Now I was in for it!
I had stuck my head out a mile!
How was I EVER going to convince Sharko to cater to the whims of Mable Sardine?
I didn't sleep much that night and the next morning I walked slowly down to the Clam Shell, where I expected Sharko to be, thinking about how to tell him about his "missing sardine".
I went to his office and, bracing myself, knocked on the door.
"OPEN IT!" Growled Sharko's unmistakable voice--and I did.
"CRAB!" Sharko yelled--and was that his happy tone of voice?
"CRAB, ya old rascal! Get in here and meet da newest sardine sensation--Sylvia! Sylvia Sardine! Da NEW seventh Sardine!!
My knees felt weak.
"But Sharko--I've FOUND Mable--the seventh sardine!"
"Dat has-been?" Sharko snorted! "Who needs HER?? We got da real thing here, Crab! Silvia here sings like a angel and dances better'n Ginger Rogers--besides being such a CUTE li'l thing an' she plays the accordion like nobody else on earth--" (This last he said with a sentimental quiver in his voice.)
"Accordian?" I said, "But I thought you needed an autoharp player!"
"Crab--ya got a lot to learn about this moosic bizness--da marks what buys tickets to dees concerts don' know a bass drum from a clarinet--dey come fer da noise an da mob scene! An dat's da troof!"
"But Mable said she was willing to perform tonight with a just few small changes in her contract..."
"Ahhh--Nuts to dat dame! She was gettin' too uppity fer her own good anyway, if ya ast me! Good riddance ta dat bag a trouble! We GOT A REAL WINNER HERE wit' Sylvia!!"
"Well..." I began feeling somewhat relieved.
"Ya did GOOD anyway Crab! How much do ya want fer yer services?"
"Well..." thinking that I really had not done very much!
"Tell ya what, Crab! I'll comp ya a couple a' FREE tickets to t'night's show--they're worth BIG BUCKS--an' we'll call it square, OK?"
"Sure Sharko--that's fine with me! I really want to see the show. I'm looking forward to it very much!"