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Undertow - Chapter 38 Undertow - Chapter 38

Undertow - Chapter 38
Chapter Thirty-eight Another silence. Then Nancy said briskly: "Well! Listen to what I've planned, Bert, and tell me what you think. Item one: this is vacation, but when it's over I want to start Anne and the boys in at the village school. They can cut right across the field at the back here, it's just a good walk for them. They're frantic to go, instead of to Fraulein, and I'm perfectly satisfied to have them!" "Sure you are?" the man asked, a little touched, for this had been a long-disputed point. "Oh, quite! Just as you and I did. And... Long Stories - Post by : howtocorp - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1342

Undertow - Chapter 37 Undertow - Chapter 37

Undertow - Chapter 37
Chapter Thirty-seven Contentedly, the Bradleys dined. Bert served scrambled eggs and canned macaroni to the ravenous children--a meal that was supplemented by a cold roast fowl from the Rose's, a sheet of rolls brought at the last moment by the Fieldings' man, sweet butter and peach ice-cream from the Seward Smiths, and a tray of various delicacies from the concerned and sympathetic Ingrams. Every one was hungry and excited, and more than once the boys made their father shout with laughter. They were amusing kids, his indulgent look said to his wife. At the conclusion of the meal little Anne went... Long Stories - Post by : howtocorp - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2170

Undertow - Chapter 36 Undertow - Chapter 36

Undertow - Chapter 36
Chapter Thirty-six That night they slept in the garage. With a flash of her old independence, Nancy so decided it. She was firm in declining the hospitable offers that would have scattered the Bradleys among the neighbouring homes for the night. "No, no--we're all together," Nancy said, smiling. "I don't want to separate again, for a while." She calmly estimated the salvage- -beds and bedding, some chairs, rugs, and small tables, tumbled heaps of the children's clothes, and odd lots of china and glass. Priscilla was presently set to amuse herself, on a rug on the lawn, and the enraptured children... Long Stories - Post by : howtocorp - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1987

Undertow - Chapter 35 Undertow - Chapter 35

Undertow - Chapter 35
Chapter Thirty-five For two hours more the Bradleys sat as they were, and watched the swift ruin of their home. Nancy's hot face cooled by degrees, and she showed an occasional faint interest in the details of the calamity; this chair was saved, that was good; this clock was in ruins, no matter. She did not loosen her hold on Anne, and the little girl sat contentedly in her mother's lap, but the boys foraged, and shouted as they dashed to and fro. Over and over again she reassured them; it was too bad, of course, but Mother and Dad did... Long Stories - Post by : howtocorp - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1673

Undertow - Chapter 34 Undertow - Chapter 34

Undertow - Chapter 34
Chapter Thirty-four "Then we're going to be gipsies, aren't we?" exulted Junior. His mother had straightened her hair, and turned the box upon which she sat for the better accommodation of Anne and herself. Now she was placidly watching the flames devour Holly Court; the pink banners that blew loose in the upswirling gray fumes, and the little busy sucking tongues that wrapped themselves about an odd cornice or window frame and devoured it industriously. She saw her bedroom paper, the green paper with the white daisies--Bert had thought that a too-expensive paper--scarred with great gouts of smoke, and she saw... Long Stories - Post by : howtocorp - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2032

Undertow - Chapter 31 Undertow - Chapter 31

Undertow - Chapter 31
Chapter Thirty-one Dummy again. She seemed to be dummy often, this afternoon. They were playing for quarter cents, but even that low stake, Nancy thought irritably, ran up into a considerable sum, when one's partner bid as madly as young Mrs. Billings bid. She was doubled, and redoubled, and she lost and lost; Nancy saw Elsie's white hand, with its gold pencil, daintily scoring four hundred--two hundred--three hundred. "I thought I might as well try it," said Mrs. Billings blithely, "but you didn't give me much help, partner!" "I didn't bid, you know," Nancy reminded her. "Oh, I know you didn't--it... Long Stories - Post by : franco - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1521

Undertow - Chapter 30 Undertow - Chapter 30

Undertow - Chapter 30
Chapter Thirty "The whole trouble is that Bert loves neither the children nor myself any more!" she decided bitterly, on a certain August afternoon, when, with three other young wives and mothers, she was playing bridge at the club. It was a Saturday, and Bert was on the tennis courts the semi-finals in the tournament were being played. Nancy had watched all morning, and had lunched with the other women; the men merely snatched lunch, still talking of the play. Nancy had noticed disapprovingly that Bert was flushed and excited, her asides to him seemed to fall upon unhearing ears.... Long Stories - Post by : franco - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2450

Undertow - Chapter 29 Undertow - Chapter 29

Undertow - Chapter 29
Chapter Twenty-nine No formal reconciliation ended this time of discomfort. Guests came to the house, and Bert addressed his wife with some faint spontaneity, and Nancy eagerly answered him. They never alluded to the quarrel; it might have been better if they had argued and cried and laughed away the pain, in the old way. But they needed each other less now, and life was too full to be checked by a few moments of misunderstanding. Nancy learned to keep absolutely silent when Bert was launched upon one of his favourite tirades against her extravagance; perhaps the most maddening attitude she... Long Stories - Post by : w3junkie - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 561

Undertow - Chapter 28 Undertow - Chapter 28

Undertow - Chapter 28
Chapter Twenty-eight Bert was very late, that night. The children were all asleep, and Nancy had dined, and was dreaming over her black coffee when, at nine o'clock, he came in. He was not hungry--just hot and tired-- he wanted something cool. He had lunched late, in town, with both the Pearsalls, had not left the table until four o'clock. And he had news for her. He was leaving Pearsall and Pearsall. Nancy looked at him stupefied. What did he mean? Panic seized her, and under her panic something rose and exulted. Perhaps it was trouble--perhaps Bert needed his wife again!... Long Stories - Post by : w3junkie - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 838

Undertow - Chapter 27 Undertow - Chapter 27

Undertow - Chapter 27
Chapter Twenty-seven But Nancy began to ask herself seriously; was it such fun? When house and maids and children, garden, car, table-linen and clothes had all been brought to the standard of Marlborough Gardens, was the result worth while? Who enjoyed them, who praised them? It was all taken for granted here; the other women were too deep in their own problems to note more than the satisfactory fact; the Bradleys kept the social law. It was a terrible law. It meant that Nancy must spend every waking moment of her life in thought about constantly changing trifles-- about the strip... Long Stories - Post by : w3junkie - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 3123

Undertow - Chapter 26 Undertow - Chapter 26

Undertow - Chapter 26
Chapter Twenty-six Worse than any real or fancied change in the children, however, was the unmistakable change in Bert. Heartsick, Nancy saw it. It was not that he failed as a husband, Bert would never do that; but the bloom seemed gone from their relationship, and Nancy felt sometimes that he was almost a stranger. He never looked at her any more, really looked at her, in the old way. He hardly listened to her, when she tried to engage him in casual talk; to hold him she must speak of the immediate event--the message Joe had left for him, the... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 858

Undertow - Chapter 25 Undertow - Chapter 25

Undertow - Chapter 25
Chapter Twenty-five There was no stopping half way, however. The current had caught the Bradleys and it carried them on. There was no expense that could be lessened without weakening the whole structure. Nancy grew sick of bills, bills that came in the mail, that were delivered, and that piled up on her desk. She honestly racked her brain to discover the honourable solution; there was no solution. Even while she pondered, Priscilla in her arms, the machinery that she and Bert had so eagerly constructed went on of its own power. "The cleaner's man, Hannah?" Nancy would ask, sighing. "You'll... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 455

Undertow - Chapter 24 Undertow - Chapter 24

Undertow - Chapter 24
Chapter Twenty-four There was a brief halt when a fourth child, Priscilla, was born. It was in the quiet days that followed Priscilla's birth, that the Bradleys began to look certain unpleasant facts squarely in the face. They were running steadily deeper and deeper into debt. There were no sensational expenditures, but there were odd bills left unpaid, from midsummer, from early fall, from Christmas. "And I don't see where we can cut down," said Bert, gloomily. It was dusk of a bitter winter day. Nancy was lying on a wide couch beside her bedroom fire, Priscilla snuffled in a bassinet... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2537

Undertow - Chapter 21 Undertow - Chapter 21

Undertow - Chapter 21
Chapter Twenty-one Up to this time it might have been said that the Bradleys had grasped their destiny, and controlled it with a high hand. Now their destiny grasped them, and they became its helpless prey. Neither Nancy nor Bert was at all conscious of this; in deciding to do just what all the other persons at the Gardens did, they merely felt that they were accepted, that they were a part at last of this wholly fascinating and desirable group. At first it meant only that they went to the fortnightly dinner at the club, and danced, on alternate Saturday... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2414

Undertow - Chapter 20 Undertow - Chapter 20

Undertow - Chapter 20
Chapter Twenty The rest of that summer, and the fall, were like an exquisite dream. All the Bradleys were well, and happier than their happiest dream. Nancy took the children swimming daily on the quiet, deserted beach just above the club grounds; on Saturdays and Sundays they all went swimming. She made her own bed every morning, and the children's beds, and she dusted the beautiful drawing room, and set the upper half of the Dutch door at a dozen angles, trying to decide which was the prettiest. She and Anne made a little ceremony of filling the vases with flowers,... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1631

Undertow - Chapter 19 Undertow - Chapter 19

Undertow - Chapter 19
Chapter Nineteen That same week Bert brought home the deeds, and put them down on the dinner table before her. Nancy usually started the meal promptly at half past six, so that the children's first raging appetites might be partly assuaged; bread was buttered, milk poured, bibs tied, and all the excitement of commencing the meal abated when Bert came in. It was far from being the ideal arrangement, both parents admitted that, but like a great many other abridgements and changes in the domestic routine, it worked. The rule was that no one was to interrupt Dad until he had... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2819

Undertow - Chapter 18 Undertow - Chapter 18

Undertow - Chapter 18
Chapter Eighteen An hour later they went to see Holly Court again. It was even lovelier than ever in the sweet spring twilight. Triangles of soft light lay upon its dusty, yet polished, floors. Bert said that the place certainly needed precious little furniture; Nancy added eagerly that one maid could do all the work. She drew a happy sketch of Bert and his friends, arriving hot and weary from the city, on summer afternoons, going down to the bay for a plunge, and coming back to find supper spread on the red-tiled porch. Bert liked the idea of winter fires,... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1092

Undertow - Chapter 17 Undertow - Chapter 17

Undertow - Chapter 17
Chapter Seventeen Twenty-five thousand. It was out at last, falling like a stone on the Bradleys' hearts. Nancy could hardly keep the bitter tears from her eyes. Bert, more hardy, barked out a short laugh. "I'm a fool to let it go," said the agent frankly; "I'm all tied up with other things. But I have no hesitation in saying this; you buy it, put the garden in shape, sit tight for a few years, and I'll turn it over for you for forty thousand, and throw in my commission!" "Nix!" said Bert, honestly, "Nothing stirring! It's too big a proposition... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1253

Undertow - Chapter 16 Undertow - Chapter 16

Undertow - Chapter 16
Chapter Sixteen However, on Sunday she forgot to ask him. The circumstances were so unexpectedly pleasant as to banish from her head any pre- arranged plan of procedure. It was a glowing June day, soft, perfumed, and breezy. The Bradleys went to Butler's Hill, which was "our station," as Nancy said, and there the agent met them, with a car. He drove them himself the short mile from the railroad to Marlborough Gardens. "Isn't it one of those frightfully smart developments?" Nancy asked, smiling uneasily. "It's considered the finest home development on Long Island," the agent admitted readily, "The place I'm... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 1560

Undertow - Chapter 15 Undertow - Chapter 15

Undertow - Chapter 15
Chapter Fifteen One day Bert told Nancy that a man named Rogers had been in the office, and had been telling him about a place called Marlborough Gardens. Usually Bert's firm did not touch anything small enough to interest him as a home, but in this case the whole development was involved, and the obliging Mr. Rogers chanced to mention to Bert that he had some bargains down there at the Gardens. "There's nothing in it for him, you understand?" said Bert to his wife, "But he's an awfully decent fellow, and he got interested. I told him about what we'd... Long Stories - Post by : SuSue - Date : May 2012 - Author : Kathleen Thompson Norris - Read : 2820