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Christopher and Columbus

CHAPTER XII
"Then," said Mr. Twist, "if this is all you're going to see of New York, this one evening,
let us go and look at it."
He beckoned to the waiter who came up with the bill. Anna-Rose pulled out her purse.
Mr. Twist put up his hand with severe determination.
"You're my guest," he said, "as long as I am with you. Useless to protest, young lady.
You'll not get me to belie my American manhood. I only listened with half an ear to all
the things you both said in the taxi, because I hadn't recovered from the surprise of
finding myself still with you instead of on the train for Clark, and because you both of
you do say so very many things. But understand once and for all that in this country
everything female has to be paid for by some man. I'm that man till I've left you on the
Sack doorstep, and then it'll be Sack—confound him," finished Mr. Twist suddenly.
And he silenced Anna-Rose's protests, which persisted and were indignant, by turning
on her with, an irascibility she hadn't yet seen in him, and inquiring of her whether then
she really wished to put him to public shame? "You wouldn't wish to go against an
established custom, surely," he said more gently.
So the twins gave themselves up for that one evening to what Anna-Felicitas called
government by wealth, otherwise plutocracy, while reserving complete freedom of
action in regard to Mr. Sack, who was, in their ignorance of his circumstances, an
unknown quantity. They might be going to be mothers' helps in the Sack ménage for all
they knew,—they might, they said, be going to be anything, from honoured guests to
typists.
"Can you type?" asked Mr. Twist.
"No," said the twins.
He took them in a taxi to Riverside Drive, and then they walked down to the charming
footpath that runs along by the Hudson for three enchanting miles. The sun had set
some time before they got there, and had left a clear pale yellow sky, and a wonderful
light on the river. Lamps were being lit, and hung like silver globes in the thin air. Steep
grass slopes, and groups of big trees a little deeper yellow than the sky, hid that there
were houses and a street above them on their right. Up and down the river steamers
passed, pierced with light, their delicate smoke hanging in the air long after they had
gone their way. It was so great a joy to walk in all this after ten days shut up on the St.
Luke and to see such blessed things as grass and leaves again, that the twins felt
suddenly extraordinarily brisked up and cheerful. It was impossible not to be cheerful,
translated from the St. Luke into such a place, trotting along in the peculiar dry air that
made one all tingly.
 
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