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

[Continued articles and works],   pp. 46-71 PDF (15.7 MB)


Page 49

JULY, 1931
Continued        f
that you are in love with some one else."
"I'm not in love with some one else. As
I sit alone with you in this dusky place with
our lil ginks in front of us, I know you are the
only woman in the world for me. Yes, I kissed
Clare, several times, and I should like to
kiss her again. But she seems very far away
now, and you very near, my Susie, my small
pussy," and he held her hand against his
cheek and they saw each other through tear-
veiled eyes. .
FOR two weeks the life of the Hales swung
between parties with an American Colony
flavor and extemporaneous excursions to the
Campagna, the Lago di Nemi, Palestrina,
and the many magic names within easy mot-
oring distance of Rome. These excursions
often included Clare Oliver and Andrea Ven-
zo, and the four would quite naturally dine
together afterward. Venzo remained aloof
to their American tomfoolery but it was the
aloofness of a father watching his children.
Susan wondered about this, for he was still
young, his eyes and forehead beautiful, his
hair thick and blue black, his teeth superb
when he very occasionally laughed, and his
figure supple.
It was at the end of these two weeks that
the trip to the ruins of Ostia was accomplished.
Clare, Susan, Andrea and Timothy. The
day was illumined by the glitter of the Medi-
terranean, Andrea's re-creation of an old
civilization, and the excellent lunch. After
lunch, Tim suggested that they all paddle.
"The water is very cold at this time of the
year," cautioned the temperate Andrea.
"I don't care," sang Clare and dashed down
to the water's edge.
Her shoes and stockings were off in an
instant and she was testing a little wave with
a pointed toe. Timothy the next moment
was after her.
"Please, Suzie"-the "s" in her name
became a sweetly blurred "z" on Andrea's
lips, "please do not go in. After that heavy
lunch the cold will give you a stomach pain.
Let us sit on this log and observe that
beautiful line where the sky and sea meet."
Susan's eyes were not on
the horizon but on the two
people splashing hand in
hand,down the beach away
from them.
Her fingers touched An-
drea's lightly. "Do not
withdraw too far. I think
I am going to need you."
The omnibus back to
town was crowded with
peasants bearing children,
bird cages, vegetables, on
their aproned laps. Susan
and Andrea found seats
at the other end of the
bus from Clare and Tim-
othy. The lumbering ve-
hicle was dimly lit by oil
lamps. In the welcome warmth Susan felt
drowsy. She swayed with the motion, lean-
ing on Andrea's shoulder from time to time.
Half awake she felt a hand close over hers,
tightly. It was Andrea's hand. Fluttering
her eyelids she looked straight into his eyes.
They were not the paternal eyes to which
she had grown accustomed, but eyes with
fire behind them and a will which kept her
from turning away. His face came closer to
hers, he was kissing her, and yes, she was
kissing him! Why had he done this? Be
cause he was sorry for her? It had not
seemed like a kiss of pity. There was noth-
ing to say. She must wait. He was taking
off her glove and kissing the palm of her
hand, but all so quietly, so simply, that no
one in the bus was staring, least of all Clare
and Timothy. Indeed Tim was nodding-
Susan knew how easily he slept-and Clare
was hunched by the window, probably re-
senting his nap. Susan smiled. But no word
passed between her and Andrea until they
reached the terminus.
PRETTY crowded for four in one vettura.
I'll take Clare home, and, Andrea, you
take Sue."
Andrea chose a carriage with the top up.
"It is cold," he remarked. Then he spoke
rapidly in Italian to the coachman.
"He is going to kiss me again," thought
Susan. "And I should forbid him, this is
rom page 46
disloyal to Tim. Yet I want him to kiss me
again."
He crushed her in his arms, murmuring
liquid Italian endearments.  "That this
should happen to me again! I swore I would
never love another woman. I was so hurt
the last time. And now I love you, I can not
help myself. But you will not hurt me?
Though loving is always hurting. Do you
love me a little? Say it!"
"I do not know. A half hour ago I would
have said no. Now I am breathless, and a
little crazy!"
"A little crazy you say? How wonderful!
That is as love should be. It seems perhaps
you are loving, really loving, for the first
time." And he was helping her out of the
carriage at the hotel door and kissing her
hand in goodbye.
As Susan bathed and dressed hurriedly for
dinner, she was glad Timothy was in the
other wing. She wanted to be alone.
TIMOTHY was sitting at- Susan's bedside
while she ate rolls and butter and apricot
preserve, and he was complaining:
"Damn these flappers! They're thrilled
when they meet a famooser, and then when
they discover that you are merely human
and as vulnerable as any silly college kid,
they despise you. Sue, if you catch me play-
ing the capering goat again, stop me."
"Would it do the slightest good? Wouldn't
you turn on me, call me a jealous wife, and
rush out and telephone her to take lunch
with you?"
"Yes, I suppose so. Aren't people hell!
. . . And incidentally I haven't done a lick
of work worth counting since I've been here.
What with sight-seeing and parties and Clare
and this infernal blue sky which beckons me
every minute as I sit at my window, I don't
seem to be able to concentrate. You know
that road on the Pincian Hill that overlooks
niy balcony? Yesterday as I was trying to
remember the indicative of the verb 'to be' in
English, a shower of pebbles fell on me and
my typewriter. And there above me were
Clare and that puppy, Bernardini, and
Clare's sister, all shouting
to me to come to the Ex-
celsior for a tea dance . . .
Yes, of course I went.
And had a rotten time.
Bernardini dances like one
inspired, and as I am-
well, less inspired-I could
see the girls just tolerated
me as a useless fourth-"
"And as a chancellor of
the exchequer?"
"Yip, my pearl of Asia.
Ignominious, rather, isn't
it?"
"And you writing the
most important fiction in
America today! Why do
you sufferfools so gladly?"
"Because you do not praise me enough."
"But, darling, I can't be singing hosannahs
every hour of the waking day.     Close
your eyes and open your mouth." and she
pushed in the crispyend of a croissant crowned
with apricot jam.
With half full mouth, he mumbled, "What
about going back to London for the winter?
Hellish climate, but I can work there."
"Oh, Tim, must I leave this blue sky and
my golden salon and the possibility of Roger
and me learning Italian?" Susan said this,
but she was thinking "Never to be kissed by
Andrea again!"
Timothy walked over to the window.
"I could go alone-take a service flat-finish
the book-and we all go back to America for
the summer. You could join me in England
in the spring, perhaps a short walking trip in
Devonshire. How about it?" There was
no joy in his voice-he might have been a
Cook's agent laying out an itinerary.
"It's a grand plan. London's a man's
town, and they like you there. We may be
taking a risk to separate now, but I think we
are in a rut about each other, distrusting
every word. But if we come to each other
in May, with a fresh accumulation of experi-
ences on both sides, we'll be renewed and
more excited than ever about being together.
How we'll talk!"
There was a knock at the door. Timothy
handed her a small package. (Turn to page 50)
49
HALF A LOAF
~?
f
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