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Dawn O'Hara Edna Ferber

Blackie's Vacation Comes

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"Sa-a-ay, girl, this ain't goin' t' be no scene from East Lynne. Be a good kid. The rest of the bunch can go."

And so, when the others had gone, I found myself seated at the side of his bed, trying to smile down at him. I knew that there must be nothing to excite him. But the words on my lips would come.

"Blackie," I said, and I struggled to keep my voice calm and emotionless, "Blackie, forgive me. It is all my fault--my wretched fault."

"Now, cut that," interrupted Blackie. "I thought that was your game. That's why I said I wanted t' talk t' you. Now, listen. Remember my tellin' you, a few weeks ago, 'bout that vacation I was plannin'? This is it, only it's come sooner than I expected, that's all. I seen two three doctor guys about it. Your friend Von Gerhard was one of 'em. They didn't tell me t' take no ocean trip this time. Between 'em, they decided my vacation would come along about November, maybe. Well, I beat 'em to it, that's all. Sa-a-ay, girl, I ain't kickin'. You can't live on your nerves and expect t' keep goin'. Sooner or later you'll be suein' those same nerves for non-support. But, kid, ain't it a shame that I got to go out in a auto smashup, in these days when even a airship exit don't make a splash on the front page!"

The nervous brown hand was moving restlessly over the covers. Finally it met my hand, and held it in a tense little grip.

"We've been good pals, you and me, ain't we, kid?"

"Yes, Blackie."

"Ain't regretted it none?"

"Regretted it! I am a finer, truer, better woman for having known you, Blackie."

He gave a little contented sigh at that, and his eyes closed. When he opened them the old, whimsical smile wrinkled his face.

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"This is where I get off at. It ain't been no long trip, but sa-a-ay, girl, I've enjoyed every mile of the road. All kinds of scenery--all kinds of lan'scape--plain--fancy--uphill--downhill--"

I leaned forward, fearfully.

"Not--yet," whispered Blackie. Say Dawn--in the story books--they--always--are strong on the--good-by kiss, what?"

And as the nurse appeared in the doorway again, disapproval on her face, I stooped and gently pressed my lips to the pain-lined cheek.

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Dawn O'Hara
Edna Ferber

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