“You look dreadfully, Eleanor,” Mrs. Newbolt told her once, her pale, protruding eyes full of real anxiety. “I’d go and see a doctor, if I were you.”
“I’m well enough,” Eleanor said, listlessly.
“At your age,” said her aunt, “you never can tell what’s goin’ on inside! Here’s a piece of candy for Bingo—he’s too fat. My dear father used to say that a man’s soul and his gizzard could hold a lot of secrets. It’s the same with women. So look out for your gizzard. Here, Bingo!”
Eleanor was silent. She had just come from Mrs. O’Brien’s, where she had given the slowly failing Donny a happy hour, and she was tired. Mrs. Newbolt found her alone in the garden, sitting under the shimmering silver poplar. The lilies were just coming into bloom, and on the age-blackened iron trellis of the veranda the wistaria had flung its purple scarves among the thin fringes of its new leaves. The green tea table was bare: “I’d give you a cup of tea,” Eleanor said, “but Maurice is going out to dinner, so I told Mary not to keep the fire up, just for me.”
“Maurice goin’ out to dinner! Why, it’s your weddin’ day! Eleanor, if I have one virtue, it’s candor: Maurice oughtn’t to be out to dinner so much—and on your anniversary, too! Of course, it’s just what I expected when you married him; but that’s done, and I’m not one to keep throwin’ it up at you. If you want to hold him, now, you’ve got to keep your figger, and set a good table. Yes, and leave the door open! Edith has a figger. She entertains him, just the way I used to entertain your dear uncle—by talkin’. I’d have Bingo put away, if I were you; he’s too old to be comfortable. You got to make him want to sit by the fire and knit! But here you are, sittin’ by yourself, lookin’ like a dead fish. A man don’t like a dead fish—unless it’s cooked! I used to broil shad for your dear uncle.” For an instant she had no words to express that culinary perfection by which she had kept the deceased Mr. Newbolt’s stomach faithful to her. “Yes, you’ve got to be entertainin’, or else he’ll go up the chimney, and out to dinner, and forget what Day it is!”
Eleanor’s sudden pallor made her stop midway in her torrent of frankness; it was then she said, again, really alarmed: “See a doctor! You know,” she added, jocosely; “if you die, he’ll marry Edith; and you wouldn’t like that!”
“No,” Eleanor said, faintly, “I wouldn’t like that.”
When a rather shaky Jacky was discharged from the hospital, Lily notified Maurice of his recovery and added that she had moved.