How To Cook Husbands (Chapter 8, page 2 of 4)

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Chapter 8

So I had matters pretty well laid out; all my theories, born of years of close observation of affairs domestic, were now brought to bear on my own future. Secretly I esteemed myself a competent cook, when a husband was the dish under discussion. Mr. Gregory was not one to require any very complicated wisdom in the culinary art. A little gentle stewing; no strong seasoning; no violent changes or methods of any sort; but regularity, evenness; quiet affection; respect; comfort, and general conformance to taste and nature would be necessary, and I felt myself fully equal to it all.

Matters had well-nigh culminated, for I had received a note from Mr. Gregory asking when I would be at home to him, and saying that he had a matter of great moment to both of us, to lay before me. I set an evening, and then awaited his coming without the slightest quickening of my pulse, but with a serenity and cheerfulness that appealed to my common sense as the surest forecast of happiness.

Just at this juncture, a swift turn of the wind-cock, or some imprudence of diet, resulted in my taking cold--a most unusual procedure for me, and at the time of Mr. Gregory's call I was unable to see him, being confined to my bed, in the care of a doctor, who was fighting a case of threatened pneumonia.

Mr. Gregory expressed his sincere regret, and the next day called again, and left flowers. These attentions were repeated daily, and soon after hearing of my improvement, he wrote me a letter in which he said that which he had intended to say on the evening of the day I fell ill. He did not request a reply; in fact, he asked me to withhold my answer until I should be able to see him in person. It would have been wiser, perhaps, he said, to have postponed any word on the subject until I had recovered, but he had found it difficult to delay the expression of his feeling toward me, and hence had written.

This last rather surprised me, for Mr. Gregory had always seemed so unlikely to be swayed by impulse, or carried, in the slightest degree, beyond a point indicated by his judgment. It simply went to prove that the most regularly and smoothly laid-out man, if one may so express it, has unsuspected crooks and turns.

I had no desire to answer the letter, being perfectly able and willing to wait until I should see him. In fact, instead of hastening the time for my acceptance, I rather delayed it, for I reached a point in my convalescence, when I was able to go down to the parlor, had I so wished, and still did not.

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