Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesUndertow - Chapter 38
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Undertow - Chapter 38 Post by :howtocorp Category :Long Stories Author :Kathleen Thompson Norris Date :May 2012 Read :1522

Click below to download : Undertow - Chapter 38 (Format : PDF)

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 then, item two: Agnes is a good plain cook, and Priscilla is an angel. I'll walk to market every day, and send out the laundry, and keep Priscilla with me. So that makes Agnes our entire domestic staff--she's enthusiastic, so don't begin to curl your lips over it. Then we'll have to have a floor in here, and cut a window in the closet back there, and put in a little gas stove, and before winter we'll put on a little addition--a kitchen in back, with a room for the boys above. And we'll shut the big double doors, and I'll have another window box right across their windows, and curtain the whole place in plain net. The boys can sleep in the tent for the time being. There's a furnace, but we'll have to make some provision for coal--"

"But, my good woman, you don't propose to make this arrangement permanent, I suppose?" Bert said, bewilderedly. "Why, I meant to spend to-morrow looking about--"

"Why shouldn't it be permanent?" Nancy demanded. "We can kitch and dine and sit in the big room, we'll have all the room we want, upstairs. It's the only place in the world where we don't have to pay rent. It's quiet, it's off the main road, nobody will see what we are doing here, and nobody'll care!"

"They'll see us fast enough," Bert said doubtfully. "I never heard of any one doing it--I don't know what people would say!"

"Bert," Nancy assured him seriously, "I don't care what they say. I've been thinking it all over, and I believe I can risk the opinion of Marlborough Gardens! Some of them will drop us, and you and I know who they are. How much do we care? And the others will realize that we are hard hit financially, and trying to catch up. Mary Ingram came over while you were away, perfectly aghast. She had just heard of it. I told her what we were trying to do, and she said--well, she said just the one thing that really could have helped me. She said: 'You'll have great fun--we lived in our garage while the house was being built, and it was quite the happiest summer we ever had down here!'" Nancy had squared herself on the arm of his chair so that Bert could see her bright eyes in the dark. "It was just like Mary, to put it that way," she went on. "For of course even Holly Court was never as large as the Ingrams' garage, and all those brick arches and things join it to the house anyway, but it made me think how much wiser it is to do things your own way, instead of some other people's way! And, Bert, we're going to have such fun! We'll keep the car, and you can run it on Sundays, and perhaps I will a little, during the week, and at night or when it rains we can cover it with a tarpaulin, and we'll have picnics with the children all summer long! And I'll make you 'chicken Nancy' again, and popovers, on Sunday mornings! I love to cook. I love to tell stories to children. I love to pack mashy suppers and get all dirty and hot dragging them to the beach, and I love to stuff my own Thanksgiving turkey, in my own way! We haven't had a real Thanksgiving turkey for four or five years! We'll have no rent-- Agnes gets thirty--light will be almost nothing, and coal about a tenth of what it was--Bert, we'll spend about two hundred a month, all told!"

"I don't say yet that you ought to try it," Bert said suddenly, in his old, excited, earnest way. "But of course that would--well, it would just about make me. I could plunge into the other thing, I wouldn't have this place on my mind!"

"There are some bills, you know, Bert."

"The extra thousand will take care of those!"

"So that we start in with a clean slate. Oh, Bert!" Nancy's voice was as exultant as a child's. "Bert--my fur coat, and your coat! I've just remembered they're in storage! Isn't that luck!"

Bert laughed at her face.

"Funny how your viewpoint on luck changes. This morning you had the coat and the Lord knows how much silver and glass and lace besides--"

"Oh, I know. But that's the kind of a woman I am, Bert. I don't like things to come to me so fast that I can't taste them. I don't like having four servants, I get more satisfaction out of one. And if I am hospitable, I'd rather give meals and rooms to persons who really need them, than to others who have left better meals and better rooms to come and share mine!

"Why, Bert dear," Nancy's cheek was against his now, "the thought of waking up in the morning and realizing that nobody expects anything of me makes me feel young again! It makes me feel as if I was breathing fresh air deep down into my lungs. We haven't room for servants, we have no guest room, I simply can't do anything but amuse Priscilla and make desserts. We'll have the children at the dinner table every night, and nights that Agnes is off, I'll have a dotted black and white percale apron for you--"

This was old history, there had been a dotted percale apron years ago, and Nancy was joking, but Bert did not laugh. He made a gruff sound, and tightened his arm.

"Bert," said his wife, seriously, "Bert, when I kissed you this afternoon, dirty and hot and sooty as you were, I knew that I'd been missing something for a long time!"

Again Bert made a gruff sound, and this time he kissed his wife, but he did not speak for a moment. When he did, it was with a long, deep breath.

"Lord--Lord--Lord!" said he.

"Why do you say that?" asked Nancy.

"Oh, I was just thinking!" Bert stretched in his chair, to the infinite peril of his equilibrium and hers. "I was just thinking what a wonderful thing it is to be married, and to climb and fall, and succeed and fail, and all the rest of it!" he said contentedly. "I'll bet you there are lots of rich men who would like to try it again! I was just thinking what corking times we're going to have this year, what it's going to be like to have my little commutation punched like the rest of 'em, and come home in the dark, winter nights, to just my own wife and my own kids! I like company now and then--the Biggerstaffs and the Ingrams--but I like you all the year round. We'll--we'll read Dickens this winter!"

Nancy gave a laugh that was half a sob.

"Bert--we were always going to read Dickens! Do you remember?"

"Do I remember!" He smoked for a while in silence. Then he chuckled. "Do you remember the Sunday breakfasts in the East Eleventh Street flat? With real cream and corn bread? Do you remember wheeling Junior through the park?"

Nancy cleared her throat.

"I remember it all!"

There was another silence. Then Bert straightened suddenly, and asked with concern:

"Nancy--what is it? You're all tired out, you poor little girl. Don't, dear--don't cry, Nancy!"

Nancy, groping for his handkerchief, battling with tears, feeling his kiss on her wet cheek, laughed shakily in the dark.

"I--I can't help it, Bert!" said she. "I'm--I'm so happy!"


(THE END)
Kathleen Thompson Norris's Novel: Undertow

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

The Judgment House - Book 3 - Chapter 21. The Burning Fiery Furnace The Judgment House - Book 3 - Chapter 21. The Burning Fiery Furnace

The Judgment House - Book 3 - Chapter 21. The Burning Fiery Furnace
BOOK III CHAPTER XXI. THE BURNING FIERY FURNACEThere was that in Stafford's tone which made Fellowes turn with a start. It was to this room that Fellowes had begged Jasmine to come this morning, in the letter which Krool had so carefully placed for his master to find, after having read it himself with minute scrutiny. It was in this room they had met so often in those days when Rudyard was in South Africa, and where music had been the medium of an intimacy which had nothing for its warrant save eternal vanity and curiosity, the evil genius of the
PREVIOUS BOOKS

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
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT