Even the servant question was eliminated. “Ours are so good,” Florence said, “that the last time we rented the house, we put them in the lease. I wouldn’t do that with you, of course, but I know they’ll be just what you want.” And six thousand dollars a year was simply dirt cheap.
To clinch the thing, Florence went around and saw Frederica about it. And Frederica, after listening, non-committally, dashed off to the last meeting of the Thursday Club (all this happened in June, just before the wedding) and talked the matter over with Violet Williamson on the way home, afterward.
“John said once,” observed Violet, “that if he had to live in that house, he’d either go out and buy a plush Morris chair from feather-your-nest Saltzman’s, and a golden oak sideboard, or else run amuck.”
Frederica grinned, but was sure it wouldn’t affect Rodney that way. He’d never notice that there wasn’t a golden oak sideboard with a beveled mirror in it. As for Rose, she thought Rose would like it—for a while, anyway. Of course it wasn’t forever. But this wasn’t the point. It was something else she had to get an unprejudiced opinion on, “simply because in this case my own isn’t trustworthy. I’m so foolish about old Roddy, that I can’t be sure I haven’t—well, caught being mad about Rose from him. It all depends, you see, on whether Rose is going to be a hit this winter or not. If she is, they’ll want a place just like that and it would be a shame for her to be bothered and unsettled when she might have everything all oiled for her. But of course if she doesn’t—go (and it all depends on her; Rodney won’t be much help)—why, having a house like that might be pretty sad. So, if you’re a true friend, you’ll tell me what you think.”
“What I really think,” said Violet, “—of course I suppose I’d say this anyway, but I do honestly mean it—is that she’ll be what John calls a ‘knock-out.’ To be sure, I’ve only met her twice, but I think she’s absolutely thrilling. She’s so perfectly simple. She’s never—don’t you know—being anything. She just is. And she thinks we’re all so wonderful—clever and witty and beautiful and all that—just honestly thinks so, that she’ll make everybody feel warm and nice inside, and they’ll be sure to like her. Of course, when she gets over feeling that way about us....”
“She’s got a real eye for clothes, too,” said Frederica. “We’ve been shopping. Well then, I’m going to tell Rodney to go ahead and take the house.”
Rose was consulted about it of course, though consulted is perhaps not the right word to use. She was taken to see it, anyway, and asked if she liked it, a question in the nature of the case superfluous. One might as well have asked Cinderella if she liked the gown the fairy godmother had provided her with for the prince’s ball.