Sheets, Geo M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. VI, No. 1 (October 1908)
Corbett, Elizabeth F.
A private performance, pp. 15-20
THE WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE Taylor glanced around, and seeing that the waiter was at a safe distance he leaned forward and said, "Well, the most direct way out of the difficulty, it seems to me, is for us to be engaged until the Dame goes away to live." "John Taylor," she exclaimed, looking as if she thought him out of his head. "Why not?" he asked. "It won't be any worse than an actor and actress being engaged in a play, and after she goes away you can easily keep up the deception by letter. Mrs. Randolph is old and delicate; you won't be compelled even to write about it for many years. Come on, Caroline, you scrib- bler on the drama, let's put a few dramatic complications into our own lives for the laudable purpose of giving the Dame a little satisfaction." Caroline looked across the table at him. He was in one of the rare moods of boyish irresponsibility that sometimes took possession of his staid middle-aged character. "It will be a silly performance for two sensible old people like us," she said slowly, "but I suppose now that we are in it we may as well keep up the play." They gravely shook hands across the table. The three months that followed were a romantic dream for Mrs. Randolph. John Taylor, who had been taking Caroline to restaurants and sending her books ever since the Dame came to live with her, was now a constant visitor at the flat. He kept the living-room filled with roses, and oftener than not decorated it with his own presence. He always came to Sun- day evening tea, a very informal meal that they got for them- selves. It was at one of these teas that he and Caroline were alone in the kitchen. She looked up from the salad dressing that she was compounding and shook her head at him. "You laid it on a little unnecessarily thick, John," she said. I gave you permission to keep up your deceit, but not to fab-
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