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Page 7 text:
THE QUIIAL 5
L I T E R A R Y
Remodeled in Vain
t By RIAXINE ArNEs
OUNG Dr. Jim Rogers was rush-
ing Edythe Simmons. In a small
town like Harding, everyone knew
it in a few days. Friends greeted him
more jovially than usual, and with a re-
mark about Edythe that usually made
Jim get suspiciously red around his ears.
Ile used to sit at his window for hours
in the evenings Cwhen he was not at
Edythe'sD and dream about her. A pie-
ture of her was propped up beside him,
and he adored it. It didn 't matter to
him that it was originally a part of a
group picture in the town newspaper,
and though the other faces were cut
away, two organdie-clad elbows prodded
Edythe painfully from either side, and
the face of a venerable old gent was
visible over her left shoulder. But no
valuable portrait with a master 's signa-
ture could be more prized.
But tonight, tonight he was going to
call on Edythe. And did he not drive
a spirited young horse. and a shiny blaek
buggy, rented from the village stable?
And look, beside him on the seat there
reposed a huge three-pound box of
candy. adorned with blue tulle ribbons
and clad in snowy tissue paper.
On the way out he reviewed and ana-
lyzed the brilliant and witty speeches he
would nonchalantly deliver at the right
moments. Surely a gay and frivolous
girl,like Edythe would desire a young
man that was peppy, and full of zest.
All right, if that was the type she pre-
ferred,-then that was the type he 'd be.
Naturally being reticent and thoughtful,
he should be more joeose. and lawgh
more. to hold her attention.
Faint heart ne 'er won fair lady.
That quotation had lately become one of
his favorite mottoes, and at the party
two weeks ago he had been able to talk
a little more, laugh a little more than
usualg and for the first. time, Edythe had
noticed him. And with that little en-
couragement he had, according to later
testimonies, 'tshined right up to her.
Now he was her f'steady.
But was her interest not beginning to
wane? Had he not fallen back into his
old rut of listening instead of being
listened to, of being a spectator instead
of the one observed, of always being a
looker on? Well, tonight was tonight.
and he would make up for past dullness.
And he did. At just the right moment
he said the right thing, made just the
right remark, gave just the right compli-
ment- when presenting the candy, that
made her turn and blush prettily. ln
fact, he was quite loquaeious and gay
and laughing. Possibly a little too much.
And when he left, at 10:30, he knew
that she had bee11 sorry to see him leave.
even if her folks had not shared her sor-
row quite so much.
But all good things must have an end,
or at least an intermission. The next
day Jim received a telegram that his
au11t was quite ill, and would he please
come at once? But before he left, he met
Edythe and explained his absence-to-be,
and he promised: I'l1 write to you
every single day. P And she promised
faithfully to answer every letter.
All the day on the train he kept think-
ing of Edythe. How he loved and
adored her! But it was a bit tiresome
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Page 8 text:
6 THE QUILI.
to keep laughing and joking all the time.
For the twenty-six years of his life he
had been quiet, and it was a change.
Then his thoughts turned to the trip.
His au11t, being rich, would probably
have several important doctors at her
bedside, and he might get to talk with
them, discuss late events in the medical
and scientific world, and swap experi-
In a week his aunt had passed away,
and Jim found himself to be the rather
bewildered possessor of thirty-seven
thousand dollars. Enough to marry, buy
a home, and start a new practice in a
tow11 larger than Harding.
In three weeks he was able to leave
for his home town. Be good to see the
gang once more, ,and Edythe. He'd go
out to her house soon after he arrived.
But maybe it would be better to wire
her that he was coming.
As the train neared Harding, Jim was
becoming excited. And when he saw the
little brick depot, and the faded black
and white sign of Hardingl' swinging
over a group of friends, a lump arose
in his throat.
The first person he looked for as he
descended the few steps of the train
was Edythe, and after ploughing
through several dozen of the citizens,
bent on congratulating him on his good
fortune, he finally did see her. There
she was, standing cool and slim in a
fluttery green dress, and a tall serious
youth stood beside her. Until now, Jim
had never paid much attention to him,
but now he realized painfully that the
boy, tall and straight with brown eyes
and wavy hair, was a very distinct
Hello, Edythe. How are you? Say,
you're looking fine, he greeted her
Why, hello, Jim. I'm glad to see
you. You surely remember David Lewis,
don 't you? He 's an artist, spending his
summer here, painting some of our
scenery. We're engaged, she finished
Somehow, he managed to stammer co11-
gratulations and escape from the cruel
scrutiny of the crowd. So that was why
she hadn't answered his last letters,
though he 'd only written a few in all.
The next day, loitering on the hotel
veranda, again the looker-on, the watch-
er, the thinker, tl1e silent man of every
gathering, he ventured to ask of one of
his few close friends:
Jake, do you know why Edythe-
well, you know what I mean. When I
went away it was practically settled.
Waal, I heard that she said you was
too much of a talker. She allus claimed
she'd pick a quiet feller to spend her
life with,. probably so she could boss him,
and we shore thought she 'd done it when
she got you, but she says you was too
all-fired noisy. Course, none of us be-
lieved that, knowing you 's allus too quiet
an' thoughtful, and full o' poetry.
Waal, only God understands wimmin,
and I reckon they puzzle Him sometimes.
So I dunno the real reason. Reckon
you 'll be a leaving this burg S0011, with
all that money? he questioned wist-
Yes, Jake. I guess I will. I've got
to see some of those things that I've al-
ways dreamed of, but I'll come back,
he finished softly.
BY EDNA FERBER
Could you find beauty in red cabbages
on an Illinois farm? Selma Peake did in
spite of her drab life of hard labor. She
toiled so that her son, Derk, might have
the beauty in life that she had missed,
but he could find nothing interesting in
life but making money.
VELMA GARMON '32.
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