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| And then he remembered that he did not love Gloria. He could not love a common thief. She was a common thief, too. You could see that in her face. There was something in her face, some unconventional thing along with the rest of her beauty, her mouth and eyes and nose-somewhere around the eyes, perhaps, or was it the mouth?-she did not have the conventional look. Emily, yes, Emily had it. He could look at Emily dispassionately, impersonally, as though he did not know her-objectively? Wasn’t it called? He could look at her and see how much she looked like dozens of girls who had been born and brought up as she had been. You saw them at the theatres, at the best cabarets and speakeasies, at the good clubs on Long Island-and then you saw the same girls, the same women, dressed the same, differing only in the accent of their speech, at clubs in other cities, at horse shows and football games and dances, at Junior League conventions. Emily, he decided after eighteen years of marriage, was a type. And he knew why she was a type, or he knew the thing that made the difference in the look of a girl like Gloria. Gloria led a certain kind of life, a sordid life; drinking and sleeping with men and God knows what all, and had seen more of "life" than Emily ever possibly would see. Whereas Emily had been brought up a certain way, always accustomed to money and the good ways of spending it. In other words, all her life Emily had been looking at nice things, nice houses, cars, pictures, grounds, clothes, people. Things that were easy to look at, and people that were easy to look at: with healthy complexions and good teeth, people who had had pasteurized milk to drink and proper food all their lives from the time they were infants; people who lived in houses that were kept clean, and painted when paint was needed, who took care of their minds, were taken care of: and they got the look that Emily and girls-women like her had. Whereas Gloria-well, take for instance the people she was with the night he saw her two nights ago, the first night he went out with her. The man that liked to eat, for instance. Where did he come from? He might have come from the Ghetto. Ligget happened to know that there were places in the slums where eighty families would use the same outside toilet. A little thing, but imagine what it must look like! Imagine having spent your formative years living like, well, somewhat the way you lived in the Army. Imagine what effect that would have on your mind. And of course a thing like that didn't only affect your mind: it showed in your face, absolutely. Not that it was so obvious in Gloria's case.' She had good teeth and a good complexion and a healthy body but there was something wrong somewhere. She had not gone to the very best schools, for instance. A little thing perhaps, but important. Her family-he didn't know anything about them; just that she lived with her mother and her mother's brother. Maybe she was a bastard. That was possible. She could be a bastard. That can happen in this country. Maybe her mother was never married. Sure, that could happen in this country. He never heard of it except among poor people and Gloria's family were not poor. But why couldn't it happen in this country? The first time he and Emily ever stayed together they took a chance on having children, and in those days people didn't know as much about not getting caught as they do today. Gloria was even older than Ruth so maybe her mother had done just what Emily had done, with no luck. Maybe Gloria's father was killed in a railroad accident or something, intending to marry Gloria's mother, but on the night he first stayed with her, maybe on his way home he was killed by an automobile or a hold-up man, or something. It could happen. There was a fellow in New Haven that was very mysterious about his family. His mother was on the stage, and nothing was ever said about his father. Liggett wished now that he had known the fellow better. Now he couldn't remember the fellow's name, but some of the fellows in Liggett's crowd had wondered about this What's-His-Name. He drew for the "Record". An artist. Well, bastards were always talented people. Some of the most famous men in history were bastards. Not bastards in any derogatory sense of the word, but love children. (How awful to be a love child. It'd be better to be a bastard. If I were a bastard I'd rather be called a bastard than a love child.) Now Gloria, she drew or painted. She was interested in art. And she certainly knew a lot of funny people. She knew that bunch of kids from New Haven, young Billy and those kids. But anybody could meet them, and anybody could meet Gloria. God damn it! That was the worst of it! Anybody could meet Gloria. He thought that all through dinner, looking at his wife, his two daughters, seeing in their faces the thing he had been thinking about a proper upbringing and looking at nice things and what it does to your face. He saw them, and he thought of Gloria, and that anybody could meet Gloria, and anybody, somebody she picked up in a speakeasy somewhere, probably was with her now, this minute.|
"I don't think I'll wait for dessert," he said. (J. O’H.)
27. But by the time he had said that, Matty was rapt, gazing at the glass on the three other walls. It was all mirror, even the backs of the doors, and it was not just plain mirrors, it distorted so that Matty saw himself half a dozen times, pulled out sideways and squashed down from above; and Mr. Hanrahan was the shape of a sofa.
"Ha," said Mr. Hanrahan. "You're admiring my bits of glass I see. Isn't that a good idea for a daily mortification of sinful pride? Mrs. Hanrahan! Where are you?"
Mrs. Hanrahan appeared as if materialized, for what with the window and the mirrors a door opening here or there was little more than a watery conflux of light. She was thinner than Matty, shorter than Mr. Hanrahan and had an air of having been used up.
"What is it, Mr. Hanrahan?"
"Here he is, I've found him!"
"Oh the poor man with his mended face!"
"I'll teach them, the awesome frivolity of it, wanting a man about the place! Girls! Come here, the lot of you!"
Then there was a watery conflux in various parts of the wall, some darkness and here and there a dazzle of light.
"My seven girls," cried Mr. Hanrahan, counting them busily. "You wanted a man about the place, did you? Too many females were there? Not a young man for a mile! I'll teach you! Here's the new man about the place! Take a good look at him!"
The girls had formed into a semicircle. There were the twins Francesca and Teresa, hardly out of the cradle, but pretty. Matty instinctively held his hand so that they should not be frightened by his left side which they could see. There was Bridget, rather taller and pretty and peering short-sightedly, and there was Bernadette who was taller and prettier and wholly nubile, and there was Cecilia who was shorter and just as pretty and nubile if anything, and there was Gabriel Jane, turner-of-heads-in-the-street, and there was the firstborn, dressed for a barbecue, Mary Michael: and whoever looked on Mary Michael was lost. (W. Gl.)
28. Never had there been so full an assembly, for mysteriously united in spite of all their differences, they had taken arms against a common peril. Like cattle when a dog comes into the field, they stood head to head and shoulder to shoulder, prepared to run upon and trample the invader to death. They had come, too, no doubt, to get some notion of what sort of presents they would ultimately be expected to give; for though the question of wedding gifts was usually graduated in this way-"What are you given'? Nicholas is given' spoons!"-so very much depended on the bridegroom. If he were sleek, well-brushed, prosperous-looking, it was more necessary to give him nice things; he would expect them. In the end each gave exactly what was right and proper, by a species of family adjustment arrived at as prices are arrived at on the Stock Exchange - the exact niceties being regulated at Timothy's commodious, red-brick residence in Bays water, overlooking the Park, where dwelt Aunts Ann, Juley and Hester.
The uneasiness of the Forsyte family has been justified by the simple mention of the hat. How impossible and wrong would it have been for any family, with the regard for appearances which should ever characterize the great upper-middle class to feel otherwise than uneasy!
The author of the uneasiness stood talking to June by the further door; his curly hair had a rumpled appearance as though he found what was going on around him unusual. He had an air, too, of having a joke all to himself.
George, speaking aside to his brother Eustace, said: "looks as if he might make a bolt of it-the dashing Buccaneer!" This "very singular-looking man", as Mrs. Small afterwards called him, was of medium height and strong build with a pale, brown face, a dust colored moustache, very prominent cheekbones, and hollow cheeks. His forehead sloped back towards the crown of his head, and bulged out in bumps over the eyes, like forehead seen in the lion-house at the Zoo. He had cherry-colored eyes, disconcertingly inattentive at times. Old Jolyon's coachman, after driving June and Bosinney to the theatre, had remarked to the bulter:
"I dunno what to make of 'im. Looks to me for all the world like an-'Alf-tame leopard."
And every now and then a Forsyte would come up, sidle round, and take a look at him. June stood in front, fending off this idle curiosity-a little bit of a thing, as somebody once said, "all hair and spirit", with fearless blue eyes, a firm jaw, and a bright color, whose face and body seemed too slender for her crown of red-gold hair.
A tall woman, with a beautiful figure, which some member of the family had once compared to a heathen goddess, stood looking at these with a shadowy smile. Her hands, gloved in French grey, were crossed one over the other, her grave, charming face held to one side, and the eyes of all men near were fastened on it. Her figure swayed, so balanced that the very air seemed to set it moving. There was warmth, but little color, in her cheeks; her large, dark eyes were soft. But it was at her lips-asking a question, giving an answer, with that shadowy smile-that men looked; they were sensitive lips, sensuous and sweet, and through them seemed to come warmth and perfume of .flower.
The engaged couple thus scrutinized were unconscious of this passive goddess. (G.)
29. Tom told them of another famous escaped slave woman. "She named Harriet Tubman. Ain't no telling' how many times she come back South an' led out different whole bunches o' folks like us to freedom up Nawth on sump'n dey's callin' de "Underground' Railroad". Fac', she done it so much dye claims by now white folks got out forty thousand dollars' worth o' rewards fo' her, alive or dead."
"Lewd have mercy, wouldn't o' thought white folks pay date much to catch no nigger in de worl!" said Sister Sarah.
He told them that in a far-distant state called California, two white men were said to have been building a sawmill when they discovered an unbelievable wealth of gold in the ground, and thousands of people were said to be rushing in in wagons, on mules, even afoot to reach the place where it was claimed that gold could be dug up by the shovelful.
He said finally that in the North great debates on the subject of slavery were being held between two white men named Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.
"Which one 'em for de niggers?" asked Gran'mammy Kizzy.
"Well, soun' like de Massa Lincoln, leas'ways de bes' I can tell," said Tom.
"Well, praise de Lawd an' give im stren'th" said Kizzy.
Sucking his teeth, Chicken George got up patting his ample belly and turned to Tom. "Looka here, boy, why'n't you'n me stretch our legs, walk off some dat meal?"
"Yassuh, Pappy," Tom almost stammered, scarcely able to conceal his amazement and trying to act casual.
The women, who were no less startled, exchanged quizzical, significant glances when Chicken George and Tom set off together down the road. Sister Sarah exclaimed softly, "Lawd, y'all realize dat boy done growed nigh as his daddy!" James and Lewis stared after their father and older brother nearly sick with envy, but they knew better than to invite themselves along. But the two younger girls, L'il Kizzy and Mary, couldn't resist leaping up and happily starting to hop-skip along eight or ten steps behind them.
Without even looking back at them, Chicken George ordered, "Git on back younder an' he'p y'all's mammy wid dem dishes'."
"Aw, Pappy," they whined in unison.
"Git, done tol’ you."
Half turning around his eyes loving his little sisters, Tom chided them gently, "Ain't y'all hear Pappy? We see you later on."
With the girls' complaining sounds behind them, they walked on in silence for a little way and Chicken George spoke almost gruffly. "Looka here, reckon you know I ain't meant no harm jes'teasin' you a l’il at dinner."
"Aw, nawsuh," Tom said, privately astounded at what amounted to an apology from his father. "I knowed you was jes' teasin'."
Grunting,Chicken George said, "What say we head on down an' look in on dem chickens? See what keepin' dat nocount L'il George down dere so long. All I knows, he mighta cooked an' et up some dem chickens fo' his Thankagivin' by now."
Tom laughed. "L'il George mean well, Pappy. He jes' a l’il slow. He done tol’ me he jes' don' love dem birds like you does." Tom paused, then decided to venture his accompanying thougnt. "I 'speck nobody in de worl' loves dem birds like you does."
But Chicken George agreed readily enough. "Nobody in dis family, anyways. I done tried 'em all 'ceptin 'you. Seem like all de res' my boys willin' to spend dey lives draggin' from one end of a fiel’ to de other, lookin' up a mule' butt'." He considered for a moment. "Yo' blacksmithin', wouldn't 'zackly call dat no high livin' neither-nothin' like gamecoclin'-but leas' ways it's a man's work."
Tom wondered if his father ever seriously respected anything excepting fighting chickens. He felt deeply grateful that somehow he had escaped into the solid, stable trade of blacksmithing. But he expressed his thoughts in an oblique way. "Don't see nothin' wrong wid farmin', Pappy. If some folks wasn't farming, 'speck nobody wouldn't be eatin'. I jes' took to bfacksmithin' same as you wid gamecoclin', 'cause I loves it, an' de Lawd gimme a knack fo' it. Jes' ever'body don' love de same things."
"Well, leas' you an' me got sense to make money doin' what we likes," said Chicken George. (Al. H.)
30. It was a flaking three-storey house in the ancient part of the city, a century old if it was a day, but like all houses it had .been given a thin fireproof plastic sheath many years ago, and this preservative shell seemed to be the only thing holding it in the sky.
"Here we are."
The engine slammed to a stop. Beatty, Stoneman and Black ran up the sidewalk, suddenly odious and fat in the plump fireproof slickers. Montag followed.
They crashed the front door and grabbed at a woman, though she was not running, she was not trying to escape. She was only standing, weaving from side to side, her eyes fixed upon a nothingness in the wall as if they had struck her a terrible blow upon the head. Her tongue was moving in her mouth, and her eyes seemed to be trying to remember something.
Next thing they were up in musty blackness, swinging silver hatchets at doors that were, after all, unlocked, tumbling through like boys all rollic and shout. "Hey!" A .fountain of books sprang down upon Montag as he climbed shuddering up the sheer stair-well. How inconvenient! Always before it had been like snuffing a candle. The police went first and adhesive-taped the victim's mouth and bandaged him off into their glittering beetle cars, so when you arrived you found an empty house. You weren't hurting anyone, you were hurting only things! And since things really couldn't be hurt, since things felt nothing, and things don't scream and cry out, there was nothing to tease your conscience later. You were simply cleaning up. Janitorial work, essentially. Everything to its proper place. Quick with the kerosene! Who's got a match?
But now, tonight, someone had slipped. This woman was spoiling the ritual. The men were making too much noise, laughing, joking to cover her terrible accusing silence below. She made the empty rooms roar with accusation and shake down a fine dust of guilt that was sucked in their nostrils as they plunged about. It was neither-cricket nor correct. Montag felt an immense irritation. She shouldn't be here, on top of everything!
Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book alighted, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering. In the dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush and fervour, Montag had only an instant to read a line, but it blazed in his mind for the next minute as if stamped there with fiery steel. 'Time has fallen asleep in the, afternoon sunshine." He dropped the book. Immediately, another fell into his arms.
"Montag, up here!"
Montag's hand closed like a mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest. The men above were hurling shovelfuls of magazines into the dusty air. They fell like slaughtered birds and the woman stood below, like a small girl, among the bodies.
Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand, with a brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling finger, had turned thief. Now, it .plunged the book back under his arm, pressed it tight to sweating armpit, rushed out empty, with a magician's flourish! Look here! Innocent! Look!
He gazed, shaken, at that white hand. He held it way out, as if he were far-sighted. He held it close, as if he were blind.
He jerked about.
"Don't stand there, idiot!"
The books lay like great mounds of fishes left to dry. The men danced and slipped and fell over them. Titles glittered their golden eyes falling, gone.
They pumped the cold fluid from the numbered 451 tanks strapped to their shoulders. They coated each book, they pumped rooms full of it.
They hurried downstairs, Montag staggered after them in the kerosene fumes.
"Come on, woman!"
The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes accused Montag,
"You can't ever have my books," she said.
"You know the law," said Beatty. "Where's your common sense? None of those books agree with each other. You've been locked up here for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel. Snap out of it. The people in those books never lived. Come on now!"
She shook her head.
"The whole house is going up," said Beatty.
The men walked clumsily to the door. They glanced back at Montag; who stood near the woman.
"You're not leaving her here?" he protested.
"She won't come."
"Force her, then!"
Beatty raised his hand in which was concealed the igniter. "We're due back at the house. Besides, these fanatics always try suicide; the pattern's familiar."
Montag placed his hand on the woman's elbow. "You can come with me."
"No," she said. 'Thank you, anyway."
"I'm counting to ten," said Beatty." One. Two."
"Please," said Montag.
"Go on," said the woman.
" Three. Four."
"Here." Montag pulled at the woman.
The woman replied quietly. "I want to stay here."
"You can't stop counting," she said. She opened the fingers of one hand slightly and in the palm of the hand was a single slender object.
An ordinary kitchen match.
The sight of it rushed the men out and down away from the house. Captain Beatty, keeping his dignity, backed slowly through the front, door, his pink face burnt and shiny from a thousand fires and night excitements. God, thought Montag, how true! Always at night the alarm comes. Never by day! Is it because the fire is prettier by night? More spectacle, a better show? The pink face of Beatty now showed the faintest panic in the door. The woman's hand twitched on the single matchstick. The fumes of kerosene bloomed up about her. Montag felt the hidden book pound like a heart against his chest. (R. Br.)
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