Marcia Schuyler (Chapter 9, page 3 of 6)

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Chapter 9

Shyly she poured the amber coffee and passed it to David. She was pleased that he drank it eagerly and passed his cup back for more. He ate but little, but seemed to approve of all she had done.

After breakfast David went down to the office. He had told Marcia that he would step over and tell his aunts of their arrival, and they would probably come over in the course of the day to greet her. He would be back to dinner at twelve. He suggested that she spend her time in resting, as she must be weary yet. Then hesitating, he went out and closed the door behind him. He waited again on the door stone outside and opened the door to ask: "You won't be lonesome, will you, child?" He had the feeling of troubled responsibility upon him.

"Oh, no!" said Marcia brightly, smiling back. She thought it so kind of him to take the trouble to think of her. She was quite anticipating a trip of investigation over her new domain, and the pleasure of feeling that she was mistress and might do as she pleased. Yet she stood by the window after he was gone and watched his easy strides down the street with a feeling of mingled pride and disappointment. It was a very nice play she was going through, and David was handsome, and her young heart swelled with pride to belong to him, but after all there was something left out. A great lack, a great unknown longing unsatisfied. What was it? What made it? Was it David's sorrow?

She turned with a sigh as he disappeared around a curve in the sidewalk and was lost to view. Then casting aside the troubles which were trying to settle upon her, she gave herself up to a morning of pure delight.

She flew about the kitchen putting things to rights, washing the delicate sprigged china with its lavendar sprays and buff bands, and putting it tenderly upon the shelves behind the glass doors; shoving the table back against the wall demurely with dropped leaves. It did not take long.

There was no need to worry about the dinner. There was a leg of lamb beautifully cooked, half a dozen pies, their flaky crusts bearing witness to the culinary skill of the aunts, a fruit cake, a pound cake, a jar of delectable cookies and another of fat sugary doughnuts, three loaves of bread, and a sheet of puffy rusks with their shining tops dusted with sugar. Besides the preserve closet was rich in all kinds of preserves, jellies and pickles. No, it would not take long to get dinner.

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