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When a Man Marries

The Roof Garden
I was quite ill the next morning--from excitement, I suppose. Anyhow, I did not get up,
and there wasn't any breakfast. Jim said he roused Flannigan at eight o'clock, to go down
and get the fire started, and then went back to bed. But Flannigan did not get up. He
appeared, sheepishly, at half-past ten, and by that time Bella was down, in a towering
rage, and had burned her hand and got the fire started, and had taken up a tray for Aunt
Selina and herself.
As the others straggled down they boiled themselves eggs or ate fruit, and nobody put
anything away. Lollie Mercer made me some tea and scorched toast, and brought it,
about eleven o'clock.
"I never saw such a house," she declared. "A dozen housemaids couldn't put it in order.
Why should every man that smokes drop ashes wherever he happens to be?"
"That's the question of the ages," I replied languidly. "What was Max talking so horribly
about a little while ago?" Lollie looked up aggrieved.
"About nothing at all," she declared. "Anne told me to clean the bath tubs with oil, and I
did it, that's all. Now Max says he couldn't get it off, and his clothes stick to him, and if
he should forget and strike a match in the--in the usual way, he would explode. He can
clean his own tub tomorrow," she finished vindictively.
At noon Jim came in to see me, bringing Anne as a concession to Bella. He was in a rage,
and he carried the morning paper like a club in his hand.
"What sort of a newspaper lie would you call this?" he demanded irritably. "It makes me
crazy; everybody with a mental image of me leaning over the parapet of the roof, waving
a board, with the rest of you sitting on my legs to keep me from overbalancing!"
"Maybe there's a picture!" Anne said hopefully.
Jim looked.
"No picture," he announced. "I wonder why they restrained themselves! I wish Bella
would keep off the roof," he added, with fresh access of rage, "or wear a mask or veil.
One of those fellows is going to recognize her, and there'll be the deuce to pay."
"When you are all through discussing this thing, perhaps you will tell me what is the
matter," I remarked from my couch. "Why did you lean over the parapet, Jim, and who
sat on your legs?"
"I didn't; nobody did," he retorted, waving the newspaper. "It's a lie out of the whole
cloth, that's what it is. I asked you girls to be decent to those reporters; it never pays to
offend a newspaper man. Listen to this, Kit."
He read the article rapidly, furiously, pausing every now and then to make an exasperated
comment.
 
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