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

[Continued articles and works],   pp. 96-99 PDF (3.3 MB)


Page 97

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97
unity. "We'll call you up in the morning.
Ycu're dining with us tomorrow night in
any case."
With fleet dignity the motor carried them
to a modest suburban dwelling several blocks
away, and as they approached they saw their
hostess peering anxiously out of a window.
Susan was reminded of that dinner Tim's
mother had given them in Bannerman.
"I bet it will be another just like it,"
thought Susan. And it was. Except that the
chicken was less good, the flowers better ar-
ranged, the caterer's ice cream more magnifi-
cent. There was a waiter who tried to fool
them with cider wrapped in a napkin, and the
female guests would talk about "God's Own
Country."
After dinner there was a reception with the
same questions the Hales had listened to
after the lecture.
AT NINE next morning a knock at the door.
"What fun," whispered Susan, "trays in
bed." There was nothing they adored more.
It was Mrs. Pruyn. "My dear, I hope I
didn't wake you, but the reporters are down-
stairs and they so want to get something
from Mr. Hale for this evening's paper.
Would he mind, do you think?"
"Send 'em up here, but what about some
breakfast?" Tim grumped.
"Shhhhhh . . . Mrs. Pruyn, send the re-
porters up in two minutes and would it be
possible for us to have some breakfast on a
tray up here?"
"Uh-you mean send the men up to your
bedroom?"
"Of course; they're used to it. That is,
they always get their best interviews that
way. More informal, you know. And you
might ask the maid to put two extra cups on
the tray for the gentlemen of the press," and
Susan firmly closed the door on the bewil-
dered Mrs. Pruyn, who doubtless had hoped
to be a witness to this mystic rite called inter-
viewing.
The rest of the day the Hales were Enter-
tained. Timothy upset Mrs. Pruyn by pour-
ing milk on his baked potato at lunch and
asking for a snooze afterward, and Susan was
distressed to find, on their way to the train,
that the little president had not been invited
to dinner by the outrageous Mrs. Snodgrass.
They were constantly being faced with these
social complications of a society to which
they only belonged for a few hours, but
whose subtleties they immediately caught.
The worst of it was that it was always the
snootiest or the most disreputable who res-
cued them from their kindly and respectable
hosts. Sometimes it would be the reporter
who came to interview, bringing with him an
invitation from the Press Club. Whereupon
Timothy would joyously decamp and leave
Susan to carry on. It was hard sometimes,
because she knew she was not a welcome sub-
stitute. The Club had paid to hear the Author
-and to talk to him later. Where was he?
As the train scrunched its way out of the
station Susan sighed. "I feel as if I had known
the Snodgrasses all my life, and Mrs. Pruyn
I'll forget in a week. 'Tain't fair. But it
ever so is, this Martha and Mary business
I'm adoring all this reflected glory, Mr.
Hale, but how about beating it before the
excitement dies down? There's always a point
of satiation."
"Right you are! What, madam, I say what
about this place called You-rup?"
"Could we?"
"I don't see why not. The little old dol-
lars are rolling in, foreign exchange is low,
we're both a bit off our American feed, let's
go down to the steamship office tomorrow."
IMPING slightly and head and bones still
aching from inoculations for typhoid, diph-
theria, smallpox-all the post-war diseases
Timothy could think of-he, Susan, with
Mrs. Brooke holding Roger by the hand,
stood in a group large enough to cause pass-
ersby on the promenade deck to stare.
The ship reporters, with no illusions as to
the modesty of the Great Ones, liked this
latest shooting star. He had no side, he did
not slap them on the back nor talk down to
them. He was a fellow-craftsman. And he
always said something that looked well in a
head-line.
"Would you and Mrs. Hale give us a pic-
ture, the baby, too? Just up these steps to
the boat deck where the light is better . . .
So, first the family group, then Mr. Hale
alone." Three huge cameras pointing at
them from different angles. More passers-by
staring. "Must be some one important.
Do you recognize their faces? Let's look at
the passenger list."
Timothy and Susan had been thrilled since
dawn. The trunks had already gone with
their proud and instructive labels, but there
were bags to be packed, breakfast to be eaten,
their last meal in America for months, years,
no telling. Roger to be dressed in rose cloth
coat and a great English sailor hat like a halo
round his curls. The corsage of gardenias.
sent to Susan by the thoughtful Mr. Darcy,
to be pinned on the left shoulder.
As they followed the steward down the
narrow corridor, the familiar steamer smell,
so like that of an empty and decaying hot-
water bottle, thrust Susan back fifteen years
and she saw in Timothy the tall figure of her
father and she vaguely looked around for her
little brother Frank . . . The staterooms
were exciting, a single one for Timothy and a
double one for her and Roger. Boxes and
packages were lying everywhere. It was like
Christmas. A knock at the door. "Frank!"
but tall now and with a moustache and a pres-
ent he probably could not afford. "Darling,
it doesn't seem right to be going abroad
without you. Mamma-why, you mustn't
cry, dear. If we decide to stay over more
than a few months and Tim finds he can write
as easily over there, we'll send for you."
More knocks. Mr. Darcy, Mr. Loose,
Tim's triumphant publishers. Tim's best
man at the wedding, Geoffrey Starrett, now
a broker who occasionally wrote an essay for
the New Republic when he was not dining
out. Knock, knock. An editor from a maga-
zine Hale had avoided writing for. A pretty
girl and her husband whom the Hales had met
only two nights before at a dinner at the
Brevoort. An advertising man, name un-
known, who wanted to get Tim to write a
testimonial fora typewriter. What a strange
collection of people-only two relatives and
no close friends.  Susan  surreptitiously
peeked at the postmarks on the packages-
Washington, St. Paul, Bannerman, San
Francisco, Plainfield, New Jersey. Of course
they had friends, but scattered; no gang.
Wouldn't it be funny if they created one in
London, Paris, Rome?
Warning bugle blasts, aimless scurryings,
bad band music, misplaced kisses, farewell
wharf inanities, Susan holding up a patient
Roger to wave goodbye to a grandmother
and uncle he did not see, Timothy hugging
her arm and chanting, "Travelin', tee-rains,
and now little boats, Susie, my own."
BY TIPPING the stewardess heavily and
thanks to two naps a day and an early
bedtime, Roger was not entirely on Susan's
hands during the voyage. But enough. And
she was never free from the horror lest his
unsure feet take him too close to the rails and
the perilous sea. But at lunch and dinner she
and Tim were together, and for walks during
the nap hours. Their first walk around the
deck, after the passengers had settled down
to chairs and rugs and air pillows and the
tasting of ship's consomm6 and bon voyage
books, provided them with the unique in-
toxication of beholding every third lounger
reading or resting from "God's Own Coun-
try." This seeing people actually reading the
book was different from viewing piles of it
in a shop waiting for potential readers.
Greatest fun of all was having the man whose
chair was next to Tim's ask Tim what he
thought of this new novel every one was talk-
ing about.
"I haven't read it," said Tim. "What do
you think of it?"
"Pretty slow going so far, can't seem to get
into it yet. Come from a small town myself,
and I must say I never heard any one in it
talk and behave the way these folks do.
Would you like me to lend it to you?"
"No-o-o-o-o-o," drawled Timothy, 'thanks
very much. I think it's more fun to look at
the sea."
A woman of an unrebellious forty, judging
by her shoes and her corsets, had stopped at
Tim's chair. "This is Mr. Hale, isn't it?
Mr. Timothy Hale, the writer? Please don't
get up. I just wanted to-"
But Tim was struggling to get up out of a
chair designed especially to get up out of with
a struggle.
"I just wanted to tell you how wonderful I
think your book is! I come from a small town
myself and at times the truth of your book
was almost more than I could bear."
There didn't seem to be an answer. Tim
shook hands with her, thanked her. Susan
looked out to sea. The man in the next chair
slipped "God's Own Country" under his rug.
The lady smiled waveringly and drifted off.
"Say, er, Mr. Hale, my name's Oscar P.
Rudge, from Cincinnati, and say, I didn't
know-"
"I don't care much for the book myself,"
Tim grinned. "Say, do (Turn to page 98)
Little white
1091
that break down
Childhood's
faith
T HERE'S no harm, we parents
think, in "little white lies." They
seem so necessary at times.
But how about their effect on the
child? It's natural for little ones to ac-
cept as truth what grown-ups tell them.
But every "little white lie" discovered
by the child just breaks down the faith
it has in its parents.
Keep your children's faith!
When your children need a laxative,
don't tell them that a medicine "tastes
nice," when you know it's vile.
There's an easier, and a perfectly
truthful, way.
Give your child Ex-Lax-and when
you say "Tastes just like chocolate,"
you're telling the truth. The kiddies
know that. And so you keep their con-
fidence.
Doctors know that the safe and gen-
tle laxative ingredient in Ex-Lax is
ideal for the tender body of a little
child. The exclusive Ex-Lax formula
combines delicious chocolate with the
scientific laxative, phenolphthalein, of
the right quality, in the right propor-
tion, in the right dose.
Good for grown-ups, too
Ex-Lax is not only good for children-
it is ideal for grown-ups, too.
So it has become America's popu-
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were sold just last year-that shows its
popularity!
Ex-Lax-first aid to Nature
Ex-Lax gently stimulates the bowels to
action. It does not force or gripe. It
does not form a habit.
Give it a trial-you won't need any
urging after that. Your druggist has
Ex-Lax in 10c, 25c and 50c sizes. Or
write for free sample to The Ex-Lax
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Keep "regular" with
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The Chocolated
Laxative


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