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'XAGAZINE sciously avoided being alone with him. These solitary inter- views had once been to her a blessed relief from having to "act engaged" to Mrs. Randolph's satisfaction. Now the very idea of being alone with a man on whom she had unintentionally inflicted pain was a, nightmare to her. He was so kind and so good; any woman on earth might be glad to do anything for- him; she herself would do anything but marry him. Taylor and Caroline together put Mrs. Randolph on her train for the south, adjusted her grips, tipped the porter, and assuaged her fears about her ticket, her baggage checks, and the reservation of her berth. Thev waved good-bye to her as her train pulled out, and then they faced each other in the cab on the way up from the station. "Well, I suppose our engagement is off," he said lightly. She nodded. "I have to thank you for the happiest three- months in my life," he went on, still carefully keeping his gay tone. "I wouldn't ask anything iiinch better than to be en- gaged to you forever, under the Dame's patronizing eye." "I can't give you anything better," she said a little hoarsely. "I don't ask for anything," he answered. They did not speak again until the cab drew up to let her out. Then she said, "Good-bye, John," with averted eyes, gave him her hand, and went toward the elevator, melancholy, but relieved. Taylor settled back in the Cab and thought of an evening without cheerfulness or domesticity or Caroline. "I'll play billiards, I suppose," he thought. "I'll, smoke too mueb too. Well, I guess I'll begin now. Its too bad all around. Caroline even let me smoke all over the flat." And he lighted his cigar, trying desperately hard to find something funny in the tangle. Doubtless it Avas the grim February twilight that blurred his sight.
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