Home / News
29. CHAPTER XXIX
SHE had walked up the railroad track with Hugh, this Sunday afternoon.
She saw Erik Valborg coming, in an ancient highwater suit, tramping sullenly and alone, striking at the rails with a stick. For a second she unreasoningly wanted to avoid him, but she kept on, and she serenely talked about God, whose voice, Hugh asserted, made the humming in the telegraph wires. Erik stared, straightened. They greeted each other with "Hello."
"Hugh, say how-do-you-do to Mr. Valborg."
"Oh, dear me, he's got a button unbuttoned," worried Erik, kneeling. Carol frowned, then noted the strength with which he swung the baby in the air.
"May I walk along a piece with you?"
"I'm tired. Let's rest on those ties. Then I must be trotting back."
They sat on a heap of discarded railroad ties, oak logs spotted with cinnamon-colored dry-rot and marked with metallic brown streaks where iron plates had rested. Hugh learned that the pile was the hiding-place of Injuns; he went gunning for them while the elders talked of uninteresting things.
The telegraph wires thrummed, thrummed, thrummed above them; the rails were glaring hard lines; the goldenrod smelled dusty. Across the track was a pasture of dwarf clover and sparse lawn cut by earthy cow-paths; beyond its placid narrow green, the rough immensity of new stubble, jagged with wheat-stacks like huge pineapples.
Erik talked of books; flamed like a recent convert to any faith. He exhibited as many titles and authors as possible, halting only to appeal, "Have you read his last book? Don't you think he's a terribly strong writer?"
She was dizzy. But when he insisted, "You've been a librarian; tell me; do I read too much fiction?" she advised him loftily, rather discursively. He had, she indicated, never studied. He had skipped from one emotion to another. Especially--she hesitated, then flung it at him--he must not guess at pronunciations; he must endure the nuisance of stopping to reach for the dictionary.
This is page 425 of 563. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Main Street at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.