Undertow eBook

Kathleen Norris
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 135 pages of information about Undertow.
rents.  Seventy-five dollars, or one hundred dollars, were asked for the simplest of them, and the plumbing facilities, and often the janitor service, were of the poorest.  So Nancy abandoned the dream, and enthusiastically accepted the East Eleventh Street substitute, Bert becoming a tenant in the “George Eliot,” at a rental of thirty-five dollars a month.  Some of the old Barrett furniture was too large for the place, but what she could use Nancy arranged with exquisite taste:  fairly dancing with pleasure over the sitting room, where her chair and Bert’s were in place, and the little droplight lighted on the little table.  In this room they were going to read Dickens out loud, on winter nights.

They were married on a hot April morning, a morning whose every second seemed to Nancy flooded with strange perfumes, and lighted with unearthly light.  The sky was cloudless; the park bowered in fresh green; the streets, under new shadows, clean-swept and warm.  Her gown was perfection, her new wide hat the most becoming she had ever worn; the girls, in their new gowns and hats, seemed so near and dear to her to-day.  She was hardly conscious of Bert, but she remembered liking his big brother, who kissed her in so brotherly a fashion.  Winter was over, the snow was gone at last, the trying and depressing rains and the cold were gone, too, and she and Bert were man and wife, and off to Boston for their honeymoon.

Chapter Four

They had been married eleven days, and were loitering over a Sunday luncheon in their tiny home, when they first seriously discussed finances; not theoretical finances, but finances as bounded on one side by Bert’s worn, brown leather pocket-book, and on the other by his bank-book, with its confusing entries in black and red ink.

Here on the table were seventeen dollars and eighty cents.  Nancy had flattened the bills, and arranged the silver in piles, as they talked.  This was Sunday; Bert would be paid on Saturday next.  Could Nancy manage on that?

Nancy felt a vague alarm.  But she had been a wage earner herself.  She rose to the situation at once.

“Manage what, Bert?  If you mean just meals, of course I can!  But I won’t have this much every week for meals ...?”

Bert took out a fountain pen, and reached for a blank envelope.

“Do you mind working it out?—­I think it’s such fun!”

“I love it!” Nancy brought her brightest face to the problem.  “Now let’s see—­what have we?  Exactly one hundred a month.”

“Thirteen hundred a year,” he corrected.

“Yes, but let’s not count that extra hundred, Bee!” Nancy, like all women, had given her new husband a new name.  “Let’s save that and have it to blow in, all in a heap, for something special?”

“All right.”  Bert digressed long enough to catch the white hand and kiss it, and say:  “Isn’t it wonderful—­our sitting here planning things together?  Aren’t we going to have fun!”

Project Gutenberg
Undertow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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