酷兔英语



LITTLE EVE EDGARTON

BY

ELEANOR HALLOWELL ABBOTT

Author of "Molly Make Believe," "The White Linen Nurse," etc.

With Illustrations by

R.M. CROSBY

NEW YORK

THE CENTURY CO.

1914

_Published, September, 1914_

[Illustration: "Music! Flowers! Palms! Catering! Everything!"]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"Music! Flowers! Palms! Catering! Everything!"

"I am riding," she murmured almost inaudibly

"I would thereforerespectfully suggest as a special topic of

conversation the consummate cheek of--yours truly, Paul Reymouth

Edgarton!"

"Your PAPER-DOLL BOOK?" stammered Barton

"Don't delay me!" she said, "I've got to make four hundred muffins!"

Suddenly full comprehension broke upon him and he fairly blurted out

his astonishing information

"You're nice," he said. "I like you!"

"Any time that you people want me," suggested Edgarton's icy voice, "I

am standing here--in about the middle of the floor!"

LITTLE EVE EDGARTON

CHAPTER I

"But you live like such a fool--of course you're bored!" drawled the

Older Man, rummaging listlessly through his pockets for the

ever-elusive match.

"Well, I like your nerve!" protested the Younger Man with unmistakable

asperity.

"Do you--really?" mocked the Older Man, still smiling very faintly.

For a few minutes then both men resumed their cigars, staring

blinkishly out all the while from their dark green piazza corner into

the dazzling white tennis courts that gleamed like so many slippery

pine planks in the afternoon glare and heat. The month was August, the

day typically handsome, typically vivid, typically caloric.

It was the Younger Man who recovered his conversational interest

first. "So you think I'm a fool?" he resumed at last quite abruptly.

"Oh, no--no! Not for a minute!" denied the Older Man. "Why, my dear

sir, I never even implied that you were a fool! All I said was that

you--lived like a fool!"

Starting to be angry, the Younger Man laughed instead. "You're

certainly rather an amusing sort of chap," he acknowledged

reluctantly.

A gleam of real pride quickened most ingenuously in the Older Man's

pale blue eyes. "Why, that's just the whole point of my argument," he

beamed. "Now--you look interesting. But you aren't! And I--don't look

interesting. But it seems that I am!"

"You--you've got a nerve!" reverted the Younger Man.

Altogether serenely the Older Man began to rummage again through all

his pockets. "Thank you for your continuous compliments," he mused.

"Thank you, I say. Thank you--very much. Now for the very first time,

sir, it's beginning to dawn on me just why you have honored me with

so much of your company--the past three or four days. I truly believe

that you like me! Eh? But up to last Monday, if I remember correctly,"

he added drily, "it was that showy young Philadelphia crowd that was

absorbing the larger part of your--valuable attention? Eh? Wasn't it?"

"What in thunder are you driving at?" snapped the Younger Man. "What

are you trying to string me about, anyway? What's the harm if I did

say that I wished to glory I'd never come to this blasted hotel? Of

all the stupid people! Of all the stupid places! Of all the

stupid--everything!"

"The mountains here are considered quite remarkable by some,"

suggested the Older Man blandly.

"Mountains?" snarled the Younger Man. "Mountains? Do you think for a

moment that a fellow like me comes to a God-forsaken spot like this

for the sake of mountains?"

A trifle noisily the Older Man jerked his chair around and, slouching

down into his shabby gray clothes, with his hands thrust deep into his

pockets, his feet shoved out before him, sat staring at his companion.

Furrowed abruptly from brow to chin with myriad infinitesimal wrinkles

of perplexity, his lean, droll face looked suddenly almost monkeyish

in its intentness.

"What does a fellow like you come to a place like this for?" he asked

bluntly.

"Why--tennis," conceded the Younger Man. "A little tennis. And golf--a

little golf. And--and--"

"And--girls," asserted the Older Man with precipitous conviction.

Across the Younger Man's splendidly tailored shoulders a little

flicker of self-consciousness went crinkling. "Oh, of course," he

grinned. "Oh, of course I've got a vacationist's usual partiality for

pretty girls. But Great Heavens!" he began, all over again. "Of all

the stupid--!"

"But you live like such a fool--of course you're bored," resumed the

Older Man.

"There you are at it again!" stormed the Younger Man with tempestuous

resentment.

"Why shouldn't I be 'at it again'?" argued the Older Man mildly.

"Always and forever picking out the showiest people that you can

find--and always and forever being bored to death with them

eventually, but never learning anything from it--that's you! Now

wouldn't that just naturally suggest to any observing stranger that

there was something radically idiotic about your method of life?"

"But that Miss Von Eaton looked like such a peach!" protested the

Younger Man worriedly.

"That's exactly what I say," droned the Older Man.

"Why, she's the handsomest girl here!" insisted the Younger Man

arrogantly.

"That's exactly what I say," droned the Older Man.

"And the best dresser!" boasted the Younger Man stubbornly.

"That's exactly what I say," droned the Older Man.

"Why, just that pink paradise hat alone would have knocked almost any

chap silly," grinned the Younger Man a bit sheepishly.

"Humph!" mused the Older Man still droningly. "Humph! When a chap

falls in love with a girl's hat at a summer resort, what he ought to

do is to hike back to town on the first train he can catch--and go

find the milliner who made the hat!"

"Hike back to--town?" gibed the Younger Man. "Ha!" he sneered. "A chap

would have to hike back a good deal farther than 'town' these days to

find a girl that was worth hiking back for! What in thunder's the

matter with all the girls?" he queried petulantly. "They get stupider

and stupider every summer! Why, the peachiest debutante you meet the

whole season can't hold your interest much beyond the stage where you

once begin to call her by her first name!"

Irritably, as he spoke, he reached out for a bright-covered magazine

from the great pile of books and papers that sprawled on the wicker

table close at his elbow. "Where in blazes do the story-book writers

find their girls?" he demanded. Noisily with his knuckles he began to

knock through page after page of the magazine's big-typed

advertisements concerning the year's most popular story-book heroines.

"Why--here are no end of story-book girls," he complained, "that could

keep a fellow guessing till his hair was nine shades of white! Look at

the corking things they say! But what earthly good are any of 'em to

you? They're not real! Why, there was a little girl in a magazine

story last month--! Why, I could have died for her! But confound it, I

say, what's the use? They're none of 'em real! Nothing but moonshine!

Nothing in the world, I tell you, but just plain made-up moonshine!

Absolutely improbable!"

Slowly the Older Man drew in his long, rambling legs and crossed one

knee adroitly over the other.

"Improbable--your grandmother!" said the Older Man. "If there's--one

person on the face of this earth who makes me sick it's the ninny who

calls a thing 'improbable' because it happens to be outside his own

special, puny experience of life."

Tempestuously the Younger Man slammed down his magazine to the floor.

"Great Heavens, man!" he demanded. "Where in thunder would a fellow

like me start out to find a story-book girl? A real girl, I mean!"

"Almost anywhere--outside yourself," murmured the Older Man blandly.

"Eh?" jerked the Younger Man.

"That's what I said," drawled the Older Man with unruffled suavity.

"But what's the use?" he added a trifle more briskly. "Though you

searched a thousand years! A 'real girl'? Bah! You wouldn't know a

'real girl' if you saw her!"

"I tell you I would!" snapped the Younger Man.

"I tell you--you wouldn't!" said the Older Man.

"Prove it!" challenged the Younger Man.

"It's already proved!" confided the Older Man. "Ha! I know your type!"

he persisted frankly. "You're the sort of fellow, at a party, who

just out of sheer fool-instinct will go trampling down every other man

in sight just for the sheer fool-joy of trying to get the first dance

with the most conspicuously showy-looking, most conspicuously

artificial-looking girl in the room--who always and invariably 'bores

you to death' before the evening is over! And while you and the rest

of your kind are battling together--year after year--for this special

privilege of being 'bored to death,' the 'real girl' that you're

asking about, the marvelous girl, the girl with the big, beautiful,

unspoken thoughts in her head, the girl with the big, brave, undone

deeds in her heart, the girl that stories are made of, the girl whom

you call 'improbable'--is moping off alone in some dark, cold

corner--or sitting forlornly partnerless against the bleak wall of the

ballroom--or hiding shyly up in the dressing-room--waiting to be

discovered! Little Miss Still-Waters, deeper than ten thousand seas!

Little Miss Gunpowder, milder than the dusk before the moon ignites

it! Little Miss Sleeping-Beauty, waiting for her Prince!"

"Oh, yes--I suppose so," conceded the Younger Man impatiently. "But

that Miss Von Eaton--"

"Oh, it isn't that I don't know a pretty face--or hat, when I see it,"

interrupted the Older Man nonchalantly. "It's only that I don't put my

trust in 'em." With a quick gesture, half audacious, half apologetic,

he reached forward suddenly and tapped the Younger Man's coat sleeve.

"Oh, I knew just as well as you," he affirmed, "oh, I knew just as

well as you--at my first glance--that your gorgeous young Miss Von

Eaton was excellingly handsome. But I also knew--not later certainly

than my second glance--that she was presumably rather stupid. You

can't be interesting, you know, my young friend, unless you do

interesting things--and handsome creatures are proverbially lazy.

Humph! If Beauty is excuse enough for Being, it sure takes Plainness

then to feel the real necessity for--Doing.

"So, speaking of hats, if it's stimulating conversation that you're

after, if you're looking for something unique, something significant,

something really worth while--what you want to do, my young friend, is

to find a girl with a hat you'd be ashamed to go out with--and stay

home with her! That's where you'll find the brains, the originality,

the vivacity, the sagacity, the real ideas!"

With his first sign of genuineamusement the Younger Man tipped back

his head and laughed right up into the green-lined roof of the piazza.

"Now just whom would you speciallyrecommend for me?" he demanded

mirthfully. "Among all the feminine galaxy of bores and frumps that

seem to be congregated at this particular hotel--just whom would you

specially recommend for me? The stoop-shouldered, school-marmy Botany

dame with her incessant garden gloves? Or?--Or--?" His whole face

brightened suddenly with a rather extraordinaryamount of humorous

malice: "Or how about that duddy-looking little Edgarton girl that I

saw you talking with this morning?" he asked delightedly. "Heaven

knows she's colorless enough to suit even you--with her

winter-before-spring-before-summer-before-last clothes and her voice

so meek you'd have to hold her in your lap to hear it. And her--"

"That 'duddy-looking' little Miss Edgarton--meek?" mused the Older Man

in sincere astonishment. "Meek? Why, man alive, she was born in a

snow-shack on the Yukon River! She was at Pekin in the Boxer

Rebellion! She's roped steers in Oklahoma! She's matched her

embroidery silks to all the sunrise tints on the Himalayas! Just why

in creation should she seem meek--do you suppose--to a--to

a--twenty-five-dollar-a-week clerk like yourself?"

"'A twenty-five-dollar-a-week clerk like myself?'" the Younger Man

fairly gasped. "Why--why--I'm the juniorpartner of the firm of Barton

& Barton, stock-brokers! Why, we're the biggest--"

"Is that so?" quizzed the Older Man with feigned surprise.

"Well--well--well! I beg your pardon. But now doesn't it all go to

prove just exactly what I said in the beginning--that it doesn't

behoove a single one of us to judge too hastily by appearances?"

As if fairly overwhelmed with embarrassment he sat staring silently

off into space for several seconds. Then--"Speaking of this Miss

Edgarton," he resumed genially, "have you ever exactly sought her

out--as it were--and actually tried to get acquainted with her?"

"No," said Barton shortly. "Why, the girl must be thirty years old!"

"S--o?" mused the Older Man. "Just about your age?"

"I'm thirty-two," growled the Younger Man.

"I'm sixty-two, thank God!" acknowledged the Older Man. "And your

gorgeous Miss Von Eaton--who bores you so--all of a sudden--is

about--?"

"Twenty," prompted the Younger Man.

"Poor--senile--babe," ruminated the Older Man soberly.

"Eh?" gasped the Younger Man, edging forward in his chair. "Eh?

'Senile'? Twenty?"

"Sure!" grinned the Older Man. "Twenty is nothing but the 'sere and

yellow leaf' of infantile caprice! But thirty is the jocund youth of

character! On land or sea the Lord Almighty never made anything as

radiantly, divinely young as--thirty! Oh, but thirty's the darling age

in a woman!" he added with sudden exultant positiveness. "Thirty's the

birth of individuality! Thirty's the--"

"Twenty has got quite enough individuality for me, thank you!"

asserted Barton with some curtness.

"But it hasn't!" cried the Older Man hotly. "You've just confessed

that it hasn't!" In an amazingimpulse of protest he reached out and

shook his freckled fist right under the Younger Man's nose. "Twenty, I

tell you, hasn't got any individuality at all!" he persisted

vehemently.

"Twenty isn't anything at all except the threadbare cloak of her

father's idiosyncrasies, lined with her mother's made-over tact,

trimmed with her great-aunt somebody's short-lipped smile, shrouding a

brand-new frame of--God knows what!"

"Eh? What?" questioned the Younger Man uneasily.

"When a girl is twenty, I tell you," persisted the Older Man--"there's

not one marrying man among us--Heaven help us!--who can swear whether

her charm is Love's own permanent food or just Nature's temporary

bait! At twenty, I tell you, there's not one man among us who can

prove whether vivacity is temperament or just plain kiddishness;


生词表:
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • continuous [kən´tinjuəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.连续不断的;延长的   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • thunder [´θʌndə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.雷 vi.打雷 vt.吼出   (初中英语单词)
  • stupid [´stju:pid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.愚蠢的;糊涂的   (初中英语单词)
  • remarkable [ri´mɑ:kəbl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.值得注意的;显著的   (初中英语单词)
  • trifle [´traifəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.琐事,小事;少量   (初中英语单词)
  • thrust [θrʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.猛推;冲;刺;挤进   (初中英语单词)
  • abruptly [ə´brʌptli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.突然地;粗鲁地   (初中英语单词)
  • learning [´lə:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.学习;学问;知识   (初中英语单词)
  • paradise [´pærədais] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天堂;乐园   (初中英语单词)
  • resort [ri´zɔ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.求助;乞灵;诉诸   (初中英语单词)
  • frankly [´fræŋkli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.直率地;慷慨地   (初中英语单词)
  • marvelous [´mɑ:viləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  (=marvellous) a.奇异的   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • gesture [´dʒestʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手势 v.打手势   (初中英语单词)
  • ashamed [ə´ʃeimd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惭愧;不好意思   (初中英语单词)
  • amusement [ə´mju:zmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.娱乐;文娱设施   (初中英语单词)
  • recommend [,rekə´mend] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.推荐;使受欢迎   (初中英语单词)
  • extraordinary [ik´strɔ:dinəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.非常的;额外的   (初中英语单词)
  • amount [ə´maunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总数;数量 v.合计   (初中英语单词)
  • sincere [sin´siə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.真挚的;直率的   (初中英语单词)
  • astonishment [ə´stɔniʃmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.吃惊;惊异   (初中英语单词)
  • creation [kri´eiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.创作;作品;创造   (初中英语单词)
  • junior [´dʒu:niə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.年少的 n.年少者   (初中英语单词)
  • partner [´pɑ:tnə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.伙伴 v.同….合作   (初中英语单词)
  • pardon [´pɑ:dən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.原谅;饶恕;赦免   (初中英语单词)
  • hastily [´heistili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.急速地;草率地   (初中英语单词)
  • actually [´æktʃuəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.事实上;实际上   (初中英语单词)
  • shortly [´ʃɔ:tli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.立刻,马上;不久   (初中英语单词)
  • darling [´dɑ:liŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.爱人 a.亲爱的   (初中英语单词)
  • amazing [ə´meiziŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惊人的;惊奇的   (初中英语单词)
  • impulse [´impʌls] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.推动(力);冲动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • permanent [´pə:mənənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.永久的;不变的   (初中英语单词)
  • comprehension [,kɔmpri´henʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.理解;领悟   (高中英语单词)
  • astonishing [əs´tɔniʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.令人惊讶的   (高中英语单词)
  • tennis [´tenis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.网球(运动)   (高中英语单词)
  • amusing [ə´mju:ziŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有趣的   (高中英语单词)
  • shabby [´ʃæbi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.(衣服)破旧的   (高中英语单词)
  • concerning [kən´sə:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  prep.关于   (高中英语单词)
  • earthly [´ə:θli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.地球的;世俗的   (高中英语单词)
  • confound [kən´faund] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.混淆;使惊惶   (高中英语单词)
  • invariably [in´veəriəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不变地;永恒地   (高中英语单词)
  • gorgeous [´gɔ:dʒəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.华丽的;宜人的   (高中英语单词)
  • unique [ju:´ni:k] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.唯一的 n.独一无二   (高中英语单词)
  • genuine [´dʒenjuin] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.真正的;真诚的   (高中英语单词)
  • specially [´speʃəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.专门地;特别地   (高中英语单词)
  • sunrise [´sʌnraiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.日出,黎明   (高中英语单词)
  • temperament [´tempərəmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.气质;性格   (高中英语单词)
  • respectfully [ris´pektfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.恭敬地   (英语四级单词)
  • trying [´traiiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.难堪的;费劲的   (英语四级单词)
  • myriad [´miriəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.极大数量 a.无数的   (英语四级单词)
  • perplexity [pə´pleksiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.困惑;为难;纷乱   (英语四级单词)
  • briskly [´briskli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.轻快地;活泼地   (英语四级单词)
  • impatiently [im´peiʃəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不耐烦地,急躁地   (英语四级单词)
  • feminine [´feminin] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.女性的   (英语四级单词)
  • barton [´bɑ:tn] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(庄园中的)农场   (英语四级单词)
  • embarrassment [im´bærəsmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.窘迫;困惑;为难   (英语四级单词)
  • almighty [ɔ:l´maiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.万能的;全能的   (英语四级单词)
  • freckled [´frekld] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有雀斑的,有斑点的   (英语四级单词)
  • consummate [kɔn´sʌmit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.完美的 vt.完成;圆房   (英语六级单词)
  • piazza [pi´ætsə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.广场;市场   (英语六级单词)
  • august [ɔ:´gʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尊严的;威严的   (英语六级单词)
  • splendidly [´splendidli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.光彩夺目地;辉煌地   (英语六级单词)
  • gunpowder [´gʌn,paudə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.火药   (英语六级单词)
  • presumably [pri´zju:məbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.推测起来;大概   (英语六级单词)
  • speaking [´spi:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说话 a.发言的   (英语六级单词)
  • sagacity [sə´gæsəti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.精明;敏锐;有远见   (英语六级单词)
  • incessant [in´sesənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不断的,不停的   (英语六级单词)
  • jocund [´dʒɔkənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.欢乐的,愉快的   (英语六级单词)
  • individuality [,individʒu´æləti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.个性;特征   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:44:03
    文章信息 浏览:0 评论:  赞: