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

Norris, Kathleen
You can't have everything - part III,   pp. 17-20 PDF (2.4 MB)


Page 19

'I u ;nnt \oo  to.  H 1  ld him  rjising h er ne'\   t) IIX
her look straight on his. Thi hour she was all his; it
was her glory to be. But after he and his jealousies
were alike asleep she lay awake saying to herself a
phrase that had magic in it for her own ears, that had
been sounJing in them all day.
"We start westward tomorrow-tomorrow-tomor-
row! And I ought to be with you, my darlings, just
eight days after that. I can wait for eight more days
and not one other minute!'
*   \ WELL, it was all happiness. But eight days later
did not find them at Cherry Ridge. Instead Cam
was on a steamer deck, watching the clean groomed
beauty of the Panama Canal slide by on either side,
strolling about in the unnatural December heat with
John, charming, as she could not help charming, a circle
of new friends and, with all the skill at her command,
quieting the jealousies that would agonize him again
and again.
"Fool that I was to plan this trip!" he Would mut-
ter. 'But I wanted to surprise you.
"And you did surprise me.' It had been almost too
complete a surprise, the turning of the car's head
northward on the morning of leaving Washington, the
triumphant mysterious "You wait and see!" that had
been the only answer she could get to her curious ques-
tions. A surprise of course, but what sort, she had
asked herself? He loved to surprise her, but why
should they be going back to New York? Perhaps,
she had thought in sudden ecstatic expectation, he had
;Ikcd \ fibel to bring tihe girls on, to Jrive back with
them.
After this dizzy height of anticipation, it had been
just a little hard to show the right measure of amaze-
ment and delight when instead they had not gone to a
hotel at all; they had driven from the Holland tun-
nel straight to a battered old dock, the blue car had
moved steadily on until she had been actually upon
a Panama liner.
If she had failed her own high ideal of acting, Cam
at least had had the satisfaction of knowing that to
John himself her surprise had been a complete success.
He had recalled a hundred times, with all the con-
spirator's pleasure, Cams face when she had realized
that they were going home the long way'.
"You actually got white, Cam," he would say.
And he might add, 'Ah, darling, you're such an ador-
able little girl about some things and it's going to be
such fun to surprise you all the way along!'
She and John swam in the warm sea shallows at
Havana, roamed through the crowded old quarter of
Panama City and kxked up at the oily narrow bal-
conies; took a jogging ride on livery stable horses.
They got home on Christmas Eve.
After the peaks, even mountain heights seem
lowered. Everything at home would presently be
wonderful and John was close beside her to help her
solve them, but the problems that the farmhouse in
Atherton presented swarmed about Cam's head like
angry bees as soon as she was at home, and her senses
and capabilities, weakened by too much felicity,
19
seemed strangely unwilling and even strangely unable
to cope with them.
Jane and Joanna, to begin with, met her indiffer-
ently. They were but scraps of girls of course and they
had not seen her since September; a long slice out of
their small lives. They clung shyly to Mabel. Cam,
trying to smile through quick tears, had to woo them
for a long ten minutes before they would come to her.
When they did and when Jane's memory suddenly
awakened, both burst into wild crying and clung
madly to their mother, fairly screaming when she
tried to put them aside to greet her mother-in-law.
"Girls, girls, she's home again now, everything's
fine!" John said good-naturedly. He had been met by
Taffy with a pleasant enough smile of affection and
was already showing his son how to work a sand eleva-
tor. Cam felt a little ashamed of her own emotion and
of her children's, and a little puzzled when both small
girls insisted upon accompanying her everywhere. In
Mabel's respectful martyred manner she read trouble
and Joanna's shriek whenever Toomev came anv-
where near her said little for the baby's feeling toward
Taffy's nurse.
4   IT WOULD all straighten out. Nevertheless it
was a little disturbing to get home from a trip on
Christmas Eve to find the ti ' still to trim and the
stockings to fill, and to suspect that domestic ructions
were already well'developed and ready to break out.
She must jLst go on from hour to hour and pray for the
best. And perhaps some day they could find some other
API
"She picked her up and paddled her good and Joanna cried for about an hour
q


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