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THE BITTERS WITH THE SWEET
a dark comer of The Blue Moon Inn* He and Cordelia might have been redecorating that Washington night spot to this day, but Creole forebearance wore thin at last. Mabel Morton was never afraid to face facts. She confronted Jelly one day in New York. . . .
I said to him m 1937, "Well, what are you going to do? Are you staying in Washington or are you coming back to me?" Then he had to break down and tell me the truth,
"I have a little night club there," Jelly told me. Tm in partners with a woman"
"Oh, I see. So that's it. I thought you were in the fighting game. Well, then, Tm coming to Washington/* I said.
"All right, Mabel," he told me.
When I got to Washington, I saw what the situation was. Of course, nothing was said to me, but you can sense those things. Well, immediately all the help at the place accepted me as his wife. They expected some sort of big blow-up, I suppose, and then nothing happened. Cordelia was very polite and nice to me and I was the same to her, but I soon saw it was the wrong spot for Jelly. I told him so. He tried to show nie that some of the best people came to his place—doctors, lawyers and big shots. "They come, all right/' I told him, "and want the best of everything and then, when their check comes, ask for a reduction. . . ? Jelly Roll had stocked the bar like the Jungle Inn was the Absinthe House; you could get any kind of drink in the world there you wanted. So these Washington folks would lap up all that fine liquor and then scream about the bill. When an argument would come up, Cordelia wouldn't back Jelly up, and in the end, she would knock a couple dollars off the check.
i said, "Je%> Jou were winning night clubs when this woman was ducking the truant officer. Cordelia donyt know how to use her money sensible. She's just running this place for her friends/' Jelly admitted I was right, but he kept on hoping to make something big out of the place—which it