Little Speck in Garnered Fruit
The honeymoon was at its full. There was a flat with the reddest of new carpets, tasselled portières and six steins with pewter lids arranged on a ledge above the wainscoting of the dining-room. The wonder of it was yet upon them. Neither of them had ever seen a yellow primrose by the rivers brim; but if such a sight had met their eyes at that time it would have seemed likewell, whatever the poet expected the right kind of people to see in it besides a primrose.
The bride sat in the rocker with her feet resting upon the world. She was wrapt in rosy dreams and kimono of the same hue. She wondered what the people in Greenland and Tasmania and Baluchistan were saying one to another about her marriage to Kid McGarry. Not that it made any difference. There was no welter-weight from London to the Southern Cross that could stand up four hoursno; four roundswith her bridegroom. And he had been hers for three weeks; and the crook of her little finger could sway him more than the fist of any 142-pounder in the world.
Love, when it is ours, is the other name for self-abnegation and sacrifice. When it belongs to people across the airshaft it means arrogance and self-conceit.
The bride crossed her Oxfords and looked thoughtfully at the distemper Cupids on the ceiling.
Precious, said she, with the air of Cleopatra asking Antony for Rome done up in tissue paper and delivered at residence, I think I would like a peach.
Kid McGarry arose and put on his coat and hat. He was serious, shaven, sentimental, and spry.
All right, said he, as coolly as though he were only agreeing to sign articles to fight the champion of England. Ill step down and cop one out for yousee?
Dont be long, said the bride. Ill be lonesome without my naughty boy. Get a nice, ripe one.
After a series of farewells that would have befitted an imminent voyage to foreign parts, the Kid went down to the street.
Here he not unreasonably hesitated, for the season was yet early spring, and there seemed small chance of wresting anywhere from those chill streets and stores the coveted luscious guerdon of summers golden prime.
At the Italians fruit-stand on the corner he stopped and cast a contemptuous eye over the display of papered oranges, highly polished apples and wan, sun-hungry bananas.
Gotta da peach? asked the Kid in the tongue of Dante, the lover of lovers.
Ah, no, sighed the vender. Not for one mont com-a da peach. Too soon. Gotta da nice-a orange. Like-a da orange?
Scornful, the Kid pursued his quest. He entered the all-night chop-house, café, and bowling-alley of his friend and admirer, Justus OCallahan. The OCallahan was about in his institution, looking for leaks.
I want it straight, said the Kid to him. The old woman has got a hunch that she wants a peach. Now, if youve got a peach, Cal, get it out quick. I want it and others like it if youve got em in plural quantities.
The house is yours, said OCallahan. But theres no peach in it. Its too soon. I dont suppose you could even find em at one of the Broadway joints. Thats too bad. When a lady fixes her mouth for a certain kind of fruit nothing else wont do. Its too late now to find any of the first-class fruiterers open. But if you think the missis would like some nice oranges, Ive just got a box of fine ones in that she might
Much obliged, Cal. Its a peach proposition right from the ring of the gong. Ill try farther.
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