A Daughter of To-Day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 316 pages of information about A Daughter of To-Day.
for his hat, which was not a silk one, in the uncertain way of a man who has heard of the proprieties in these things.  She made him tea with her samovar, and she talked to him about Parisian journalism and the Parisian stage in a way that made her a further discovery to him; and his mind, hitherto wholly devoted to the service of the Illustrated Age, received an impetus in a new direction.  When he had gone Elfrida laughed a little, silently, thinking first of this, for it was quite plain to her.  Then, contrasting what the Age wanted her to write with her ideal of journalistic literature, she stated to Buddha that it was “worse than panade.”  “But it means two pounds a week, Buddha,” she said; “fifty francs!  Do you understand that?  It means that we shall be able to stay here, in the world—­that I shall not be obliged to take you to Sparta.  You don’t know, Buddha, how you would loathe Sparta!  But understand, it is at that price that we are going to despise ourselves for a while—­not for the two pounds!”

And next day she was sent to report a distribution of diplomas to graduating nurses by the Princess of Wales.

Buddha was not an adequate confidant.  Elfrida found him capable of absorbing her emotions indefinitely, but his still smile was not always responsive enough, so she made a little feast, and asked Golightly Ticke to tea, the Sunday after the Saturday that made her a salaried member of the London press.  Golightly’s felicitations were sincere and spasmodically sympathetic, but he found it impossible to conceal the fact that of late the world had not smiled equally upon him.  In spite of the dramatic fervor with which the part of James Jones, a solicitor’s clerk, had been rendered every evening, the piece at the Princess’s had to come to an unprofitable close, the theatre had been leased to an American company, Phyllis had gone to the provinces, and Mr. Ticke’s abilities were at the service of chance.  By the time he had reached his second cigarette he was so sunk in cynicism that Elfrida applied herself delicately to discover these facts.  Golightly made an elaborate effort to put her off.  He threw his head back in his chair and watched the faint rings of his cigarette curling into indistinguishability against the ceiling, and said he was only the dust that blew about the narrow streets of the world, and why should she care to know which way the wind took him!  Lighting his third, he said, as bitterly as that engrossment would permit him, that the sooner—­puff—­it was over—­puff—­the sooner—­puff—­to sleep; and when the lighting was quite satisfactorily accomplished he laughed harshly.  “I shall think,” said Elfrida earnestly, “if you do not tell me how things are with you, since they are bad, that you are not a true Bohemian—­that you have scruples.”

“You know better—­at least I hope you do—­than to charge me with that,” Golightly returned, with an inflection full of reproachful meaning.  “I—­I drank myself to sleep last night, Miss Bell.  When the candle flickered out I thought that it was all over—­curious sensation.  This morning,” he added, looking through his half-closed eyelashes with sardonic stage effect, “I wished it had been.”

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A Daughter of To-Day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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