“Better cable Florence as soon as you can,” she advised. “She’ll want to know ...”
Rose protested when the plan for living six months more in Florence McCrea’s house was broached to her. She made the best fight she could. But Harriet’s arguments, re-stated now by Rodney with full conviction, were too much for her. When she broke down and cried, as she couldn’t help doing, Rodney soothed and comforted her, assured her that this notion of hers about the expensiveness of it all, was just a notion—obsession was the word he finally came to—which she must struggle against as best she could. She’d see things in a truer proportion afterward.
Then it came out that he had made all his plans for a long summer vacation. There was no court work in July and August anyway. He was going to carry her off to a quiet little place out on Cape Cod that he knew about, and just luxuriate in her; have her all to himself—not a soul they knew about them. They would lie about in the sands all day, building air castles. If she got tired of him, any person she wanted to see should be telegraphed for forthwith. The one thing she had to bear in mind was that she was to be happy and not bother about things; leave everything to him.
This plan was carried out, and in a paradise, made up of blue sea, white sands, warm sun and Rodney—Rodney always there, and queerly content to drowse away the time with her, she almost forgot the great dam and the pressure of the waters that had mounted up behind it. Was it an obsession just as Rodney said? Would she find when it was all over and she rallied herself for the great endeavor, that there was, after all, no battle to be fought—nothing but a baby at her breast?
FATE PLAYS A JOKE
Traveling bars flowing along parallel, black and white; the white ones incandescent;—and a small helpless harried thing struggling to keep in the shadow of the black ones, or to regain it again across the pitiless zone of white that the little helpless thing called pain.—Traveling bars flowing along endlessly.
And then a great ball whirling in planetary space, half dark, half incandescent white, having for its sole inhabitant, the small harried thing that struggled to keep in the dark out of the glare of that pitiless white pain.—One watched its struggles from a long way off—like God.—But the ball whirled drunkenly and it made one sick to look.—And then a supervening chaos—no longer a ball but still whirling, reeling, tottering. Rectangles of light, which, had they kept still, would have been windows—a mirror.
And then, very fine and small and weak, something that knew it was Rose Stanton—Rose Stanton lying in a bed with people about her. She let her eyes fall heavily shut again lest they should discover she was there and want her to speak or think.