The Definite Object eBook

Jeffery Farnol
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about The Definite Object.

CHAPTER XXIII

CHIEFLY CONCERNING A LETTER

“Sunday,” said Mrs. Trapes sententiously, “Sunday is a holy day t’ some folks an’ a holiday for other folks, but t’ folks like me an’ Hermy it sure ain’t no day of rest an’ gladness—­like the hymn book says.”

“Isn’t it?” said Ravenslee, pushing away his coffee cup and glancing toward the loud-ticking clock upon the sideboard.

“It sure ain’t!” nodded Mrs. Trapes, quick to note the look.  “Hermy an’ me ain’t much given to Sunday observance, Mr. Geoffrey.  Y’ see, there’s always meals t’ be cooked an’ washin’ up t’ be done, an’ clo’es t’ be mended p’raps.  I’ve darned many a ’eartfelt prayer into a wore-out pair o’ stockin’s before now an’ offered up many a petition t’ the Throne o’ grace with my scrubbin’ brush sloshin’ over the floor.  Anyway, Hermy ‘n’ me ain’t never had much time for church-goin’ or prayer meetin’s or mindin’ our souls in our best frocks an’ bonnets—­no, sir!  We jest have t’ get on with our work—­sewin’ an’ cookin’ an’ washin’—­mindin’ the welfare of other folks’ bodies.  So while them as has time an’ inclination sing their praises t’ the Lord on their knees, Hermy an’ me take out our praises in work, an’ have t’ leave our souls t’ God an’—­oh, well, I guess he’ll take care of ’em all right—­don’t y’ think?”

“I certainly do!” nodded Ravenslee.

“O’ course, my soul ain’t all it should be—­a bit stained here an’ there, p’raps—­a bit th’ worse for wear, Mr. Geoffrey, but Hermy’s—­well, there, I guess it’s jest as sweet as a flower still, an’ white—­as white as that tablecloth.  An’ talkin’ about her soul—­what about her body, Mr. Geoffrey?”

Ravenslee started.  “Her body?” said he, staring.  “Well, since you ask, I should say it is like her soul—­very sweet and white and—­”

“Sure!” nodded Mrs. Trapes, “but, bein’ only flesh an’ blood after all—­bein’ only miserable clay like yours an’ mine, Mr. Geoffrey, it’ll always need food t’ nourish it, clo’es t’ keep it warm, an’ a roof t’ shelter it.  Well, if she was t’ be s’ mad as t’ marry a peanut man, what about food an’ clo’es an’ a roof?”

“I think they could be managed, Mrs. Trapes.”

“What—­out o’ peanuts?”

“No—­er—­the fact is, I’ve given ’em up.”

Mrs. Trapes sniffed.  “Y’ don’t say!” she remarked drily.  “Think o’ that, now!”

“The fact is, Mrs. Trapes, I—­well, suppose I were to confess to you that I’m not quite so poor as I seem—­what should you say?”

“Why, I should say as I knew that about three weeks ago, Mr. Geoffrey.”

“Oh, did you?” said Ravenslee, staring.  “How in the world did you find out?”

“Why, Mr. Geoffrey, I’ll tell ye how.  I got eyes an’ I got ears, an’ sometimes I can see a bit with my eyes an’ hear with my ears—­that’s how!  Oh, I’ve watched ye, Mr. Geoffrey—­I’ve watched ye careful because—­well, because I sure love Hermy, an’ ’t would jest break my ‘eart t’ see her fallin’ in love with a rogue!”

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Project Gutenberg
The Definite Object from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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