Undertow eBook

Kathleen Norris
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 103 pages of information about Undertow.

“Oh, quite!  Just as you and I did.  And then, item two:  Agnes is a good plain cook, and Priscilla is an angel.  I’ll walk to market every day, and send out the laundry, and keep Priscilla with me.  So that makes Agnes our entire domestic staff—­she’s enthusiastic, so don’t begin to curl your lips over it.  Then we’ll have to have a floor in here, and cut a window in the closet back there, and put in a little gas stove, and before winter we’ll put on a little addition—­a kitchen in back, with a room for the boys above.  And we’ll shut the big double doors, and I’ll have another window box right across their windows, and curtain the whole place in plain net.  The boys can sleep in the tent for the time being.  There’s a furnace, but we’ll have to make some provision for coal—­”

“But, my good woman, you don’t propose to make this arrangement permanent, I suppose?” Bert said, bewilderedly.  “Why, I meant to spend to-morrow looking about—­”

“Why shouldn’t it be permanent?” Nancy demanded.  “We can kitch and dine and sit in the big room, we’ll have all the room we want, upstairs.  It’s the only place in the world where we don’t have to pay rent.  It’s quiet, it’s off the main road, nobody will see what we are doing here, and nobody’ll care!”

“They’ll see us fast enough,” Bert said doubtfully.  “I never heard of any one doing it—­I don’t know what people would say!”

“Bert,” Nancy assured him seriously, “I don’t care what they say.  I’ve been thinking it all over, and I believe I can risk the opinion of Marlborough Gardens!  Some of them will drop us, and you and I know who they are.  How much do we care?  And the others will realize that we are hard hit financially, and trying to catch up.  Mary Ingram came over while you were away, perfectly aghast.  She had just heard of it.  I told her what we were trying to do, and she said—­well, she said just the one thing that really could have helped me.  She said:  ’You’ll have great fun—­we lived in our garage while the house was being built, and it was quite the happiest summer we ever had down here!’” Nancy had squared herself on the arm of his chair so that Bert could see her bright eyes in the dark.  “It was just like Mary, to put it that way,” she went on.  “For of course even Holly Court was never as large as the Ingrams’ garage, and all those brick arches and things join it to the house anyway, but it made me think how much wiser it is to do things your own way, instead of some other people’s way!  And, Bert, we’re going to have such fun!  We’ll keep the car, and you can run it on Sundays, and perhaps I will a little, during the week, and at night or when it rains we can cover it with a tarpaulin, and we’ll have picnics with the children all summer long!  And I’ll make you ‘chicken Nancy’ again, and popovers, on Sunday mornings!  I love to cook.  I love to tell stories to children.  I love to pack mashy suppers and get all dirty and hot dragging them to the beach, and I love to stuff my own Thanksgiving turkey, in my own way!  We haven’t had a real Thanksgiving turkey for four or five years!  We’ll have no rent—­ Agnes gets thirty—­light will be almost nothing, and coal about a tenth of what it was—­Bert, we’ll spend about two hundred a month, all told!”

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Project Gutenberg
Undertow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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