“Huh? What did you just call me?” The pino finger of weiser’s finger was deliberately sunken.[Pg 97]When the moon shone forth again Frederick might have been seen picking up the revolver which had belonged to Mr. Van der Beck from the ground. After hesitating for a minute he flung it into the river. Then, having arranged as best he could the disorder of his dress occasioned by the struggle, he turned on his heels and walked back slowly to the hotel, muttering to himself as he went:”I only stopped a minute to say that if you don’t keep Freddy in order, she will disgrace us all,” Mrs. Holmes said, nervously; “but you keep talking about unpleasant things! I am all heart, and I can’t bear to hear about other people’s troubles.”Mrs. Payton understood; she gave her mother a [Pg 48]pitiful look. (“I believe she’d like to live to be a hundred!” she thought; “whereas, if it wasn’t for poor Mortimore I’d be glad to go; I’m so—tired. And Freddy wouldn’t miss me.”) All the while she was talking in her kind voice, of living, not dying; of her intention of starting in early this year on her Christmas presents—”I get perfectly worn out with them each Christmas!” Of her cook’s impertinence—”servants are really impossible!” Of Flora’s low-spiritedness—”Miss Carter says she’s simply wild to get married, but I can’t think so; Flora is so refined.”
Then she told him that she had found a bungalow out on the north side of the lake—”the unfashionable side; that place they call Lakeville; all camps. You know? It’s just beyond Laketon, where the nice, useless rich people go.” She was going to hire it for the summer, she said, and take occasional days off from business, and get up a rattling good speech on woman suffrage—”and sex-slavery. The abolishment of that is what we’re really working for, and it will come when we face Truth! Until now, women have been fed up on lies.” She would live by herself: “I don’t mean to have even a maid; I’m going to be on my own bat. I suppose Grandmother will throw a fit; she’ll say, ‘It isn’t done!’ That’s Grandmother’s climax of horror. She’d have said it to every Reformer who ever lived.”When he was obliged to admit that he would not be what you’d call frightened, “but a girl—””Merely being a fairly decent fellow isn’t enough for you?””Yes, you will come for your own convenience, not your mother’s pleasure. See here, Fred! You once asked me if you were like your father,”—involuntarily she raised her hand, as if to fend off a blow—”I had great respect for Mr. Payton in many ways, but he had the selfishness of power. So have you. Whew!” he ended, rising, “I believe it’s a hundred in the shade!””Go on!” Frederica said, contemptuously.”They said a cradle was every woman’s first duty. ‘But it would be most improper in me to have a cradle!’ I said. I know they thought me coarse.” Discount Nike Air Max TN Mans Sports Shoes – Black Blue IG621980 “I’m just looking for Laura now,” Howard said, with a gasp; “she’s deserted me!” he complained, laughing—and escaped.”Stand by your grandmother!” Payton Childs retorted. “If Fred was my sister, I’d stand by her—with a whip!” Discount Nike Air Max TN Mans Sports Shoes – Black Blue IG621980 She drank some of the water.”What do we do?”Impatiently, Rasheed said, “We wait.”* * *Later in the day, Rasheed was still trying the radio as Mariammade rice with spinach sauce in the kitchen. Mariamremembered a time when she had enjoyed, even lookedforward to, cooking for Rasheed. Now cooking was an exercisein heightened anxiety. Thequrma% were always too salty or toobland for his taste. The rice was judged either too greasy ortoo dry, the bread declared too doughy or too crispy.”You’re a good daughter,” Mammy said, after a deep sigh.Chapter 23.After, Rasheed went upstairs to listen to his radio, and Lailahelped Mariam clear thesojrah.MadamJr rom that night on, Mariam and Laila did their chorestogether. They sat in the kitchen and rolled dough, choppedgreen onions, minced garlic, offered bits of cucumber to Aziza,who banged spoons nearby and played with carrots. In theyard, Aziza lay in a wicker bassinet, dressed in layers ofclothing, a winter muffler wrapped snugly around her neck.”What about Ali Abaci Hospital?” another man cried.Zalmai lay around the house, eyes dulled and half closed, or inhis father’s lap limp as a rag. He cried himself to sleep, whenhe could muster the energy, but his sleep was fitful andsporadic. White dots leaped before Mariam’s eyes whenever shegot up. Her head spun, and her ears rang all the time. Sheremembered something Mullah Faizullah used to say abouthunger when Ramadan started:Even the snakebiiien man findssleep, but not the hungry.A man’s deep voice spoke in her ear and informed her thatshe’d reached the mayor’s office in Herat.”Mammy?””Yes, my love.” Laila smiles. “I’m all right. Yes. Very much.”As she walks to her desk at the front of the class, Lailathinks of the naming game they’d played again over dinner thenight before. It has become a nightly ritual ever since Lailagave Tariq and the children the news. Back and forth they go,making a case for their own choice. Tariq likes Mohammad.He calculated furiously that at the rate of five thousand a month his fortune would last, roughly, a year and a half. He saw his securities being sold, his property in Hertfordshire, his furniture, his pictures.”A girl.””He told me to tell her he’d call later in the day.””Scarcely.” Discount Nike Air Max TN Mans Sports Shoes – Black Blue IG621980 Then Pugeot, far more delighted than he, dragged him away.