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CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
PAULA WEARS LAWTON'S FLOWERS TO DINNER WITH JEFF
"Before I thought, Margie," said
Paula, "I was down on my knees
holding those bruised flowers to my
breast, and when I had ceased sob
bing I exclaimed; 'Earnest Lawton,
you are a brute, and I hate you, I
"In an instant his mood changed
and, his arms about me, he implored:
'Paula, Paula, please forgive me.
Can't you see I was jealous? That
boy sweetheart of yours is the only
man I have known you to take the
slightest interest in, and when I saw
you wearing his flowers and you told
me you, who never accepts supper
engagements with anyone, were
going out with him after the show, I
just went mad, that's alL'
"Is it because we are so vain, Mar
gie, that even the slightest flattery
makes us forgive real hurts ? Be
cause Earnest was so humble I for
gave him immediately without stop
ping to think how cruel he had been.
"Even after I had become suffi
ciently calm to realize Earnest and I
were disclosing our quarrel to the
whole company and had gone to my
dressing room and put my violets in
water, I did not realize I had seen a
cruel, unreasonable, selfish character
' reveal itself.
"Instead, I thought almost exult
antly, 'Poor Earnest, he loves me so
much he is perfectly miserable.'
"I tell you, Margie, I no longer hold
to the idea that jealousy means great
love. It simply means a vain, selfish
man is not having as much deference
paid to his pride and egotism as he
thinks he' should have.
"While I was on the stage with
Miss Dayton, Earnest sent out for
flowers for me and when I got back
to my dressing' room I found my vio
lets gone and in their place a mag
nificent spray of orchids.
"Isn't it, strange that a man thinks
he can pay you with material things
for the hurts he has given j$ur
heart? I have known one woman
whose jeweled hands represented
things she had had to forgive and
pretend she had forgotten, and An
other who knew, when her husband
was more generous than usual, that
he was trying to wipe off his sins
"Earnest seemed to think if I for
gave him I would give up my sufTper
engagement with Jeff, and I had an
other exhibition of his temper when
he found out I was still determined
" 'I am hurt, Paula,' he said. 'I ex
pected your greatest joy would be' in
making me happy, and I find on ,the
first call of your old friends you
throw me over. I would haveex
pected a woman of the world io-'be
as heartless as that, but 'you, my
baby child, never.'
"Yes, dsar Margie, I can smile qver
it now when I see the extravagance
of such speeches, but then every
word spoken in that suppressed,
sobby strain that had made Earnest
Lawton's reputation as an actor cut
me to the heart.
" 'At least you will be wearing my
flowers,' said Earnest as I emerged
from my dressing room in a white
gown with his spray of orchids pin
ned against my breast.
" Tes, Earnest, but I don't know
what I can say to Jeff for not wear
ing his.' .
"As it happened I did not need to
say anything, for aside from a slight
look of surprise Jeff never-mentioned
his flowers to me.
"However, I said to him: 'Jt was
lovely of you, Jeff, to send me those
darling violets. They are my fa-
" T sent them, Paula, because my
mother told me once you reminded
her always of white violets.' '
(To Be Continued)