Paradise Garden eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 375 pages of information about Paradise Garden.
sleeping.  It was good.  The glimmerings of reason that had appeared in the boy during the last few days had been encouraging, and his open revolt against the enchantress had made me hopeful that her dominion over him was not so complete as it had appeared.  Viewed from any angle, the conduct of the Van Wyck girl was reprehensible, and admitted of no excuse.  She had overshot the mark and had done her target no harm.  However warm her friendship with those of her guests who were at the cabin, the comments I had heard convinced me that Jerry and I were not alone in our condemnation.  The attack seemed to savor of a lack of finesse, surprising in a person of her cleverness, for had her bias not been so great she should have known that as a gentleman, Jerry must resent so palpable and designing an insult to a guest at Horsham Manor.  Her impudence still astounded me.  Did she think herself so sure of Jerry that she chose purposely to try him?  Or had the point been reached in their amatory relations where she was quite indifferent as to what Jerry might do?

Smoothly as my plan had worked and happily (or unhappily) as Marcia’s pique and ill-humor had fitted into it, I could not believe that Jerry’s revolt had ended matters.  Even if the boy had been willing to end them (a thing of which I was not at all sure), Marcia Van Wyck was not the kind of girl to retire on this ungraceful climax, and Jerry’s absence from her house on so important an occasion was nothing less than a notice to those present that he and Marcia were no longer on terms.  I had had a sense of the girl’s taste for conquest, and the more I thought of her the surer I was that Jerry’s championship of Una Habberton would revive whatever remained of the lingering sparks of Marcia’s passion.

Jerry joined me in the study later in the morning and sat for awhile reading the newspapers.  He was silent, almost morose, and at last got up and walked about the place.  I feared for a moment that he had gone to the garage with the intention of getting into his machine, and this I knew meant nothing less than a ride posthaste, to Briar Hills.  But he came back presently in a more cheerful mood and after luncheon suggested fishing, a proposal that I instantly fell in with.  And so I followed him up stream, my own humor being merely to carry the net, watch him whip the pools and pray that his luck might be good, for a full creel meant good humor and good humor, perhaps confidences.

Fortune favored.  By the time we had gotten up the gorge, Jerry was in high spirits, for luck had crowned his skill and at least a dozen fish lay stiffening in the basket, and when we reached the iron grille Jerry emitted a deep sigh of satisfaction, drew out his pipe and sank on a rock to smoke it.  I lay back beside him, my hat over my eyes.  Nothing stimulates confidences so much as indifference.  Jerry glanced at me once or twice, but I made no sign and after awhile he began talking.  Whenever he paused I put in a grunt which encouraged him to go on.  That is how I happened to hear about Jerry’s ride home with Una Habberton.

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Paradise Garden from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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