The Vehement Flame eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 364 pages of information about The Vehement Flame.
for Maurice won’t need me for eleven years.  But I don’t know what I’d do with my husband then?” She frowned; a husband would be bothering, if she had to go and live with Maurice.  “Oh, well, probably my husband will be so old, he’ll die about the time Maurice’s wife does.”  She had meant to marry Johnny.  “But I won’t.  He’s too young.  He’s only three years older ’an me.  He might live too long.  I must get an old husband.  I’ll tell Johnny about it to-morrow.  I’ll wear mourning,” she thought; “a long veil!  It’s so interesting.  But not over my face—­you can’t see through it, and it isn’t sense not to be able to see.” (The test Edith applied to conduct was always, “Is it sense?”) “Of course I shall feel badly about my husband; but I’ve got to take care of Maurice....  Yes; I must get an old one,” she thought.  “I must get one as old as the Bride.  If they’d only waited, the Bride could have married my husband!”

But this line of thought was too complicated; and, besides, she had so entirely cheered up that she practically forgot death.  She began to count how much money her mother owed her for eggs—­which reminded her to look into the nests; and when, in spite of a clucking remonstrance, she put her hand under a feathery breast and touched the hot smoothness of a new-laid egg, she felt perfectly happy.  “I guess I’ll go and get some floating-island,” she thought.  “Oh, I hope they haven’t eaten it all up!”

With the egg in her hand, she rushed back to the dining room, and was reassured by the sight of the big glass dish, still all creamy yellow and fluffy white.

“Edith,” Mrs. Houghton said, “you won’t mind letting Maurice and Eleanor have your room, will you, dear?”

“Is her name ‘Eleanor’?  I think it’s a perfectly beautiful name!  No, I’d love to give her my room!  Mother, she won’t be as old as you are for eleven years, and that’s as long as I have been alive.  So I won’t worry about Maurice just yet.  Mother, may I have two helpings?  When are they coming?”

“They haven’t been asked yet,” her father said, grimly.  “I’m not going to concoct a letter, Mary, for a week.  Let ’em worry!  Maurice, confound him!—­has never worried in his life.  Everything rolls off him like water off a duck’s back.  It will do him good to chew nails for a while.  I wish I was asleep!”

“Why, father!” Edith said, aghast; “I don’t believe you want the Bride!”

“You’re a very intelligent young person,” her father said, scratching a match under the table and lighting a cigar.

“But, my dear,” his wife said, “has it occurred to you that it may be as unpleasant for the Bride to come, as for you to have her? Henry! That’s the third since breakfast!”

“Wrong for once, Mrs. Houghton.  It’s the fourth.”

I want the Bride,” said Edith.

Her mother laughed.  “Come along, honey,” she said, putting her hand on her husband’s shoulder, “and tell me what to say to her.”

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The Vehement Flame from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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