Babbit eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about Babbit.

“I think maybe I’ve got just the thing for you.  Would you like to chase around and look at it now?”

“Yes.  I have a couple of hours.”

In the new Cavendish Apartments, Babbitt had a flat which he had been holding for Sidney Finkelstein, but at the thought of driving beside this agreeable woman he threw over his friend Finkelstein, and with a note of gallantry he proclaimed, “I’ll let you see what I can do!”

He dusted the seat of the car for her, and twice he risked death in showing off his driving.

“You do know how to handle a car!” she said.

He liked her voice.  There was, he thought, music in it and a hint of culture, not a bouncing giggle like Louetta Swanson’s.

He boasted, “You know, there’s a lot of these fellows that are so scared and drive so slow that they get in everybody’s way.  The safest driver is a fellow that knows how to handle his machine and yet isn’t scared to speed up when it’s necessary, don’t you think so?”

“Oh, yes!”

“I bet you drive like a wiz.”

“Oh, no—­I mean—­not really.  Of course, we had a car—­I mean, before my husband passed on—­and I used to make believe drive it, but I don’t think any woman ever learns to drive like a man.”

“Well, now, there’s some mighty good woman drivers.”

“Oh, of course, these women that try to imitate men, and play golf and everything, and ruin their complexions and spoil their hands!”

“That’s so.  I never did like these mannish females.”

“I mean—­of course, I admire them, dreadfully, and I feel so weak and useless beside them.”

“Oh, rats now!  I bet you play the piano like a wiz.”

“Oh, no—­I mean—­not really.”

“Well, I’ll bet you do!” He glanced at her smooth hands, her diamond and ruby rings.  She caught the glance, snuggled her hands together with a kittenish curving of slim white fingers which delighted him, and yearned: 

“I do love to play—­I mean—­I like to drum on the piano, but I haven’t had any real training.  Mr. Judique used to say I would ’ve been a good pianist if I’d had any training, but then, I guess he was just flattering me.”

“I’ll bet he wasn’t!  I’ll bet you’ve got temperament.”

“Oh—­Do you like music, Mr Babbitt?”

“You bet I do!  Only I don’t know ’s I care so much for all this classical stuff.”

“Oh, I do!  I just love Chopin and all those.”

“Do you, honest?  Well, of course, I go to lots of these highbrow concerts, but I do like a good jazz orchestra, right up on its toes, with the fellow that plays the bass fiddle spinning it around and beating it up with the bow.”

“Oh, I know.  I do love good dance music.  I love to dance, don’t you, Mr. Babbitt?”

“Sure, you bet.  Not that I’m very darn good at it, though.”

“Oh, I’m sure you are.  You ought to let me teach you.  I can teach anybody to dance.”

Project Gutenberg
Babbit from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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