“Well, we’ve got it!” Bert said uncomfortably, on the day of this talk. He had vaguely hoped, as the month went by, that it was going to show him well ahead financially. However, if things “broke even,” he might well congratulate himself. Certainly they were having a glorious time, there was no denying that.
“Do you recognize us, Bert?” Nancy sometimes asked him exultingly, as she tucked herself joyously into somebody’s big tonneau, or snatched open a bureau drawer to find fresh prettiness for some unexpected outing. “Do you remember our wanting to join the Silver River Country Club! That little club!”
“Gosh, it’s queer!” Bert would agree, grinning. And late in the second summer he said, “If I put the Buller deal over, I think I’ll get a car!”
“Well, honestly, I think we ought to have a car,” Nancy said seriously, after a flashing look of delight, “It isn’t an extravagance at all, Bert, if you really figure it out. The man does errands for you, saves you I don’t know how much cab fare, takes care of the place, and Mary Ingram’s man has a garbage incinerator—and saves that expense! Then, it’s one of the things you truly ought to have, down here. You have friends down Saturday, you play golf, you play bridge after dinner—well and good. Sunday morning we swim, and come home to lunch, and then what? You can’t ask other friends in to lunch and then propose that they take us in their cars down the island somewhere? And yet that’s what they do; and I assure you it embarrasses me, over and over again.”
“Oh, we’ll have to have a car—I’m glad you see it,” said Bert.
The Buller deal being duly completed, they got their car. The picturesque garage was no longer useless. A silent, wizened little Frenchman and his wife took possession of the big room over the kitchen, Pierre to manage the garden and the car, Pauline to cook--she was a marvellous cook. Nancy kept Agnes, and got a little maid besides, who was to make herself generally useful in dining room and bedrooms.
The new arrangement worked like a charm. There was no woman in the Gardens who did not envy the Bradleys their cook, and Nancy felt the possession of Pauline a real feather in her cap. Pauline exulted in emergencies, and Nancy and Bert experienced a fearful delight when they put her to the test, and sat bewildered at their own table, while the dainty courses followed one another from some mysterious source to which Pauline alone held the clue,