flache heizkörper für wohnzimmer

flache heizkörper für wohnzimmer

chapter xxviii i miss mcgoun came into his private office atthree in the afternoon with "lissen, mr. babbitt; there's a mrs. judique on the'phone--wants to see about some repairs, and the salesmen are all out. want to talk to her?""all right." the voice of tanis judique was clear andpleasant. the black cylinder of the telephone-receiver seemed to hold a tiny animated image of her: lustrous eyes, delicate nose,gentle chin.

"this is mrs. judique. do you remember me?you drove me up here to the cavendish apartments and helped me find such a niceflat." "sure! bet i remember!what can i do for you?" "why, it's just a little--i don't know thati ought to bother you, but the janitor doesn't seem to be able to fix it. you know my flat is on the top floor, andwith these autumn rains the roof is beginning to leak, and i'd be awfully gladif--"

i'll come up and take a look at it."nervously, "when do you expect to be in?" "why, i'm in every morning.""be in this afternoon, in an hour or so?" "ye-es. perhaps i could give you a cup of tea.i think i ought to, after all your trouble.""fine! i'll run up there soon as i can get away." he meditated, "now there's a woman that'sgot refinement, savvy, class! 'after all your trouble--give you a cup oftea.' she'd appreciate a fellow.

i'm a fool, but i'm not such a bad cuss,get to know me. and not so much a fool as they think!"the great strike was over, the strikers beaten. except that vergil gunch seemed lesscordial, there were no visible effects of babbitt's treachery to the clan.the oppressive fear of criticism was gone, but a diffident loneliness remained. now he was so exhilarated that, to prove hewasn't, he droned about the office for fifteen minutes, looking at blue-prints,explaining to miss mcgoun that this mrs. scott wanted more money for her house--had

raised the asking-price--raised it fromseven thousand to eighty-five hundred-- would miss mcgoun be sure and put it downon the card--mrs. scott's house--raise. when he had thus established himself as aperson unemotional and interested only in business, he sauntered out. he took a particularly long time to starthis car; he kicked the tires, dusted the glass of the speedometer, and tightened thescrews holding the wind-shield spot-light. he drove happily off toward the bellevuedistrict, conscious of the presence of mrs. judique as of a brilliant light on thehorizon. the maple leaves had fallen and they linedthe gutters of the asphalted streets.

it was a day of pale gold and faded green,tranquil and lingering. babbitt was aware of the meditative day,and of the barrenness of bellevue--blocks of wooden houses, garages, little shops,weedy lots. "needs pepping up; needs the touch thatpeople like mrs. judique could give a place," he ruminated, as he rattled throughthe long, crude, airy streets. the wind rose, enlivening, keen, and in ablaze of well-being he came to the flat of tanis judique. she was wearing, when she flutteringlyadmitted him, a frock of black chiffon cut modestly round at the base of her prettythroat.

she seemed to him immensely sophisticated. he glanced at the cretonnes and coloredprints in her living-room, and gurgled, "gosh, you've fixed the place nice!takes a clever woman to know how to make a home, all right!" "you really like it?i'm so glad! but you've neglected me, scandalously.you promised to come some time and learn to dance." rather unsteadily, "oh, but you didn't meanit seriously!" "perhaps not.but you might have tried!"

"well, here i've come for my lesson, andyou might just as well prepare to have me stay for supper!"they both laughed in a manner which indicated that of course he didn't mean it. "but first i guess i better look at thatleak." she climbed with him to the flat roof ofthe apartment-house a detached world of slatted wooden walks, clotheslines, water-tank in a penthouse. he poked at things with his toe, and soughtto impress her by being learned about copper gutters, the desirability of passingplumbing pipes through a lead collar and sleeve and flashing them with copper, and

the advantages of cedar over boiler-ironfor roof-tanks. "you have to know so much, in real estate!"she admired. he promised that the roof should berepaired within two days. "do you mind my 'phoning from yourapartment?" he asked. "heavens, no!" he stood a moment at the coping, lookingover a land of hard little bungalows with abnormally large porches, and newapartment-houses, small, but brave with variegated brick walls and terra-cottatrimmings. beyond them was a hill with a gouge ofyellow clay like a vast wound.

behind every apartment-house, beside eachdwelling, were small garages. it was a world of good little people,comfortable, industrious, credulous. in the autumnal light the flat newness wasmellowed, and the air was a sun-tinted pool."golly, it's one fine afternoon. you get a great view here, right uptanner's hill," said babbitt. "yes, isn't it nice and open.""so darn few people appreciate a view." "don't you go raising my rent on thataccount! oh, that was naughty of me!i was just teasing. seriously though, there are so few whorespond--who react to views.

i mean--they haven't any feeling of poetryand beauty." "that's a fact, they haven't," he breathed,admiring her slenderness and the absorbed, airy way in which she looked toward thehill, chin lifted, lips smiling. "well, guess i'd better telephone theplumbers, so they'll get on the job first thing in the morning." when he had telephoned, making itconspicuously authoritative and gruff and masculine, he looked doubtful, and sighed,"s'pose i'd better be--" "oh, you must have that cup of tea first!" "well, it would go pretty good, at that."

it was luxurious to loll in a deep greenrep chair, his legs thrust out before him, to glance at the black chinese telephonestand and the colored photograph of mount vernon which he had always liked so much, while in the tiny kitchen--so near--mrs.judique sang "my creole queen." in an intolerable sweetness, a contentmentso deep that he was wistfully discontented, he saw magnolias by moonlight and heardplantation darkies crooning to the banjo. he wanted to be near her, on pretense ofhelping her, yet he wanted to remain in this still ecstasy.languidly he remained. when she bustled in with the tea he smiledup at her.

"this is awfully nice!" for the first time, he was not fencing; hewas quietly and securely friendly; and friendly and quiet was her answer: "it'snice to have you here. you were so kind, helping me to find thislittle home." they agreed that the weather would soonturn cold. they agreed that prohibition wasprohibitive. they agreed that art in the home wascultural. they agreed about everything. they even became bold.they hinted that these modern young girls,

well, honestly, their short skirts wereshort. they were proud to find that they were notshocked by such frank speaking. tanis ventured, "i know you'll understand--i mean--i don't quite know how to say it, but i do think that girls who pretendthey're bad by the way they dress really never go any farther. they give away the fact that they haven'tthe instincts of a womanly woman." remembering ida putiak, the manicure girl,and how ill she had used him, babbitt agreed with enthusiasm; remembering how illall the world had used him, he told of paul riesling, of zilla, of seneca doane, of thestrike:

"see how it was? course i was as anxious to have thosebeggars licked to a standstill as anybody else, but gosh, no reason for not seeingtheir side. for a fellow's own sake, he's got to bebroad-minded and liberal, don't you think so?""oh, i do!" sitting on the hard little couch, sheclasped her hands beside her, leaned toward him, absorbed him; and in a glorious stateof being appreciated he proclaimed: "so i up and said to the fellows at theclub, 'look here,' i--" "do you belong to the union club?i think it's--"

"no; the athletic. tell you: course they're always asking meto join the union, but i always say, 'no, sir!nothing doing!' i don't mind the expense but i can't standall the old fogies." "oh, yes, that's so.but tell me: what did you say to them?" "oh, you don't want to hear it. i'm probably boring you to death with mytroubles! you wouldn't hardly think i was an oldduffer; i sound like a kid!" "oh, you're a boy yet.

i mean--you can't be a day over forty-five." "well, i'm not--much. but by golly i begin to feel middle-agedsometimes; all these responsibilities and all.""oh, i know!" her voice caressed him; it cloaked him likewarm silk. "and i feel lonely, so lonely, some days,mr. babbitt." "we're a sad pair of birds! but i think we're pretty darn nice!""yes, i think we're lots nicer than most people i know!"they smiled.

"but please tell me what you said at theclub." "well, it was like this: course senecadoane is a friend of mine--they can say what they want to, they can call himanything they please, but what most folks here don't know is that senny is the bosom pal of some of the biggest statesmen in theworld--lord wycombe, frinstance--you know, this big british nobleman. my friend sir gerald doak told me that lordwycombe is one of the biggest guns in england--well, doak or somebody told me.""oh! do you know sir gerald? the one that was here, at the mckelveys'?"

"know him?well, say, i know him just well enough so we call each other george and jerry, and wegot so pickled together in chicago--" "that must have been fun. but--" she shook a finger at him."--i can't have you getting pickled! i'll have to take you in hand!" "wish you would!...well, zize saying: yousee i happen to know what a big noise senny doane is outside of zenith, but of course aprophet hasn't got any honor in his own country, and senny, darn his old hide, he's so blame modest that he never lets folksknow the kind of an outfit he travels with

when he goes abroad. well, during the strike clarence drum comespee-rading up to our table, all dolled up fit to kill in his nice lil cap'n'suniform, and somebody says to him, 'busting the strike, clarence?' "well, he swells up like a pouter-pigeonand he hollers, so 's you could hear him way up in the reading-room, 'yes, sure; itold the strike-leaders where they got off, and so they went home.' "'well,' i says to him, 'glad there wasn'tany violence.' "'yes,' he says, 'but if i hadn't kept myeye skinned there would 've been.

all those fellows had bombs in theirpockets. they're reg'lar anarchists.' "'oh, rats, clarence,' i says, 'i looked'em all over carefully, and they didn't have any more bombs 'n a rabbit,' i says. 'course,' i says, 'they're foolish, butthey're a good deal like you and me, after all.' "and then vergil gunch or somebody--no, itwas chum frink--you know, this famous poet- -great pal of mine--he says to me, 'lookhere,' he says, 'do you mean to say you advocate these strikes?'

well, i was so disgusted with a fellowwhose mind worked that way that i swear, i had a good mind to not explain at all--justignore him--" "oh, that's so wise!" said mrs. judique. "--but finally i explains to him: 'if you'ddone as much as i have on chamber of commerce committees and all,' i says, 'thenyou'd have the right to talk! but same time,' i says, 'i believe intreating your opponent like a gentleman!' well, sir, that held 'em!frink--chum i always call him--he didn't have another word to say. but at that, i guess some of 'em kind o'thought i was too liberal.

what do you think?""oh, you were so wise. and courageous! i love a man to have the courage of hisconvictions!" "but do you think it was a good stunt? after all, some of these fellows are sodarn cautious and narrow-minded that they're prejudiced against a fellow thattalks right out in meeting." "what do you care? in the long run they're bound to respect aman who makes them think, and with your reputation for oratory you--""what do you know about my reputation for

oratory?" "oh, i'm not going to tell you everything iknow! but seriously, you don't realize what afamous man you are." "well--though i haven't done much oratingthis fall. too kind of bothered by this paul rieslingbusiness, i guess. but--do you know, you're the first personthat's really understood what i was getting at, tanis--listen to me, will you!fat nerve i've got, calling you tanis!" "oh, do! and shall i call you george?

don't you think it's awfully nice when twopeople have so much--what shall i call it?- -so much analysis that they can discard allthese stupid conventions and understand each other and become acquainted rightaway, like ships that pass in the night?" "i certainly do!i certainly do!" he was no longer quiescent in his chair; hewandered about the room, he dropped on the couch beside her. but as he awkwardly stretched his handtoward her fragile, immaculate fingers, she said brightly, "do give me a cigarette.would you think poor tanis was dreadfully naughty if she smoked?"

"lord, no!i like it!" he had often and weightily ponderedflappers smoking in zenith restaurants, but he knew only one woman who smoked--mrs. samdoppelbrau, his flighty neighbor. he ceremoniously lighted tanis's cigarette,looked for a place to deposit the burnt match, and dropped it into his pocket."i'm sure you want a cigar, you poor man!" she crooned. "do you mind one?""oh, no! i love the smell of a good cigar; so niceand--so nice and like a man. you'll find an ash-tray in my bedroom, onthe table beside the bed, if you don't mind

getting it." he was embarrassed by her bedroom: thebroad couch with a cover of violet silk, mauve curtains striped with gold. chinese chippendale bureau, and an amazingrow of slippers, with ribbon-wound shoe- trees, and primrose stockings lying acrossthem. his manner of bringing the ash-tray hadjust the right note of easy friendliness, he felt. "a boob like verg gunch would try to getfunny about seeing her bedroom, but i take it casually."he was not casual afterward.

the contentment of companionship was gone,and he was restless with desire to touch her hand.but whenever he turned toward her, the cigarette was in his way. it was a shield between them. he waited till she should have finished,but as he rejoiced at her quick crushing of its light on the ashtray she said, "don'tyou want to give me another cigarette?" and hopelessly he saw the screen of pale smoke and her graceful tilted hand again betweenthem. he was not merely curious now to find outwhether she would let him hold her hand

(all in the purest friendship, naturally),but agonized with need of it. on the surface appeared none of all thisfretful drama. they were talking cheerfully of motors, oftrips to california, of chum frink. once he said delicately, "i do hate theseguys--i hate these people that invite themselves to meals, but i seem to have afeeling i'm going to have supper with the lovely mrs. tanis judique to-night. but i suppose you probably have seven datesalready." "well, i was thinking some of going to themovies. yes, i really think i ought to get out andget some fresh air."

she did not encourage him to stay, butnever did she discourage him. he considered, "i better take a sneak! she will let me stay--there is somethingdoing--and i mustn't get mixed up with--i mustn't--i've got to beat it."then, "no. it's too late now." suddenly, at seven, brushing her cigaretteaway, brusquely taking her hand: "tanis!stop teasing me! you know we--here we are, a couple oflonely birds, and we're awful happy together.anyway i am! never been so happy!

do let me stay! ill gallop down to the delicatessen and buysome stuff--cold chicken maybe--or cold turkey--and we can have a nice littlesupper, and afterwards, if you want to chase me out, i'll be good and go like alamb." "well--yes--it would be nice," she said.nor did she withdraw her hand. he squeezed it, trembling, and blunderedtoward his coat. at the delicatessen he bought preposterousstores of food, chosen on the principle of expensiveness. from the drug store across the street hetelephoned to his wife, "got to get a

fellow to sign a lease before he leavestown on the midnight. won't be home till late. don't wait up for me.kiss tinka good-night." he expectantly lumbered back to the flat. "oh, you bad thing, to buy so much food!"was her greeting, and her voice was gay, her smile acceptant. he helped her in the tiny white kitchen; hewashed the lettuce, he opened the olive bottle. she ordered him to set the table, and as hetrotted into the living-room, as he hunted

through the buffet for knives and forks, hefelt utterly at home. "now the only other thing," he announced,"is what you're going to wear. i can't decide whether you're to put onyour swellest evening gown, or let your hair down and put on short skirts and make-believe you're a little girl." "i'm going to dine just as i am, in thisold chiffon rag, and if you can't stand poor tanis that way, you can go to the clubfor dinner!" "stand you!" he patted her shoulder."child, you're the brainiest and the loveliest and finest woman i've ever met!

come now, lady wycombe, if you'll take theduke of zenith's arm, we will proambulate in to the magnolious feed!""oh, you do say the funniest, nicest things!" when they had finished the picnic supper hethrust his head out of the window and reported, "it's turned awful chilly, and ithink it's going to rain. you don't want to go to the movies." "well--""i wish we had a fireplace! i wish it was raining like all get-out to-night, and we were in a funny little old- fashioned cottage, and the trees thrashinglike everything outside, and a great big

log fire and--i'll tell you! let's draw this couch up to the radiator,and stretch our feet out, and pretend it's a wood-fire.""oh, i think that's pathetic! you big child!" but they did draw up to the radiator, andpropped their feet against it--his clumsy black shoes, her patent-leather slippers. in the dimness they talked of themselves;of how lonely she was, how bewildered he, and how wonderful that they had found eachother. as they fell silent the room was stillerthan a country lane.

there was no sound from the street save thewhir of motor-tires, the rumble of a distant freight-train. self-contained was the room, warm, secure,insulated from the harassing world. he was absorbed by a rapture in which allfear and doubting were smoothed away; and when he reached home, at dawn, the rapturehad mellowed to contentment serene and full of memories.

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