Billy was silent.
“Billy!” Susan said, in quick uneasiness, “Are you angry?”
After a tense moment the regular sound of deep and placid breathing answered her. Billy lay on his back sound asleep.
Susan stared at him a moment in the dimness. Then the absurdity of the thing struck her, and she began to laugh.
“I wonder if, when we get to another world, everything we do here will seem just ridiculous and funny?” speculated Susan.
For their daughter’s first Thanksgiving Day the Olivers invited a dozen friends to their Oakland house for dinner; the first really large gathering of their married lives.
“We have always been too poor, or I haven’t been well, or there’s been some other good reason for lying low,” wrote Mrs. Oliver to Mrs. Carroll, “but this year the stork is apparently filling previous orders, and our trio is well, and we have been blessed beyond all rhyme and reason, and want to give thanks. Anna and Conrad and the O’Connors have promised, Jinny will be here, and I’m only waiting to hear from you three to write and ask Phil and Mary and Pillsey and the baby. So do come—for next year Anna says that it’s her turn, and by the year after we may be so prosperous that I’ll have to keep two maids, and miss half the fun—it will certainly break my heart if I ever have to say, ’We’ll have roast turkey, Jane, and mince pies,’ instead of making them myself. Please come, we are dying to see the little cousins together, they will be simply heavenly—–”
“There’s more than wearing your best dress and eating too much turkey to Thanksgiving,” said Susan to Billy, when they were extending the dining-table to its largest proportions on the day before Thanksgiving. “It’s just one of those things, like having a baby, that you have to do to appreciate. It’s old-fashioned, and homelike, and friendly. Perhaps I have a commonplace, middle-class mind, but I do love all this! I love the idea of everyone arriving, and a big fire down here, and Betts and her young man trying to sneak away to the sun-room, and the boys sitting in Grandma’s lap, and being given tastes of white meat and mashed potato at dinnertime. Me to the utterly commonplace, every time!”
“When you are commonplace, Sue,” said her husband, coming out from under the table, where hasps had been absorbing his attention, “you’ll be ready for the family vault at Holy Cross, and not one instant before!”
“No, but the consolation is,” Susan reflected, “that if this is happiness,—if it makes me feel like the Lord Mayor’s wife to have three children, a husband whom most people think is either a saint or a fool,—I think he’s a little of both, myself!—and a new sun-room built off my dining-room,—why, then there’s an unexpected amount of happiness in this world! In me—a plain woman, sir, with my hands still odorous of onion dressing, and a safety-pin from my daughter’s bathing-struggle still sticking into my twelve-and-a-half-cent gingham,—in me, I say, you behold a contented human creature, who confidently hopes to live to be ninety-seven!”