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What Diantha Did

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✒ Автор
📖 Страниц 277
⏰ Время чтения 10 часов
💡 Опубликовано 1912
🌏 Язык оригинала Английский
📌 Тип Роман

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What Diantha Did: читать книгу в оригинале на английском

CHAPTER I. HANDICAPPED

One may use the Old Man of the Sea,
For a partner or patron,
But helpless and hapless is he
Who is ridden, inextricably,
By a fond old mer-matron.

The Warden house was more impressive in appearance than its neighbors. It had “grounds,” instead of a yard or garden; it had wide pillared porches and “galleries,” showing southern antecedents; moreover, it had a cupola, giving date to the building, and proof of the continuing ambitions of the builders.
The stately mansion was covered with heavy flowering vines, also with heavy mortgages. Mrs. Roscoe Warden and her four daughters reposed peacefully under the vines, while Roscoe Warden, Jr., struggled desperately under the mortgages.
A slender, languid lady was Mrs. Warden, wearing her thin but still brown hair in “water-waves” over a pale high forehead. She was sitting on a couch on the broad, rose-shaded porch, surrounded by billowing masses of vari-colored worsted. It was her delight to purchase skein on skein of soft, bright-hued wool, cut it all up into short lengths, tie them together again in contrasting colors, and then crochet this hashed rainbow into afghans of startling aspect. California does not call for afghans to any great extent, but “they make such acceptable presents,” Mrs. Warden declared, to those who questioned the purpose of her work; and she continued to send them off, on Christmases, birthdays, and minor weddings, in a stream of pillowy bundles. As they were accepted, they must have been acceptable, and the stream flowed on.
Around her, among the gay blossoms and gayer wools, sat her four daughters, variously intent. The mother, a poetic soul, had named them musically and with dulcet rhymes: Madeline and Adeline were the two eldest, Coraline and Doraline the two youngest. It had not occurred to her until too late that those melodious terminations made it impossible to call one daughter without calling two, and that “Lina” called them all.
“Mis' Immerjin,” said a soft voice in the doorway, “dere pos'tively ain't no butter in de house fer supper.”
“No butter?” said Mrs. Warden, incredulously. “Why, Sukey, I'm sure we had a tub sent up last—last Tuesday!”
“A week ago Tuesday, more likely, mother,” suggested Dora.
“Nonsense, Dora! It was this week, wasn't it, girls?” The mother appealed to them quite earnestly, as if the date of that tub's delivery would furnish forth the supper-table; but none of the young ladies save Dora had even a contradiction to offer.
“You know I never notice things,” said the artistic Cora; and “the de-lines,” as their younger sisters called them, said nothing.
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