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Woman's home companion
Vol. LXIV, No. 6 (1937)

Norris, Kathleen
[Continued articles and works],   p. 136 PDF (811.1 KB)


Page 136

136
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Woman s Home Companion      June 1937
You    Can't Have Everything
[CONTINUED FROM PAGE I34]
.Wondering if it was time for you
to be stirring. But you have lots of
time.
"Cam," John said lying at ease
with his hands locked under his head,
staring at the ceiling, "Rand Bris-
tow's on his way here-he and Mrs.
Bristow are going to China. That
means we'll have to make a little
effort to do something for them."
She was distracted at last. Her eyes
widened.
"Not the Rand Bristow?" The
great writer's name had been sacred to
her for half the days of her life.
" Yep. I lived in their house for six
weeks. I might get Bill Large to come
up from Hollywood, if he isn't mak-
ing a picture. He's crazy about Rand.
But that might mean Tara O'Kane
and Idon't know anything about her."
"She has the reputation of being a
perfectly lovely girl." Cam was ex-
cited in spite of herself. This sounded
promising.
"Could we manage a house party,
d'you suppose? It'd be an awful pest,
but I've got to do something for the
Bristows. He may be all dated up: he
probably doesn't know that I'm any-
where in the neighborhood. But I
ought to give him a dinner at the
club. Save me, Cam? What's the least
we can do for 'em?"
"Why, you utter ingrate," she said.
"We'll have to do everything for
them! Have to! It's going to be the
greatest imaginable privilege to have
that man in this house. Burlingame
will go mad over him; we'll be be-
sieged for invitations. We ought to
have a sort of garden party-" Cam
mused, already beginning to make
desultory notes on the sheet of paper
before her.
'I wish people wouldn't break in
on us. We're perfectly satisfied with-
out them, why can't they leave us
alone?" John muttered.
" Why don't the Rand Bristows stop
bothering us, ha-ha!" Cam said ironi-
cally. "'Chicken Maryland-" she
added under her breath.
" You're amazing," the man said
drowsily. "It appalls me to think of
even taking them to lunch, and you're
already deciding when we'll have ham
and when we'll have sand dabs. Have
you decided what room you'll give
em?"
" Well, of course!" Cam said calmly,
penciling away busily.
t   WITH John, Cam called upon the
distinguished English visitors at
their hotel a few days later. Little
Mrs. Bristow, wrinkled,     pretty,
friendly, with curly gray-brown hair,
liked "Jawn's ' wife immediately and
the great writer was captivated before
Cam had said a dozen phrases. The
four went dow'nstairs to lunch to-
gether and the next day the Bristows
joined the Kilgarifs at Cherry Ridge.
Then Bill Large and the beautiful
Miss O'Kane came up from Holly-
wood for the week-end and there was
much loitering on the terrace, many
games of croquet, one happy picnic in
the woods, morning rides and evening
talks on the dimly lighted terrace.
Cam engineered her garden party suc-
cessfully and Burlingame responded
with invitations for one of the largest
dinners ever given in one of its largest
and most hospitable castles.
This was to take place the night be-
fore the dazzled Bristows were to suil
for Yokohama. Cam and John came
into town for the occasion and staved
at the big hotel on the top of the hill.
Their suite had a roofed balcony on
the east, below which the world of
city and bay, waterfront and far
mountains spread itself in magnificent
panorama. The Bristows were to join
them for a piazza breakfast on the
morning after the party, and later
John and Cam would take them to
their boat and see them off, the most
grateful and pleasure-sated old couple
who had ever quite lost their hearts to
hospitable San Francisco.
CAM had a new gown for the Bur-
OV lingame dinner. She had told John
that she really did not need a new
gown but they had wandered through
a smart shop or two nevertheless, and
finally a confidential saleswoman had
taken them into a beautiful little gray-
walled salon, begging to show them
just one dress and no more, one unique
and extraordinary garment that had
only arrived that morning.
Cam had looked at it, a thin silky
velvet of a heavenly pale blue, with a
subtle cut to the low waist that
wrapped it about her slender shoulders
as simply as a handkerchief might
have been bound there. She saw her-
self coming down the great curved
marble stairs at the Livingstons' party
clad in this royal garment; she knew
that nothing could keep her from be-
ing the belle of the ball that night,
between John's adoration and Rand
Bristow's open affection.
"Jack, it's first sight," she said
helplessly. Jack laughed in delight
and the gown was immediately hers,
and a fitter summoned to make it per-
fect.
John left her then. She would fol-
low him to the hotel.
After the fitting Cam walked through
the shop, glancing at beautiful things
here and there. Brief dresses of every
frail and exquisite fabric that hands
could make; that one Jane's size, this
one Joanna's-but no, she wouldn't
think of them!
She stood waiting for the elevator.
It was early afternoon and the shop
mis very quiet. And suddenly like a
thin knife slipped into her heart, not
even hurting yet, and yet delivering a
mortal wound, she heard small feet
running, heard a little voice that had
never quite left her ears in all these
weeks of silence:
"Mummy! Mummy!"
It wasJane, looking somehow a little
odd and thin and older, with a new
haircut, who came flying toward her,
who was in her arms, crying and laugh-
ing and clinging tight. Cam had
dropped to her knees; she saw no one
else in the world; she neither knew nor
cared that watching eyes were taking
in the little scene.
' Mv darling, where did you come
from!" Cam said, trving to smile,
with her lips trembling and tears
running down her face.
"Aunt Dixie-Belle was buying me
shoes and she left me here with Mabel
while she has her girdles fitted!" Jane
said, still breathless and still stran-
gling Cam with hard little arms. "Oh,
Mummy, why didn't you come, and
where were you? Joanna's sick. She's
sick, isn't she, Mabel?"
"'What's the matter?" Cam's tone
was quick and sharp; she got to her
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