With a last glance at them he turned on his heel and his head bowed on his chest as his hand touched the door knob.
“Good-by,” he repeated. He turned the door knob.
But at these words a flying bundle of snakes and silk and tawny hair hurled itself at him.
“Oh, Perry, don’t leave me! I can’t face it alone! Perry, Perry, take me with you!”
Her tears rained down in a torrent and flowed damply on his neck. Calmly he folded his arms about her.
“I don’t care,” she cried tearfully. “I love you and if you can wake up a minister at this hour and have it done over again I’ll go West with you.”
Over her shoulder the front part of the camel looked at the back part of the camel—and they exchanged a particularly subtle, esoteric sort of wink that only true camels can understand.
BY ESTHER FORBES
From The Grinnell Review
Down Holly Street the tide had set in for church. It was a proper, dilatory tide. Every silk-hat glistened, every shoe was blacked, the flowers on the women’s hats were as fresh as the daffodils against the house fronts. Few met face to face, now and then a faster walker would catch up with acquaintances and join them or, with a flash of raised hat, bow, and pass on down the stream.
Then the current met an obstacle. A man, young and graceful and very much preoccupied, walked through the church-goers, faced in the opposite direction. His riding breeches and boots showed in spite of the loose overcoat worn to cover them. He bowed continually, like royalty from a landau, almost as mechanically, and answered the remarks that greeted him.
“Good morning, Mr. Gething. Not going to church this morning.” This from a friend of his mother.
“Good morning. No, not this morning.” He met a chum.
“Good riding day, eh?”
“Well, Geth, don’t break your neck.”
“You bet not.”
“I’ll put a P.S. on the prayer for you,” said the wag.
“Thanks a lot.” The wag was always late—even to church on Easter morning. So Gething knew the tail of the deluge was reached and past. He had the street almost to himself. It was noticeable that the man had not once called an acquaintance by name or made the first remark. His answers had been as reflex as his walking. Geth was thinking, and in the sombre eyes was the dumb look of a pain that would not be told—perhaps he considered it too slight.