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her next Thursday out and took out all her money. Two hundred dollars is an awful uncomfortable lump in your stocking. Delia was scared to death it was slipping down and would show like a big ugly bump on her leg. But anyway it was safe there and Mr. Vincent said he'd take care of it for her when they got to Niagara Falls.
Now she'd passed the chicken and the candied sweet-potatoes and the peas and jelly and olives and celery and rolls and there was Bridget hissing the other side of the door in the pantry. Now what did she want?
"What ye hissing like that for at me?" she asked Bridget, when she got out into the pantry.
"Fill the glasses again." "Ye've been spyin' on me through the crack. I'm going to fill them."
She filled the glasses, carefully. Bridget had no right to be spying on her. She knew her work. She was the best waitress in the park and she had as good a character as anybody. She could look the Queen of England in the face and not be blushing. Nobody was kind to her but Mr. Vincent. Jim-the-iceman didn't count.
Now she had to take out the dinnerplates and bring in the salad. Everybody liked alligator-pear salad. It had been fun fixing it, too, all the slices of alligator-pear in a sort of design like.
If she could only make up her mind about Mr. Vincent. What she needed was a sign from the spirits. Mr. Vincent said they were always there ready to help us and all we had to do was to think hard and get our questions across the ether to their
auras. Then they answered by a sign. Like if you see three lame men in a subway it's a sign for you to buy brown shoes instead of black ones. Like that, it is. She'd tried it, shutting her eyes and opening a Bible she'd found on one of the book-shelves, but she'd opened it to a part that said, "Ammon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign and reigned two years in Jerusalem." Now you couldn't tell from that what it was a sign you were to do. She'd wanted to look up about Solomon and the Queen of Sheba but she hadn't known where to find about them and when they were married.
Were they married? She mustn't drop the salad-plates even though an idea did hit her like a slap in the face. And Bridget was standing right in her way by the kitchen sink.
"Was Solomon married to the Queen of Sheba?" Bridget was slipping the mousse out of its mold and wouldn't answer her. "Was Solomon married to the Queen of Sheba, Martha?"
Martha yawned again and said, "Oh, go 'long with your dinner. Don't ask me." These nurses were always so mean, never lifting a hand to help you!
"There's still three salad-plates on the table," Bridget said, "and the crumbs to be got off. Get a move on yer or the mousse'll melt."
Well, wasn't she hurrying as fast as she could? It only took a minute to get off the salad-plates and no time at all to crumb the table. Mr. Anthony would know if the Queen of Sheba and Solomon had been married. He'd know. Oh, if she could only ask him one question!
Just whisper it in his ear. Or why Or why couldn't she just say out loud:
"Excuse me, but does any one of you know if Solomon and the Queen of Sheba was married?" It was wicked that she couldn't ask itwicked. She was so scared thinking about it her heart jumped like a rabbit's. Maybe her mother's spirit'd made a mistake. Her mother was a real lovely mother but she'd never known much about kings and queens when she was alive and why should she know more about them now that she was dead. there was a chance that she and Mr. Vincent were both mistaken. My, how Delia wanted to cry and she was so awful, awful tired! And the people were laughing and making such a racket; the women all with their backs bare like cream and the men with their heads going bald on top. What was there to be laughing at, anyway? She'd burst out crying in another minute. Maybe if she bit her lip hard enough she could keep the tears back.
Bridget was mad because the mousse was beginning to melt. Little drops of raspberry ice were running like blood into the bottom of the silver platter. The silver was nice and cool on Delia's hands. She'd have to think up something for a sign and pray to the spirits to tell her about the Queen of Sheba. She'd have to pray to some one who knew, one of the saints, maybe. They'd know more than her mother even. What would do for a sign?
They were all telling funny stories at the table and the noise made your head spin. Delia wondered if Mr. Anthony would tell that one about the parrot-oh, that was it. She'd
go out in the pantry and pray to a saint quickly, St. Elizabeth, the one that used to be a queen; likely she knew about who was married and who wasn't. Everybody'd been served with the mousse and she must go out to get the little cakes with pink and white icing and yellow flowers on the icing.
It was quiet in the pantry and the light there was sort of dim. Like a little church. If you put your hands over your eyes you could almost think you were in one.
"Blessed saints, blessed St. Elizabeth," she whispered, "send me a sign. If the Queen of Sheba was after being married to Solomon whisper in Mr. Anthony's ear to tell his parrot story. If she wasn't married, don't let him tell it. Amen."
Then she had to hurry out for the cakes. And everybody made a great fuss over them, they were so pretty. There was a little icing bird on one.
Mr. Grant was telling a funny story that had been on the radio last Thursday and everybody was pretending they hadn't heard it before. It was about the rabbit and the minister.
The saints should be hearing her prayer by now. Yes, and there was Mr. Anthony leaning back to tell a story. Oh, God, she mustn't faint! She ought to go on out in the kitchen but she couldn't stir a step if the ceiling fell on her. Mr. Anthony was saying:
"Did you ever hear that one about the Irishman?"
"Oh, Peter, you tell that parrot story at every dinner."
"No, this is a new one. It has nothing whatever to do with a parrot. Nothing at all. Once there was an Irishman, a burglar—”
So he hadn't told the parrot story and that meant the Queen of Sheba wasn't married to Solomon and she wasn't to go to Niagara Falls. Dinner was over and Delia sank into a chair by the kitchen table and put her head on her arms and cried and cried.
"Get yer head up from among them dishes. What's the matter with ye?"
"Oh, my feet ache like I was walking on pins and my head aches and I'd like to die and let the cool earth bury me.'
"Oh, shut up," Martha was getting up from her corner. "I'll take in the coffee and do the dishes with Bridget. Your boy friend's here." "Boy friend?"
"Jim-the-iceman. He's waiting on the back porch."
"Get something to eat on a tray and get out of me way." But Bridget didn't sound as cross as usual.
And it was nice and cool out on the back porch steps. Some bird or something up in the trees was whirring like an egg-beater and you could smell roses from the vine up the side of the house. Mr. Vincent would be mad, but she couldn't help that. Funny she felt as if she'd lost fifty pounds weight off her. Jimmy didn't say much but he sat close to her and he felt strong. He was eating the drumstick of the chicken but he'd made her take a little of the white meat. The mousse slipped down your throat like cool sips of silver and the moon was smiling at them above the apple-tree. It was nice of Martha and Bridget to wash the dishes. It was nice leaning against Jim's shoulder like that—
A word slipped into her mind. It was incarnation.
It was nice when Jim kissed her,
BEATRICE ALlen Draper
And when at last to Carcassonne you go,
Think not alone of Visigoths and Huns
II-Thomas Jefferson-Time Treated Him Kindly
J. G. DE ROULHAC HAMILTON
HROUGH all the years of his brilliant and successful political career Thomas Jefferson longed for the quiet delights of home. At each interval in his public service he turned his face joyfully toward Monticello, and with each recall his pleasure was marred by regret for the lost domesticity.
In 1776, while on the threshold of the career which was to give him immortality in history, he wrote John Randolph, "My first wish is a restoration of our just rights; my second a return to the happy period, when I may withdraw myself totally from the public stage and pass the rest of my days in domestic ease and tranquillity, banishing every desire of hearing what passes in the world."
From France, more than a decade later he wrote his daughter: "To your sister and yourself I look to render the evening of my life serene and contented. Its morning has been crowded with loss after loss till I have nothing left but you."
In 1793, retiring from the State Department, he wrote a friend, "I am then to be liberated from the hated occupation of politics and to remain in the bosom of my family, my farm and my books."
And finally in 1809 he wrote
Dupont de Nemours: "Within a few days I retire to my family, my books and farms; and having gained the harbor myself, I shall look on my friends still buffeting the storm with anxiety indeed, but not with envy. Never did a prisoner, released from his chains, feel such relief as I shall on shaking off the shackles of power. Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight. But the enormities of the times in which I have lived have forced me to take a part in resisting them, and to commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political passions."
In the interval of these letters he filled with honor, success and public applause, every office of high importance in the gift of his state and country, founded a great political party and formulated its principles, and successfully made the tenets of the political faith thus expressed the foundation-stones of American political doctrine. Few men ever had a better right to enjoy public life, and yet it is beyond doubt that through all these years his heart and mind were always filled with avid longing for the life he thus described. His natural tastes, his love of home and family, his passion for the country and for the soil, were chiefly respon
sible, but an important factor was his shyness and his almost feminine shrinking from the storms of American politics. He was tired, too, deadly tired, of being the "Rawhead and Bloody-bones" of Federalism and the clergy. He wanted quiet, peace and leisure. He was getting old and he longed for tranquillity which he declared to be "the summum bonum of age."
He was happier in his exit from public life than was John Adams. Hated and slandered as he had been, he had not been betrayed in his own house, he had not met defeat and he had not been the victim of disappointment. To which fortunate circumstances may be added the fact of his possession of a disposition naturally sunny and a temperament uniformly optimistic. And so, happily, he turned over the conduct of affairs to a successor of his own choosing, a devoted and lifelong friend and neighbor who came nearer carrying out the policies of his predecessor than did any other handpicked president in our history-and joyfully turned toward Monticello. He did not exactly shake the dust, or more properly the mud, of Washington off his feet as Adams had done, but he took precious good care that no more ever got on. He crossed for the last time the boundary line of Virginia to be as long as he lived America's greatest citizen. There is tragedy in the fact that John Adams, who deserved it, did not share with him this distinction.
To Monticello Jefferson came like one released from prison. There he found his daughter Martha with her husband, Thomas Mann Randolph, and their numerous family.
Home began to make him over. He came weary with the storms of the preceding two years, but soon his step grew light and elastic and he was "as busy as a bee in a molasses barrel," buzzing about, arranging his books and papers, going over the place planning improvements for the future, humming or singing old and favorite songs, radiant as a boy on a vacation.
To be at Monticello was in itself a delight. It was the very apple of its master's eye. Built through thirty years, after his own plans and conforming to his own tastes and habits, it was in every way comfortable and, superbly situated, it satisfied craving for beauty which in Jefferson was ever strong. Set in a plantation of nearly six thousand acres, it was the most impressive estate in that part of Virginia.
To this plantation and his other, Poplar Forest in Bedford County, Jefferson now turned for occupation and livelihood. He did it with no unwillingness. Long before this he had declared that "those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God," and he still believed it. He had always been interested in agriculture and he was convinced that by the application of system and scientific knowledge it could be made