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|The Lees Of Happiness||F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|Page 3 of 3||
Without effort he changed the subject.
"Are you going to keep the house?"
"I think so," she said, nodding. "I've lived here so long, Harry, it'd seem terrible to move. I thought of trained nursing, but of course that'd mean leaving. I've about decided to be a boarding-house lady."
"Live in one?"
"No. Keep one. Is there such an anomaly as a boarding-house lady? Anyway I'd have a negress and keep about eight people in the summer and two or three, if I can get them, in the winter. Of course I'll have to have the house repainted and gone over inside."
"Roxanne, why--naturally you know best what you can do, but it does seem a shock, Roxanne. You came here as a bride."
"Perhaps," she said, "that's why I don't mind remaining here as a boarding-house lady."
"I remember a certain batch of biscuits."
"Oh, those biscuits," she cried. "Still, from all I heard about the way you devoured them, they couldn't have been so bad. I was so low that day, yet somehow I laughed when the nurse told me about those biscuits."
"I noticed that the twelve nail-holes are still in the library wall where Jeff drove them."
It was getting very dark now, a crispness settled in the air; a little gust of wind sent down a last spray of leaves. Roxanne shivered slightly.
"We'd better go in."
He looked at his watch.
"It's late. I've got to be leaving. I go East tomorrow."
They lingered for a moment just below the stoop, watching a moon that seemed full of snow float out of the distance where the lake lay. Summer was gone and now Indian summer. The grass was cold and there was no mist and no dew. After he left she would go in and light the gas and close the shatters, and he would go down the path and on to the village. To these two life had come quickly and gone, leaving not bitterness, but pity; not disillusion, but only pain. There was already enough moonlight when they shook hands for each to see the gathered kindness in the other's eyes.
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|The Lees Of Happiness
F. Scott Fitzgerald
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