The rose garden husband

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheRoseGardenHusband,byMargaretWiddemer ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:TheRoseGardenHusband Author:MargaretWiddemer ReleaseDate:September16,2008[EBook#26635] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEROSEGARDENHUSBAND*** ProducedbyMarkC Orton,LindaMcKeownandtheOnline DistributedProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net THEROSE-GARDENHUSBAND BY MARGARETWIDDEMER WITHILLUSTRATIONSBY WALTERBIGGS NEWYORKGROSSET&DUNLAPPUBLISHERS COPYRIGHT1914,BYJ B LIPPINCOTTCOMPANY COPYRIGHT1915,BYJ B LIPPINCOTTCOMPANY PUBLISHED,JANUARY27,1915 SECONDPRINTING,FEBRUARY6,1915 THIRDPRINTING,MARCH12,1915 FOURTHPRINTING,APRIL23,1915 FIFTHPRINTING,JUNE10,1915 SIXTHPRINTING,AUGUST6,1915 SEVENTHPRINTING,OCTOBER21,1915 EIGHTHPRINTING,MAY1,1916 NINTHPRINTING,OCTOBER30,1916 YOUKNOW,IMARRIEDYOUPRINCIPALLYFORAROSE-GARDEN "YOUKNOW,IMARRIEDYOUPRINCIPALLYFORAROSEGARDEN,ANDTHAT'SLOVELY!" Page172 INLOVINGMEMORY OF HOWARDTAYLORWIDDEMER CONTENTS bookspine CHAPTERI CHAPTERII CHAPTERIII CHAPTERIV CHAPTERV CHAPTERVI CHAPTERVII CHAPTERVIII CHAPTERIX CHAPTERX CHAPTERXI CHAPTERXII CHAPTERXIII CHAPTERXIV THEROSE-GARDENHUSBAND I The Liberry Teacher lifted her eyes from a half-made catalogue-card, eyed the relentlesslyslowclockandcheckedalongwriggleofpurest,frankestweariness Thenshegaveafurtiveglancearoundtoseeifthechildrenhadnoticedshewas offguard;forifthey had sheknewthe wholecrowdmighttakemoreliberties thantheyoughtto,andhavetobespokentobythejanitor Hecoulddoagreat dealwiththem,becauseheunderstoodtheirattitudetolife,butthatwasn'tgood fortheLiberryTeacher'srecord It was four o'clock of a stickily wet Saturday As long as it is anything from Monday to Friday the average library attendant goes around thanking her stars sheisn'taschool-teacher;butthelastdayoftheweek,whentherestoftheworld ishavingitsrelaxingSaturdayoffandcomingtogloatoveryouasitacquiresits Sunday-reading best seller, if you work in a library you begin just at noon to wish devoutly that you'd taken up scrubbing-by-the-day, or hack-driving, or porch-climbingor—anythingonearththatgaveyouaweeklyhalf-holiday! So the Liberry Teacher braced herself severely, and put on her reading-glasses withaviewtolookingolderandmorefirm "LiberryTeacher,"itmightbewell to explain, was not her official title Her description on the pay-roll ran "Assistant for the Children's Department, Greenway Branch, City Public Library." Grown-up people, when she happened to run across them, called her Miss Braithwaite But "Liberry Teacher" was the only name the children ever used,andshesawscarcelyanybodybutthechildren,sixdaysaweek,fifty-one weeks a year As for her real name, that nobody ever called her by, that was PhyllisNarcissa Shewasquitewillingtohavesuchanameasthatburiedoutofsight Shehada sense of fitness; and such a name belonged back in an old New England parsonagegardenfullofpinkrosesandnicegreencaterpillarsandgirl-dreams, andthedaysbeforeshewaseighteen:notinasmuttycitylibrary,attachedtoa twenty-five-year-oldyoungwomanwithreading-glassesandfinedisciplineand awoolenshirt-waist! Itwasn'tthattheLiberryTeacherdidn'tlikeherposition Shenotonlylikedit, but she had a great deal of admiration for it, because it had been exceedingly hard to get She had held it firmly now for a whole year Before that she had beenintheCataloguing,whereyoureyeshurtandyougetalittlepainbetween yourshoulders,butyousitdownandcantalktoothergirls;andbeforethatin theCirculation,whereithurtsyourfeetandyougetinkonyourfingers,butyou seelotsoffunnythingshappening Shehadstartedateighteenyearsold,atthirty dollarsamonth Nowshewastwenty-five,andshegotalloffiftydollars,soshe oughttohavebeenaveryhappyLiberryTeacherindeed,andgenerallyshewas Whenthechildrenwantedtospecifyherparticularlytheydescribedheras"the pretty one that laughs." But at four o'clock of a wet Saturday afternoon, in a badly ventilated, badly lighted room full of damp little unwashed foreign children, even the most sunny-hearted Liberry Teacher may be excused for havingthoughtsthatarealittletiredandcrossandrestless Sheflungherselfbackinherdesk-chairandwatched,withbrazenindifference, Giovanni and Liberata Bruno stickily pawing the colored Bird Book that was supposedtobelookedatonlyundersupervision;sheignoredthefactthatthree little Czechs were fighting over the wailing library cat; and the sounds of conflict caused by Jimsy Hoolan's desire to get the last-surviving Alger book away from John Zanowski moved her not a whit The Liberry Teacher had stopped,forfiveminutes,beinggrown-upandresponsible,andshewaswishing —wishinghardandvengefully Thisisalwaysariskythingtodo,becauseyou never know when the Destinies may overhear you and take you at your exact word Withthe detailedand carefulaccuracy oneacquires in library work,she was wishing for a sum of money, a garden, and a husband—but principally a husband Thisiswhy: That day as she was returning from her long-deferred twenty-minute dairylunch,shehadcharged,umbrelladown,almostfullintoaprettyladygettingout ofashinygraylimousine Suchanunnecessarilyprettylady,allfursandfluffles and veils and perfumes and waved hair! Her cheeks were pink and her expressionwasplacid,andeachofherwhite-glovedhandsheldtighttoapretty picture-book child who was wriggling with wild excitement One had yellow frillyhairandonehadbrownbobbedhair,andbothwerequaintly,immaculately, expensivelykissable Theywerethekindofchildreneverygirlwishesshecould have a set like, and hugs when she gets a chance Mother and children were making their way, under an awning that crossed the street, to the matinee of a fairy-play The Liberry Teacher smiled at the children with more than her accustomed goodwill,andloweredherumbrellaquicklytoletthempass Themothersmiled back, a smile that changed, as the Liberry Teacher passed, to puzzled remembrance The gay little family went on into the theatre, and Phyllis Braithwaite hurried on back to her work, trying to think who the pretty lady couldhavebeen,tohaveseemedtoalmostrememberher Somebodywhotook booksoutofthelibrary,doubtless Stilltheprettylady'sfacedidnotseemtofit that conjecture, though it still worried her by its vague familiarity Finally the solutioncame,justasPhylliswaspullingoffherraincoatinthedarklittlecloakroom Shenearlydroppedthecoat "EvaAtkinson!"shesaid EvaAtkinson! IfithadbeenanybodyelsebutEva! Yousee,backinlong-ago,inthelittleleisurelywindblownNewEnglandtown wherePhyllisBraithwaitehadlivedtillshewasalmosteighteen,therehadbeen aPrincipalGrocer AndEvaAtkinsonhadbeenhisdaughter,notsoverypretty, notsoverypleasant,notsoveryclever,andaboutsixyearsolderthanPhyllis Phyllis, as she tried vainly to make her damp, straight hair go back the way it should,rememberedhearingthatEvahadmarriedandcometothiscitytolive Shehadneverheardwhere AndthishadbeenEva—Eva,bythegraceofgold, radiantlycomplexioned,wonderfullygroomed,beautifullygowned,andlooking twenty-four, perhaps, at most: with a car and a placid expression and heapsof money, and pretty, clean children! The Liberry Teacher, severely work-garbed and weather-draggled,jerkedherselfaway from thesmallgreenishcloak-room mirrorthatwasunkindtoyouatyourbest She dashed down to the basement, harried by her usual panic-stricken twentyminutes-late feeling She had only taken one glance at herself in the wiggly mirror, but that one had been enough for her peace of mind, supposing her to havehadanyleftbefore Shefeltasifshewantedtobreakallthemirrorsinthe world,likethewickedqueenintheFrenchfairy-tale MostpeopleratherlikedthefacePhyllissawinthemirror;buttoherowneyes, fresh from the dazzling vision of that Eva Atkinson who had been dowdy and stupidinthefar-backtimewhenseventeen-year-oldPhylliswas"growin'upas prettyasapicture,"thetired,twenty-five-year-old,workadayfaceinthegreen glasswasdreadful Whatmadeherfeelworst—andsheentertainedthethought withawhimsicalconsciousnessofitsimpertinentvanity—wasthatshe'dhadso much more raw material than Eva! And the world had given Eva a chance because her father was rich And she, Phyllis, was condemned to be tidy and accurate,andnomore,justbecauseshehadtoearnherliving Thatfaceinthe greenish glass, looking tiredly back at her! She gave a little out-loud cry of vexationnowasshethoughtofit,twohourslater "ImusthavelookedtoEvalikeabatteredbisquedoll—nowondershecouldn't placeme!"shemutteredcrossly Anditmustbeworseandmoreofitnow,becauseintheintervalbetweentwo andfourtherehadbeenmanylittlestickyfingerspullingathersleevesandskirt, and you just have to cuddle dear little library children, even when they're not extraclean;andwhenVeraAronsohnburstintoheartbrokentearsontheLiberry Teacher'sbluewoolenshoulderbecauseherpetfairy-bookwasmissing,shehad caughtseveralstrandsoftheTeacher'syellowhairinheranguish,muchtothe hair'sdetriment Itwasstraight,heavyhair,anditwouldhavebeenofadenseandfluffyhoneycolor,onlythatitwastarnishedforlackoftheconstantsunningsandbrushings whichblondehairmusthavetostayitsbestself Andherskin,too,thatshould havebeenalivingrose-and-cream,wasdulledbyexposuretoallweathers,and lackoftimetopetitwithcreamsandpowders;perhapsalittle,too,bythevery stupid things to eat one gets at a dairy-lunch and boarding-house Some of the assistants did interesting cooking over the library gas-range, but the Liberry Teachercouldn'tdothatbecauseshehadn'ttime Shewentondefiantlythinkingaboutherlooks Itisn'tanoble-mindedthingto do,butwhenyoumightbesovery,veryprettyifyouonlyhadalittletimetobe itin—"Yes,Imight!"saidPhyllistohershockedselfdefiantly Yes,theshape of her face was all right still Hard work and scant attention couldn't spoil its prettyoval Buthereyes—well,youcan'tkeepyoureyesasblueandluminous and childlike as they were back in the New England country, when you have beenusingthemhardforyearsinabadlight Andoh,theyhadbeensuchnice eyes when she was just Phyllis Narcissa at home, so long and blue and wondering! And now the cataloguing had heavied the lids and etched a line betweenherstraightbrownbrows Theyweren'tdecorativeeyesnow andthey filled with indignant self-sympathy The Liberry Teacher laughed at herself a littlehere Theideaofeyesthatcriedaboutthemselveswasfunny,somehow "Directfromproducertoconsumer!"shequotedhalf-aloud,andwipedeacheye conscientiouslybyitself "Teacher!Iwantaliberrycalled'BrideofLemonHill!'demandedasmallcitizen maninthestreethas." "Oh,don'tspeakthatway,Allan!" Shebentoverhimsympathetically,movedbyhiswords Inanothermomentthe misunderstanding might have been straightened out, if it had not been for his reply "IwishIneverhadtoseeyouatall!"hesaidinvoluntarily Inhersensitivestate of mind the hurt was all she felt—not the deeper meaning that lay behind the words "I'llrelieveyouofmypresenceforawhile,"sheflashedback Beforeshegave herself time to think, she had left the garden, with something which might be called a flounce "When people say things like that to you," she said as she walkedawayfromhim,"it'scarryingbeinganinvalidalittletoofar!" Allanheardtheside-doorslam HehadneversuspectedbeforethatPhyllishada temper Andyet,whatcouldhehavesaid?Butshegavehimnoopportunityto findout Injustaboutthetimeitmighttaketofindglovesandaparasol,another doorclangedinthedistance Thestreetdoor Phyllishadevidentlygoneout Phyllis,onherswiftwaydownthestreet,grewangrierandangrier Shetriedto persuadeherselftomakeallowancesforAllan,buttheyrefusedtobemade She feltmorebitterlytowardhimthansheeverhadtowardanyoneinherlife Ifshe onlyhadn'tleanedoverhimandbeensorryforhim,justbeforeshegotaslapin thefacelikethat! She walked rapidly down the main street of the little village She hardly knew whereshe wasgoing She hadbeencalled onbymostofthelocalpeople,but shedidnotfeellikebeingagreeable,ormakingformalcalls,justnow Andwhat wastheuseofmakingfriends,anyway,whenshewasgoingbacktoherrags, poorlittleCinderellathatshewas!Belowandaroundandaboveeverythingelse camethestingingthoughtthatshehadgivenAllansomuch—thatshehadtaken somuchforgranted Her quick steps finally took her to the outskirts of the village, to a little green stretchofwoods Thereshewalkedupanddownforawhile,tryingtothinkmore quietly Shefoundthetideofherangerebbingsuddenly,andhermindforming allsortsofexcusesforAllan Butthatwasnotthewaytogetquiet—thinkingof Allan!Shetriedtoputhimresolutelyfromhermind,andthinkaboutherown futureplans Thefirstthingtodo,shedecided,wastorubupherlibraryworka little Itwaswithanunexpectedfeelingofhavingreturnedtoherownplacethatshe crossedthemarblefloorofthevillagelibrary Shefeltasifsheoughttohurry downtothecloak-room,insteadofwaitingleisurelyatthedeskforhercard It all seemed uncannily like home—there was even a girl inside the desk who lookedlikeAnnaBlackofherownGreenwayBranch Phylliscouldhear,witha faint amusement, that the girl was scolding energetically in Anna Black's own way Thewordsstruckonherquickears,thoughtheywerenotintendedtocarry "That'swhatcomesoftrustingtovolunteerhelp Telephonesatthelastmoment 'shehasaheadache,'andnotasinglesoultolookafterthestory-hour!Andthe childrenarealmostallherealready." "We'll just have to send them home," said the other girl, looking up from her trayfulofcards "It'stoolatetogetanybodyelse,andgoodnessknowswecan't getitin!" "They ought to have another librarian," fretted the girl who looked like Anna "Theycouldafforditwellenough,withtheirSoldiers'Monumentsandall." Phyllissmiledtoherselffromwhereshewasinvestigatingthecard-catalogue It allsoundedsoexceedinglynatural Thenthatswiftinstinctofherstohelpcaught herovertothedesk,andsheheardherselfsaying: "I've had some experience in story telling; maybe I could help you with the story-hour Icouldn'thelphearingthatyourstory-tellerhasdisappointedyou." ThegirllikeAnnafellonherwithrapture "Heaven must have sent you," she said The other one, evidently slower and morecautiousbynature,rosetoo,andcametowardher "Youhaveacardhere, haven'tyou?"shesaid "IthinkI'veseenyou." "Yes," Phyllis said, with a pang at speaking the name she had grown to love bearing;"I'mMrs Harrington—PhyllisHarrington Weliveattheotherendof thevillage." "Oh,inthehousewiththegardenallshutofffromthelane!"saidthegirllike Anna,delightedly "ThatlovelyoldhousethatusedtobelongtotheJamesons Oh,yes,Iknow You'rehereforthesummer,aren'tyou,andyourhusbandhas beenveryill?" "Exactly," said Phyllis, smiling, though she wished people wouldn't talk about Allan!Theyseemedpossessedtomentionhim! "We'llbeobligedforeverifyou'lldoit,"saidtheothergirl,evidentlythehead librarian "Canyoudoitnow?Thechildrenarewaiting." "Certainly," said Phyllis, and followed the younger girl straightway to the basement, where, it seemed, the story-hour was held She wondered, as they went,ifthegirlenviedherherexpensivelyperishablesummerorgandie,withits flying sashes and costly accessories; if the girl thought about her swinging jewelries and endless leisure with a wish to have them for herself She had wanted such things, she knew, when she was being happy on fifty dollars a month And perhaps some of the women she had watched then had had heartachesundertheirfurs Thechildren,alreadysittinginadecorousringontheirlowchairs,seemedafter thefirstsurprisetoapproveofPhyllis Thelibrarianlingeredforalittlebyway of keeping order if it should be necessary, watched the competent sweep with whichPhyllisgatheredthechildrenaroundher,heardtheopeningofthestory, and left with an air of astonished approval Phyllis, late best story-teller of the Greenway Branch, watched her go with a bit of professional triumph in her heart Shetoldthechildrenstoriestillthetimewasup,andthen"justonestorymore." Shehadnotforgottenhow,shefound Butshenevertoldthemthestoryof"How theElephantGotHisTrunk,"thatfoolish,fascinatingstory-hourclassicthatshe hadtoldAllanthenighthismotherhaddied;thestorythathadsenthimtosleep quietly for the first time in years Oh, dear, was everything in the world connectedwithAllaninsomewayorother? Itwasnearlysixwhenshewentup,engulfedinchildren,tothecirculatingroom There the night-librarian caught her She had evidently been told to try to get Phyllis for more story-hours, for she did her best to make her promise They talkedshoptogetherforperhapsanhourandahalf Thenthegrowingtwilight remindedPhyllisthatitwastimetogoback Shehadbeenshirkinggoinghome, sherealizednow,alltheafternoon Shesaidgood-bytothenight-librarian,and wentondownthevillagestreet,laggingunconsciously Itmusthavebeenabout eightbythistime Itwasamilebacktothehouse Shecouldhavetakenthetrolleypartoftheway, but she felt restless and like walking She had forgotten that walking at night through well-known, well-lighted city streets, and going in half-dusk through countrybyways,weretwodifferentthings Shewasdestinedtoberemindedof thedifference "Canyouhelpapoorman,lady?"saidawhiningvoicebehindher,whenshehad aquarterofthewayyettogo Sheturnedtoseeabigtramp,aterrifyingbrute with a half-propitiating, half-fierce look on his heavy, unshaven face She was desperately frightened She had been spoken to once or twice in the city, but theretherewasalwaysapoliceman,orahouseyoucouldrunintoifyouhadto Buthere,intheunguardedduskofacountrylane,itwasadifferentmatter The longgoldchainthatswungbelowherwaist,thebigdiamondonherfinger,the goldmesh-purse—allthejewelryshetooksuchachildlikedelightinwearing— sherememberedtheminterror Shewasnobrown-cladlittleworking-girlnow, toslipalongdisregarded Andthetrampdidnotlooklikeadeservingobject "Ifyouwillcometothehouseto-morrow,"shesaid,hurryingonasshespoke, "I'll have some work for you The first house on this street that you come to." Shedidnotdaregivehimanything,orsendhimaway "Won't you gimme somethin' now, lady?" whined the tramp, continuing to follow "I'mastarvin'man." Shedarednotopenherpurseandappeasehimbygivinghimmoney—shehad too much with her That morning she had received the check for her monthly incomefromMr DeGuenther,sentWallisdowntocashit,andthenstuffeditin herbagandforgottenitinthedistressoftheday Themanmighttakethemoney andstrikehersenseless,evenkillher "To-morrow," she said, going rapidly on She had now what would amount to aboutthreecityblockstotraversestill Therewasashortwayfromoutsidethe garden-hedge through to the garden, which cut off about a half-block If she couldgainthisshewouldbesafe "Naw, yeh don't," snarled the tramp, as she fled on "Ye'll set that bull-pup o' yoursonme Ibeenthere,an'comeawayagain Youjustgimmesomeo'them ringsan'thingsan'we'llcallitsquare,mefinelady!" Phyllis's heart stood still at this open menace, but she ran on still A sudden thought came to her She snatched her gilt sash-buckle—a pretty thing but of smallvalue—fromherwaist,andhurleditfarbehindthetramp Inthehalf-light itmighthavebeenhergoldmesh-bag "There'smymoney—gogetit!"shegasped—andranforherlife Thetramp,as shehadhopedhewould,dashedbackafteritandgaveherthestartsheneeded Breathless,terrifiedtodeath,sheracedon,tearingherfrock,droppingthelibrary cardsandparasolshestillhadheldinherhand Onceshecaughthersashona tree-wire Onceherslipper-heelcaughtandnearlythrewher Thechaseseemed unending Shecouldhearthedreadfulfootstepsofthetrampbehindher,andhis snarling, swearing voice panting out threats He was drunk, she realized with anotherthrillofhorror Itwasanightmarehappening Onandon—shestumbled,fell,caughtherself—butthetramphadgained Then atlastthealmostinvisiblegapinthehedge,andshefledthrough "Allan!Allan!Allan!"shescreamed,fleeinginstinctivelytohischair Therose-gardenwaslikeaplaceofenchantedpeaceaftertheterrorofoutside HerquickvisionassherushedinwasofAllanstillthere,movelessinhischair, with the little black bull-dog lying asleep across his arms and shoulder like a child Itoftenlayso Assheentered,thescenebrokeupbeforehereyeslikea dissolvingview Shesawthelittledogwakeandmakewhatseemedoneflying spring to the tramp's throat, and sink his teeth in it—and Allan, at her scream, springfromhischair! PhyllisforgoteverythingatthesightofAllan,standing Wallisandtheoutdoor man,whohadruntothespotatPhyllis'sscreams,weredealingwiththetramp, who was writhing on the grass, choking and striking out wildly But neither Phyllis nor Allan saw that Which caught the other in an embrace they never knew They stood locked together, forgetting everything else, he in the idea of herperil,sheinthewonderofhisstanding "Oh, darling, darling!" Allan was saying over and over again "You are safe— thankheavenyouaresafe!Oh,Phyllis,Icouldneverforgivemyselfifyouhad beenhurt!Phyllis!Speaktome!" ButPhyllis'sownsafetydidnotconcernhernow Shecouldonlythinkofone thing "Youcanstand!Youcanstand!"shereiterated Thenawonderfulthought cametoher,strikingacrosstheothers,asshestoodlockedinthismiraculously raisedAllan'sarms Shespokewithoutknowingthatshehadsaiditaloud "Do you care, too?" she said very low Then the dominant thought returned "You mustsitdownagain,"she saidhurriedly,to coverherconfusion, andwhatshe hadsaid "Please,Allan,sitdown Please,dear—you'lltireyourself." Allan sank into his chair again, still holding her She dropped on her knees beside him, with her arms around him She had a little leisure now to observe that Wallis, the ever-resourceful, had tied the tramp neatly with the outdoor man'ssuspenders,whichwerenearerthesurfacethanhisown,andsucceededin pryingoffthestillunappeasedFoxy,whoevidentlywaswrongedatnothaving the tramp to finish They carried him off, into the back kitchen garden Allan, nowthathewascertainofPhyllis'ssafety,paidthemnottheleastattention "Didyoumeanit?"hesaidpassionately "Tellme,didyoumeanwhatyousaid?" PhyllisdroppedherdishevelledheadonAllan'sshoulder "I'm afraid—I'm going to cry, and—and I know you don't like it!" she panted Allanhalfdrew,halfguidedherupintohisarms "Wasittrue?"heinsisted,givingheranimpulsivelittleshake Shesatuponhis knees,wide-eyedandwet-cheekedlikeachild "Butyouknewthatallalong!"shesaid "ThatwaswhyIfeltsohumiliated It wasyouthatIthoughtdidn'tcare——" Allanlaughedjoyously "Care!"hesaid "IshouldthinkIdid,first,last,andall thetime!Why,Phyllis,child,didn'tIbehavelikeabrutebecauseIwasjealous enoughofJohnHewitttothrowhimintheriver?Hewasthefirstmanyouhad seen since you married me—attractive, and well, and clever, and all that—it wouldhavebeennaturalenoughifyou'dlikedhim." "Liked him!" said Phyllis in disdain "When there was you? And I thought—I thoughtitwasthememoryofLouiseFreythatmadeyouactthatway Youdidn't wanttotalkabouther,andyousaiditwasallamistake——" "Iwasabrute,"saidAllanagain "ItwasthememorythatIwasaboutasuseful as a rag doll, and that the world was full of live men with real legs and arms, readytofallinlovewithyou "There's nobody but you in the world," whispered Phyllis "But you're well now, or you will be soon," she added joyously She slipped away from him "Allan, don't you want to try to stand again? If you did it then, you can it now." "Yes,byJove,Ido!"hesaid Butthistimetheefforttorisewasnoticeable Still, hecoulddoit,withPhyllis'seagerhelp "ItmusthavebeenwhatDr Hewittcalledneurasthenicinhibition,"saidPhyllis, watchingthemiracleofastandingAllan "Thatwaswhatweweretalkingabout bythedoorthatnight,youfoolishboy! Oh,howtallyouare!Ineverrealized youweretall,lyingdown,somehow!" "Idon'thavetobendveryfartokissyou,though,"suggestedAllan,suitingthe actiontotheword But Phyllis, when this was satisfactorily concluded, went back to the great businessofseeinghowmuchAllancouldwalk Hesatdownagainafterahalfdozensteps,alittletiredinspiteofhisexcitement "Ican'tdomuchatatimeyet,Isuppose,"hesaidalittleruefully "Doyoumean to tell me, sweetheart—come over here closer, where I can touch you—you're awfullyfaraway—doyoumeantotellmethatallthatailedmewasIthoughtI couldn'tmove?" "Oh, no!" explained Phyllis, moving her chair close, and then, as that did not seemsatisfactory,perchingonthearmofAllan's "You'dbeenunabletomove forsolongthatwhenyouwereabletoatlastyoursubconsciousmindclamped downonyourmusclesandwasconvincedyoucouldn't Sonomatterhowmuch you consciously tried, you couldn't make the muscles go till you were so stronglyexciteditbroketheinhibition—justaspeoplecanliftthingsindelirium orexcitementthattheycouldn'tpossiblymoveatothertimes Doyousee?" "Ido,"saidAllan,kissingthebackofherneckirrelevantly "Ifsomebody'dtried toshootmeupfiveyearsagoImightbeawellmannow That'sabeautifulword ofyours,Phyllis,inhibition Whatalotofbigwordsyouknow!" "Oh,ifyouwon'tbeserious!"saidshe "We'llhavetobe,"saidAllan,laughing,"forhere'sWallis,and,asIlive,from thedirectionofthehouse Ithoughttheycarriedourfriendthetrampoutthrough thehedge—hemusthavegoneallthewayaround." Phyllis was secretly certain that Wallis had been crying a little, but all he said was,"We'vetakenthetramptothelock-up,sir." But his master and his mistress were not so dignified They showed him exhaustivelythatAllancouldreallystandandwalk,andAllandemonstratedit, and Wallis nearly cried again Then they went in, for Phyllis was sure Allan neededathoroughrestafterallthis Shewasshakingfromheadtofootherself with joyful excitement, but she did not even know it And it was long past dinner-time, though every one but Lily-Anna, to whom the happy news had somehowfiltered,hadforgottenit "I've always wanted to hold you in my arms, this way," said Allan late that evening,astheystoodintherose-gardenagain;"butIthoughtIneverwould Phyllis,didyoueverwantmeto?" It was too beautiful a moonlight night to waste in the house, or even on the porch Thecouchhadbeenwheeledtoitsaccustomedplaceintherose-garden, andAllanwassupposedtobelyingonitasheoftendidintheevenings Butit washardtomakehimstaythere "Oh,youmustliedown,"saidPhyllishurriedly,tryingtomoveoutofthecircle ofhisarms "Youmustn'tstandtillwefindhowmuchisenough I'mgoingto sendforthewolfhoundnextweek Youwon'tmindhimnow,willyou?" "Didyoueverwanttobehereinmyarms,Phyllis?" "Ofcoursenot!"saidPhyllis,asamodestyoungpersonshould "But—but——" "Well,mywife?" "I've often wondered just where I'd reach to," said Phyllis in a rush "Allan, pleasedon'tstandanylonger!" "I'llliedownifyou'llsitonthecouchbyme." "Verywell,"saidPhyllis;andsatobedientlyinthecurveofhisarmwhenhehad settledhimselfintheoldposition,theonethatlookedsomuchmorenaturalfor him "Mine,everybitofyou!"hesaidexultantly "Heavenblessthattramp! Andto think we were talking about annulments! Do you remember that first night, dear,aftermotherdied?Iwashalf-madwithgriefandphysicalpain AndWallis wentafteryou Ididn'twanthimto Buthetrustedyoufromthefirst—goodold Wallis!Andyoucameinwiththatswift,sweepingstepofyours,asI'veseenyou comefiftytimessince—half-flying,itseemedtomethen—withallyourpretty hairloose,andanangelicsortofawhitethingon IexpectIwasabrutetoyou —Idon'trememberhowIacted—butIknowyousatonthebedbymeandtook bothmywristsinthosestronglittlehandsofyours,andtalkedtomeandquieted metillIfellfastasleep YougavemethefirstconsecutivesleepI'dhadinfour months Itfeltasiflifeandcalmnessandstrengthwerepouringfromyoutome YoustayedtillIfellasleep." "Iremember,"saidPhyllissoftly Shelaidhercheekbyhis,asithadbeenonthat strangemarriageeveningthatseemedsofarawaynow "Iwasafraidofyouat first But I felt that, too, as if I were giving you my strength I was so glad I could!AndthenIfellasleep,too,overonyourshoulder." "Younevertoldmethat,"saidAllanreproachfully Phyllislaughedalittle "There never seemed to be any point in our conversations where it fitted in neatly,"shesaiddemurely Allanlaughed,too "You should have made one But what I was going to tell you was—I think I begantobeinlovewithyouthen Ididn'tknowit,butIdid Anditgotworse andworsebutIdidn'tknowwhatailedmetillJohnnydriftedin,blesshisheart! ThenIdid Oh,Phyllis,itwasawful!Tohaveyouwithmeallthetime,acting likeanangel,waitingonmehandandfoot,andnotknowingwhetheryouhad anyuseformeornot! Andyouneverkissedmegood-nightlastnight." Phyllisdidnotanswer Sheonlybentalittle,andkissedherhusbandonthelips, very sweetly and simply, of her own accord But she said nothing then of the long,restless,half-happy,half-wretchedtimewhenshehadlovedhimandnever evenhopedhewouldcareforher Therewastimeforallthat Thereweregoing tobelong,joyousyearstogether,yearsofbeinga"realwoman,"asshehadso passionatelywishedtobethatdayinthelibrary Shewouldneveragainneedto envyanywomanhappinessorloveorlaughter Itwasallbeforehernow,youth andjoyandlove,andAllan,herAllan,soontobewell,andlovingher—loving nobodyelsebuther! 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ProjectGutenberg-tmeBooksareoftencreatedfromseveralprinted editions,allofwhichareconfirmedasPublicDomainintheU.S unlessacopyrightnoticeisincluded Thus,wedonotnecessarily keepeBooksincompliancewithanyparticularpaperedition MostpeoplestartatourWebsitewhichhasthemainPGsearchfacility: http://www.gutenberg.org ThisWebsiteincludesinformationaboutProjectGutenberg-tm, includinghowtomakedonationstotheProjectGutenbergLiterary ArchiveFoundation,howtohelpproduceourneweBooks,andhowto subscribetoouremailnewslettertohearaboutneweBooks ... ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOK THE ROSE GARDEN HUSBAND *** ProducedbyMarkC Orton,LindaMcKeownand the Online DistributedProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net THE ROSE- GARDEN HUSBAND BY MARGARETWIDDEMER... behind the circle of the big charging-desk, she had picked them both outaspeople-you'd-like-if-you-got -the- chance Then shehad waited on them, and identified them by their cards as belonging to the. .. mighthavereadtoherchildren,anArabianNightsnarrativewhichmightbegin, "And the Master of the House, ascribing praise unto Allah, repeated the followingTale." "Therehavealwaysbeenjust the twoofthem,motherandson,"said the Master of the House "AndAllanhasalwaysbeenaverygreatdealtohismother."
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