This weeks quotes, are from Jean Webster's, The Wheat Princess, one of my favorite stories.
‘Oh, mamma! Sybert came to tea, an’ I made it; an’ he said it was lots better van Marcia’s tea, an’ he dwank seven cups, an’ I dwank four.’
A chorus of laughter greeted this revelation, and a lazy voice called from the depths of an easy chair, ‘Oh, I say, Gerald, you mustn’t tell such shocking tales, or your mother will never leave me alone with the tea-things again.’ And the owner of the voice pulled himself together and walked across the room ta shake hands with the new-comers.
‘It is a pretty decent sort of a place,’ Copley agreed, ‘though I have a sneaking suspicion that we may find it rather far. But the rest of the family liked it, and my aim in life——’
‘Nonsense, Uncle Howard! you know you were crazy over it yourself. You signed the lease without a protest. Didn’t he, Aunt Katherine?’
21 ‘I signed the lease, my dear Marcia, at the point of the pistol.’
‘The point of the pistol?’
‘You threatened, if we got a mile—an inch, I believe you said—nearer Rome, you would give a party every day; and if that isn’t the point of a pistol to a poor, worn-out man like me, I don’t know what is.’
‘They’ve spent winters in Cairo and Vienna and Paris and a lot of different places,’ pursued Marcia. ‘Eleanor,’ she added ruminatingly, ‘has been out nine seasons, and she has had a good deal of—experience.’
‘Dear, dear!’ said her uncle; ‘and you are proposing to expose all Rome——’
‘She’s very attractive,’ said Marcia, and then she glanced at Sybert and laughed. ‘If she should happen to take a fancy to you, Mr. Sybert——’
The young man rose to his feet and looked about for his hat. ‘Goodness!’ he murmured, ‘what would she do?’
‘There’s no telling.’ Marcia regarded him with a speculative light in her eyes.
‘A young woman who has been practising for nine seasons certainly ought to have her hand in,’ Copley agreed. ‘Perhaps, after all, Sybert, it is best we should not meet her.’
Sybert found his hat and paused for a moment.
‘You can’t frighten me that way, Miss Marcia,’ he said, with a shake of his head. ‘I have been out thirteen seasons myself.’
‘May I come in for tea, Cousin Marcia?’ Gerald inquired, with a note of anxiety in his voice, as they climbed the stone staircase of the Palazzo Rosicorelli. They had been spending the afternoon in the Borghese gardens, and the boy’s very damp sailor-suit bore witness to the fact that he had been indulging in the forbidden pleasure of catching goldfish in the fountain.
‘Indeed you may not,’ she returned emphatically. ‘You 28 may go with Marietta and have some dry clothes put on before your mother sees you.’
Gerald, realizing the wisdom of this course, allowed himself to be quietly spirited off the back way, in spite of the fact that he heard the alluring sound of Sybert’s voice in the direction of the salon. Marcia went on in without waiting to take off her hat, and she met the Melvilles in the ante-room, on the point of leaving.
Mr. Copley, who was strolling on the terrace, glanced up, and catching sight of his niece, paused beneath her balcony while he quoted:—
‘“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”’
Marcia brought her eyes from the distant landscape to a contemplation of her uncle; and then she stepped through the glass doors, and leaned over the balcony railing with a little laugh.
‘You make a pretty poor Romeo, Uncle Howard,’ she called down. ‘I’m afraid the real one never wore a dinner-jacket nor smoked a cigarette.’
Mr. Copley spread out his hands in protest.
‘For the matter of that, I doubt if Juliet ever wore a gown from—where was it—42, Avenue de l’Opéra? How does the new house go?’ he asked.