HE WON BOTH WAYS
Ida Lupino, the movie actress, also went to Sampson recently and won a
$50 bet for a wounded boy in the hospital. It happened this way:
When the story got around that Miss Lupino was coming to visit the naval center, and particularly the hospital, a wounded kid in one of the beds said he'd bet a buck he'd get a kiss from the winsome Ida.
His ward mates laughed him off. Where did he get that stuff, they asked? He was crazy. Did he think Miss Lupino was going through the better than thousand-bed hospital kissing all the lips that smiled at her from the pillows? How'd he think he was going to pitch a little woo with the Hollywood honey, while the rest of 'em just lay there hungry-eyed and wishing?
"Well she'll kiss me" the kid persisted, "I got money that says she will. I'll lay a dollar even on the line she does." So the dollar was be. then other dollars were bet.
Presently, through the creation of a sort of syndicate on the proposition that this particular boy would get a smack from Ida Lupino.
Come the day of the actress' visit. The boy was risking money on the tricky proposition of a lady's favor was a little worried. He was betting not only his own money, but the hard-fought-for moola of several of his friends. Fifty dollars ain't hay, when you get it the hard way, fighting in a war. The boy still had hopes.
In time there was a flurry in the hospital corridor and a moment later a gay young woman, handsomely dressed, and quite as pretty as her pictures on the screen represented her to be, burst into the big hospital ward, and with it, it seemed, came all the sunshine that for many days had been blanked bout by the gray, grim cloudbanks over Seneca Lake.
Past the threshold she paused a brief moment, while her bright eyes took quick survey of the bed-ridden veterans, and then, as though under the direction of some physic impulse, she rushed to the bed of the lad who had bet he would kiss her, kissed him roundly and often, covered indeed, so bloody red with lipstick that before the hurricane osculation had spent itself, the bed patient looked as though he had been hit in the face with a burst of shrapnel.
But he had won his bet. He got paid off, not only in the coin of the realm, but in the more valued currency (if such it might be called) of a lovely lady's lips. The secret of it is that someone - presumably a nurse - had tipped off Miss Lupino about the bet, and she decided to win it for the kid. She made a hit all the way. The boys liked Ida. They "I i-dolize Ida," as the old song used to go: while Bob Hope and the larger audience, the greater press and met more braid, no entertainer who has appeared at the Navy hospital in a long, long time has pleased the bed patients so much as the little charmer from Hollywood. It is nice to hear about things like this, and I am glad the boy in bed got kissed, and got half a C for it into the bargain.
By the way. The story is, and it comes from a reasonably reliable source, that when the last of the "boots" finish their training in early autumn, Sampson will be transformed into a big naval hospital for chest cases, and that the institution will be permanent.