrog.
Tink and Nastee were sitting on the edge of the counter, swinging their legs.
"That's two in a row for you," Tink said. "First you knocked the cup over and now you've stolen his money."
"The spilled coffee didn't work like it, should have. I'll bet you had something to do with the way they got together so nice and chummy. She won't think much of him when he has to ask her to pay the check though."
Jonathon mopped his forehead nervously with his handkerchief.
"Is there anything wrong?" the girl asked quietly. There was the barest trace of frigidity in her voice.
"No, no," Jonathon lied. "Everything's just fine."
He picked up the check and stood up. The walk to the cashier's desk was like the Last Mile. He thought desperately of dropping to the floor, and feigning unconsciousness or illness. But he didn't. He walked on like a zombie or a man going to a dentist. At the desk he fumbled uncertainly with the check until the cashier reached out and plucked it from his nerveless finger's.
This was the end. As he waited for her to total the check he thought bitterly of what he would do if he ever caught the pickpocket who had lifted his dollar.
The ringing of the cash register disrupted his murderous reverie. It didn't just ring once as the sale was recorded. It rang steadily and clangingly like a fire alarm. Jonathon looked at the girl anxiously.
She was smiling cheerfully as if it was nothing unusual for a well-behaved cash register to suddenly go off like an alarm clock.
"What's the matter?" he asked stupidly.
"Nothing," the girl answered, with a bright smile. She shoved his check back to him. It was stamped, with a big gold star.
"You're the one-hundred-thousandth customer this year," she explained.
"The meal is on us. Congratulations."
Jonathon felt a flood of sheer relief course through his body. His knees were filling with water and his head was getting light and dizzy. Luck like this was incredulous.
"Saved by the bell," he said fervently.
He turned and joined the girl who was waiting at the door. Now he could ask her name, ask her to let him see her again. Dizzying, delightful thoughts were churning through his head. He was going to lick this writing game, he knew. He also knew that when that happened he'd probably have a certain important question to ask this girl. That, he decided fleetingly, was the silliest thought of all. See a girl for a half hour and decide you're in love with her. Those things just didn't happen.
He took her by the arm and they went outside.
Tink was dancing gleefully on Jonathon's shoulder.
[Irish folklore is full of beliefs about the "little people," both good, and bad. Perhaps the most famous of them all are the leprechauns, who are said to be invisible, except to true Irishmen, and only to them on certain occasions. They are, insist the Irish, the "voice" we call conscience.--Editor]
"Pretty neat," he chortled. "Pretty neat, wasn't it?"
Nastee barely grunted.
"You mean fixing that cash machine, I suppose," he said sulkily. He turned over and scowled. "I'm getting mad now!'
"Do you think," Jonathon said to the girl when they reached the street, "that I'd be awfully out of place in asking you to let me see you again."
The girl smiled up at him.
"You don't even know my name," she said, "and yet you're anxious to see me again?"
"I know all I need to," Jonathon said seriously.
The girl's reply was completely obliterated by the sudden squealing of protesting brakes. A heavy truck had stopped suddenly before them blocking the traffic. Behind the truck a long sleek Cadillac honked its patrician horn impatiently.
Finally the owner of the Cadillac, a short, dynamic looking, florid fellow dressed in extremely loud sport clothes climbed wrathfully from the back seat of his car.
"I'll get a cab," he shouted angrily. "My time is my money and I am not a spendthrift. There ought to be a law against trucks anyway."
The man strode to the sidewalk and Jonathon, getting his first good look at him, felt his knees go suddenly weak. For this multi-colored, bellowing specimen of humanity was Max Swart, the biggest theatrical producer in the country. Jonathon had seen him before on several occasions as the fabled producer had swept past him in the outer reception rooms of his office and disappeared into the huge double doors that barricaded his own inner sanctum.
A nod of approval from Max Swart had made many of the biggest men and women in show business. But, needless to say, Max Swart did not make a habit of nodding at just anyone.
Jonathon watched him breathlessly as a very small boy might watch Babe Ruth or Jack Dempsey.
The Great Man was walking toward them, he would pass right by them--BUT NO!!!
Jonathon almost fainted as Max Swart suddenly halted in his tracks, a big smile of welcome and recognition spreading over his face. Hands outstretched, the producer strode toward him eagerly. Jonathon knew his big chance had somehow miraculously arrived. It was possible that Max Swart remembered him from seeing him in his outer office, and now wanted to talk about one of the plays that he had written. Maybe he needed something for an immediate production, something like--Jonathon's dream train was derailed abruptly as the producer strode past him to the girl with whom he had breakfasted.
"Lola, Lola," he cried enthusiastically. "It's absolutely glorious to see you again. I have a play for you. Such a play, such a play, darling, as you have never read. There is not a second to lose. We'll go right to my office at once."
Jonathon felt as if a mule had kicked him in the stomach. He recognized the girl now. Lola Langtry, one of the year's sensational' finds. God! what a chump he'd been. Buying her breakfast, making plans about her like any adolescent sophomore.
She turned to him.
"Please understand, I have to leave now." She seemed to be waiting for him to say something but he remained silent.
"Come on!" Max Swart shouted. "My car is waiting." He shot a glance at Jonathon and then dragged Lola away by the arm. "Watch out who you talk to in this town," Jonathon heard him say as he helped the actress into the car.
A second later gears meshed and the long car shot away, a sleek shining symbol of money and power.
Tink shifted uneasily on Jonathon's shoulder and glanced at Nastee with new respect in his eye.
"Did you know that her big shot producer was coming along then?" he asked suspiciously. "If you did you're getting pretty good."
Nastee shrugged complacently.
"I'm pretty good all right," he smirked.
Jonathon stared after the powerful car bitterly. That was the way his luck ran. Get interested in a girl, build upa lot of silly ideas and then find out she's a top notch actress, sought after by famous producers, while he didn't have two coins to rub together. He'd never see her again, he knew. He didn't have any reason to. He jammed his hands into his pockets and started to move along, when a voice stopped him.
"Hey, Mister, your, girl dropped this!"
Jonathon turned and saw one of the bus boys from the restaurant hurrying toward him. He held a small diamond clip in his hand.
"Found it under the stool where she was sitting," he explained importantly.
Jonathon closed his hand over the beautiful little clip and a smile touched his face. He'd see her once again anyway, if only to return the brooch.
Tink executed a little jig on the top of Jonathon's ear.
"He'll see her again;" he said slyly to Nastee, "because I took the brooch from her pocketbook and planted it under the stool. It's not twelve o'clock yet, remember. A lot can happen to our friend here."
"A lot is going to happen," Nastee promised grimly.