The Trumpeter Swan eBook

Temple Bailey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about The Trumpeter Swan.

“Just because you are bored to death,” Dalton told her, “is no reason why you should accuse me of it.”

“It isn’t accusation.  It’s condolence.  I am sorry for both of us, George, that we can’t sit there under the trees and eat out of a basket and have spiders and ants in things and not mind it.  Here we are in the land of Smithfield hams and spoon-bread and we ate canned lobster for lunch, and alligator pear salad.”

“Baked ham and spoon-bread—­for our sins?”

“It is because you and I have missed the baked ham and spoon-bread atmosphere, that we are bored to death, Georgie.  Everything in our lives is the same wherever we go.  When we are in Virginia we ought to do as the Virginians do, and instead Oscar Waterman brings a little old New York with him.  It’s Rome for the Romans, Georgie, lobsters in New England, avocados in Los Angeles, hog and hominy here.”

There were others listening now, and she was aware of her amused audience.

“If you don’t like my little old New York,” Waterman said, “I’ll change it.”

“No, I am going back to the real thing, Oscar.  To my sky-scrapers and subways.  You can’t give us those down here—­not yet.  Perhaps some day there will be a system of camouflage by which no matter where we are—­in desert or mountain, we can open our windows to the Woolworth Building on the skyline or the Metropolitan Tower, or to Diana shooting at the stars,—­and have some little cars in tunnels to run us around your estate.”

“By Jove, Jefferson nearly did it,” said Waterman; “you should see the subterranean passages at Monticello for the servants, so that the guests could look over the grounds without a woolly head in sight.”

“Great old boob, Jefferson,” said Waterman’s wife, Flora.

“No,” Madge’s eyes went out over the hills to where Monticello brooded over great memories, “he was not a boob.  He was so big that little people like us can’t focus him, Flora.”

She came down from her perch.  “I adore great men,” she said; “when I go back, I shall make a pilgrimage to Oyster Bay.  I wonder how many of us who weep over Great heart’s grave would have voted for him if he had lived.  In a sense we crucified him.”

“Madge is serious,” said Flora Waterman, “now what do you think of that?”

“I have to be serious sometimes, Flora, to balance the rest of you.  You can be as gay as you please when I am gone, and if you perish, you perish.”

George walked beside her as the party moved towards the grandstand.  “I’ve half a mind to go to New York with you, Madge.  I came down on your account.”

“It’s because you followed me that I’m tired of you, Georgie.  If you go, I’ll stay.”

She was smiling as she said it.  But he did not smile.  “Just as you wish, of course.  But you mustn’t expect me to come running when you crook your finger.”

“I never expect things, but you’ll come.”

Project Gutenberg
The Trumpeter Swan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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