nolan and mortimer helped jasper up off the floor, where he had fallen during his coughing fit, and back on to his stool.
"are you all right, sir?" raoul asked, with perhaps a little less friendly courtesy than he might have when the night was younger.
"i am all right," jasper answered, " i just need to finish my drink."
"you have finished it , sir," raoul told him. "and now it is closing time."
"did not. there was plenty left. plenty. it was a double, after all."
"it looks like you spilled it when you fell over," nolan told him.
nolan let go of jasper's right arm. mortimer let go of his left arm and he managed to stay upright, slumping against the bar.
"then you should give me another," jasper answered. "another double rye please bartender."
"the bar is closed, sir." raoul turned around and announced to the bar and the room, "the bar is closed, ladies and gentlemen. the last round has been served. the prince hal room thanks you for your custom."
the place was almost empty. the only customers left at the bar were the young woman who had been quietly drinking alone, and the big salesman type guy who had ordered coffee. the young woman now put her change and cigarettes into her purse and got up.
"old overholt, remember," jasper announced. "make sure it's old overholt."
and nobody left on the floor except the actress miss wilde, now sitting alone at a corner table, looking smashed. no problem there, thought raoul, nolan or mortimer could help her up to her suite.
all in all, not a bad closing time. and there had only been one fight - the one involving young mr collinson - or had there been two? - all night.
and the green room - he had to remember to check the green room.
"where's my old overholt? what kind of service is this?"
"the bottle of old overholt will be waiting for you, sir, if you wish to oblige us with your custom tonight, or this afternoon when we reopen. we will keep it on hand especially for you."
"but i didn't finish," jasper protested. "it's not fair."
"look," said nolan. "suppose you went into a liquor store and bought a bottle. and when you came out you dropped it on the sidewalk and it smashed. would the store give you another bottle free?"
"i would hope so, " jasper answered. "why not?"