“I know all I want to; and you have reached the end of your acquaintance with her and her set. You are not to go there, Eunice, and that’s all there is about it.”
The Emburys were in Eunice’s bedroom. Sanford was in evening dress and was about to leave for his club. Eunice, who had dined in a negligee, was donning an elaborate evening costume. She had dismissed her maid when Embury came into the room, and was herself adjusting the finishing touches. Her gown of henna-colored chiffon, with touches of gold embroidery, was most becoming to her dark beauty, and some fine ornaments of ancient carved gold gave an Oriental touch to her appearance. She stood before a long mirror, noting the details of her gown, and showed an irritating lack of attention to Embury’s last dictum.
“You heard me, Eunice?” he said, caustically, his hand on the doorknob.
“Not being deaf, I did,” she returned, without looking toward him.
“And you will obey me?” He turned back, and reaching her side, he grasped her arm with no uncertain touch. “I demand your obedience!”
“Demands are not always granted!”
She gave him a dazzling smile, but it was defiant rather than friendly.
“I make it a request, then. Will you grant me that?”
“Why should I grant your requests, when you won’t grant mine?”
“Good Lord, Eunice, are you going to harp on that allowance string again?”
“I am. Why shouldn’t I, when it warps my whole life—”
“Oh, come, cut out the hifalutin’ talk!” “Well, then, to come down to plain facts, there isn’t a day that I’m not humiliated and embarrassed by the lack of a little cash.”
“Bad as that?”
“Yes, quite as bad as that! Why, the day we went out to Newark I didn’t have five cents to buy Aunt Abby a newspaper, and she had to get along without one!”
“She seemed to live through it.”
“Sanford, you’re unbearable! And to-day, at Mrs, Garland’s, a woman talked, and then they took up a collection for the ’Belgian Home Fires,’ and I didn’t have a cent to contribute.”
“Who is she? I’ll send a check.”
“A check! You answer everything by a check! Can’t you understand? Oh, there’s no use explaining; you’re determined you won’t understand! So, let us drop the subject. Is to-night the club election?”
“No, to-morrow night. But to-night will probably decide it in my mind. It practically hinges on the Meredith set—if they can be talked over—”
“Oh, Sanford, I do hope they can!” Eunice’s eyes sparkled and she smiled as she put her hands on her husband’s shoulders. “And, listen, dear, if they are—if you do win the election, won’t you —oh, San, won’t you give me an allowance?”
“Eunice, you’re enough to drive a man crazy! Will you let up on that everlasting whine? No, I won’t! Is that plain?”
“Then I shall go and get it for myself!”