University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Gender and Women's Studies Collection

Page View

Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 119, No. 1 (July, 1931)

Willson, Dixie
For all good children (and their naughty cousins),   pp. 44-45 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 44

DELINEATOR
Continued         f
her was forced, she thought. Alas, journeys
may end in lovers' meetings, but not when
one of the lovers was hung about with a
governess, a baby and three porters.
"I've got a party for you tonight, Sue, at
the studio of an American family I've met
here, two of the secretaries from the em-
bassy, the embassy's pet newspaperman,
clever fellow, an Italian archeologist, they
said, and some others."
"But, Tim, won't it be too late after we've
had dinner?"
"That's all right, I telephoned them and
they said we could wander in any time. By
the way, we won't be able to get that suite I
telegraphed about for two days, but we have
rooms for the night."
SO THAT was why he was nervous and eva-
sive! Was he afraid of her, her stormy
anger when disappointed? Yes, there was
actually fear in his eyes as he waited for her
answer. Steady now, Susan.
"I'm sorry. Have you been doing much
work?" Her voice was too polite. His eyes
closed in pain. Kiss him or something, and
say, never mind, dear. But she didn't want
to. She was tired and shivery and slightly
sick from hunger, and it had been exhausting,
entertaining Roger on that long journey, and
she had that same feeling-after a separation
-of seeing him again for the first time, of re-
weighing him, and over-emphasizing an
awkward gesture, a soiled pocket handker-
chief. Who was she to be passing everlasting
iudgment? But she was made like that.
It was dark as they drove in unfriendly
silence through the streets, but the hotel was
gay with music and a dazzle of brocaded
throne chairs and low black marble tables
dotted with coffee cups and liqueur glasses.
Up two steps, down two steps, twisty corri-
dors, glimpses of gardens, more steps, what
a jolly place-not a bit like a hotel. Susan
revived. "I shall adore living here." She
smiled ingratiatingly at Tith.
And then, three narrow slices of rooms
facing a stone wall, like cells. She sank on
the bed, a Christian martyr.
"Say it!" snarled Timothy.
"Our hotel arrivals are not what I would
call a succis furieux. Not room even for the
door-mat marked 'Welcome.' And the scent
of flowers overwhelms me." (There were of
course no flowers.) "I had hoped we might
dine quietly up here, but you couldn't
squeeze a tray in here, much less a table.
What have you been doing all these weeks? I
don't suppose you've had time to find out
about the f-esh milk either."
"I can't, and won't, put up with your
badgering." and Timothy was gone. Susan
continued to sit on the edge of the bed en-
gulfed by a despair more bitter because it was
partly of her own making. Oh, I'm so tired!
A quiet knock. Had he come back so soon?
Smile sweetly now. Miss Ainley was asking:
"What do you wish us to do?"
Smile, smile . . . How dreadful this ever-
lasting trying to keep the respect of the
people whom you paid to respect you!
"Try the button marked cameriere-I
think it means waiter. 'Mr. Hale has planned
a party for me later this evening, so let's just
have something on a tray. These are only
temporary rooms, our apartment for the
winter will be ready in a few days, I hope it
overlooks the garden, don't you? It seems a
gay hotel, I think it will be fun, don't you?"
An hour later, in the new purple and rose
frock from Poiret which she had put in her
bag to surprise Tim with at once, she was
waiting in torturing suspense for his prob-
lematical return. Suppose he should punish
her by not coming back all night? What
would Miss Ainley think? What had she
thought of his absence from dinner? What
would the party think, except that he would
not hesitate to go and enjoy himself and ex-
plain she was too exhausted to come? And
then there was a knock at the door. Her
body was all waiting. The maid to turn
down the beds. Susan laid on the fresh tri-
angle of sheet the silk pajamas she had
bought Tim at Charret's, a clear apple green
that would mellow with washing . . . A
striding down the hall, a blowing of the nose,
a rat-tat-tat-tat-  "Ready for the party,
Susie? I think I've blasted that manager
with the two gold bracelets into some kind of
activity, and it is quite possible that we
rom page 43
may get into the apartment by tomorrow."
Susan slipped her arms beneath Tim's coat
and rubbed her hands up and down his waist-
coat and lifted her face up to him. "Old
Satin-back, I'm so humble."
He did not kiss her but placed a hand over
her mouth. "Not one word from you. The
studio's just around  the corner.  Jolly
people, you'll like 'em. At least I think so."
"Please, Tim, not one word from you
either."
Not a via but an alley was the passage
where the studio hid. It was almost light-
less and the entrance, like stable doors,
was emphatically closed and unwelcoming.
But the Hales patiently waited for the con-
cierge to finish his newspaper or rise from bed
and let them in.
A studio only in so far as the room was
enormous. A grand piano in one corner with
a static blonde playing soft syncopation, and
three dark Italians wriggling their bodies in
what they thought was jazz. A vivacious
blonde showing sketches to a well-bathed
American in an English dinner jacket. A
woman hauntingly suggestive of the two
blondes approaching Tim and Sue.
"So this is Susie' I've heard so much about
you in the past two weeks from Tim. Did
you have trouble with the Fascisti coming
down? Are you quite comfortable at the
Russie?  Nicest hotel in Rome, I think.
Most personality. Be sure to get rooms on
the garden."
"Mrs. Oliver, may I snatch you off in a
corner fbr five minutes and get your sage
advice about my interview tomorrow morn-
ing with the manager with two bracelets?
Tim says you have lived in Italy for years
and that you will be a mother, or rather, a
charming young aunt, to me."
Mrs. Oliver approved of Susan's voice, her
frock, and her tact. Not what she had ex-
pected somehow. Humph, not bad people to
cultivate. Authors' wives were either too
mouse-like and dull, or too loquacious an'
well-dressed and eager to prove they were
quite as important as their husbands.
With the exception of the embassy secre-
taries, all the gentlemen bowed from the
waist and kissed her hand. The only man
who focussed on Susan's retina was the arche-
ologist. who was older than the others and
slightly resentful of his frivolous surround-
ings. He snapped at the back of her right
hand and turned away sharply.
In a little foyer off the studio Timothy was
standing beside the vivacious blonde sister of
the family. Over the black head of the
juvenile talking to her, Susan watched. Tim-
othy was about to, yes, he had kissed the
blonde. How casually she took it. Used to
kisses, Tim's kisses? Susan looked about the
room and met the calm gaze of the archeolo-
gist. He also had seen and he gave her a soft
protective smile, with no teeth showing.
What a nice man, he seemed to know that
she was suffering. She must get away from
here quickly.
Timothy strolled back into the room.
"Tim, I'm dying on my feet. If you want
to stay on, stay, but I'll disgrace you by
curling up on the floor and snoring."
"Right you are. Mrs. Oliver, I'm taking
my comatose wife to bed. Jolly evening-
'bye, Clare."
"TlM dear, I am about to do a very silly
thing. I am going to tell you that I saw
you kiss the young Oliver girl." Susan faced
Timothy in the dark alley.
"What of it?" Tim was on the defensive.
"Exactly. There is a what of it. To kiss
her in front of a wife you have brought
around to her apartment for the first time is
fairly insulting, don't you think? You have
doubtless seen a lot of her while I was in
Paris, and now in spite of my arrival you
want to go on seeing a lot more of her?"
Tim nodded. There was no shame in his
face.
"And yet in your telegram to me you said
'Eager to see you. Love.' Didn't you mean
that?"
"No."
No . . . The syllable fell on her heart and
stopped its beating. He had lied to her about
his love for her. From now on she would
suspect his every "no" and "yes." She
could never again trust to that love which she
had been sure had been there, unshaken by
HALF A LOAF
quarrels or intervening miles. This was a
crisis. She recognized it. She felt struck to
the earth, then a realization of pain. Like a
cripple she gathered her broken limbs, and
asked slowly, "What shall we do now?"
"Nothing, of course."
Then suddenly there arose in Susan a great
wave, a tidal wave, a bigger thing than either
of them and this trivial blonde called Clare, a
wave of fury, the oldest fury in the world,
that of the woman scorned. She lifted her
breast, stiffened her broad shoulders, and
with the flat of her right hand struck a man
for the first time in her life. Timothy recoiled
sharply, his hand to his reddened cheek.
"With your cold complacent 'no' you have
just committed murder. You have killed in
me the trust in you which I have been build-
ing up since I first met you. At the present
moment I never want to see you again. I
could tear your face with my nails. This may
be jealousy or it may be only wounded vanity.
I must give myself time to find out. I must
be alone."
Timothy was maddeningly calm. "Clare
kissed me only because she happens to be in
love with me."
"With you? How too funny!" Susan's
laughter was shrill, slightly insane. "Admire
you, yes, as an author, but love you as a man
-what woman could possibly-"
"Stop it! You are working yourself into
a state of hysteria and you will say a lot of
things you will regret. Go upstairs and go to
bed, and I'll be up in an hour. We'll have no
more scenes tonight."
NOT until five o'clock next day did Tim-
othy allow Susan a chance to speak to
him about that which filled both their minds.
After breakfast Madame Dombre, the
manager, appeared and suggested an ar-
rangement of four communicating rooms,
each with its balcony on the garden which
FOR ALL GOOD CHILDREN
(And Their Naughty Little Cousins)
by
DIXIE WILLSON
The baby robins do not scold about the summer rain.
They snuggle down inside their nests, and never do complain!
The puppy eats his plate of food without the question, "Why?"
The kittens have their faces washed, and do not fuss or cry.
The little chicks come running, when their mother starts to cluck;
The goslings splash into their bathl So does each little duck
The four-o'clocks, at four o'clock, fold up and go to sleep,
And piggies scamper for their straw, when stars begin to peepl
The owlets wear their feathers, and the bunnies wear their fur,
Just as their mother wants them to, because it pleases her.
The little bears do as they're told, and little el'phants too.
I hope that little children all behave as well, don't you?
/
7    ~j
~ ~
-~-
'>4
Draw'ngs
by
PEGGY BACON
44
climbs the Pincian Hill. The corner room for
Susan, the next, the drawing-room, then a
room for Miss Ainley and the fourth for
Roger. Timothy had decided to have a room
by himself in the opposite wing, so that he
might work in more seclusion, he said.
Madame Dombre, in a modest black frock,
bustled around the drawing-room, evicting
certain pieces of furniture and ordering others
to be brought.
Ordinarily Susan's domesticity would have
vibrated to this opportunity of making a
winter home in a Roman hotel, of choosing
such stately furniture as yellow brocaded
sofa, rose embossed velvet chairs, marble-
topped tea-tables and consoles, gold mirrors,
and a maple desk.
But all the time she was thinking, "What
profit to make a home when the hearth fire is
dead?"
At five Timothy turned up and remarked,
"You've worked enough for today. Let's go
over to the Caffl Greco."
"I'll meet you downstairs, in that room
facing the entrance." She wanted to dress
herself in seclusion, and approach him as a
stranger, a pretty one, she hoped. Uncon-
sciously she was beginning to compete with
Clare Oliver and all the other women with
whom from now on it was possible for Tim-
othy to fall in love.
The Caffs Greco on the via Condotti has
seen a century and a half of artists come and
go. It was natural that Timothy should feel
at home in that low quiet room full of smoke
and the considering faces of chess players.
They had just received their order when
the archeologist entered and asked permis-
sion to join them.
"I live near here. Are you settling your-
self at the Russie?" He turned to Susan with
the same soft protective smile of the night
before. "Some day soon it would give me
great pleasure to take you (Turn to page 46)


Go up to Top of Page