« 이전계속 »
Mrs. Vandevort, a large, robust doll The girl seemed to sit in a shining of a woman, directed the placing of rugs, dream. "Oh yes, mamma-it's perfect furniture, hangings, objects of art, like simply perfect!” one accustomed to having her own way Miss Vandevort rose and fitted about with the best things that lie on the sur the improvised apartment daintily as a face of life. She commanded Jenkins as butterfly, while the older woman spoke an underling and ignored him as a hu to Jenkins of furnishings for sleepingman.
a cast-iron quality porches, sun-rooms, library, den. Jenabout her, due to a lack of imagination kins, dizzy with the possibilities implied, and sympathy, which comes of never said he would be delighted to show the having been really hungry, hard-worked, goods. happy. She used an elegant authorita "It's noon, Betty." The lady looked tiveness with Jenkins, exacting from him at her watch and then out of the winthe price of each article and keeping an dow. “Looks like an all-day rain. Well, itemized list of the expenditure on a we need it. What do you say, Betty, to gold-mounted shopping-pad with a gold our taking luncheon here and returning pencil on a gold chain, to which she in an hour to have the den set up?" constantly called her daughter's atten “In the Iris Room, mamma? Oh, tion.
beautiful!" “That gold-satin cushion's just the The girl smiled, beautifully glad. She thing—makes a fine high-light. Do you lived in a world where beautiful things see, Betty?” She prodded her daughter happened and were always about to with the pencil.
Events passed off splendidly. By four and a place in the sun for Molly!” A o'clock the den had been set up, the rain place in the sun for Molly! How had he had ceased, the Vandevorts were gone. ever been clever enough to say that? Jenkins, tired but happy, had proved his “And just what Molly needed was to get knowledge of the farthest reaches of the out of the basement into the sun." stock.
Then, to succeeding tunes of the street “It's your big drive, Mr. Jenkins," piano, he spread upon the screen of the crackled Miss O'Dowd of the cretonnes, freshly cleared sky a shining new reelancient and wrinkled as a raisin. “And Molly and he taking the Edgewater car what's more, Joyce came down for a few to look at a cottage on the lake adverminutes and saw you make it.”
tised in the Sunday paper as “a small She knew, and the force knew, that cottage on lake, porches, garden, modSprague could not have set up the apart ern, cheap.” And
when the street piano ments without Jenkins, and that Jenkins came again to the British marching song, had done it without Sprague.
and far away the British soldiers were The handy-man wondered if Joyce marching toward old Bagdad, Jenkins, knew this.
sitting like the Persian dreamer of that He washed, changed his collar and ancient city before his tray of crystals, reported to Joyce on the tenth floor, at laughed aloud from his dream. five minutes past four.
'A cottage on the lake" sounded “A ten-thousand-dollar order—and grand, elegant-like the name of the splendidly done, Jenkins, the way you palace Cyril Scott was furnishing for his set up the stuff. I had no idea you could bride. do it alone.” Joyce was crisp, salty. He “Hello, Jinks!” did not smile or give Jenkins his eye. It was Jimsy, the buttony elevatorHis mouth was straight and tight, in- boy—a young American cockney and stinct with discretion and economy, and snipe of the city byways whom Jenkins better adapted for criticism than for had rescued to the uniform of Spaldcompliment.
ing's, the night school, and a cot in the But Jenkins burned. It was a pain- attic at Mrs. Madden's. fully fine moment for him.
"'Phone's on the blink. Joyce told "She spoke of furniture for library, me to hand you this.” sun-rooms, and sleeping-porches,” pro Jenkins read the line in a violent tremjected Jenkins in shamefaced haste to ulation: “Report at office ten-thirty todivert the great man's attention from morrow morning." He rose and had to himself. “They're to telephone in the steady himself against the windowmorning about sending the things.” casing.
"Wot's up?" put Jimsy, democratBack in his own department, he went ically. Next to Mrs. Madden, Jimsy over to the window-seat. He felt like might be said to be Jenkins's most intisitting down. So much had happened mate friend. to him since morning. He was more
An odd glow dawned in Jenkins's eyes. tired and happy than he had ever been There was something about the boy before in his work at Spalding's.
that always had a releasing effect on Below, in the wet street now cut with Jenkins. sunlight and purple shade, a street piano "What's up? A cottage on the lake was grinding "Tipperary.' Jenkins that's what's up!" Jenkins grinned deknew the chorus. He tapped a tired toe lightedly. “And you to dinner, Jimsyand hummed inwardly. Any kind of every Sunday! I invite you now!-But music stirred Jenkins, but his imagina- mum's the word!”. tion was pictorial only on the subject of When he met the appointment with Molly, so, instead of seeing British sol- Joyce at ten-thirty the next morning, no diers on their way to Flanders, the music word had come from the Vandevorts. set him to elaborating his theme. Jenkins was getting anxious, and Molly
“A sale like this,” argued this mild had trilled inquiries three times over the Alnaschar of the Chicago market-place, house wire. "means a sure-enough raise for me “Better call them up," decreed Joyce.
thank you very
Jenkins cheerfully took the receiver. our taking steps to investigate. It's inThe maid answered. And while she was tolerable that you should not have been gone to fetch her mistress he even found satisfied. ... Of course, madame, astime for a swift little reel-Molly and suredly, absolutely confidential. · himself at The Hearth Cafeteria that Why, yes; that's exactly what we're here evening, celebrating.
for. ... We do. We advertise it and “Well!" It was the authoritative note we mean it; we're always delighted to of Mrs. Vandevort.
show the goods. Yes, it was a very “Good morning, Mrs. Vandevort. stormy day.
Very natural, maThis is Jenkins-at Spalding's. Would dame. .. Ah, I see. Well, we do. you mind giving me directions now We appreciate the compliment very about the goods?”
much, I assure you. ... Not at all, not A brief silence on the wire, then a sen at all. We are always pleased to show tence that shot into Jenkins's ear like a the goods. . . . Yes, indeed, we'll be debullet: “We've decided not to take the lighted, madame. Just call us up at things.
any time. ... No, it is I who must “What!" choked Jenkins into the
much. ... Yes, indeed. mouthpiece. “But you were pleased .. Good-by.” delighted? Is there anything wrong? It was a long half-minute before Joyce If so, we'll make it right. Would you looked at or spoke to Jenkins. He pollike to have us store the things until ished his glasses with one of those you're ready?”
magenta squares that oculists delight to “By no means. Emphatically not. furnish, and never seemed to get them We've decided not to take the things.” quite clear enough. The ugly flame of
“But you'll explain, Mrs. Vande the little rag under the desk-light hypnovort
tized Jenkins, whose eyes goggled. Joyce “You'll have to excuse me, Mr. Jen- laid the glasses on the blotting-pad and kins. I have a caller."
took out his handkerchief. In the silence Jenkins failed twice to get the receiver the blowing of his nose became an appallinto the socket.
ing event. He adjusted the glasses upon “What's the matter?” shot Joyce a masterful beak, and from pupils magfrom the swivel-chair.
nified by the strong lenses sent out at “She's-decided not to take the Jenkins a look that impaled like a things,” mouthed Jenkins in a weak javelin. voice.
“Strange- Jenkins,” he brought out “What!-What's wrong?"
with cool acidity—“that it did not occur “She didn't say.” Jenkins was in a to you that it was a rainy day-yestercold sweat.
day—and nothing doing in your depart“Didn't say!" snapped Joyce. “Give ment—and that the lady—was simplyme that 'phone!"
giving her daughter—a lesson in shopStricken with mental and physical ping. nausea, the clerk listened. He stood
Jenkins stood speechless, white as a like one who has come running against a corpse that had died there on its feet jagged stone wall in the dark-bruised, without hope of resurrection. bleeding. The highroad to promotion thought stirred in him sickeningly. at Spalding's and the shining lane to Sprague would have understood these Molly had gone pitch black.
women from the first-would never have Joyce was speaking in an incredibly made a fool of himself putting in the polite, poised, conciliatory tone:
whole day like that. “So sorry to have to bother you, “What I wanted to speak to you madame, but we simply have to ask you about," resumed Joyce, gruffly, "is the to explain-on account of the clerk. It space for the September sale. Get all of reflects on him and the house. We that Vandevort stuff cleared away for it must know what's wrong. He's been -to-day.” with us twenty years—and it may result Jenkins nodded, dragged iron feet in his discharge. I know it's a nuisance toward the elevator. to you, but if you'll speak, you'll save “And-Jenkins! Come back here!"
The sharp recall brought the clerk department, September first-as assistinto instant right-about-face.
ant buyer. What I particularly wanted “What do you mean by starting off to see you about to-day is the space like that before I've done with you? ... forYou tell Dawson to report to me at Long after it was Molly who comnoon."
pared Joyce's smile to white light trying In a flash, as in dreams, Jenkins saw to get through black clouds on a cold himself displaced by Dawson, doomed to November day. dull, pictureless days as a clerk in a minor house, going like a clock, wound in At The Hearth that evening Molly the morning, running down at night, chose ice-cream for the first course. until old enough to be thrown away. He “I like it better than anything so I made another slow start for the elevator. eat it first—when I'm hungry." Happi
“Don't start off again like that, Jen- ness adorned her like a delicate haze. kins!" blazed Joyce. “Can't you wait “Do you know how it tastes when till I'm through with you? Sit down
Sit down you're very hungry?". there—sit down! ... I want to talk to Jenkins, entirely indifferent to the soryou. We're making changes. Sprague's did necessity for eating, regarded her to be merchandise man after August intently, smiling, with an expectant look thirty-first. You go in at the head of the in his eyes.
“It tastes”-her laugh was from a for to how he was ever going to do it. It est of bird-notes in her throat-"first was never done that way in the movies. -like France roses—the way they smell, All of the lovers in the movies had enyou know, back in your throat.” The gagement-rings ready for use in their spoon was poised, but she forgot to eat. vest pockets, and there was always an “Then-like two weeks' vacation on a embrace and a kiss. He had only a ringhilltop in August with the wind blowing let in his vest pocket. And he had only and the sun shining. Then-like motor dreamed of kissing Molly. ing in winter-Aying through hills when He saw a pink stain rise from the there's nothing but
slender stem of the girl's neck and settle snow!”
in the lobes of her small, high-set ears. Jenkins sat luxuriating in the surprise Then it occurred to him that he had of her and the thought that he was to be taken advantage of her—that he must assistant buyer. There was something have surprised her-since she, of course, about her that you couldn't get for was not aware of the advanced stage money-like draperies and things at their affair had reached in the pillow Spalding's. It was wonderful to think pictures. She was sitting straight oppothat she was born that way—that she site him. The spoon half-way to her would always be—like that. And then lips was arrested. She sent out a winged he heard himself speaking:
flash at him, took refuge under curtain“We're going to take the Edgewater ing lids, blushed again because she had car on Saturday afternoon, Molly-to blushed. Then she exhaled a joyous look at a cottage on the lake--a small one, with porches and a garden-for you "Are we--?" and your mother-and me-to live She widened upon him dazzlingly, as in."
though she somehow sensed his hidden He had not known he was going to do dream of her—as though the Edgewater it in that way! He had been worried as car were the very chariot of the gods.
How Will It Seem?
BY CHARLES HANSON TOWNE
OW will it seem when Peace comes back once more,
After these desperate days of shattering pain?
And still there bloom, in many a lovely lane,
Hawthorn and lilacs; and the roses' stain
When the white moon shall mount the quiet sky!
Remembering those who dared to bleed and die?
For those who told this sad, glad world good-by!
VOL. CXXXVI.-No. 815.-94