The Delicacies

The hostess, in pink satin and blond hair—dressed
high—shone beautifully in her white slippers against
the great silent bald head of her little-eyed husband!

      Raising a glass of yellow Rhine wine in the narrow
space just beyond the light-varnished woodwork and
the decorative column between dining-room and hall,
she smiled the smile of water tumbling from one ledge
to another.

We began with a herring salad: delicately flavoured
saltiness in scallops of lettuce-leaves.

      The little owl-eyed and thick-set lady with masses
of grey hair has smooth pink cheeks without a wrinkle.
She cannot be the daughter of the little red-faced
fellow dancing about inviting lion-headed Wolff the
druggist to play the piano! But she is. Wolff is a
terrific smoker: if the telephone goes off at night—so
his curled-haired wife whispers—he rises from bed but
cannot answer till he has lighted a cigarette.

      Sherry wine in little conical glasses, dull brownish
yellow, and tomatoes stuffed with finely cut chicken
and mayonnaise!

      The tall Irishman in a Prince Albert and the usual
striped trousers is going to sing for us. (The piano
is in a little alcove with dark curtains.) The hostess’s
sister—ten years younger than she—in black net and
velvet, has hair like some filmy haystack, cloudy about
the eyes. She will play for her husband.

      My wife is young, yes she is young and pretty when
she cares to be—when she is interested in a discussion:
it is the little dancing mayor’s wife telling her of the
Day nursery in East Rutherford, ’cross the track,
divided from us by the railroad—and disputes as to
precedence. It is in this town the saloon flourishes,
the saloon of my friend on the right whose wife has
twice offended with chance words. Her English is
atrocious! It is in this town that the saloon is situated,
close to the railroad track, close as may be, this side
being dry, dry, dry: two people listening on opposite
sides of a wall!—The Day Nursery had sixty-five
babies the week before last, so my wife’s eyes shine
and her cheeks are pink and I cannot see a blemish.

      Ice-cream in the shape of flowers and domestic
objects: a pipe for me since I do not smoke, a doll
for you.

      The figure of some great bulk of a woman disappearing
into the kitchen with a quick look over the
shoulder. My friend on the left who has spent the
whole day in a car the like of which some old fellow
would give to an actress: flower-holders, mirrors,
curtains, plush seats—my friend on the left who is
chairman of the Streets committee of the town council—and
who has spent the whole day studying automobile
fire-engines in neighbouring towns in view of
purchase,—my friend, at the Elks last week at the
breaking-up hymn, signalled for them to let Bill—a
familiar friend of the saloon-keeper—sing out all alone
to the organ—and he did sing!

      Salz-rolls, exquisite! and Rhine wine ad libitum.
A masterly caviare sandwich.

      The children flitting about above stairs. The
councilman has just bought a National eight—some

      For heaven’s sake I mustn’t forget the halves of
green peppers stuffed with cream cheese and whole