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قراءة كتاب Vistas of New York

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‏اللغة: English
Vistas of New York

Vistas of New York

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7


DEAREST MIRIAM,—That was a sweet letter you wrote me Christmas—just the kind of letter I hope you will always write.

And so you have decided that I’m to stay here and work hard and make a fortune and you will wait for me and you won’t be cold to me again. That’s the way I thought you would decide; and I guess it’s the decision that’s best for both of us.

What sets me up, too, is your saying you may be able to come down here for a little visit. Come as soon as you can. If the friend you’re going to stay with is really living up at One Hundredth Street, she’s a long way off, but that won’t prevent my getting up to see you as often as I can.

I shall like to show you the town and take you to see the interesting places. It will amuse me to watch the way you take things here. You’ll find out that Auburnvale is a pretty small place, after you’ve seen New York.

Of course, you’ll come to Dr. Thurston’s on Sunday with me. I wonder if you wouldn’t like to help in the Sunday-school library while you are in town? Mr. Stanwood’s going down to Florida to see about his railroad there, and he’s to take his daughter with him, so there’s nobody to give out books on Sunday.

But no matter about that, so long as you come soon. You know who will be waiting for you on the platform, trying to get a sight of you again after all these months.



NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 1895.

DEAR MIRIAM,—Do be reasonable! That’s all I ask. Don’t get excited about nothing! I confess I don’t understand you at all. I’ve heard of women carrying on this way, but I thought you had more sense! You can’t think how you distress me.

After a long month in town here, when I’d seen you as often as I could and three or four times a week most always, suddenly you break out as you did yesterday after church; and then when I go to see you this evening you’ve packed up and gone home.

Now, what had I done wrong yesterday? I can’t see. After Sunday-school you were in the library and Miss Stanwood came in unexpectedly, just back from Florida. I introduced you to her, and she was very pleasant indeed. She wouldn’t have been if she’d known how you made fun of her and called her the Gilt-Edged and all that—but then she didn’t know. She was very friendly to you and said she hoped you were to be in town all winter, since Auburnvale must be so very dull. Well, it is dull, and you know it, so you needn’t have taken offense at that. Then she said the superintendent had asked her to get up a show for the Sunday-school—a sort of magic-lantern exhibition of those photographs of the Holy Land, and she wanted to know if I wouldn’t help her. Of course, I said I would, and then you said the library was very hot and wouldn’t I come out at once.

And when we got out on the street you forbid my having anything to do with the show. Now, that’s what I call unreasonable; and I’m sure you will say so, too, when you’ve had time to think it over. And why have you run away, so that I can’t talk things over with you quietly and calmly?



NEW YORK, March 3, 1895.

MY DEAR MIRIAM,—Your letter is simply absurd. You say you “don’t believe in that Miss Stanwood,” and you want me to promise never to speak to her again. Now you can’t mean that. It is too ridiculous. I confess you puzzle me more and more. I don’t pretend to understand women, but you go beyond anything I ever heard of. What you ask is unworthy of you; it’s unworthy of me. It’s more—it’s unchristian.

But I’ll do what I can to please you. Since you have taken such a violent dislike to Miss Stanwood, I’ll agree not to go to her house again—although that will be very awkward if Mr. Stanwood asks me, won’t it? However, I suppose I can trump up some excuse. I’ll agree not to go to her house, I say; but of course, I’ve got to be polite to her when I meet her in the Sunday-school—that is, unless you want me to give up the Sunday-school, too! And I’ve got to help in the show for the boys and girls. To give up now after I’ve said I would, that would make me feel as mean as pusley. Besides, that show is going to attract a great deal of attention. All the prominent people in the church are going to come to it—people you don’t know, of course, but high-steppers, all of them. It wouldn’t really be fair to back out now.

Now that’s what I’ll do. I’ll meet you half-way. Since you seem to have taken such a violent dislike to Miss Stanwood, for no reason at all that I can see—excepting jealousy, and that’s out of the question, of course—but since you don’t like her, I’ll agree not to go to her house again. But I must go on with the photographs, and I can’t help passing the time of day when I meet her on Sunday in the library.

Will that satisfy you?



NEW YORK, March 17, 1895.

DEAR MIRIAM,—It’s two weeks now since I wrote you in answer to your letter saying you would break off our engagement unless I promised never to speak to Miss Stanwood again—and you have never sent me a line since. You seemed to think I cared for her—but I don’t. How could I care for any other girl, loving you as I do? Besides, even if I did care for her, I’d have to get over it now—since she is going to marry an officer in the navy. The wedding is set for next June, and then he takes her with him to Japan. For all you are so jealous of her, I think she is a nice girl and I hope she will be happy.

And I want to be happy, too—and I’ve been miserable ever since I got that letter of yours, so cold and so hard. I don’t see how a little bit of a girl like you can hold so much temper! But I love you in spite of it, and I don’t believe I’d really have you different if I could. So sit right down as soon as you get this and write me a good long letter, forgiving me for all I haven’t done and saying you still love me a little bit. You do, don’t you, Miriam? And if you do what’s the use of our waiting ever so long? Why shouldn’t we be married in June, too?

I’m getting on splendidly in the store and guess I’ll get another raise soon; and even now I have enough for two, if you are willing to start in with a little flat somewhere up in Harlem. We’d have to try light housekeeping at first, maybe, and perhaps table-board somewhere. But I don’t care what I eat or where I eat if only I can have you sitting at the table with me. Say you will, Miriam dear, say you will! There’s no use in our putting it off and putting it off till we’ve both got gray hair, is there?



NEW YORK, March 19, 1895.

DEAREST MIRIAM,—You don’t know how happy your letter has made me. I felt sure you would get over your tantrums sooner or later. Now you are my own little girl again, and soon you’ll be my own little wife!

But why must we put it off till June? The store closes on Decoration Day, you know, and I guess I can get the firm to let me have a day or two. So make it May 30th, won’t you?—and perhaps we can take that trip to Niagara as you said you’d like to.