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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesTheir Silver Wedding Journey - Part 1 - Chapter 3
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Their Silver Wedding Journey - Part 1 - Chapter 3 Post by :TrevorReed Category :Long Stories Author :William Dean Howells Date :May 2012 Read :2292

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Their Silver Wedding Journey - Part 1 - Chapter 3

PART I CHAPTER III

He was one of those men who live from the inside outward; he often took a hint for his actions from his fancies; and now because he had fancied some people going to look at steamers on Sundays, he chose the next Sunday himself for their visit to the Hanseatic boat at Hoboken. To be sure it was a leisure day with him, but he might have taken the afternoon of any other day, for that matter, and it was really that invisible thread of association which drew him.

The Colmannia had been in long enough to have made her toilet for the outward voyage, and was looking her best. She was tipped and edged with shining brass, without and within, and was red-carpeted and white-painted as only a ship knows how to be. A little uniformed steward ran before the visitors, and showed them through the dim white corridors into typical state-rooms on the different decks; and then let them verify their first impression of the grandeur of the dining-saloon, and the luxury of the ladies' parlor and music-room. March made his wife observe that the tables and sofas and easy-chairs, which seemed so carelessly scattered about, were all suggestively screwed fast to the floor against rough weather; and he amused himself with the heavy German browns and greens and coppers in the decorations, which he said must have been studied in color from sausage, beer, and spinach, to the effect of those large march-panes in the roof. She laughed with him at the tastelessness of the race which they were destined to marvel at more and more; but she made him own that the stewardesses whom they saw were charmingly like serving-maids in the 'Fliegende Blatter'; when they went ashore she challenged his silence for some assent to her own conclusion that the Colmannia was perfect.

"She has only one fault," he assented. "She's a ship."

"Yes," said his wife, "and I shall want to look at the Norumbia before I decide."

Then he saw that it was only a question which steamer they should take, and not whether they should take any. He explained, at first gently and afterwards savagely, that their visit to the Colmannia was quite enough for him, and that the vessel was not built that he would be willing to cross the Atlantic in.

When a man has gone so far as that he has committed himself to the opposite course in almost so many words; and March was neither surprised nor abashed when he discovered himself, before they reached home, offering his wife many reasons why they should go to Europe. She answered to all, No, he had made her realize the horror of it so much that she was glad to give it up. She gave it up, with the best feeling; all that she would ask of him was that he should never mention Europe to her again. She could imagine how much he disliked to go, if such a ship as the Colmannia did not make him want to go.

At the bottom of his heart he knew that he had not used her very well. He had kindled her fancy with those notions of a Sabbatical year and a Silver Wedding Journey, and when she was willing to renounce both he had persisted in taking her to see the ship, only to tell her afterwards that he would not go abroad on any account. It was by a psychological juggle which some men will understand that he allowed himself the next day to get the sailings of the Norumbia from the steamship office; he also got a plan of the ship showing the most available staterooms, so that they might be able to choose between her and the Colmannia from all the facts.

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Their Silver Wedding Journey - Part 1 - Chapter 4 Their Silver Wedding Journey - Part 1 - Chapter 4

Their Silver Wedding Journey - Part 1 - Chapter 4
PART I CHAPTER IVFrom this time their decision to go was none the less explicit because so perfectly tacit. They began to amass maps and guides. She got a Baedeker for Austria and he got a Bradshaw for the continent, which was never of the least use there, but was for the present a mine of unavailable information. He got a phrase-book, too, and tried to rub up his German. He used to read German, when he was a boy, with a young enthusiasm for its romantic poetry, and now, for the sake of Schiller and Uhland and Heine, he held
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PART I CHAPTER IIWhen he got home from the 'Every Other Week' office, the afternoon of that talk with the Business End, he wanted to laugh with his wife at Fulkerson's notion of a Sabbatical year. She did not think it was so very droll; she even urged it seriously against him, as if she had now the authority of Holy Writ for forcing him abroad; she found no relish of absurdity in the idea that it was his duty to take this rest which had been his right before. He abandoned himself to a fancy which had been working to
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