Cheerful—By Request eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 255 pages of information about CheerfulBy Request.

Geisha McCoy slid down among her rumpled covers, and nestled her head in the lumpy, tortured pillows.  “Me!  I’m going to stay right here.”

“But this room’s—­why, it’s as stale as a Pullman sleeper.  Let me have the chambermaid in to freshen it up while you’re gone.”

“I’m used to it.  I’ve got to have a room mussed up, to feel at home in it.  Thanks just the same.”

Martha Foote rose, “I’m sorry.  I just thought if I could help—­”

Geisha McCoy leaned forward with one of her quick movements and caught Martha Foote’s hand in both her own, “You have!  And I don’t mean to be rude when I tell you I haven’t felt so much like sleeping in weeks.  Just turn out those lights, will you?  And sort of tiptoe out, to give the effect.”  Then, as Martha Foote reached the door, “And oh, say!  D’you think she’d sell me those shoes?”

Martha Foote didn’t get her dinner that night until almost eight, what with one thing and another.  Still as days go, it wasn’t so bad as Monday; she and Irish Nellie, who had come in to turn down her bed, agreed on that.  The Senate Hotel housekeeper was having her dinner in her room.  Tony, the waiter, had just brought it on and had set it out for her, a gleaming island of white linen, and dome-shaped metal tops.  Irish Nellie, a privileged person always, waxed conversational as she folded back the bed covers in a neat triangular wedge.

“Six-eighteen kinda ca’med down, didn’t she?  High toime, the divil.  She had us jumpin’ yist’iddy.  I loike t’ went off me head wid her, and th’ day girl th’ same.  Some folks ain’t got no feelin’, I dunno.”

Martha Foote unfolded her napkin with a little tired gesture.  “You can’t always judge, Nellie.  That woman’s got a son who has gone to war, and she couldn’t see her way clear to living without him.  She’s better now.  I talked to her this evening at six.  She said she had a fine afternoon.”

“Shure, she ain’t the only wan.  An’ what do you be hearin’ from your boy, Mis’ Phut, that’s in France?”

“He’s well, and happy.  His arm’s all healed, and he says he’ll be in it again by the time I get his letter.”

“Humph,” said Irish Nellie.  And prepared to leave.  She cast an inquisitive eye over the little table as she made for the door—­inquisitive, but kindly.  Her wide Irish nostrils sniffed a familiar smell.  “Well, fur th’ land, Mis’ Phut!  If I was housekeeper here, an’ cud have hothouse strawberries, an’ swatebreads undher glass, an’ sparrowgrass, an’ chicken, an’ ice crame, the way you can, whiniver yuh loike, I wouldn’t be a-eatin’ cornbeef an’ cabbage.  Not me.”

“Oh, yes you would, Nellie,” replied Martha Foote, quietly, and spooned up the thin amber gravy.  “Oh, yes you would.”

XII

SHORE LEAVE

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Cheerful—By Request from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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