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Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 118, No. 6 (June, 1931)

[Continued articles and works],   pp. 40-44 PDF (3.0 MB)

Page 43

JUNE, 1931                                                               3
Continued from page 40
that as it may, when she reached the kit-
chenette window she nearly fell out from
"Abbie-" she turned a beatific counte-
nance--"come quick. It's a boy!"
Abbie flew to the window. There, beside
a tiny blouse, hung a blue garment, ridicu-
lously brief but unmistakably a pair of pants.
Abbie laughed at them until the tears rolled
down her face. They were so jaunty, so
impertinently masculine. And a dozen times
that day, as she shifted cards and scribbled
n'tations she smiled proudly over those
trousers. She had wanted a boy terribly ...
It was several weeks later that Lucy was
taken ill. Only a little disturbance, at first,
making her lazy about getting her work
done and careless with the dusting. But it
dragged at her heels, heavier and heavier.
And when Abbie came home one night to a
bare, unset table, she called the doctor in
frightened haste. The doctor was grave
but noncommittal when at last he left.
Abbie stayed at home
all day now. There was
a substitute at her desk
in the library and a
nurse in the kitchenette,  MEN    V
cooking broths and
straining gruel. Natu-           AME
rally the nurse didn't
know about the clothes-    That is the
line, and how important    article by
it was for it to make its
trip regularly. But        Phelps in
Abbie did and in the       Delineator.
midst of all her terrified
waiting she discovered     cusses so
its absence Monday national h
morning. Twice she left
Lucy's bedside to look     cusses them
out the window, but the
line still sagged, bare    courageous
and lonely, in the breeze.  not agree
And all during those       Professor Ph
strained, sleep-walking
hours  that followed,      you cannot
Abbie thought about it tremendous
and wondered, dully.
It was Wednesday
when Lucy opened her
eyes and looked at her
sister. She murmured something. Abbie,
standing at the foot of the bed, dropped
the hot water bottle in incredulous joy
and bent over the bed to catch the whisper.
"What day is today?" Lucy's voice was
weary, she had come back a long way.
"Wednesday," Abbie was patting Lucy's
"Did she-get-her washing out?"
"Oh, yes," Abbie searched under the bed
for something while she talked, "everything
was out bright and early."
There was no question about Lucy's re-
covery after that. She was almost as good
as new by Friday and tremendously inter-
ested in finding out if the baby had any
more new pants-suits and what color they
were. And when the doctor told her she
might, if everything went well, begin to get
up for a few hours on Sunday her eyes met
Abbie's happily. She could see the washing
on Monday, and she had missed the baby
so terribly.
Abbie didn't sleep much that night. Once
she got up and walked back to the kitch-
enette and looked down on the court with
its spider web of clothes-lines. She knew,
just as well as anyone, that you don't go
visiting around in city apartments, unless
you are requested. Each door is a forbidden
land. And certainly, not by any stretch of
imagination, was it any concern of a fifth
floor tenant if a fourth floor tenant was
going to put out her washing next Monday.
Abbie battled with the temptation until
Saturday noon. Then she left Lucy, propped
up in bed with some patchwork for a doll
quilt, and sneaked down the back stairs.
FAITH MARTIN had spent a busy morn-
ing. She had let herself into the dusty
apartment at nine o'clock. Swiftly and effici-
ently she had sorted, folded and packed her
things The little apartment stood stripped
of gay little gingham house dresses, diminu-
tive pants-suits, work baskets, baby toys
and all the comfortable litter of living. Then
she sat down at the desk and began to
write. She wrote slowly, for she had to stop
every once in a while and lay her head on
the desk.
She was just sealing the letter when the
door-bell rang. She jumped nervously at the
sound, hesitated, then her eyes hardened and
she flung the door open. It was Abbie, and
for an instant she stood there, her short-
sighted eyes exploring the apartment.
"I kind of thought," Abbie apologized,
suddenly conscious of Faith's stare, "that
I'd see him-the baby."
"HE'S with his grandmother. Won't you
come in?" the girl invited coldly. It
wasn't that she objected to Abbie, she was
obliged to speak coldly because her chin
was quivering.
"Oh, I'm so glad to hear that!"  Abbic
sank into the over-stuffed chair weakly. "I've
thought about everything-you know how it
is when you're worried-you always think
the most terrible things, and I was afraid
he was sick." Actually little beads of per-
spiration stood on
Abbie's foreheadandher
eyes were brimming
with relief.
0  MA DE            Faith looked down at
her, puzzled.  Abbie's
I CA             gaze was roving again
and she spied a dilapi-
title of the      dated  cotton  donkey
illiam Lyon      tinder the library table.
She looked at Faith
xt month's        and smiled. They both
In it he dis-     reached for it at the
same time and bumped
e of our         heads as they stooped
roes, dis-        to pick it up.  Abbie,
seated cross-legged on
wisely and        the floor, began to weep
You will      in hysterical relief. The
girl, clinging to the cor-
ith all that      ner of the table, began to
lps says but      laugh in hysterical ten-
sion. Suddenly, Abbie
elp but be        found herself telling all
interested      about the clothes-line.
The   trousseau, the
company table cloth,
the proudly washed jelly
bags, the tiny shirt, the
first small pants-Faith lived all of the
thrills over again.
". . . And when we saw those little pants-"
Abbie paused, there really wasn't any suit-
able word to describe it-"well, that was
the first thing Lucy asked about when she
was conscious. So you understand why I
was anxious about the washing for this
Faith was staring at the floor. Indeed,
she had looked at it most of the time luring
Abbie's narrative. But she looked up as
Abbie finished, and her eyes were oddly
bright, decisive.
"Will Miss Lucy be out of bed by Mon-
"Oh, yes! The doctor said she could be
up a few hours and she's saving them for
wash day."
"Then tell her," Faith's eyes were very
soft, "to watch carefully. Bobby has sorre
new suits and if she will pick out the one
she likes best, he'll wear it when he calls on
her next week."
When Abbie had gone Faith flew to the
". . . Yes, dear," her voice trembled, "I
got your letter. It was my fault just as
much as yours . . . Oh, yes, it was too! Of
course we're coming back-I didn't know
how happy I was. I'm here in the apartment
now and as soon as I straighten things up a
little I'll rush back to mother's and get
Came a shaky voice from the other end
of the line.
"Stay now, honey. I've missed you so
much, let's have a little honeymoon and
forget all about it. You can get Bobby next
"But, dear," Faith reassured, "we'll be
here Sunday morning, first thing, and it's
very important that I get Bobby."
"Well, why?" insisted the voice with lover-
like impatience.
"Because-" Faith was half laughing and
half crying-"it sounds crazy, but I'll ex-
plain when I see you-I must put out his
washing early Monday morning."
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