Read Books Online, for Free
|The Lees Of Happiness||F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|Page 2 of 3||
But to Roxanne these things were secondary; her eyes were caught and held in uncanny fascination by the wrapper. It was vilely unclean. From its lowest hem up four inches it was sheerly dirty with the blue dust of the floor; for the next three inches it was gray--then it shaded off into its natural color, which, was--pink. It was dirty at the sleeves, too, and at the collar--and when the woman turned to lead the way into the parlor, Roxanne was sure that her neck was dirty.
A one-sided rattle of conversation began. Mrs. Cromwell became explicit about her likes and dislikes, her head, her stomach, her teeth, her apartment--avoiding with a sort of insolent meticulousness any inclusion of Roxanne with life, as if presuming that Roxanne, having been dealt a blow, wished life to be carefully skirted.
Roxanne smiled. That kimono! That neck!
After five minutes a little boy toddled into the parlor--a dirty little boy clad in dirty pink rompers. His face was smudgy--Roxanne wanted to take him into her lap and wipe his nose; other parts in the of his head needed attention, his tiny shoes were kicked out at the toes. Unspeakable!
"What a darling little boy!" exclaimed Roxanne, smiling radiantly. "Come here to me."
Mrs. Cromwell looked coldly at her son.
"He will get dirty. Look at that face!" She held her head on one side and regarded it critically.
"Isn't he a darling?" repeated Roxanne.
"Look at his rompers," frowned Mrs. Cromwell.
"He needs a change, don't you, George?"
George stared at her curiously. To his mind the word rompers connotated a garment extraneously smeared, as this one.
"I tried to make him look respectable this morning," complained Mrs. Cromwell as one whose patience had been sorely tried, "and I found he didn't have any more rompers--so rather than have him go round without any I put him back in those--and his face--"
"How many pairs has he?" Roxanne's voice was pleasantly curious, "How many feather fans have you?" she might have asked.
"Oh,--" Mrs. Cromwell considered, wrinkling her pretty brow. "Five, I think. Plenty, I know."
"You can get them for fifty cents a pair."
Mrs. Cromwell's eyes showed surprise--and the faintest superiority. The price of rompers!
"Can you really? I had no idea. He ought to have plenty, but I haven't had a minute all week to send the laundry out." Then, dismissing the subject as irrelevant--"I must show you some things--"
They rose and Roxanne followed her past an open bathroom door whose garment-littered floor showed indeed that the laundry hadn't been sent out for some time, into another room that was, so to speak, the quintessence of pinkness. This was Mrs. Cromwell's room.
Here the Hostess opened a closet door and displayed before' Roxanne's eyes an amazing collection of lingerie.
There were dozens of filmy marvels of lace and silk, all clean, unruffled, seemingly not yet touched. On hangers beside them were three new evening dresses.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|The Lees Of Happiness
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2008