Edna Ferber: Fanny Herself

10. CHAPTER TEN (continued)

"Oh! Paternal old chap, I suppose. No? Well, anyway, I don't know what he had in mind, but you're going to spend Sunday at the dunes of Indiana with me."

"Dunes? Of Indiana?"

"There's nothing like them in the world. Literally. In September that combination of yellow sand, and blue lake, and the woods beyond is--well, you'll see what it is. It's only a little more than an hour's ride by train. And it will just wipe that tired look out of your face, Fan." He stood up. "I'll call for you tomorrow morning at eight, or thereabouts. That's early for Sunday, but it's going to be worth it."

"I can't. Really. Besides, I don't think I even want to. I----"

"I promise not to lecture on Nature, if that's what's worrying you." He took her hand in a parting grip. "Bring some sandwiches, will you? Quite a lot of 'em. I'll have some other stuff in my rucksack. And wear some clothes you don't mind wrecking. I suppose you haven't got a red tam o' shanter?"

"Heavens, no!"

"I just thought it might help to keep me humble." He was at the door, and so was she, somehow, her hand still in his. "Eight o'clock. How do you stand it in this place, Fan? Oh, well--I'll find that out to-morrow. Good-by."

Fanny went back to her desk and papers. The room seemed all at once impossibly stuffy, her papers and letters dry, meaningless things. In the next office, separated from her by a partition half glass, half wood, she saw the top of Slosson's bald head as he stood up to shut his old-fashioned roll-top desk. He was leaving. She looked out of the window. Ella Monahan, in hat and suit, passed and came back to poke her head in the door.

"Run along!" she said. "It's Saturday afternoon. You'll work overtime enough when the Christmas rush begins. Come on, child, and call it a day!"

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