Witness the anecdote concerning the magnifico who, for a variety of reasons, usually a failure to recognise him on the part of the green desk clerk but sometimes attributable to the malice of the manager, is unable to get a room or suite in his accustomed hotel. Outraged, he disappears briefly into the night and returns with a deed to the property, having purchased the establishment lock, stock, and barrel, and forthwith discharged the obnoxious flunkey and gets a good night's rest. Sometimes he makes a deserving bellman manager on the spot. In some version he goes off to build a rival hotel, which eventually puts the offending hostelry out of business. The episode, stylishly embellished, appears so frequently in the folklore of the old West as to assume the dignity of portions of the Icelandic sagas or the Arthurian legends. The wish-fulfillment hotel purchase, already well established in the national mythology, can factually be traced to at least three authentic episodes in Denver, Butte, and Colorado Springs, respectively, a circumstance which must be viewed by the social historian with much the same satisfaction as is activated in a student of the chansons de geste by supporting evidence that there was in fact a Roland who did indeed blow his fated horn at Roncesvalles.
from Big Spenders by Lucius Beebe
Post a Comment