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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 66

DELINEATOR
FIREFLIES  AND  THE YELLOW
MOON
Continued from page 65
F       4
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Richard roused her from her stupor. "I
have told Semper to get usseats in the tribune
for this evening," he was saying. "He tells
me that they are going to pull this wooden
figure of the King of Pleasure through the
streets."
"Yes," she murmured. "Oh, yes!" Within
her head the stopping places of the itinerary
fought with each other. They had cables and
mail for Mr. Richard Krempel. Lots and
lots of mail.
Ba, ba, pretty port, have you any mail?
Yes, sirl Yes, sirl You knew we wouldn't fail
Ninety-seven letters, and cables half a score,
I bet Trieste or Venice cannot give you any
morel
A FTER dinner they walked up the Prome-
nade to the Place Mass6na.   Richard
Krempel, erect, pompous, walking slowly as
if he carried on his shoulders the pieces of
gold placed there by confiding investors.
Moving toward the Jardin Albert I, Nan-
ette stopped with a little cry of surprise and
peered up a side street. A shadowy street
that had no strings of electric lights.
"What is it?" asked Richard.
"I-I thought I saw some one that I knew,"
whispered the girl.
"A man?" he demanded.
"I- I think so," stammered Nanette.
"Yes, certainly."
She was puzzled. Through a patch of
light thrown from the open door of a caf6 a
figure had passed, a figure that seemed fa-
miliar. Perhaps her brain had conjured it up
in the same strange manner that it had
brought to her view the tiny white houses
and the ghostly palms.
Richard, apparently an-
noyed, urged her for-
ward.
Semper had bought         ELIZABET
the best seats.  High
above the common folk       People are s
who, arms linked,           about   "Ar
danced and sang as they
waited the arrival of the   Necessary?
king. Clamor rode the       one of Eliza
night wind. The push-
ing, shouting, pleasure-    first contri
seeking crowd swayed        Delineator.
before the grand stand.
Nanette's head reeled     she'll start o
as she watched them.        issue with a
Richard was amused.
He was more excited         article, both
than she had ever seen      fled with co
him.
The approach of the       philosophy.
king was heralded. Far        "Let's Be
up the great avenue the
procession was now
under way. The floats
were moving. The noise
increased.  A strange madness clutched the
heaving crowds. The individual was lost, he
was part of a mass, an insane mass of white
faces and open mouths and hot perspiring
bodies that choked the street.
"Splendid!" Richard roared the word in
her ear, nearly deafening her. She was
thinking of the phantom figure that had
slipped away in the darkness. It was strange.
Slowly the head of the procession came
toward the grand stand. Companies of
marching men with huge papier-mich6 heads
that represented monster vegetables, queer
beasts, ogres, sea-monsters, demons. Roll-
ing, wabbling, joggling, producing in Nanette
a feeling of dreadful nausea. Nightmare
heads. Sweeping by to the tom-tom beat of
the music and the shouts of the crowds.
The floats, illuminated, filled with danc-
ing youths and girls. Bedlam. Aphrodite
rising from the Mediterranean! A fine fat
Aphrodite! A float depicting the arrival of
the American tourist. Huge lath and plaster
figure of a French-conceived Yankee.
The Onions of the Old Town! Sixty mon-
ster onion heads. Twisting, turning, making
Nanette dizzy with their rotations.
Tumult, turbulence, see-saw, wibble-
wabble. Tum-tum, tum-tee-tum.   Clamor,
fanfare, devil's tattoo. And the never-ending
procession . . .
Nanette had a wild desire to escape. The
thing had got into her brain. It was driving
ier mad. Her head was bursting. She was
sick. She prayed for some happening that
would immediately arrest the marching
squadrons and give her a chance to escape
into a side street.
She tried to whisper her condition to
Richard. He couldn't hear her. She shouted
to him. He made signs to her to show how
impossible it was to escape from the grand
stand at that moment. She thought him a
little rude. He brushed her complaints aside
and pushed out his head to catch a glimpse of
an approaching float.
The float came opposite the stand. High
in the air a woman dressed in Arab costume
was performing the danse du ventre. She
smiled at Richard Krempel; Richard waved
at her. Then, as if in answer to the prayers of
Nanette, the axle of the float snapped, the
lady toppled down on her attendants, and the
procession halted.
Richard Krempel got to his.feet in an effort
to see if the dancer was hurt in the fall.
The whole stand was upset by the happen-
ing. Nanette felt that she could worm her
way through the occupants. She seized the
opportunity. She whispered a word to Semper.
She was ill; she would return to the hotel.
No, no, she didn't wish an escort.
Down the wooden stairs to the street. In-
different to the protests of the packed specta-
tors. She had to get away from the devilish
clamor, from the infamous tum-tum that was
battering her brain to pieces.
The crowd rolled against her like a wave.
She fought it. Hoodlums clutched at her,
endeavored to embrace her,'screamed insulting
words at her. Her dress was torn; a wretched
thief snatched her pocketbook. She felt that
her strength would give out before she
reached the side street leading off the avenue.
Then, when all hope
seemed lost,the mounted
police drove the crowd
from the center of the
H   COOK            street. Nanette was
caught by the human
ill writing us      torrent, carried  over
Husbands         the sidewalk and de-
posited in the friendly
which was         darkness of a little
beth Cook's        street.  With a soft
prayer on her lips she
u t ions to         gathered herself up and
Next month         ran.
Across the covered
f the August       torrent of the Paillon.
nother brief        Into the Old Town.
Deserted now. its
breezy and         dwellersuponthelighted
mmon sense          avenues. Prowling cats
and dlogs the only living
It is called      things.  Out by    the
Romantic"           markets to the sea front.
A big moon was rising
like a monster bubble
from Corsica. From far
off came the sound of
the thousands bidding goodbye to pleasure.
She walked in the direction of the Port.
ON THE Quai Rouba-Capou a young
fisherman, climbing down the cliff to his
boat, stood and stared at her. He thought she
might have come 0um out of the sobbing sea.
Such things had happened along the Medi-
terranean on moonlit nights . . . He listened
for a footfall. If one could hear no footfall
she was surely a sea maiden. The click of a
little American shoe came back to him. He
sighed softly and went down the cliff.
She came to the baby port. A boat from
Ajaccio; the General B3onaparte.  Nanette
wondered about Napoleon's honeymoon. Did
someone lay out a schedule?
Beyond the Bonaparte lay a row of little
boats, sterns to the stone pier, gangplanks
leading to the shore. Small yachts, fishing
lggers, and motor-boats. The moon was
climbing. Nanette could read the names.
Some  istance ahead of her a sail went
jerkily up into the night. The moonbeams
licked it  Nanette thought that it might be
crimson in the sunlight. It was a valiant sail.
Up,    it went, snatched at a caful of wind
that came down from the Alpes-Maritimes
and billowed out like the bosom of a young
girl.
Nanette hurried. The boat was going out.
She had a desire to see it thread its way out
to the moon-kisse  Meriterranean.
The gangplank was still out. Two men
were busy %Nith the sail. (7 urn to page 68)
(66
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