داستان کوتاه A Service of Love صفحه 5
تعداد بازديد : 258
'What's this?' asked Joe, taking the hand tenderly and pulling at some white strands beneath the bandages. 'It's something soft,' said Delia, 'that had oil on it. Oh, Joe, did you sell another sketch?' She had seen the money on the table. 'Did I?' said Joe. 'Just ask the man from Peoria. He got his depot to-day, and he isn't sure but he thinks he wants another parkscape and a view on the Hudson. What time this afternoon did you burn your hand, Dele?' 'Five o'clock, I think,' said Dele plaintively. 'The iron - I mean the rabbit came off the fire about that time. You ought to have seen General Pinkney, Joe, when - ' 'Sit down here a moment, Dele,' said Joe. He drew her to the couch, sat down beside her and put his arm across her shoulders. 'What have you been doing for the last two weeks, Dele?' he asked. She braved it for a moment or two with an eye full of love and stubbornness, and murmured a phrase or two vaguely of General Pinkney; but at length down went her head and out came the truth and tears. 'I couldn't get any pupils,' she confessed. 'And I couldn't bear to have you give up your lessons; and I got a place ironing shirts in that big Twenty-fourth Street laundry. And I think I did very well to make up both General Pinkney and Clementina, don't you, Joe? And when a girl in the laundry set down a hot iron on my hand this afternoon I was all the way home making up that story about the Welsh rabbit. You're not angry are you, Joe? And if I hadn't got the work you mightn't have sold your sketches to that man from Peoria.' 'He wasn't from Peoria,' said Joe slowly. 'Well, it doesn't matter where he was from. How clever you are, Joe - and - kiss me, Joe - and what made you ever suspect that I wasn't giving music lessons to Clementina?' 'I didn't,' said Joe, 'until to-night. And I wouldn't have then, only I sent up this cotton waste and oil from the engine-room this afternoon for a girl upstairs who had her hand burned with a smoothing-iron. I've been firing the engine in that laundry for the last two weeks.' 'And then you didn't - ' 'My purchaser from Peoria,' said Joe, 'and General Pinkney are both creations of the same art - but you wouldn't call it either painting or music. And then they both laughed, and Joe began: 'When one loves one's Art no service seems - ' But Delia stopped him with her hand on his lips. 'No,' she said - 'just "When one loves."