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

Fischer, Marjorie
Artist's life,   pp. 15-16 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 15

EDDIE took another peek in at Sammie, now
playing quietly on the floor with his train, thank
goodness. Then he tiptoed down the hall and walked
at once to the piano in the living-room. His hands
lifted into position over the keys and his fingers struck
the opening chords of the Kiinstlerleben Waltz. Ar-
tist's Life, thought Eddie, while the waltz looped and
swung through the room, Artist's Life-that's me.
I'm going to be a great musician-and he felt as if the
room spread out and it was filled with a huge audience
listening to the beautiful waltz.
"Wah, wah, wah, wah!" shouted Sammie jumping
suddenly from behind the door. "An' another red-
skin bit the dust!"
"Sammie, you shut up," said Eddie swinging
around on the piano stool. "Didn't I just have you
out practically all day? You could at least shut up
while I practice a little."
"> "YOU better look out," said Sammie. " I got my
good ole tommyhawk here." He flourished his
rubber tomahawk, put his hand to his mouth and yelled
another war whoop and slunk behind a chair. The tips
of his feathered headdress showed over the chair,
quivering. This whole week, ever since school closed,
Eddie had been looking after Sammie while Mom was
away working. He'd hardly had time to practice at
all and Dr. Speiser was looking grave when Eddie
came for his piano lessons and talking about his talent
being wasted. "You must good work, otherwise no
Carnegie Hall for you." And now Sammie had pulled
out his Indian suit from the top of the closet and he
was going to be more nuisance than ever. Eddie got
up from the piano stool and grabbed Sammie.
"You can't," yelled Sammie. "No fair. I'm only
six and you're eleven. No fair."
"No fair yourself," said Eddie, lifting Sammie from
the ground and carrying him, short fat legs kicking,
out of the room. He shut and locked the door and
went back to the piano. Sammie knocked at the door
and rattled the knob.
"What's all this," said
an Irish voice close to Kit
" You're going to take me to the concert in the park
tonight, Eddie, don't forget," yelled Sammie. "Re-
member? You promised."
-I am not," said Eddie.
I'm going to keep perfectly quiet now," yelled
Sammie, "so you can practice. And tonight-"
"Oh., all right!" said Eddie.
Not another sound came from the Indian outside
and Eddie began to play the Artist's Life Waltz again,
but he played badly; he heard the rhythm break and
his fingers hit too hard or too soft on the keys. Sud-
denly he broke off, dragging his hands clenched into
fists from one end of the keyboard to the other. Bang!
came the clenched fists down on the bass notes. This
was going to be an awful summer, with Father away
in the country not entirely well yet, Mom working
and all his plans to practice until Carnegie Hall was a
real future shot to pieces because he had to look after
He was going to speak to Mom the minute she came
in but when she did come in, calling to them from the
hall, she looked so warm and tired that he waited.
"It's going to be a hot summer, I'm afraid," said
Mom, sitting on the chair in the hall.
"There's a letter from Father, Mom," said Eddie
handing over the envelope.
Mom read rapidly and looked up beaming.
"He's feeling much better," she said. "Really well.
It'll take more time but he's much better."
So Eddie thought, by the time they had finished
dinner and were waiting before they started washing
up, that it was all right to ask Mom.
"THERE'S a play group on this block, Mom. All
kids about Sammie's age. Acollege boy takes them
to the park every afternoon and they play games. I
thought maybe wecould afford to send Sammie and then
I could practice and maybe not drag Sammie along
when I see the kids from my class and everything."
"Oh gosh, could I, Mom?" said Sammie standing
up, every feather in his headdress quivering.
Mom suddenly looked tired again and Eddie was
sorry he had spoken.
"I inquired about the group," she said. "It's ten
dollars a month and we just can't afford it. Next sum-
mer, when Father's all right, we'll send you both to
camp to make up for this."
Eddie didn't want to go to camp next summer; he
wanted to prepare for an Artist's Life and what kind
of preparation was it to drag Sammie around? Sam-
mie had had too few summers to be able to think of
the one that would follow this summer; summer was
one year to Sammie and winter was another year-
summer after next-his feathers quivered.
The doorbell rang and everyone sprang to answer.
It was Aunt Hilda, coming in time to catch the early
show at the movies with Mother.
"Can you leave the kids?" she asked.
- ~.

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