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“And stop being the corner policeman patrolling his beat.”
Ii HA PTE R MV
Byrd quickly- turned out the silk
haded lamp on the little mahogany
able between their beds. She knew
‘he was making a mistake to let
Tarry know his behavior worried
But Tarry turned on the light
over his chifforobe ard saw that she
was not asleep.
“Hope you're not getting the ‘sit
ting up and waiting for my poor,
[wandering l>oy habit* like "ine of
*the wives I know,” he said, sarcas
Tarry’s xves looked tired and
bloodshot. He always boasted of his
tremendous energy. but hi? phy
sique. strong and vigorous as it was.
Occasionally showed strain.
’’Now that you’ve mentioned it.”
said Byrd, calmlv, knowing that she
should have maintained a discreet
silence but some little devil was
urging her on, "what took you so
long? 1 believe it's about n fifteen
minute ride to India’s and back.”
“What is this—a entechism class?”
| Tarry turned toward her angrily.
’ “I’ve known India a long time, and
I still consider her one of my best
friends. Don't ever think I'll feel it
i necessary to give you an accounting
i of the time I spend with her. Just
i because I’m married* dor’t think for
b an instant that I’m wearing a bi ll
and chain. ton.”
“Tarry.” implored Ttyrd. “please
don't say such things. You know
how you'd fee! if I were ~npp for
an unaccountable period of time at
this* time of night. Why. suppose
. I'd been out with Jack or Ch"t wlth
i out an explanation; you’d feel up
set about it. too.”
“I’d he tickled to dea’b.” said Tar
ry. in a pasty tone. “I'll give you
! an ultimatum right per* end now
l jMat because we're married to c->ch
^Rh< r isn’t go ng to mean comrleto
ownership! V t hv a long shot!
T’ll spend my time just as I see fit.
1 And ron have the same privilege.”
“But Tarry.” protested Bvrd, tears
f' brimming in her 'due velvet eyes,
“there’s nobody in the world I’d
rather be with than you. Whv
should T want to run around with
I “Simnlv hecau*e it'll keep you T'k
Ing me best.” said Tarrv, calming
\ down. ‘I don’t hesitate fo say that
f If I never raw anybody byt you. I’d
tire of you very soon.”
‘Then I don’t b*lievp vou really
ever loved me." said Bvr !. the tears
runring quietly down her cheeks.
(‘‘Well, as u-ual. you heg'n dbcus
sions that t.iko the whole night to
finish.’’ -aid Tarry, ominously. “I*d
. like to try to ret a little sleep. srd
f discussing whether vou think I love
< you or not would bo quits futile.
< I’m simply deed.”
I Lsrrv got into bed and turned out
■ the light.
The silence lay like a heavy vapor
/' In the room. It was broken only by
Byrd's choked-hack sohr.
"Cut it out. for heaven’s sake!”
exploded Larry, savagely. 11“ turned
his hack to prevent his being dis
He was soon asleep. But Byrd lay
1 wide awake, her active mind politic
' ing upon the crags of their conversa
tion and hanging to them, sharp
points that kept cutting deeper and
Her fevered brain was telling her}
how badly she was being treated.
Here she was, away from the family
that idolized her! Being abused!
And married just a little more than
* • •
Byrd was up at the usual hour.
She could not sleep late when she
knew the apartment was in disorder.
She divided her golden fountain of
j hair into two loose coils and wound
I them nbout her head. It gave her
a neculinrly saint-like, madonna
, touch. Her father had loved her
hair and had not war ed her to cut
She slipped a straight tube of
gingham dress over her head and
was ready. She opened up all the
windows. The clear morning sun
shine swept away all the fetid odors
l that had hung about the rooms.
Byrd moved about efficiently,
keeping her mind intently upon ’"h it
she was doing. She ran the cheap
little carpet sweeper around the
rugs. Larry hadn’t been able to see
the need of an electric one in so
small an annrtmert. and still this
one started the dust to flying. With
n whiskbroom she swent up the lit
tle mounds of ashes that hnd been
ruthlessly dumned on the floor. She
found more ashtrays scattered about
and carried them out to wash them.
She heard Larry’s bath water run
ning. so she put in the eggs. She
let them stand in boiling water six
minutes, exactly, from the time he
hegan to sir.g in n vibrant baritone,
into which he put all the energy of
a night's sleep.
For the lait week hia favorite had
"There'll only he the two of us,
' Nobody else to make a fuss.
And don’t you see that’s enough, the
two of us
W iirn we have tea, tlicrc'll never
Say five or four, or ever, three,
Th-re’M just he the two of us.”
Byrd groaned each njorning ovet
those lines, and wished thev were
Larry knew the latest jazz, and
his only regret was that thev didn’t
have a piano so he could play his
own accompaniments. Larry at the
piano was irresistible. He ployed
with a nervous syreoration which
made you feel that quicksilver was
running through his fingers.
Byrd wasn't able to keep her mind
off her troubles this morning, hard
as she tried. Her soul was tf'rn be
tween conflict’ng emotions. She de
cided she would never have broker
to Larry last night about India if
i-he hadn’t had something *o drink.
That last highball, she gue'sed, had
made her bold and resentful.
This morning that mood had van
ished and had left a grrtt ache in
her heart—an unbearable weight
which pressed her down ... a pon
derable mass of accumulated worry.
Byrd thought she could endure
almost anything except those wordy
battles in which mild criticism grew
into heated statements and wild ar
(usations. She resolved that In the
future, no matter what the provoca
tion. she would he silent. I.arry
would be so surprised at her humil
ity that his shame would keep him
silert, too. It would make him
i think. And if she didn't say a word.
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he wouldn't have any excuse for
Byrd waited for Larry's song in
vain. It was • bad omen—that si
lence! So she dropped in the egg*.
She started a song of her own, in her
high, clear soprano, to let Larry
know that she wasn't holding any
thing against him.
Larry sat down at his place at the
gate-legged table and, without a
word to Byrd, took up the morning
“How do you feel, dear?’' said
Byrd, brightly, as she filled up his
glass with icc wated. He drank four
in succession before he answered her.
“All right," he said, curtly.
Larry r.te his breakfast, looking
through the paper leisurely at the
same time. Byrd sat at one end of
the table looking at him unhappily.
Neither of them said a word.
“Cvll up Jack Dun<*an and ask him
to pick me up on his way to the
office." said Larry, without glancing
j in Byrd's direction.
“Larry,* said Byrd, in a small,
plaintive voice, after she had waited
a few minutes for him to break the
silence. “I’m sorry I was so upset
about things last night. I shouldn't
have mentioned it. 1 know. I—I—"
Larry finished reading the para
grrph before glancing up from the
“Byrd, I just wish you’d remember
that if I hadn't been very much in
love with you. I wouldn't have mar
ried vou.” There wss just a touch
of the indulgent, patronizing male in
Larry’* voire. “We're not going to
dictate to each other how our lives
are to be lived. What interests and
amuses me. nnoarently doesn’t inter
est you. You’ve just got to learn to
throw yourself into these parties and
get some fun out of them, and stop
being the corner policeman, patrol
ling his beat."
“I’ll do anything to avoid these
after-party squabbles," raid Byrd
But Bvrd felt the injustice of
Larry’a logic. With each discussion
Larry managed, in his suave way, to
lay the burden of the quarrel oa
Byrd’s shoulders. He intimated how
that if sha were sensible, they could
live without friction.
Larry had built a small wine cup
board into the wall of their clothes
closet. Out of it now he brought a
half dozen bottles and packed them
into a hag.
“That gang certainly put a hole
into my liquor last night.” said
Larry, ruefully, wrapping each bottle
in newspaper and packing it care
fully in the bag. Sunday I’m going
to celebrate the Sabbath by making
a three months* supply of bath-tub
“What are you going to do with
that?" asked Byrd, pointing to the
“Keep it in the office in the safe.
1*11 put it down as office supplies in
my expense account." laughed Larry.
His good humor was finally restored.
They went into the living room to
wait for Jack.
Byrd had been waiting for a week
for an opportunity to discuss "ex
“Larry, dear,” she began, “you
know some time ago you said you’d
put a sum of money into a checking
account every month for my use to
pay my personal expenses and to run
the house. Perhaps you’ve forgotten
about it. But it’s almost the middle
of the month. I’ve had to ask you
for small amounts every little while,
and I spend it without your know
ing what it’s for or how much you’ve
given me. And it’s not businesslike.
I>o you think you can get enough in
the hank for me to cover last month's
bills and allow something toward this
“Now that's a matter I wanted to
talk over with you. too.” said Larry,
lighting a cigarette. “I’ve told you
about Jack and me buying the ma
jority stock of the Builders’ Funply
company and floating it ourselves.
It's a big chance to make a w’ad of
money. It’s entirely our own ven
ture. by agreement with the firm.
We're soon starting a big tales cam
paign. Circular letters. Magazine
and newspaper advertising. In fact,
we're putting every penny we can
scrape together into it.”
“Oh. it sounds just too wonderful,"
said Byrd, enthusiastically, with ex
citement shining from her deep blue
eyes. Then she grew sober. “I wish
you weren't in it with Jack. Some
how, I don't trust him.”
Larry looked at her quizzically.
“I bet I know why you don’t. He
made love to you last night.”
“‘Why, how do you know?" asked
“The way you looked when you
came in.” said Larry, snriling.
“He acted terribly." admitted Byrd.
“I was frightened.”
“Oh, prunes and piffles!” said
Larry, dropping his ashes into the
ash-tray. “He was only fooling. A
little kiss and a little hug are as
harmless as a cheese sandwich. For
Larry's face became set.
“Now listen, honey. I’m dead seri
ous about expenditures this month.”
His eyes looked particularly hard.
“Charge what you can. and don't buy
anything you don’t need. Cash is
going to be mighty scarce for a little
Larry took out his bill book and,
to Byrd’s amazement, there was a
roll of ten and twenty-dollar bills
folded tightly into it. He handed her
a ten-dollar bil.
“Will that last until Monday?”
“But Larry,” expostulated Byrd,
“talk about not having any cash—”
“I’ve got to pay a bill todav and I
don't want the transaction to go into
my check book.” he said, irritably.
Byrd decided not to question him
Larry had just brought home a
case of Scotch the night before last.
Prartically all the things that Larry
wanted were so important to his hap
piness that he thought of them as
And Scotch was in this class!
(TO BF. CONTINUED)
_ _ -J
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