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|The Lees Of Happiness||F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|Page 2 of 3||
He had been at the funeral, but since then the company for which he worked had shifted him to the East and only a business trip had brought him to the vicinity of Chicago. Roxanne had written him to come when he could--after a night in the city he had caught a train out.
They shook hands and he helped her move two rockers together.
"He's fine, Roxanne. Seems to like school."
"Of course it was the only thing to do, to send him."
"You miss him horribly, Harry?"
"Yes--I do miss him. He's a funny boy---"
He talked a lot about George. Roxanne was interested. Harry must bring him out on his next vacation. She had only seen him once in her life--a child in dirty rompers.
She left him with the newspaper while she prepared dinner--she had four chops to-night and some late vegetables from her own garden. She put it all on and then called him, and sitting down together they continued their talk about George.
"If I had a child--" she would say.
Afterward, Harry having given her what slender advice he could about investments, they walked through the garden, pausing here and there to recognize what had once been a cement bench or where the tennis court had lain....
"Do you remember--"
Then they were off on a flood of reminiscences: the day they had taken all the snap-shots and Jeff had been photographed astride the calf; and the sketch Harry had made of Jeff and Roxanne, lying sprawled in the grass, their heads almost touching. There was to have been a covered lattice connecting the barn-studio with the house, so that Jeff could get there on wet days--the lattice had been started, but nothing remained except a broken triangular piece that still adhered to the house and resembled a battered chicken coop.
"And those mint juleps!"
"And Jeff's note-book! Do you remember how we'd laugh, Harry, when we'd get it out of his pocket and read aloud a page of material. And how frantic he used to get?"
"Wild! He was such a kid about his writing."
They were both silent a moment, and then Harry said:
"We were to have a place out here, too. Do you remember? We were to buy the adjoining twenty acres. And the parties we were going to have!"
Again there was a pause, broken this time by a low question from Roxanne.
"Do you ever hear of her, Harry?"
"Why--yes," he admitted placidly. "She's in Seattle. She's married again to a man named Horton, a sort of lumber king. He's a great deal older than she is, I believe."
"And she's behaving?"
"Yes--that is, I've heard so. She has everything, you see. Nothing much to do except dress up for this fellow at dinner-time."
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|The Lees Of Happiness
F. Scott Fitzgerald
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