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Dawn O'Hara Edna Ferber

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"All! You unnatural girl! Isn't one husband enough?"

Mrs. Whalen smiled an uncertain, wavering smile. There passed among the three a series of cabalistic signs. They rose simultaneously.

"How quaint you are!" exclaimed Mrs. Whalen, "and so amusing! Come girls, we mustn't tire Miss--ah--Mrs.-- er--"with another meaning look at my bare left hand.

"My husband's name is still Orme," I prompted, quite, quite pleasantly.

"Oh, certainly. I'm so forgetful. And one reads such queer things in the newspapers nowa-days. Divorces, and separations, and soul-mates and things." There was a note of gentle insinuation in her voice.

Norah stepped firmly into the fray. "Yes, doesn't one? What a comfort it must be to you to know that your dear girls are safe at home with you, and no doubt will be secure, for years to come, from the buffeting winds of matrimony."

There was a tinge of purple in Mrs. Whalen's face as she moved toward the door, gathering her brood about her. "Now that dear Dawn is almost normal again I shall send my little girlies over real often. She must find it very dull here after her--ah--life in New York."

"Not at all," I said, hurriedly, "not at all. You see I'm--I'm writing a book. My entire day is occupied."

"A book!" screeched the three. "How interesting! What is it? When will it be published?"

I avoided Norah's baleful eye as I answered their questions and performed the final adieux.

As the door closed, Norah and I faced each other, glaring.

"Hussies!" hissed Norah. Whereupon it struck us funny and we fell, a shrieking heap, into the nearest chair. Finally Sis dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief, drew a long breath, and asked, with elaborate sarcasm, why I hadn't made it a play instead of a book, while I was about it.

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"But I mean it," I declared. "I've had enough of loafing. Max must unpack my typewriter to-night. I'm homesick for a look at the keys. And to-morrow I'm to be installed in the cubbyhole off the dining-room and I defy any one to enter it on peril of their lives. If you value the lives of your offspring, warn them away from that door. Von Gerhard said that there was writing in my system, and by the Great Horn Spoon and the Beard of the Prophet, I'll have it out! Besides, I need the money. Norah dear, how does one set about writing a book? It seems like such a large order."

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Dawn O'Hara
Edna Ferber

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