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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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about those things. In fact, that was part of her act, you know. She wouldn't dream of looking the way that she should look. This night I managed to get her polished up because I told her that I wanted to be proud of her, and she did have on a new dress. She looked beautiful. She was beautiful even in her tawdriest costume.

We walked in. Woollcott, a great friend of Kathleen and Charles Norris, Alice Duer Miller and Harold Ross of the New Yorker were playing cribbage. There was a fourth there-- I don't remember who it was. I walked in with Helen, purposely making a rather late entrance because I wanted everybody to be there for our entrance. Only Woollcott couldn't be bothered to get up. He sat at the cribbage table, and he looked her over the way somebody would look over a piece of goods and said, “Well, well, you're Helen Thompson.” Helen said, “Yes I am, Mr. Woollcott.” She recognized him, of course, at once. And he said, “You know, I'm a great friend of your aunt and uncle, Charles and Kathleen Norris.” Helen said, “I know you are, Mr. Woollcott.” He said, “Your aunt, Kathleen Norris, is a wonderful woman. Your uncle, Charles Norris, is a shit.” Helen said very calmly, “Mr. Woollcott, my definition of that word is a man who uses it to a girl he has just met for the first time.” Well, she was “in” with that crowd! Woollcott, I must say, slapped his knee and screamed with joy and said, “You'll do, Helen.” He was very pleased with her retort. By the end of the evening, everybody said, “You're a lucky fellow to get this girl. She's terrific.”

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