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Buchen, Walther (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. VII, No. 7 (April 1910)

Corbett, Elizabeth F.
The woman answers,   pp. 9-12


Page 9


THE WOMAN ANSWERS
The Woman Answers
        ELIZABETH F. CORBETT
  "If you could manage," suggested Al-
len, "to give me a full minute of your
undivided attention, perhaps I might be
able to tell you what I came here for."
  Clarissa laid down her pen, took off her
glasses and put them beside it, folded her
hands in her lap, and smiled at him.
"Yes, David," she said sweetly, "I thought
perhaps it might be just for the pleasure
of seeing me."
  "Oh, it was that eventually, of course,"
he answered. "But I want you to go out
to lunch with me, Clarissa."
  "Of course you do," she said emphat-
ically. "And if you didn't want that
you'd want me to go out to dinner with
you. You always think that nothing but
eating interests me. Or maybe you sup-
pose that an old maid like me lives on
toast and tea, and ought to be educated
up to real eating. Or is it your idea that
I'm so hard up that a square meal is a
real favor ?"
  "I think that you've been living on
tangerines lately," said Allen, "and I
want to fill you up with peche Melba."
  She darted a look at him, resumed her
glasses, and went on with her writing.
Allen lounged in his chair and watched
her. "Take off your overcoat, David, if
you're going to stay," she said presently,
without looking up.
  "No, thank you," he answered. "You're
not going to keep me waiting long enough
to make it worth my while."
  She said nothing, and wrote steadily
on, pausing only to consult her notes.
"What's this gem?" he asked at length.
  "Magazine filler," she answered, "catchy
title to be picked out later; theme, the
humorous woman in English fiction."
  "You're the right one to do it," he
said.
  "I certainly am," she agreed, "and if
you're interested in seeing it done-"
  He settled down again in his chair and
waited until she had finished the last
sheet. "There," she said, rising, "that's
all ready to revise after lunch. Now if
you're really determined to spend your
money on me-"
  He rose to his feet with alacrity.
  "-to spend your money on me," she
went on serenly, "I'll go and make my-
self presentable."
  He sat down to wait for her. She was
back in a few minutes, freshly dressed.
Allen got up when she entered.
  "Aren't we fashionable?" he asked,
smiling.
  "And also stylish," she said. "Are you
sure you approve?"
  "Just a minute !" He went up to her,
took her glasses off and laid them on the
table. "Now you're quite perfect," he as-
sured her.
  "I'd have to be to match- Come
on !" she said.
  He stopped at a florist's to buy her a
bunch of violets, and then piloted her
down town to lunch. "Now show me what
an old maid does eat," he said, laying his
napkin over his knees.
  "Well, do you know, David," she said,
looking up from  the menu, "it always
embarrasses me dreadfully to order my
lunch when I know that a man is to pay
for it. Maybe you don't think that any-
thing ever embarrasses me; but to be as
hungry as I am now, and then to think
of all the awful jokes you ever heard about
the young woman who leads the young
man forth and bankrupts him     "
9


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